This is a guest-post (with revision) from Petrus, a postgraduate student from Indonesia, who attended the session we had with Vinoth:
It was me who asked the question about the relation between Mission and Evangelism, "Mission is not primarily evangelism. What is your opinion about this statement?"
My reason to ask this question was because I ever heard one of my lecturers said something like sharing the gospel is not always the goal of mission. This had disturbed my thinking for several days, and that's why when Dr. Vinoth came, I asked him.
For me, Dr. Vinoth's answer was not convincing and even debatable. First, he said that it is not always necessary to share the gospel for it is not the goal of mission. Then I asked him what is the ultimate goal of mission. He said it is to glorify God, to worship God. And he gave the example of the good Samaritan, who helped the neighbor without sharing the gospel to him.
Up to this point, several students continued to ask him question [about his point on] loving the neighbor.
Then I continued to ask, "If so, what's the different between our good works and non-believers' good work? We must have a 'hidden agenda" in our good works that is to witness and share the gospel to others, if not they may follow the non-believers."
Then Dr. Vinoth seemed to get impatient with me. He said that why must I compare with non-believer's good work? God will accept their good work too as He accepted the Samaritan's good work.
Up to this point, indeed Dr. Vinoth hasn't answered my question about why it is not necessary to share the gospel to others in our mission.
Second, I felt uneasy when I heard him say that God will hear the prayer of unbelievers. This really disturbed my conviction. As I hold firmly, our Christian God will only listen to the prayer of Christians who pray to Him in the name of Jesus.
So if what Dr. Vinoth said was true that God will also hear the prayer of non-believers, why do we need mission anyway?