Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Revolution in World Missions"

I am reading Revolution in World Missions by KP Yohannan. Yohannan is the founder of Gospel for Asia (GFA), a missionary organization that raises up native missionaries to reach their own people.

At first, I was intrigued by his story of how God brought him to this place of starting such an organization. Then I was a little annoyed by what seemed like a plea for those in the US to give away all their money (which I think speaks more to the fact that I am materialistic, even though I try extremely hard not to be). Today, what I read was extremely convicting.

He wrote on the social or humanistic gospel. That for years, organizations go in and speak only to the physical needs and not the spiritual needs. And how in China, organizations built hospitals, schools, etc, for a hundred years, which added to their life here on earth, but millions of people never heard the Gospel. So although they had good health care and good education, they never heard the gospel. First and foremost, as Christians, we are suppose to be preaching the Good News of Christ.

Yohannan states "It is a crime against lost humanity to go in the name of Christ and missions just to do social work yet neglect calling men to repent-to give up their idols and rebellion-and to follow Christ with all their hearts"

And

"Substituting a bowl of rice for the Holy Spirit and the Word of God will never save a soul and will rarely change the attitude of a man's heart"

He isn't saying that you shouldn't care for the physical well being of a person, but "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?" Mark 8:36

Jesus had compassion on the multitudes, but it was a compassion having to do with their spiritual condition first, and their physical condition second. He fed them with the bread of life, and filled their stomachs with fish and bread. He not only opened up the eyes of peoples hearts but he also made the blind see.

If we, as Christians, as missions organizations, do not proclaim the gospel, then feeding an empty stomach will not save them from hell.

Reading this book has me thinking about which missionaries and organizations we support and how strongly or effectively they are sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ...

2 comments:

Luke Mundy said...

Great post Stephanie! Pastor Yohannon's testimony and ministry are great and I'm glad that you're being encourage and challenged by them! I love that Gospel For Asia sends 100% of their donations into the field without taking out money for overhead or administration. They're one of the few organizations that seems to hit that balance between physical needs and evagelism.

Bryan said...

I really struggle with this, too. It seems like Christians easily fall into helping poor countries with "things" that will help them rather than "the One thing" that will save them. I am keenly aware of this as I prepare for my next trip to Haiti. Pray that our mission team will reach people for Christ, not just make the orphanage a little more cozy.