12.01.2006

veiled materialism

I realize my opinion on this topic is somewhat unpopular. It's not the first time I've held an unpopular opinion. I also realize that my opinion is rather extreme. On some level, I feel forced to have an extremist viewpoint in order to express the dire state of Christians in America.

I am sick of Americans veiling their materialism as mission work.

A two-week trip to Foreign Country X costing more than $2000 is poor stewardship of the mission potential of your dollar. Especially when social justice is such an enormous issue. It's ignorance is killing hundreds, thousand, millions? Whose interest is at hand when such extravagant amounts are spent on travel?

I am extremely frustrated at the Christians in America who glorify missions in other countries as some righteous venture where they can swoop into save the day. I feel a sense of abandonment for the horrible state of spiritual affairs in my backyard. The issues here are abandoned for lack of glamour and for the seemingly impassable level of difficulty.

The spiritual poverty is vast in my country, much more vast than many foriegn states. Evangelism results are rarely dramatic here. They are not glamourous. But they are so necessary. So imminent. I can't bear to leave.

I think our view of foreign missions and the manner in which we carry them out is in terrific need of a paradigm shift. If we depend on the glamour of a destination mission trip to carry Christ to the hungry we have lost sight of need for Christ.

If you want to go to Foreign Country X, go on vacation. And don't ask me for donations for the trip. Right now, it violates my sense of social justice.

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