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 service.....is 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...