It’s high time I resumed my Points to Ponder series. Points to Ponder is a new element in our mission trip program this year. We take about five minutes each day and share with the mission trip participants some thoughts we’ve been chewing on lately, allowing them to do the same. As I mentioned when I started this series, it would normally cost you a $450 mission trip to come to Mexico and hear these, but just for being a reader of my blog, you get them absolutely free!
This third Point to Ponder is adapted from a blog post by David Watson.
The easier something can be reproduced by new believers, they better the chance that a disciple-making movement can multiply. Our job in making disciples is to teach them to obey everything Jesus commanded us – nothing more, nothing less. One of the frequent errors of the modern church is teaching traditional church culture and practices as if they were biblical truth. Tradition is not inherently wrong, but it is of secondary importance. People do not need traditional Christian culture in order to have a changed life; they Jesus and His gospel of the kingdom.
Cross-cultural church planters cause many problems when we require our disciples to adopt our extra-biblical practices. We should, rather, deliver the gospel message as the ambassadors that we are and then help new believers apply the truth of the gospel in their own cultural context.
With that in mind, can you find in the Bible where we see the following things?
Can you find a place in the Bible where…
- it tells us to bow our heads and close our eyes when we pray?
- it tells us not to drink alcoholic beverages?
- it tells us not to dance?
- it teaches that a person must be ordained in order to baptize a new believer?
- it teaches that a person must be ordained in order to serve the Lord’s Supper?
- it teaches that a person must be ordained in order to lead a church?
- it instructs us to perform ordinations?
- it tells us we have to dress in a special way to lead or attend the assembly of believers?
- It tells us how often to have meetings of the church, how long those meetings should be, or on what day they should be?
- it says that the church should have a special building to meet in?
- it says that church leaders or pastors have to be seminary or Bible school trained?
- it says that the pastor is the supreme leader of the church, or the only leader of the church?
- it says that one form of music is superior to any other form of music, or that some form of music is not acceptable for worship, or that a particular form of music is required for worship?
- it says the dead must be buried in the ground? (As an example, Hindus in India usually cremate their dead. They have been told by most Western missionaries, though, that this is wrong and the dead must be buried.)
- it says that a man who has multiple wives before becoming a Believer should agree to divorce all but one of his wives after becoming a Believer or in order to become a Believer? (This issue is tricky, too. We have a tribe near us that practices polygamy. When Paul gave the qualifications of an overseer, he said he should be the husband of one wife. How do you raise up church leadership in a place where everyone has multiple wives?)