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When Churches Use and Abuse Missions

Commentary by Roger Oakland
Understand The Times International: Roger Oakland Ministries

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I thank God for pastors and churches that see missions as a means of spreading the gospel. They and their board of directors promote missions for the purpose of establishing gospel lighthouses located in dark places all over the planet. Individual missionaries are assisted and at least partially financed to leave the comfort and the conveniences of living in the western world. They often leave friends and relatives behind and make huge sacrifices in order to serve the Lord half way around the world where their life styles are radically changed.

However, what was once the missionary norm of the past is now becoming a dim recollection in the present. Let me make a few comments to explain what I am talking about. As part of the emerging church mentality, the concept that  missionaries are persons who share that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven is not only out of date, it no longer is acceptable. This is because the postmodern “progressive” mindset has now broadened the way. The narrow way has become a wide way that embraces any and all religions.

Thus, many churches are changing the terminology they use. Rather than say they have a missionary program, they have upgraded or updated to what is now called a “missional” strategy. In an effort to implement what they deem as cutting-edge ideas that embrace anything and everything culturally acceptable, they re-invent Christianity by tossing out the Bible as the guideline for truth and incorporate what they say are common truths found in all religions. Such a smorgasbord of religious ideas is supposed to lay the foundation for the new missionology that you will not find in the Bible in the context of sharing the gospel. However, this ecumenical program that proclaims all religions believe in the same God prepares the way for what the Bible teaches will be the heart of the Last Days One World Religion and the coming antichrist.

Another earmark of the new missionology is the tendency for the church to become more like the world and less like the church. The purpose of this, they say, is to reach the postmodern generation by appealing to their senses by providing visual and audio stimulation. In order to accomplish this, worship music moves away from music and becomes noise. Strobe lights and smoke machines along with instruments that manufacture eardrum-shattering repetitive beats hype listeners into altered states of consciousness so they believe they are worshipping God when instead it is Satan. Such methods are as old as history and can be traced to pagan rituals.


Recently I attended a conference where pastors from another part of the world attended. They came to give testimony of how damaging it is when so-called churches are planted in their communities by pastors who are considered missionaries from the United States. They have been instructed to mingle with their congregations by joining with the ecumenical movement of their nation. Further, some of these “missionary pastors” are going to the pub and drinking with their church members just like the Roman Catholic priests in their communities. Apparently, this new norm for missions is an idea that was imported from the leadership of a large church in southern California. The former pastor and founder of the church who recently passed away, if alive, would not have approved.

Another aspect of the “new missionology” is the way pastors and missionaries of this new movement desire to be perceived. No longer do they want to be confined to a church and especially behind a pulpit with a Bible in hand. They believe that successful communication to the postmodern generation must use the latest technology and incorporate the popular social media of the day to document every move they make. Twitter and Facebook have become their means to tell the world where they are, what they are doing, and what they will do next.


Rather than focusing on Jesus Christ and His Word, the new breed of Christian leadership consists of leaders who have become obsessed with themselves and want everyone to know how important they are. One pastor sent out a message to let his followers know that Bono is his favorite secular rock star. Often he lets people know where his favorite Starbuck coffee shop is located and how many miles he ran that day. Has Christianity and the fervency there once was for the gospel according to the Scriptures reached a new low? What is happening and who will speak up?


Now I will ask you to consider a few more questions before I close. Do you know a pastor or a church that promotes the idea that Christianity and the church’s missions program needs to be upgraded? Are your donor dollars being spent on the “new thing God is doing” through the new vision the pastor and board have come up with in order to reach the world? Maybe you should ask some questions in regard to what this “new missionology” program is all about? Are your hard-earned dollars going towards the spreading of the gospel of Christ, or are these funds being squandered?

Perhaps this commentary will shed some light on your situation and provide answers to why your pastor seems so bullheaded. Maybe you have been concerned about some things you have heard and seen but let it pass, thinking that maybe you were just old-fashioned and out of date. If you are aware of some of the warning signs of the new missionology, then please speak up or get out of that situation. Most pastors and church boards who have already made their decision to go this direction are too proud or stubborn to change their views, say they were wrong, and turn back.

Let us not be blinded from the truth and be led by the blind. Those who are complacent will only be part of the Last Days delusion that is sweeping the world and the church.


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