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What would you say?

11 January 2010 (19:30) | posted by jj |


If someone says "missions is about cramming Christianity down other people's throats," how would you respond?  Tell us!

Recently, a facebook friend of mine who is a pastor shared a status update about his daughter attending a missionary training program before heading to Asia for a short-term missions assignment.

Most of the comments from his friends were, as you could imagine, extremely positive, optimistic, and prayerful.

However, one friend wrote this bold question:

Mission that when u go to another country and offer to assist if the people are willing to have christianity forced down their throats?

My pastor friend eloquently offered a graciously tender-hearted reply saying that the heart of missions is sharing the message of hope of Jesus Christ, often demonstrated through mercy and service.

Here's what I added to the conversation:

Ouch! Yet you raise an interesting and sometimes legitimate critique of missions. Thank you for being bold enough to spark this dialogue.

If you have a half hour, I invite you to watch a mini-documentary "MISSIONS: REDEFINED" that I helped to produce. My team examined missions in three Asian countries (Japan, Sri Lanka and Mongolia). Sri Lanka has had to deal with colonialist-style missions in their past where well-meaning missionaries brought some baggage along with the Gospel. In the documentary, we examined what missions means at this time in history. I think you (and the others here) might find it rather interesting.

You can watch it online here:

Ok, so what about you?  What would you say?  Let's collect some responses.  Please leave your replies here...



  1. Receiving versus Getting

    15 January 2010 | 00:57
    Hi JJ, Thanks for posting. There are two (or more) ways to look at most things. I think for many people who do not understand missions or even the point of evangelism, it might be good to point out that the gospel is good to share everywhere, but it is *received* by those willing to listen. You can *get* the message without receiving it (by faith), in which case one's response may be similar to the "cramming" statement. It also boils down to method, and matters of the heart where grace, love and the interests of others over ourselves is prevalent in ministry.

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