Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Response to EE-Taow! & Thoughts on U.S. Missions


Preaching the Gospel in the United States can be frustrating. We want to see revival among God’s people, and our desire for an awakening to spread like great tidal waves over the vast number of lost people in our nation feels like a heavy burden locked firmly within our bosom. Oftentimes, reality seems to mock our attempts, and efforts to foster revival and awakening seem to be feather strokes against a people and culture who are barreling far too quick in the opposite direction to ever be slowed down let alone stopped and turned around.

Frustration with our own people seems to swell even more after seeing a documentary such as EE-Taow! where we see the Mouk tribe of Papua New Guinea hunger and thirst for what God has to say to them month after month as they go to great lengths to hear a preacher present God’s word. And once the groundwork for Christ had been laid and Christ is preached, the tribe repents individually and corporately as their mourning over sin finally bursts into glorious praise over their new-found savior, Jesus Christ.

It makes one want to pack up his bags and go to a foreign land where there are those who are hungry and thirsty for the Gospel of Christ in order to see Him work in ways that many in the United States are shunning. We have a glut of religious information here, and access to the Truth is now as easy as turning on a computer. Yet the eagerness and desire to know God and do His will is oftentimes a rarity. As I thought about this and the future of Real Truth Matters, God settled my heart to know that in spite of the opposition, our mission to take the Gospel to our own people here in the United States is where He wants us right now, and the similarities between reaching those here and those in New Guinea are not that far removed from one another.

First, the Mouk tribe, like many here in the United States, did have a spiritual belief system before they were confronted with the Truth. The Mouk tribe was steeped in demonic activities designed to communicate with the dead and keep the tribes people in bondage. Here in the U.S., there is a diversity of belief systems, yet all are like that of the Mouks in key ways. They all drive and govern how people act, make decisions, and live, and they keep their followers in bondage to sin and satan. To evangelize the Mouks was to rescue them from that bondage. To evangelize in the U.S. is to rescue people from the same bondage. Here, we see people enslaved to false religions, forms of Christianity that are nothing more than false religion, and those who say they adhere to no particular beliefs at all, who, in the end, have formed a belief system based on no beliefs. The mission field in the United States is no different in this regard than a mission field found in Africa, South America, or any other remote corner of the world. False doctrines by any other name need to be confronted with the truth of what God says.

Secondly, the missionaries going to New Guinea had no idea how the people would react to the true revelation of God. It is easy to see in hindsight that they were a people God was preparing to hear the Gospel. They were hungry and thirsty for what God had for them, but at the onset, there was no way of knowing whether or not the message of Christ would be received. The Mouk could have flatly rejected the message of God and turned on God’s messenger as we have seen many times in overseas missions. Fear of rejection and so-called failure can hinder us if not paralyze us all together when it comes to reaching those within our own nation. We are to be obedient to God and leave the consequences in His hands.

And lastly, we think of people in the United States as being saturated in the teachings of the Bible and Christianity so why not go overseas to those who have no access to even a page of the Bible. Since the access is so great here and people openly reject it, why not leave them to themselves and help those who haven’t even been exposed yet? Even though the information may be freely available to all in this nation, without a heart that is being moved by God, no one will seek it out. And how does God choose to move on the heart of a sinner? Through His church taking the word to the lost. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” –Romans 10:14. We must go. There may be access, but without a heart to seek it out, they might as well be thousands of miles away.

As Real Truth Matters moves forward in 2010, it is my firm belief that God has called us to primarily reach out to the unreached people groups in the United States. Yes, there are many wonderful churches and ministries available here, and many are doing a wonderful job at getting the information of the true Gospel out. But as our country continues to decline and slide deeper into paganism and post-modern thought, we see the need to also join where God has called us, and that is to be missionaries to people in our own nation. I pray that our hearts are moved by those in our country, our own cities, our own neighborhoods who, like the Mouk tribe, are enslaved to a false religion, and are ignorant of who God is and who He is in Christ. They have yet to have someone come and tell them the good news.

1 comment:

  1. Great post J. T.! Thank you for echoing the call of God that is in my heart. It should bring sadness to our hearts when we realize that most "church growth" is transfer of membership. The unreached of our towns and cities are not being penetrated at all.