The things we think but do not say - a mission statement

Missionary, why Christianity is still western imperialism. Yet amidst the cultural destruction, there is message of hope.

30 years West, 30 years east. - Living on the other side of the ocean, to create balance.
An engineer trapped in a Missionary's body.

Reasons - My own thoughts on what I might want to do with my life.

What not to do. More ponderings on the missions movement.

Religious Imperialism - An article about Christianity

CCFC - The church I currently Attend

contact me at:
justin (@) deepdrift dot com


GyozaQuest is a non profitable site,

What not to do.

To those on the outside, you can't understand it.
To those on the inside, you can't explain it.

This is the central paradox of a religious conversion.

To understand a culture, you need to become part of it

Can you really study Christianity objectively without being moved by it. Becoming a Christian is a life changing event. It involves allowing yourself to be changed. A blind foolishness, a step of faith, simply to believe.

Likewise for all my friends who are going out trying to study missions, in particular amongst Muslims. I think the popular Evangelical christian thing to do right now is to say you want to reach out to the Muslims.

It's impossible to understand Islam without becoming a muslim yourself. Instead of trying to impose Christianity upon the culture, allow yourself to be guided by your inside. Allow yourself to become muslim. Understand what it means to be a Muslim.

Be vulnerable, be open minded, instead of trying to change those around you, let yourself be changed. Be willing to put eveything on the line. Everything.

All your ideas about God, all your preconcieved notions. Be willing to challenge even the basic fundamentals.

We need to spend less time putting on the armor of God, to prepare for a Crusade. And more time trying to be cultural ambassadors.

Christianity is inseperable from Western ideas.

Although we'd like to believe otherwise it's the nature of our understanding of God, that we're unable to separate western cultural constraints from the word of God. Basic ideas like: egalitarianism, freedom, all men being created equal, democracy, literacy. Are they Christian or are they Western.

This inseperability is not a bad thing per se. In fact, it can even be thought of as a facilitator. That the western ideas of modernism, technology and globlaization, may actually be a benefit to the spread of Christianity.

Knowing full well that western ideas are inevitably going to arrive in foreign countries, and it may be imperialism, thinking that our ideas will change entire nations. But the issue isn't about preventing the trappings of modern society from going to these places, as it is undoubtable that it will. We will bring modern sanitation, adequate food, literacy, education, instant worldwide communication, commerce and materialism to all the nations of the earth. Thus knoing this, we should make sure that the Word of God, is brought along with it.

Short term missions is a load of crock.

Gone are the days of the great missions movements, when young men would go, with the full belief that they may not come back, that they would die in the field, never to return, only perhaps to send letters back to the sending organization. Now with the age of jet travel, missions is a diiferent beast, it's no less challenging, but yet it's more accesible, and lower commitment.

A missions trip for two months or less, is not missions at all.
It's a Christian-ese term for a vacation. At best it's a service project.

True, there could be a lot of work done in that time, but we should recognize that it serves to change the people going, as much if not more than the people they work with. Without a doubt there is value in going on a two week or six week "Urban Trek" or as part of a "Teaching Team"

A missions trip for under two years is a temporary assignment.

There is value to a trip like this, however be warned try not to "go in, stir up a hornets nest, and then quit town when the going gets tough"

Missions is not simply about full time missionaries

InterVarsity preaches that "everyone is a missionary" and "the missions field is right outside your door." Being a missionary can involve staying right where your are, and still being viewed as one of the "sent." Or it could mean going whererever God is calling you, yet still maintaining hold of your identity, and profession.

Don't act like an idiot

It could be possible that missionaries talk about their target audience different than they talk to their target audience. But I doubt it.

The movie Donnie Brasco is a fitting comparison to the missions movement.

It's the story of an undercover agent sent to infiltrate an organized crime ring. Fitting in that in the end only after gaining the trust of his inner circle gangsters, could he betray them, but as much as he had a job to do, there was a sense of loyalty to the person he was pretending to be. Almost as if the character he was pretending to be might have become part of who he is. He emerged changed from the experience, although in the end he is able to turn the gangsters in, one can see the angst as the character struggles with what he has done. Even though he was indeed working for the good guys, only after gaining the trust of the bad guys. He could only succeed by becoming a gangster himself.

Thus the idea of betraying his friends, was also a betrayal of the person he had become.

For TandS

You annoy me. Initially, you were my poster children for how not do things. I kept on asking myself if you really called by God or are your own egos getting in the way? There is no sincerity in doing works temporarily, knowing full well that your heart is elsewhere. I feel sorry for those who's lives you'll touch, knowing that you're going to betray them in a few years, when you will inevitably leave. Do you leave because you've failed to esablish a community where you are, and the adventureous spirit urges you onward. Or because like anyone committed to doing good, you will always find people who need you more.

And who does you think you're fooling by writing m-slims instead of Muslims, dammit that's more annoying to the reader than anything else. No, I don't think it's cute, I don't think it's being cautious, it shows where your heart is. You're so afraid of what you want to do that you can't even state it directly. Even though you're still in the land of the free.

I would wonder if you're not committed to the place where you are. That you still view the people you're called to minister to with fear, trepidation, and reservation. That they're a mystical, exotic people, and this is one heroic crusade to liberate them. Although you may just be located in an ideal location to prepare you for your futures, your hearts are lost elsewhere. I only pray that indeed God does work within you, changes you, and is preparing you for the works which he has in store.

Your heart should be committed to the place where you are, as opposed to looking elsewhere. I can hear it in your letters. There's a restlessness, you don't want to stay there, and work with the people whom you have, yet for fianancial, cultural, or simply logistical reasons this seems only a jumping off point.

You may be called to go, but perhaps you should stay.

updated 3/26/2003