Skip to comments.The Clarion Call of the Great Commission
Posted on 12/29/2020 11:05:12 AM PST by OneVike
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."Matthew 28:19-20
These were the last words Jesus spoke to His disciples before He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. Yet it would take the stoning of Stephen to force His followers to obey His last commandment. Soon, the early Christians would leave friends, family, and home to answer the clarion call of the "Great Commission" to spread the Gospel to the ends of the Earth. For the next couple hundred years Christianity would spread throughout the Roman Empire like chickenpox in a child's day care center.
It's no coincidence that the standard bearer which missionaries used as their example throughout the years has been Paul of Tarsus, who was present when Stephen was stoned. By being the example of what it means to follow the "Great Commission", Paul would take the gospel to the Gentiles of the Roman Empire, and eventually share the gospel with Nero himself. For the next couple of centuries men like Polycarp, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian would continue where Paul and the other disciples left off until 314 BC when Constantine would embrace Christianity and make it the favored religion of the empire.
While there were men like St. Patrick and Columba who would win Ireland and Scotland to Christianity through their missionary work, it would not be until the 14th and 15th centuries that the "Great Commission" would again be followed with such fervor. That's when the Franciscans and Dominicans, who had ministered to the poor and helped nurse a population ravaged by the Black Death, began spreading the Gospel to the barbarians of Brazil, Mexico and the islands of the Caribbean.
Soon followers of Loyola like Xavier and Ricci would start Jesuit missions in the Asian countries of Japan, China, and the Philippines. With the defeat of the Spanish Armada at the hands of England in 1588, the Roman Catholic Church would lose their iron grip upon the missionary movements to the new lands of the West and eventually to the East as well.
Without Spain in the way, the Brittish and Danish empires expanded their influence on the high seas. This led to new colonies being created in the West which opened the door for Protestant churches to fulfill their call to the "Great Commission". On the heels of a Revolution that won freedom from bondage to King George for 13 colonies in America, a lowly shoemaker named William Carey won freedom from his bondage to sin and became a Christian in England.
William Carey always had a fondness for the voyages of James Cook, Columbus, and Vasco da Gama. Their exploits into the lands they discovered moved him to answer God's calling to spread the Gospel to the uncivilized heathens of the World. Convinced to join his friend, Andrew Fuller and a few others, he helped them create a group that would be called the Baptist Missionary Society. Before long Carey was headed to India with a passion to save souls for Christ. Using the business model of the big trading companies like the East India Company, he set up a missionary movement that earned souls like a business earned profits.
The Lord blesses us all with gifts, and one of Williams gifts was his ability to learn foreign languages. When he was younger he taught himself to read Latin and Greek, when he reached India he took that gift and taught himself to speak and write Bengali. He would eventually translate the Bible into 40 languages and dialects along with beginning several schools that helped many locals become evangelizers to their own people. By the time he died in 1834, Carry had done in Calcutta what Paul had done in Antioch and Ephesus from Corinth and Rome. As the news of his success reached England and America, Christians began taking note of their calling to the "Great Commission" and William Carey would became known as the father of the modern missionary movement.
Two American Christians who heeded the clarion call were a young man and his bride of seven days, Adoniram and Ann Haseltine Judson. In 1812 these newlyweds traveled to Burma. Unfortunately numerous problems would lead to Ann's death at the young age of 36, while Adoniram would endure imprisonment and bad health throughout the years. Yet he stuck it out and the Lord blessed his devotion. In time Adoniram would translate the Bible into Burmese. His Burmese English dictionary helped many throughout the years to give their lives to Christ. His greatest accomplishment was with the Karen Tribe. Thanks to his work, over 300,000 of the million plus Karen descendants today, are professing Christians.
The Judson's sacrifice and hard work, opened the door for American missions to become the largest contributor to missions around the World. While the Judsons, Carey, and Hudson Taylor were busy opening up the orient to Protestant missions, an explorer by the name of David Livingstone went to the sore of the World and found the heart of Africa.
Livingstone believed it was his duty as a Christian to free Africa from the need of selling their brethren into slavery. Livingstone believed that the spread of Christianity and Western values would help convince the African people to see the evil of slavery. Along with better agriculture techniques the discovery of precious resources, and how to put those resources into proper use he hoped to help the continent move towards different types of commercial trade.
For thirty years Livingstone opened up the heart of the Dark Continent and made it real and human to the World. Because of his work and exploration by others that followed, soon every country in Europe was sending missionaries to spread the gospel to the "Dark Continent". By 1914 almost every town or colony had a Christian mission that nursed the sick, fed the poor, taught the gospel, and schooled the children. By 1950 the continent of Africa was the fastest growing Christian continent in the World, with 70% of all Africans claiming Christianity as their religion of faith.
From the days of Columbus and Cortez, the Roman Catholic Church has dominated the missionary movements of South America, but they never made headway with the Indian tribes in the Jungles and for the most part they never really tried. When the Protestants began sending missionaries to South and Central America, they stayed away from evangelizing to the masses in the cities because of the dominant Catholic faith. So most of their missionary work was done mainly with the native Indians in the inland parts of the continent. Thus the reason why the Catholic Church is so dominant throughout South America.
However, there have been success stories among the protestant missionaries laboring in the jungles and mountains of the continent. One of these great success stories was with the Waodani Indians who lived in the deep heart of the jungles of Ecuador. There is a great movie, "End Of The Spear", which is a true testament about this tribe's conversion and how God takes the evil of men and turns it into good. If you can find it, I highly recommend it.
Probably the largest influence the Protestants were able to exert in South America came about from James Thomson and the British Foreign Bible Society. They were able to distribute Spanish Bibles in Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, and Chile. Through most of the twentieth century the Scottish Presbyterians and the London Missionary Society worked in obscurity, but by the 1980s their work began to show fruit as the Protestant faiths began gaining ground throughout South and Central America. There has been many souls won for Christ by the Protestant missionaries in the last 50 years with the many Indian tribes who still live like their ancestors did thousands of years ago.
It has been said that the American foreign missionary movement is in many ways an extension of the frontier Parson of the expanding American West. After all, before Americans sent many missionaries overseas they were busy sending them West to tame and civilize the mountain men, cowboys, and Indians. In Kansas alone there were over 30 missionaries working with the settlers and the natives to bring God to the plains. The first of many was Thomas Johnson and his wife Sarah, a Methodist Missionary who established the first Shawnee and Delaware tribal school in the Territory of Kansas. Like other missionaries of the plains, Thomas and his wife would minister to thousands of Indians and even settlers who came through on their way West when Gold was discovered in California.
With the discovery of Gold, thousands of young men headed out to make their fortunes, and it only made sense that ministers and missionaries would follow suit. Instead of looking for gold and wealth, these men were like the circuit riders and the frontier Pastors who had been migrating West for decades and they brought their treasure with them. Bringing the Gospel of Christ to California, these ministers wanted to make sure that Christianity became firmly established in the hearts and minds of the many who headed West. Such men as Joseph A. Benton, William Pond, James Woods, and even Darius Stokes, a leading black minister of the African Methodist Episcopal church, all came to California with hopes of spreading Christianity and civilization to the far reaches of the American continent. After a few years in California, Woods would send a letter to his friends and relatives back East about California,
"Unparalleled in the history of the World is the march of progress in California. Instead of being a remote, and almost unknown and uncared, for portion of the globe, with but a few scattering and degenerate sons of Spain, a few enterprising adventurers, and a few tribes of wretchedly degraded Indians, it has in the short space of two years become a central spot of Earth, where almost all nations of the World have their representatives congregated."(California missionary, James Woods)
Throughout history, Christians have had to rely upon private donations from Christians like myself and others to spread the Gospel to the World. But considering Christ called all of us to be involved in spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth, the donations are minuscule in comparison to the rewards. Through the years, the many different missionary groups realized they needed to work closer together, rather than against each other, so they have put their minor differences aside for the good of the movement.
More and more denominations began sharing expenses and facilities in order to reach the needy, establish schools and hospitals, while improving the living standards of the locals. It's worth noting that in the missionary field women have, and still do, out number the men in third World countries. Thus, often times they found themselves in positions that men usually held. Women would be the teachers, preachers, and head of missionaries as they awaited qualified men to take charge. These experiences led to unprecidented equality women seldom enjoyed. By the end of the 18th century their voice became part of the women's suffrage movement. Mainly because when they returned home, they again found themselves forced to take a back seat to the men. Many of them would resent this and join the suffrage movement.
It's my opinion, that the time for the sharing finances and resources between missionary societies must end, because too many denominations are teaching heresy by following the will of governments who are putting pressure on them to push unBiblical practices that are anathema by Christ.
We live in a changing World, and with those changes come political differences that often times lead to war. WWII saw the whole planet fighting a bitter destructive war that left few places untouched. When the war was over, the World seemed to be at peace for awhile. Yet is wasn't long before the winds of change would bring a new and more deadly enemy, Communism and the Cold War.
During the Cold War division of East vs the West, the Soviet Union began supporting rebels and setting up totalitarian type governments that would leave many parts of Africa and South America devastated. In the process many once thriving missions were either burned to the ground or confiscated by the rebels who would replace Democratically elected leaders. In Africa, Christian missionaries would be replaced by Islamic Imams or War Lords who moved in to fill the void. Eventually the poor stopped being fed, the children stopped being educated, the sick were left to die, and the many parts of Africa slipped back into tribal conflicts that destroyed many once thriving communities.
It wasn't long before the slave trade, which men like Livingston and Wilberforce spent their lives trying to end, would again became a profitable business. Muslim Nations like Sudan began selling Africans into slavery to Muslim countries in the Middle East. There are a still many missionaries in Africa, but not nearly like there were 50 years ago. If you pay attention to the news, you know that a genocide is taking place. Muslim War Lords destroy whole villages as they murder African Christians by the tens of thousands, while taking young girls for sex slaves to breed a new generation of warriors. A continent that boasted a higher percent of Christian followers than most Western societies in the 1950's once again became the sore of the World.
As the economies around the World continue to suffer under the burden of Socialism, church caufers will continue to suffer huge losses in revenue. This loss will further hurt the Africa mission movement because America sends the vast majority of missionaries around the World. With less money and more interference from the unfriendly governements the obstacles will continue to seem overwhelming for missionaries already on shoestring budgets. The evil one may try to stop Christians from fulfilling the "Great Commission", but the Lord is a Good Shepherd and His lambs will be found.
Now, we can busy ourselves with gaining all the knowledge in the theology of Christ and the history of how we got where we are until we are blue in the face. However, we are ultimately called to spread the Word to those lost in the dark, in places few have ever heard of. It's the often forgotten missionaries who do battle every day on the front lines, in both the concrete jungles of the big cities and the jungles of Africa, Asia and South America who have sacrificed the most to spread the Gospel. If you cannot join them, then at least open up your pocket book and help them in any way the Spirit leads you, so that they too can do as the Spirit calls them to do.
This is not to say we should ignore our responsibility to study to be approved so that we are ready to give a reason for our faith, while educating those near us in the truth and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Yet, since the day Stephen was stoned to death for witnessing about Christ, Christians have given their lives to answer the clarion call of the "Great Commission". I truly believe we need many, many more Christians to step up and listen to the voice which is calling them to step out in faith and go where the Holy Spirit leads them.
The great evangelist, Johnathan Edwards, never let his listeners forget what was promised in Habakkuk 2:14, that the knowledge of the Lord would fill the earth like the waters of the sea. He knew that when the Gospel of Christ was spread to all corners of the World, to all men of all races and nationalities, that Christ would then return. Other than the time when Jesus met the woman at Jacob's well and the townspeople of Sychar believed, Phillip had the first missionary success when he went to Samaria. Acts 8:5-8 As we walk and breath today, only our Lord knows what area will be the last to be reached with the Gospel.
I pray that those who have ears to hear, will hear what the Spirit says, and call upon His name. Amen...."Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
I pray the Lord blesses those who have the patience to read the whole commentary.
As usual, I posted it in full, and so there is no need to visit my blog. Even the video I offer I gave a link to the youtube one so you are not forced to visit my blog.
It would be nice if you would visit my blog, but if you don't I understand.
From what I have read, it may be better for Africa to send missionaries here because their message is less corrupted than the one taught here in many churches.
So both men and women can preach the Gospel; no need for seminary or any sectarian Bible college.
Women are not allowed to teach men, however, when men abdicate their responsibility, God will use anyone He so choses.
Deborah was both a prophetess and ruler of the people of ancient Israel, the only woman among the twelve judges. She held court under the Palm Tree of Deborah in the hill country of Ephraim, deciding the people's disputes.
All was not well, however. The Israelites had been disobeying God, so God allowed Jabin, a king of Canaan, to oppress them. Jabin's general was named Sisera, and he intimidated the Hebrews with 900 iron chariots, powerful tools of war that struck terror into the hearts of foot soldiers.
Deborah, acting on guidance from God, sent for the warrior Barak, telling him the Lord had commanded Barak to gather 10,000 men from the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali and lead them to Mount Tabor. Deborah promised to lure Sisera and his chariots into the Kishon Valley, where Barak would defeat them.
Instead of fully trusting God, Barak refused to go unless Deborah accompanied him to inspire the troops. She gave in but prophesied that the credit for the victory would go not to Barak but to a woman.
You’ve misinterpreted the scripture verse where “women are to be quiet in church”. The first occasion of women preaching is Dorcas. This is a good explanation of what was going on in the church Paul was addressing:https://www.cbeinternational.org/resource/article/priscilla-papers-academic-journal/does-1-timothy-2-prohibit-women-teaching-leading
And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.1 Timothy 2:12-15
One thing I do agree with you on. We do not need a degree from any man’s institution to teach, all we need is for the Holy Spirit to move us to learn and. go forward. It helps, because then you get good tutoring, but many a great teacher has been trained by God through the Holy Spirit.
I am one. I audited classes at a Seminary school, but never attained a degree. Most of what I know was taught to me through the years of hard self study and from good teachers I have listened to through the years.
I have studied the ancient teachers and taught myself to be able to read and understand some Koinonia Greek, and can decipher some Hebrew.
I think there are many good female teachers, but God set the order, not men. We must follow His guidance, and as long as we do He will bless what we do.
Okay - but Paul was referring to what was happening in that particular church. So I guess women can’t teach in seminary and if they hear some guy saying something that is wrong concerning scripture we are to keep silent.
Some men during women suffrage movement said it was unBiblical for women to vote.
You need to read my article I wrote on the 19th amendment.
I do not think it is unbiblical for women to vote, but if men did what God commanded them to do, then women would not have wanted to vote. Because things would not have been in such a bad state for women.
Try as some may, God set the hierarchy up, not Paul, Paul just reiterated His stance.
Man’s world and since time immemorial women had to fight for equality.
“NO, that is not the Scripture I refer to. this is the one... ‘And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence’ —1 Timothy 2:12-15”
The article that SkyDancer posted a link to is a good one. However, I would add a VERY important clarification on the above passage.
The Bible does NOT gives a general command by which women are supposed to submit to men. That is FALSE and a lie from Hell.
We ALL must submit to authority. Children to parents. Citizens to government. Church members to church leaders. Etc. But only when directed to do what is right, never to do evil.
But here is the important clarification: the Greek words for man and woman also are the same words for husband and wife. In English we have different words. So, translators must use context to determine which is correct for a specific passage.
Clearly Paul and others admonish WIVES to submit to their own (respective) HUSBANDS’ leadership. It would be the height of foolishness to advocate for all women to submit to all men. Nor are wives commanded by scripture to submit to another woman’s husband, but to their own.
Here are a couple of links that support the proper definitions of the original words used in the scriptures:
Would you counsel your wife, mother, daughter, or sister to obey any man who tells them to do something? What if a strange man tells one of them, “Come get in my car?” Should she OBEY because she is a woman and the person ordering her is a man? This is obviously NOT the case.
I brought a Mormon pilot who I was flying with to Christ and his family as well. Was I wrong? I wasn't supposed to teach him true Biblical scripture?
You completely took out of context what I referred to.
It's worth noting that in the missionary field women have, and still do, out number the men in third World countries. Thus, often times they found themselves in positions that men usually held. Women would be the teachers, preachers, and head of missionaries as they awaited qualified men to take charge. These experiences led to unprecidented equality women seldom enjoyed. By the end of the 18th century their voice became part of the women's suffrage movement. Mainly because when they returned home, they again found themselves forced to take a back seat to the men. Many of them would resent this and join the suffrage movement.
And tell me where I ever said otherwise. I did not. The discussion here is about the missionary movement which shares the Gospel. aka the l Scriptures.
I did not write a commentary on the history of flying planes. So if a women wants to teach someone how to fly a plane, Fine, because God has no opinion on it, and Paul never wrote any apologetical letters on flying planes, nor did he even care about who would teach others how to fly a plane, cook a steak, or how to make purple dye.
The whole idea of this discussion is so far away from what I ever wrote it is ludicrous for me to comment on your opinion any longer.
And finally. I do realize that God used Priscilla to correct Apollos on some errant ideas he had. Yet she was not preaching to him, she shared the truth with him which was no where near being the head of a church, or teaching adult men.
Everything else outside the requirements of sharing the Scriptures is of the World, not of GOD, and of that I try to separate from my commentaries of the Scriptures, unless the World involves itself in the matters of God as Satan is often times wanting to do.
“Was I wrong? I wasn’t supposed to teach him true Biblical scripture?”
You did the right thing. Clearly.
I agree with the article you posted, and your and your church’s approach seem reasonable. You have to follow your conscience also.
Paul points out that there is something especially persuasive about a woman with a meek and quiet spirit. God attributes great value to these qualities, especially in women. People can be won without words. And this applies to men using something other than mere words also.
However, the prohibition against women teaching is primarily about wives usurping their own husbands’ authority.
The early church met somewhat differently than we do today. Part of the order of meetings was similar to how our legislative bodies meet. It was not just gathering for a lecture (sermon). Often, decisions needed to be reached. It was the responsibility of leadership to facilitate consensus and agreement, not just on doctrine but also on action as a church.
Men participated and represented their own families. I’m sure leadership also took into account if there were ever cases where women and children were not directly represented by a believing husband/father. We see special instruction and attention given to caring for widows in the church.
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