Missions and the Judas Principle

I read a book once that claimed Judas betrayed Jesus because he was impatient for the promises of salvation. I posted about it once, but I can't find it now. I don't remember the book and I don't know who wrote it. If these omissions will make it hard for you to follow my musings below, then you should stop reading. I intend to get these thoughts down in this post without linking to the work of others or justifying my thoughts with other facts. I'm not really sorry about, I just thought I should warn you.

Ok, so Judas was tired of waiting. He took matters into his own hands and "forced God's hand." (the quotes are there to avoid a discussion of predestination) Jesus is arrested and put on trial. Surely God will step in and fulfill the promises Jesus  has been making. He, of course, does, but  not the way Judas expected. 

This brings me to the every-tongue-tribe-and-nation theory of evangelism. This theory states that once the Gospel has been shared to every people group in the world, Jesus will return. 
Matthew 24:14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

Revelation 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands
I don't disagree. Clearly the Bible states that people from every tribe will be before the throne to worship. Therefore, each group must hear and believe the Gospel.

Paraphrasing an article from a monthly publication of a prominent missions organization:
Thousands of people groups have already heard the gospel only X to go and we'll have the work all wrapped up.
This missions organization has been working diligently to spread the good news of salvation and I can only commend them. I don't mean this as a criticism of them, so I'm not going to name them.

This is more of a thought than a criticism anyway.

The thought is this: Are we (those who spread Jesus) relying on ourselves to bring about the second coming and, if so, is it a mistake?

My answer to the second part of that question is an undeniable yes. If we're relying on our own work, then it's a mistake. If we believe that God can't do His work until we've completed ours, we're wrong. If we think we've discovered a way to force God to do something, then we're making the same mistake that Judas (theoretically) made.

The bigger question is the first part, not whether it's a mistake to rely on ourselves, but whether or not we're doing it in the first place.

I think the answer is that some of us are and some of us aren't. Either way I think most of us focus on the end result of all those tribes finding salvation. Which is great, but the work is done at the individual level and each individual is important, too.

Thought complete, I guess. Any thoughts? But, be warned here, too. I may not respond. It's my blog, I can do what I want. 


Church...not so blergh after all

I mentioned in my previous post that Angie and I were trying a new church today. We did and it went well.

I was feeling like I didn't want to do this at all. I had a whole list of reasons why I didn't feel like starting over with a new church.

Then Angie said:

"This isn't really about us."

Why does she has to be so simply right sometimes? It's annoying.

We went to the Grandview Christian Assembly and we'll be going back. Not because it was super awesome, but mostly because it wasn't so terrible that I forgot it wasn't about me. It seemed earnest enough and it didn't have the smooth varnish of fakery that the last try did.

Not to make it sound like just a collection of not-too-terrible attributes. It was good and I don't mean to sell it short, but I have become very critical of churches and I am trying to be fair.

The people did truly seem like nice people trying to grow in their relationship with Jesus, and that's the most important thing.

Plus, apparently, this whole worshiping God thing isn't about me and sometimes it means doing what your wife says.



Angie and I are trying a church this morning. I'll report back and let you know how it goes.

Maybe it'll be great, but I'm dubious.

I'll report back and let you know how it goes.

I'm aware that most of my anti-church issues are internal rather than external, so I'm going to try to work through them.

The Boy Who Waited

Tonight I went to the Grandview Theater to watch Doctor Who. This is no big deal, except that I went by myself. To a theater. By myself.

I wanted to watch the show and had no one to go with, so I had to decide between sitting and home feeling sorry for myself or going alone.

One time I went to Iraq by myself. That was a much bigger deal and sometimes I forget that, if I can do that, I can probably do most things that confront me.

The flip side of that, though, is that I was once confronted by Iraq and all that goes with that - language, culture, finding community, worshiping Jesus. Today I'm confronted by things that feel stupid. Like whether or not to go to a theater.

What I'm saying simply is that most things I do seem dull and I don't want to do dull.

I feel like I'm waiting. Between adventures in the past and adventures in the future.

I know it doesn't make sense. What I've written is vague and shallow feeling. It feels like that to me, too.

I hate to use television as metaphor (or maybe I love it), but I feel like a former companion of the Doctor. In this metaphor, the Doctor = adventure = God. I feel like I have been left behind and the adventures now continue with other people. I hate that most of all.

I'm done thinking about it for now.