Wednesday 26 October 2011

What Are Christian Missionaries For Exactly?

Let's play a little game. Let's pretend for a moment that there is a god, that people have souls, that there is a Heaven and a Hell and Satan; that the souls of people go either to Heaven or Hell when they die and that only Christian know the way to get into Heaven and to avoid being thrown into Hell.

Let's enter the world that Christians claim to inhabit in fact.

If it really is essential to accept Jesus to get into Heaven, as Christians are forever telling us, how did this god arrange it so his message did not even get revealed to us until about 2000 years ago, and in a way which ensured it would take another almost 2000 years for it to reach everyone?

Clearly, if this god thought it's message was that important and accepting Jesus is the only way to get to heaven it would have ensured that ALL people were aware of it and understood it - if it cared that is.

So, we can be sure of one of two things (and we are still pretending this god actually exists, remember). Either:
  1. It isn't a loving god.
  2. It isn't necessary to know about it, or accept Jesus, to get to Heaven.

So, let's give this god the benefit of the doubt and assume it is as loving as it's followers tell us.

Now, consider a person living at the Cape of Good Hope in the 15th Century, on some remote Pacific island in the 17th Century, the Central Highlands of Papua-New Guinea in the 19th Century, or the Amazon Rain Forest in the 20th Century, or indeed anyone living outside the Middle East 2000 years ago. None of these people would have known the first thing about Jesus. None of them were even capable of reading any of the translations of any of the books this message was supposedly written in.

Surely, any reasonable god would give these people a free pass to Heaven, wouldn't it? How could they have disobeyed it if they had never heard about this god and had no knowledge of it's laws or what they needed to do? In their case, ignorance would have been a passport to Heaven and their souls would not have been accessible to Satan. Their innocent ignorance was their shield.

Now, along comes a Christian missionary and tells them about his or her god's laws, and about Satan, and about sin, and what they have to do to make ammends. And how they need now to accept Jesus to avoid Satan getting their souls.

So, what has the Christian missionary now achieved? He has taken souls which were guaranteed entry into Heaven, taken away their free passes and has made them accessible to Satan. To get their passes back they now have to do what the missionary says and give him control over their lives, their customs, laws and culture - all to be in exactly the same position they were in before. The missionaries haven't saved souls for God, they've made them available for Satan - if you buy into that superstition.

When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.

Jomo Kenyata,
first president of independent Kenya
Either that, or missionaries believe their god is not the loving god they claim it to be; that their god has been happily creating people for millions of years with no hope of avoiding eternal pain and suffering; no hope of salvation because it didn't tell them how to be saved. People created to live a life of blissful ignorance not knowing what's in store for them and completely denied any opportunity to avoid it.

And this god waited until 3500 years ago, then only told a small band of desert-dwelling nomads so it took 1500 years before anyone else heard the message and another 2000 for it to spread to everyone.

Could it be that Christian missionaries are simply trying to guarantee their own entry into Heaven at the expense of those whose 'souls' they make available to Satan?

Or is there some other agenda going on which has nothing to so with 'saving souls'; something like wanting to control people and even take away their land and destroy their culture?

Perish the thought.

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  1. Missionaries job is to turn natives into non violent people so that the Christian army came move in and take over more easily using violence..

  2. Interesting...

    Interesting in the sense I wrote on a similar theme just the other day at:

    Great minds do think alike, even if some can't quite match Rosa's literary prowess...


  3. That is a brilliant quote at the end.

    Great article again, I personally believe missionaries shouldn't be there to spread the word of god, but more help fight disease and know the things people should do without a big man in the sky threatening them with hell to do.

  4. Waiting for the Christian response to this post:)

  5. Hi Rosa, thanks for the post - very interesting thoughts. I was actually wondering whether you could give me any information on the second picture in your post - I'd like to use it for a conference flyer I'm making (if that's ok with you) but would like to know where it comes from if possible.
    All the best, Claire

    1. I got it with a Google image search for 'Missionaries in Africa'. I can't remember where, but it may have been here: Genocide in Rwanda: The Ungodly Mission Legacy

  6. You wouldn't believe the answer I saw in an "Apologetic's Annotated Bible"

    Briefly, from memory

    1. God knows that some of the people that get his message will still refuse to believe in Him.
    2. He knows all - who will accept and who won't - so he made it so those people were born in places where they would never get the message anyway, i.e. Brazilain Rainforests, Aboriginal Australia in 1000 AD, etc...

    Seriously, that was the explanation

  7. "So, we can be sure of one of two things (and we are still pretending this god actually exists, remember). Either:

    1. It isn't a loving god.
    2. It isn't necessary to know about it, or accept Jesus, to get to Heaven."

    I have come to believe that some of the more hardcore right-wing extremists in Christianity really, in their hearts, believe #1. They believe that God is a cruel, deranged maniac who demands that people jump through bizarre hoops, and throws them in pits of hellfire cackling gleefully if they don't -- an abusive father model. The part they don't really believe is that God is good. They also don't understand the meaning of the word "love" (perhaps due to the mangling of the word in the abusive father model); they do know that you have to claim to love God, or he'll beat you.

    From this (scary and miserable) point of view, the point of view of someone in a cycle of abuse, missionaries make sense.

  8. "Christian missionaries" it's calling by God to spread His words especially for those people who don't even know Him. And it is a desire for us to do it to MAKE JESUS FAMOUS! To God be all the glory!

    1. What a shame you didn't read the blog. Had you done so you could have answered the questions I raised in it rather than just answering the title.

      Maybe you just didn't want to confront the issues.


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