Friday, July 27, 2012

How to get to know a missionary

     I am currently lining up meetings for an effective deputation ministry.  Part of this process involves answering important questions which churches feel are vital in accessing a prospective missionary's philosophy.
     At the outset, I commend churches that attempt to filter prospective missionaries.  Perhaps the best way to do that is by being familiar with a couple of things: Their sending church and their supporting churches. 
     We see the sending church principle in Acts 13:3.  Barnabas and Saul received favor from the church at Antioch.  It was through that church that they were set apart to do missionary work.  Naturally, a church will want to reproduce itself.  In fact at the most basic level each disciple is to reproduce himself (according to Matt. 28:20 - "teaching them to observe all things...") with the end goal of Christ-likeness ("...whatsoever I have commanded you.").  A disciple isn't a good one if he isn't discipling others.  Churches ought to be concerned about a missionary's sending church because a missionary will represent and reproduce one's sending church.
     As to supporting churches, we find in the N.T. a bit more of a sporadic nature (ex. Phil. 4:10-19, Rom. 15:22-33) in comparison to modern missions, however the Bible principles of giving with its broader applications including tithes, offerings, gifts, and alms certainly includes missions.  A regular supporting church deserves among many things regular communication from their missionary.  Also, there is strength in churches cooperating in missions work (ex. 1 Cor. 16:3,4; 2 Cor. 8:19).
     Together the sending church and supporting churches working together is the N.T. pattern for doing missionary work and we can see in the Bible that a missionary is known by his sending church and supporting churches.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Why a Disgruntled Atheist Shouldn't Complain

Here is a story in the paper about an atheist who feels that he is being discriminated against because a restaurant owner has a 10% discount for diners who present a church bulletin on Sundays.  First, Property Rights - she owns the business and can and should be free to grant whatever discount she wishes.  Second, offering a discount is the owner's prerogative.  It isn't discriminatory; it is patronizing.  If she wanted to offer discounts to those who brought a copy of the latest atheistic bulletin, then that is her business and that is the patronage she wants to nurture.  The government has no business telling her what she should do as a private business owner.  Any business owner has enough sense to know what is working and what isn't due to their return of interest (the bottom line).  A government intervention based on a frivolous lawsuit is not going to help one bit (btw, the atheist never ate at her restaurant - funny he's even complaining).
What this atheist needs to know is that the entire state's constitution humbly invokes God's guidance, with thankfulness to Him for its civil and religious liberty (read the preamble to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of PA) .  So, perhaps he should sue the state of PA, too.  But then again, just like he doesn't have to eat at this particular restaurant, he doesn't have to live in PA either.  He should be thankful that there is a restaurant open (in this sad economy) and that God has given him the liberty of choosing not to believe in his Creator.