by Robert Breaker III
* The following article has been designed to be "printer friendly." So please feel free to print the entire thing and read it through! Otherwise, just read it here online.
We have in the English language a word for someone who hangs around others and tries to get things from them for nothing. We call them a "Mooch." And, I hate to admit it, but when I was on deputation as a missionary to Honduras, I've heard many a pastor use this word in reference to a missionary. They call them "Moochinaries." Sadly, I would have to agree with them on some of the missionaries I've met.
When I met someone, the first thing I do is try to look at their inside. I want to know their heart, and their motive for what they are doing. The two things I look for when I met another missionary are honesty, and humility. If I find that he has neither, then I don't give him the time of day. I'd walk right past him looking for a man. You say, "Brother Breaker, that's not very nice!" Listen, if a man has not honesty, then how can he be trusted? And, if a man is not humble, then he's full of pride, and will always look down on you, and think he's better than you! That's the truth! Sadly, in my experience, there are many missionaries out there today that have neither humility nor honesty. These are your "Moochinaries."
I believe that a missionary's job is found clearly in the scriptures. According to the Bible, he is to try to win as many souls as he can to Christ on the mission field, teach them the bible, and how to do the same, and then to plant churches and train a local pastor to take over the work. What could be any simpler than that? How can you not find that in the Bible? The New Testament is full of this teaching, and the book of Acts is full of examples of how it was done.
But in my experience, I've seen many a man who claims to be a missionary that is on a foreign field (or is going back) that doesn't do that. And, I wonder if he even knows that he is supposed to. These men are those to whom the pastors refer to as Moochinaries. They try to get things from others for nothing, in order to go to a foreign field and do nothing. They are nothing but "Mooches." Let me give you some examples of some that I have met.
At a missions conference in Tennessee, I ran into a man who claimed to be a missionary to Germany. I struck up a conversation with him, and began to probe him to see his heart (out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh). We talked for a while, and I asked him when he got saved. He couldn't tell me. I asked him when God called him to Germany. He beat around the bush, and gave me no answer. I asked him what he planned to do in Germany. Finally, he told me he had a brother who was a missionary in Germany as well, and he wanted to go and be with him. It became evidently clear as I asked some more questions that this guy was a fake. Now, before you say, "Bro. Breaker, you are being too hasty and judgmental," let me finish the story. After talking to him some more, I found that he believed that the King James Bible had mistakes in it, and that he had never won a soul to Jesus Christ a day in his life. What about that? Can you say "Moochinary?" I knew you could.
How about this? I met a "missionary" to Honduras that was an American with dual citizenship. He was born and raised in Honduras all his life, and worked there and had a home there. Then one day, he suddenly felt called to the mission field of Honduras (where he lives), and had to come to the states to raise support on deputation. He got his support of about $4000 a month, and went back to Honduras. And, not only did he buy a couple of bonds, but his sister works at the bank there, so he got a nice retirement fund set up for himself as well. Then in the next 15 years he "started two churches." This is how he did it.
There was already a church started by a local pastor, but he was poor as could be, and the church was run down. So, Mr. Missionary went to the church and told them that he'd help them fix it up if he could write back in his prayerletter that he helped start the church. This local pastor was about to starve to death so he agreed. Church number one started, prayerletters sent, and people bragged about said Mr. Missionary on how he had started a church.
The building of the other church went like this. While Mr. Missionary was out buying property one day with all the wealth that he had accumulated in the poorest country in all of Central America, he found some property that he thought would make a good place for a church. So, he wrote back to his supporting churches, and said he needed to raise $4000 dollars to build a building for the second church. Now, here's the interesting part. He had no people to come to that church at all. I guess he thought, "If you build it, they will come." So, of course the supporting churches wanted bragging rights to say that they helped to start a church in Honduras so they sent him the money. And, when I was there, I saw the construction on the church. It was half finished, and it was a beautiful building. But a young, nieve, little "missionary candidate" like myself made the mistake of asking, "Where are the people?" What followed was a few piercing stares, and no answer. But, the story doesn't end there.
A good missionary friend of mine said he took Mr. Missionary out streetpreaching one day (Mr. Missionary had never been before or since), and my friend lead three people to the Lord that day. Well, Mr. Missionary was impressed. But, when my friend asked him if he would go and pick the people up for church, he responded, "Oh they live too far away, and I'd have to loose some sleep to go and get them for church." (They lived 20 minutes from the church!) Can you say, "Moochinary?" Now you're getting the hang of it.
What about this one? There's a man who is a missionary and he's been on the field about 20 years. He's been sick a lot, but he still insists on staying on the field. In 20 years he has started about 2 churches and turned them over to native pastors (Glory to God!). But, one day he is robbed by a group of hoodlums. And, after that he has no more love for the people. When I go to his house, he takes me out to town, and I begin to pass out tracts. He says, "Hey, that's a good idea! I haven't done that for a while." Then, as we proceed into a crowd he says, "Gluesniffer, 6 o'clock, hold your wallet, and don't look into their eyes!" Then we go a little farther, and he says, "Gang members over there! Let's get out of here quick! And, keep your hands on your wallet!"
On the way to his home, we stop and get out some more tracts, and he says that I'm not doing too badly for a "missionary candidate." And he says, "I'm a good little preacher boy." After arriving at his home, we have supper, during the course of which, he screams at his wife several times. After supper, he finishes his evening by watching several hours of old "Gomer Pyle" and "Get Smart" episodes. Can you say "Moochinary?"
What about the guy who went to a foreign field for about 15 years, and came back to raise some more support. And, when asked what he was able to do on the mission field, he answered (rather proud of himself) that he was able to start a Patch the Pirate club and he has one member. Can you say...? You know the rest. And, the list goes on and on. But, I want you to see four things that a man needs that will keep him from becoming a "Moochinary" if the Lord should call him to a foreign field, and that will help him to do the work God has set before him.
First, he should have some scruples. He should be honest. He should realize that God's people are giving him their hard earned money in the hopes that it will get people saved on the mission field. And, that he needs to be a good steward of God's money. He's not going to that country for a vacation, he's got a vocation that God has given him, and that is to witness for Christ and preach the gospel! But, men with no scruples will usually not feel bad or embarrassed to take money from others, and then do nothing for others. These are the kind of men that are "Moochinaries."
Secondly, a man that is truly called of God to go to the mission field should have salvation. I've met some missionaries that I've wondered about. They claim to be saved, but they can't lead another soul to Christ. They won't preach, pass out tracts, or go out of their way to help others. They aren't soul-conscious at all. In fact, they are carnal, and worldly. And, I think to myself, "Why are they on the mission field?" And, "Who in their right mind would send them there?" Why are local churches paying these men good money to do nothing??? Pastors, you had better check out the missionaries you support, you just might find you are supporting a few "Moochinaries."
Thirdly, I've met some other missionaries that are sincere in their approach, and have a desire to win souls. They really want to do something for God. But, the problem is they don't have the scriptures. And, many of them don't even study or compare the various versions in other languages to see which one (if any) is the right Bible in that language. They don't care, or they just go along with what everyone else is using. Don't you think that it's important to study the issue, and make sure you are preaching the pure words of God to the people in their language?
Then, you have those that do study about the scriptures, but they decide for convenience's sake, not to use the right one. For example, in Spanish Speaking countries, the bible issue is a big issue. There are about three main Spanish Bibles, the 1960, 1909, and 1602. Instead of using the standard Spanish bible (or a variant thereof) that helped bring forth the Protestant Reformation (1602), most missionaries use the corrupt Roman Catholic 1960 put forth by Eugene Nida and the United Bible Societies to bring Protestants and Catholics together. I've met several missionaries like this. They know this is so, but regardless of the facts, they don't want to change. They are afraid that if they do, then they will loose their support. So, what do they do? They preach out of a book that they know is not right, and they do it for one thing and one thing only - $Mullah$. They don't care about the pure words of God. They want to use what they have because they know if they change, then they might loose some support. A man like that who knows the truth, but will not accept it because he knows it will affect his pocket book is nothing but a Moochinary! And, the mission fields are full of them.
Finally, I'd like to say that a man is a user and abuser of local churches if he doesn't have sanctification. God said in John 15:19, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." If you are a missionary reading this right now, my question to you is, "Are you of the world, or in the world?" I've seen way too many worldly Missionaries. A good way to see if a man is a Missionary or a Moochinary is to see if he's a friend of the world. God's not looking for worldly Christians. He's looking for someone that is surrendered to do his will. Romans 12:1,2 commands us not to be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind. But, sadly too many missionaries have their minds on carnal things rather than spiritual (i.e. money, houses, cars, land, etc).
Titus 1:16 would be a good verse to slap on these "Moochinaries." It says, "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." They profess God, but their works aren't for God. They work only for themselves, so that they can live the good life on foreign soil.
I believe it'd be a good thing if it was mandatory for every missionary sent out to the field to have to memorize these two verses before going. They are as follows:
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
The Bible clearly teaches that God wants us to live a sanctified life for Christ Jesus our Lord. Sadly, we have too many worldly Christians today, who think that salvation is a free ticket to sin. And, many of them are Missionaries. They go to a foreign field, and because there are no other "brothers" or "sisters" around, they adopt the ways of the heathen. To them, all I can say is, "You'll never come out of a hog pen smelling like a rose!" God is watching, and he sees what you are doing on the mission field, even if your pastor, your fellow church members, and your supporting churches don't! Proverbs 15:3 says, "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." You had better get your eyes off the world, and get your eyes on God! You had better quit thinking about your self, and your own comfort, and think about the discomfort souls will feel as they burn in hell, because you didn't diligently go out and try to win them to Christ! Get busy! Times a wasting! And, souls are in jeopardy. Let's remember why we were sent to the field in the first place, and try to pluck some brands from the burning.
Let me close with this. If you are a "missionary" that has been born again by faith in the blood of the Lamb, you'll never have any honor in God's eyes at the Judgment Seat of Christ, unless you are a godly, spirit filled, sanctified Christian that is earnestly contending for the faith, preaching against sin, and trying to bring souls to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. If you are not trying to do these things, you are nothing but a hireling, who is guilty of robbing local churches and you are without a doubt "a Moochinary!" Have a nice day!