Sending the Rodgers

Hey Y’all,

 

As many of you have heard by now, the Rodgers have purchased their airline tickets for the mission field with a departure date of April 27, 2017. Their ultimate destination will be South Korea, where they will be serving as missionaries with Word of Life International as a part of the Local Church Ministries team. I want to encourage us to prayerfully consider officially sending out the Rodgers as missionaries of RABC. Remember only the local church has the authority to send out missionaries (Acts 13:1-4), and the organization the Rodgers are partnering with recognize that authority.

 
 

Southern Baptist churches have a long history of sending out missionaries not only through partnering with the International Mission Board or the North American Mission Board respectively, but also through other nondenominational or local mission associations and partnerships like Samaritan’s Purse, Reaching and Teaching International Ministries, etc. The reason many Southern Baptists partner with other mission agencies or partnerships is because the IMB and NAMB can only send out a limited number of missionaries to a limited number of destinations ever year, and Southern Baptist churches produce more missionaries then these two institutions can practically put on the mission field, though there is an effort to change that dynamic.

 

Let me share with you some important information regarding Word of Life (WOL), which will help us determine if it is a partnership we can join in by sending the Rodgers out from us. Though WOL is a nondenominational mission agency, they have many Southern Baptist missionaries serving on their teams.  How can that be? Well what makes a Southern Baptist missionary a Southern Baptist missionary is not the mission agency they partner with, but rather the local church that actually sends them.

 

WOL describes themselves as “a nondenominational Christian organization creating faith-defining experiences that give students and families the opportunity to encounter God and grow in their spiritual walks. Through high-energy camping ministries, in-depth biblical training, local church ministries, and international ministries, Word of Life shares the message of salvation with those who have never heard and helps believers grow in their faith” (Online at
, accessed on 2/20/2017).

 

WOL’s Statement of Faith, which I have in full below says much of what our own statement says.  It does not contradict our own statement of faith in any way. In two areas, which I have underlined, WOL’s statement is more specific then our statement of faith. Even in these two areas many of us would affirm these statements as well or at least understand the freedom others have to hold to them, and have been held to historically by many Southern Baptists. Though the statement below does not address baptism specifically, in WOL’s practice the organization carries out and encourages believer’s baptism, otherwise we as Southern Baptists would not be able to partner with them.

 

The Scriptures:

We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are verbally inspired of God, and they are without error in the original writings, and they are the supreme and final authority for faith and life.

 

The Grace of God:

We believe that all who by faith receive Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit, therefore children of God and eternally saved, and that the Holy Spirit dwells within every believer to enlighten, guide, and enable the believer in life, testimony, and service. We believe that God answers the prayers of His people and meets their needs according to His purpose.

 

The Trinity:

We believe in one God, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is eternally existent in three persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

The Gifts of The Holy Spirit: We believe that God gives spiritual gifts to all believers for the building up of the body of Christ. However, the miraculous sign-gifts of the Spirit, such as tongues and healings, were limited to the early church.

 

The Deity of Jesus Christ: We believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, sinless life, His death to pay the penalty for everyone’s sins, His bodily resurrection, His exaltation at God’s right hand, and His personal, imminent, pre-tribulational and pre-millennial return.

 

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ:

We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved in Glory and the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost in hell.

 

Judgement of God:

We believe that all have sinned and are therefore guilty before God and are under His condemnation.

 

The Call to Living a Holy Life:

We believe that all believers are called to a life of separation from all worldly and sinful practices and alliances.

 

Marriage:

We believe that from the beginning with Adam and Eve, God ordained marriage as only between a man and a woman. All sexual activity outside of marriage, including homosexual practices, is in direct contradiction to God’s Word and His institution of the home.

 

May we be prayerful about sending out the Rodgers out from us as our missionaries! A motion will be coming before the church very soon.

 

In Christ,

Bro. Samuel