What is the Mission of the Church?

I suppose this is the problem. the meaning of the word existentially is directly interpreted by existential philosophy. Here is the definition:

pertaining to existence.
of, relating to, or characteristic of existentialism:

Now if you take the first meaning pertaining to existence…well that is everybody, does not really matter what one believes or not whatever they say is part of their existence so they say it. Big deal! So the only sensical meaning is the second definition.

We are asked the Question asked of Peter by the fire-+ Are you one of His disciples.? Today the question would be Are you feeding His lambs? Or what are you feeding My Lambs? Some how the question has been distorted to Who alone is charged with lamb feeding? The question should be who has proper lamb feed? The next question would be— What effect will that feed have upon the lambs, Will they behave as sheep or wolves?


I find your line of questioning exactly on target. The final question is, What kind of life does your discipleship produce?


I gave a definition of how I was using the word

Thanks, I thought I implied that in my question if that feed will produce sheep or wolves. Off topic, I see Ted with an open bible while he is preaching without a cogent reference to any text. Then I see reports of wolve like behavior against colleagues who dare to stray off of his reservation. The Gospel is about the Everlasting Covenant fulfilled at the Cross. we rejoice in a His resurrection and installation and we accept his invitation to come.


In the comments you defined how you were using/misusing the word for your definition. While that is helpful to know that you have a unique meaning to the word that does not really help anyone reading the article who still have to use standard meanings of words.

Herold Weiss!! One of my favorite BD Professors ever!! [This was in the Before Times, when the MDiv was a Bacheolor of Divinity. And The Seminary @ Andrews University had a bunch of very cool teachers!!]


Without this witness of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ our message is simply not Christian.

We are not just witnesses. Christ’s words were “you shall be My witnesses.” The emphasis is on “My.”

Paul I believe takes this even deeper in 2 Corinthians 5. I agree with John Stott that verse 21 is the key that unlocks Scripture. “He [God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Put in the context of the whole chapter we are ambassadors for Christ. It’s God making his appeal through us, “we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

It comes back to the cross and the resurrection. There God reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. Ours is the ministry of reconciliation and it is our God given witness. We are ambassadors of reconciliation.

But it goes deeper yet. It is this, “… namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them.”

This is the message of reconciliation that God has given to us. Are we prepared to tell the world, every individual that we meet that they are already reconciled to God because God was in Christ on the cross doing just that.

Further, are we prepared to tell every person we meet that God does not count their sins, their trespasses, against them? Are we clear in our witness that since Calvary, God keeps no record of sin.

The reality is that God made Jesus, who knew no sin, to be sin for us. Why? So that in Christ, we might become the righteousness of God.

Ambassadors of such a reconciliation is our calling. God is making His appeal through us to every lost soul.


Ray –
Your post goes along with this statement by Marcus Borg, “Days of Awe and Wonder”, pg124.
“Spirituality is becoming conscious of and intentional about our relationship with God. Because
we are ALL ALREADY in a relationship with God and we humans have been so since our very beginning [i.e. Adam and Eve], whether we know that or not, believe that or not.
Spirituality is about becoming conscious of that relationship.”

Our Mission is to “Awaken” those who sleep and slumber to the message of reconciliation
that has been there since the foundations of the world.


Most of us have a personal list of words with red flags. Apparently “existential” is in your list. It is not in mine.


This topic has grabbed my heart and mind, because it is the question that ultimately caused my departure. Dr. Weiss correctly defined the declared mission of the Adventist Church—To prepare A select group for the return of Christ. there is the rub. Even the Three Angels of Revelation are sent forth to declare the Everlasting Gospel. The Good News That was fulfilled at the Cross. The wrong definition of mission created a host of burdens and an equal number of postulates that merely add to the initial burden of sin that the church offers no relief except their definition on sin. The Gospel is neglected except among a few “questionable theologians”: who are constantly under servailance. “Why Jesus Waits” is a clear documentation of the prime heresy of the church. Thank you Dr. Weiss for your essay.


No I don’t think so, that is why I looked up the word usage. What I think you might have be trying to say is an “experiential”, that is, they experienced the new life in Christ. Whereas the apocalyptic belief is not experiential as they have not lived such an experience.

In reading some of the very good posts on this topic, I see where my first comment would be confusing. In my pointing out that the bible does contradict itself at times. I was not discrediting scripture. I was merely pointing out that people can find a proof text to justify many false doctrines. Remember, over 10,000 Christian denominations all use the same bible and they, obviously, don’t all believe the same things. That is why I have issues with resolving questions by committee. The disciples in the early church used a simple yardstick to determine who should serve and who shouldn’t. They simply looked at the fruits. If the worker brought people into the church, the Holy Spirit must be working in them. Therefore, if we see women pastors adding to the fold, the spirit must be working through them. Why credential them differently because of their gender?

The Gospel was so perfectly stated by Tom Zwemer. If we are doing what we were commanded to do, and preaching the Gospel, this would all be over.


Planmaister!! One of my favorite students in those good old days! I am sorry not to recognize your ID, whoever you are. Still, teachers don’t get payed well because employers think that they get psychological compensation by students like you, and today you made me a lot richer. (I am amazed, that was 50 years ago, 1965-69!).


Are Spectrumites reading this article too fast?

Where is the usual, typical outcry against the LGT ?

My experience is that I usually sense anxiety and/or hostility when words like perfection or sinless come up in Sabbath school or sermons. My diagnosis is that it is because many churchgoers are still in a ROM 8:7 mode instead of being transformed to a ROM 8:4 mode.

By the way Herold, I believe the bible & SOP support what you wrote on what I selected. from your article.

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Well said.

  • HOWEVER, the many-splendored gifts given to the church includes more than just the ability to “bear witness” through personal evangelism or preaching from the pulpit. Paul later expanded the list. “And [Jesus] Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ …” Eph. 4:11-12

    Paul would also tell Timothy, “If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, … one who rules his own house well, … (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)” 1 Tim. 3:1-7

  • There are many facets to the Christian life in a highly complex and interactive world of intelligent human beings. There is obviously a place in the Church for evangelists and theologians; but also for artists and presidents and accountants and secretaries and web developers and builders and electricians and managers and superintendents, as many and as varied as the need arises. And their scope and concentration of work precludes theology and evangelism, yet GREATLY impact the work of those specializing in the latter. Acts 6:1-7

  • Indeed, individually, we bear witness of Jesus Christ; but as a denomination, a well organized and efficient body is testament to the handiwork of Our Saviour. “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Col. 1:16-17

    May He bless His Church with brilliant and capable administrators that men may see our good works and glorify Our Father in Heaven. 1 Kings 10:1-9


And in which mode are you, pray tell? :wink:


Romans 8:4 is meaningless if taken out of the context of verses 1 to 3 and what follows, especially verse 9. We live in the Spirit because the Spirit of God dwells in us by which Christ lives in us. It can’t get any better than that.


While I was raised in the church, got a degree in Theology and am familiar with all of the prophecies, I vigorously disagree with the concept that our spiritual purpose is to proclaim the prophecies. Jesus never told us to do that. Rather, he told people to tell others about what God had done for them. That is the simple but ultimately powerful message that those who are his witnesses share and the message the Holy Spirit is able to empower because it points people to the power of God. We should be using the method of Jesus, which was to lead people into life-changing encounters with the power and love of God so they will want to follow and, as a natural result, will be looking forward to the return of Jesus.

The place for studying prophecies is long after a person has fallen in love with God because of the encounters they’ve been having with his power. We need to stop trying to convince people that we’re right and others are wrong. Rather, we should be allowing God to change us so we will love them and by ministering the love we have received we will allure them into a saving relationship with Him. If we do that our task won’t be trying to convince others to believe, but being prepared to answer their questions about God.


We can only be witnesses to what we have seen or heard or experienced. I cannot be a witness to the resurrection of Jesus - I wasn’t there. But I can be a witness to what A risen Christmas has done in my life. I can testify to the change He has made in my life. To do anything else is hearsay. There is no more powerful witness than a changed life.