This vacation, due to unforeseen circumstances and atrociously hot weather, has left me a lot of time- more than I want- to enter Facebook and Twitter debates, as Friday's post surely proved. One debate I didn't jump into was on a post a friend shared. Sans names, here's that story:
One of our church elders advocates for his brother's mission work in India evangelizing to Muslims in the region.
When I was asked to help support the mission work I replied; "We didn't try to evangelize or do mission work for the Nazis during WWII... Why would I support missionary work to a group of people who are engaging in a radical political ideology which masquerades as a religion, so that they can infiltrate and destroy those of us in the west?"
I continued: "The Lord wants us to be good stewards with our money. To support missionaries who have spent many years in the field engaging in the Lord's work with only two saved souls to show for it... That seems to be a bad investment, in light of the fact that we have inner city youths and gang members in our own country, who would much more benefit through their missionary efforts."
Needless to say... I'm probably not very popular with that church elder.
Now, you might expect me to jump into that first paragraph, but no, that's this dude's choice. Let me clip out what bothered me:
To support missionaries who have spent many years in the field engaging in the Lord's work with only two saved souls to show for it... That seems to be a bad investment, in light of the fact that we have inner city youths and gang members in our own country, who would much more benefit through their missionary efforts."
To me, this is WRONG, and on MANY levels.
First of all, since when is saving souls an investment that YOU personally have to see a return in? You can say, well he's basing a money decision on money, but this is supposed to be a FAITH decision.
Second, a missionary goes through rigorous training just to GET to the point of being a missionary. You don't get there unless you have had a call from God to do it. If he, who is untrained for the missionary field, wants to serve the inner city youth, then perhaps HE should find his calling and GO SERVE them himself. Being in country, he is just as qualified as anyone else to do so. Don't bitch at someone for not doing a job. Do it!
Third, Jesus taught in the Parable of the Sower that the sower isn't always going to hit fertile ground. Did He then say, "The sloppy sower then went back with a rake and gathered the seed that fell in less fertile spots, and re-spread it?" No. The very term used for Sower means "to scatter". Remember Paul saying, "I planted, Apollos watered, but Christ gave the increase"? A missionary is a sower, and he is following the command of Christ to spread the gospel into all nations. How dare you, o man, limit Christ's objective because of YOUR wallet?
Fourth, I'd love to know where he got his statistic of 2 souls in 25 years. How does he know the ripple effects of a quarter century of preaching? Oh, well he read it in the financial report. But God judges the soul.
Fifth, Noah was allowed to preach for 100 years before the Flood, and he only reaped 7 other souls- and frankly Ham was questionable at best, especially if you read the Apocrypha. So these missionaries averaged 13 1/2 years per"saved soul", and Noah managed 14 at best. Did God ever say, "Noah, you are wasting my time?" No, because the souls God WANTED saved were saved. On His time.
And finally, I will jump back to his first paragraph. Why support missionary work to people of such an ideology?
- Christ told us to spread the good new to ALL nations. Even Ezekiel didn't get a guarantee of a listening audience, in fact, quite the opposite. And if you remember from one of my Project IS posts, even the hardened jihadist can be saved if God so wills.
-The Nazis, much like the inner city kids, have ready access to churches and Bibles, and many churches fought/fight for the salvation of both; who do these people have?
-Do you really want these people to stay like that? Wouldn't you RATHER they hear the good news and be saved?
I noticed one commenter on the post invoking the "pearls before swine" verse. Guess what: that applies to those who HAVE HEARD and have rejected. Missionaries go to make sure everyone HAS heard. And trust me, a lot of these people have heard nothing but their programming from the many mouths of Satan. Basically, the original poster is saying that he's going to only spend money where he sees a return. The commenter is saying that only "fertile ground" people should have a chance. But I say, you haven't exactly read Jesus' opinion on the subject, have you?
And one more thing: Missionaries also take care of those who have heard and believe, ever think of that? A while back, I gave to a fund for one specific Missionary, who is working on Bible translation in Papua New Guinea. A few weeks later she came home to retool and refuel, and sent me a thank you message:
Dear Mr Martin,
Thank you so much for your generous gift! I'm on furlough right now, and my expenses are much higher in the US than in PNG. Your gift allows me to do things like have a car and do training that will equip me for my role in PNG.
Getting God's Word to those who do not have it in their own language is a passion of mine. You are a part of that vision through your giving. Thank you! Blessings, Crystal Davis.
"For God is not unjust. He will not forget how you have worked for Him by caring for other believers, as you still do." Hebrews 6:10
I didn't share that to toot my horn, or to brag about that another thing this vacation afforded me was the chance to send another gift her way. I shared it so people who feel like that poster can see it's more than "2 souls in 25 years." A LOT more.
Crystal can be found by searching her name on Wycliffe Bible Translators.