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Prissy Boy And World Missions
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Larry Lilly's Letter Friday April 20, 2007
Have you ever had your "suspicions" confirmed? Great feeling isn't it? I have long harbored suspicions about how native peoples around the world really feel about visiting dignitaries, tourists and certainly missionaries. I am limiting today's comments to the feelings of Nationals concerning Western Missionaries. I did not say Christian Missionaries, though many Westerns are Christians.
The magazine, "Unpublished Word" Spring 2007 issue, has a list titled, "10 Things That Confuse Me About The American Missionary's Presentation of World Missions." I know, it is a long and high sounding title, but the info is worth its weight in gold in learning how to better reach the unreached.
I do not have space the comment on each point, but I will send the list to you if you request it.
Number 1 complaint on the list. "We are not naïve and backward; instead, we are your brothers and sisters in Christ." WOW. Pretty good answer. Number 2 is "You talk about us to your churches back home in such demeaning ways." Can you imagine Jesus returning to the Ivory Palace and commenting on the unwashed condition of those for whom He died?
Number 8, is one that from my questionnaires over the years would be listed NUMBER ONE, is much the same as here at home:
"You live so far above our average standard of living and you behave as if you're still in North America."
I spent the time this morning, the time I would normally have been writing and created a little chart and came to a not so amazing conclusion about what the list is really teaching us about reaching people anywhere. The average Christian Missionary adapts the attitude that communicates, "Well, here I am, slumming for Jesus, but don't worry I feel certain Jesus will keep me from being contaminated by the plagues of this heathen group Jesus died for, though I really don't know why He would do such a thing, when there are plenty of good people like us to be saved."
I asked a missionary one time at lunch as he discussed the pictures he was going to show, vividly describing the utterly disgusting manner in which the subjects of his outreach lived, "Brother, would these people you are reaching out to, be accepted in your home church?" Of course I knew the church and I knew the embarrassing answer. The only answer I received was a reddened face.
The list in the mag is followed by a list of gobbeldegook supposedly to solve the above problems. I will include this list if you request the above list. One solution is titled, "Mutual Design." I'm sure this is the silver bullet if you can figure out Mutual Design.
Please do not read this article and consign me to the realm of "Grouchy Old Man." This is not to say that I am not grouchy, or not an old man, but I bet I can outrun most whippersnappers who refer to me as old. Some years ago a young man, the kind we used to call "Prissy" asked me to take him to visit some real sinners. I complied with his wish and took him to a bikers club called Dancers. As we went up to the door he noticed the sign which stated, "No guns, knives, chains or colors." He asked what the sign meant and I told not to worry as they did not enforce the sign. As we entered, a girl was gyrating in a gage, and several of the customers whistled at "Prissy" boy frightening him to near paralysis and he whimpered, "This is not what I had in mind." I was not surprised. We went to visit a carnal deacon and I drank some coffee with the deacon, while Prissy imbibed strong tap water with a squeeze of lemon. He felt much better.
Larry Lilly Copyright © 2007 Use with credit.
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