Sunday, December 14, 2008

Misssiology 101- Quotes from Mission Moblilizers

If God has fit you to be a missionary, I should not shrivel down to be a king. Charles H. Spurgeon

We who have Christ's eternal life need to throw away our own lives. George Verwer

We talk of the second coming, half the world has never heard of the first. Oswald J. Smith

We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God. John Stott

Love is the root of missions, sacrifice is the fruit of missions. Roderick Davis

Go send, or disobey. John Piper

Every step in the progress of missions is directly traceable to prayer. Arthur Tappan Pierson

Prepare for the worst, expect the best, and take what comes. Robert E. Speer

God's part is to put forth power, our part is to put forth faith. Andrew A. Bonar

God cannot lead you on the basis of facts you do not know. David Bryant

God cannot dedicate your ignorance no matter how much you dedicate it. David Mays

We have a God who delights in impossibilities. Andrew Murray

Two distinguishing marks of the early church were: poverty and power. T.J. Bach

Today Christians spend more money on dog food than missions. Leonard Ravenhill

Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: if you are alive, it isn't. Richard Bach

The church must send or the church will end. Mendell Taylor

Today five out of six non-Christians in our world have no hope unless missionaries come to them and plant the church among them. David Bryant

Anyone who can help 100 missionaries to the field is more important than one missionary on the field. In fact, mission mobilization activity is more crucial than field activity. Phil Parshall

More Gold Nuggets from Missionaries, Past and Present

Here are some more short quotes from past and present missionaries that challenge me and jog my complacency:

The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible.
-Ralph Winter (b. 1924, missionary to Guatamala, missiologist, founder of U.S Center for World Mission, William Carey International University, and the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course)

Missionary zeal does not grow out of intellectual beliefs, nor out of theological arguments, but out of love.
The missionary spirit of Christ in us cannot rest until it finds an expression in some type of service.
There is a horrible tendency for an organization to grow in importance til it overshadows the end of its existence, and begins to exist for itself.
-Roland Allen (1868-1947, British missionary to Africa and China, missions theorist and proponent of the Three-Self theory: mission churches should become self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating. Author of Missionary Methods: St Paul's or Ours (1912) and Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes Which Hinder It (1927).

My business is to witness for Christ. I make shoes to pay my expenses.
-William Carey (1761-1834, pioneer missionary to India, founder of the modern missionary movement)

Would that God would make hell so real that we cannot rest.
There are only three stages in the work of God: Impossible; Difficult; Done.
-James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905, British missionary to China, founder of China Inland Mission, now Overseas Missionary Fellowship, motivated and moblized many for worldwide mission)

I continually heard... the wail of the perishing heathen in the South Seas.
-John Gibson Patton (1824-1907, Scottish missionary to the South Pacific, later in his life a popular speaker and mission mobilizer)

May the time come when rich men and great men would think it an honor to support whole stations of missionaries in Africa, instead of spending their money on hounds and horses.
-David Livingstone (1813-1873, famous Scottish missionary and explorer in Africa, arrived in 1840, died there)

If ten men are carrying a log-nine of them on the little end and one at the heavy end-... which end will you lift on?
-William Borden (reflecting on the unreached in China in comparison to the U.S., heir to vast Borden fortune, protege of Samuel Zwemer, died in his youth after less than a year as a missionary in Egypt, never having reached his destination of China, mobilized and inspired many both before and after his death)

Don't aim to plant churches. Aim to plant a church that will plant many other churches.
-George Patterson (went as a Conservative Baptist missionary to Honduras in 1965, developer of a successful type of T.E.E.- "Obedience-Oriented Education")

There are no closed doors to the gospel-provided that once you get inside, you don't care if you ever come out.
-Brother Andrew (b. 1928, Dutch missionary to closed countries, evangelist to Eastern Europe, founder of Open Doors, author of God's Smuggler)

Yea, so I have strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation. (Romans 15:20)
So that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in another man's territory. (2 Corinthians 10:16)
-the Apostle Paul

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gold Nuggets from Missionary Pioneers

These short, pithy quotes were gleaned from early missionaries, most of whom have been on the cutting edge of the three eras or waves of the modern missionary movement which began just prior to the 19th century (Ralph Winter's classification): the Coastland Era (1800-1910), the Inland Era (1865-1980), and the Unreached Peoples Era (1935-present). Three of these quotes are from prior to the modern movement:

"That land is henceforth my country which most needs the gospel."
--Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760, missions pioneer who travelled extensively throughout Europe, North America, and the West Indies and helped spur the Moravian missiomary movement which extended from the West Indies and the Guianas in the 1730's, to North America and Greenland, and subsequently into Africa and Asia)

"I love to live on the brink of eternity."
--David Brainerd (1718-1747, Presbyterian missionary to the Seneca and Delaware Indians of New York and New Jersey, he died at age 29 of tuberculosis but his posthumous diary was used mightily of God to spur others on to greater missionary devotion)

"I will lay my bones by the Ganges that India may know there is one who cares."
"...remember the perishing nations."
--Alexander Duff (1806-1878, pioneer Scottish missionary to India was a student of Thomas Chalmers' strong education emphasis and founded the largest mission school in India)

"Tell the students to give up the small ambitions, to come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ.
--Francis Xavier (1506-1552, famous pioneer Roman Catholic missionary to Japan, Goa, and Malay)

"All my friends are but one, but He is all sufficient."
--William Carey (1761-1834, pioneer Baptist missionary to India and 'father of modern missions' as the publisher of Enquiry into the Christian's missionary obligation)

"The longing of my heart is to make known my glorious Redeemer to those who have never heard."
--William Chalmers Burns (1815-1868, Scottish pioneer missionary to China who had been involved in the Scottish revival of 1839, he preached widely over China, vigorously opposed the odious opium and coolie trades, and wore Chinese apparel)

"God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply."
"Brother if you would enter that province, you must go forward on your knees."
"I have found that there are three stages in every work of God; first it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done."
--James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905, medical missionary to China, founded China Inland Mission, a pioneer of the "Inland Era", wore Chinese clothes)

"All the resources of the Godhead are at our disposal."
--Jonathan Goforth (1859-1936, Canadian Presbyterian missionary to China who caught the vision of missions while reading Robert Murray McCheyne, great soul-winner, Jonathan and his wife Rosalind saw 5 of their 11 children die in China)

"I will open Africa to the gospel or die trying."
--Rowland Victory Bingham (1872-1942, Canadian missionary pioneer born in Britain, founder of Sudan Interior Mission, now SIM, his two missionary partners, Gowans and Kent died within a year of arriving in the interior of the Sudan -now northern Nigeria- in 1893)

"They are making a living when they should be making a life."
"The history of missions is the history of answered prayer...It is the key to the whole mission problem. All human means are secondary."
"I feel now that Arabia could easily be evangelized within the next thirty years if it were not for the wickedness of selfish Christians."
--Samuel Marinus Zwemer (1867-1952, American pioneer missionary to the Middle East as well as other Muslim lands, Princeton Seminary professor, scholar, missiologist, prolific writer about missions and Islam, founder and editor for 37 years of the journal The Moslem World)

"The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It needs no furlough and is never considered a foreigner."
--William Cameron ("Uncle Cam") Townsend (1896-1982, American missionary in Guatamala, fonder of Wycliffe Bible Translators)

"Why do you need a voice when you have a verse."
--Jim Elliot (20th century martyr among the Aucas or Waodanis in Ecuador)

"It's amazing what can be accomplished if we don't worry about who gets the credit."
--Clarence W. Jones (founder of HCJB Radio in Quito, Ecuador, and of the World Radio Missionary Fellowship)

"Let us press on. All Africa must be won for Christ. Though a thousand missionaries die, send me."
--Andreas Rias (missionary to Africa)

"From my many years' experience I can unhesitatingly say the cross bears those who bear the cross."
--Sadhu Sundar Singh (India Christian, advocate of indiginous missions)

"Had I cared for the comments of people, I should never have been a missionary."
--Charles Thomas (C. T.) Studd (1863-1931, British pioneer missionary to China, India, and Africa, and one of the famous 'Cambridge Seven')

"And thus I asprie to reach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man's foundation."
--the Apostle Paul

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sin's 5 Elements

Sin can be defined as anything that doesn't conform to the holy character of God as expressed in His moral law. The lack of conformity may be in thoughts, in attitudes, or in actions.

Let's consider 5 elements of this definition of sin:

1) Sin is moral evil (e.g., stealing) as opposed to natural evil (e.g., cancer). Moral evil is rebellion against God, and is what brought natural evil into the world.

2) Sin is always, ultimately related to God. Sin is a personal attack on the character and ordinances of God. The central problem of sin is that it offends and incurs the wrath of God. David confessed his adultery and murder "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight..."(Ps. 51:4). Sin of course also does have devastating relational, physical, and societal effects. For example, King David's sin did have these consequences against Bathsheba, against her husband Uriah, and against the people of Israel. Yet it is God he has ultimately offended, and it is to God that he must ultimately answer.

3) Sin is breaking God's law. There are sins of omission and of commission. Breaking one commandment is breaking all God's commandments, because it is rebellion against the character of God. "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it." (James 2:10). Compare this verse to Galations 3:10: " All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: Cursed is everyone who does not do everything written in the book of the Law." God's unified law reflects His nature and His claims, so rejecting one of His laws is rejecting Him. God does recognize gradations of sin based on Knowledge (Ezekial 8:6, Mt. 10;15, Lk.12:47-48, John 19;11), intent (Numbers 15:30-31), kind, and effect. Yet sin done in ignorance is still sin. Even though God recognizes these degrees of sin on an ethical and human level, all are equally guilty before God and in need of His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for sin (to atone for our sin).

4) Sin is deep-rooted in our nature. Sinful actions just reveal the condition of an inner depraved heart. God requires the heart be right (Ex. 20;17, Heb.13:5) not just correct outward actions. These inner attitudes in Scripture are identified as either sinful or righteous. "Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander (Mt. 15:19 compare with Mt. 7:15-19).

5) Sin has given all of us a corrupted condition and a guilty standing before God. God's pronouncement of guilt is His legal determination that we are in an unrighteous state before Him. The corrupted, polluted condition or state inclines us toward ungodly behavior. But by the grace of God, both his inherited guilt and moral pollution are atoned for by Christ Jesus for " If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all our unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

This grace, mercy, and forgiveness to us through Christ's atoning sacrifice, is a defining difference between God's way and all the human-works oriented religions of the world.

Scriptures to ponder:

Romans 8:1-17
John 3:1-16
Titus 3:5-7
I John 2:29, 3:9, 4:7, 4:18 5:1, 5:6
Ephesians 4:17-32
Colossians 3:1-17
I Peter 2:22
Isaiah 53:8
Ezekial 36:25-27

For further reading I recommend:

Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, Colorado Springs: Navipress, 1978, 1989 ff.

Acknowledgement: Much of the ideas are from recent teaching notes of Dennis Wilson.


The AIDS epidemic is having long-term impact, and this impact is the most severe in Africa. Of the roughly 34 million orphans in sub-Saharan Africa, 11 million are AIDS orphans-a million since 2007 alone. Eight of ten children in the world whose parents have died of AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa. In the past decade, the proportion of children who have been orphaned from AIDS has risen exponentially. The health, the basic human rights, and the survival of these orphans is in great peril.

You can make a difference by praying, sponsoring a child, giving financially, volunteering your time, and enlisting others to help.. It is best to learn as much as you can about the AIDS orphan problem, but try to focus on one area of need. You may have a bigger impact by helping one small, indiginous, Christian-oriented, non-profit AIDS orphan agency, like SAVE THE AIDS ORPHANS, where even a gift of $10 will have a big impact on feeding the children, etc. WORLD ORPHANS is another good, but larger, facebook cause. Even much larger causes are Compassion International and World Vision. You can join some of these causes, enlist others, contribute money ($25 is the usual recommended amount) and pledge to raise support from others-all through Facebook. You can also do volunteer work on a short term or longer term basis.