“The Bible isn’t for people outside of the church to understand. So it isn’t your place to make the Gospel accessible.“
That may be the dumbest quote I’ve ever heard in relation to using sound missiological principles to reach a dead and dying people group. And yet, this quote apparently came from the mouths of smart, biblically authoritative evangelicals upset with the work of a young leader.
Just so people know: This isn’t the position of middle-of-the-road evangelicals. It’s not even the position of anyone reasonably conservative in the evangelical world. It’s a radically fundamentalist position which denies the very presuppositions of evangelicalism!
History counters this statement: The evangelical missions movement of the 19th and 20th century saw hundreds of thousands give their lives in work and thousands more give their lives as martyrs making the Gospel accessible to unreached people groups. Such a statement slaps those people in the face.
Such a statement devalues the activity of nearly every evangelical in their daily workplace. It denies the action of church planting. It denies the the very notion that we, as believers, can impact the Kingdom with our actions.
In short– its not an orthodox position. We must rally behind those who are reaching the lost!
It is our job, as believers, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, to bring the Bible to the lost and see the Gospel renew the people and their land. (Ephesians 2:10)
The statement above is why the church needs a change in leadership. We need people with level heads who are smart, savvy, and reasonable. Those holding extreme positions are not bad people. They just shouldn’t be in authority.
Middle-of-the-road evangelicals are tired of culture wars. We are longing for fresh voices and fresh leadership. We simply want to right wrongs, reach the lost, and love their neighbors. (All in the name of Jesus, under the power of Jesus, and for the purpose of making Jesus known) We will continue to distance ourselves from extremist.
While extremists lament and pontificate, we will continue to reaching the lost, righting wrongs, and loving our neighbors.
People at high levels who say/think/perpetrate these thoughts devalue the entire purpose of the Gospel in order to protect their own self-interests. At the end of the day, that’s what the statement must be about. Protecting their self-interests. The statement isn’t true and doesn’t represent the tenants of our movement— so to say such a thing reveals that they are putting their own interests above all else.
The lesson is– if you take a stand for truth you must be willing to stand up against the religious establishment, and continue to speak the truth in love despite their sneers and allegations of heresy.
Today is no different than the time of John Wycliffe, who died shunned by the religious establishment.
Sadly, shunning is part of reforming.
For those who are bringing fresh wind into the sails of the movement, my encouragement is to boldly ask those people set aside what they are comfortable with for the sake of the Gospels spread.
The spread of the Gospel to unreached people groups, whether home or abroad, is never comfortable. It has never been comfortable. And we cannot win hearts until we are willing to walk in the tension of discomfort for the sake of others.