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THE PRIORITY OF THE GOSPEL IN A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO MISSION

A MORE ACCURATE WAY AND THE RELEVANCE OF CARL F. H. HENRY

ANTONIO SALGADO JR.

Throughout history, amidst famines, plagues and persecution, the church has been faced with many challenges. Especially when it came to managing two things, the proclamation of the gospel and helping the needy of society. These challenges in missions and ministry are not new. When the door of ministry opened to the gentiles in the book of Acts, things became even more complicated after Paul and Barnabas turned their focus to the gentiles in their mission work. It is generally true that when crossing the cultural divide, there will be challenges in Gospel proclamation and, for some, in identifying the details of the role of the church regarding societal problems and contextualization. There is no shortage of lost or suffering people around us so that certainly has not changed today.

If anything, the problem has only been compounded over the centuries as different cultural contexts continue to be penetrated with the light of the Gospel. It is beautiful and inspiring to know that the Gospel is being taken to the darkest and hardest of places, but these are real challenges to confront, along with ever-growing needs, especially when working with the poor. It can be difficult work, and in some ways it is easier to just preach than to actually get your hands dirty in serving the helpless in society on the front lines and out of your comfort zone. But not everyone’s conscience will allow them to be speakers of the Word alone when coming face to face with such great needs of fellow image-bearers. And questions about what exactly missionaries should or should not be doing have repeatedly come into the arena of debate. Therefore, this is a controversy that certainly sticks out to me. It is the seemingly never-ending debate between what is known as prioritism and holism.

Defining the terms

We must admit that the church has not always done very well at nuancing things in the past. Especially when developing a theology that properly allows for both sides of an issue such as this one. But before delving deeper into the matter at hand, perhaps we should take some time to define the terms a little better. Depending on who you talk to, people have different ideas when using the same words. What exactly is prioritism and what is holism? Are those the only two options? 

In an article from the Judson Center, Jay Flinn summarizes the history of the evangelical holistic mission debate. He writes, “In the ensuing decades, much has been written on the topic of holistic mission. Most of what has been written can be summarized into three primary positions related to the relationship of evangelism and social action in mission. One position retains the emphasis on evangelism and church planting with little regard to social action. A second position follows Stott’s model of evangelism as the primary mission with Christian social action a secondary partner. The third position considers social action as mission equally with evangelism. While there are variants to these positions and different terms may be used to describe them, the variants are ultimately defined by the relative priority and relationship of evangelism and social action to one another.”[1]

Understanding Prioritism

On one side of the issue are those who say the Gospel (and some include church planting with it) should always be the main thing. And they are right, it very well should be. A classic statement on prioritism by Donald McGarvan states: “A multitude of excellent enterprises lie around us. So great is the number and so urgent the calls, that Christians can easily lose their way among them, seeing them all equally as mission. But in doing good, they can fail of the best. In winning the preliminaries, they can lose the main game. They can be treating a troublesome itch, while the patient dies of cholera. The question of priorities cannot be avoided.”[2]

He makes a valid point. Those that hold to prioritism fear that some who hold to a more holistic approach have made the Gospel a secondary matter. Although we must acknowledge this is true of some, we also must beware of over-generalizing. Much of the confusion is due to the reinventing words to mean things other than what they originally meant. This only muddies the theological waters, causing confusion rather than bringing clarity to the issue. These days, many words like evangelism, gospel and mission can mean different things than they used to. So it is important that we examine these terms biblically, otherwise they have no limits in how they are used and can therefore lose all real meaning.

This most likely is a result, over time, of what is referred to as “mission drift.” The CEO of Edify said, “It’s the exception that an organization stays true to its mission. The natural course- the unfortunate natural evolution of many originally Christ-centered missions- is to drift.”[3]

In an issue of Evangelical Missions Quarterly there was a “symposium” published where five leaders were asked to articulate their views regarding the relationship between proclamation and social action, and only one presented a view approximating the prioritistic position.[4] (2012,264-271) This is quite unfortunate, considering that prior to the first Lausanne Congress in 1974, prioritism was the dominant view among evangelicals. To be sure, eternal matters take priority over temporal matters. The prioritists are correct in emphasizing the Gospel as the main focus of the mission. But for some on the far end of the spectrum (strict prioritists,) it has become pretty much the only thing. This is a gaping hole in their position. Due to a deficit in the theology of some, those who hold to prioritism are often accused of neglecting the commandment to love their neighbor in their attempt to be Gospel-centered. I agree that the Gospel is the priority and should be at the top of the list for all of us. Yet, ironically, many prioritists or of those who claim to be passionate about Christ can isolate themselves from the very communities they are trying to reach by showing little interest in their temporal human condition of suffering. This is interpreted by many as a lack of love, not only by the opposing perspective, but also by the lost community that is always watching. So we should not be so quick to completely dismiss the entire holistic approach to ministry. Some of the accusations toward strict prioritists are fair and should be addressed, always remembering that there do exist other, more balanced views between these two positions. Even John Stott eventually changed his views in favor of a more balanced, holistic approach to the Great Commission.

Understanding Holism

On the other side of the issue are those who do take a more holistic approach in their mission work. They claim to believe and preach the Gospel, too, which can make what they say seem contradictory.  C. Rene Padilla, who was very influential in convincing many to embrace a holistic approach to mission, said the following:

“Holistic mission is mission oriented towards the meeting of basic human needs, including the need of God, but also the need of food, love, housing, clothes, physical and mental health, and a sense of human dignity. Furthermore, this approach takes into account that people are spiritual, social, and bodily beings, made to live in relationship with God, with their neighbors, and with God’s creation. Consequently, it presupposes that it is not enough to take care of the spiritual well being of an individual without any regard for his or her personal relationships and position in society and in the world. As Jesus saw it, love for God is inseparable from love for our neighbor.”[5]

In my opinion, he isn’t wrong in saying that love for God is inseparable from love for our neighbor. Within this camp there are those who are accused of having another Gospel, a “social justice” gospel.  And to be sure, there are some in this camp who are not very Gospel-centered at all. In the worst of cases, they can be almost completely humanistic with little to no Gospel proclamation or sound Bible teaching. Some are distracted and are neglecting real biblical evangelism. However, there are some things that a strict prioritist can learn from them. They are usually very active in serving their communities, feeding the poor, defending the weak and the needy and doing good to their family of faith and their neighbors outside of the church. Although the gospel is an eternal and weightier matter, we must at least admit that these are good and important things that should not be ignored.  And not all who take a holistic approach to mission fit the description of “social justice warriors” or would not completely agree so rigidly on one category or the other. So as the debate goes on, the line continues to seem blurred for some as to how exactly these two things should fit together. 

An alternative?

We must be aware of and willing to admit the dangers of an extreme position on either side. This is simply one of the many areas of our theology, work, mission and ministry where we must learn to live in the tension and find a way to reconcile the two ideas, since both have biblical grounds. We certainly do not want to fall off either side of the divide. To do so, I believe, would be to fall into one kind of error or another. We must find a more biblical balance, and this is where Carl F. H. Henry is extremely helpful.

His credentials

Carl Henry is most relevant when it comes to this for the following reasons. He himself said he was indeed a prioritist yet held to the necessity of social concern as well. Henry was one of the founding architects of the modern U.S. Evangelical movement, and has probably said and written more about the topic than anyone else, being extremely influential “calling evangelicals to differentiate themselves from separatist fundamentalism and claim a role in influencing the wider American culture. He was involved in the creation of numerous major evangelical organizations, including the National Association of Evangelicals, Fuller Theological Seminary, Evangelical Theological Society, Christianity Today magazine (of which he was the founding editor), and the Institute for Advanced Christian Studies. The Carl F. H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity International University seek to carry on his legacy.”[6] His vision of the necessity of theological competence and cultural engagement remains among the more vibrant alternatives in our day. He was known for his commitment to theological rigors, his active engagement with the pressing social issues of our day, but also for having an unwavering commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His book “The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism” (1947) was a response to the separatist fundamentalist movement that inadvertently became a hindrance to its own cause of reaching the lost with the Gospel.

Henry spoke eloquently about what has long been disputed by theologians and missiologists on this topic. Henry himself had said that “these tensions now vex the church as never before in recent history.”[7]The issue has brought much division among evangelicals, especially since the fundamentalist-modernist controversy of the early twentieth century.

In an essay about Carl Henry and his “regenerational” model of evangelism and social concern, Jerry M. Ireland writes, “Fundamentalism responded to the human-centered social agenda of liberal theology by mostly withdrawing from cultural engagement and social action, rather than developing a more biblically balanced response to the social issues. Unfortunately, fundamentalism tended to truncate the gospel’s temporal relevance in favor of an exclusive focus on eternal matters.”[8] It is my humble suggestion that we should always do both.

Biblical warrant

The concern is a good one, to make and keep the Gospel as the priority.  However, with a quick look at the imperatives in Scripture, the life of Christ, and  the Apostle Paul’s example, one would have a difficult time presenting the case that concern for the suffering human condition of our neighbor and generosity towards them was optional. Jesus had “compassion on the multitudes.” Paul said he was “eager to help the poor,” and there are many other examples of why we should do good to the family of faith and to our neighbor. Below are just a few from the Old and New Testaments.

Old Testament Evidence

 Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. (Proverbs 22.9)

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. (Proverbs 14.31)

 Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. (Proverbs 21.13)

Proverbs 14.21 Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.

Proverbs 29.7 A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.

Proverbs 31.8-9 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Ezekiel 16.49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

(Did you catch that? The guilt of Sodom was not aiding the poor and needy!)

New Testament Evidence

Acts 20.35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Galatians 2.10  Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

Matthew 5.42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

1 John 3.17-18 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

James 1.27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…

Luke 14.12-14 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

Luke 12.33-34 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Luke 3.11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

We see the to need to bear the burden of the family of faith AND show love to our neighbor in word and in deed. The list of examples from Scripture can go on and on and on …

Historical Evidence

There is also evidence from history to consider. The impact of the early church continues to be visible in Western civilization today. Historians note that “by the Middle Ages, Christianity transformed societies for the better and continue to influence culture wherever its teachings spread. The charity encouraged by biblical teachings (Luke 10.30-37) eventually led to the founding of hospitals, orphanages, homes for the elderly and care for the poor, the hungry and the homeless. Even many of the greatest and most prominent universities of our day were originally founded for “Christian” purposes.”[11] 

Throughout history, the tendency of the church to extend compassion to those suffering and in need around them , was simply the fruit of Christians living out a transformed, Spirit-filled life in obedience to the Scriptures. They imitated the example of Christ, motivated by love for the One who loved us first, and who sacrificially gave Himself for us. In what way would this at all be a bad thing? With Scripture and history attesting to the pattern of bold Gospel proclamation AND compassion and generosity to others, why would it be any different for the church today? 

There is no need to debate whether or not the church should be generous to the family of faith. But there are those who think that we should not be distracted by societal problems or invest too much time or money in showing compassion to image-bearers outside the church.  Henry certainly had a unique eloquence when it came to reconciling this issue. At times he spoke the language of both camps. He held to maintaining the Gospel as a priority yet maintaining social concern as something important and necessary.

It is important to note that even though Henry’s model held both views as necessary, it doesn’t mean that both were equal. Henry was critical of liberal and secular fallacies regarding the benevolence of God. In the book Controversies in Missions, Jerry M. Ireland writes that “Henry finds a cause for concern among liberal and secular tendencies… and warns against confusing evangelism and social concern- or of reducing evangelism to merely attacking social or political evils. To do so is to commit the ultimate act of lovelessness, for it neglects humanity’s greatest need, namely personal redemption and supernatural regeneration.”[12]

Ireland also makes an important distinction when he says it is “slightly off base to say that evangelism and social concern are two wings of the same bird, or two sides of the same coin. For even Scripture never equates these two things as in such an overtly parallel manner, even though Scripture upholds the necessity and importance of both.”[13]  We must work out and live in the tension that exists there.

We should want more people to come to Christ. As a result of making disciples, more churches will eventually be planted. And historically, the church has been a means by which good naturally overflows to the world around it. It is a grace of God, a benefit of simply living in proximity to the people of God. Yet what happens in some churches over time is that the focus becomes much more inward, to what happens within the four walls of a building, and less time being salt and light to those around them. The evidence of this is seen in how little is designated for benevolence in the budgets of the average local church.  

Sadly, I personally know of missionaries who have realized the imbalance of the strict prioritist view and actually lost support from some churches, when due to an “uneasy conscience” of their own, as Henry would call it, they became more involved in helping meet the needs of those who they served in addition to the regular evangelism and preaching and teaching of the Word. They were rejected by some supporters who were strict prioritists when taking a more holisitic approach and becoming more involved in their communities. They were penalized for obeying God in loving their neighbor. 

When a missionary decides to obey the Scriptures in both areas in love for their neighbors, but then actually loses support from churches, this is not only tragic, it is madness! The Gospel must always remain the main thing, of course, but we must also learn to walk in the good works that we were prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2.10.) We are told to love, but not only in word, but in deed as well (1 John 3.18), and that our faith without works is dead. (James 2.26) 

Dare I say that when we justify our lack of compassion by saying that the greatest act of love is sharing the Gospel with people (which is indeed true), some may be attempting to hide some real laziness and apathy. May the Lord guard our hearts from such things and give us grace to do that which is most important without neglecting other necessary commands. 

Making evangelism a priority shouldn’t mean neglecting acts of compassion. Neither does a holistic approach have to mean the neglect of evangelism in any way.

Why not both?

The question is, why not both? Carl Henry considered himself a prioritist but clearly believed and taught that both were necessary tasks of the church. It is possible to preach a biblical Gospel, emplhasizing evangelism, training leaders and discipleship, while also serving your community, showing compassion to those suffering whenever possible.  It is unfortunate when those who maintain a better balance are accused of a “social Gospel” when Gospel proclamation is not being neglected, but rather a biblical command that was missing in ministry is simply added. We are called to be salt and light, doing good works so that others may glorify our Father in heaven. After all, a genuine faith is not merely intellectual and passive, but an active working faith. And in light of the biblical and historical evidence, this does indeed seem to be a more balanced and accurate way for doing missions, and ministry in general.

Ireland makes a point worth remembering when discussing these issues. He says that “it is important that we distinguish the Gospel itself from the demands of the Gospel and avoid equivocating the two if we are to be faithful to Scripture. When this is done, then we can advocate for both the priority of evangelism and for a robust Christian social concern.”[14]

He also uses a helpful illustration from everyday life to demonstrate this. He says, 

“Imagine if you had to go to a bank to make a deposit in order to pay your bills. Going to the bank would be the priority. Because if the paycheck is not deposited then the bills cannot be paid. Clearly one thing is a priority and must take place first, yet both remain necessary. I must deposit my check and I must pay my bills. The second thing depends on the first thing having taken place already and the priority of the first does not render the second as optional.”[15]

The same is true with evangelism and social concern, with loving your neighbor. And let us avoid seeking to justify ourselves by asking, “Who is my neighbor?”

Making evangelism a priority shouldn’t mean neglecting acts of compassion. Neither does a holistic approach mean the neglect of evangelism in any way. At this point, the terms prioritism and holism have taken on so much baggage and different meanings that they have almost been rendered useless, especially when it often cannot be agreed upon as to what they even mean. But when it comes to making Christ known through bold evangelism AND showing compassion and love to our neighbor, I say this is biblical New Testament Christianity.  So why not both?



[1]SCOTT MOREAU. Mission and missions. ED A. SCOTT MOREAU. Evangelical dictionary of world missions. Grand Rapids. Baker Academic, 2000.

[2] CHRISTOPHER R. LITTLE. The case for prioritism. SCHEUEREMANN, ROCHELLE and CATHCART. Controversies in mission: theology, people, and practice of mission in the 21st century. Pasadena. Scheuermann, Rochelle and Cathart, 2016. Loc 671-672. ISBN: 978-0-87808-892-8

[3] CHRISTOPHER R. LITTLE. The case for prioritism. SCHEUEREMANN, ROCHELLE and CATHCART. Controversies in mission: theology, people, and practice of mission in the 21st century. Pasadena. Scheuermann, Rochelle and Cathart, 2016. Loc 643. ISBN: 978-0-87808-892-8

[4] CHRISTOPHER R. LITTLE. The case for prioritism. SCHEUEREMANN, ROCHELLE and CATHCART. Controversies in mission: theology, people, and practice of mission in the 21st century. Pasadena. Scheuermann, Rochelle and Cathart, 2016. Loc 1112. ISBN: 978-0-87808-892-8

[5] CHRISTOPHER R. LITTLE. The case for prioritism SCHEUEREMANN, ROCHELLE and CATHCART. Controversies in mission: theology, people, and practice of mission in the 21st century. Pasadena. Scheuermann, Rochelle and Cathart, 2016. Loc 684. ISBN: 978-0-87808-892-8

[6] Wikipedia. Disponible en https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_F._H._Henry

[7] JERRY M. IRELAND. Concern and the promise of an evangelical consensus. SCHEUEREMANN, ROCHELLE and CATHCART. Controversies in mission: theology, people, and practice of mission in the 21st century. Pasadena. Scheuermann, Rochelle and Cathart, 2016. Loc 1129-1130. ISBN: 978-0-87808-892-8

[8] JERRY M. IRELAND. Concern and the promise of an evangelical consensus. SCHEUEREMANN, ROCHELLE and CATHCART. Controversies in mission: theology, people, and practice of mission in the 21st century. Pasadena. Scheuermann, Rochelle and Cathart, 2016. Loc 1134. ISBN: 978-0-87808-892-8

[9] JERRY M. IRELAND. Concern and the promise of an evangelical consensus. SCHEUEREMANN, ROCHELLE and CATHCART. Controversies in mission: theology, people, and practice of mission in the 21st century. Pasadena. Scheuermann, Rochelle and Cathart, 2016. Loc 1380. ISBN: 978-0-87808-892-8

[10] JERRY M. IRELAND. Concern and the promise of an evangelical consensus. SCHEUEREMANN, ROCHELLE and CATHCART. Controversies in mission: theology, people, and practice of mission in the 21st century. Pasadena. Scheuermann, Rochelle and Cathart, 2016. Loc 1380. ISBN: 978-0-87808-892-8

[11] TOMMORROW’S WORLD. How “Christianity” changed the world. Disponible en https://www.tomorrowsworld.org/magazines/2016/november-december/how-christianity-changed-the-world

[12]JERRY M. IRELAND. Carl F. H. Henry’s regenerational model of evangelism and social concern and the promise of an evangelical consensus. SCHEUEREMANN, ROCHELLE and CATHCART. Controversies in mission: theology, people, and practice of mission in the 21st century. Pasadena. Scheuermann, Rochelle and Cathart, 2016. Loc 1288-1296. ISBN: 978-0-87808-892-8

[13]JERRY M. IRELAND. Carl F. H. Henry’s regenerational model of evangelism and social concern and the promise of an evangelical consensus. SCHEUEREMANN, ROCHELLE and CATHCART. Controversies in mission: theology, people, and practice of mission in the 21st century. Pasadena. Scheuermann, Rochelle and Cathart, 2016. Loc 1296-1303. ISBN: 978-0-87808-892-8

[14]JERRY M. IRELAND. Carl F. H. Henry’s regenerational model of evangelism and social concern and the promise of an evangelical consensus. SCHEUEREMANN, ROCHELLE and CATHCART. Controversies in mission: theology, people, and practice of mission in the 21st century. Pasadena. Scheuermann, Rochelle and Cathart, 2016. Loc 1387-1394. ISBN: 978-0-87808-892-8

[15]JERRY M. IRELAND. Carl F. H. Henry’s regenerational model of evangelism and social concern and the promise of an evangelical consensus. SCHEUEREMANN, ROCHELLE and CATHCART. Controversies in mission: theology, people, and practice of mission in the 21st century. Pasadena. Scheuermann, Rochelle and Cathart, 2016. Loc 1394-1402. ISBN: 978-0-87808-892-8

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UNA VACUNA CONTRA LA MUERTE


Por: Victor Dominguez

El concepto de iglesia ha sido manejado de diferentes maneras a través de los tiempos, eso lo podemos percibir en las diferentes denominaciones evangélicas más comunes y conocidas.Ahora bien, no importa qué tipo de iglesia sea, o lo diferentes que puedan ser en sus doctrinas o creencias a enseñar a sus miembros, o más importante, cual es el centro de su fe, todas tienden a tener algo en común, y el punto común es que en la actualidad la gran mayoría miden el éxito de sus ministerios por la cantidad de miembros existentes, por la cantidad de miembros que pueden aumentar anualmente, agregando a esto, el aumento en su cartera económica y la autonomía que esta le puede brindar para poder crecer en cuanto a espacio físico, equipos y cualquier otra necesidad o pseudo necesidad.

Quiero destacar que querer crecer y tener un templo hermoso, grande, con instrumentos y equipos de sonido profesional, sillas cómodas, aire acondicionado, pantallas de proyección 4k, buen parqueo, entre otros; no es pecado y que ninguno de estos parámetros es perjudicial, por el contrario, son muy buenos, excelentes diría yo, pero, solo siempre y cuando nuestro mayor anhelo de corazón no sea lograr esto, sino que el mayor anhelo sea llevar el verdadero evangelio de Cristo a los perdidos, este debe ser el foco y meta de cada verdadera iglesia que se haga llamar cristiana, centrar sus mensajes a la luz de las Escrituras de manera Cristocéntricas, y permitir que los demás complementos, como los citados anteriormente, lleguen de acuerdo a la voluntad de Cristo.

De manera que, si podemos voltear al inicio, a la raíz, es donde vemos que la primera iglesia, no cesaba de predicar el evangelio (“Y todos los días, en el templo y por las casas, no cesaban de enseñar y predicar a Jesucristo” Hechos 5:42), la iglesia primitiva no solo pensaba en las reuniones o asambleas, no era la única prioridad, a pesar de ser necesaria. Claro que en estas asambleas se podían ver las necesidades de algunos miembros, y cuales miembros estaban preparados para ejecutar una función designada, es decir habían sido discipulados, esto no para mostrar que eran una iglesia grande en número, sino para ver capacidades (Dones y talentos) para dividir el trabajo, de manera que el evangelio no dejara de ser llevado a los demás y cuidar de no perder en el proceso lo que define ser un cristiano, es decir no negando la ayuda al necesitado, sirviendo como Jesús lo hizo con nosotros, de otra manera seria dando por gracia lo que por gracia habían recibo, amando a Dios por sobre todas las cosas… y amando al prójimo, como Cristo nos amó a nosotros.

Por lo cual, podemos decir que amamos a Dios por sobre todas las cosas cuando lo obedecemos y nos sometemos a Su Palabra y es en ese mismo sentido donde amamos al prójimo como Cristo nos amó, y la evidencia de esto se expone en el siguiente mandato(“Por tanto, id y haced discípulos a todas las naciones, bautizándolos en el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo” Mateo 28:19). Este versículo es la brújula que muestra el norte para cualquier iglesia que rece que tiene una doctrina centrada en Cristo, ya que, al cumplir con este mandato, muestra la obediencia a nuestro Salvador y el interés por los prójimos, los perdidos, que se encuentran en el mundo.

Por lo tanto, si entendemos bien donde fijar el timón para alcanzar puerto, podremos encargarnos de las necesidades de los demás hermanos, sin desviarnos del destino final (llevar el evangelio a todas las naciones), tal como nos muestra hechos 6, cuando se presentaron otras necesidades al momento crecer la iglesia y recibir las viudas, ellos debieron dividir el trabajo, encomendando el trabajo adicional a hombres de Dios, llenos del Espíritu Santo para encargarse de las demás necesidades, así los discípulos seguían predicando la palabra y el Señor seguiría añadiendo cada día a la iglesia los que habían de ser salvos.

Y es este aspecto que me da espacio para presentar el siguiente punto; la primera iglesia no tenía un enfoque implosivo, o sea su intención no era atraer sino por el contrario, tenía una intención expansiva, expandirse hasta los confine de la tierra, lo cual continúasiendo un mandato activo en la actualidad; por demás está decir que las personas que se añadían cada día a la “iglesia” no está hablando de un templo especifico, sino al cuerpo de Cristo. Quien es la roca de nuestra fe y plataforma para la expansión de cualquier ministerio.

Ahora bien, partiendo del hecho de que las iglesias deben tratar de llegar a otros, sin importar las distancias, quiero enfocar la siguiente analogía a ese aspecto, en la actualidad en nuestro país a los niños recién nacidos o de meses de edad, se les debe llevar a puntos específicos llamados centros de vacunación para recibir las vacunas necesarias de acuerdo a su edad para protección o prevención de algunas enfermedades, pero, y esto es muy importante, cuando hay un brote o posible brote de una enfermedad, vemos como es enviado un grupo de personas a diferentes sectores y/o ciudades para poder llevar las vacunas a la mayor cantidad de necesitados. Es en ese sentido donde he enfocado el título de este artículo, una vacuna contra la muerte.  

Edward Jenner, acuño el término Vacuna a partir de su descubrimiento sobre la viruela bovina (ganado vacuno) y sus efectos positivos en su uso sobre la viruela del ser humano, así que de ahí el termino Vacuna, término que reforzó Luis Pasteur, alegando que debía emplearse para todo tipo de dosis o inoculaciones para proteger o prevenirenfermedades específicas, visto desde la perspectiva científica sabemos que las vacunas en su mayoría están compuestas por virus tratados los cuales desarrollan anticuerpos para prevenir y proteger de diferentes afecciones.

Es por esta razón que creo que podemos ver a la iglesia como la vacuna contra muerte eterna, si analizamos la vida de cada creyente, sabemos con seguridad que éramos parte de la enfermedad del mundo (el pecado), éramos parte del problema, como nos he revelado a través de 1 Corintios 6:9-11, éramos parte del virus que ha consumido y aun consume sociedades, sin embargo al igual que las vacunas, fuimos extraídos del mal (elegidos por la gracia Dios), recibimos el tratamiento especial (fuimos lavados a través del sacrificio de Cristo), recibiendo la purificación por medio de Él, y renovados (regenerados por medio del Espíritu Santo), llegando a ser gracias  este proceso la vacuna perfecta para inocular en los no creyentes el evangelio de salvación, teniendo como fin, que quien haya aceptado la vacuna (el Evangelio de Cristo) quedara provisto por la fe que Dios da, por justificación a través de Cristo y por la renovación a través del Espíritu Santo de una protección contra la muerte eterna venidera destinada a todos aquellos que no estén vacunados (los que no reciban el evangelio de salvación).

Entonces, la prioridad de cada iglesia no debe ser, ver cómo puedo aumentar la membresía, sino como la membresía que tengo puede alcanzar a los demás, debemos salir del templo y ocuparnos de inocular a la mayor cantidad de no creyentes, haciendo discípulos no solo para que forme parte de mi iglesia, sino para que conozca el prescriptivo de la vacuna, y sea preparado  para poder llevarla a otros (esto es conocer a profundidad el evangelio puro, y pueda compartir con otros la sana doctrina).

En conclusión, si priorizamos de manera correcta las necesidades de cada iglesia, entenderemos que la necesidad primaria es la de compartir el evangelio, y para esto debemos preparar bien a los miembros que ya están y a los nuevos creyentes para que sean discípulos, de manera que entiendan que el ser llamados discípulos no es solo una bendición, sino, que conlleva una responsabilidad de alcanzar a otros y hacerlos discípulos también.

Victor Dominguez es el pastor de la Iglesia Bautista de Hato Mayor en Santiago de los Caballeros, República Dominicana

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BCMS New Video

A video of a trip to Haiti to visit with a brother we support (Leonel) who works as an evangelist in the community of his local church. The trip was to establish these relationships with other men who desire in depth teaching and to set dates and places for future workshops. We were also there to take Bibles for Leonel to distribute, encourage him and leave him some other resources as well. Pray for this partnership across borders.

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Updates and Prayer Requests

Greetings brothers and sisters,

Thank you for your prayers and support. Just a few weeks ago I was in Haiti visiting with brother Leonel. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, encouragement, planning and meeting with several other brothers. Thanks to your donations, I was able to make the trip in the first place, and also take him a case of Bibles and some other resources. We spent three busy but very fruitful days there. My deepest desire was to encourage this brother that we care for so very much. Even being completely aware of his difficult situation in ministry and even daily life, in the end it was I who came out encouraged, blessed and challenged.

Asking him many questions, catching up on everything, praying with him and hearing about his daily habits and encounters with those he shares the Gospel with, it made me thankful just to be able to partner with his brother in the small way that we do. His prayer life is convicting, his faithfulness and willingness a rare treasure. Please continue to lift up brother Leonel in prayer who truly is doing the work of an evangelist there in Ounaminthe, Haiti.

The brothers there are asking when we will return and we are looking forward to our next trip with great anticipation. Lord willing in October we will be there for at least a couple of days with some brothers from here (DR) to preach and teach on a few topics in at least three different locations we arranged while we were there. Please pray for that trip to be edifying to the church there and glorifying to God above all else.

During my stay in Haiti, (though this part was not planned beforehand), an elder asked me to preach on Sunday at the church there in Savange Longe. It was short notice (Saturday late afternoon) and the Haitian culture is somewhat particular in many places on how they dress for church. So not having the appropriate dress for the place had me a bit concerned with being a stumbling block or at least a distraction to those I would be speaking to. Since I am already a foreigner, I wanted them to hear me and not be distracted by my different clothing and appearance. He assured me it would not be a problem, so I agreed. I am glad that I did. The Lord seemed to have used the message and Leonel’s translation. Praise God for His grace!

From what I could discern, it went well and they received me with much love. I did go way over on the time given me allotted for the preaching part of the service, but no one seemed to have noticed or seemed to care. They even asked me to go on 10 or 15 minutes more (after the sermon) about what we would teach and why preparing men was so important! Some men came up afterwards to speak with me interested in the future visits and asking other questions about the message. That door is definitely open for us now, and it is always a blessing to be received well by other brothers and sisters, knowing that because of that common bond we have in Christ, we will always have family to visit there that will receive us and care for us.

I am meeting with brother Daniel (a BCMS supported brother) and a couple of other brothers here in the Dominican Republic. We are trying to meet at least every two weeks from now on to regularly pray with and encourage one another, and get into the Word together. We also have another pastor who confirmed his participation on the next visit to Haiti and others who seem interested in joining us on future trips. Lord willing, beginning in early 2020 brothers from the States will also be joining us in the teaching as we work towards a more consistent schedule of visitations and rotation of teaching both here and there. Lord willing, we will soon have a date for a workshop for pastors we know of, of several smaller churches in and around the city here in Santiago. Please pray for that as well.

Unfortunately, we are still experiencing setbacks and there are things we cannot yet accomplish due to insufficient funds. There are resources we need to purchase and the other normal expenses that go with any ministry. Traveling to them is a must, and the cost of fuel here is double of that in the States. Books and Bibles are heavy and expensive to ship internationally. Some of the brothers we will be serving are very poor and we want to be able to feed them during our time together since even the cost of transportation for them to come to us is often a sacrifice for them.

Almost everything in ministry costs money, this is no surprise. Sadly though, many seem to have a strange concept that there is one standard for churches back home in the States, but that churches, missionaries and their ministries in other countries don’t really need as much.


In the past, some churches have even attempted to send young people to preach here in the local church we serve. Some may think this is ok. But what I found very interesting was that these were young inexperienced people, who’s pastors/elders back home wouldn’t trust their very own pulpit to.

But somehow it’s ok for them to to be trusted to preach to God’s people in churches in other countries? Why is this? Where does this thinking come from? Because it’s the mission field? Because they (people in other countries) are different? Because perhaps they don’t know as much?
Are small mission churches somehow not as important or not to be taken as seriously as larger more formal and richer U.S. churches? Are they somehow less important or less Christian than we are?? I am not sure why this mindstate seems to be so prevalent or even acceptable. Sure many wouldn’t word it this way, but it does happen, people think this way and it is very troubling. This also serves to reveal something about us.

Are we really saying that there is one standard for us and another for them? Is this not the sin of partiality that James warns us about? If this sounds terrible, it’s because it most certainly is. Is this a correct, biblical and God honoring way to view missions and to love our brothers and sisters abroad? To say it nicely, probably not.

These are tiny things that a church of any size, can help with. A large church can support one or more men themselves or do much more, smaller churches or a group of churches back home can take this on as a project. Even if just twenty smaller churches could give another $100 a month would help us tremendously. If only 4 or 5 larger churches could give $500 monthly, these needs could quickly and easily be met. This is an amount ($100) that many individuals can even handle. In our experience it is usually those individuals who are usually more willing to give on their own than churches as a whole are. A combination of both would help us reach our goal and give us the resources needed to do so much more. Please pray about getting involved in this. We invite you to even visit with us, meet these men and see what the Lord is doing here.

Some have different needs than others, some can be helped with very little, and some others are just too far for me to go right now until we have the funds to cover those specific trips. We are praying that others would join us in this effort and commit as ministry partners through prayer and financial support in order to be able to do more. Would you pray about helping?

The donations made to BCMS go toward working missionaries, evangelists and teachers on the field. There is only the very minimal cost of processing fees to get the funds to us. Just 2% through check or online giving through CMC (recommended). Through PayPal it is just $0.30 per transaction, plus 5.4% of the amount received but we recommend this mostly for emergencies or one time gifts. For a tax write off you must give through CMC.

This is the best way to get the majority of each donation given directly to the mission field. Unfortunately there is no getting around this, yet it is small in comparison to some “sending organizations” that for only receiving and processing funds for missionaries take up to 14% -20% of each donation. Out of the money donated to the larger well known mission agencies, only about one to two cents on the dollar actually make it to the field.

We as an organization do our very best to get as much of the money as possible to the field to meet the needs of our workers. All the information on how to give to this ministry can be found by simply clicking on the “donate” page of this site, or clicking here :https://biblicalchristianms.org/?page_id=2

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. We ask that you pray and share these needs with other believers and churches. The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few. But for those that the Lord is already raising up, together we can partner with them. To God alone be the glory.

In Service to our King,

Antonio Salgado Jr.

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La Verdadera Misión de las “misiones” (en español)


Luchando por un entendimiento mas preciso Parte I

¿Que son las misiones? ¿Cuál es la tarea del misionero?

Puede ser una palabra popular pero a la vez malentendida entre los cristianos. Todos hemos escuchado términos como “misiones locales,” “misiones internacionales,” “mentalidad misionera,” “viajes misioneros,” etc. Pero creo que debemos por lo menos tratar de definir los términos cuando explicando cualquier tema. Especialmente cuando sospechamos que puede significar algo más para otras personas. Vivimos en un mundo con una sobreabundancia de información donde las aguas han sido ciertamente enturbiado cuando se trata de las definiciones de terminos. Esto ha convertido la comunicación en algo mucho mas difícil en nuestros tiempos.

Debemos querer que otros tengan una idea clara de lo que queremos decir por nuestro uso de una palabra. Ya que otra persona puede utilizar la misma palabra, pero para ellos significa algo diferente y más alla de lo que debe. Esto pasa todo el tiempo. Así que vamos a tratar de definir los términos por adelantado en este primer artículo con respeto a el tema de “misiones.” En los siguientes artículos , veremos más a la relación entre un misionero, la iglesia que envía el misionero, y la iglesia(s) que apoya(n).

Cuando pensamos en los muchos sermones que hemos oido predicados, ¿a quien mencionan más, cuando se refiere a este tema de misiones?

¿Quien en la biblia te llega a la mente cuando usted piensa en las misiones?

¿Será Pedro, o Juan? Probablemente no.

La mayoría de la gente automáticamente piensan en …pues, Pablo por supuesto. Hay una razón por eso.

Es clave que entendamos que Pablo cruzó barreras culturales con el Evangelio. Él fue a los “ethnos,” a las naciones, a otros tipos de personas.

Probablemente, Pablo es más recordado como “el misionero” porque hay mucho en el Nuevo Testmento acerca de su viajes misioneros. Pero es importante que también recordamos que él era específicamente el apóstol a los gentiles. Los otros apóstoles más o menos se quedaron ministrando entre los judíos, a personas iguales a ellos. Sin embargo Pablo salió a personas diferentes de sí mismo. Y aunque también predicó a judíos, por lo general y en la mayor parte de su ministerio, él fue a los lugares donde la gente se veían diferentes y tenían una cosmovision y cultura diferente. Es clave que entendamos que Pablo cruzó barreras culturales con el Evangelio. Él fue a los “ethnos,” a las naciones, a otros tipos de personas.

Al menos, tenemos que admitir que definitivamente hay otro elemento diferente en el ministerio de Pablo a los gentiles, en comparación con judíos con ministerios a judíos en Jerusalén. Repito, Pablo cruzó barreras culturales con el Evangelio. Él fue a las naciones (ethnos), a otros tipos de personas. A la luz de esto, se podria decir que las verdaderas misiones deben incluir evangelismo y el discipulado en un contexto cultural diferente del nuestro.

En lo que se conoce como la gran Comisión que se encuentran en Mateo 28:18 – 20, Jesús dice lo siguiente:

..”Toda autoridad Me ha sido dada en el cielo y en la tierra. Vayan, pues, y hagan discípulos de todas las naciones (ethnos), bautizándolos en el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo, enseñándoles a guardar todo lo que les he mandado; y ¡recuerden (he aquí)! Yo estoy con ustedes todos los días, hasta el fin del mundo.” -Mateo‬ ‭28:18-20‬ ‭NBL

El mandato del Señor es ir, y hacer discípulos de todas las ἔθνος

Esta palabra significa: una raza, gente, nación, las naciones, gentiles (no judíos).

“Se puede decir que las las verdaderas misiones deben incluir evangelismo y el discipulado en un contexto cultural diferente del nuestro.”

La gran Comisión en este texto es “la misión” a cual los cristianos se refieren cuando hablamos de “misiones.” Estas palabras de Jesús son la razón por cual hacemos misiones. Y si es asi, entonces tiene sentido que debemos entenderlas bien.

Pero a la luz del claro mandato de Cristo, ¿usamos este término correctamente? Un muchos casos, creo que no.

En primer lugar, debo decir que creo que la mayoría de las personas trabajando en “misiones” tienen los mejores de intenciones, y yo ciertamente admiro y respeto su voluntad y gozo en servir al Señor. Tengo nada más que un gran amor y respeto hacia ellos por sus esfuerzos. Pero la verdadera “misión” de la Gran Comisión es específicamente llevar el Evangelio y hacer discípulos no solo de nuestra nación, sino también de personas de otras naciones.

Debemos evangelizar y discípular nuestra propia gente por supuesto, pero no sólo la nuestra. Y no creo que las Escrituras nos permiten tal lujo de tener un enfoque de solamente “misiones locales” o solamente “misiones internacionales.” Cada iglesia local debe esforzarse para participar en la proclamacion del Evangelio en su cultura y en otras culturas. Ya sea en ir, o en enviar, o en apoyo financiero, en orando con frequencia por las misiones, etc. Pero sin duda debemos estar involucrados y comprometidos, en tanto el ministerio local y misiones internacionales de alguna manera.

“Estas palabras de Jesús son la razón por cual hacemos misiones. Y si es asi, entonces tiene sentido que debemos entenderlas bien.”

También es importante entender que el que tiene toda autoridad en el cielo y en la tierra, no quizo darnos solo una sugerencia. La Gran Comisión no es un mendigo suplicando por un favor, ¡Es el Rey de reyes dando Sus ordenes!

En misiones extranjeras o internacionales, el llamado es alcanzar y hacer seguidores de Cristo de las personas que son diferente a nosotros. Yendo a diferentes naciones geopolíticas, con diferencias etno-lingüísticas y culturales obvias. Podríamos decir que lo que muchos llaman “misiones locales” en realidad es solamente evangelismo, y /o algún otro tipo de ministerio. Pero según el mandato, debe ser evangelismo y discipulado en otro contexto cultural. Ahora, esa definición probablemente podría ser ampliada, pero por ahora, vamos a decir que en un mínimo, misiones como vemos en las Escrituras es llegar a otras culturas con el Evangelio.

“Hay necesidad de ser más prudentes y más precisos en cómo describimos y definimos las cosas.”

Quizás algunos dirán, “no puedo ver como este detalle es tan importante.” Pero yo diría que es MUY importante que hacemos tal distinción. Debemos definir los términos. Porque se utiliza términos como “misiones locales,” cuando a menudo se refieren a actividades que realmente no son misiones. Solo estamos haciendo “misiones locales” si cruzamos esas barreras culturales con el Evangelio a nivel local.

Por ejemplo, si usted está en una comunidad predominantemente blanco en los estado unidos, y estás intencionalmente tratando de llegar a las poblaciones de gente de otras culturas que te rodean, tales como los hispanos, asiáticos, árabes, etc., (gente de otra etnicidad ), eso es hacer misiones locales. Pero cualquier otra cosa es, pues… otra cosa, tan bueno y necesario que sea. Hay necesidad de ser más prudentes y más precisos en cómo describimos y definimos las cosas.

Puede ser evangelismo, ¡absolutamente esencial!
Debemos predicar el Evangelio a todo el mundo. Pero por lo general eso sucede naturalmente donde vivimos y en lugares cercas con personas que son parte de nuestra vida cotidiana.

Puede ser ayudando victimas de desastres naturales, ¡amén! Debemos llegar y servir aquellos que están sufriendo y necesitan nuestra ayuda. Esto no es sólo lo correcto que hacer, pero también nos abre hasta nuevas oportunidades para compartir el Evangelio con las personas que no están en nuestro inmediato círculo de influencia.

“Podemos pensar que estamos participando en la gran comisión, cuando en realidad, solo estamos haciendo una parte de lo que debemos estar haciendo.”

Pero por favor, no me malinterpretan. De ninguna manera estoy tratando de minimizar la importancia de esos ministerios y /o otros importantes actos de servicio Cristiano. Son ejemplos de ministerios buenos y necesarios. Solo que esos ministerios deben ser llamados por sus nombres correctos. No presentados como misiones si no tienen ese elemento multi cultural como indicado por nuestro Señor.

Ok, ¿Y qué? ¿Por qué es tan importante definir las misiones de esta manera?

Si no hacemos esta distinción, podemos fallar de gran manera en esta área. Porque si llamamos algo “misiones” que no incluye participación en la real “misión” (ministerio multi cultural), vamos a pensar que actualmente estamos haciendo lo que estamos llamados a hacer. Podemos pensar que estamos participando en la gran comisión, cuando en realidad, solo estamos haciendo una parte de lo que debemos estar haciendo .

“Este trabajo es definitivamente el trabajo de la iglesia local.”

¿Por qué? Por que hemos estado llamándolo otra cosa que realmente no es. Por eso es importante definir los términos. Somos llamados a evangelizar a nuestras comunidades. Pero también somos llamados a las naciones (ethnos).

Podemos hacer esto por medio de la capacitación, o podemos ir nosotros mismos. Podemos hacerlo por medio de ayudar en enviar misioneros. Eso implica mucha oración, compromiso, apoyo financiero y comunicación. Pero cuando la iglesia hace que una persona lleva el Evangelio a otra cultura, con el fin de hacer discípulos… entonces allí es cuando la iglesia ha participado en misiones en el sentido más biblico.

Este trabajo es definitivamente el trabajo de la iglesia local. Es la voluntad de Dios, y es la forma en que Dios ha ordenado para llamar a gente de cada tribu, lengua y nación a Sí mismo, mientras que Él glorifica Su nombre entre las naciones! Cristo esta edificando Su iglesia, preparando Su novia y Él nos ha invitado a participar como embajadores en esta maravillosa obra de reconciliación. El mandato es para cada creyente. ¡Es un honor poder servir a nuestros Rey de esta manera! Dios en Su bondad, llama enemigos y los hace parte de Su familia como hijos e hijas y nos permite servirle en este Santo trabajo. Debemos entender que esto es un privilegio más que se trata de un sacrificio.

Pero esta idea de las misiones en un contexto extranjero también requiere de un sistema de apoyo. Una importante asociación entre la iglesia local (y en la mayoría de los casos, otras iglesias apoyando son necesarias), el misionero y el voluntario “Epafrodito.” Ese hermano, compañero, soldado y obrero, que visita, consuela, anima y trae recursos a el misionero.

Voy a intentar de explicar como debe funcionar esta asociación en el siguiente artículo utilizando un ejemplo de las Escrituras desde Filipenses. Gracia y la paz.

Escrito por Antonio Salgado Jr.

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The Real Mission in “missions”

Striving for a more accurate understanding Part I

What are missions? What is mission work?

It can be a buzz word of sorts in christian circles. We have all heard terms like “local missions,” “foreign missions,” “mission minded,” “mission trips,” etc. I think we should try to define the terms when explaining any given topic when we suspect it can mean something else to others. We live in a world of so much information that the waters have certainly been muddied when it comes to defining things. This makes communication difficult and unprofitable sometimes. We should want others to have a clear understanding of what we mean by our use of any given word . Because someone else may use the same word and mean something else by it. It happens all the time. So let´s try to define the terms upfront in this first article as we think about the topic of missions.

In the following ones, we will look more at the partnership between a missionary and the sending/supporting church(es).

“..we should try to define the terms when explaining any given topic when we at least suspect it can mean something else to others.”

As we think about the many sermons we have all heard, who do we hear mentioned most in regards to this topic? Who pops into your mind first when you think of missions? Is it Peter or John? Maybe, but I’d have to say probably not. Most people would automatically think..Paul of course. There is a reason for this.

Paul is most likely remembered as “the missionary” because there is much in the New Testament about his missionary journeys. But it’s important that we also remember that he was specifically the Apostle to the gentiles. The other Apostles pretty much stayed ministering among Jews, their same people group. While Paul went out to the gentiles, people different from himself. Although he also preached to Jews, generally he went to places where the people looked different and had a different worldview and culture.

“Paul crossed cultural lines with the Gospel. He went to the “ethnos,” to the nations, to other kinds of people.”

We must at least admit that there is definitely a different element about Paul’s mission to the gentiles, in comparison to Jews preaching the Gospel to other Jews in Jerulsalem. Paul crossed cultural lines with the Gospel. He went to the etne/ ethnos, to the nations, to other kinds of people.

In what is known as the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18 – 20, Jesus says the following:

..“All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations (πάντα τὰ ἔθνη) baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have
commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

So the Lord’s orders are to go, and make disciples of all the ἔθνος

This word can mean:
a race, people, nation; the nations, Gentiles (non Jews).

UThe Great Commission in this text, is the mission that believers refer to when we talk about “missions.” This is where the concept comes from. But in light of the clear command of Christ we must ask, are we always using this term correctly? Oftentimes I´m afraid not. I must say first of all that I believe most people have the best of intentions and I certainly commend their willingness to serve the Lord. I have nothing but love and respect for that.

“..in light of the clear command of Christ we must ask, are we always using this term correctly?”


But the actual “mission” of the Great Commission is to specifically take the Gospel and make disciples of people from other nations. We must evangelize and disciple our own people too of course, but not only ours. I don’t think the Scriptures allow us such a luxury of choosing an “either / or” approach when it comes to missions. Every local church should strive to be involved in Gospel proclamation at home and over seas. Whether it be in going, sending, supporting, praying, whatever it may be. But certainly involved and committed, in both local ministry and foreign missions in some way.

There should also be an understanding that He who has all authority in heaven and on earth
was not just giving us a suggestion. It wasn’t a beggar’s plea, it was a King’s command!

“..actual missions would be evangelism and discipleship in a different cultural context than your own.”

In foreign missions, the call is to reach and make Christ followers of people who are unlike ourselves. Crossing geographical, ethno-linguistic
and obvious cultural boundaries. It could be said that what many call “local missions” is actually evangelism, and/or some other type of ministry. But according to the command, actual missions would be evangelism and discipleship in a
different cultural context than your own
. Now, that definition could probably be broadened or worded better, but for now let’s say that at a minimum, missions as we see in Scripture is crossing cultural lines with the Gospel.

“Every local church should strive to be involved in Gospel proclamation at home and over seas.”

Some may not see that as too significant. But I would argue that it is very important that we make such a distinction. We must define the terms.
Because when we use terms like “local missions,” when we often refer to activities that aren’t really missions at all. You are only doing “local missions” if we are crossing those cultural barriers with the Gospel locally.

For example, if you are in a predominantly white community in the U.S., and are intentionally trying to reach nearby populations of people from other cultures such as hispanics, asians, etc, (people of another ethnos), we should consider that doing local missions. But anything else is well, something else, as good and glorifying to God as it may be. We just need to be more cautious and more accurate about how we define things.

“You are only doing local missions if we are crossing those cultural barriers with the Gospel locally.”

It may be evangelism…absolutely essential! We must preach the Gospel everywhere to everyone. But this usually plays out most naturally where we
live and in the surrounding area with people that are involved our daily life.

It may be disaster relief…amen! We should come to the rescue of those suffering and in need. This is not only the right thing to do, but it also opens us
up to new opportunities to share the Gospel with people who are not in our immediate circle of influence.

Please don’t misinterpret me. In no way am I trying to downplay the importance of these ministries and/or other important acts of Christian service. It’s another kind of good and necessary local ministry. It just isn’t missions if it doesn’t involve that intentional cross cultural element as stated by our Lord.

“We just need to be more cautious and more accurate about how we define things.”

Ok, so what? Why is it so important to define missions this way? If we don’t make this distinction, we can miss the mark in this area. Because if we call something “missions” that is not involving the actual mission (cross cultural ministry), we will think we are doing what we are called to do. We may think we are participating in the real mission when we are actually only doing part of what we should be doing (commanded to do). Why? Because we have been calling it something by a term that it really isn’t. Defining the terms is important.

We are called to evangelize the community around us. But the church is also called to the nations (ethnos). We can do that through equipping or through going ourselves. We may do that through sending which means commitment, funding and communication. But when the church does that, and a person takes the gospel across cultural lines to a different people, for the purpose of making disciples, then the church has participated in missions in the most biblical sense.

“..we have been calling it (local ministry) something else that it really isn’t. Defining the terms is important.“

This is definitely the work of the local church, it is the will of God, and it is the way that God has ordained to call people from every tribe, tongue and nation unto Himself while making His name great among the nations! Christ is building His church, preparing His bride and has invited us into this work. This is for all who name the name of Christ. It is an honor to serve our King in this way! It is in God’s kindness that He brings former enemies into His family as sons and daughters and allows us to serve Him in this holy work. Let us understand that this is a privilege more than it is a sacrifice.

This idea of missions in a foreign context also necessitates a support system. An important partnership between the local church (in most cases, other supporting churches are necessary too), the missionary and the willing “Epaphroditus.” The fellow soldier and worker, the visiting messenger and minister to the missionary’s need. In the following articles, I will attempt to explain what that kind of partnership looks like using an example in Scripture from Philippians.

Grace and peace.


Written by Antonio Salgado Jr.

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CHRIST IS THE CENTER

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures. -Luke 24:25-27 CSB


For if you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. – John 5:46 CSB

There is much online among Christians who use the term, “Christ centered.” Many books, sermons, songs. But what does it mean, and exactly why is it used so much? Why so much emphasis? Perhaps the most important question is, is it biblical to give so much emphasis to the person and work of Christ? This theme is one that is simple but at the same time very deep and has to do with the theology of “fulfillment.” And this is a subject that even the Old Testament itself gives priority. It is also the message that John the Baptist preached, Jesus and the apostles preached, and it is the theme that is at the very heart of the gospel.


The Apostle Paul declared that Jesus came when the time was fulfilled, the perfect time. At least this implies that there was a time of preparation. The preparation of something big, Someone very important that was anticipated. In God’s redemptive plan and progressive revelation, everything that had happened had its purpose and goal of pointing to and exalting Christ. The era of Moses pointed to this time of fulfillment and emphasized that coming moment. The arrival of the Son of God indicated the culmination of that time. Up to this point in history, this had been the goal of EVERYTHING that had happened in the past.


The Lord promised on several occasions a Redeemer, a Savior, the Messiah, the true and greater prophet and lawgiver. All types and shadows in the Old Testament were only shadows of the One to come.


As one pastor rightly said, “It can be said that there has never been a true king, a true prophet, a true judge, a true teacher. Because in a sense, all of the past were nothing more than shadows of the True One, the Lord Jesus Christ!”


From Genesis to Malachi there are some 353 prophecies about Christ fulfilled in the New Testament! The Bible was written to a different and original audience in the past, but also written and preserved for us. But the Bible is not about them or us. The Scriptures bear witness to Christ! All the promises are to Him, to Christ, and we are heirs of those promises by faith in Him.


For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in him. Therefore, through him we also say “Amen” to the glory of God. -2 Corinthians 1:20 CSB


It is St. Augustine that is credited with saying, “The New is in the Old Concealed, the Old is in the New Revealed.” From Genesis 3 we see in the “protoevangelium”, the first promise of redemption, which was fulfilled on the cross.


I will put hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.
– Genesis 3:15 CSB

In Deuteronomy we see the promise of a prophet like Moses … but better, greater.
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. – Deuteronomy 18:15 CSB

In the New Testament we see The Father saying the same from a cloud of glory in the transfiguration.


Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good for us to be here. If you want, I will set up three shelters here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown and were terrified.
Jesus came up, touched them, and said, “Get up; don’t be afraid.”8When they looked up they saw no one except Jesus alone.
-Matthew 17:3-8 CSB


Moses and Elijah, who represent the law and the prophets, at this very significant moment… disappear. And the text says that when they raised their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus alone. Hear him! This is the message of the Bible.

Jesus is the true Prophet, the True, King, the True Teacher, the True Judge, the True High Priest of the new and better covenant based on better promises, and the New and Greater lawgiver. All things point to Christ, the sacrifices, the temple, the tabernacle, the Sabbath, and we can see countless examples of the types and shadows of Christ in the Old Testament. But the New declares it more clearly.


Christ is-
..far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. – Ephesians 1:21 CSB


Christ is-
..the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word..– Hebrews 1:3 CSB


It is Christ who sustains everything in creation!

In Christ-
..everything was created by him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities—
all things have been created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and by him all things hold together.
– Colossians 1:16-17 CSB


All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. – John 1:3 CSB


Christ is everything! And in the infinite wisdom of God the Father, He decreed it this way and The Spirit glorifies Him and guides us to Him.
As Christians, we must also be Christ-centered because Christ is the center of everything, and in the Word of God it is revealed to us in this way. And if Christ is the center of the Bible (And the universe), then He must be the center of our lives too. Our new and true identity is in Him, and we must worship and give thanks that by faith, and with a humble heart we can approach the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He who He deserves all honor and glory and has all power for ever and ever.


The great mystery in all this is this beautiful truth:
But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romas 5:8 CSB


Considering these truths, and the great love shown to us in Christ’s perfect and finished work, the only correct response should be repentance of sin and of trusting in ourselves. It is this glorious and mighty Savior we must go to, throwing ourselves upon His great mercy and grace.


Come to Christ, believe in Christ, trust Christ. You will have peace with God, forgiveness of your sins and rest for your soul. Center your own life in Him, because He truly is the center of all things.

Written by Antonio Salgado Jr.

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CRISTO ES EL CENTRO (Artículo en Español)

“Entonces él les dijo: —¡Insensatos y tardos de corazón para creer todo lo que los profetas han dicho! ¿No era necesario que el Cristo padeciera estas cosas y que entrara en su gloria? Y comenzando desde Moisés y siguiendo por todos los profetas, les declaraba en todas las Escrituras lo que de él decían.”
‭‭San Lucas‬ ‭24:25-27‬ ‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“porque si creyerais a Moisés, me creeríais a mí, porque de mí escribió él.”
‭‭San Juan‬ ‭5:46‬ ‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Hay mucho en las redes sociales entre los cristianos que usan este termino, “Cristocentrico.” Muchos libros, sermones, canciones. ¿Pero que significa y exactamente, y porque se usa? Por que tanta enfasis? Tal vez la pregunta mas importante será, ¿es bíblico darle tanta enfasis a la persona y obra de Cristo? Este tema es uno cual es simple pero a la vez muy profundo y tiene que ver con la teología del “cumplimiento” y es un tema que el mismo Antiguo Testamento da prioridad. Es el mensaje que Juan el Bautista predicó, Jesus y los apóstoles predicaron, y es el tema que llega al mismo corazon del evangelio.

El Apóstol Pablo declaró que Jesús vino cuando el tiempo fue cumplido. Por lo menos esto implica que hubo un tiempo de preparación. Preparación de algo grande anticipado. En el plan de Dios progresivo, todo de lo que había sucedido tenía su proposito y meta de señalar, y exaltar a Cristo. La era de Moises puntaba a este momento de cumplimiento y dió énfasis a ese momento venidero. La llegada del Hijo de Dios indicaba la culminación de ese tiempo. Hasta este punto en la historia, esto había sido la meta de TODO que había sucedido en el pasado.

El Señor prometió en varias ocasiones un Redentor, Salvador, el Mesias, el mejor y mayor profeta y dador de ley. Todos los tipos y sombras en el Antiguo Testamento eran solamente sombras de el que ha de venir. Se puede decir que nunca ha existido un verdadero rey, un verdadero, profeta,un verdadero juez, un verdadero maestro. Por que en un sentido todos del pasado eran nada mas que sombras del Verdadero, el Señor Jesucristo!

Desde Genesis a Malaqúias hay algunos 353 profecias acerca de Cristo cumplidas en el Nuevo Testamento!

La Biblia fue escrita y preservada para nosotros, pero no es acerca de nosotros, las Escrituras dan testimonio de Cristo! Todas las promesas son a Él, a Cristo, y somos herederos de esas promesas por fe en Él.

“porque todas las promesas de Dios son en él «sí», y en él «Amén», por medio de nosotros, para la gloria de Dios.”
‭‭2 Corintios‬ ‭1:20‬ ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

San Agustín es que está acreditado con decir, “el antiguo está en el nuevo revelado, y el nuevo está en el antiguo ocultado”.

Desde Genesis vemos en el ‘protoevangelio”, la primera promesa de redención, que se cumplio en la cruz.

“Pondré enemistad entre ti y la mujer, y entre tu simiente y la simiente suya; ésta te herirá en la cabeza, y tú la herirás en el talón.”
‭‭Génesis‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

En Deutoronomio vemos la promesa de un profeta como Moises… Pero mejor, mayor.


“»Un profeta como yo te levantará Jehová, tu Dios, de en medio de ti, de tus hermanos; a él oiréis.” Deuteronomio‬ ‭18:15‬ ‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

En el Nuevo Testamento vemos El Padre decir lo mismo de una nube de gloria en la transfiguración.

“Y se les aparecieron Moisés y Elías, que hablaban con él. Entonces Pedro dijo a Jesús: «Señor, bueno es para nosotros que estemos aquí; si quieres, haremos aquí tres enramadas: una para ti, otra para Moisés y otra para Elías.» Mientras él aún hablaba, una nube de luz los cubrió y se oyó una voz desde la nube, que decía: «Éste es mi Hijo amado, en quien tengo complacencia; a él oíd.» Al oír esto, los discípulos se postraron sobre sus rostros y sintieron gran temor. Entonces Jesús se acercó y los tocó, y dijo: «Levantaos y no temáis.» Cuando ellos alzaron los ojos, no vieron a nadie, sino a Jesús solo.”
‭‭San Mateo‬ ‭17:3-8‬ ‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Moises y Elias, quienes siempre han representado a la ley y los profetas, en este instante muy significante, desaparecen y el texto dice que alzaron los ojos, y no vieron a nadie, sino a Jesus solo! ¡A él oíd! Esto es el mensaje de la Biblia. Jesus es el verdadero Profeta, el verdadero, Rey, el verdadero Maestro, el verdadero Juez, el Sumosacerdote de el mejor y nuevo pacto basado en mejores ppromesas, y el verdadero y mayor dador de la ley, Su ley!

Todo punta hacia Cristo, los sacrificios, el templo, el tabernaculo, el Sabado, y podemos escribir ejemplos inumerables de los tipos y sombras de Cristo en el Antiguo Testamento. Pero el Nuevo lo declara con mas claridad.

Cristo está-
“sobre todo principado y autoridad, poder y señorío, y sobre todo nombre que se nombra, no solo en este siglo, sino también en el venidero.”
‭‭Efesios‬ ‭1:21‬ ‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Cristo es-

“Él, que es el resplandor de su (Dios) gloria, la imagen misma de su sustancia y quien sustenta todas las cosas con la palabra de su poder…”
‭‭Hebreos‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
¡Es Cristo que sustiene todo en la creación!

En Cristo-

fueron creadas todas las cosas, las que hay en los cielos y las que hay en la tierra, visibles e invisibles; sean tronos, sean dominios, sean principados, sean potestades; todo fue creado por medio de él y para él. Y él es antes que todas las cosas, y todas las cosas en él subsisten.”
‭‭Colosenses‬ ‭1:16-17‬ ‭‬‬‬‬‬‬

“Todas las cosas por medio de él fueron hechas, y sin él nada de lo que ha sido hecho fue hecho.” San Juan‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

¡Cristo es todo! Y en la infinita sabiduria de Dios el Padre, Él lo decretó asi y El Espiritú lo glorifica y nos guia hacia Él.

Como cristianos, debemos tambien ser Cristocentricos por que Cristo es el centro de todo, y en la Palabra de Dios es así. Y si Cristo es el centro de la Biblia (Y el universo) entonces debe ser el centro de nuestras vidas también. Nuestra nueva identidad está en Él y en todo momento debemos adorar y dar gracias que por la fe, y con un corazon humilde podemos acercarnos a este Rey de Reyes y Señor de Señores a quien merece toda honra y gloria y poder por los siglos de los siglos amen.

El gran misterio en todo esto es esta hermosa verdad:

Pero Dios demuestra su amor para con nosotros, en que siendo aún pecadores, Cristo murió por nosotros. -Romanos 5:8

Arrepiéntete de tu pecado y de confiar en ti mismo. Ven a Cristo, crea en Cristo, confia en Cristo. Tendras paz con Dios, perdon de tus pecados, descanso para tu alma. Centre tu vida en Cristo, porque Él verdaderamente es el centro de todas las cosas.

Escrito por Antonio Salgado Jr.

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Important update and prayer requests

By Antonio Salgado Jr. laboring in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.

As I write this we are in Florida. We came primarily to spend much needed time with family. You can read more about that, and our prayer requests as a family on our latest newsletter here:

https://salgadodrmission.com/2019/07/salgado-dr-mission-newsletter-33/

We will be back in the Dominican Republic very soon.

I have been communicating with brothers Leonel in Haiti and Daniel in Dominican Republic. Their updates and prayer requests were recently translated and posted to this site with my latest newsletter with prayer requests also. I encourage you to please read and share with others .

As the Salgado DR Mission, we have always raised funds for needs above and beyond our own family’s needs. And now that we have grown, by God’s grace, and become the Biblical Christian Missionary Society, there are certainly needs that come with those nationals we are supporting on the field.

Although the main focus of this ministry is serving the men preparing for, or already in the ministry, we do have a sister that will be teaching English at the church meeting place in Hato Mayor. Adriana is from a church we fellowship with, a good sister who has needs herself. She has helped us in the past, translating for doctors and nurses who have come to do medical clinics and other activities.

Just like Christen and I have taught English at the school we help in Las Minas, which has presented us with countless opportunities to build relationships with those in the community and share the Gospel with them, this is the plan for the class in Hato Mayor also. We are raising money in order to pay her for helping us in this effort as well, for her time and transportation. She will have to travel across the busy city often to teach. Please pray and consider giving towards this need.

We have been supporting brothers Leonel in Haiti and Daniel in the DR for several months now, but we still need funds for Bibles both in Spanish and Haitian Creole . Please pray and consider giving towards this need.

I have for some time now been involved with a network of mainly small, poor and struggling churches . Over the years I have had the privilege of meeting many men of God faithfully serving, to the best of their ability. Many in great need themselves, yet often pouring themselves out for others in the ministry in service to our Lord.

Many desire to be taught but have no means or resources. They must work hard to feed their families but make very little. Sometimes barely enough to eat and buy basic necessities. They need help better understanding the Scriptures themselves but can not afford to invest in a laptop, books, or any formal training. This is the case for most of the men we want to help. We want to bring the resources and teaching to them. Some are already in the ministry but have no resources to work, not even bibles or other literature, and are unable to do much to meet real needs either. They need someone to come alongside of them, to teach, encourage and offer resources. Just as the Philippian church sent Epaphroditus to Paul, as a “fellow brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier, and minister to his need”. This is essential for their growth and longevity in the ministry. Please pray and consider giving towards these men.

We are in need of several new mission partners in order to continue to help those we already support, and to help other men we already know and have these needs. Men asking for help and who desire to be taught. Many already laboring in hard places. Brothers such as Victor Madera and Victor Dominguez working in a tough inner city context where we live in Santiago. Brothers like Franklin Rodriguez, Ruddy Carrera and Francois Frantdzy working in the deep south in Barahona and Perdernales in the “bateys” near the Haitian / Dominican border. Lord willing, we will also be in Haiti later this year visiting Leonel and taking him some resources while getting to know and teaching others.

We are reaching out to pastors and teachers back home to come and help us in teaching for the conferences and workshops we are planning in DR and Haiti. All of these things cost money and we nee your help. Please pray and consider giving towards these needs.

The donations made to BCMS go towards working missionaries, evangelists and teachers on the field. There is only the very minimal cost of processing fees to get the funds to us. Just 2% through check or online giving through CMC (recommended). Through PayPal it is just $0.30 per transaction, plus 5.4% of the amount received but we recommend this mostly for emergencies or one time gifts. For a tax write off you must give through CMC.

This is the best way to get the majority of each donation given directly to the mission field. Unfortunately there is no getting around this, yet it is small in comparison to some “sending organizations” that for only receiving and processing funds for missionaries take up to 14% -20% of each donation. Out of the money donated to the larger well known mission agencies, only about one to two cents on the dollar actually make it to the field.

We as an organization do our very best to get as much of the money as possible to the field to meet the needs of our workers. All the information on how to give to this ministry can be found by simply clicking on the “donate” page of this site, or clicking here :

https://biblicalchristianms.org/?page_id=2

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. We ask that you pray and share these needs with other believers and churches. The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few. But for those that the Lord is already raising up, together we can partner with them. To God alone be the glory.

In Service to our King,

Antonio Salgado Jr.