Do Missions Destroy Culture?

I came upon the following brief article via Twitter last month and found it interesting. The author of the article, Jordan Monson, is a missionary, but I found his perspective both balanced and adequately informed–based on my inadequate perspective anyway! Smile.

Read The Article Here

As he mentions, some see it such that “Missions is against culture—it’s merely colonialism disguised as good will and religion.”

There is good reason why many would view it this way–and plenty of evidence. Despite this, he points out “Missionaries today have learned a lot from their previous failures. Ideally, they have learned no culture is inherently better than another…They’ve learned Western society is not the end goal. They’ve learned Westernizing and Christianizing are not one in the same, as the Victorians thought, but introducing the people to Jesus is the purpose.”

And there it is: Jesus is the purpose. Always has been & always should be. I’d like to say ‘will be’, but we just can’t know that, can we? After all, we’re all susceptible to faulty rationale and erroneous conclusions (i.e sin). I’ve mentioned and linked this 5-minute video before, but the following is from Wycliffe Bible Translators and expounds a bit further off of what Monson referred to.

View The Video Here

Finally, Alan Hirsch, an Australian Theologian whom I quite enjoy, has the following video (2:41) that has served as a basis of motivation for me but has also served as a basis of thankfulness, too. Thankful to be involved and working with a group of people (church) who aren’t afraid of danger or failure. But even more so, that sense of thankfulness extends over to a place not mentioned enough: you. I’m thankful for you. Thankful for your sense of adventure with us (as senders) as we are about to embark on something quite beyond our grasp, beyond our vision. We love you dearly, more than mere words, sentiment, or logical reason could convey. It is, at its base, a powerful and pure expression of the Fathers Love for us.

Well, that said, just a few weeks back I was at a prayer breakfast with a group of men who–combined–have served overseas/missions a combined 120+ years! One gentleman, the host, said “It’s your family, your loved ones who send you out and watch you go, who experience the greatest sense of loss”. I realize, that sentiment is predicated on the relationship each holds to those that are “gone”, or “away”. But it didn’t escape me in realizing that taking away ones grandchildren is as much–IF NOT MORE–a sacrifice to the grandparents as ANY ‘sacrifice’ we’ll make by being away from our ‘mother tongue’. Simply, we love you…

Alan Hirsch Video

Edified and with much love,

-tOdd

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