Spreading Religion To Areas Where People Don’t Want It

I was astounded to read a prominent evangelical preacher say parents are doing their children a favor by putting them in harms way spreading the gospel.

The Minneapolis fundamentalist has a theory that if the parents accept a missionary assignment in a place hostile to Christians the children will develop a life long passion for the faith. If the missionary’s children get injured or killed on this noble mission, well, he did not elaborate on that.

I had an uncle with a deep passion for missionary work who spent a couple of decades in the field. He and his wife had four children, my  cousins. I believe three of those four have left the faith. Maybe I should tell the Minneapolis preacher about that family.

While missionary work on other continents is a big part of the Christian faith, it seems like money down a rat hole to me. Why are we supposed to assume that Christianity is superior to the religious beliefs of those elsewhere? With only one in four or five adults in the U.S. attending church regularly perhaps missionaries could spend their time and money here in this country?

I think missionary work is popular with U.S. denominations because of marketing. When the faithful here in the U.S. are asked to contribute to “missions” it helps expand the denomination’s bureaucracy. Each missionary in the field needs staff at the home office.

And, a number of “new churches” and “converts” can be claimed when little documentation is available.

7 Responses

  1. Juan Ruiz

    Many religions have a form of Christianity’s Great Commission. It’s how, in less than a century, Islam conquered much of the middle East, North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula.

    My grandmother’s sister and her husband were Lutheran missionaries in China at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. I believe their two sons abandoned the church. What they did out of the experience was the ability to speak fluent Mandarin.

    1. Juan 7:07 I recall from my childhood an announcement in our conservative Swedish church in Iowa that two of “own missionaries” had been killed in China. They were on a bus going somewhere. I don’t know why they were killed, maybe it was a robbery.

  2. Jinx II

    Cultural Anthropologists have nothing good to say about the deleterious effects the missionaries strategies had on indigent people and tribes in the America’s and around the world. Our First Nation people here are prime evidence as well as the Yanamamo tribe in the Amazon forest, and that’s just 2 of the thousands spread through out the world.

    1. Catcher

      @ 3;27; There were and are many catastrophic parallels in and around “missionaries” Many not related. Land conquest, (think Conquistadores, imperialism), Think Aztecs, California, Jesuits , natural resources, think gold, silver, lumber, fur, slave labor, disease. None of which have anything to do with true “Mission Work”. some may have been well intentioned, but complicit. Too large a subject to be complete or accurate.

      1. Catcher

        @ 8;26; re. “write a book…….” I wouldn’t expect you to do so, however even a whole book does not convey the whole story, As in “A Christmas Carol”. The very last paragraph reveals much.

  3. godless

    I don’t know if any of you watch South Park. Starvin Marvin is an hilarious episode on missionary work. My family was big into missionary work.The more dangerous or the perception of persecution the better. I have been on several small trips out the country doing gods work. Mostly helping build churches

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