|Dr. Couch, I'm involved with a parachurch ministry that takes the gospel and the Bible into elementary public schools. The organization goes on and states that it is not replacing the church, and that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15). My question is, is it true that only a church has the biblical authority for an evangelistic ministry? And, what about such parachurch ministries turning the children who become saved over to spiritually corrupt liberal churches?|
ANSWER: You have pointed out a problem that has not fully been addressed by many who are vitally concerned about reaching children for Christ, or even for that matter, an adult.
First, it must be noted that nowhere in the NT is it stated that the local church is responsible for evangelism, though it would not be wrong for churches to carry out evangelism in every way possible. Evangelism seemed to be the work of all of the believers of the early church era.
Second, parachurch ministries, in order to be accepted by "all" churches, even liberal churches, have said they would refer new converts to every congregation and assembly. This certainly does create a problem. After a child is won to Christ it would be madness to send him to a liberal church that denies the Scriptures in so many ways.
The right thing for the parachurch ministry to do would be to make sure that youngsters were sent only to a church that honored the Word of God. Obviously there is a problem in all of this that you are correctly pointing out. on the one hand, the gospel should go forth by whatever means, and by whatever voice. on the other hand, to send some one to an apostate congregation is wrong. The only right solution would be that the para organization should send those saved only to biblically based assemblies. They should make an effort to do this no matter what!
This was a great question that causes us all to ponder.
Thanks for asking!
Dr. Mal Couch