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Christian missionary work has been in the media’s crosshairs recently thanks to the murder of John Chau, a young man hoping to spread the gospel to an isolated people group in the Indian Ocean. Many evangelical and Christian leaders have spoken up for Chau, identifying him as a martyr, as he was shot to death with arrows by the people he had hoped to evangelize.
Meanwhile, critics on the left have accused Chau of engaging in a colonialist project. This criticism has expanded in some cases to seemingly call all missionary work an inherently colonialist and exploitive project.
Christians - Truth - Scripture - Missions - Media
For orthodox Christians who hold to the revealed truth of scripture and believe in gospel-focused missions, this whole media circus is frustrating. The conservative media and the liberal media have both adopted wrong positions.
Did God Give Him a Mission to the Furthest Place on Earth?
First - Facts - Chau - Graduate - Oral
First, some facts. Chau was a graduate of Oral Roberts University, a major institution in American evangelicalism. He was associated with and took a short training course from a missionary sending organization called All Nations, which has a fairly standard evangelical faith statement.
I’ve been unable to identify his exact denomination, but the public record is broadly consistent with a young man who possessed a fervent and basically orthodox faith. It is not clear if All Nations was fully aware of Chau’s intended strategy for his mission.
Chau - Plan - Mission - Field - Kurdistan
Indeed, Chau’s plan was unusual. He had previously served in the mission field in Kurdistan leading evangelistic soccer camps, and similar work in South Africa. He was also a world-traveler and adventure tourist, partly paid for by a sponsorship deal with a beef jerky company and by travel-blogging.
With experience as an EMT, soccer coach, and social media marketer, Chau took a missionary training course from All Nations and headed to Sentinel Island, in the Indian...
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Measuring his life out one teaspoon at a time.