Monday, December 6, 2010

The Invisible People Group

My church’s service yesterday had as a guest speaker a missionary to Papua New Guinea. I’ll start by saying that none of what I am about to say is intended to suggest that we in any way cease or withdraw from foreign missions. Rather, it is to say that we are neglecting something else – which will in turn affect foreign missions…someday.

The missionaries had been dealing with this people group for quite some time now and had much success among them. Their center of operation was a small settlement and they had a congregation of about 45 people.
A blog entry for these missionaries reports that they’ve been on a speaking tour lately. They also report that members of their people group had been sent to medical seminars which would teach them some basic principles of hygiene that would save lives and health for the group in the long term.
All great and as it should be. But I have a question.

Remember some time back I made a posting on the YouTube video found below?

As of this typing, it is listed as having 125,048 views. And the last comment about it said:

Thank you for this video. This is just another step for me if finding a truth. I've been studying the Bible nor a while now and it's own internal flaws have made it an abomination to me. If their is a God out there, the only way I can show him my love to to search for him. :)

This poor soul, by the way, also subscribes to two lamentably ignorant fundy atheist channels, including the one by one of my past YouTube targets, NonStampCollector.

How many of those 125,048 people – so far – also think that this awful piece of misinformation is helping them “find a truth”?

More to the point, why is it that we’re allotting so many resources to the evangelization and support of a congregation of 45 overseas , and doing nothing to inform and assist this invisible people group of 125,048 (and growing)?

Maybe it IS because they are invisible. And, because it is so much more gratifying to send aid to people overseas who send back pictures and what we call personal testimonies. But as I asked in a prior posting, in 30 years, who will be sending missionaries to those people overseas when the people over here have all deconverted, or become more firm in deconversion – many thanks to garbage like that video?

Right now the North American Mission Board is laying people off – excuse me: I mean, giving them early retirement options. I have personal doubts that the CAI program will continue into next year. Presumably budget cuts are at the heart of this. Well, they’re cutting off their nose to spite their face. They should be increasing the budget for home missions, and in particular, for countering garbage like this video. And mind you, it wouldn’t cost anything near as much as supplying an overseas people group with all these benefits. One or two people could be set to work countering some of the leading YouTube anti-Christians for a mere pittance, relatively speaking.

Is that asking too much to make sure that in 30 years, someone is still manning the helm?

When it comes to church people addicted to high drama rather than solid information, it probably is.


  1. We can win all the distance battles but what does that mean if we can't win the battle in our own front yard?

  2. "Is that asking too much to make sure that in 30 years, someone is still manning the helm?

    When it comes to church people addicted to high drama rather than solid information, it probably is."

    I agree. I tried to encourage the leadership of my church to integrate apologetics into the ministry a few years back. I had a specific concern for the youth because of the garbage they run into a school. As an example, my middle school history teacher taught the Pagan Copy Cat Myth.

    My suggestion was never even considered. They didn't believe that anyone could honestly struggle with questions or doubts. In their minds, asking questions was just a smoke screen to cover up some sin in their life, and all they really needed was Jesus.

    It's absurd.