Author Topic: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?  (Read 2508 times)

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Online screwtape

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2013, 09:49:51 AM »
Well, I didn't think I wrote anything offensive enough to warrant that response, but I suppose that is not for me to decide.

Since we're being completely up front, I think that beneath your good-natured pluck and charm is someone who would gladly execute the most abominable orders given him as long as it came from someone you saw as a chuuch authority.  You would stand with the Hebrew soldiers who drove their spear tips through the children of Midian, only you would whistle a happy tune while doing it. 

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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2013, 10:45:52 AM »
I shared this issue because of the gut reaction I've had about it - I can see how it brings out strong emotions on both sides.

Magicmiles, I get where you are coming from, having been there myself for years.  I know you are in no place to judge motives half a world away, but doesn't this scenario just smell a little to you?  I think you see screwtape lashing out at his confirmation of nonsense and attrocities in the past and maybe you feel the brunt of that. 

Does this local OK church do some good?  Sure it does.  I cannot fault them for the areas they reach out to the community, but also having been involved pretty deeply with some of it in the past there's is a lot that goes undone simply becasue they cannot rally enough xians for the "unfun" stuff - like cleaning up the property of an old lady who used to go there but can no longer get out.  I went, the place was a total mess - overgrown with weeds, grass, poison ivy...  In a church of 5000+ attendees 3 of us showed up and the organizer couldn't get another soul despite begging, pleading and offering lunch.  It was sad, especially when they get 1000 turn out for pizza and kiddie game night at the church.

So, I think it's easy to say they
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Offline Betelnut

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2013, 06:22:01 PM »
Does this local OK church do some good?  Sure it does.  I cannot fault them for the areas they reach out to the community, but also having been involved pretty deeply with some of it in the past there's is a lot that goes undone simply becasue they cannot rally enough xians for the "unfun" stuff - like cleaning up the property of an old lady who used to go there but can no longer get out.  I went, the place was a total mess - overgrown with weeds, grass, poison ivy...  In a church of 5000+ attendees 3 of us showed up and the organizer couldn't get another soul despite begging, pleading and offering lunch.  It was sad, especially when they get 1000 turn out for pizza and kiddie game night at the church

Wow, that's incredible!  My Unitarian Universalist church has around 100 members plus a lot of kids and we would get probably 10-15 people coming out to help an old member of the church.  Your church sucks.

Offline Fiji

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2013, 05:33:29 AM »

FIJI,
This church would be your run of the mill Southern Baptists megachurch.

Here's the Brussels blog on their site - it's about what you'd expect although not updated very well.  Every good thing is attributed to god...  A lot of work done in coffee shops! 

http://www.hhbc.com/march-27-2013-brussels-belgium

All I can say is, if you can Skype with your church back home, in my view, you haven't gone too far out of the way (or out of your comfort zone) to find "unreached people groups."  Sure, there are exceptions but wow....

So, clicked about on their site a bit. There are a few lol moments, like when they misidentify Dutch as French in the elevator of the Atomium, or when they present a boule de Berlin as a typically Belgian pastry ... really? You had a sellection of a few dozen different pastries and you picked the one that ISN'T Belgian. Their pronounciation of French words and phrases is atrocious but would any of their sheeple notice?

They, of course, don't consider catholics as christians and never waste an opportunity to put the non-saved down.
And then there's this vomit inducing objectifying of people:
Quote
The most exciting thing however are the three Muslims that accepted Christ this past week. So much toiling, planting, and watering went into the harvest.
That's right, don't see them as actual PEOPLE ... they're harvest ... stuff to collect and offer up to your bronze age wargod.
They frequently reassure people that they're not in any actual danger among all these *shudder* MUSLIMS *shudder* which is hardly a surprise since they focus on Laeken, the eastern part of Jette and the 'European' center.
I don't recommend trying to convert anyone in Molenbeek or Schaerbeek ... where all the hardcore mosques are.
They're not exactly 'roughing' it ... their appartment is quite modern and spacious, considering that this is probably in Laeken too, you're looking at 1000 EUR per month at least.
They're jubilant about getting muslims to attend bible class ... which again is hardly a surprise since muslims are told in the second sura to go and study the torah and the gospels.

All in all, they seem no more dangerous than the next batch of religious goons.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2013, 09:13:40 AM »
So, clicked about on their site a bit. There are a few lol moments, like when they misidentify Dutch as French in the elevator of the Atomium, or when they present a boule de Berlin as a typically Belgian pastry ... really? You had a sellection of a few dozen different pastries and you picked the one that ISN'T Belgian. Their pronounciation of French words and phrases is atrocious but would any of their sheeple notice?

All in all, they seem no more dangerous than the next batch of religious goons.

Thanks for the review from a "native" point of view...  Pretty much confirms what I expected - no roughing it at all, unless you count the coffee shop being out of organic cane sugar.

I wonder what the return on investment is per muslim they bring into the fold for jeezus?  Maybe $10k a head, not counting pastries? 

If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Nick

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #34 on: June 06, 2013, 09:55:03 AM »
Just imagine the slide show that will be presented when these weary travelers return with tails of suffering for the faith.

Wouldn't it be ironic if they converted Fiji? :o
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 10:19:36 AM by Nick »
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2013, 10:39:59 AM »

Wouldn't it be ironic if they converted Fiji? :o

More ironic if he converted them...  I will say a prayer to the tree in my backyard for that   :laugh:

"Lastly... in slide 17 we have an atheist we ran into. He had a lot to say, and frankly made more sense than the snake oil we are selling - so, screw all of you and your pastries, fancy apartments and god delusions - we are off the reservation and no gods for us!" 
  - Brother B.S. Harping  (not a real quote)
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Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #36 on: June 06, 2013, 06:43:52 PM »
Quote
And I would bet an awful lot of money that many members agree with me.


You'd lose that bet, hoss.

You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline HAL

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2013, 06:49:40 PM »
But you're a spiteful, mean-spirited SOB and you seem to have an ego the size of Alaska. And I would bet an awful lot of money that many members agree with me.

I don't.

Offline Traveler

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2013, 07:14:12 PM »
But you're a spiteful, mean-spirited SOB and you seem to have an ego the size of Alaska. And I would bet an awful lot of money that many members agree with me.

I don't.

Me either. What I "heard" in Screwtape's post was a perfectly natural exasperation at religious hypocrisy and waste and greed.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline Fiji

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2013, 01:20:59 AM »
Just imagine the slide show that will be presented when these weary travelers return with tails of suffering for the faith.

Wouldn't it be ironic if they converted Fiji? :o

Well, you'll never guess what happened to me last friday.
Let me just say that I met some people and now I see the light where I was blind before.
Scoff all you want, but nothing can sway me from the true path now that I have accepted into my life ... pastries.
Praise the custard!
FSM? A giant ball of noodles?! How silly! I've seen the true God and he is delicious!
All bow down to the Giant Repository Of Amicable Pastries!
May his custard lubricate your life.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2013, 12:34:03 PM »
now all the hundreds of kiddies for VBS this weekare hearing about wonderful god times in Brussels.

I wanna be a missionary there... I would be just as effective preaching the word of thinking for yourself to the Muslims in pastry shops. We could have a contest for how many converts I get vs. jeezus
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Online screwtape

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2013, 12:48:19 PM »
How are the missionaries audited?  How does the mother ship know the missionary is actually out trying to reel in muslims and not just sitting around a cafe or bar?
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2013, 01:32:32 PM »
^^^^ Excellent questions... no idea.
 
The missions pastor is assigned there (though he shows up stateside often), so I'm sure he has carte blanche to do whatever the hell he pleases up to and including hanging out in cafes. 

Brussels seems to be a nice destination place for youth "missions trips" and missions camps - whatever those are.  Knowing teens who went, it sounds like a rip roaring good ol' time.  Hardly too taxing on their upper middle class iphone-brained sensibilities.

Lots of flights back and forth from what I can tell.... $$$$$
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Online screwtape

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2013, 02:02:58 PM »
These guys are not men of god.  They are con men.  Plain and simple.  This mission is obviously bullshit and just a reason for a few of the elite to jet around and hang out in Europe.  I'm totally jealous, but I'm also outraged. 

Can you whip up the peasants to break out their pitchforks and torches?  I mean, what would jesus H do?  Certainly not sip lattes in a fricken cafe in "The Land of Chocolate", sporadically talking to the least dangerous muslims he can find.  Fuck no.  He'd be in Amsterdam (just 2 hours away) ministering to drug addicts and prostitutes.  These scam artists need a full on revolt.

If you are looking for a way to explain to your wife your loss of faith - or at least a good reason to leave this particular church-o-rama - these fuckers are it.  You are disillusioned by the greed and hypocrisy.  Your trust in them is gone and in the bible, shaken.  Take some time to find a moderate, less crazy group.  Unitarians or Quakers.  Maybe that will help tone her down.  Like swapping heroin for pot.  Maybe she's only acting like an asshole because she's imitating the assholes with whom she associates?  Remove the assholes, get your wife back.

And then, maybe after that, you can have the real conversation with her?


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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2013, 02:27:16 PM »
If you are looking for a way to explain to your wife your loss of faith - or at least a good reason to leave this particular church-o-rama - these fuckers are it.  You are disillusioned by the greed and hypocrisy.  And then, maybe after that, you can have the real conversation with her?

Funny you should bring that up... I'm working on just that angle. We had a weekend away, and I brought up the whole Brussels thing.  I asked her thoughts on it and shared some of mine - alabeit very gently.  She could see I wasn't in favor of it and asked, "what would you rather they do?"

I told her I had no problem with the church going to help people in genuine need - even threw out some of the third world shitholes I'd have at the top of my list if I were the grand poobah. 

I was a little surprised by her answer - "I don't think they'd get any takers to go to Somalia or someplace like you mean."

Exactly... I said - so they make a big show to convince everyone Brussels is a big unreached people group and tout the three xians they've made out of some muslims in 1+ years on the ground (pun intended for coffee shop evengelism).

Baby steps...
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Offline Jag

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2013, 07:55:43 PM »
Under normal circumstances, I'd be at least a little uncomfortable with this but these are not normal circumstances... I agree with screwtape's suggestion to use this situation to your advantage. If you think you can pry your wife free of this denomination and along the way perhaps save your marriage as well, you ought to try it.

It's such a perfect demonstration of the wrong being done in the name of her God, now that you're openly observed something concrete that she agrees with (to a point at least), she may take a good hard look and conclude that she's not that pleased herself. If religion must remain an integral part of her life, at least redirecting it toward less BS denominations can't hurt. Unitarians or Quakers might be more appealing than some of the more mainstream groups, just because they remain a bit on the fringes - if she has an investment in the "persecuted Christian" persona that may be an advantage you could sort of sell her on.

Keep her attention on the actions of the church, not your thoughts about God. Point your doubts at them for as long as it works.

Find a different church - maybe get the kids interested in a finding a new one? Not sure if that's a good suggestion or not; all of you together could be a compelling group in favor of a new congregation, but I'm not sure you want to get your kids any more invested in a church of any kind. On the other hand if she's going to insist that they participate, maybe they should have some say? Try making it about your family as a group, not the two of you dictating to them? You want your kids to celebrate, not be fearful? I never had to deal with this issue, so take anything I say about it with a BIG grain of salt.
My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.

Offline Fiji

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #46 on: June 12, 2013, 12:49:42 AM »
Can you whip up the peasants to break out their pitchforks and torches?

That ... might be a bit of an issue. While Brussels does have a ministry of agriculture, (staff: two, luckily not full time), they administer a grand total of ... one farmer. And this one fellow only lives in Brussels, his fields are half a mile away, in Flanders.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #47 on: June 12, 2013, 08:30:51 AM »
Under normal circumstances, I'd be at least a little uncomfortable with this but these are not normal circumstances... I agree with screwtape's suggestion to use this situation to your advantage. If you think you can pry your wife free of this denomination and along the way perhaps save your marriage as well, you ought to try it.

Jag,
Thanks for the comments and help.  While I wouldn't say I'm trying to "save" my marriage - I don't think it's at that point... at least not yet :)  I assume that would be an issue if/when I start emerging from said closet.

Part of the crazy thing about all this is the wife isn't terribly happy with the church proper (part of it dealing with a Matt 18 issue she wanted them to enact on me for not seeing things her way in the bible awhile back - to their credit, they dismissed the issue as silly).  But like many xians, she has this maddening view that it's just her and jeezus and the word and the building is just that - a place to gather with other believers.  So, she tends to ignore the things that bother her about the "church" and just make nice-nice with jeezus in her bible study and prayer time.  It's weird...

All that being said, I'd trod on dangerous ground trying to just uproot her and the kiddies from the "church" as she knows it.  I did make mention of a Unitarian church near us and some of the helpful things they were doing in the community.  Of course, she asked if they believed the "right" things and I couldn't answer that with a straight face - just showed her their beliefs on their website.  She poo-pooed that pretty quick.

I am taking the route of pointing out problems with the actions of the church and the hypocrisy there - treading lightly of course.  I see this as a longer term project than a - WHAMMO - "this is all BS and I'm an atheist, deal with it!" approach.
 Thanks again!!
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #48 on: June 12, 2013, 08:42:55 AM »
This probably isn't the case, but I thought might be worth saying as an outsider.....

I seem to recall you saying that you were the one who originally pulled your wife into the church?  (Not a blame thing, I promise!)  If I've recalled that right....is there any chance at all that your wife is NOT as radical as she makes out, and there is an element of her going along with the faith because its what she thinks YOU still believe?  Could she be poo-pooing your suggestions as she perhaps fears you are "testing" her?

From what you've said, probably not the case - but best to be sure, stranger things have happened!  It would be a shame if you were BOTH acting religious so as not to upset the other!
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #49 on: June 12, 2013, 08:51:24 AM »
This probably isn't the case, but I thought might be worth saying as an outsider.....

I seem to recall you saying that you were the one who originally pulled your wife into the church?  (Not a blame thing, I promise!) 

Actually, I do take some of that blame.  She was a catholic (little c) and I tried to explain my views as a protestant/baptist... thought she needed all "saved" and such.  I was fairly middle of the road and while I attended fundie-lite churches.  I knew the theology/soteriology/eschatology/etc, but I'd never die on thosse hills.

However, she is all in with the belief system now.  I guarantee she couldn't argue the theology worth a damn, but she defers to the apologists who do and to whatever a pastor might say (unless it's disagreeing with the Matt 18 interpretation lol)
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Online screwtape

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #50 on: June 12, 2013, 09:05:56 AM »
That ... might be a bit of an issue.

That was a funny post.  But I was referring to the peasants that attend his church.  A little mob revolt would be good for them.  sorry if I was not clear.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #51 on: June 12, 2013, 09:08:02 AM »
Aside from a few of the illegals they hire to dust the rafters, not too many peasants at this church.

They could load up their Escalades with bottles of Evian to throw
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Offline Fernweh

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #52 on: June 12, 2013, 09:42:02 AM »
That ... might be a bit of an issue.

That was a funny post.  But I was referring to the peasants that attend his church.  A little mob revolt would be good for them.  sorry if I was not clear.

The peasants were driven out of the sprawling strip mall and megachurch wasteland of Edmond, Ok 30 years ago. Most of them were driven off to Moore and Mustang.

Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #53 on: June 12, 2013, 10:07:36 AM »
^^^^  See how that worked out for them... god smites them with tornadoes every couple years
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #54 on: June 12, 2013, 10:12:12 AM »
I dunno.  I think that they should come to my neighborhood.  I live in an NYC outboro community, in which the local Pakistani newspaper just endorsed our openly gay City Council member. [1]  Lots of souls to save here. 

Just look at the sin taking place on the streets during the Pride Parade less than two weeks ago:



And a few weeks before that, the Muslim youth of the neighborhood display shockingly sinful behavior:



I mean seriously.  What has gotten into the Muslim youth of NY? 

Other than all this sin, it is a great neighborhood.  Pre-war garden apartments will keep the missionaries safe from the evil going on down there on the streets below.  15 minutes on the express train to Midtown Manhattan.  The faithful can take in Broadway shows during their off-hours.  And best of all, if, after a long day of spreading God's good Word, they are too tired to cook, there is a dizzying array of restaurants that deliver. 

I say we have enough sin right here within our national boarders.  Let's keep these efforts local. 
 1. He really is great.  And he is a genuine champion for his constituents, including marginalized communities.

Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #55 on: June 12, 2013, 10:41:04 AM »
Quesi,

Those are just run of the mill sinners in a prosperous country with access to radio, tv, internet and Starbucks.

Brussels is a third world country; the natives are chucking spears at missionaries and beheading them at every turn, clean water is impossible to find, and you have folks like Fiji running around talking in French about sex parts of plants - they are an unreached people group, for chrissakes!!  Right?  :o :o
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Fernweh

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #56 on: June 12, 2013, 10:57:49 AM »
^^^^  See how that worked out for them... god smites them with tornadoes every couple years

God smote them for not working for Devon or Chesapeake. I must not have enough posts to respond to your PM. To answer your questions...yes and yes. I was actually born there but live elsewhere in the state now.

I'm sure your missionaries are suffering greatly in Belgium with the great cycling and Trappist beer. 

Offline Quesi

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #57 on: June 12, 2013, 11:01:09 AM »
Quesi,

Those are just run of the mill sinners in a prosperous country with access to radio, tv, internet and Starbucks.

Brussels is a third world country; the natives are chucking spears at missionaries and beheading them at every turn, clean water is impossible to find, and you have folks like Fiji running around talking in French about sex parts of plants - they are an unreached people group, for chrissakes!!  Right?  :o :o

I suppose you are right.  Exotic Belgian sinners will ultimately be much more challenging, and much more rewarding to serve. 

I mean, I can say with all honesty that I have NEVER heard floral genitalia discussed on the streets of my neighborhood.  But if you don't hit Belgium now, EVERYONE will be talking about it in a few years.