Bible and Mission Links 37

Some bad stuff in orphanages, some fake Christians in the USA and some real ones in Iraq, with a few other interesting things thrown in for value.

I’m posting this on the 75th anniversary of the DDay landings and although it doesn’t quite fit the rubric, I thought it would be good to point people to this excellent piece from UnHerd: Imagine if We’d Lost DDay. It does a good job of setting right some of the misperceptions about the events in Normandy which are portrayed in film and some popular history books. By the way, if you don’t subscribe to the UnHerd emails, you should.

Mission Practice

This article is probably the best thing I have ever read on the problems of orphanage tourism. If you or a friend are planning to spend a few weeks visiting an orphanage as part of a mission trip this summer, read this.

The foreign volunteers at the orphanage were incensed. Although the raid had followed a thorough and conclusive investigation into abuse at the orphanage, the volunteers were insistent that there was no abuse there, and tried to block the police and social workers from doing their jobs. The following day they invaded the NGO caring for the rescued children, demanding that the children be released back to the closed orphanage, or into their care.

The volunteers were from various countries and were newlyweds, gap year students, and men in their 40s displaying a keen interest in certain children. None had been volunteering for longer than three weeks, and all had plane tickets to depart within the month. At the raid, they had encouraged the children to run away from their foster families and parents, and actively tried to find the families to remove the children. Then, as their flight itineraries suggested, they all disappeared.

The orphanage had not had a child protection policy, nor had it required volunteers to provide a police background check from their own countries, and none of the volunteers had any qualifications in child care, youth work, or working with vulnerable children. Yet, here they were, demanding that local authorities ignore due process, and insisting that their demands were the best and safest course of action.

World Church

This twitter thread from missionary Chris Howles gives a fascinating insight into one strand of world Christianity.

Happy Martyrs Day. 3rd June 1886, 25 Ugandan Christian converts were burnt alive for refusing to recant their new faith in Christ. A few videos & pictures from yesterday and today, as over a million pilgrims, many walking hundreds of miles on foot, come to remember them.

Brian Stanley is one of the great scholars on the subject of world Christianity and in this short article, he busts 10 common myths about the world Christian movement.

1. Christianity is a western religion.
It neither began in western Europe, nor has it ever been entirely confined to western Europe. The period in which it appeared to be indissolubly linked to western European identity was a relatively short one, lasting from the early sixteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. The Church in China, India, Ethiopia, and Iraq is older than the Church in much of northern Europe.

Many Western writers are swift to condemn the Church in Africa for the prevalence of the prosperity gospel on the continent, however, we need to deal with the log in our own eyes before being too swift to judge others as this BBC article points out. Thankfully, there are people willing to take these heretics on:

By way of contrast, Christians in Iraq don’t get to fly in private jets. This article captures the dilemma faced by one family.

The graph of the religion’s decline in the Middle East has in recent years transformed from a steady downward slope into a cliff. The numbers in Iraq are especially stark: Before the American invasion, as many as 1.4 million Christians lived in the country. Today, fewer than 250,000 remain—an 80 percent drop in less than two decades.

Despite the horrific situation they face, there are many examples of true Christlikeness in the face of persecution:

A 12-year-old Christian girl who was burnt to death in her home by Isis urged her family to forgive them with her dying breath.

Mission Language

If you’ve not read Transcending Mission by Michael Stroope (why not?) then you can get an idea of one of the central themes of the book here:

Two years after the publication of Transcending Mission, I am more convinced than ever that something is amiss and mission language must change. For all the biblical, theological, cultural, historical, and relational reasons detailed in the book, we must redouble our efforts to speak in more descriptive and meaningful language regarding how the church views itself and how it engages the world.


This is beyond my level of expertise, but it’s a fascinating article.

Scientists say they have traced the world’s 6,000 modern languages — from English to Mandarin — back to a single “mother tongue,” an ancestral language spoken in Africa 50,000 to 70,000 years ago.