Warren’s Missions Vision

A recent Christianity Today interview, “After the Aloha Shirts” (Interview by Timothy C. Morgan posted 10/01/2008 07:28AM.)

Here’s an interesting section:

Is the career missionary obsolete?

We need far more missionaries than we have right now. What we need is in addition to that. We need an amateur movement out of love. We have to remember that in the first 300 years of the church, it was pretty much all amateurs. Paul and Barnabas were sent out by a church. It was local churches sending out their people to go around the world. My prayer is that we will work hand in hand. The expertise of missionaries can be used and multiplied.

I put Rick Warren’s PEACE plan on my prayer list a few months back. The movement could do much good. It intends to mobilize local churches in partnership with oversees groups and churches to advance the gospel. It can conceivably create a mob of short-term missions volunteers.

There are some drawbacks to short-term missionaries. Most notably the tendencies of short-term trips to draw funding from full time missionaries, paint a view of missions that is overly optimistic, and sometimes even hinder the work of full-time missionaries. (See here, here, here, and here.)

There is another section of Warren’s Christianity Today interview that worries me more:
There are more than 1 billion Roman Catholics and Orthodox believers. Where do
they fit in?

We need to mobilize a billion Catholics and Orthodox [believers]. I'm not really that interested in interfaith dialogue. I am interested in interfaith projects. Let's do something together. You are probably not going to change your doctrinal distinctives, and I'm probably not going to change my doctrinal distinctives. We have different beliefs. But the fact is, we do serve the same Lord. Let's work on the things we can agree on.

I wait with baited breath to see how this partnership with Catholics and Orthodox believers works. I will not partner with Roman Catholics to share the gospel, as I believe that the gospel they preach is not the true gospel at all. I am a Protestant that has not forgotten what I am protesting.

Let’s join in prayer for this new program by an exceedingly influential pastor. May God grant that the PEACE plan will avoid the many dangers it may be prone to.

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