Missionary Methods In India Today: God’s or man’s? Indigenous or foreign subsidy? -- By: Alexander Jothiratnam

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 03:3 (Fall 1960)
Article: Missionary Methods In India Today: God’s or man’s? Indigenous or foreign subsidy?
Author: Alexander Jothiratnam


Missionary Methods In India Today: God’s or man’s? Indigenous or foreign subsidy?

Alexander Jothiratnam

a provoking challenge

from Alexander Jothiratnam (“Jothi”)

Vellore, Madras State, India

Introduction. The father of modern missions was a Baptist, William Carey. It was his privilege to preach a sermon at Nottingham, England, for a meeting of the ministers association on May 30, 1792. He took as his text Isaiah 54:2, 3, and preached, “Expect great things from God. ..attempt great things for God.” As a result the first modern missionary society came into being, called the Baptist Missionary Society. It was decided that Carey was to be sent to

India as the first missionary of the society. Others followed, including Alexander Duff, John Wilson, Stephen His lop, William Miller, Samuel Helich, J. B. Glasell, Samuel S. Day, Nathan Brown, C. F. Heyer, and John Scudder. These men were sent out as doctors, educators, and evangelists, under several mission boards which were formed in Europe and in America.

American Baptists started a work in South India near my home. The work was very discouraging, and in 1862 the suggestion was made for the third time — and the last — that the work be abandoned. Mr. and Mrs. John Clough offered to take over the work and the Lord greatly blessed their ministry. In 1878, in three days during the month of July, 3,536 believers were baptized. One of the largest baptismal services since Pentecost was held when 2, 222 were baptized in one day. In six months 8,691 were baptized.

Methods Used by the Missionaries

1. Evangelism. Foreign missionaries and national Christians have been able to preach the Gospel of Christ at the street corners, market places, and at the Hindu festival gatherings. There was unlimited opportunity for this evangelism before India received her independence.

2. Education. Educational institutions served as an aid to present the Gospel. People of all castes sought admission into missionary schools and colleges. More than 25% of men and women in India today were trained in Christian institutions.

3. Medical Work. One of the largest hospitals in India today is at Vellore in Madras State. It was founded by Ida S. Scudder, grand-daughter of John Scudder, the first medical missionary from the United States. The hospital has 800 beds and treats over 200,000 patients per year. It also trains doctors and nurses to serve their own people.

4. Literature. Of the 179 major languages in India, the complete Bible is ...

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