Since the advent of Christian missionary activities on an organized scale some two hundred years ago, the proclamation of the Gospel message has faced many problems. Obstacles of language, culture, race, militant nationalism and the competition between missionaries of differing doctrinal persuasion have contributed a stormy atmosphere to world missions.
In addition to these difficulties, major non-Christian religions (such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism) have actively opposed Christian missionaries so that progress has been slow not in a few areas and in some instances hardly recognizable.
Beyond this aspect, however, looms another formidable adversary, the rise of non-Christian American cults. Some of these movements have lately invaded established missionary fields and have proselytized new converts with startling success. Utilizing some methods reminiscent of early Christianity, these groups cater to the culture patterns of those they proselytize, provide literature in the language of the people and in one way or another keep a certain emphasis on the Bible in the forefront of their work. In many instances they preach a militant “separatism” from tobacco, alcohol, and other practices classified as worldly and unspiritual. All these activities are bolstered by their so-called revelations (all of nineteenth century vintage), with an appeal to which they wage unceasing warfare against all religions and against Christian denominations in particular. It is significant that they first approach known Christians. Seldom do they attempt to reach the unevangelized, which should be the first step in any genuine missionary program.
We are not suggesting that the activities of these movements be curtailed by law, or ...1
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