Missionary: No Halo Required

You collide with the gospel everywhere: your church, maybe your parents/family, your friends–even internet podcasts.  Is it even possible in this age of hi-tech communications that there are still billions who have never bumped into the gospel.  Ever.  Nor will they.  They don’t know any Christians, none live near them and no Christian knows their language.  Who will love the Jat people, the Hui, the Pashtun, the Ansaris, or the Kap people enough that they will sell all, sell out, and set out to live among them so that these frontier peoples can learn that Jesus died for their sins too?

May 19, 2019 will be Keystone’s mission conference, “To Congo, with Love”.  And on May 12 I will speak on being “On Mission for the Whole World”.  Every day the number of people who don’t live near any churches or have any Christian friends–who have never heard the gospel, grows.  A few years ago, it was 2.8 billion.  Now it’s 3.15 billion.  Praise be to God for indigenous missionaries evangelizing their own, but the need and God’s call for the West to serve the unreached, has not been cancelled.  What if God called you?

Maybe you so idealize missionaries that you think sainthood-or near sainthood, is required.   Mission biographers can contribute to this nonsense by portraying their subjects with an angelic glow.  The stories of some past missionaries have been so polished that no one can measure up.  That’s why Kathryn Long may have done the world a service by publishing “God in the Rainforest: A Tale of Martyrdom and Redemption in Amazonian Ecuador”.   I think very highly of Elizabeth Elliot but as reviewer Madeline Arthington shows, she was just a regular woman that–thanks to God’s grace, was greatly used in spite of her very human flaws.  https://www.imb.org/2019/04/22/after-jim-elliot-good-bad-ugly/

2 thoughts on “Missionary: No Halo Required”

  1. I sent End of the Spear (the movie) to a loved one a few years ago. The story was so compelling, and we’d never heard of missionaries growing up. I wondered what questions he had, if he ever watched it. I had questions. This post courageously voiced many of the same questions I had. It’s hard to know if we’re helping or hurting people, Christianity, cultures… Is there a “smart” or “safe” way to evangelize? Smart and safe…seem to be the goal of educated individuals. Lots to think about. It must boil down to the relationship of the individual and God. Past that, how can we possibly know if the endeavor is worth the risk?
    It was between Jonah and God, Noah and God, David and God, Gideon and God, Isaiah and God. How can we judge a person’s motives and actions if they hear from God? In some stories we have the luxury of knowing the outcome. For each of these men, they had to move on just His word and push away the opposition. I trust many missionaries to be in this place. I also trust God to use any outcome for His glory-and we may never see why.

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