Two Structures of Christian Mission in Arunachal Pradesh
The aim of this article is to study and reflect on the two structures of God’s redemptive mission in Arunachal Pradesh. Mrs. Oyir Taipodia, alumna from South Asia Institutes of Advance Christian Studies, Bangalore claims that ‘Christianity stands in two kinds of structure.’ In the New Testament, we find that Apostle Paul developed a new synagogue to accommodate converts from the non-Jewish communities. He allowed the Gentiles to continue with their own culture without assimilating into the Jewish way of life. This fellowship consists of people from all age groups and genders. Similarly, ‘Christian leaders of this contemporary age must allow and encourage the converts to continue with their cultures, which are good and acceptable before God’ said Miss. Bomto Tasar, the Master of Theology student in Hindustan Bible College, Chennai. It must be encouraged because there is no such thing as Christian culture. However, we must not confuse culture with faith. In addition to that, ‘we must understand that there is no culture directly sent down from heaven or specially favored by God’ as remarked by the Mr. Domar Bomjen, General Secretary of Arunachal Christian Revival Youth Association.
Rev. Marbom Tasar one of the pioneer leader of Galo Baptist Church Council and who is working as missionary for last thirty five years maintains that ‘the ministry pattern of the early church and today’s church structures are almost related to each other.’ It is not related formally or historically but in the functional sense. Such similar functions are the synagogue and diocese is similar to modalities; the missionary band and prayer center is like sodalities. Even in the medieval period, the monastic and diocesan are like sodality and modality respectively. They call priests of monastic tradition as a regular priest and diocese as a secular just as we differentiate fulltime workers and lay man in the church today.
Actually, modalities are the church congregation and we can say that it is the first structure. Likewise, sodality is like other church organization or we can call it as a second structure. The former takes care of believers, generate resource for mission and they work among Christians. However, the latter send out missionaries to the heathen people and they work among the people of other faith. The Proprietor’s of Immanuel Enterprise cum Pastor of Christian Revival Church, Likabali, Mr. Yumpe Taipodia clearly presents his purpose ‘that is both structures are equally essential for the expansion of God’s kingdom.’ It is difficult to argue that either one (sodality, modality) of the two structures is most important in ministry. God works through both the structures based on the situations to carry out His redemptive plan. ‘Sometimes we find taking the mission board as the main hindrance in missionary activities in Arunachal Pradesh’ lamented Mark Bomjen the staff worker of Intercollegiate Prayer Fellowship, Itanagar Chapter. Like modalities and sodalities both must work smoothly together for the fulfillment of the great commission and the accomplishment of all that God desires for our times.
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