Sunday, July 23, 2006

WHY I AM NOT MISSIONAL Part Two (evangelistic vs. missional)

In my last blog entry I said I am not "missional" because "missional" is unbiblical. In the understanding of some, the term means basically the same as lifestyle evangelism without the evangelism. (Of course, for most churches, lifestyle evangelism is a sanctified excuse not to actually say anything anyway, but that is another metanarrative.) Worse still, in the view of some Emergent leaders (I quoted Brian McLaren) the idea of missional is an outright denial of the gospel itself. See my last blog entry.
My second reason for rejecting “missional” as a useful term is that it is a trick. Let me illustrate it with two other terms. The first was one coined by Ronald Reagan or one of his speech writers. In the 1980 presidential election, one ace Reagan’s opponent, Jimmy Carter, had over him was that Reagan was seen by many Americans as war happy, likely to push the nuclear button. In those days the scary term used in our stand off with the Communists was mutually assured destruction. Reagan, however, introduced the term “window of vulnerability” to describe the chance that the US may become a victim of Russian nuclear superiority. The term was so clever and so clear in the mind of anyone who heard it that the news commentators, the majority of which who actually opposed Reagan, began using the term. From that point forward, Jimmy Carter had lost the foreign policy debate. The new term gave a clear mental picture of what Reagan wanted us to worry about.
The second term is more recent, “homophobic.” By the introduction of that one term, pro-sodomy politicos have silenced the majority of Americans who are not pleased with that particular practice. Never mind that most Americans oppose murder and robbery, too, but are never called murderer-o-phobic or thief-o-phobic. Nevertheless, the emotive content of the term “phobic” overcomes all common sense and most, wincing at the threat of being accused of being mentally unbalanced, simply scurry away.
Similarly, “missional” is being used to great effect by the Emergent Obfuscation. The emotive content is very positive for most Christians. We all are in favor of evangelism. Most, however, have not yet realized just how deceptive the Emergents are. So then, this Christian will stick to biblical vocabulary.

Phil Perkins.

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