In Sunday school many years ago, I heard the tales of the missionaries of olden days and my heart was awed by their bravery and their sacrifice. They suffered disease, famine, shipwreck, and death at very hands of the people they went to reach.
We were inspired. We were delighted. “Anywhere with Jesus,” we would sing, “I may safely go.”
Unless, of course, that place is Walmart in my hometown and I may see Syrian refugees there.
Here’s what confuses me to no end: when did American fundagelicals become so very timid in their faith that the prospect of importing an entire new mission field to evangelize in their own back yards is something to fear and dread? When did Bring them In turn to Please Keep them Out?
The Christian missionaries we revered went half a world away to reach these self-same souls. Perhaps the point all along was that these people were heroic in going out to save us the trouble of having the world come in instead.
Or darker yet, perhaps some people just aren’t considered to be worth saving.
How do you get a Korean KJV?
Wad it purified 7 times? Was it commissioned by a king? Were there over 54 of the best translators who ever lived or ever will live to make sure that there were absolutely no possible errors?
One of the funniest things ever observed in missionary travels is watching missionaries attempt to set up and take a portable screen like this one.
To start with the entire contraption is on little collapsible legs that are prone to fold up or tip over if you even look at them funny or speak too loudly in their presence. To make matters worse, the screen itself is held open by an arm and hook contraption that as best as I can figure was invented by the devil to make missionaries invent new curse words.
There was a particular missions conference I attended where a church had helpfully provided their own screen but due to some vagary of the mechanics the screen would not open more than halfway no matter how much they prayed or tried to cast the spirit of Bad Engineering out of it.
The missionary, himself a diminutive man, was not at all impressed by their tiny screen size and right before his presentation before a room full of packed pews attempted to show his field experience and can-do spirit by making adjustments on the fly.
No sooner had he commenced the laying on of hands than the screen immediately completely backslid and began to waggle about forcing the missionary into a strange tribal dance as he wrapped his arms around various bits of it and shuffled around in a circle trying to keep the display from complete apostasy. The entire thing flopped one way and rotated another and threatened in every way to deny the audience a view of a Foreign Land and its Great Need (TM).
Meanwhile, all the other missionaries tried their very hardest not to laugh out loud. Mostly because we were just that hard up for a laugh.
You can call it spiritual warfare if you must. All I know is that I don’t remember anything else that happened that evening but I’ll never forget how that man’s overconfidence ended him up dancing for his dinner in the middle of a missions conference. I’m still convinced those screens are the devil’s own handiwork.
How do you inspire people to go out and spread the good news of the Gospel? If you’re these FBMI missionaries then the answer is “threaten them with this:”
Their prayer letter reads in part:
“We began our annual harvest campaign during October. It has been one of the most exciting programs we have ever had. Our people have really gotten involved and are bringing more visitors than ever. Our church is divided into three groups (the Ranchers, the Share Croppers and the Gleaners) and the completion has been neck and neck. Our theme is “Fruit that Remains”. We not only give points for bringing visitors but we also increase the points each time the visitor comes back during the program. Our goal is that folks will not only visit but come enough times to feel like part of the church. We have found that negative motivation works very well, and folks will put extra effort in to avoid the “punishment” that the group with least points receives. The punishment is something unpleasant being poured on them from the balcony, such as flour, ice water and gulaman (sticky, watery gelatin desert).“
The full prayer letter is available to read here(PDF).
There’s nothing like watching a bunch of Irish kids at a fundy youth camp run by Bible Baptist Church of Balllincollig sing the praises of the KJV.
Because Ireland just didn’t have enough fighting fundamentalists so we decided to send them some more.
Update 1: A few folks have questioned whether the song above is really a praise of the KJV since the version isn’t explicitly mentioned. I suppose my own bias is somewhat at work here since I’ve never heard this song sung by anybody but KJVO folks and the line “I haven’t changed one word that it said” definitely seems to fit that particular camp.
However, whether or not this song is specifically about the King James, the church in the video is definitely heavily promoting a KJVO point of view.