The cool thing about having a blog is that I can write whatever I want! That is also the dangerous thing about having a blog. It’s a bit like being a Christian.
Today I have been thinking a lot about an article I read in the newspaper. There was a professor, whom I believe is a Christian himself, who said that he thought Christians, and missionaries in particular, are cowards and wimps. I fit into both those categories (hopefully not cowards and wimps, but missionary and Christian) so I read on.
He said that he meets people who has never in their lives shared their faith with their neighbor, who has never gone out to have a beer with a colleague, who hardly never even admit that they are Christians, go to a foreign country to work as missionaries, to share their faith, to make an impact for Jesus. This, he thought, was cowardly.
He said that a muslim will boldly put his or her prayer-mat out on the sidewalk, if need be, and pray to their God. A Christian won’t dare to say the Lord’s Prayer on the bus if the person next to him will hear it. Cowardly.
Not only that, he continued. Many of these wimpy Christians will go to the other countries and do their work, but will keep it a secret that they are Christians. Especially when they come back to their home country. At all cost they will avoid saying the dreaded C-word.
Wimps, wimps, wimps! Why don’t you stand for something? He asked. Are you so ashamed?
This is a paraphrase of the article that I read in Vårt Land today.
I thought about writing the professor actually. I thought to call him and say: There are two things I want to say as a response to what I just read. One is that those people you meet who have never gone to have a beer with their gentile friends don’t make any non-Christian friends in the new country they go to either. They still stay in the Christian bubble you talked about. They make friends with other Christians, go to the churches with the people who speak their language and follow their theology, send their kids to the Christians schools and eat the Christian food, they will speak the Christian language that only Christians understand, and wear the Christian outfits. But they are afraid to make friends with people who are not bEliEVers. They don’t want their kids to associate with the uNbelieVErs either. Some of them will look down on people working for organizations such as my own, because, according to them, we don’t share the gospel.
I could say to him, that I agree with his observations and that I think that to be a sharer of the Gospel starts in your own backyard, and if you can’t share what you believe with your neighbor, then why bother sharing it with somebody across the world. I can also ask him if he wants my honest opinion about what it means to share the gospel. If he says yes, I can tell him the things I think it means. I will say that giving out tracts about the four steps to salvation is not the best way. Being a generous friend who is willing to sacrifice your life, time and resources for somebody in need is more like it. That is when we can start talking about the person we follow, the person who is our example. Jesus.
Then, I thought I could tell him about some people that are not at all like the cowards and wimps he described. The ones I have met that have started hospitals for lepers, who adopted a street-kid who was a beggar, who live in the jungle most of the year to give people help, hope and love. I can tell him about my friend Shaune who is a nurse who cares for the sick and outcast more than anybody I know. I can tell him about my other friend, Marci, who walks from village to village to help and treat people. I can tell him about my friend Sonya who lives for the people of Burma, and who has given up her career to serve and help. And I can tell them that each one of these people will tell you straight to your face that the reason they are doing what they are doing is because of love, yes. It is because it is right, yes. But most of all it is because they are Christians, and as a Christian, it is the right thing to do. And as a Christian they get the strength they need from their faith and relationship with Jesus. They will tell you, straight to your face, that it would be impossible to do what they are doing if it was not so.
I have been thinking about this a lot today. I have been challenged by it. Because, I wonder, if what we (I) believe is so important to me, then why not tell people why it is? They probably want to know.