Are Christian missionaries narcissistic idiots?

7 Aug

Ann Coulter seems to think so, and Albert Mohler has written a nice response.

Writes Coulter: “There is little danger of an Ebola plague breaking loose from the treatment of these two Americans at the Emory University Hospital, but why do we have to deal with this at all? Why did Dr. Brantly have to go to Africa? The very first ‘risk factor’ listed by the Mayo Clinic for Ebola — an incurable disease with a 90% fatality rate — is: “Travel to Africa.”

She then asked this question: “Can’t anyone serve Christ in America anymore?”

Well, Ann, by your logic, Jesus was a fool to leave heaven for our sakes, let alone suffer the humiliation of the cross. The missionary spirit is the spirit of Jesus, and Dr. Brantley knows that Spirit.

Sadly, it’s not just loud-mouthed conservatives who ask this question. It is sometimes asked in milder form by well-meaning friends, family, and churches. Indeed, as David Platt recently pointed out, almost all the missionary heroes we read about today were OPPOSED strongly by many in their churches! In our own experience, when we were considering moving to Peru to use our gifts in technology and teaching more directly for the benefit of Christ’s Kingdom and Peruvians, I was stunned to be asked by believers a couple times, “Couldn’t you do that here?” Yes, in some ways, I could, but what would be the point? I still feel the burden of proof is the other way around. When there is so much Gospel light in the US and so little in other parts of the world, how can you justify not going?

Is it expensive to send missionaries to foreign countries? Undoubtedly. But was it expensive for Jesus to leave heaven for our sakes?

Might you risk your life by leaving the developed world to give of yourself to others? Right again! And in so doing, you would only follow in the footsteps of the Master.

The missionary spirit is the heart of Christianity and every church. If that spirit dies, the church dies. Don’t quench the Spirit. Get involved in missions! Short of moving away from home, perhaps you could teach an ESL class or participate in a friendship program with international students. These are fantastic opportunities right in your own backyard. Whether you give, pray, or go, don’t be a spectator. Be intentional about being part of Christ’s mission, and you will not regret it. He is worth it, and you will be blessed by your involvement.

6 Responses to “Are Christian missionaries narcissistic idiots?”

  1. Peter L August 7, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    Did Jesus not say we were going to be witnesses in Jerusalem (where the disciples were at the time), Judea (where they lived) as well as the uttermost parts of the world? Evidently, Ms. Coulter never read that verse.

    • David Chandler August 7, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

      Yes, when I went back and read Coulter’s whole article, it’s basically man’s wisdom, not God’s wisdom. Coulter says Dr. Brantley could have done more good working at a hospital in the US and converting one Hollywood producer, who could have then influenced others. But that isn’t what 1Cor 1:27 says. Ditto for America. She writes that if America falls, it will spell another 1,000 years of darkness for the world. Nah. God can raise up a “disease-ridden third world country” to carry the Gospel torch forward, with or without America.

  2. kcauble August 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm #

    Thank you for saying pretty much exactly what i thought when reading Coulter’s comments (except you were way nicer; i got pretty mad and called her some names). Apparently she thinks obeying our Father won’t be costly, won’t look like a fool’s errand, and won’t end in death – if not physical, certainly of the ego. Our ascended Lord would beg to differ, i believe, as would all those who hear His voice and take up their crosses and follow Him.

  3. michael CHANDLER August 8, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    Well said, David.  There is also much to be said for the mere hpresence of a Christian in  a foreign land to represent Christ. The mere presence of an active witness is a light in a dark place. Companies will set up offices abroad just to be a presence in that country.  People can go to them locally for help.  So it is with a Christian neighbor.  As for the field, they won’t know if you never go.

    Love, Dad

  4. Millie August 8, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

    Loved it! Bien dicho!

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