It was Christ Himself who gave the original “mission mandate” to the church when He, shortly before His ascension, told His disciples, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:19-20).

One would expect, then, that when any who claim the name of “church” would discuss either “missions” or “renewal in mission,” they would have in mind that original mandate of Christ. One would think that a “renewal in mission” suggests that somewhere along the line the church had departed from the original command of Christ—and was now to be called back to what was its Scriptural-duty. But if one expects to find this in the document approved at the last gathering of the World Council of Churches meeting at Uppsala, he would be sadly mistaken.

At its meeting in Uppsala in 1968, the W.C.C. gathering adopted six reports. These reports clearly reflect the attitudes and beliefs of the majority of those who belong to that organization. Last time we considered the first of these reports. In this article I would point out some of the features of the second report entitled, “Renewal in Mission.” It is striking that though the words “renewal” and “mission” can suggest much to the mind of the child of God, none of what he would expect is to be found in this report. It simply does not treat the subject of “mission” in the sense that we generally understand it: going forth into all the world to preach the gospel. Nor is its idea of “renewal” that the church ought to return to its original calling—rather it becomes the occasion to suggest that the church must proclaim a “social” gospel instead of the Scriptural cross. This document is a clear but sad evidence of the apostasy within the church. Any, reading it, who could yet belong to such an organization, shows, to say the least, sad lack of spiritual discernment. For this document is nothing else but devilish. It is on some points vague—especially in its few references to Christ’s death and resurrection; yet it leaves no doubt concerning its idea of the central mission of the church.

The first section of the report treats the “Mandate for Mission.” It begins in this way:

We belong to a humanity that cries passionately and articulately for a fully human life. Yet the very humanity of man and of his societies is threatened by a greater variety of destructive forces than ever. And the acutest moral problems all hinge upon the question: What is man? We Christians know that we are in this world-wide struggle for meaning, dignity, freedom and love, and we cannot stand aloof. We have been charged with a message and a ministry that have to do with more than material needs, but we can never be content to treat our concern for physical and social needs as merely secondary to our responsibility for the needs of the spirit. There is a burning relevance today in describing the mission of God, in which we participate, as the gift of a new creation which is a radical renewal of the old and the invitation to men to grow up into their full humanity in the new man, Jesus Christ.

Such an introduction is far different than John 1:1 or Genesis 1:1. Fact is, that though it sounds noble and fine to the ears of man, it is a presentation of the lie. Indeed, the question is, “What is man?” Is he truly the one who is involved in a world-wide “struggle for meaning, dignity, freedom and love?” And what is a “full human life?” The only “full human life” can be one in which Christ is the center and heart—yet humanity does not cry for such life. The passing reference to Christ presents Him in that liberal or modernistic sense: that good man who is the example for all mankind.

This section presents man as one who “suffers an inescapable dread of his own helplessness and his deepest cry, albeit often unrecognized, is for the Triune God.” Again, such description hardly is in accord with Psalm 14. Besides, the section makes a mockery of regeneration and conversion. “Faith” becomes a response of natural man. The presentation of these is in that modernistic style which can use orthodox and Scriptural terms—giving a meaning contrary to Scripture. Notice how this is done:

But the new manhood is not only a goal. It is also a gift and like all God’s gifts it has to be appropriated by a response of faith. The Holy Spirit offers this gift to men in a variety of moments of decision. It is the Holy Spirit who takes the Word of God and makes it a living, converting word to men. Our part in evangelism might be described as bringing about the occasions for men’s response to Jesus Christ. Often the turning point does not appear as a religious choice at all. Yet it is a new birth. It sets a pattern of dying and rising which will continually be repeated. For we have to be tom out of the restricted and perverted life of “the old man.” We have to “put on the new man” and this change is always embodied in some actual change of attitude and relationship. For there is no turning to God which does not at the same time bring a man face to face with his fellow men in a new way. The new life frees men for community unabling [sic] them to break through racial, national, religious and other barriers that divide the unity of mankind.

The second section of this report is concerned with the “opportunities for mission.” Here the report clearly reveals what it conceives the mission of the church to be. That mission is not to preach Christ crucified in this world, but rather to become involved in the social changes and attempts for social changes in the world. The church is here to change society. The church ought not to hesitate in becoming involved in any activity which will build a “new humanity.” The report declares:

The church in mission is for all people everywhere; for those who have not heard the Gospel and for those who have; for those who, unknowing, serve the “man for others,” and for those who name his Name and yet continue to wait for the new humanity.

And what must the church do? Within “centers of power,” for the “sake of the new humanity the powerless must exercise power.” This, to my mind, means that the church must become engaged in revolution where necessary. This is stated again in the report when it declares, “The longing for a just society is causing revolutions all over the world. . . . The Christian community must decide whether it can recognize the validity of their decision and support them.”

The church must be active in the universities. There must be a “Christian presence and witness” in connection with student rebellions. The mission of the church is to assist in areas of problems because of changes in our society: problems caused by urbanization and industrialization; problems of suburbia and rural areas.

And how is the church to find out which “mission” work is most important for it to do? The report suggests the following guidelines:

—do they place the church alongside the poor, the defenseless, the abused, the forgotten, the bored?

—do they allow Christians to enter the concerns of others to accept their issues and their structures as vehicles of involvement?

—are they the best situations for discerning with other men the signs of the times, and for moving with history towards the coming of the new humanity?

Finally, the report has a section on “freedom for mission.” This section, too, clearly reflects the “gospel” of the antichrist. It contains much “gobbledygook,” high-sounding phrases, which serve to cover up its modernism. It wants to rid itself of the old structures of the church and become more “flexible.” This is what is says:

Mobilizing the people of God for mission today means releasing them from structures that inhibit them in the church and enabling them to open out in much more flexible ways to the world in which they live. In this world we need to meet others, across all the frontiers, in new relationships that mean both listening and responding, both giving and receiving. . . .

The missionary societies originated in a response of a past generation to the call to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Changing political, economic and ecclesiastical circumstances demand new responses and new relationships.

The church must become a “caring community.” It “will find through dialogue a common basis for their task and be encouraged to develop new forms of service within the social structures for the sake of their fellow men. . . .”

In addition to this, the report strongly emphasizes that in this “mission,” the church can never “go it alone.” The church in this mission must be one. As the report states:

In fact, we find it impossible to envisage any situation where it would not be more effective to act together across all frontiers rather than going it alone. In a world where the whole of mankind is struggling to realize its common humanity, facing common despairs and sharing common hopes, the Christian Church must identify itself with the whole community in expressing its ministry of witness and service, and in a responsible stewardship of our total resources.

Called as we are to take up our responsibility for mission in the future which God opens up before us, we do so in the firm and certain hope that the new humanity revealed in our risen Lord and Savior will surely come to its glorious fulfillment in him. So we humbly serve, in patience and in joy, confidently expecting his final victory.

That is the “renewal in mission” which the World Council of Churches has in mind. Some objections were raised to the document. Several pointed out that this document was not a correct presentation of the Scriptural mandate to the church. But the Council nevertheless adopted it. It adopted an obviously false doctrine plainly opposed to the mandate of Matt. 28:19. It encourages union of light and darkness. It advocates a “social” gospel. When a document of this nature can be approved by an organization, then the child of God must know that he has no place there—he must come out and be separate.