On a Mission from God.
As you may or may not be aware, I have been having a little back and forth with the folks over at the Christian Persecution Blog. Their most recent post was this. This is an unfortunate incident, but I wondered what we all thought of this. So here is a kid who quit his day job to hawk Christian Literature and ended up angering non-Christians so much that he lost his arm as a result. Once again the folks over at CPB are holding this kid up as a hero and showing it as an example of someone willing to "give it all" for his "mission" As always this is a misguided and ultimately detrimental practice. Let's a take a deeper look and get a better picture. Now this boy didn't open a Christian bookstore or cart to sell this material, instead he got on his bike and blasted Christian music and went worker to worker hawking his Christian wares. So not only did he choose to harass these folks who were trying to do their jobs with unwanted propaganda music, but also interrupted their work day to try and sell them Christian literature (I assume the bulk of the audience was Muslim). That in and of itself is not only intrusive and inappropriate (I assume no one at CPB would object to people coming into their place of business to play Islamic music and sell Islamic literature - I'm sure they wouldn't call the police or fight with this person at all), but it is ultimately dangerous considering the current state of Christian/Islamic relations as well as the current feelings toward pro-westerners in Pakistan. All that aside, this "missionary" was also directly warned in no uncertain terms that he would face "severe consequences" if he did not stop. And surprise surprise, he did. I am in no way condoning violence nor do I think that what these men did was right or that this kid had it coming - their attack was deplorable, however it was not unexpected. To me the person who is most to blame here is the pastor that sent him on this fools errand in the first place. He should be arrested and jailed in my opinion for taking advantage of a young impressionable kid and putting him directly in harm's way. There is nothing glorious or praiseworthy in being maimed or dying for a cause. Yes sometimes that does happen, but it is not something to be proud of or strived for. Think of all those suicide bombers that you all despise so much - now explain to me how this is any different. It is fine to be excited about your religion and it is also fine to share your joy, but it is not ok to become an ecclesiastical used car salesman and shove it unwelcomingly into someone's face who believes equally as much in their own faith(or non-faith). This is why missionaries are not only arrogant and obnoxious, but also dangerous. Try living by example and let your life and faith shine from within - then when others are attracted to that glow and come to you - THEN share with them about your faith (unless of course you don't think anyone will come of their own accord...) Until that time, Religion is Personal: Keep it to Yourself.