Sunday, September 02, 2007

South Korean Hostages Freed: Christians Being Harmless Doves Is Not Enough

For $20 million (possibly), the South Korean government bought the freedom of the young, naive Christian hostages in Afghanistan. It was a fools errand and their intentions paved a road to, well, you know where.

That is not to say that I'm against dangerous missionary work. Often the work is dangerous. Many lives have been lost so souls could be won, but Christians need to be wise as serpents not just harmless as doves. I think it's pretty well established that modern Christians have the harmless and dove part down, but many Christians lack wisdom.

The modern evangelical movement is long on emotion and short on knowledge. Not everyone, mind you, but it is a problem that I see especially with the younger generation. Young people will argue vociferously and with great feeling with scant thought backing it up. Enthusiastic rhetoric is not backed by rigorous logic which has no basis in fact. They end up sounding stupid and make a mockery of what they profess to believe. I think that part of this problem is the self-esteem movement in general and the educational system in particular. It's as if post-modernism has infected Christianity. Every idea and action is as worthy as any other, and anyway, who are you to judge? It's me and Jesus, man. Me and Jesus.

A Christian should be able to give an answer to the hope that lies within. Jesus could argue his perspective. He was persuasive because he was knowledgeable. Paul was a master at argumentation and the written word. Jesus wasn't a dummy and his followers shouldn't be either. When he spoke in the synagogue or the home or from a boat or to his friends, he argued logically and masterfully. He knew the scriptures--what we call the Old Testament. Modern Christians would do well to hit the Good Book every now and then.

Now, it might seem that I'm ganging up on these South Koreans for being so foolish. The truth is, I don't know their level of knowledge. I only know their actions. They were disobedient to their own government, which was not trying to be oppressive, but was looking out for their safety. Jesus Himself made it clear to submit to the laws of the land as long as they didn't violate the greater law. They clearly didn't understand the situation in Afghanistan and compromised both their mission work as well as the military objectives of people working for that nation's freedom--a goal not misaligned with Christianity.

So while I'm joyous at the safe return of these people, and deeply distressed and saddened at the deaths of their two friends and there is no question that the Taliban is a disgusting, animal, hate group, I'm disturbed by the naivité being passed off as devotion to duty.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think a good course in this type of subject would be very advantageous to teach in church groups where young people are being trained for the mission field.

Mission work is very serious work. A friend of ours is overseas and just had two missionary friends killed due to their faith even though they were under disguise. Great post and I wish churches could read this.

sandy said...

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