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Why We Hate Missionaries

David Brainard - missionary to the American Indians.
His 'Journal' will rock your world.
[Extract from the book Elijah Men Eat Meat]

Elijah’s mission to the foreign town of Zarephath is not a secondary episode. Rather, it gives essential perspective. Jesus cited this episode as having a parallel to his own, so we must get this. It is a key event that all potential reformers and revivalists must keep in mind or else they lose ultimate focus.

It is not enough to merely heal a wounded soldier. We must get him back onto the battlefield in fighting condition. It is not enough just to get the water out of the ship. We must get the ship back in the water and set it on its mission. Likewise, it is not enough merely to rid the church of fake teachers and immorality. We must keep our ultimate mission in view.
So let’s talk mission. Let’s assume that we accomplish our goal of Bible-slapping the Jezebellic zeitgeist out of the church. Great. Then what? What would we then do with ourselves? What is our mission?

The church’s mission focus has been largely hijacked by the new regressives. For most of her history, the main mission of the church has been clearly understood: to preach the gospel and make obedient disciples of Jesus throughout the nations. But Satan has belched upon us a faux-guilt complex rooted in a dimly understood European colonial history. Somehow, we’ve believed the lie that sending preachers to other countries to proclaim the gospel is racist. How it is racist, we’re not quite sure. But this is what the cool kids have told us and we have believed them. As the church was made for mission, we replace gospel advancement with other causes: recycling, opposing fracking, reducing carbon footprints, wealth distribution―or whatever the latest Guardian approved cause may be. We hate real missionaries by neglecting pray for them, give to them, or even consider going ourselves.

There are some Biblical churches that rightfully disregard the hellishly humanistic substitutes for mission, but they then lose foreign mission as a focus themselves because ‘we have so many problems here at home.’  Given all the spiritual darkness that we see in Israel, it would be easy to assume that God might put foreign missions on hold. Elijah has no shortage of work to do within his national boundaries. After all, there are plenty of fake prophets to combat and plenty of seduced hearts to turn. Yet, God sends Elijah to another nation to spend two years of his life witnessing to one pagan woman and her son. How does one even begin to evaluate whether that was a wise use of time and resources? Surely a gifted preacher and miracle worker like Elijah could be doing more important things? He could be preaching to huge crowds back in Israel, no? God doesn’t seem to think so. He sends his premier prophet into foreign missions for a season.

Reformers can be so focused on awakening the church within their own locality that we forget the bigger call the Father has given us: to see Jesus exalted in all nations. This was a tendency among some Reformers 500 years ago. They were so focused on reforming the church’s theology and ecclesiology that sending out missionaries into foreign lands was neglected.

It was 200 years later that Protestants began to gain a significant vision for global evangelism. When they did start, they did amazing work. The biographies of Hudson Taylor, William Carrey, Amy Carmichael, David Brainerd, etc., are now Christian classics worthy of every growing Christian’s prayerful read. They didn’t just go to do service projects either. They went to preach, baptize, and disciple.

Today, 2/3 of all Christians live in the third-world. There are more active disciples in Asia than in the United States, and more in Africa than in Europe. This global shift in Christianity is thanks to men and women who obeyed God’s marching orders and gave their lives abroad just 200 years ago. In a beautiful (and ironic) turn, missionaries from countries that are poorer in material goods, but richer in God, are now coming to our cities and telling us Europeans that we need to repent. The bread we cast on the waters is returning to us. The POC (Primates of Colour) within third-world Anglicanism are the ones giving well-deserved rebuke to their (mostly) white ecclesiastical siblings who increasingly tolerate sexual immorality and fake teaching in their midst. Their voices are strong. May God help us listen.

Europe is the one continent where Christianity has been shrinking for more than a century - while it has grown in the other continents. There are still millions trapped in the shadow of Islam who have never heard the gospel. Who will go and tell them? Who will go to Spain? Who will go to Uzbekistan? 

The Father’s goal is to see Jesus praised among the nations. Who is our widow? We may not be able to go abroad ourselves, but in today’s world of instant communications and affordable travel, we can all connect with global missions in some way. There are practical ways anyone can get involved, and it doesn’t take too long online to find groups that can point you in the right direction. We may rightfully desire to be a prophetic witness within our own church and nation, but where is our Zarephath? 
___________________



Extract from Elijah Men Eat MeatReadings to slaughter your inner Ahab and pursue Revival and Reform (Get Here) 

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