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


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More Side Effects

A warning:

There's an interesting article on the cover of the June 30,2003 issue of Time magazine, entitled"Should Christians Convert Muslims" it discusses whether Christians should proselytize in Muslim countries. It discusses the missionary calling and how some missionaries may be doing more harm than good in the places where they are. I find it interesting that it's the first mainstream publication which addresses the emerging missions movement. It is one of the first mainstream publications which gives mention to Ralph Winter. Dr Winter is one of the founders of the "Perspectives in World Christianity and Missions" course which is being taught in evangelical churches nationwide. It explains tentmaking. The article clearly shows what Christians view as the 10-40 window (which includes China) and provides a balanced commentary on what some missions organizations have done.

In addition, it critically questions the work of some organizations asking whether they're doing more harm than good. It references a rather public example of Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry. They were"Christian Aid workers" who's actions resulted in them being imprisoned by the Taliban. Although the media referred to it as an "abduction" and the subsequent public "rescue" resulted in congratulations by President Bush, one of the lasting consequences of their actions all of the Western relief organizations being expelled from Afghanistan. They were only let back in after the US military toppled the Taliban government.

Even though the article specifically addresses Christian missionaries in Muslim nations, it has some bearing on how Christianity will become part of the modern Chinese culture. The concern, is that in the rush to enter the modern era, China has also replicated the modern horrors which plagued the West as it emerged into the Industrial Age. One can only hope that the mistakes made; such as pollution, child labor, exploitation of the proletariat/working class, corruption, social injustice, and a devaluation of human dignity; that these mistakes will not be repeated.

SMIC and its charismatic CEO, Richard Chang, may well be a beacon of hope in China. As a technology executive he brings modernization, as an unashamed Christian, he brings the Word of God. China is a nation which will emerge into the 21st century modern world power, it would be a shame if went through all these changes, but still emerged soulless and lost.

Another example

From Christianity Today

Civilization has its side effects
Critics have long accused Wycliffe Bible Translators and SIL International of damaging indigenous cultures even as they create written forms for native languages. They have also been (falsely) accused of being a cover for the CIA and American oil operations in Latin America. (The most strident criticisms can be found in out-of-print books such as David Stoll's Fishers of Men or Founders of Empire: The Wycliffe Bible Translators in Latin America and Gerald Colby and Charlotte Dennett's Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil.) Their main purpose is to translate God's Word into the "heart language" of the people.

This week The New York Times Magazine joined earlier critics as Ron Suskind chronicled Wycliffe-induced cultural changes among the Ibitan people on tiny Babuyan Claro, separated from the Philippine mainland by 100 miles of choppy sea. Suskind writes with a much lighter touch than some earlier Wycliffe critics. But he resorts to the Rousseauian myth of the bon sauvage.

The Ibatan passed the decades in a kind of serenity. Though they did dispense with a few unlucky visitors, they were otherwise peaceful. They wore clothes of pounded bark and found herbal remedies in python gallbladders. Their world evolved with a gentle, premodern rhythm—until the day, in 1977, when a 29-year-old missionary named Rundell Maree slipped off a boat into the water, carrying his shortwave radio overhead …

Of course, everything is downhill from there. Rundell Maree brought them a clean water system (which destroyed the communal interchanges at the island's springs), he brought them their own history in writing (which destroyed their peaceful sense of timelessness and turned some of them into driven achievers), and he brought them the material things of civilization (which created a division between the haves and have-nots). Oh yes, he brought them the Bible, too. Suskind barely mentions the main reason for Wycliffe's work.

Suskind pads his prose with references to Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Alexis de Toqueville. With jaundiced eye, he interprets the creation of wealth into the makings of class struggle. Curiously, he never produces any evidence of actual class struggle beyond garden-variety covetousness.

The New York Times Article

updated 7.2.2003