February 12, 2021
Missions = Disgusting
“How many souls of savages have you won today?”
“If you love Jesus…more than anything else…you’ll be more than willing to get your penis chopped off in the jungle so that others might know Christ…”
“Missions is not about the people that you’re evangelizing…it is about God’s greater glory.”
“You should never let your concern for your own body come between you and someone coming to know Jesus.”
“I don’t care how forceful you have to be…the most important thing is that you do not leave without a profession of faith.”
Growing up, I heard some of the most absurd phrases imaginable concerning missions. When you don’t know any better, they can be very motivating. I know. I lived it.
We were always told that God was all that mattered…which most of the time caused us to see the people in front of us as souls to conquer and not people to love. Such thinking can have incredibly disturbing consequences. The missions industrial complex (the innumerable organizations that raise untold amounts of money in the name of missions) exists based on a crusade/exploitation mentality. The entire operation is based on the idea that our entire relationship with the other/unsaved is entirely transactional. ie If you get saved then I will give you what you need/want. Rest assured, there is nothing more important than a profession of faith and once that is achieved…there is no further need to care for the individual. To be an effective missionary you must close your heart to the personhood of the other so that you might “save” them. Missions is about dividing and conquering…not loving and uniting. In various parts of the world, I’ve seen it play out.
In the midst of seminary, I took a trip to China with Campus Crusade for Christ. For decades, the organization has been smuggling people into universities there to proselytize young people. In every major metropolitan area, there are underground churches that entice young people with western culture and then try to push them to make a confession of faith. I saw impressionable young person after young person reject everything they had in order to get saved. The problem is that they didn’t have anything to begin with. In turn, these missionaries (who are often only there for a short period of time) become their only means of survival. I don’t know that you would be wrong to call it a form of slavery. Campus Crusade consistently bragged about how many people went to jail for their faith…but I never heard them talk about how many people they got out. While I am no fan of the brutal regime in China, I am also no fan of taking a people who are already struggling and transferring them to hell for no reason. Missions is about increasing/prolonging suffering not alleviating it. A few years ago, Campus Crusade for Christ shortened their name to just CRU…to alleviate any perceived connections to the crusade. The problem is that they are still leading a crusade…with very real victims.
Early this morning, I read an article about how missionaries are encouraging indigenous tribes to not take the vaccine in Brazil. Their reason…one should trust in God and not vaccines. Some of the most vulnerable people on earth are being brutalized because of “missions.” This is not an isolated incident. Extreme and subtle acts of violence take place daily because the here and now is assumed to not matter.
I regret my participation in it all. God is so much bigger than all of that bullshit. The scriptures make it clear. Even the one that missionaries most love to cite…
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The greatest commandment is love…ie teaching love. The missions industrial complex don’t teach it like that though. For them…it’s spiritual manipulation.
Love is God. Love is truth. Love is the only way. So go love somebody for no other reason but love…and leave all of the disgusting missions behind.
The real reason for all that is will meet you there.