Echoes From the Campfire

These were the simplest things in life, but none of them were free.  A man had to earn them by sweat and hunger and fatigue.  That was why they were good.”
              –Ernest Haycox  (The Border Legion)

    “For thus says, the Lord GOD: ‘Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.'”
              –Ezekiel 34:11 (NKJV)
I have seen an alarming trend happening in the past two to three decades, and that is the dwindling support of missions, especially foreign missions.  In the times in which we live it is vital to continue the outreach of missions.  My wife’s family has had missionaries, and my family has been a big supporter of missions.  I was raised in the Assemblies of God that has as one of its main purposes–missions.  I like the statement from their webpage regarding their purpose, “We exist so all can hear the hope of the gospel. Our commitment extends to all people in all nations, regardless of remoteness, rejection, or resistance.”
    The postmodern ideology is to deconstruct or tear-down ideas, language, religions, history, and among those included would be the purpose of missions.  And they have been successful.  People ages 18 – 35 say this concerning missions:  34% say it is unethical; 42% say it speaks of colonialism. (Barna)  What I see here are a couple of things:  first, the postmodernists have been successful; second, people have forgotten the last words of Jesus with the “Great Commission”; and third, people use it as an excuse to not be involved, to not see the individuals saved for the Lord.
    This group (18-35) call themselves “supportive skeptics.”  Now how about that for a name?  Here are a few of the things that characterize this group.  They may donate, but they don’t think missions work is very valuable.  Hmmm, are they doubting the words of Jesus?  Yes, for many of these same people doubt the authoritative word of God.  They are bothered by evangelism; yet that is the mission of the Church.

         “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.  Amen.”
               –Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)

    The times in which we live we are seeing the Scriptures come to pass right before our very eyes.  Can it be long before the Lord returns?  If so, how can we neglect the words of Jesus in regard to the Great Commission?  The day will come when the Father looks from heaven and sees that the last person who could be given the opportunity to accept the salvation provided through Jesus has been reached.  Then the Lord will return, but in the meantime we are to occupy and part of that occupation involves missions.
    Look at the Great Commission.  You should be involved in some part of it.  Everyone you come in contact with is somewhere along the road to eternity.  Our job is to plow, plant, cultivate, nurture, harvest, then care for by teaching and making disciples.  You may touch a person’s heart by a smile, or simply bowing your heads at a table in public.  You never know who is watching and you never know where they are along the road.
    I will admit, I have been poor in regards to evangelism.  In the Great Commission I have mostly been involved with making disciples.  I have planted (some), but mostly cultivated by fertilizing and pulling weeds.  My vocation was to teach what the Lord commands in His Word.
    If you think of missions as being unethical then you need to have a fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit, for the Lord does not wish to see anyone die without Jesus.  Colonialism–bah–you need to see what the purpose and true intent of missions is.  Have mistakes been made?  For sure, but the harvest has far surpassed the mistakes.  Colonialism is an excuse, nothing more nothing less!