John Calvin is known to have supported and sent out many missionaries. This is not to suggest that John Calvin is the standard of all truth. But the view that "evangelists" existed as "office bearers", that the office was extraordinary (were pastor/teachers extraordinary too?
) and only intended to be temporary was not widely known among the Reformers. St. Patrick, for example, was a missionary in the 4th century, predating the Reformation. And there were many more who were missionaries before and after him.
Thank you, I agree. I thought I would add, that the Reformers did not see themselves as infallible, but held the Scriptures high. As such, they believed that any doctrine, confession of faith, creed, etc... is only as good as it is biblical. If I remember correctly, the WCF and the LBCF 1689, said something along those lines.
I hesitate to use non-biblical words when discussing words and doctrines of Scripture and I do not see "missionary" of today equivalent to the biblical "evangelist". The first known use of the word "missionary" was in 1625, and neither mission nor missionary is found in Scripture, and I do not see that missions and missionaries in this day match the biblical pattern or standard. If a Christian feels a definite call of God to go to another land and preach the gospel, he certainly should do so, and if his home church feels the call to support him, sure, sounds biblical to me. What I find problematic, is setting up mission boards, and fund raising to send out missionaries. I just do not see that taught in Scripture. The following verses seem to indicate other methods:
I see those who receive the preachers or evangelists, should be supported by those to whom he preaches the gospel as Jesus instructed the 70 he sent out.
"Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house." (Luke 10:7, NRSV)
"In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel." (1Cor 9:14, NRSV)
"Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher." (Gal 6:6, NRSV)
I find the preceding passages to indicate that those being taught are to support their teacher. The following passage shows that the elders rule, preach and teach and should be paid for their work. I believe Pilgrim mentioned that Elders can do all three, rule, preach and teach, this verse seems to indicate that.
"Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, 'You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,' and, 'The laborer deserves to be paid.'” (1Tim 5:17-18, NRSV)
I'll let stop here since it is probably flogging a dead horse to keep going at it. We all have our views on this so for myself, I will stop here.