The Purpose of IGo: Revisited

singing-at-a-mealRecently we had a visitor at our morning chapel. As usual, we began with a song. One of the highlights of worshipping in the IGo chapel is the resounding acoustics of our concrete walls and ceilings. Add to that the 40+ voices of staff and students, singing praise to their Creator God, and you have a small taste of the music of heaven. Back to the visitor we had. After the first song, he couldn’t contain himself and asked if we knew the hymn, “Christ We Do All Adore Thee.” It is one of the most worshipful hymns I know. Once again, the 40+ voices joined in beautiful acappella harmony in worship and praise of our Lord Jesus Christ. The visitor was moved, not by us, but by the Holy Spirit of God. Later in the day he sent us an email, commenting again on his worship experience with us that morning.

Anabaptist understanding of the Scriptures. Our belief and practice. Our desire to obey the Scriptures as they are written, without adding or taking away. These are the reasons IGo exists in Asia.

I recently read a thought that went something like this. When the “watered down” gospel is preached on the mission field, and the natives reject it, they think that they have rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ, when in fact, they still haven’t even heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.

That is why IGo exists in Asia.

There are those who have brought a “watered down” gospel to the Thai people. Some have accepted it. And yet the missionary teaches them that there is nothing wrong with continuing to worship ancestors. In another village, natives who had accepted the gospel were taught that it was acceptable to continue observing an animistic ceremony where liquid in a cup of good and evil is drunk, only now they are to drink from this cup “to the Lord.” These people believe they have accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ. In truth, they still haven’t even heard the Gospel.

Another missionary, teaching at a University that claims to be Christian, teaches his students that in order to bridge the gap between Buddhism and Christianity, it is a good practice to go to the Buddhist temple and bow before the Buddha. However, when they bow and pray, they do it “to the God in Heaven.”

IGo has been in Chiang Mai for three years now. We have had close to 80 students pass through our halls, learning what it means to be an Anabaptist missionary in a field where so many are presenting a cheap gospel, which in fact is not the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is time we as Anabaptists quit being so ashamed and apologetic for our Biblical life-styles and conformity to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The need for IGo’s presence is more vital now than ever before. The world is changing. There are wars and rumors of wars on almost every continent. The night is fast approaching when no man can work. Let us lift up our hands if they are hanging down. Let’s enter the work, wherever we are.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the (religious man) first, and also to the (unbeliever).” Romans 1:16et it!

By Collier Berkshire, IGo Pastor in Residence (I Witness News/Winter 2009)

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