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John is a PA/NJ Architect with his own practice in its 41st year working on a wide variety of projects. He works on churches, convenience stores, residences, and academies as well as industrial projects. He has helped in numerous property acquisitions and worked with real estate investors. Acutely interested in politics since a teenager with many articles published over the last 55 years, he served as a guest on a Talk Radio show discussing race relations and on "It's Your Call" TV show with Lynn Doyle dealing with the subject of interethnic marriage. John is a "Tentmaking Evangelist" (Architect). An Evangelist with the Anchor Bay Evangelistic Association (non-denominational). Co-Founder of Kingdom Gospel Ministries, a ministry now in its 35th year with a mission to reconcile people of different racial, ethnic, and economic situations, and the producer of three weekly radio programs - a Sunday morning verse-by-verse Bible Study on Radio Delaware Valley, a weekly message from current events in California, and a weekly radio drama on the Wilkins Radio network. He also has archived many, many radio programs and written articles on the Internet.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

MISSIONAL?

MISSIONAL FOCUS, FORM AND FUNCTION ARE REDEFINING AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY
by Dr. David Hirschman for his PhD.  He is a professor at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

I had a chance to read through a portion of your paper on Missional churches and scanned some other sections.  I include my personal information at the bottom.

I already had some fairly well established opinions on the movement, having known people within it, had them in our pastors’ fellowship, and having talked with people from a missional seminary on various levels.  I believe your paper reinforced those opinions.

First, there is in general a lower view of Scripture.  On the Ecclesia website for example, they cite the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed, but NOTHING on the authority of scripture. I also note in missional literature an emphasis on unity on PRIMARY issues while leaving what they call SECONDARY issues alone.  David, ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.  God has no secondary commandments - disobeying one “secondary” or “tertiary” commandment is enough to send someone to hell. On the Missio website, there is talk of the scripture in our current context. The word of God never changes, and those who love to dismiss aspects of the scripture love to talk about cultural relevance, not understanding the issues addressed in the Bible which are the most quickly dismissed by compromisers actually were written to combat things that were wrong in those cultures, not to reinforce them.

Second, and related to it, there is in general a lower view of doctrine. I have written a paper with every scripture related to doctrine noted. God REALLY cares about it, and to be his authentic church, we need to care as well. The Holy Spirit did not waste words - as John said, the whole world is not large enough to hold all the books that could be written.  What He did write is the core essence, not a Reader’s Digest Condensed Version. It is a curse to remove even one word from the word of God, and far more than one verse is being removed.

Third, most of the missional people I know belong to a denomination that REJECTS key doctrines in the scripture, and not simply ones with only one mention. If we want to have the power of the New Testament Church, we need to do things the New Testament way.  I have found that missional people RUN from I Corinthians 14, even though the Holy Spirit instructed Paul to write that these things MUST be done WHENEVER the church gathers for the strengthening of the church. Without obeying the Holy Spirit in this area, all the movements in the world mean nothing.

Fourth, Ed Stetzer in his Missional Focus blog on February 23rd wrote the following:
In the coming years people of faith who hold similar views around certain cultural issues—though they have divergent belief around essential theological issues—will end up working together more. We’re going to see in the next few years more evangelicals working with those outside our evangelical faith tradition— Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and even Mormons. On some issues I imagine this will include devout people of other faiths.
While I will speak to ANY group, and have spoken numerous times in a Catholic Church and also in Assemblies of God, Baptist, Apostolic and a 3rd Wave Churches among others, though I am non-denominational. They gave me complete freedom (I would never speak if I were asked to compromise my message), and I spoke on the FINISHED work of Christ in the Catholic Church one time and nuns came to me with great appreciation. Paul says we are not taken out of the world. Nevertheless, we must not be OF the world. The Bible says, “What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness?” and “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers,” which is not solely about marriage. I could see adding an amicus brief in support of persecuted Sikhs for example, or marching in a pro life demonstration with mostly Catholics, but cooperating on a close level with any of these or with Muslims, Mormons, etc. is a recipe for compromise and spiritual disaster.  In fact, a local PCA church who shared services in a Mosque really appeared to lend equality to the truth and a lie.  This is treacherous ground.

Fifth and last though FAR from least, there appears to be extreme political deception in the movement. I have long maintained and written about the inextricable link between spiritual and political deception. I have seen it so often and it is truly alarming. Stetzer’s moments about the President were outright absurd and show a lack of Biblical knowledge on the issues. Tim Keller prides himself on having a “Missional” church but is soft on homosexuality, avoids talking about SIN, and has adopted “social justice” views closer to Marxist than Christian thought. It appears that “Progressive” Christians (translate that “Compromised Christians”) have migrated to the Missional movement. ProgressiveChristianity.org talks a lot about mission, and Jesus does not even merit even ONE mention in them explaining what they are all about.  That is very telling. Marc Galli, formerly head of Christianity today, a man I am polar opposites with politically, wrote on June 5, 2019, about “The Unfortunate Pedigree of the Missional Church”, going back to the social gospel and a system of seeking to please men without pleasing God. He made many valid points, and the backward orientation of those churches coincides almost perfectly with my experience with the movement.

I am an evangelist who has produced over 2,000 radio programs, and minister on the Internet, the marketplace, and non-traditional venues. I have been in Christ for 65 years and am 100% loyal to the Holy Bible.  I eschew denominations because I have not found even one that has not compromised and see them as artificial walls.  I Have long seen denominationalism as the breeding ground for Christian relativism.  If a newly born again person wants to choose a church, how can he be reinforced in “the only way to God” when these churches outright contradict each other even on the most basic theological issues?  There truly is ONE SET of truth, which Jesus clearly teaches. It is up to us to study the scriptures and find it - it really is not all that hard. I like mixed ethnicity, mixed economic, and churches who are not stuck in the mud.  We have had 7 interracial marriages in our extended family including my own and both our sons. We attend a church where it can be hard to even get a seat, where the Bible is taught Verse-by-Verse, which ministers in “small groups” to those fighting addiction, to first responders, to military, to prodigal parents, to the disabled, to the grieving, as well as fellowship groups catering to everyone.  The Bible is taught as inerrant, and the Pastor takes about 12 years to teach the entire Bible word for word.   In my ministry, I have taught 24 books of the Bible in this fashion, as well as topically and through unique radio dramas.  I am not an apologist for weak churches, compromised churches, or compromised preachers. Neither am I an apologist for new movements which do not appear to have the essentials needed to strengthen churches, encourage us to please God without compromise, and increase our effectiveness in winning souls Christ died for.  God has already given us the blueprint of how to operate. Too few have actually done it. When we actually do what was laid out almost two thousand years ago, we will be effective.

Evangelist John A. Teets

Kingdomgospelministries.org

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