Reformation In Foreign Missions
After serving 60 years as a missionary evangelist in many parts of the world, Bob Finley is convinced that contemporary missionary operations are in dire need of reformation.
In Reformation in Foreign Missions, he calls for the withdrawal of all missionaries from industrialized countries who are presently residing in poorer countries. He maintains that their presence is generally counter-productive because it tends to identify the gospel of Christ with foreign governments or alien cultures, and also because the foreigners appear to be fabulously rich in comparison to the people among whom they are working. Their presence breeds covetousness and undermines the will of local Christians to be self-sufficient.
One of Bob Finley's main points in this new book is that there is no precedent in the New Testament for the type of missionary work that began in the 18th century and is now a multi-billion dollar enterprise. He says that there is no record anywhere in the New Testament that God ever sent an apostle (missionary) to a foreign country where he did not know the language of the residents. The gospel spread to every area of the Roman Empire with no mission boards or foreign missionaries like those we send out today.
Rather, the book says, contemporary missions are a church tradition based on the free enterprise model of competition, like Ford and GM, Coke and Pepsi, or McDonald's and Burger King. Each denomination or independent mission does its own thing, often hiring away the workers of indigenous missions and devastating their ministries.
While paying high tribute to pioneers of the past, and expressing appreciation for their labors, this book declares that a new day has come wherein traditional operations should be discontinued. It shows how indigenous missions do 90 percent of the work with less than 10 percent of the total funds given for missionary work. The time has come, Bob Finley declares, when those who consume 90 percent of God's money to do 10 percent of His work should share their wealth with some of the 300,000 native missionaries who do 90 percent of the work, particularly those who are out on the fields of the world with no support at all.
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