MissionPoland Issues / Internet File: Doctrine
How important is it to know and state what we believe?
Our statement of faith has always been on our web pages: http://groups.msn.com/MissionPoland . Also on our web pages you will find a list of 21 problematical doctrines under Destructive Theologies, which we do nat accept and very brief reasons why. These are 21 doctrines we come across in our ministry to others. In our Files section, you will also find five basic Bible studies in English prepared by us, ( Salvation, the Holy Bible, Work of the Holy Spirit, Spiritual Warfare and Our Mission on Earth according to our Commander ) which deal with some of the difficult doctrinal issues that we find here in Poland. We are planning three more basic studies on Assurance & Confession, Apologetics and the Church. There we mention our position on these doctrinal issues. While we are in America we will be preparing more advanced Bible lessons which look at the entire Bible, give an introduction into Greek and Hebrew, Church History, Heresies, Ethics, Discipleship, Evangelism and Family Life Issues for Children, Teens, young adults and Parents. Our mission in Poland involves Evangelism & Discipleship of many individuals, strengthening the Bible believing local church, reaching out to church people regardless of church with the Gospel and encouraging all to look to the “ author and finisher of our faith ” as their only Hope for salvation. We want to work with all people regardless of their background, so we need to take care that we are not perceived to be Headhunters for the very small Protestant Church in Poland. We see people and disregard the label. Inside every wrapper is a person who needs Christ in the same way. There is no group of people who need more or less salvation. It really is more important for us that a person ends up in Heaven, even if they never become a member of an evangelical Protestant Church. I was once asked by a Roman Catholic priest to explain the differences in witnessing to a Catholic and to a Protestant. I told him there were none for me. All are sinners in need of God’s grace and forgiveness and all receive Christ by faith alone.
In Poland it is difficult to match Churches, doctrine for doctrine with mission boards in America. For instance, the Conservative Baptist Church of America does not work with or support many of the Baptist Churches in Poland. Currently, we have developed a Bible study on the Holy Spirit to guide many into a Biblical understanding of the Spirit’s work. We try to deal with the issue of tongues in our Bible study on the Holy Spirit, showing the scriptural differences between the Biblical gift of tongues, which was and remains verifiable and Pagan tongue worship which is practiced by Mormons, Hindus, an Islamic sect, pagan Zulu tribesmen in Africa and Satanists. Some Pentecostal Churches on the other hand can be less Charismatic than some Baptist Churches. There are now only a few, maybe less than one hundred small independent Bible Churches in all of Poland and their doctrine can vary from Church to Church. Labels get in the way some times and our calling is to go to all men. However we try to work like Paul, “ becoming all things to all men ” for the Gospel. We think we know what that means and what it doesn’t mean in light of other Scriptures.
The Toronto Blessing has been a blessing for the Lord’s work in reverse in that many sincere believers in Christ in Pentecostal Churches have been scared straight. They are tired of people moaning or blurting out weird sounds instead of praying with knowledge and in the power of the Spirit of a sound mind, love and self mastery ; And in many of their Churches today you only hear prayers being lifted up in the national language of Poland. The Scriptures teach that all spiritual gifts were given for the building up of the body of Christ. Of course, everyone who uses their gift from God in the power of the Holy Spirit also build themselves up. The lack of translators for those who claim tongues and spurious translations have led them to be wary of mis-using a gift, which in the Bible was seen as a testimony to the unsaved, because it was a verifiable miracle that even the lost could recognize. The effect of unverifiable tongues upon the unsaved has been to turn them off big time . People are not hearing the Gospel, people are not being saved and most of the Pentecostal Churches have stopped growing in Poland after a season of gathering the fruits of Evangelism. We have been working with moderate Pentecostals who are careful to use their gifts in a Biblical way. The Pentacostal Church in Poland may be the most important church to reach Poland for Christ in the next few years, if they concentrate on the most important things and adhere to what is written in the Holy Book - in context. The best work among Poles, as it is with all people who have been led for a long time down the wrong path, is relational and educational. A relationship of respect, love, patience, kindness and allowing them to reach their own conclusions in their own time. Education is done by lovingly sharing God’s Word alone and the historical facts which surround false teachings in a remedial fashion, only among those who are open to learning and hungry for truth. Other considerations in teaching God’s Word and how fast to go depend on each person individually. Age is a factor in what to teach with the young and in the case of all adults, Poles must be allowed to form their own convictions in their own time. They come from a situation where someone else has been thinking for them, they need to think for themselves and trust in God alone. They have a lot of History, Culture, National Identity and Religion to sort through. Good verses to know here are 2 Timothy 2: 23-26 and 1 Peter 3: 15.
We are still free to work independently and in any city in the future, should the Lord allow us to return for long term service. So what do we believe? Well like I have said, we have a statement of faith – affirmation and a statement of what we don’t believe on our web pages. We are certainly happy to answer any questions. We are also open to bolstering up what is true and right and welcome exhortation, correction and reproof.
Our calling is to a part of the world which is not well understood in America. Our calling is to know and preach the Gospel in a very difficult arena. We believe that we belong to the entire body of Christ. Organizational structures have a lesser value then the Spiritual ties which bind us. ( Issues of accountability are mentioned in our finances statement under the 2002 budget page )Who do we think belongs to the body of Christ , you may be asking us? I would answer first of all in the obvious, which is sometimes lost among us. All who will be in Heaven for eternity are the Body of Christ. Who will they be? Those who have trusted in the finished work of Christ on the cross alone for the payment for their sins and who believe in Him. Believing in Him, means that you accept all his Words as final truth and the words of those He affirmed in the entire Old Testament and prepared for writing the New Testament. This means you must believe the whole Bible to be saved, all 66 books. It doesn’t mean you need to know everything, but you cannot reject the clearly written teaching of the Scriptures and be saved. Mark Twain once said, “ It’s not what I don’t understand in the Bible which bothers me, it’s what I do understand. ”. The Word of God says, “ As Your Words are taught, they give light; even the simple can understand them. ” Psalm 119: 130 . If you can cut something out, then you don’t really believe in the Lord. This is our message to the Poles. You have to believe it all. If Jesus said, “ Only God is good ”, you accept it as Gospel truth. Of course there may be people who only have had access to a portion of Scripture ( like one Gospel or even one page ) and they too will be saved if they believe what they have been given and what they understand. I personally believe the Bible teaches that Teachers will be responsible for messing up many peoples doctrine and that many are saved by trusting in the shed blood of Christ and may have been misled on other issues. No one has to score a 100% on a one thousand question doctrine exam, but one must understand that salvation comes from God alone through His substitutionary death and shed blood on the cross for all of our sins. None of us can claim to be perfect in our understanding of Scripture. There is a joke I like, I hope you understand it in a positive way.
Q. What is worse than having a Pope?
A. Having many Popes.
Infallibility or as a few evangelical “ gurus ” prefer to describe their abilities for teaching 100% pure unadulterated truth – “ precise teaching ”, is not a human reality. The Holy Spirit is our perfect teacher and God’s Word is perfect. His servants are not. Being a technical person, precise means infallibility to me. One decimal point in the wrong place can mean the difference between life or death in the world of technology. please don't get bent out of shape here. All I am saying is that no scholar who is teaching can claim that his words are 100% accurate when not quoting Scripture. The most important teachings of the Bible are plain to see if the Holy Spirit is involved in any person whose heart is turned toward Him in proper humility.
One of the most beautiful examples of Justification in the Bible is the story Jesus told about the publican, who probably didn’t have a great understanding of the Scriptures, but he understood the most important thing. Another example is that of the Thief on the cross who came to the right conclusion. I need to be saved, I’m guilty and only God can save me – I can’t save myself, I have to throw myself at the Mercy of God, I have no other hope.
This is the point here for us in Poland. These are the issues with which we are dealing with among the Poles. My eleven questions to them in the form of affirmations in Bible Study #1 on Salvation , includes the doctrine of the sinfulness of all mankind with only one notable exception – Jesus of Nazareth. The teaching that “ Only God is Good ” is airtight. Jesus said it. It’s recorded by three Gospel writers and reaffirmed throughout the New Testament. If a Person believes this as they very well should, then they cannot remain supporters of extreme views about Mary which are not ever taught in Scripture. This teaching also teaches us that all the rest of us are not good. I could go on with several other points, but I have found this to be a good way to reach those who have been misled. My training for my calling has been acquired in part on location here in Poland and not from a remote distance in time and space. I could have never learned all of what I have learned here among Catholics in any Evangelical School in America. I say this on the basis of knowledge in what has been written over the years, meeting with scores of scholars from those schools and more importantly what has been done among Poles in recent years prior to my time.
If you read our web pages you will read of teachers and schools of learning that I have come in contact with over the years. When I was 18 years old, Wheaton College sent an uninvited representative to my Chicago home and I chose instead to work with Campus Crusade on the secular campus and to study under their teachers. By the time I was eighteen I had already spent five intensive years of study with one of Chicago’s best Bible teachers. I could have gone the route of many with Bible School, Christian College and Seminary. I was also trained in 1972 – 1974 to be a Computer software programmer by a masters graduate of M.I.T. with more schooling paid for in that profession if I wanted to continue and also had a full scholarship to study Medicine which I turned down. It simply wasn’t my calling from the Lord. I spent years instead learning from the top minds of the people I was called to reach and help in Poland; As well as some of the best Bible teachers of our time in America. I am still learning and open to listening and rethinking my positions. This doesn’t mean that I change my positions often & it usually means I strengthen my position. Here in Poland, I have been challenged again. I still believe the same basic way since High School days and I consider myself an adherent of schools like Moody, Trinity, Dallas, Talbot, SBC and Conservative Baptist Seminaries. However, even within those schools there are differences over what we would call minor issues.
In working with people, especially in places like Poland one must know what his calling and purpose is. My main concern is for people to hear the Gospel and not to fight unnecessary battles among true believers. At the same time, our evangelical Churches are under siege by Satan himself who would sidetrack all of us if he could. The Bible teaches that Satan can get a foot in the door if we do not really love one another. Satan’s greatest aim is to mess up our doctrine and to entangle us in sin. Lack of love among the brethren and resulting double standards are the biggest results of carnality and worldliness among us who could probably double for self-righteous Pharisees if we had to. There is a reason for all we have seen in churches and organizations over the past eleven years.
Our strategy here in Poland has been to use God’s vocabulary in dealing with people ( words and concepts in Scripture ). Other “ Theological ” labels or titles are confusing. There are only two kinds of people, The saved and the lost; those that have the Son and those that do not; those who will believe and those who will not. Bringing people in line with the rest of Scripture is a work of love that could take years even in a good Bible Church in America and even longer in Poland. We see only people, not labels, so we go to all men – we live in the real world where all men need to be saved from their sin more than they need to be saved from a "bad" church.
Joe Losiak - April 17, 2001 Bialystok, Poland
WHO IS LOST?
"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10
Who is lost and in need of salvation? The Bible clearly teaches that many are lost and perishing. Who are they? Jesus made it clear to both religious and non religious that all of us start Lost. He also warned that "many" will follow the wrong path to salvation. Here are just seven situations that keep men Lost!
1. Those who try to earn or deserve favor with God by their own righteousness are Lost. Luke 18: 9-14; Romans 3:20; 9: 30-33
2. Those who have a dead faith that is half hearted with divided allegiance, are Lost. Matthew 15: 8-9; James 2:19
3. Those whose faith lacks the fruit of obedience are Lost. Mark 4: 2-9; Matthew 7: 15-20; James 2: 18; Romans 1:5; 16: 26
4. Those who choose to follow a religious path that deviates from what is known as right and true, even if it is in the name of Jesus, are Lost. Matthew 7: 21-23; Galatians 1: 6-10; Jude 3
5. Those who follow or trust in anyone else but the Lord and our only Savior Jesus Christ; God incarnate, Creator of all things who died on the cross, shed His blood as a payment for our sins, rose again and is coming back - are Lost. John 8:23-24; 14:6; Acts 4:12
6. Those who place or trust the word of man over or being equal to the Word's of Christ and His chosen Apostles or Prophets in the Old and New Testament are Lost. John 10: 1-15; Matthew 24: 4-5; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 3: 2; 1 John 5: 11-13; Revelation 22: 18-20
7. Those who are not Born Again of God and His Holy Spirit by grace through faith in Christ alone are Lost. John 3: 1-18; 1 Peter 1:1-15; Romans 8: 9-17; Titus 3:5; 1 John 5: 1
Ultimately God will decide who is saved and who is lost based on His understanding which is greater than ours. However, on the basis of His Word in the Bible, God "desires all men to be saved". 1 Tim 2: 4 and is "not willing that any should perish". 2 Peter 3: 9 Jesus said, many who think they know Him will be disappointed. God loves the lost more than any of us do and He already did everything for us. The thief on the Cross may not have understood much theology, but he knew to call on God, believe in Jesus Christ and he was convicted by the Holy Spirit of his sinfulness. (Luke 23: 42-44; Romans 1: 18-20; 10: 14-21) Since the beginning of man, prophets, missionaries, yes angels and visions have been sent to reach those who call on Him. Read about Cornelius if you have any doubt. Acts 10: 1-6
Note: See MissionPoland Partners on Facebook for how to get UN LOST!
USA address: MissionPoland - P.O. BOX 681481 - Schaumburg, IL 60168