When we talk about the cross-cultural mission we are first talking about the mission of God (missio Dei). God is a missionary God. The mission exists simply because God loves people. God wants to rescue humanity from its dehumanization in the recatado, spiritual, physical, intellectual, social, economic, political and cultural. The establishment of his kingdom is the mission of God. We can think of the mission as a movement of God towards the world where the Church is an instrument for that mission. The church has the privilege of participating but the mission is not theirs and does not belong to any private project. "The Church is at the service of God's movement towards the world" (1).
The cross-cultural mission implies extending ourselves to all the ethnic groups of the earth taking care of the different aspects of people's lives. The church is the agent of the mission, not its goal. The church is not the kingdom of God but its community. The church is a community of the kingdom of God that participates in the universal (transcultural) mission. The church does not exist for itself but to serve humanity and announce the inauguration of the kingdom of God in the person of Jesus Christ. The church is missionary because of its nature, dimension and intention.
Jesus is the kingdom of God incarnate. "The kingdom of God is not an ethic, nor a social ideology but the message that is centralized in a person; the person of Jesus the Messiah »(2). The kingdom is present but has not been consummated therefore the kingdom is to come. It is an "already" and "not yet". In its mission, the church testifies to the fullness of the promise of the kingdom of God and participates in the ongoing struggle of this kingdom against the powers of darkness and evil.
We can come closer to saying that the cross-cultural mission is when the people of God join the mission of God intentionally crossing social, political, cultural, linguistic, ethnic, church to non-church barriers, in word and deed, announcing the coming of the kingdom of God in Jesus Christ, inviting people to be reconciled with God, with themselves, with each other and with the world, integrating themselves into the life of the church with a view to transforming the world until the Lord returns (See concept of mission by Chuck Van Engen).
Some may understand the transcultural mission in terms of planting churches in other latitudes as well as in saving individuals from eternal damnation, others may perceive it in ecclesiastical categories, such as the expansion of the Church or a specific denomination crossing geographical and cultural barriers. . But if we are going to understand the gospel and the mission according to the whole scripture from Genesis to Revelation, we will have to understand it emphatically as a "blessing to all ethnic groups" in the spiritual, physical and material aspects of the social, cultural, political and economic aspects. . When we speak of a cross-cultural mission, we are talking about an integral message of salvation that knows no boundaries of any order and is addressed to every human being considering the totality of their person.
There is usually a tension between what is called entero mission and regional mission. Many times these terms are faced without realizing that they are part of the same currency. We must integrate the different spheres as expressed in the text of Acts 1: 8. Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and even the last of the earth describe the spheres or areas of service where the regional and entero are integrated. It speaks of being witnesses in a "simultaneous" way and not doing the task sequentially. No service area should be the most important. They must be balanced or balanced giving dignity, simultaneity and attention to each one.
The Lausanne Covenant (4) expresses: "The church that is not missionary is in itself a contradiction, and extinguishes the spirit." According to the Curitiba pact (5) "The mission can not be an isolated department of the life of the church, but it is part of the very essence of it, because" either the church is missionary or it is not a church. "So the mission involves every Christian in the totality of his life ».
The church has been called and sent to participate in the mission of God. This sending and mandate is not optional (Matthew 28: 18-20, Mark 16:15, John 20:21, Acts 1: 8). The church needs to assume a more intentional commitment in world evangelization. John Stott said: "Action without reflection is fanaticism in action but reflection without surrender is the paralysis of all action."
In short, we say that the entire Bible shows God's plan to reconcile all things to himself through Jesus Christ (Colossians 1: 15-20). The Church is the instrument of God to carry out his plan. The mission of God is an attribute of God himself who expresses himself in his actions to redeem humanity and invites his church to participate. The world is the scene of God's activity and we should not withdraw from it. Service to the world is a service to God and is a reflection of the coming kingdom of God regardless of the results obtained.
The mission is universal (transcultural) and integral. The integral mission without being universal becomes localism. It is ethnocentrism and selfishness. We take care of the people nearby but not of the distant people. On the other hand, the universal mission without being integral becomes proselytism. We run the risk of dealing only with the religious, personal, internal aspect, but without dealing with all aspects of people's human life.
CLADE III (6) states: "The whole church is responsible for the evangelization of all peoples, races and languages. A faith that is considered universal, but that is not missionary, becomes rhetoric without authority and becomes sterile. The affirmation that the whole church is missionary is based on the universal priesthood of believers. It is for the fulfillment of this mission that Jesus Christ has endowed his church with gifts and the power of the Holy Spirit ».
God calls all believers to participate and to commit themselves to their mission.
Schmitz, Josef, 1971: Die Weltzuwendung Gottes: Thesen zu einer Theologie der Mission. Imba-Verlag, Friburgo-B.Davies, Pablo: Presentation on the Kingdom of God and the Transcultural Mission, (National Meeting of the World Missions Network, Córdoba, Argentina, 2002) Deiros, Pablo Alberto: Hispano-American Dictionary of the Mission n. Box 711, 3000 Santa Fe – Argentina: COMIBAM International, 1997Lausanne Convention, Congress for World Evangelization, (Lausanne, Switzerland, 1974) Pact of Curitiba, International Evangelical Student Community (Curitiba, Brazil, 1976) CLADE III, Declaration of Quito, Third Latin American Congress of Evangelization (Quito, Ecuador, 1992) Author: Carlos Scott
Carlos is a member of the executive committee and entero leadership council of the Missions Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), Resides in Buenos Aires.
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