Love Thy Neighbor

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Where is the Messiah, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. I was on another forum, and saw this guy post this, and wanted to hear your opinions.

    "I used to get this African christian dude try to proselytize me via Skype. I have certain believes regarding the definition of the word "neighbor" as in "Love they neighbor" that many self-professed christians fail to appreciate. Basically the idea is that you love your neighbor, and not look over his house and find someone WAY down the road to love. Missionary types have to fly over millions of people that need help in order to "do God's work" in places that really serve THEIR need to be special. "Hey everyone, LOOKIT ME! I'm going to Africa on the other side of the planet to do God's work! Aren't I SPECIAL?" and meanwhile there are thousands of needy people right next door that go ignored because they aren't as glamorous or exciting. It doesn't serve the propaganda interests of the church to send missionaries two blocks down the road. It sounds much more important to send them to the other side of the planet.

    So who's needs are they serving? "The Poor" ? "The Needy"? "Gods"? No, no, and no. They are serving their own interests and their own needs, and they are using the plight of people they don't even know in order to make themselves appear special and good. But they're not, in fact they are the opposite, which is evil. Because, their role modeling shows others that when you want to help someone else, you have to look far, far away. And learn to ignore the problems that are right there in front of you. And that's why we have armed military on the other side of the planet supposedly dying for someone else's freedom, while our freedom here in the United States is being replaced by government programs and controls. Truthfully, I think most manifestation of the church as the "body of christ" are actually active elements of the anti-christ and the these are the end times and I look forward to the cleansing of the apocalypse.

    This is just a small part of the post.
  2. He is clueless and has zero lateral thought.

    The church in the US does serve the community and anyone can...come to it. No need to send missionaries to fetch them rofl :ROFLMAO:.

    As for those in Africa...they do need help. Many missionaries do a lot of humanitarian aid. Churches here have not got the funds to reach out nor help the community like they need / want to. Shortage of orphanages. Even churches in S Africa do many outreaches to the rest of Africa because of the greater need there. My church does an outreach in Malawi. I have not yet been on one but am told that around 5 000 people came to a single service. That kind of evangelizing in a park does NOT happen in S Africa nor anywhere in the West. Unless we consider the 'mighty men' meeting.

    That guy needs to research Reinhard Bonnke's time in Africa and watch 'Machine gun preacher'! .
  3. There are so many baseless assumptions and sweeping generalizations that it was a bit hard for me to get through. I see one fact and one excellent observation in the post. The fact is his encounter with the Skype missionary. We are not given many details and it really doesn't support any of his points directly though we could infer that the needy missionary strawman he builds is based on this individual. His excellent observation is that missionary work is often treated as a higher calling than local outreach(and almost every other kind of ministry). That this offends his conscience is a good thing...but that one promising instinct is almost lost in a sea of conspiracy theory and conjecture.

    Let me speak to the topic from observation: My wife and I have met missionaries in eleven different countries, interacted with dozens of missionary organizations, church mission programs, mission pastors and been involved in some mission work ourselves all across multiple evangelical denominations. I don't have broad academic studies to quote on the topic, as would be best. But I can take his assumptions given with out the support of any given experience (save the Skype missionary) and respond to them through the experience I've gained from the very small piece of the the missionary world I've been a part of.

    Do some people attempt to become missionaries for the sake of a perceived higher spiritual status?
    Absolutely. I have met many such individuals. But very few of them are in the field. That sort of self-focused world view is both generally unable to make the sacrifices necessary to stay in the field for long and unlikely to looking to the Spirit of God to direct their ministry rather than their own egos. As a result, their ministry is a non-starter, and sometimes we've even seen a meltdown that leaves a bad testimony that jades the locals view of Christians for years to come. No church or mission organization wants to be responsible for a failed they work very hard to weed this kind of spirit out in the vetting process. (but yes, some do get through)

    Do churches prefer missions to local outreach because it "serves their propaganda needs?" Not even a little. Overseas ministry can be glamorous and sure many churches will play it up to the congregation...but the fact is that most churches in the US are hung up on attendance (be it to pay the bills or just as a measure of success) and people saved overseas are not going to attend your church :) I've spent a lot of time over the last year talking to churches about their missions departments. Some were effective, some were not, some were non-existent...but every single church I've surveyed has more (usually much more) resources invested in local ministry than missions. Making the claim that mission work has sabotaged local church ministry is a pretty incredible thing to do...especially with out one. single. statistic or specific observation or verifiable record or even anecdotal hurt so much to read I almost wanted him to make up some kind of supporting evidence.

    "So who's needs are they serving? "The Poor" ? "The Needy"? "Gods"? No, no, and no." This is just silly. Are there missions that have been handled badly, yes. But it is absolutely impossible to make this claim with any shred of intellectual honesty if you've looked into the humanitarian and spiritual effect of missions even a little. I've seen whole neighborhoods transformed, cultural epidemics of hunger and disease quashed, decades long bloody feuds ended, homeless housed, slaves set free, marriages saved, and many many many many many people who had never had any chance at a prior encounter with the gospel call on God to forgive their sins and rise up in worship.

    Aaaagagh, I realize I've just written a ridiculously long post. I'm sorry. I suppose I should stop counter ranting and speak to the thread. "Love thy neighbor" is the imperative given to every one of us. God is Love and His children will lavish that love on those in their sphere of contact. But if that were the only command the church would soon become ingrown pockets of "neighboring" believers. So Christ sent the good news out from Israel to Samaria and the ends of the earth so that those farthest from our direct circle of influence could have the same opportunity to experience the love and salvation of God that our neighbors enjoy and that all parts of the world might be united in worship of Him. The calling of the missionary is no "higher" than that of the food pantry worker, but both are high callings in the same church. The latter can practice "love thy neighbor" in New York while the former loves his neighbors in Dubai working in concert rather than conflict. Many parts, one body.
    KingJ likes this.
  4. Lol, was a good read though. What do you and your wife do if you don't mind?
  5. I understand the person's passion to server neighbors.. He should simply understand that is what Holy Spirit is prompting "him" to be. Every vessel has a different purpose.. Some to minister to nearby community and some to far away places.. He or she is being judgmental on the purpose or calling of missionaries.. That is wrong..

    If people did not feel the need to travel from US or England to India, I would be sitting and typing here.. India would still be a idol worshipping country, resisting Gospel..

    I wonder if someday God will call this person and actually make him or her to travel to Africa.. Paul wanted to minister to Jews.. Jesus simply said "Nope!" You are going to minister to gentiles.. And He made Peter minister to Jews.. Wonder how Paul would have felt about it :D And what Paul would have felt really does not matter.. If that is the case for someone who has written 1/3rd of NT, then I wonder how about us..
  6. Wow, thanks for wading through it :)

    Summers (like now) we work in Asia (
    The rest of the year we train missionary hopefuls at the church we belong to in the states and recruit nationally for our summer program and for East-West Ministries International (
    JG27_chili, Where is the Messiah and KingJ says Amen and like this.
  7. Wow, that's awesome. Reading that site makes me want to be teacher :giggle:.
    Where is the Messiah and DavidG say Amen and like this.
  8. Hahaha :) Don't let our site be the only voice! Pray over it and seek counsel and who knows! Our site is about teaching because it's where the Lord gave us expertise. But I think the concept of "work as worship" is vital to Christians of every occupation and I love interacting with people who love the Lord with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength through their work!
    Where is the Messiah likes this.
  9. I think the main point he was trying to make is how a church in the United States will spend so much money to send someone to a place like Africa, at the same time passing millions of people that could be helped. And at that point is it really about helping someone, or is it pride? Because how can it be justified to spend thousands on a plane ticket, when that money could be spent more efficiently to help those in need in their own area.
    That's what I think he's saying. I'm on road and will read the longer posts when I pull over. :)
    Mitspa likes this.
  10. Also, I know a man that does missionary work. He travels to another country every year. It now makes me wonder, if he is passionate about this other country, wouldn't it better for him to just stay there, instead of flying there every year?
  11. Has he been to Africa? Let me say this.. I have lived in India for more than 25 years.. If someone has $1000. India needs it more than US. That is the bottomline.. if India itself needs that, then Africa certainly needs it.. We are not talking about 2 countries in same economic status.. US is not pumping the missionaries into Europe.. It is Africa! I don't understand this argument itself.. Definition of Poverty in totally different in different parts of the world..

    >> Because how can it be justified to spend thousands on a plane ticket, when that money could be spent more efficiently to help those in need in their own area.

    The needs of people are not the same in US and Africa.
    Where is the Messiah likes this.
  12. Depends on his situation.. Probably he has a family.. God does not call one to be a missionary and forsake family at the same time.. Taking care of family is still a responsibility of missionary.. So I would not judge the person.
    Where is the Messiah likes this.
  13. I'm not doubting the poverty in other countries. I'm just curious how one can be willing to fly a cross the world to help someone, but ignore the guy in his own city holding the sign "please help. God bless"

    Of course I'm not talking about every Christian in the United States, or even every church. However, there are a lot of churches, at least in my area, who love to boast about their 1 week mission trip to Mexico. These are the same people that hate liberals, because there tax money is being "wasted" on helping those in need.
  14. I doubt if such people are doing it on their own. It is their calling to ministry. It is the prompt of Holy Spirit. May be God will send missionaries from other countries to US for helping the people here :D
    DavidG and Where is the Messiah say Amen and like this.
  15. DavidG likes this.
  16. Yes! Some brothers out there do care about us:) I have met missionaries to the US sent from home churches in South Korea, China and Mexico all of whom have had huge impact.
    Ravindran likes this.
  17. I'd say, sometimes a prophet is not honored in his own country, some won't listen to someone they know but an outsider can have a tremenous impact. I can see why he has drawn his conclusions but it's a bit sweeping and general, there's thousands of examples of church reaching out to their communities but there are plenty of self serving ministries too?
    Mitspa, Ravindran and DavidG says Amen and like this.
  18. Wow, a lot of pent up emotion there. I have trouble telling when it's profitable to engage folks and when I would just be offering more fuel to a fire that's burning over issues we may not even be addressing.
    Where is the Messiah and christianbacktobasics say Amen and like this.
  19. Until the last part of the short excerpt, I would have thought I was reading something from an atheist forum. The lower case 'c' used in Christian is usually a sign of such things.

    I agree they're limited in their understanding of the church and its effectiveness world wide. Churches act locally and globally as well. That's the other thing about the post that made me think this was an unbeliever getting something off their chest. They seem to be rather bitter.
  20. I often have some of these same thoughts..recently ask to go overseas and minister and I have thought about the folks here that I could love and help.
    Where is the Messiah likes this.

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