Quick Challenge Answer: Should Missionaries Be a Thing of the Past?

Historically, western civilization has given a great deal of respect to missionaries. What could be more noble than to leave your home, travel to an unknown and often dangerous land, all to share the love of Christ? That perspective is shifting. Now, many not only emphasize the many abuses to native cultures done by, or in association with, missionaries, but also see missionary work itself as a form of cultural appropriation. Is it still right to go out and try to evangelize to the lost, or should missionaries be a thing of the past?

Christians are All Missionaries

The first thing to keep in mind is that missionary work is simply an extension of the great commission. Christians are called to go and make disciples of all nations. All Christians are called to be missionaries somewhere. Some just happen to be called to further away places. It takes a rare person to have the courage and ability to undertake mission work internationally. My hunch is that part of the reason for modern dislike and distrust for missionaries is people assuming they always have an ulterior motive. “I would never do something like that, so there must be some way they’re profiting on this.” Don’t always assume the worst. We still need missionaries.

Understanding Abuses

Our history is deeply flawed. There have been many examples throughout the centuries of people coming in the name of sharing the gospel, but focused more on money, land, and power. Even if the missionaries themselves had pure intentions, others may have abused the opportunities for their own gain. However, I don’t think it’s fair to say that those abuses mean the entire process is rotten. There were, and certainly still are, countless missionaries who served faithfully without abusing or taking advantage of the locals. When we see abuses ruining a good thing, it’s rarely the right call to ban the whole thing. Instead, we do our best to put limitations, accountability, and oversight to prevent the abuses. You don’t ban doctors from doing surgery just because someone was stabbed by a scalpel.

Is Missionary Work Cultural Appropriation?

Are missionaries just overwriting other cultures? Is it right to try to convert people to your religion? The growing thought is that in doing so you are taking away their original culture and trying to force in your own. Even if this is true, it is assuming that every religion and cultural practice is equally true, moral, and valuable. This is blatant cultural relativism. They say it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as it’s yours. If Christianity is true, it means that these native religions are not. If Christianity is true, then we should absolutely want other cultures to adopt it. We certainly don’t want to erase history, but we also want people to learn the truth and be saved from their sins. If what the Bible says is true, not every culture is good, just as not every action is moral. This doesn’t mean we ought to approach with a condescending notion of trying to “civilize” people. Obviously natives should not be forced into Christianity. The great thing about Jesus is he’s usually appealing enough for people to choose him without a gun to their heads.

Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here.  

One thought on “Quick Challenge Answer: Should Missionaries Be a Thing of the Past?”

Comments are closed.

Catagories
Archives
Calendar
April 2021
S M T W T F S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  
RSS Listen to Our Latest Podcast Here
  • Are There Modern Day Apostles? April 15, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team answers the question "Are there modern-day apostles?"
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • The Fate Of The Apostles April 13, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team explores what became of the 14 Apostles. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • QCQ: What Is The Mark Of The Beast? April 8, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the team answers the question "What is the mark of the beast?". 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • The Interfaith Dialogue April 6, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses an interfaith dialogue that David participated in. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • QCQ: Should The Book Of Hebrews Be In The Bible? April 1, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the team answers the question of whether or not the book of Hebrews should be in the Bible. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • WandaVision And The Ship Of Theseus March 30, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses a recent episode of the hit show, WandaVision, and its use of the thought experiment called "The Ship of Theseus". 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • QCQ: The Trinity Is Never Mentioned In The Bible March 25, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the team answers the objection that the Trinity is never mentioned in the Bible
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Dealing With Objections To The Resurrection March 23, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team deals with different objections to the resurrection of Jesus. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • QCQ: The Bible Was Written By Bias Christians March 18, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the team answers the challenge that "The Bible was written by bias Christians". 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • How Do We Understand The Timing Of Events In Holy Week? March 16, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses the timing of the events of Holy Week. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean