Thursday, August 7, 2014

On this issue Ann Coulter thinks like I think...

Ann Coulter's scathing indictment of American Christianity took the form of an attack on a doctor who left his home in the U.S. to become a missionary to Liberia and wound up catching the Ebola virus. I loved it! A true story: I was interested in planting a church in the inner city of a major southern metroplex a few years ago. I needed advice and some fundraising help from my denomination - whose name will go unmentioned - but suffice it to say that this multinational church denomination is famous for sending missionaries abroad, especially to Africa. Eventually during my conversation over lunch with the Missions Board Director, the topic of how much I needed to get started came up. When I asked how much it would cost to send a missionary to Africa, I was told a five figure sum could be given by the Board and the rest would have to be raised from the local church. I suggested I'd be interested in receiving a tenth of that amount. When he asked where I was interested in going, I replied, to the inner city. Unfortunately for me that did not strike him as a mission field and the conversation's tone changed a bit. While sympathetic to my desires, the Missions Director delicately stated that US inner cities were ineligible for missions status since, in so many words as he put it: it was the "territory" of the Black Churches of America. Ahem! Ah, well. That was that. A missionary to Africa can receive $30,000 from a major denomination but a missionary to Atlanta, not even a tenth of that. I was not entirely discouraged, but I did leave that denomination and temporarily laid aside my plans to preach and teach the Word of God. Abandoning the mission field in the city, I sought instead to become an educator - and found a position as a Christian school educator, in particular. As it turned out, the Lord was providentially closing doors and leading me to where He wanted me to be. And like a fish to water, it has been in the field of Christian education where I have found much satisfaction and peace. Yet every now and again, I look back at the fields of harvest in the city from time to time and wonder what might have been. When I see the collapse of the Black family in the city I wonder what good I could have done. Reading Ann Coulter's article caused me to remember what I saw at the time. America's soul was dying and it needed missionaries to the places where its soul was darkest: it's cities. Nothing against Africa, there are many fine Christians and churches there, but America needs all its Christian hands on deck, on its own shores. Ann is right, that doctor would have been of far greater use here in our towns and cities where diseases of the soul abound.

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