Go West, young man!
Published: 28 July 2009 (GMT+10)
For most evangelicals, Jesus instruction in Matthew 28:19 to ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations … ’ is a serious command, and it is an integral part of the mission statement of most churches. A great many churches take up special offerings and allocate funds towards missionaries they support.
The western world countries (where Christianity once flourished) are still where the majority of missionaries are supported from, often by the prayers and small monthly donations from faithful Christians that want to be the ‘hands and feet of Jesus’ in countries they will probably never visit. Without this prayer and funding from the western world, the heart of the support base that makes mission work possible would be removed.
Stab the Heart
Many western world Christians look at Jesus’ command as if their own countries are somehow excluded, forgetting perhaps that in years past countless missionaries strived long and hard to convert the land they live in to the Christian faith. It’s as if they think of missions as something that occurs ‘elsewhere’. But the command says make disciples of ‘ … all of the nations … ’. This includes our own!
The Christian church in the western world is shrinking rapidly. Up to 70% of young people from Christian homes abandon their faith. If this trend continues, where will the church be in 3 generations? Where will missionaries get the support they need to carry out Jesus command? How can Christians turn this trend around and reach the west with the Gospel?
Missionaries will often spend several months preparing by studying the culture they will be evangelizing in an attempt to find the best possible method of communicating the Gospel. It is vital to find out the people’s cultural background, their belief system about who they are and where they believe they come from so that the missionaries can find ways of showing them how their culture fits into the biblical narrative. That way the people can understand that they are descendants of Adam, sinners that need salvation through Christ Jesus.
We can use the same method to help us when communicating with our own un-churched family and friends in the west when we understand that there is a comprehensive worldview taught exclusively in the state education systems and media that most will likely believe to some degree. And that worldview is: Evolution!
This explanation of where humanity has come from has been taught for several generations now and so permeates western culture that it is virtually impossible to have a serious discussion with someone regarding spiritual and/or worldview issues and not have it come up.
Those evangelizing in this culture will need to be equipped to answer questions (1 Peter 3:15) and overcome anti-biblical arguments that sceptics use (2 Corinthians 10:5), or run the risk of appearing uninformed/uneducated.
The Western World needs Missionaries!
Here’s where CMI can help. CMI’s charter is to equip Christians in the area of creation/evolution apologetics. We are one of the most unique Christian ministries in the fact that we employ more PhD scientists than virtually any other on the planet. This ensures the highest quality scientific information regarding issues relating to this debate being passed on to Christians in their homes and also out there ‘in the fight’. This is a key aspect of what we’re all about—providing Christians with the means for answering questions from sceptics and seekers in ‘evolutionized’ cultures.
Thus fortified against the evolutionary onslaught, the churches in the west are better equipped to continue their support of missionaries throughout ‘ … all the nations’.