Dec. 11, 2015

American-ized

When missionary work first began, the appointed missionaries had a way of moving into areas all across the world and not only evangelizing them, but attempting to American-ize them as well. With time, the international mission groups realized that missionaries should first understand the people and cultural before attempting to “win” them for Christ. Christian missionaries discovered living among the people worked much better than trying to change the people.

Early Americans fell into the same trap of attempting to American-ize the Indian cultural when the Indian skirmishes turned deadly.  Indian children were taken from their parents and their homes, dressed in “civilized” attire, taught to speak English and coached in how to survive in a white man’s world.

America is either very egotistical or we don’t learn from our own mistakes. Emotion takes over common sense. What one claims is “brotherly love” or “Christ-like” is more codependent than beneficial, in my opinion.

Cuba was within boating distance from America. Yet, throughout the years, we bundled up escaping Cubans and delivered them back to their homes. We weren’t concerned with their quality of life or freedom. We turned them away.

I am not proud of our history with the African people and slavery. I cringe when I read in history books about how Japanese Americans were gathered up and put into camps during WW2.

Still, I believe balance is the key and logic must rule. We don’t live in the same world as we did many generations ago. As we accepted China’s boat people or Vietnam’s refugees, their goal was not to hurt Americans. We cannot say the same thing with today’s refugees. Yes, some are innocent. Yes, some are dangerous. Instead of debating what percentage is dangerous and what percentage is safe, why not ask some difficult questions.

How many people do we plan on cramming into our borders? Is the answer for refugees to come here OR for willing Americans to go there in order to allow them to stay in their homes? Are our motives pure? Would we rather stand against our fellow citizens claiming it’s all about Jesus OR should we stand together and admit we are certainly a very codependent civilization? We are the world’s number “fix it” master. Somehow, the intent seems more like a “messiah complex” than it does imitating the True Messiah.

There, I’ve said it. I won’t belittle my brothers and sisters who disagree with me, but I will level with you – I question your motives. Want to save the world? Sign up for the military, join a humanitarian organization or become a foreign missionary. Too fearful or too old for those options? How about sending your own money to worldwide organizations that help to house, feed, and treat the oppressed instead of deciding we have to bring every person in the world to us? How about realizing not everyone in the world has to be an American?

God actually exists in other places. He created an entire world with many nations. Let’s keep it that way, okay?