Engaging Christian Mission After All

I confess that I get nervous when I see that the theme of this quarter's Adult Bible Study Guide is mission.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/sabbath-school/2023/engaging-christian-mission-after-all

My understanding of mission was jarred when I first travelled to Papua New Guinea in 1996. I came with a jaded view of cultural imperialism only to talk to people who were genuinely glad to move from heathen ideas to Jesus’ gospel. I also met people who struggled over issues in their Christianity that never bothered me, eg. Should they pay a dowry?

At the same time, attempts to authorise women’s ordination was frustrated by ‘reverse mission’ from the ‘global south’.

I concluded that the gospel can only be meaningfully applied to a given culture by members of that culture. But how can people learn of the gospel if no one tells them?

Here’s an idea.

Rather than trying to convince purportedly primitive people that a loving god hates them because they don’t keep their mud hut villages clean, how about letting Jesus tell them all about his Human Salvage Strategy Plan A, if and when he finally decides to show up.

This instead of scaring the wits out of credulous people who’s lives don’t need to be complicated with the “good news” that supposedly “more advanced cultures” have been beating each over the head with, and even fighting wars over, for the past two millennia.


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