I am deviating from my regular blog schedule, which I seem to do almost everyday, to ponder this question with you; What’s a missionary to do?
Let’s keep in mind that I define a missionary as someone who leaves their own culture for another to work towards advancing the Kingdom of God.
If you read this blog frequently, you should be aware that I do not practice traditional Christian religion. I believe that God has delivered me from religious obligation and set me free to follow Jesus. Notice the words ‘religious obligation.’ I’m not talking about regular meetings; you know the ones usually on Sunday with singing, giving, and sermons? Not talking about that. I’m talking about the fact that in most of the Christian religion you are obligated to be sitting in a pew/chair/sofa/bean bag/stool on Sunday morning or Wednesday evening. You are obligated to perform your religious duties, i.e. giving of your money and time, evangelizing, living a moral life, following whomever is the leader of that particular sect. Obligation in order to please God. What I have discovered is that He doesn’t need anything from me to like me. He likes me. I don’t have to join up with any religion in order to fulfill some quota of righteousness that will then allow me into His presence. Or to demonstrate my gratitude for Him filling that quota for me.
What I do, and my family, is to simply wake up each day and ask Jesus what He has for us that day. Then we do our best to live it.
Now let’s see if I can get to the point; What’s a missionary to do?
I don’t practice religion. I don’t belong to any organized church. (I certainly love and appreciate the church I came from in Texas, but that doesn’t change the fact that I do not need the organization to do what Jesus’ asks me to do. Certainly, I need the relationships with the people, but not the obligation to attend meetings etc.) I don’t have a set of doctrinal beliefs. I don’t have a missions agency to “cover” me. I don’t have religion.
What I do have is faith. I have faith that motivates me to do more than recite a creed. I have faith that is lived out, not believed out.
What’s a missionary to do? How do we continue to survive? How do we rescue more orphans? How do we feed more hungry people? How do we actually accomplish what we believe Jesus is asking us to do?
Too many people will write you off just because you’re not an evangelical. Too many people will say that because I don’t look like and act like a minister of the Gospel, I must not be one. Too many people simply walk away from the truth that Jesus wants us to help the least of these.
Because I embrace Muslims as brothers and sisters, many turn their heads from the orphans we are rescuing. Because I drink alcohol some question my commitment to Jesus. Because I refuse to bow to the idol of religion, many question my faith.
What is a missionary to do?
I need money to do what it is we are doing. I don’t have a salary. I have used up all the money Kate and I had. I don’t have a network of churches to solicit. I don’t have skills or the desire to manipulate people to give.
I am who I am. I believe that God spoke to me, and asked me to be me. Not you, not him, not her, and certainly not that guy over there. Just me.
I am sharing Jesus with the people who need him the most-- those who are being trampled on by this world’s system; those who have been discarded as so much garbage; those who have no hope outside of us.
What’s a missionary to do? Seriously help me out here. I need to know.