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Secular Context of Missions Hu Shih, Chinese philosopher said China has five great enemies: poverty, disease, ignorance, greed and disorder.

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Presentation on theme: "Secular Context of Missions Hu Shih, Chinese philosopher said China has five great enemies: poverty, disease, ignorance, greed and disorder."— Presentation transcript:

1 Secular Context of Missions Hu Shih, Chinese philosopher said China has five great enemies: poverty, disease, ignorance, greed and disorder

2 Political Context of Missions – cause of disorder  Governments are ordained by God (Rom 13:1-7)  Satan uses civil governments to his end (Isa 14; Ezek 28) with demonic warfare around government power (Dan 10:1, 12-13) –Jesus called “prince of this world” (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) –Paul called Satan, “god of this world” (2 Cor 4:4)  Only exception to secular obedience is the responsibility to preach the gospel regardless (Ac 4:19-20; 5:29) unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

3 Key Political Movements Colonial Period – 19 th Cent  At that time imperialism was a way of international life  Even missionaries regarded colonialism as lesser of two evils  Considered colonialism as an instrument of God to work His purpose  Missionaries were among first to repudiate evils of colonialism  Missionaries believed first allegiance to Jesus, not to governments unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

4 Key Political Movement Tribalism-Nationalism– 20 th Cent  Tribalism determines the success of nationalism (Rwanda: Hutus, majority, slaughtered dominant Tutus)  Ethnic groups (not primitive “tribal” groups)  Hatred between Catholic Croats, Muslim Bosnians, Orthodox Serbs in Balkans –First coined phrase “ethnic cleansing”  Mission schools taught literacy, translations (esp. Bible), promoted democracy, dignity of labor, worth of individual, social justice, personal integrity, freedom of thought and speech unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

5 Key Political Movement Communism– 20 th -21 st Cent  In – 1/3 of world was under communist control  Only a few communist regimes remain  China more capitalistic than communistic, but still totalitarian  Marxist guerrillas very active in LA, esp. in Colombia and Peru  Socialists, Marxists gaining in many countries unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

6 Key Political Movement Totalitarianism– 20 th --21 st Cent  Major opposition to the Gospel  Communist and Muslim states  Leaders tend to be paranoiac, defensive and brutal  The age of martyrs continues  Built on unity of education and religion unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

7 2. Health Context of Missions  Concern for personal health and health of target audience – medical missions  To stay long in a place greater precautions  Great needs, especially among poor, rural people  Dysentery, malaria, typhoid, (measles among tribal people missionaries contaminate!)  AIDS can eliminate whole countries in next decade in Africa! unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

8 Socio-Economic Context  Poverty is massive in two-thirds world (80% of unreached)  Causes: political oppression, incompetence, lack of education, discrimination, social marginalization, corruption  Christian response: reject “prosperity gospel” – wisely help resolve problems  Poverty hinders progress of Gospel – ignorance, illiteracy, disease, premature deaths  Responsiveness of poor: vast majority of world Christians –Outcastes or lower castes in India –Most missionaries from lower classes in US  Principle of “Lift” –Missionary brings possibility of ascending social class ladder –In 3 generations, most Christian churches are middle class unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

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11 Money per Person Around the World per year USA TODAY Snapshots, Source: The World Bank, August, unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

12 Cultural Context of Missions Missionary: a Cross-Cultural Proclaimer  Culture is the “integrated system of ideas, feelings and values and their associated patterns of behavior and products shared by a group of people who organize and regulate what they think, feel and do accordingly” – Paul Hiebert unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

13 Factors relating to Culture 1. Culture Shock –Language shock, changes in routine, relationships, loss of understanding, emotional and evaluative disorientation. 2. Identification –Where does the missionary fit in cultural mosaic: economically, socially, dress –Hudson Taylor was a pioneer in identification –Colonial concepts persist and resist such identification –At times identification can be seen as negative: mocking culture, loss of respect –Missionaries before WW2 did not model identification well –Good language mastery is most difficult part –Obstacles to identification: stratified society, domestic family situations, multiracial situations, economic disparity, non-Christian values, religious rites contrary to God’s Word unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

14 Coping with Culture Shock INITIAL ATTITUDES COPING STRATEGIES RESULTS Openness Acceptance Trust Suspicion Fear Prejudice Frustration Confusion Tension Embarrassments Rapport and Understanding Alienation And Isolation REACTIVE RESPONSES Observe Listen Inquire Criticize Rationalize Withdraw Choices Cultural Differences INEVITABLE REACTIONS TO CROSS-CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

15 Stages People Go Through in a New Culture  Fun: The excitement and adventure of experiencing new people, things, and opportunities.  Flight: The urge to avoid everything and everyone that is different.  Fight: The temptation to judge people or things that may be different as bad or foolish.  Fit: Willingness to understand, to embrace, and to creatively interact with the new culture unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

16 Symptoms of Culture Shock  Unwarranted criticism of the culture and people  Heightened irritability  Constant complaints about the climate  Continual offering of excuses for staying indoors  Utopian ideas concerning one's previous culture  Continuous concern about the purity of water and food  Fear of touching local people  Refusal to learn the language  Preoccupation about being robbed or cheated  Pressing desire to talk with people who "really make sense."  Preoccupation with returning home unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

17 Coping with Culture Shock: Survival Techniques  Focus on what you can control –People in culture shock often feel out of control. So, don't worry about things you cannot change.  Don't invest major energy in minor problems –People make "mountains out of molehills" even more quickly in cross-cultural situations than they do in their own culture  Tackle major stressors head on –Don't avoid things  Ask for help –Create a wide support network as quickly as you can in your target culture  Write it down –Record your thoughts and frustrations in a journal. This will give you a healthy outlet for expressing your feelings unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

18 Factors relating to Culture 3. Communicating the message cross- culturally –World view (ways of perceiving reality) –Cognitive processes (ways of thinking) –Linguistic forms (ways of expressing ideas) –Behavioral patterns (ways of acting) –Social structures (ways of interacting) –Media influence (ways of channeling the message) –Motivational resources (ways of deciding) unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

19 Factors relating to Culture 4. Contextualization –Framing the message in language and communication forms appropriate and meaningful to the local culture –Focused on “relevant issues” –Serious questions on “how far to go” –Cultural adaptation and understanding versus trans-cultural universals –Must not compromise trans-cultural absolutes of Word 5. Indigenization: national or native –3-selfs – Roland Allen –Grow church with capability of nationals, not missionary –Avoid dependency on missionary as much as possible unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

20 The Perils of Monoculturalism 1. A naïve ethnocentrism –“I judge everything using my own culture as the measuring rod without being consciously aware of what I'm doing.” 2. Absolutist thinking –Insisting that things are not to be questioned: "It's my way or the highway" –An overly legalistic concern for maintaining form, precedents and established customs 3. An embracing of naive realism –"As we see things, that's the way they are." –Naive realism says that we can know things in the world directly without taking into account our own filtering processes. Naive realism is the view that when we perceive something, we have perceived it exactly as it is. It is believing that our perceptions of reality are not colored or mediated by anything else unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

21 The Perils of Monoculturalism 4. Lack of respect for other people's ways –"There's no one else here." 5. The evaluation of customs and perspectives on the basis of one's own culturally learned assumptions and values (worldview) –This grows out of the sense that one's views have been arrived at because they are superior to any other views. 6. The use of pejorative terms to describe customs different from one's own –This may even be done innocently simply because one hasn't thought through the baggage which those terms and phrases carry because of the way they have historically been used unreached Chinese in 830 people groups

22 Educational Context of Missions  Major misery, disease and poor economic conditions due to lack of education  Eph 4:17-18 – ignorance of God’s Word is major need  Illiteracy is major problem, but gospel must spread to illiterate through story telling and Scripture memorization  Education is not a panacea – illiterates are very sharp at remembering  Sequence: Chronological Bible Storying – Literacy—Primary education (K-9)—Secondary education—Bible School/Seminary-University unreached Chinese in 830 people groups


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