“Go…and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Why did I choose Matthew 29:19-20 for a mission statement? The reason is simple. I did not choose it to make some statement about the Trinity or against Oneness theology. I did not choose it to make some statement about baptismal formulas. No, I chose it because it is one of the central commands from our Lord and Savior. The command to “go and make disciples” is the central purpose of our Christian life.
The goal of this Web site is to help people develop a deeper walk with Christ. I don’t say that because I think I’m some sort of super spiritual person (I’m not) who has some super special relationship with God (I don’t). My goal is simply to offer people tools and resources that can help them “rightly divide the Word” and make accurate, informed decisions about their relationship with Christ.
In other words, the purpose of this Web site is to help people learn the commands of Christ.
You see, there are a lot of things that apostolic people do that they think are commanded by Christ, but really are not. Then there are a lot of things that Christ commanded that most Christians, including apostolics, do not do. If I can help people learn what Christ commanded, or if I can give them tools that help them study those commands for themselves, then I have helped fulfill Matthew 28:18-20. I will have done my part in helping make disciples.
With that in mind, let’s break down Matthew 28:19-20, and you will see why I chose it for a mission statement.
The beauty of the Internet is that it can go almost anywhere.
Make disciples of all nations
I will write more on discipleship and on what it means to be a Christian in the future. For now I am going to give the definition of a disciple from Easton’s Bible Dictionary, since his definition is the best I have ever read: A disciple of Christ is one who 1) believes His doctrine, 2) rests on His sacrifice, 3) imbibes [soaks up, drinks] His Spirit, and 4) imitates His example1.
Baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
I have several articles planned on baptism. For now suffice it to say that I do not care if a person is baptized in the Name of Jesus or in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. I doubt that Jesus is going to send people to hell for obeying Him when He commanded people to be baptized in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The UPC and other Oneness organizations have turned a non-issue into a heaven-or-hell issue. Again, I plan to write more on baptism in the future. For now I recommend reading these five articles in my “Frequently Misinterpreted Scriptures” section of this Web site:
Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you
Discipleship involves more than head knowledge. It involves heart knowledge as well. The UPC and other holiness organizations try to force holiness in from the outside. That just doesn’t work. One of the missions of WhyILeft.org is to help people learn the commands of Jesus and internalize them so that holiness flows out from the inside. (Also see my article “What does the Bible say about holiness?“)
And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age
The UPC (and all Pentecostal and charismatic groups) put people on an emotional and spiritual roller coaster ride. They have taught people to have faith in an experience instead of having faith in Christ. When Pentecostals have a “feeling” then everything’s OK. But when the feeling is gone then they often feel that they are not good enough for Christ. Pentecostalism (especially holiness Pentecostalism) is a constant struggle to “do more.” People feel that they are never good enough for God when they are in Pentecost. One of the goals of this site is to help people understand that they really are never good enough for God–at least, not on their own. But when they are in Christ they are always good enough for God. This does not mean that people can go out and do whatever they want and still be saved, of course! What it means is that their right-standing with God is based on the work of Christ, not on an emotional experience or a feeling.
- Easton’s Bible Dictionary, “Disciple” [↩]