Letters To the Editor
Christian Aid Supporters Respond
If you feel Christian Aid’s criticisms are deceptive, you might consider giving a few examples, instead of engaging in mud-slinging. I am not connected to CA, but as a missionary on the field for 10 years, I have found their opinions to be mostly on-target.”
Andrew Peat TAIWAN
Editor: Two points: 1) As a matter of fact all we did was to give three examples quoted directly from the Christian Aid Mission letter. 2) We did not say anything about their work (but only their misleading criticisms of standard missions). You will find a lot of fascinating and relevant perspective in the articles by Steve Saint and Glenn Schwartz in this issue. RDW
Dr. Winter, I’m surprised at you. All we’re trying to do is to get some much-needed support for missionaries who are willing to survive on $30 or $40 of $50 or $100 per month, or to help their mission organization buy some much-needed equipment, loud-speakers, vehicles, etc., and you’re bad-mouthing us before thousands of mission-minded friends. Don’t you have a higher calling than that? What is your problem?
The main point is that we support soul-winning, church-planting ministries among the Unreached People Groups of India…It Looks like We Agree On Many Points. In fact, we seem to be practicing what you are preaching. If that is so, why are you so prejudiced against us?” John M. Lindner Editor, Christian Mission magazine Christian Aid Mission
Editor: We hold all missions accountable to the dependency issue described once again by Glenn Schwartz on pages 20-24. We did not single out your mission for criticism in that regard.
I have no doubt that your field work includes many good things. My concern is that your letters hammer away that missions that send people rather than money are failing to do the right thing. Your mission has decade after decade been casting aspersions and making downright incorrect statements about standard mission work.
No matter how much your agency does that is right, it does not justify making false statements about the work of agencies that send Americans as missionaries. These standard missions have produced at least a million workers that are supported entirely by their own people. Isn’t that worthwhile? That is the future. The future of the Christian movement is not with workers supported by foreign funds.
Furthermore, if your “native missionaries” are truly missionaries to unreached peoples (and are not just evangelists to their own people) they will find that they have most of the handicaps of missionaries coming from a greater distance. Missionaries to neighboring peoples often find greater animosity against them than missionaries who come from a greater distance and are not traditional enemies.
I am sorry to say that I know of no mission executive of any standard mission who considers your letters fair. No wonder your agency has never been a member mission of either of the two major associations of mission agencies in this country (IFMA and EFMA). That’s too bad, because probably much of your field work (unlike many of your letters) is creditable. RDW
Six Spheres Appreciation
“First, let me honor you for having the guts to say what needed to be said. I read, and understood your comments completely. Recently, I had one of our missionaries return from Belize, he told me that most Belizeans idea of Christianity is that it is “a white man’s religion,” and that their idea of how American churches work is based on what they see on TBN.” James Graham International Gospel Outreach
“Thank you so much for your excellent article on the Six Spheres of Missions. It is a tremendous concept and a great way to view the whole sphere of world missions. We have been reading MF for many years but this has been the best issue ever.” Richard Oostra Kirkland, WA
“Thank you so very much for the March-April issue of Mission Frontiers. It was greatly needed and superbly done. Perhaps not all will understand. And some may take issue at certain points. But you have done us all a noble service.
...Gertrude and I were deeply moved by the listing of prayer requests from the U.S. Center. All of you—and those who are ill especially—are in our prayers again and again.” Dave Hesselgrave Professor Emeritus of Missions, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“Your despair is revealed in what you wrote. Instead of looking to God as He is, you are attributing His works to Satan, are you not? I wonder at your question “Isn’t our faith easier to share, and our God to understand…?” How about sharing a faith that is revealed to us rather than a faith which is easier to share?”
Scotts Valley, CA
Editor: By distinguishing between what Satan does and what God does, our Gospel becomes easier to understand because it is right; not right because it is easier to understand.
You quoted Luther as saying, “to believe that He is just, though of His own will He makes us perforce proper subjects for damnation…I have stumbled…more than once, down to the deepest pit of despair…”
When God allowed Satan to deal harshly with Job it is more scriptural as well as more intelligible to speak of what Satan did rather than what God did, don’t you think? RDW