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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Is there such thing as a "missionary failure"?

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Joined: 2018/11/27
Posts: 6

 Is there such thing as a "missionary failure"?

I don't want to beat a dead horse but I was reading this article about the most recent missionary getting killed and it seems like he did all the wrong things. but does that mean he was a failure? Samson did all the wrong things but God still got the glory at the end.

"John Chau's Death was a failure nobody should emulate"

 2018/12/1 0:20Profile

Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 785

 Re: Is there such thing as a "missionary failure"?

No HankJr, this is an important issue regarding not just what happened on North Sentinel Island, but regarding all missions. You most certainly ought to bring this up, again.

Here is Mr. Lyman's concluding statement: "We should not revile Chau, as the left is doing, nor saint him, as some on the right are: rather, we should mourn that a life that promised such faithful service for many years to come was ripped from its vocation by a lack of good pastoral counsel."

My fear is that Mr. Lyman is speaking about someone he doesn't know, about a situation that he is unfamiliar with, and regarding a people group to whom God has not called him, specifically. By doing this, he is giving an opinion about something that he is completely uninvested in, much like the "instagram generation" to whom he refers. Why does Mr. Lyman even present an opinion in this matter? Is it to edify the church? Do we learn some incredible missional truths in his article? Do we walk away wiser? No, we in fact walk away either feeling less-than-enthusiastic about missions or we demonize Chau.

I can assert this: Mr. Lyman doesn't believe in the sovereignty of God, at least not practically. There is no such thing as a rogue christian agent. Chau was either a child of the King of Kings or he was an unbeliever pretending to be a Christian. He either falls under the influence of God or the enemy. Think of all that God could have done to stop Chau? Think of how easily he could have been captured. If he was spending YEARS of his life in sin, then he would have been disciplined. The only out you have for that is that he was a secret unbeliever--an idea to which his life bears no witness in any way.

Mr. Lyman suggests that he was not just poorly prepared, but fool-heartedly prepared. The facts have emerged: Chau was trained in many areas. Having gone to Missionary Training with Pioneers, I recognize in Chau's preparation the same methodological processes that I was taught to consider and pursue when reaching totally uncontacted peoples. NO ONE on earth is prepared to do this well. It is a difficult process with a steep learning curve.

I humbly suggest that Mr. Lyman's failure to suggest the correct alternative to what he refers to as a failure is proof that he is not interested in edifying the church, but justifying his riskless position. Missions is risky. It can cost your life in a myriad of ways! But it will NEVER NOT cost your life. Any missionary who says that their mission work doesn't come with an ultimate cost is fooling themselves. The basic tenets of Christianity require the very lives we live to be offered up to God--even unto death.

As Jim Elliot said, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

"Before the world, aye, before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God. We will venture our all for him. We will live and we will die for him, and we will do it with his joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts." --C.T. Studd

"Real Christians revel in desperate ventures for Christ, expecting from God great things and attempting the same with exhilaration." --C.T. Studd

"Make me thy fuel, Flame of God!" --Amy Carmichael

I cared not where or how I lived, or what hardships I went through, so I could but gain souls to Christ." --David Brainerd.

"I have but one candle to burn and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than a land flooded with light." --Keith Falconer

I think these brothers and sisters of old testify for John Chau, that he was both a godly man and a martyr. Let's not let the enemy steal that from us!

 2018/12/2 18:57Profile

Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 1035
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re: order please

Heavenly Father: I would like to place and order.

"Father would you please send another 10,000 with the same attitude and desire like John Chau into the harvest fields?"

acts 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.

11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

John can say to the Lord "I knew what they might do, but for your sake and the sake of those to whom you sent me, I went.

May we all emulate that.


 2018/12/3 11:32Profile

Joined: 2016/8/10
Posts: 229


Missions is risky. It can cost your life in a myriad of ways! But it will NEVER NOT cost your life.

Very good thought!

I do not know much about the man but I heard about those people through what happened to him. And I am sure this is the case with many Christians worldwide, some of them have certainly prayed the Lord of the harvest to send others to preach the gospels to these lost sheeps.

And I am convinced these people will see great light!

Whether it was a failure? - I would not dare to say that!
Was it a success? - The Lord knows.

You know, God often scales things different than we do, because He sees all things, the hidden parts of the heart. But I am convinced that something very good will come out of this.

"for his name's sake they went forth"

 2018/12/3 14:09Profile

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