“Go ye into all the world, and preach the [G]ospel to every creature.”
I have a high regard for Christ-ian missionaries. I see them as being on the front line of activity. There is almost a romantic aire about the mission field. I enjoy hearing all that happens in those far a way places. It sounds and seem very adventurous. And then…
I have heard from many missionaries over the years. I have seen some missionaries mistreated by the brethren. They can say, “I have been in peril by the brethren,” along with Paul. I have seen missionary do a very questionable thing with support money and i was angered and am still unhappy about the situation. A church I had been a member at took up a collection for a missionary’s wife’s surgery. The missionary was so thankful. Later, we learned he used that money for the mission field. He may think it spiritual, I think it wrong and loveless. But he is one example of a bad missionary to the many more good examples.
One other thing that causes me anger and sadness at the same time is a “missionary” who is more of a shake-down-artist than a man of God. I have sat in seething disgust, anger, and sadness, as I listened to a man of…something equates a financial gift or offering with a person’s faith. (Little faith = Little Offering; Big Faith = Big Offering). This “missionary” is no better than any of the televangelists calling for “faith-filled giving.” This “missionary” had so much anger in his presentation. It seemed as though he was trying to bully the money out of the church. Normally the questionable “missionary” uses guilt, “Don’t you care, people? Don’t you care about these poor children that have no…?”
As high of an opinion as I have of good missionaries, I have an equally low opinion of “missionaries or better yet, mercenaries.” I would even call into question the church and the minister that supports such tactics. It reminds me of a hireling allowing the wolves to slaughter the sheep. I know these are harsh words. And I know some may read them, disagree, and even suggest that we would not say this to the “missionary’s face or the supporting church’s pastor. Some may charge me with hiding behind a keyboard. If this sounds like you, know me you do not. They are being hidden behind my keyboard. This is not tough talk either. Read Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians.
What, then, should a missionary present to the church? or How should a missionary behave in his presentation? The answer is so simple, I am shocked that so many have missed it. If a missionary wants my support, set before me the facts. Tell me a little about the place you are going (Dv), what your hopes are, what you intend to preach, and what you intend (Dv) to do. And then……tell me a whole lot about Christ. Tell me about your love for Christ and Christ’s love for you. Don’t use guilt tactics as that is equal to the enticing words Paul refused to use. In other words, tell me about yourself, God’s call upon your life, the people you seek to reach, the how and why of it all, and then tell me about Christ.
To use anger, bullying tactics, or guilt is all flesh, it’s all carnal, it’s all man-centric, and nothing to do with the moving of the Holy Spirit. The use of these tactics manifests one’s lack of trust in God and the will of God. If God is not ordering this “missionary’s” steps, then this “missionary” is not a good man for the task at hand.
This type of “missionary” seems to come from a legalistic school of thought. I have attended a “Pastors’ Week” at a certain college years ago. We didn’t attend the entire week. We attended the last day. We sat in this auditorium for (2) two hours as a man was praised, idolized and dare I say, worshipped? At the end of this show, there was an invitational. The invitation went like this, “If you want to have a life like this…if you want to be a man like this then get up….come up here and give your life to God.” If you think that was bad, wait…. “You do not need to be called…..if you aren’t called, then volunteer your life to God.” By volunteering this mouth piece meant, guit your job and go into full time service to God, whether God wants you too or not.
To be fair, I know persons that have come from this school of thinking and they are fine men of God, Some pastors, some not. I also know men in the November-December of their lives that still buy into all of it. I was told of a man that said, “If there isn’t any work in heaven, then I don’t want to go.” This is the legalistic mindset. It’s ironic that the legalistic believer in something hates the catholics so much….it’s because they are from the same mold.
I love the faithful missionary…I loathe the man-centric mercenary.
As to the question of who is “the better” missionary, the Calvinist or the Arminian. Christ-ian history has already answer this. Research the history of missions and you will find it is the Calvinists that saw the great reapings. You see, the Arminian goes to the mission field wanting and wishing to see persons saved. Whereas, the Calvinist missionary knows God has many persons reserved unto Himself. The Calvinist missionary also knows God has sent him to find His elect, just as God sent His Son seeking him.