By December 1, 2006 11 Comments Read More →

Ministry in Contemporary Society, Lesson 003

Christian Ministry, Free Course, Lesson 003

Ministry in Contemporary Society

Globalization, which began with the European exploration of the Western hemisphere, is today a rapidly expanding phenomenon. The world today is a very eclectic place.  Christians are not immune to its subtle influence.  In our pursuit of life, each of us should be reminded of Israel’s relations with her pagan neighbors. When they failed to allow Yahweh an exclusive place in their lives and teachings, they wandered from the true path. 

Is there more reason to believe that the revelation of God in Jesus Christ yields less exclusiveness? Not all positions held by individuals or fellowship groups can be right.  Some attitudes may be correct and others may be either wholly or partially wrong.  We need to broaden our horizons and become enlightenment as to representative thinkers. 

Living in a global society brings us increasingly into contact with people of different worldviews.  How shall we act as we seek relationship with people of the global community?  It has now become more important than ever to be able to state our own faith in relation to the faith of others.  But how can this be done if we do not understand the content and assumptions of non-Christian religions?  We need some way to compare and contrast the Christian faith systems with other faith systems. 

This is where comparative religion can play a role. Comparative religion has been used to develop a theology of religions out of a sense of need to examine the historical development of one’s own religious tradition as well as the traditions of others.  Perhaps the greatest crisis facing Christian missions is uncertainty within the Christian community about what to make of religious world circumstances.  The most widely employed typological distinction in the debate over a Christian theology of religions centers around three positions: exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism.

Over the centuries, the church has faced challenges from other ideologies.  Justin Martyr wrote his apologies for the Christian faith.  Others have entered into debate.  Still others have taken up military arms to defend the faith and subdue unbelievers.  What form should the encounter in the 21st century take?

Christians often assume a stance relative to missions that reflects their upbringing or their reaction to that upbringing.  An uncritical approach leads us to accept the status quo.  A critical approach leads us to question the status quo.  The standard by which we judge any position should be Scripture.  So, the major question to be resolved is: What is the task and scope of missions from a biblical perspective? To this point, we might expect all those who proclaim a religious faith to feel compelled to convert others.  But just what do believers think about missions? 

The definition of mission is one of continuing debate and affects the way churches and individuals engage in mission activity.  If the concept of Christians in mission is defined as being Christian in the presence of others, then it follows that evangelism will mean basically responding, when asked, why Christians believe and act as they do.  Three modern answers have been proposed to the question, "Where do we do missions?"  These are (1) to the ends of the earth, (2) only within the local context, and (3) only where we are specifically invited by indigenous partner churches.

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11 Comments on "Ministry in Contemporary Society, Lesson 003"

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  1. In world alone it is indeed a mastering pint of reflection of our Faith ,Hope and Agape trough Christ that we all trying to reflect.I not saying that all Christians do live up to their Faith .Especially in our days,yet there is one place on the map that deserves to be named .It is small place in Asia ,and well known to world.Yes, Singapore is an vibrant culture of mixed tradition and religion that feeds on democratic stability because of it respect toward the religions trough the law of the land ..Christians here amazingly flourish,and yes indeed because of their style of life other young people looking toward Christ as a model and Savior.

  2. michelle boykins says:

    I believe when God calls you to do something do it. The bible says the when Jesus told the disciple to go out to all the world and preach the gospel etc. that is what we are suppose to do. Loving one another, our enemies,being the way Christ is and was while on this earth. Our mission is as Christian is to bring everyone to Christ before that day comes…..AND IT IS GETTING CLOSE.

  3. Vernon Rose says:

    I would like to know where’s lesson 004. I perform ministry with couch surfers always in my house. My brother and I paid down until the end of the month; We will camp out until my check comes my ministry shall be amongst the homeless. Your ministry is great. God bless.

  4. Ajani Joshua Oluwatomi says:

    Study the course on ministry has open my understandin more. Thanks

  5. van ram moy says:

    please send bible correspondend course continuly.

  6. Daniel Nnabugwu says:

    Most of the times lack of understanding of the urgency of the assignment makes us complacent.Pluralism is also a major enemy of evangelism.This is because if there are many roads to God, why will I try to convert another person from another religion to Christianity?God help us.

  7. Pastor Dave says:

    I believe when God calls you, your mission is right where you are. I believe that would be why God called you in the first place. Because He needed you in the very spot that you are in. God does not make a mistake….and I believe that God knows where He needs someone when He calls them into His Work. If we were a manager of a company and hired someone to work a position in our company….I am sure we as a manager of that company would know where we would need that hired person to be. I don’t believe that God is any different. I believe that when God called me into the Ministry…He called me to do His work right where I am at. He does not need me to go any farther. At least not for now. If He would…He would be sure to let me know.

  8. Benita Paschel says:

    We must understand that ministry first begins within us as individuals. We need to clean up our own act so that we can effectively see spiritually and hear what the Lord has for us to do. When we do missions, we have to go wherever the Holy Spirit leads us to go. It could be to places where you never have been before or it could be someone close by. However, wherever you are sent, you must remain there until God tells otherwise.

  9. As far as mission work goes, I believe strongly in the words of St. Francis of Assisi; “Go preach the gospel, use words only if necessary.”

  10. JSTAN says:

    to update ones knowledge of the world’s affair. one can’t be always `under’ the shell not aware of the surrounding latest information and ideas that has sweep the world. understand others culture and look for opportunity of improve the others ideas. not to argue but to take note of others points.

  11. Susan Tikalsky says:

    At first the lesson stalls, simply click again and it is fine.

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