Saturday, October 04, 2008

Non-U.S. Christians Identify Problems in American Missions

Check out the following article from The Christian Post:

Non-U.S. Christians Identify Problems in American Missions


As we seek to be better stewards of the resources God has entrusted into our hands, I believe we must pay close attention to voices like those cited in this article.

5 comments:

Wayne Smith said...

David.

I find it interesting that these Christians and Pastor’s are saying the same thing that Jesus Christ said About UNITY in the Body of Christ.

Joh 17:11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
Joh 17:22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,

The Rev. Reuben Ezemadu of Nigeria, continental director of the Movement of African National Initiatives, said that it seemed that U.S. Christians in the past 15 to 20 years were trying to force its own church structures on the Global South, but that that hasn’t worked.
The African leader asked Americans to recognize the maturity and intelligence of other cultures, and called on American Christians to play a supporting role and allow Africans to take leadership roles.
Similarly, David Ruiz of Guatemala, associate director of the World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission, said Latin American Christians have felt ignored or overlooked by Western Christians.
He said Hispanic Christians want to see more humility from their Western counterparts and hope that the West will recognize Latin America’s potential to reshape Christianity worldwide.
The diverse group of pastors from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America were taking part in the North American Pastors’ Consultation on “The Changing Role of the American Church in World Evangelization” on Sept. 22-23.
Church leaders discussed the need for the American Church to have humility and to learn to work together in authentic partnership with other churches around the world.

Wayne Smith

foxofbama said...

David:
As you know the Presidential Politics in America are getting heated.
I think one of the fault lines is in the SBC where the status quo broke ranks with the Baptist World Alliance.
Recent tackings by Billy Graham's Daughter Anne Graham Lotz are an interesting plumbline.
In the meantime, at the discussion site Baptistlife.com, a former member (25) years of your Dad's church, Bellevue, has taken issue with a recent analysis of Christian fundamentalism as it inflects the Vice Presidential bid of Sarah Palin.
Here are Ed Thompson's thoughts on the matter:

Re: "Why Is Sarah Palin Such a Good Liar for God?"
by ET on Tue Oct 07, 2008 1:48 pm

The Evangelicals live in a resentment-fueled, inward-looking subculture. They are convinced that the world is out to get them and put them at a perpetual disadvantage. They equate knowledge, facts and education with an elite that they feel belittled by.

The Evangelical "base" have unwittingly become the enemy of democracy. They are democracy's enemy because a grossly misinformed Evangelical public that celebrates its ignorance is the antithesis of an informed people who can manage their own affairs.

Yes, and we're still bitterly clinging to our guns and religion, too. How many bulls does it take to come up with a pile of it this big??????

Nothing but trotting out the long-standing stereotype of conservative Christians as nothing more than uneducated rubes who are not intelligent enough to see leftist policies as leading to the Utopia of our dreams. Such characterizations only reinforces the notion that far too many lefties are nothing more than ivory-tower eggheads who have no clue as to how the real world work and how the everyday American lives their life.

Since when did lefties become concerned about Americans managing their own affairs? Every time I turn on the news I hear of yet another Dem politician telling me how they're going to "help" me, probably just as effectively as they've "helped" more Americans become homeowners via Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac. It is Republicans/conservatives who believe Americans can manage their own lives, not Democrats/lefties. The basic foundation of Democrat policies is that we need government to help us get anywhere in life.


Dominion Theology is a subset of Dominionism and Christian Reconstructionism or the "Theonomy" movement. Followers believe that the God revealed in the Bible is the sole source of all human law, and that "God's law" must be established in America. This is the American version of the Taliban.
*************
Christians should have "dominion" over the earth and every nation in it in the name of not just Jesus Christ but also in the name of the God of the Old Testament. Thus in the best of all worlds we'd be enforcing Old Testament law.
*************
The Dominionists have a wide and under-the-mainstream-media radar following in many Evangelical circles.

In my 25+ years as a member of the "religious right" that was largely spent in one of the leading conservative churches of the SBC, I have NEVER heard any mention of "dominionism" or anything that could be construed as such. I've never heard any such sentiments expressed over the years from any of my friends of associates about "dominionism". I've never heard about "taking dominion" over the earth and imposing Old Testament law from anyone I know in my Christian circle nor in any of the various media sources I read or listen to occasionally.

The ONLY times -- and that has been within the last few years -- I've ever heard of such beliefs is when lefties trot them out to stir fear amongst the citizenry that the goal of the religious right is to set up an "American Taliban". This fear of an "American Taliban" is nothing but the fantastical creation of left wing nut jobs who have no clue as to what they are talking about. The fact that this moron brings this up as even a relevant issue shows me that he is clueless, but what does one expect from the huffingtonpost? When Christians start strapping bombs to themselves and blowing up people to get their way, then come talk to me about the "American Taliban", fool.

Excuse me whilst I retire to refuel my flamethrower (and make plans to burn this guy at the stake as a heretic when we take over the country).

I've somewhat tuned out of politics over the last few days. All this talk of "liars" must mean McCain and Palin are stickin' it to them. Doubt there's a lot of lying going on, only someone not wanting others to know the truth.

End of quote:
I hope you and folks in your network will take a look at the discussions there at bl.com; particularly the links to the recent tnr.com article on the resentments of Sarah Palin, which for me at least mirror many of the resentments of the conservative resurgence in the SBC.
To the point that I am convinced the political forces that placed Palin on McCain's ticket are the same that defeated Richard Jackson for the Presidency of the SBC in 88 where your Father presided.
Richard JAckson baptized Cindy McCain.

Sincerely hope things otherwise are well as we all take a close look at our nation's character at this moment.

foxofbama said...

David:
In fairness to Ed Thompson, your Dad's former member at Bellevue, I wanted to make it clear not all the words in the quote in the comment above are his, as he is quoting some remarks by Francis Schaefer's son Franky in his text above.
I think it pretty obvious which are Ed's words and which are Franky's but if anybody wants to be sure, they can easily check out the exchange at baptistlife.com
I know you are a serious reader, but I do think you and your audience will want to take a good look at Princeton's Kathryn Lofton's Monday post in Religion Dispatches on the Pilgrimage of John McCain.
Quite fascinating.

bryan riley said...

Wow, that article resulted in some long comments. I'd just say it is true that people, Christians and non-Christians, around the world see Americans as arrogant, fat, pushy, and loud. And, yes, sometimes ministers carry their cultural biases with them into the mission field.

Interestingly, Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, told the Catalyst gathering that the single common characteristic of truly great leaders is "HUMILITY." I didn't expect that to be his conclusion, and neither did he, but it was because the data bore out what God demonstrated long ago.

Ron said...

David,
I would like to get back to the original intent of your blog and discuss the comments made at this meeting and how they might relate to the IMB and our emphasis over the last 10 years and the changes taking place today.
Rev. Ezemadu of Nigeria said it seemed that U.S. Christians were trying to force its own church structures on the Global South. Could it be that in some areas of the world through CPM we were trying to force a church structure on our local partners that we could not even force on our own churches in the states. How many times have we invited volunteeer teams to come out and help us facilitate the rapid multiplication of churches of 10 to 15 members and then send those volunteers back to worship in churches of 500, 1000 or 10,000 members. How often have we listened and agreed with local believers as they have tried to tell us the church sturcture that best meets their needs. In my region not often.
The article also said church leaders discussed the need for the American Church to have humility and to learn to work together in authentic partnership with other churches around the world. Have we had humility and been willing to work together with our national partners or have we said you can work with us if you support the strategy we have decided you should follow or we will find others to work with?
On another level, you could ask the BWA leaders how much humility and willingness to work together we have.
Ron West