Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Getting it Wrong: Part 3

My comments on the earlier two blogs on this theme have pretty much stated my argument, but I'll put it in a brief form here:

There is indeed a reciprocal relationship between worship and missions; as Piper says, "Worship is the fuel and goal of missions." But worship is ultimate and eternal, whereas evangelism is not. When we talk of worship being the goal of missions, we reflect a rich biblical strain of thought, running from the Psalmist's calls, "Let the nations be glad" (e.g., Ps 67:3-4; 69:32; 70:4; 86:9; 97:1; 102:22; 117:1), to the apostles' awareness that the root of the apostolic call was in worship (Matt 19:29; Acts 9:16; 21:13; Rom 1:5; 9:17; 10:13; 3 John 6-7).

It's also useful to note that missionary thrust of the prayer Jesus taught is missionary-disciples: May your name be sanctified/honored/cherished and honored above any other name (Matt 6:9).

This assertion of the priority of worship over evangelism seems to me to be essential.
  • Reversing the priorities has the potential to do severe damage to the evangelistic cause, as modern American church history has shown when churches lose the real divine cause and allow missions to lapse into merely humanitarian effort.
  • Missions that are not driven by the glory of God can only be driven by some human impulse, whether it's vague humanitarianism or merely a guilty, patronizing, and condescending attempt help the developing world.
Now, after making that claim, I'm going to use my next blog posting to assert that there is something even more basic and primary that defines the key priority of the church. (Watch this space.)

1 comment:

  1. The excitement builds and the nerves are being stretched as we wait in great anticipation for you rnext blog!