In the area of missions there are always problems between nationals and foreigners. Foreigners meaning one who has left his home and lives in another culture and nationals just meaning the people who are native to the place the foreign now resides. You can divide “culture” into many small details but basically you have the major divide in country and language. For example, an American living in China.
These posts are not trying to deal with the problems than can arise from the foreigner-national relationship in the area of missions, but to discuss a certain mindset that foreigners are a problem, therefore the means of foreigner involvement should be extremely limited!
I agree that foreigners are a problem, and I said on deputation that the biggest hindrance to missions in China is me, a foreigner. I have come to China to work myself, eventually, out of a job. Lord willing, I can see many national pastors raised up in the lifetime that the Lord gives me.
In China foreigners are a problem and always have been. The Chinese government doesn’t like foreigners. The government church is called the “three-self church” because they want to be self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing. Sounds familiar, right? I am all for that philosophy. But they also don’t want you to evangelize outside of the church and don’t want children to attend their services. That is a problem for me.
Some would suggest that we “foreigners” need to get “out-of-the-way” and just let the national Chinese Christians lead and reach their own people and we can just sit back and support them with Bibles and money. This is a problem for me.
There are millions in China who don’t know the Jesus I know. Millions who are still unreached. This is a problem for me.
We, foreigners, may be a problem but…
…this isn’t just their fight.
…this isn’t something that doesn’t involve foreign Christians.
…this isn’t a “Chinese church” task.
…we have a responsibility to obey the Bible and take the Gospel to all, including China, even if other Chinese Christians don’t want our help. They can do their own thing, but we must be obedient to the call, the blood of their people isn’t just on their hands, it’s on ours too.
I know the truth, I can’t stand by on the sidelines.