The Great Commission is a term that many Christians will have heard of, but may not know what it exactly is. It is also a somewhat controversial term, that has provoked considerable discussion.
Simply put, the Great Commission refers to the idea that the message of Christianity should be spread far and wide, with the ultimate aim of baptising the whole of humanity, believing that this is a way of managing the sin that is inherent in the human race.
Where does the Great Commission come from?
The idea behind the Great Commission comes from the Gospel of Matthew in the Bible, specifically Chapter 28, verses 16 thru 20. In this passage, it is mentioned that there is a need to “make disciples of all nations”.
Christians view this as the instruction to try and spread the message of Christianity as far around the world as possible. This is achieved through missions – which involve members of a Church visiting a set area to try and educate members of the public about their beliefs, with the aim of converting them to the religion.
Missions are commonly associated with Mormons, although many other faiths, especially those that are Evangelical in nature, engage in missions. The aim, in line with the Gospel of Matthew, is to baptise new members.
Generally, Christians believe in “original sin”. Original sin is the idea that humans are inherently flawed beings at birth. Baptism however can help a person leave sin behind, and become a member of Christianity.
Why is it controversial?
The Great Commission is a concept that has proven controversial. A starting point is that the idea of the need to convert people to Christianity in response to the Gospel doesn’t rely on literal words.
It is an interpretation – no specific terms are made by the Gospel. This has led to ideas that the widescale effort by Christians to proselytize people is not actually something that is preached in the Bible.
There have been cases where local groups have been fiercely resistant to missionaries, sometimes resulting in deaths. But others, especially in areas of Africa and Asia, praise the effect that missionaries have had on them.
Overall, the Great Commission is an interesting topic that often causes debate. Christianity is a peaceful religion that has helped many – and the missions that take place have helped many attain spiritual peace through Christianity.
It is debatable as to whether or not the entire world could eventually be baptised. But certainly, strong efforts have been made by a range of Christian denominations around the world.