In a group I am in on Facebook we were talking about Christian missions and how they seem kinda silly.  People spend lots of money and time to go places to spread the word of god.  I understand as Christians you are called upon by god to spread his word but when you are going to countries where Christianity is already abundant what is the point? It has always seemed to me like an interesting way to get your congregation to pay for your family vacation/homeschooling field trip.  

But my real serious question that came up was why do Christians not actually try to spread the word to the people who really need Christianity?  Why do I only hear about missions to places like South America and Africa usually?  There are a lot of people in these places but a lot of them have not only been introduced to Christianity but are active Christians and many are already there doing missions.  Why don’t I hear about missions to the Middle East?  Isn’t that the real test of your faith?  Really go out there are try to spread the word to people who have no access to your god’s word.  Sure it would be dangerous, but wasn’t it dangerous for Jesus to run around telling everyone he was the son of god? Of course you aren’t as good of a person as Jesus but shouldn’t you, as a Christian, aspire to be as good as Jesus?  Go out and actually experience real persecution.  Not persecution of your faith because a judge decided that gays can get married in your state but the type of persecution where you have to have secret meetings in basements of sympathizers to even share your message and then hope nobody rats you out to the government whose laws are the laws of their majority religion (and by majority I mean only) because you will likely be hunted down and killed.  

What you don’t want to die? Don’t you trust that your god is stronger than the evil and that you are good enough to be saved from that? 

This is where I think that deep down christians do doubt the whole thing – they are not willing to make that sacrifice.  They are not willing to put their life on the line because they do not believe that their god will save them because time and time again christians have seen evil win over and over despite the supposed power of their all-knowing and loving god.  


9 thoughts on “Missions

  1. Dy-Anne the reason you don’t often hear about missionaries to the Places where there are no Christians is because those countries governments would not allow them in. So, they go in as teachers, business people, nurses, doctors, etc. They truly face the reality that if the government finds out that they are also missionaries then they at best they get kicked out of the country or thrown in jail. At worst torture or killed by extremists. Any citizens of those of countries also face the same consequences or worse.

    I personally work in a country that is 94% non-Christian, Senegal. There are very real consequences to preaching the gospel in this country. I am willing to give my life. I have many missionary friends who actually face the reality of death if officials discovered what they are doing.

    I recommend looking at the book called Dying Out Loud. It is the story of a missionary who just this year passed away living as a missionary in Turkey. I would love to answer any questions you might have about missionaries. Granted I don’t have all the answer but just a few.

    • I don’t want to say I am glad to hear that people are giving their lives for their faith because as someone who doesn’t believe I personally think that is ridiculous but I guess I respect the people who actually practice what they preach.
      I understand that it would be harder to go into those countries and you would have to be secretive about what you are doing and even then it would be very dangerous. But it also seems silly that many people go on missions to places like New Zealand, Mexico or other places that are not in need of more Christians spreading the word because they are already predominately Christian. To me that is like Mormon Missionaries in Utah.

  2. A few years ago I went to Turkey and met many many of the missionaries who are living in those hard places- Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia…etc . They are there. And they very much believe in God’s power & are not afraid to put it all on the line. The people I met are families – they moved their little kids across the world to live in these dangerous places. If that’s not faith I don’t know what is. They are just wise & don’t broadcast to everyone where they live- don’t confuse wisdom for fear. You can’t just sign up to take a church mission trip there- the country would never let you in. It takes time, patience, planning, and prayer. But I have heard what’s going on in these areas & His people are there & spreading the gospel, & people are putting their faith in Christ.

    • I understand that if you moved there you would not say you were going on a mission but that does not mean that you would not raise funds through your own church, but I do suppose that would be a by mouth operation and not an online thing because the governments in those countries do have access to the internet even if they restrict it for their citizens.

      Thank you for sharing.

  3. Why not indeed? This is a completely valid question and criticism. I feel very strongly about the way that the church in America at large treats Muslims and the Middle East. It is a shame. I also despise the glorification and defense of the repugnant behavior of Israel toward its neighbors. If genocide is unjust it should ways be unjust – not only when our enemies do it. Christians ought to be in the forfront of relief work in Syria and with the refugees. And Christians also ought to be the ones who decry the mistreatment of women in Saudi Arabia – our “ally”.

    To be fair though, just because there are people who have heard of Christianity in a country doesn’t mean that there arent others who haven’t. Additionally, I think part of the inherent value in traveling to another country is that it makes one consider oneself differently. I still remember the shock I felt the first time I visited a shanty town. And honestly, every time after that. The depravity that people live is beyond explanation. But also, some missions aren’t strictly evangelical in nature. There are people who do relief work as well.

    It is scary to consider moving to a foreign country – and it would not be a stretch to say that long term mission work is not for everyone. It is hard to “take up ones cross” and follow Jesus. But too, that doesn’t mean there isn’t valuable work to do right on my own needy community, where many families live below the federal povery level. It it just as valuable – to the people who are helped- for me to work to help people locally as it is for me to go to a foreign country.

  4. I read an article recently about missionaries from other countries coming to the United States. Like we are the top destination for missionaries in South Korea and Mexico and I can’t remember where else right now. I think all countries have people who need Jesus. Perhaps YOU do not, but what about a neighbor?

    And I read plenty about missionaries going to those countries you mentioned that they are not going to. Plenty of people are willing to suffer for Jesus. Just because you don’t hear about them doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.

  5. Hi Dy-Anne,
    An absolutely valid criticism of the church. As a young Christian aspiring to pursue mission work in the Middle East it truly breaks my heart that sharing the Gospel with all nations is not only a higher priority, but is not embraced as our utmost purpose as the ‘Christians’ we claim ourselves to be. The Westernized church takes comfort in the Prosperity Gospel through which God helps those who help themselves. It’s a pity that Christians pick and choose their favorite parts of the Bible to believe because God’s message of love and His call to follow Him are radical and challenging (and in my experiences, extremely rewarding), yet we are selfish and the battle to live our lives for ourselves is the basis on which Christianity stands. People take the ‘Savior’ and the ‘grace,’ but they refuse the ‘Lord’ because no one really innately wants to give up their rights on their own life to live for God.

    P.S. Thank you for your journey! I recently found your blog linked from yearwithoutgod and have been doing quite the catching up. You may see some questions from me on Ask an Atheist soon. That is, if you’re still accepting questions from 9 months ago haha (:

    • Absolutely! I never quite finished up answering my questions there either. Just one of the many things in my life that got started but got pushed to the back of the line with my school schedule.

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