Missionary wants God’s name to be great among the nations of the world
By Allen Palmeri
Washer challenges, exhorts more than 100 attendees at Founders’ Conference
ST. PETERS – Missionary Paul Washer has a zeal that motivates him to ask audiences like the one at the Southern Baptist Founders Conference Midwest March 10 at First Baptist Church, St. Peters, if they are content knowing that Jesus is not proclaimed in some places on earth.
“We should be saying, ‘Where is the place where there is no Gospel preached?" Washer said. “Point it out to me on a map. Let’s get this done! Let’s go preach.’"
Washer’s HeartCry Missionary Society, a ministry of Waldo Baptist Church, Metropolis, Ill., has a presence in 13 countries. He preached at the conference on his theme verse, Malachi 1:11, which indicates that God’s name will be great among the nations.
“That’s the wonderful thing about missions," Washer said. “It is a sure thing. Any missionary sent to any place can know this: I can go to the deepest, darkest hellhole on the face of the earth, and if I stay there long enough, and I preach long enough, someone’s coming out of there saved, because God has ordained it so."
Washer likes to stick with the attributes of God when he preaches. He went to Romania once and preached on the wrath of God. The president of the Romanian Baptist Union at the time, Vasile Talos, thanked him.
“What is the greatest need on the mission field? Washer asked. “Men who can go over there, women who can go over there, open up their Bibles and tell people who God is and what God has done. Indigenous pastors need to be trained in doctrine and expository preaching."
Washer sees a deficiency in Southern Baptist preaching that leads to decisions, but not conversions. For this reason he teaches that a holy God is concerned about pure worship (Malachi 1:11). A holy God wants a pure church membership as opposed to what one often finds in large Southern Baptist churches, he said.
“We think the only thing you have to do is make a decision," Washer said. “That’s not true. What has to happen is a supernatural work of God —regeneration. The whole argument comes down to just one question: Is man radically depraved? Once you affirm that, then you’ve got to ask yourself a question, ‘Why do I believe? Why am I not a God-hating heathen like so many other people who have heard?’
“If we’re all radically depraved, then whatever caused me to believe had to be something outside of myself, and it’s God. He had to intervene. That’s a tremendous truth that we need to grab hold of."
As he travels from college to college, speaking about missions, Washer has noticed a trend. Students have a hunger for the deeper truths.
“Young people are so tired of fluff," he said. “They want meat. What’s amazing is their return to doctrine is also a return to missions.
“A lot of them are saying, ‘We want to imitate the life of George Muller. We don’t want to raise funds.’ To which a lot of older men would raise eyebrows, saying ‘highly impractical, highly impractical.’"
The bottom line is, God is making His name great from east to west, Washer said. Our role is to join Him in the effort, which is totally, wonderfully and beautifully done by the One who gets all the glory.
“He’s doing a great work in the world," Washer said. “He truly, truly is."
Founders is an organization founded in 1982 for the perpetuation of historic Calvinistic doctrines within the Southern Baptist Convention often referred to as “the doctrines of grace."
Attendance at the three-day conference was up to 105. Last year’s total was 80.
March 18, 2004