The previous chapters discussed the scriptural foundations for the Great Commission and the Cultural Commission. and the impact of emphasizing the Cultural Commission over the Great Commission and the Great Commission over the Cultural. The previous chapter discussed the need to have a proper balance between the two commissions in our ministry. This chapter concludes the paper with suggestions for our churches in order to develop a two commission mission and a conclusion.
What can the Church do?
As Christians who are willing to be obedient to both commissions we need to get involved with activities which will …
Make abortion truly rare
Strengthen traditional families in our communities
Reduce the need for additional prisons
Reduce the number of single parent families in our community
Provide education on significant moral issues
Present the Christian voice in public forums and debates on all issues
Form the Christian worldview among our congregations
Provide ethical elder care
Provide a source of Biblical information on the bioethical issues of taking, making and faking life 1
Provide a means of reducing pornography
Provide support to those who are faced with the realities of single parenthood
Provide support for post-abortive women (and men)
Provide undeniable evidence that when Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but through me, " that He was reflecting reality.
Provide demonstration that we, as the children of God, have come to serve rather than be served.
Would not these activities reintroduce Shalom into portions of God’s Creation? Are they not endeavors worthy of our prayers and our good works?
How do we go about developing a Two Commission Mission?
The Church can be powerful in these arenas if we will only prepare ourselves. But we need to be very intentional and prayerful about how we seek the preparation. False steps will lead to attitudes and efforts that are not honoring to God; that are not done in the humility of Micah 6:8.
8He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
We must insure that our communities:
reflect that “mine” that Kuyper emphasizes as the responsibility of each disciple of Christ.
are fully equipped to “regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience,…” I Peter 3:15-16a
understand the relationship between and the co-dependence between the two commissions.
understand the importance of the Biblical Worldview; that they can, as the Bereans, search the Scriptures to see what is true and what is false.
understand the socio-economic implications of a God ordered worldview and the implications of a worldview that is not Godly.
is able to discuss these issues with friends, family, co-workers and neighbors as the opportunity arises.
It is a tall order, but through deliberate prayer and planning, can be accomplished. We know it can, for we will be doing what God has ordained us to do. We must teach members of our congregation how to demonstrate to people who are skeptical or to people without hope that there is a reality to our faith: that our faith makes a difference in our lives and that it can make a powerful difference in theirs as well.
God has provided a test for us, a means of evaluating whether or not we have taken His commissions to heart. Isaiah 58: 1 is an excellent source of guidance as we seek to follow both commissions. The prophet opens the chapter by declaring the sins of the house of Jacob to the people. He advises us to “Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet.” In other words, to put this command in the framework of the Church, “Don’t whisper, don’t be shy, be bold. Preach the great Commission and the salvation of Jesus Christ.”
However, Isaiah then goes on to outline the requirements for implementing God’s order in a broken and hurting world. Look at verses 6-7:
"Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
These give explicit directions for healing the pain and suffering that our sin has brought into this world. Verse 8 brings the promise, “Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily.” If we listen to Isaiah, our testimony and witness will be complete and visible to all and acceptable to the Lord.
I conclude with two quotations. The first is from a fellow Centurion, who has set an excellent guideline for our approach to dealing with our friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, etc. as we live out our two commissions: “To think and act Christianly is to defend moral absolutes as knowable and immutable, while extending the true compassion of help, encouragement, and companionship to those who are alienated and hurting through wrong choices.” 2
The second is from Mennos Simons, the man from whom we take the name, Mennonites: “True Evangelical faith ... cannot lie dormant. It clothes the naked, it feeds the hungry, it comforts the sorrowful, it shelters the destitute. And it serves those who harm it. It binds up that which is wounded. It has become all things to all people.” 3
Therefore, we must conclude that those who seek His righteousness must strive earnestly to fulfill
both commissions. We cannot and must not claim that only one, either one, is the only one
that is important for us to follow as Christians.
1 I am indebted to Nigel de S. Cameron, Senior Fellow for the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity in a Webcast to the Centurions on April 19, 2004, for this very apt summary of the three major areas of bioethics.
2 Regis Nicoll, “Thinking Christianly” an e-mail newsletter 5/3/2004
3 The Complete Writings of Menno Simons. "Why I Do Not Cease Teaching and Writing.” 1984 edition. p 307