New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


July 18, 2001 Vol 01 : 036
 
[New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: NT Church Proliferation Digest V1 #35

[New Testament Church Proliferation] How do we win this household?

[New Testament Church Proliferation] How do we win this household?

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: The Goal of Evangelism in Church Planting

[New Testament Church Proliferation] The Great Evangelist

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] The Goal of Evangelism in Church Planting

[New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: The Goal of Evangelism in Church Planting

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: The Goal of Evangelism in Church Planting

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] How do we win this household?

 

Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 20:35:12 -0500 From: michael a upton

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: NT Church Proliferation Digest V1 #35

David I really enjoy your posts!! Your heart and love for God is so evident! thanks for sharing!

In His Grace your sister ...Shari


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Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 19:31:31 -0700 (PDT) From: Link H

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] How do we win this household?

This is Link in Indonesia. This message uses some 'code words' you can look up in your intro message, like 'Salami' and 'cousin.'

I'm in an Internet cafe in a city in Indonesian known for it's adherence to the Salami religion. My wife tracked down her birth mother. We knew that her father took her and her two sisters and left her mother when she was younger and remarried someone from his same tribe. My wife doesn't have a close relationship with her father, and spent most of her teenage years being bounced around between aunts and uncles in another city, with little contact with her parents until she married me a year and a half ago.

My wife met her Mom yesterday. Her mother hugged her and started crying and telling her story. She cried for half an hour in our hotel room. A cousin who lives here and arranged the meeting for us.

The story goes like this. Her mother thought she and her father were getting along fine. She had been in the diamond business, and had been doing very well. Then someone stole some diamonds that she had bought with borrowed money. My wife's mom had left her former religion and had been rejected by her family when she got married, so she had no where to turn but to her husbands family. She borrowed money to pay off debts, and then could pay the debts back. It was a tough situation. One of her father's relatives really liked her and had given her a rice field, so other family members were jealous of her.

One day, her husband took her three kids away. She didn't know he was leaving her. He just disappeared and took her three kids. He arranged a marriage with a woman from his own tribe, and they raised the kids. My wife grew up in a really rough household. They never knew their mother growing up. Their father hid them.

We found out that my wife's mother had been in the Salami religion before she met her husband and got baptized (sprinkled probably.) Anyway, when her husband left her she went all over the place looking for them. She found out that he had forged a divorce certificate and faked her signature. She was unable to find her kids. She paid a police officer off to look for them, and one of her father's brothers (one who has caused problems for us and other family members in recent years), she said, paid off the police officer to stop looking for the kids.

Her mother entered a mental hospital, where she met her current husband. Her current husband is in the Salami religion to. My wife's mother became a 'cousin' again and reverted back. Now she has 9 kids from her new husband, aged 3 to 20 something.

So yesterday, my wife got to meet her mother, finally, and most of the kids. Today we plan to go see a site that has a famous legend associated with hit. The story goes that a poor boy went off to become a merchant on a boat. When he came back home as a young man, he despised his poor mother, dressed in rags, who loved him so much, because she was poor. He turned into a rock because he was so evil.

Anyway, my wife and I saw how her mother's family was living. Her husband had some injury that kept him from working. He fell off a motorcycle. We went with her mother to work. She sells three kinds of beans at a small table int he market. She doesn't have her kids help her earn a living or anything, but manages to scrape up enough for the next meal from that tiny job. She has rich brothers and sisters, and occasionally one of them sends a little money. They live in a two room house that is in pretty bad condition, and wash their clothes in the river.

My wife thought her mother was Chinese, but it turns out she's a little Javanese, too, and Hana is descended from a famous Salami leader in Indonesian history. My wife doesn't feel too close to her mother. Religion is a big wall. With the head covering and the phrases from the other religion thrown in, they are quite different.

But my wife waxed a bold testifying about her life. She told about suffering growing up, but testified about how God had spoken to her, provided, led her, and various other things. She told her mother and sister some things about Christ on the cross last night. It's good to see my wife's gift work here for her own family. She just found out about 9 brothers and sisters!

We are considering moving her family out of this city to Jakarta. There are a number of Christian churches in this city of about 3 million, but this is a Salamic stronghold. It might be easier to try to win them and help them financially close to us in Jakarta. We are also considering leaving Jakarta in March of next year. Maybe we could share the gospel with them and get them set up in some kind of business in an area near town.

So here is my question: How do you actually win a household to Christ? We've been talking about winning households? Are there any special tips? Something tells me that the oldest daughter might be the first fruits of the family. She just seems open. The local culture is matriarchal. If the mother or children repents, I wonder what the father will say. I hope he repents as well. We'd like to win this whole household for Christ, and the fact that this is my wife's own flesh and blood gives us all that much more motivation.

Ultimately, I know that God does the real work, and we can just share the Gospel and love people.

I can see that Hana's mother has some bitterness toward her (ex?) husband who abandoned her and ran away with her kids. What an awful thing to do. She said she got to know her current husband while she was in a mental hospital over sadness over her kids. He divorced his wife and married her! I guess that's not that big a deal for people of this religion.

Anyway, it looks like we have a lot of work to do before we leave for America, if God allows us to go and to stay away for any length of time. We'd like to see the family repent and set up in a good small business to support themselves before we leave. We'd also like to see some reconciliation between families. One sister wants to see her mother, and the other seems to have a bad attitude about the whole thing.

Btw, we've heard good news about my wife's step-mother and father since her mother came down here and was ministered to by my wife while she visited. It sounds like the Lord will really working on them.

One thing my wife said to her mother yesterday was that she believed that God let her go with her father, suffer all those things growing up, etc. so that she could learn about the right path and really get to know God. She said that the Lord spoke to her about that. I'd been thinking the same things during the day. Anyway, it was bold of my wife to come right out and tell. My wife also told about a prophecy she had received that the Lord would use her to save her family. It seems like it's being fulfilled for her father's family, and we are believing that it will be the case for her mother's family as well.

We'd appreciate your prayers.

Link


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Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 19:31:36 -0700 (PDT) From: Link H

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] How do we win this household?

This is Link in Indonesia. This message uses some 'code words' you can look up in your intro message, like 'Salami' and 'cousin.'

I'm in an Internet cafe in a city in Indonesian known for it's adherence to the Salami religion. My wife tracked down her birth mother. We knew that her father took her and her two sisters and left her mother when she was younger and remarried someone from his same tribe. My wife doesn't have a close relationship with her father, and spent most of her teenage years being bounced around between aunts and uncles in another city, with little contact with her parents until she married me a year and a half ago.

My wife met her Mom yesterday. Her mother hugged her and started crying and telling her story. She cried for half an hour in our hotel room. A cousin who lives here and arranged the meeting for us.

The story goes like this. Her mother thought she and her father were getting along fine. She had been in the diamond business, and had been doing very well. Then someone stole some diamonds that she had bought with borrowed money. My wife's mom had left her former religion and had been rejected by her family when she got married, so she had no where to turn but to her husbands family. She borrowed money to pay off debts, and then could pay the debts back. It was a tough situation. One of her father's relatives really liked her and had given her a rice field, so other family members were jealous of her.

One day, her husband took her three kids away. She didn't know he was leaving her. He just disappeared and took her three kids. He arranged a marriage with a woman from his own tribe, and they raised the kids. My wife grew up in a really rough household. They never knew their mother growing up. Their father hid them.

We found out that my wife's mother had been in the Salami religion before she met her husband and got baptized (sprinkled probably.) Anyway, when her husband left her she went all over the place looking for them. She found out that he had forged a divorce certificate and faked her signature. She was unable to find her kids. She paid a police officer off to look for them, and one of her father's brothers (one who has caused problems for us and other family members in recent years), she said, paid off the police officer to stop looking for the kids.

Her mother entered a mental hospital, where she met her current husband. Her current husband is in the Salami religion to. My wife's mother became a 'cousin' again and reverted back. Now she has 9 kids from her new husband, aged 3 to 20 something.

So yesterday, my wife got to meet her mother, finally, and most of the kids. Today we plan to go see a site that has a famous legend associated with hit. The story goes that a poor boy went off to become a merchant on a boat. When he came back home as a young man, he despised his poor mother, dressed in rags, who loved him so much, because she was poor. He turned into a rock because he was so evil.

Anyway, my wife and I saw how her mother's family was living. Her husband had some injury that kept him from working. He fell off a motorcycle. We went with her mother to work. She sells three kinds of beans at a small table int he market. She doesn't have her kids help her earn a living or anything, but manages to scrape up enough for the next meal from that tiny job. She has rich brothers and sisters, and occasionally one of them sends a little money. They live in a two room house that is in pretty bad condition, and wash their clothes in the river.

My wife thought her mother was Chinese, but it turns out she's a little Javanese, too, and Hana is descended from a famous Salami leader in Indonesian history. My wife doesn't feel too close to her mother. Religion is a big wall. With the head covering and the phrases from the other religion thrown in, they are quite different.

But my wife waxed a bold testifying about her life. She told about suffering growing up, but testified about how God had spoken to her, provided, led her, and various other things. She told her mother and sister some things about Christ on the cross last night. It's good to see my wife's gift work here for her own family. She just found out about 9 brothers and sisters!

We are considering moving her family out of this city to Jakarta. There are a number of Christian churches in this city of about 3 million, but this is a Salamic stronghold. It might be easier to try to win them and help them financially close to us in Jakarta. We are also considering leaving Jakarta in March of next year. Maybe we could share the gospel with them and get them set up in some kind of business in an area near town.

So here is my question: How do you actually win a household to Christ? We've been talking about winning households? Are there any special tips? Something tells me that the oldest daughter might be the first fruits of the family. She just seems open. The local culture is matriarchal. If the mother or children repents, I wonder what the father will say. I hope he repents as well. We'd like to win this whole household for Christ, and the fact that this is my wife's own flesh and blood gives us all that much more motivation.

Ultimately, I know that God does the real work, and we can just share the Gospel and love people.

I can see that Hana's mother has some bitterness toward her (ex?) husband who abandoned her and ran away with her kids. What an awful thing to do. She said she got to know her current husband while she was in a mental hospital over sadness over her kids. He divorced his wife and married her! I guess that's not that big a deal for people of this religion.

Anyway, it looks like we have a lot of work to do before we leave for America, if God allows us to go and to stay away for any length of time. We'd like to see the family repent and set up in a good small business to support themselves before we leave. We'd also like to see some reconciliation between families. One sister wants to see her mother, and the other seems to have a bad attitude about the whole thing.

Btw, we've heard good news about my wife's step-mother and father since her mother came down here and was ministered to by my wife while she visited. It sounds like the Lord will really working on them.

One thing my wife said to her mother yesterday was that she believed that God let her go with her father, suffer all those things growing up, etc. so that she could learn about the right path and really get to know God. She said that the Lord spoke to her about that. I'd been thinking the same things during the day. Anyway, it was bold of my wife to come right out and tell. My wife also told about a prophecy she had received that the Lord would use her to save her family. It seems like it's being fulfilled for her father's family, and we are believing that it will be the case for her mother's family as well.

We'd appreciate your prayers.

Link


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Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 23:35:37 -0400 From: The Dwelling Place

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: The Goal of Evangelism in Church Planting

Dear Dan:

I never attacked evangelism. I asked a simple question, which was, "What is the intended purpose of evangelism?" And my answer simply stated was that evangelism itself, the conversion of souls, was not the end, but rather evangelism of souls, was the process by which the church was established in a given community or region. Up close and personal, it simply means, we evangelize not with self centered goal of seeing someone save from hell (although that is the result of salvation), but rather they are saved with the intended purpose of immediately upon their conversion, they become a part of the body of Christ, and begin the process of learning body life through relationship with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit and the interaction with other believers. I believe we become pragmatic reductionists when we simply seek to evangelize for the sake of seeing someone saved. That was never the intent of the NT church. The goal was always bringing people into the Kingdom to be part of the church. It has been argued that evangelism provided the first believers in the local church wherever the apostle Paul journeyed and established churches. I also believe we need to distinguish between the gift of evangelism/proclamation of the gospel and being a witness. They are not the same thing.

Sam

From: "Dan Beaty" Reply-To: New Testament Church Proliferation Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 19:46:55 -0400 To:

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: The Goal of Evangelism in Church Planting

George wrote:

I appreciate your concern for an accurate view of evangelism. Let me add my two cents.

This has been an interesting topic for me. I am not an evangelist either, but desire to appreciate everything that Christ is. Since He plainly announced, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for God hath anointed me to "preach glad tidings (one word euaggelizo), He is the Greatest Evangelist of all.

Analyzation does not bother me, but I find it strange on a list dedicated to mission, outreach, church planting etc, that evangelism itself would come under attack.

Rather we should be encouraging one another to share the love and message of Christ as God leads and enables each one. What do Y'all think?

Dan Beaty Columbus, Ohio USA

http://www.livingtruth.com


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Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 07:01:25 EDT From: Steffasong

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] The Great Evangelist

Dan, Your words ring true in my heart! Both Earl and I are so on the same page with you brother!

You asked, 'What'd y'all think?"

Well, here's my take on it.

When God implants HIS vision for his church in our hearts, and then backs that vision up with a gift or two to walk in that vision, it's very common to only see that aspect of Gospel. In other words, we easily develop blind spots.

I saw this first in myself, early on. In my twenties, I simply could not figure out why EVERYONE was not as interested in discipleship and building up the Body of Christ as I was. The Spirit of God caused this aspect to pulse within my spirit and has NEVER let up on me. Mostly that gift has expressed itself through the prophetic in song and in writing and speaking, but in many other teeny tiny ways too. I saw the great, great need to lay a strong foundation in scripture and in what it means to really relate to the Lord, to fellowship with Him, and I just could not understand why this was not being taught constantly.

I have a couple of friends who are gifted evangelists. They are a husband/wife team, both bursting with boldness and life. Nearly everywhere they turn people come to know Him. The woman is FULL of the Holy Spirit and quite mature in her faith, however she consistently tries to tell me that I am missing my calling because I am not 'actively' evangelizing. She has a blind spot because the burden on her to evangelize is so strong.

There are countless other stories and situations that I could write to you about explaining the same exact thing.

The bottom line is, that HE (our Lord Jesus Christ) is the embodiment of ALL the gifts, and as He imparts those gifts, His life flows through each of us in a variety of ways.

I'm with you Dan. Let's encourage the flow of His life through every member of the body, encouraging the evangelists, lifting up the planters, exhorting and praying for the teachers, and in the meantime, ... being continually sensitive to the Holy Spirit to use us in ANY way He deems necessary, ANY and every day of our lives.

Bless you all.

Praying for you Link.

In the Lamb,

Stephanie Bennett

In a message dated 07/17/2001 8:05:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time, dbeaty@copper.net writes:

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for God hath anointed me to "preach glad tidings (one word euaggelizo), He is the Greatest Evangelist of all.

Analyzation does not bother me, but I find it strange on a list dedicated to mission, outreach, church planting etc, that evangelism itself would come under attack.

Rather we should be encouraging one another to share the love and message of Christ as God leads and enables each one. What do Y'all think?

Stephanie Bennett Creative Services & Consulting Marketing Solutions for the 21st Century http://members.aol.com/steffasong/index.html steffasong@aol.com


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Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 07:35:16 -0700 From: jferris

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] The Goal of Evangelism in Church Planting

Dear Sam,

I would like to respond to a couple of thoughts that you expressed that are widely held, and which I wonder about.

Sam Buick wrote:

I have a really difficult time with the term "office" as evangelical Christianity seems to automatically take it literally! It is not an office is the sense of what we have turned the leadership gifts into. The resent resurgence and emergence of prophets and apostles originally really encouraged and strengthened my faith. Unfortunately though, most of the ones I am hearing about are those who add the "title" to their resumes, door shingle, and business card! The leadership gifts are for servants. Servants. Servants. Doesn't anybody get it?! The vast majority so far, are coming across as bold, almost brazen, CEO mentality, "super leader" to the rest of the body of Christ. There is one Head in the church, the rest of the gifts, leadership gifts included, are "flat lined". There is no hierarchy in the Kingdom. The "office" gifts, leadership gifts, are "functional" gifts that differentiate the ministry of leaders who serve the rest of the body by building them up, equipping them, and releasing them to the work of the ministry.

For the most part I agree with what you have written here, The gifts and giftings are or ought to be the equipping of servants sent for the upbuilding of the saints for their own servanthood to the up building of the Church.

There is however a legitimate difference between the gift, and the one who embodies the gift. It is one thing to prophecy, and something else again to be a prophet. It's a little easier to receive a prophecy than it is to receive a prophet. Apostles are something else again, because there is no particular gift of apostling. While Jesus gives these persons to the church as gifts, the "five fold ministries", so that they function whether we know it or like it or not, Elders are something else. Jesus provides them, but they need the additional affirmation of the laying on of hands. This not to create anything in them, although there is a dimension of encouragement which goes along with the horizontal affirmation, but so that the less mature, those who need the oversight the most, know who they are, and are encouraged to come under them when there is need for conflict resolution, or even some guidance or confirmation of guidance on the horizontal. We are admonished to "know them who are over us in the faith", and this we should be aware of whether Gene likes it or not. He certainly would not have such a great following if there were not those who saw themselves as being under him, no amount of denial withstanding.

The separation and sending of Paul and Barnabas also needs to be noted in that there is a sense of apostolic ordination involved. Apostles should be "sent ones", not "went ones". Went ones" tend to cause division. The problem in the present apostolic and prophetic restoration is that in too many cases, those who claim to be apostolic are "went ones", and even where they are sent, they are sent by sects with sectarian spirits. In either case, the result is the further division of the church, even when claiming to be working for the establishment of "city church". There is a great deal of gerrymandering going on.

As I see the role of eldership in the NT, especially Acts, and the epistles, and you can see it in the gospel as well, the function of eldership was to be in the body, not so much to "lead" but to respond to what the Holy Spirit was doing, and whatever "crisis" might need to be looked into. My understanding of Paul and his ministry is that the church did fine without elders, but that he appointed elders, so that collectively, they could deal with any difficulties that arose in the church in a particular city. Too often eldership has come to be defined as leadership that takes charge of what is going on in the Christian community of faith. Often when this happens it is reduced from a Holy Spirit led and guided ministry, to simply human leadership and power and control. Also noteworthy, the NT apostles were also viewed as be "elders", and if we go by their example, they truly served the body. Do elders today really understand what it is to lay their lives down for the sheep?

Elders are those who serve because they are willing, part of that willingness is the willingness to cease being overDOERS so that they can give themselves to being overSEERS. They are resource people to the body of Christ in the city, and as such must be accessable in that capacity, not as those preoccupied with their own works. This is a very difficult pill to swallow for leaders as they are presently functioning. Until they are willing to stop doing, they simply are not elders.

I don't think we should be afraid of the office, but we do need to be clear about what it is. Being in denial about its existence hasn't stopped the abuse of position which continues to plague the Church. Substituting mock humility for abuse of authority has accomplished nothing.

Are you differentiating the elders from the five fold?

Yes. While they may exercise their position as shepherds, (pastors), and while they may have the gifts of evangelism, teaching and prophecy, and may even be prophets, an elder is not the same thing as an apostle in his or her operation. It remains that an apostle is a sent one, and an elder is a staying one. The authority of an elder is not portable as such. An elder in one place is not necessarily an elder in another place.

I do not make that distinction, and I do not see that taught explicitly in the NT. Leadership in the NT is servant based.

Servants should be all in all.

The elders were apostolic and prophetic and gave oversight, in that they did not control, but submitted to the leading of the Spirit and the Spirit's collective witness to the corporate body as the body moved under the headship of Jesus.

I think the confusion of position comes in part because there is apparently an eternal eldership from a heavenly perspective. One can be a staying one in the throne room of God, and still be apostolic while down here on earth, at least where the early apostles were concerned while they were still alive on earth.

A Jerusalem elder can be apostolic to the church in Rome, but he does not thereby know the relational territory in Rome as well as an elder in the church in Rome.

I agree with you, that the leadership issue really clouds what is at stake not only in the local assembly, but in the city wide church, or regional church. Most pastors are "localized" in their mindset.

I would rather say that they are sectarian in their mindset, or if not in their expressed mindset, in their practice.

I do not make the sharp distinction between elders and the five fold, and in fact I believe the five exist within every legitimate body of believers that has been joined together by the Holy Spirit. I believe very much that the gathering as a people together, can be apostolic and prophetic, where there is a strong leading with the manifestations of what these particular gifts accomplish through the Spirit. When a woman, under the unction of the Spirit, senses that a ministry to single moms is to be birthed that will nurture and meet their spiritual needs in raising children, and she goes with what the Spirit is calling her to be and do, then she is being "apostolic" in birthing a new ministry, and she is being "apostolic" in sustaining and nurturing that particular ministry.

I believe that until we se the Church as being only one Church in a place, we will not have clarity about the apostolic, or the eldership, even if we have some clarity about evangelism, teaching and pastoral ministry.

The saddest part of it in our own city is that the "apostolic" oversight of the city is in the hands of men who can easily be puffed up, and who could easily view it as another "title" or "office".

If "puffed up" pastors cause problems, we haven't seen anything yet, given what "puffed up" apostles are likely to do,and are already doing to the Church.

Again, I really appreciate this forum, and I'm very grateful to Link and the others who have given it birth.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 08:42:43 -0400 From: David Anderson

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: The Goal of Evangelism in Church Planting

Brother Sam said:

Actually John, if you took the time to simply read Edwards, you will find that he is seminary trained (though he doesn't think much of it, as it does very little to prepare anyone for the ministry [his opinion of seminary education]). He has bachelor's degree, and he has a Masters degree from a Baptist seminary. He is very theological. He is missiological, as he has planted churches. By the way, how do you qualify to be "missiological" or "theological", is it by education? Last time I checked the word of God, every believer is both missiological and theological, and it has nothing to do with qualifications or education. It is part and parcel of being a believer in Christ Jesus. It goes with the territory.

And if we are going to get "biblical" all of a sudden, then lets drop this "Great Commission" stuff, OK? It doesn't exist! The "Great Commission" axiom is a nice cozy way of getting everybody rallying around a vision to reach the world with the Gospel. Then let's just call it that and drop the "Great Commission" thing. It isn't there. It shouldn't even be part of our vocabulary. The "Great Commission" was in fact a prophetic utterance to the original disciples that they would in their own lifetime go out to the known world and proclaim the gospel and make disciples. And they fulfilled it in their own lifetime.

In this same vein then, there are very theological people, who believe that the "mandate" was prophetic only for the intended audience, the disciples, and not you and I. So, if we are being theological, then let's get to the core issue here. I happen to believe what you call the "Great Commission" has already been fulfilled, and at its culmination, the Lord returned in judgment as He prophesied He would in Matt. 24-25 and destroyed the Temple system through the Romans in AD 70. The so called "Great Commission" was to evangelize the Jews throughout the Roman empire. At its end, the New Covenant was fully established and has progressed through the earth until today, and we continue to extend the Kingdom of God in the earth as we evangelize and plant churches wherever the Holy Spirit leads us and opens the doors.

Sam

Hi brother,

I am interesting in continuing this thread and learning of your specific biblical and extra-biblical sources. I am aware of several comprehensive NT statements about the vast geographical extent of the apostolic witness but to believe that each person in these regions was considered to have been evangelized is an altogether different matter.

Exactly who are these "very theological people" you referred to, Sam, who hold that these last words of Jesus were "prophetic only" OR prophetically fulfilled in the Temple destruction?

- --------

People in every culture place GREAT significance on the departing words of their loved ones, particularly those of this magnitude spoken by Jesus. Thus: "great commission."

And unless we are going to communicate in the original languages, NOTHING WILL BE BIBLICAL, including the word "biblical." And we could just dismiss the whole thing because none of the words were directly spoken to us anyway.... if that's how it works.

The reference that the gospel had gone out to the ends of the world did not mean that everybody "in between" had heard it. Nowhere did the apostle suggest that their task was finished in their lifetimes.

No, let's do not drop this "great commission stuff" quite yet.

David Anderson


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Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 11:39:12 -0400 From: "Sam Buick"

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: The Goal of Evangelism in Church Planting

From: David Anderson

People in every culture place GREAT significance on the departing words of their loved ones, particularly those of this magnitude spoken by Jesus. Thus: "great commission."

~All~ the words of Jesus are of significance, but His departing words were prophetic for His own people for a particular time and place. His commission was to His apostles so that they would fulfill the passing o of the Old Covenant into the New. To make say otherwise is making say things that I believe were never intended. The Jews failed in reaching out to the Gentiles. It took the passing of the Old Covenant to begin the process of the Kingdom going to all peoples in the earth.

And unless we are going to communicate in the original languages, NOTHING WILL BE BIBLICAL, including the word "biblical." And we could just dismiss the whole thing because none of the words were directly spoken to us anyway.... if that's how it works.

Let's not get farcical here ;-). The principles of evangelizing others is still present in the "commission", and we could use a multitude of texts in both testaments to make a case for it. What I have said, and continue to say, is that this ~particular~ prophetic utterance, along with Matt 24 -25, needed to be fulfilled toward the Jews so that the New Covenant could be ushered in completely.

The ascension of Christ is much like the High Priest who took the blood of the sacrifice and entered the Holy of holies and sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat. This in effect is what Christ did when He ascended. Just as in the Old Covenant system, the High Priest had to come out to the people as proof of the declaration that atonement had been made and accepted by God, Jesus did likewise when He ascended. Only by "coming back" could the declaration be made that atonement had been accepted and that the Old Covenant had passed and the New Covenant was ushered in. The "Great Commission" was then the process by which the original audience of the prophetic word (the apostles), were commissioned to call into the Kingdom the Jews and all the Gentiles who would come. It was a 40 year transition time, much like the Israelite wandering in the wilderness, where they came from a slavery mindset, to a nation mindset as they crossed the Jordan river. The ~great commission~ was indeed ~great~ in the sense that it was this commission that brought in the fullness of the New Covenant, and ushered in the judgment of the apostate nation of Israel, those who had rejected the Messiah.

The reference that the gospel had gone out to the ends of the world did not mean that everybody "in between" had heard it. Nowhere did the apostle suggest that their task was finished in their lifetimes.

I think one of the problems within evangelicalism, is this mindset that ~everybody~ had to hear the gospel at least once! Going out with the gospel and evangelizing a region or nation simply implies that a seed has been planted, and needs to be watered, and pruned, and cared for, so that it will grow into a fruit bearing tree. Paul considered such situations as ~evangelized~, because the trees had been planted, and they in turn would eventually, under the leadership of the Spirit and godly apostles (church planters) would become an orchard of trees in a region or city! In no way was the task of discipling the nations complete (and I do not believe they ever will be, at least in human categories of understanding). But, the task of proclaiming Jesus and salvation, and the end of the Old Covenant to the Jews, was indeed ~finished in their lifestimes~, for its fruit was the direct and complete and literal fulfillment of what Jesus Himself prophesied in Matt. 24 - 25.

No, let's do not drop this "great commission stuff" quite yet.

I am dropping the idea behind what you call the ~great commission~ in its historical context, ~BUT~ I am applying the principle that all people everywhere need to hear the proclamation of the gospel for the extension of the Kingdom in the earth, for the Lord is establishing His Kingdom, not to leave it in a ~rapture~, but to take dominion of the earth, one person at a time.

Cordially yours,

Sam

David Anderson


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Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 16:51:13 +0100 (BST) From: ?iso-8859-1?q?Crispus?K?R?= Subject:

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] How do we win this household?

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Thank you Link for sharing your wife's life experience. In witnessing the gospel to our family is line with the commissioned by the Lord to witness to the whole world. If our love ones reject the gospel we can only through our life example and love reveal the gospel to them. However there is no assurance that they will get saved as every human being has the freedom to accept or reject. We can only pray but there is no guarantee that they will get saved. One scripture is often quoted as a promise but I do not see any other promises given to guarantee that they will be saved because of one of the family member is saved. Any doctrine must have several scriptures to assure its accuracy of the interpretation and its application. If what the popular teaching that when one member is saved there is a guarantee/promise that all others will be saved, then there seems to be a partiality and God seems to have the power to control/ decide the mind/heart of the a family members to force them to become believers. If that is case then God can decide for all the people of the world to become believers. John 3:16 shows that everyone have the freedom to choose to believe or not. In conclusion we can only do our part in sharing the truth to our family members but leave the results to the Lord and do not take the blame or put God to be responsible to make them to believe. God can allow circumstances/situations to help one to come to Him but there is no guarantee/promise that they will definitely be saved just because one of the family member is saved. Every human including family members as the clear freedom to decide. Therefore, we cannot be back down by the delay of their salvation but continue on in greater fervor to witness to everybody who come our way.

We must go back to Jesus and intercede for one another's growth. God bless you and wife Crispus Link H wrote: This is Link in Indonesia. This message uses some 'code words' you can look up in your intro message, like 'Salami' and 'cousin.'

I'm in an Internet cafe in a city in Indonesian known for it's adherence to the Salami religion. My wife tracked down her birth mother. We knew that her father took her and her two sisters and left her mother when she was younger and remarried someone from his same tribe. My wife doesn't have a close relationship with her father, and spent most of her teenage years being bounced around between aunts and uncles in another city, with little contact with her parents until she married me a year and a half ago.

My wife met her Mom yesterday. Her mother hugged her and started crying and telling her story. She cried for half an hour in our hotel room. A cousin who lives here and arranged the meeting for us.

The story goes like this. Her mother thought she and her father were getting along fine. She had been in the diamond business, and had been doing very well. Then someone stole some diamonds that she had bought with borrowed money. My wife's mom had left her former religion and had been rejected by her family when she got married, so she had no where to turn but to her husbands family. She borrowed money to pay off debts, and then could pay the debts back. It was a tough situation. One of her father's relatives really liked her and had given her a rice field, so other family members were jealous of her.

One day, her husband took her three kids away. She didn't know he was leaving her. He just disappeared and took her three kids. He arranged a marriage with a woman from his own tribe, and they raised the kids. My wife grew up in a really rough household. They never knew their mother growing up. Their father hid them.

We found out that my wife's mother had been in the Salami religion before she met her husband and got baptized (sprinkled probably.) Anyway, when her husband left her she went all over the place looking for them. She found out that he had forged a divorce certificate and faked her signature. She was unable to find her kids. She paid a police officer off to look for them, and one of her father's brothers (one who has caused problems for us and other family members in recent years), she said, paid off the police officer to stop looking for the kids.

Her mother entered a mental hospital, where she met her current husband. Her current husband is in the Salami religion to. My wife's mother became a 'cousin' again and reverted back. Now she has 9 kids from her new husband, aged 3 to 20 something.

So yesterday, my wife got to meet her mother, finally, and most of the kids. Today we plan to go see a site that has a famous legend associated with hit. The story goes that a poor boy went off to become a merchant on a boat. When he came back home as a young man, he despised his poor mother, dressed in rags, who loved him so much, because she was poor. He turned into a rock because he was so evil.

Anyway, my wife and I saw how her mother's family was living. Her husband had some injury that kept him from working. He fell off a motorcycle. We went with her mother to work. She sells three kinds of beans at a small table int he market. She doesn't have her kids help her earn a living or anything, but manages to scrape up enough for the next meal from that tiny job. She has rich brothers and sisters, and occasionally one of them sends a little money. They live in a two room house that is in pretty bad condition, and wash their clothes in the river.

My wife thought her mother was Chinese, but it turns out she's a little Javanese, too, and Hana is descended from a famous Salami leader in Indonesian history. My wife doesn't feel too close to her mother. Religion is a big wall. With the head covering and the phrases from the other religion thrown in, they are quite different.

But my wife waxed a bold testifying about her life. She told about suffering growing up, but testified about how God had spoken to her, provided, led her, and various other things. She told her mother and sister some things about Christ on the cross last night. It's good to see my wife's gift work here for her own family. She just found out about 9 brothers and sisters!

We are considering moving her family out of this city to Jakarta. There are a number of Christian churches in this city of about 3 million, but this is a Salamic stronghold. It might be easier to try to win them and help them financially close to us in Jakarta. We are also considering leaving Jakarta in March of next year. Maybe we could share the gospel with them and get them set up in some kind of business in an area near town.

So here is my question: How do you actually win a household to Christ? We've been talking about winning households? Are there any special tips? Something tells me that the oldest daughter might be the first fruits of the family. She just seems open. The local culture is matriarchal. If the mother or children repents, I wonder what the father will say. I hope he repents as well. We'd like to win this whole household for Christ, and the fact that this is my wife's own flesh and blood gives us all that much more motivation.

Ultimately, I know that God does the real work, and we can just share the Gospel and love people.

I can see that Hana's mother has some bitterness toward her (ex?) husband who abandoned her and ran away with her kids. What an awful thing to do. She said she got to know her current husband while she was in a mental hospital over sadness over her kids. He divorced his wife and married her! I guess that's not that big a deal for people of this religion.

Anyway, it looks like we have a lot of work to do before we leave for America, if God allows us to go and to stay away for any length of time. We'd like to see the family repent and set up in a good small business to support themselves before we leave. We'd also like to see some reconciliation between families. One sister wants to see her mother, and the other seems to have a bad attitude about the whole thing.

Btw, we've heard good news about my wife's step-mother and father since her mother came down here and was ministered to by my wife while she visited. It sounds like the Lord will really working on them.

One thing my wife said to her mother yesterday was that she believed that God let her go with her father, suffer all those things growing up, etc. so that she could learn about the right path and really get to know God. She said that the Lord spoke to her about that. I'd been thinking the same things during the day. Anyway, it was bold of my wife to come right out and tell. My wife also told about a prophecy she had received that the Lord would use her to save her family. It seems like it's being fulfilled for her father's family, and we are believing that it will be the case for her mother's family as well.

We'd appreciate your prayers.

Link

Regards, Crispus

The End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V1 #36


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