Opinion

John Chau and the dangers of missionary work

Clouds hang over the North Sentinel Island, in India's southeastern Andaman and Nicobar Islands, on Nov. 14, 2005. A rights group that works to protect tribal people has urged Indian authorities to abandon efforts to recover the body of John Allen Chau, an American man who was killed by inhabitants of an island where outsiders are effectively forbidden by Indian law. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)

(RNS) — Last week we were reminded of a harsh lesson: The Christian missionary mandate, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” is a dangerous endeavor.

Throughout our history, missionaries have been misunderstood, maligned, mocked and even martyred as a result of their obedience to this command. Recently, the world has been made aware of this painful truth through the story of John Allen Chau.

According to news accounts, Chau was a graduate of Oral Roberts University and an avid outdoorsman and explorer. His Instagram feed is filled with pictures and stories of experiences in exotic places.

Along with his adventurous spirit, Chau seemed to have been passionate about sharing the Christian gospel with the Sentinelese, a tiny group on the remote island of North Sentinel off the coast of India.

Erika Hagelberg, a Norwegian geneticist, says the Sentinelese are part of a larger group of Andaman Island people whom she has labeled “arguably the most enigmatic people on our planet.” Missiologists consider the Sentinelese people an “unreached and unengaged people group.”

According to the website peoplegroups.org, there are no known Christians among these people. They have no Bible translations, no Jesus Film, no gospel recordings or other outreach programs. The Sentinelese are geographically isolated and without any form of Christian witness.

India’s island of North Sentinel, dot, in the Bay of Bengal. Image courtesy of Google Maps

The spiritual state of the Sentinelese motivated Chau to sneak onto the island with the hope of sharing the Christian gospel. According to news accounts, Chau knew the risks he was taking. He also knew his actions violated Indian law.

Entries from Chau’s journal, published by The Washington Post, record that on one of his trips to the island, he stood on the beach and shouted, “My name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you.” One of the tribesmen shot at him with an arrow, but Chau managed to make it back to a fishing boat. On Nov. 16 he went back to the island, never to return. Later, fishermen reported seeing the tribesmen burying Chau’s body on the beach.

The death of Chau raises questions for Christians and non-Christians alike. There are ethical questions, as Chau deliberately broke Indian laws, first by proselytizing and second by deliberately entering a restricted area. There are questions about the wisdom of risking one’s life for such a small, isolated group of people who clearly want no interference from outsiders. There are also theological questions about the need for a missionary to go to such lengths to evangelize people who have had no previous encounter with the Christian message.

From all accounts, Chau’s actions demonstrated some serious missiological shortcomings. Had he approached me with his plan, I would have counseled against it. His zeal for evangelism seems to have clouded his judgment.

John Chau. Photo via Instagram

In my estimation, traveling to an isolated island alone, with no national support and scant knowledge of language and culture, was destined for failure. Success for a missionary cannot be limited to initial points of contact but rather the establishment of relationships that allow room for the gospel to be heard and observed.

In 1 Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul indicates that the life-changing power of the gospel was manifest in his preaching as well as in his living with the people.

What advice would I give to my students who want to see the lost reached with the gospel?

  • Take the long view of the work. Discipleship requires time, relationship and strategy.
  •  Build partnerships with national Christians. Remember that the Great Commission does not belong to the Western church alone.
  • Remember that good intentions do not guarantee success. Careless acts can actually create greater problems.
  •  Focus on prayer as a missionary strategy. God loves the people of the world more than we do. Through prayer, we partner with God in his mission.

Two other questions to ponder:

Was this particular trip necessary?

No.

Was there another way to reach the Sentinelese with the gospel?

Yes.

Though I would have advised against this endeavor, fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) means someone must go and tell them.

The message of the Bible is that because of human rebellion and idolatry, all people are hopelessly lost. Even our best works are unable to eliminate the guilt and shame of our sin. But God, in his great love, has made a way for us to be reconciled. Jesus died to pay the price for our sin, and forgiveness comes through personal faith. This message is as true and necessary for those of us living in the gospel-saturated West as it is for those living in isolation like the Sentinelese.

It is still necessary for a missionary to take the Christian gospel to the Sentinelese people. We may be critical of the methods used in this situation, but we cannot disregard the fact that the good news must be shared in order for these people to know the hope and salvation available to them in Christ.

(Scott Hildreth is assistant professor of global studies and director of the Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of Religion News Service.) 

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Scott Hildreth

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  • It’s a great shame that this boy died. He had his whole life in front of him, the only life he has— though he felt otherwise, I’m sure— and he threw it away. But to say it’s about the dangers of missionizing is trying to make this better than it was.

    First and foremost, it’s about the dangers of stupidity. It’s very similar to climbing over most of the guardrails at the Grand Canyon in the places where you can flick a penny over the edge and hit bottom. (You must also hope that no one is standing where the penny hits at 180 meters/second.). The rails and the signs are there for a reason. Was he stupid? Well, let’s see. He shouted at the Sentinelese in Xhosa, a language from a completely unrelated people 5000 miles away.

    It’s about hubris. He was going to show those Darkies what they needed to know, whether they wanted to hear it or not. It was assuming that all of his desires were of greater import than the lives of those people. He was told, in no uncertain terms, that his mere presence could kill everyone on the island, since they had no immunity to the diseases he might be carrying. As in: within one century of western contact, it is estimated that approximately 80% of native Hawaiians died, due to diseases that their long isolation in the remotest spot on earth gave them no immunity to.

    It’s about being delusional. Shouting “I love you” in that generalized Christian sense, the ones that make them just like god, at people whom he didn’t know and knew nothing about, and clearly didn’t give a small goddam about (no immunity). Well, that’s just not love. Megalomania, perhaps, but not love.

    And then there is that which lies beneath it all. He gave his life for the word o’ god. That ought to purchase him a place in heaven, and everyone ought to be happy about it. But they are not. His family is grieving. Outraged Christians of a certain sort are demanding that the Indian government take action against the sentinelese, who were simply defending their tribe, their homes, their people, their way of life from an outside intruder who threatened it all.

    I seem to remember some rhetoric about the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun, and people need their guns to defend their homes against home intruders, and blah blah blah as nauseum. Chau was walking in with a loaded AR15– his biology— against people with sticks. I’m not excusing his murder, but his death was simply the consequence of his stupidity, his arrogance, his hubris, and his delusions. As an atheist, I don’t believe in Cosmic rewards and punishments. I do believe in karma, of a sort. There are only consequences.

    RIP, Mr. Chau.

  • And then there is THIS: “We may be critical of the methods used in this situation, but we cannot disregard the fact that the good news must be shared in order for these people to know the hope and salvation available to them in Christ.”
    More of the same. but in a sense, worse, because it indicates the author learned nothing from Mr. Chau’s death, which makes it even more of a waste. The same hubris, the same “rules don’t apply to me”, the same delusion. It reminds me of a very old might-not-be-a-joke-but-might-be-true.
    Native: Is it true that if I never heard of the Christian god and sin, I would not be damned to hell for eternity?
    Missionary: No, not if you didn’t know.
    Native: Then why did you tell me?

  • One feels pity for Mr. Chau and the manner of his death…..even though he brought it on himself. The hubris of religion led him to ignore laws, verifiable knowledge that the Sentinelese react violently to ousiders, and the possibility of introducing pathogens to the islanders which could cause extinction of the population.

    Those who encouraged and enabled Mr. Chau’s foolish and dangerous mission owe the island people a deep aplogy.

  • “I’m not excusing his murder, ”

    Not sure that the Indian government will see Chau’s death as murder. The Indian government might choose to see his death through the Sentinelese lens; through that lens, his death would not be seen as murder.

  • You got too much anger in there, Ben. Again.

    Anyway, I don’t agree with what Mr. Chau did either. I would have reminded Chau that his (and mine) “normal American germs” could potentially wipe out all the people that he badly wanted to introduce to Jesus.

    But sometimes, people make wrong choices anyway, and then they stubbornly press their mercy a bit too far. Certainly Mr. Chau did.

    I really don’t want to say this, but let’s be honest. The Sentinel people ain’t murderers. They were just doing Emergency Self-Defense, trying to stay alive.

  • If you see anger, you are seeing what you absolutely are desperate to see.
    As for the rest of your comment, we are 100% in agreement.

  • It never seems to occur to the evangelizers that other people have thir own homemade gods, with whom they’re quite happy……Why do they need gods dreamed up elsewhere? There’s the same level of evidence for any of them.

    For all we know, Mr, Chau wore or carried something that angered the Sentinelese gods. One sees the same mindset at work today in the US, with people like Roy Moore and Whitaker.

  • Umm, nope. I so much continue to enjoy demolishing the atheist fantasy that “there’s the same level of evidence for any of (the gods).” That atheistic mantra is TOAST.

    It only takes one deity to kill atheism (and I enjoy that aspect too).

    But Romans 1:20 opens up an entire exciting career of evidentially smashing the false gods & idols of the world, while also evidentially highlighting the true God, the God of the Bible, to all people and races.

    I’m embarking on that career.

  • As a “recovering” or “Jack” Mormon, I have a lot more criticism for Mormonism and the LDS Church than praise but at least the Mormons go through proper legal channels before preaching their gospel in other nations. I served almost a third of my mission to Mexico in the United States while waiting for my Mexican visa to clear. The church had me wait and do missionary work on the Texas border until my paperwork to enter Mexico legally was all good to go. While I was “visa-waiting” in Texas, another missionary got sent to Texas from Colombia in South America, invited to leave that nation and finish his mission stateside by the Church and the Colombian government for unilaterally deciding to “put America first” as a hardcore conservative over his religious mission call. We were supposed to report any political speech on his part to church authorities with the implication that he could still be sent home to Utah in shame.

  • That reads like a lot of gibberish and double talk that you often spew hear. And it reeks of the same arrogance that got this guy killed.

  • No, David. Matt. 28:18-20 is never arrogance. Romans 1:20 is never arrogance. John 3:16 is never arrogance.

    Apologetics is just another avenue of evangelism, that”s all. Some people learn to speak Spanish or German or Swahili so they can present exciting and true information to different people of the world about God, Jesus, salvation, healing, holiness, eternal life in Christ.

    Christian Apologetics is just one more Earth language, one more way to reach diverse people for Jesus. Why don’t you give it a go as well?

  • Nonsense. You simply prefer to believe that your holy book is holier and more truthful than anybody else’s holy book. That is your preference in belief, and that is the only fact in evidence.

    But you’re right. It only requires one actual Diety to put the kibosh in atheism.But so far, as thin the herd noted, nobody’s evidence is any better than anybody else’s evidence. In fact, nobody has any evidence beyond their belief. As I said, you just prefer to believe that the Bible is evidence, when it is only evidence to you.

  • Knowing that he graduated from Oral Roberts University says a lot about what was going on here. Once some of these charismatic Christians get something in their heads that they are on a mission from God, nothing stops them, come Hell or high water. That’s why there is a former hospital complex of three high rise buildings in Tulsa, OK adjacent to ORU that sits close to 75% empty. The towers are 60, 30 and 20 stories tall and were the fullfillment of Robert’s “vison” to build the City of Faith, a hospital to unite medical science and charismatic healing together as teams for each patient. When he couldn’t raise the funds to complete his quest, he claimed to see a 900 foot tall Jesus standing next to the incomplete shell and looking down on him nodding yes. He also threatened his viewers that if he failed to complete his mission that God would kill him, God would “call him home.” God called Bro Chau home.

  • It seems to me that missionaries do more harm than good to ones soul. If the Sentinelese have not received the gospel and a tsunami wiped out the entire island a loving God would likely welcome them all into heaven. If a missionary gives them the gospel and half reject it and then the tsunami hits, half of them would go to hell.

  • “His zeal for evangelism seems to have clouded his judgment.“
    Thank you professor I am glad to know it is an isolatated case and not a institutional problem.

    As a Christian, if I’m standing on a beach between Chau and these tribesmen and the only thing that prevents him from walking up to them and saying “hey” is me telling him to sit down and shut the eff up…then that’s what I do. What ever you do in word or deed…Colossians 3:17. Because right then and there is not the time or place to-

    But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Colossians 3:8.

    Chau’s actions caused those things in others and causing something is not ridding yourself of something. I doubt if he was ever taught this.

  • You missed pointing out the BIGGEST flaw with Christian Mission work–the total lack of respect it shows for people of a different culture.

  • Don’t forget to check out “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheeps clothing but inside are ravenous wolves”!

    You area false prophet mr. Lee

  • Check out hotm 1.0.
    You don’t have to do anything. I think you may be able to relate to Shawn’s experiences.
    Anyway – later.

  • Be careful not to judge missionaries or their schools based on one dramatic life-ending mistake that a dead missionary overzealously got himself into.

    According to ORU, this Mr. Chau actually had a good missionary record, other than his final end. A true leader.

    Outreach Coordinator for the Missions Dept. Helped make things work together for the ORU partnering agencies.

    Organized numerous charity soccer events all over the world. Soccer clinic’s with Syrian and Kurdish refugee youth in Northern Iraq. Soccer outreach to Burmese refugees living in Tulsa area. After school programs for Tulsa underprivileged kids.

    Not too shabby for an ORU missionary.

  • 1ST CORRECTION: “There are [NO] ethical questions, as [John Allen] Chau deliberately broke Indian laws, first by proselytizing and second by deliberately entering a restricted area.” And that’s because “there are [NO] ethical questions, as [T N Pandit] deliberately broke Indian laws, first by [okaying] proselytizing and second by deliberately entering a restricted area.” Not only that, like John Allan Chau, he actually appreciates the fact that, though, “tribes in Andamans have recently shunned efforts to be converted” – “in Nicobar islands, both Christianity and Islam have made an entry”!

    FYII (For Your Insult to Intelligence):

    “Pandit was lead anthropologist with the Anthropological Survey of India when he carried out several trips to the Sentinel Island between 1966 and 1991.” And “on a sunny day, I would like to pay an old-fashioned visit [again]”, he admitted just yesterday!

    Source: T N Pandit, interviewed in Mallica Joshi, “It took some coconuts, and 25 years: The killing of a 27-yr-old tourist on the Andamans has brought the reclusive Sentinel tribe into the spotlight: An 83-yr-old anthropologist recalls his years of waiting, numerous visits, and many gifts, including a pig and buckets, leading up to one solitary meeting with them one fine day”, The Indian Express, November 25, 2018.

  • 2ND CORRECTION: “Had [John Allen Chau] approached [D. Scott Hildreth] with his plan, [this Hildi Guy] would [NOT] have counseled against it.” For this Hildi Guy has pretty much said so himself! – in his Marketing Blob, “Solutions for the Problems You Have with Evangelism”, November 9, 2018:

    “We are too concerned with approval of others — the church engages in many activities that will generate public applause. Evangelism is not one of these activities. If our ears are tuned to the approval of those outside the church, we will find other ‘noble’ activities and neglect evangelism. [So here’s my] REMEDY: Seek God’s approval first and remember, when someone [from the North Sentinel Island] trust Christ, they will be eternally thankful for [John Allen Chau’s] courage.”

  • And you call “respect” what “T N Pandit … the anthropologist who … [has] made contact with the Sentinelese tribe” – did?! “Pandit was lead anthropologist with the Anthropological Survey of India when he carried out several trips to the Sentinel Island between 1966 and 1991.”

    How’s this for “respect”?

    “[When, in 1967, as ‘a 20-member team, including armed local security officials’] we tried to venture into their territory … the Sentinelese hid in the forest. I believe they are aware of the power of a firearm and did not want a confrontation.”

    Source: T N Pandit, interviewed in Mallica Joshi, “It took some coconuts, and 25 years: The killing of a 27-yr-old tourist on the Andamans has brought the reclusive Sentinel tribe into the spotlight: An 83-yr-old anthropologist recalls his years of waiting, numerous visits, and many gifts, including a pig and buckets, leading up to one solitary meeting with them one fine day”, The Indian Express, November 25, 2018.

  • How did you imaginarily end up “standing on a beach” at North Sentinel Island – and not automatically violently manhandled by them?

    And you wanna pass on wisdom?!

  • Uhm … Boxing Day Tsunami did ravage the tribe. Guess what they did to India’s authorities coming over in the aftermath. You don’t know your facts, yet you philosophize!

  • Amen

    And so, be well dead asleep, our brother John, until the resurrection! See ya dude! (Floydlee & me will surely do.)

  • And yet, and yet, when “Rinpoche had sexually abused female followers for years” – “David Allen 4 months ago [responded] I can see why both women and men might be physically attracted to him, he is pretty damn cute. An almost irresistible smile.”

  • Do “T N Pandit … the anthropologist who … [has] made contact with the Sentinelese tribe” – “owe the island people a deep apology”, too, then ?! “Pandit was lead anthropologist with the Anthropological Survey of India when he carried out several trips to the Sentinel Island between 1966 and 1991.”

    How’s this for “a deep apology”?

    “[When, in 1967, as ‘a 20-member team, including armed local security officials’] we tried to venture into their territory … the Sentinelese hid in the forest. I believe they are aware of the power of a firearm and did not want a confrontation.”

    Source: T N Pandit, interviewed in Mallica Joshi, “It took some coconuts, and 25 years: The killing of a 27-yr-old tourist on the Andamans has brought the reclusive Sentinel tribe into the spotlight: An 83-yr-old anthropologist recalls his years of waiting, numerous visits, and many gifts, including a pig and buckets, leading up to one solitary meeting with them one fine day”, The Indian Express, November 25, 2018.

  • John Chau was selfish and arrogant. His willful ignorance could have killed the population of that island, and he did not care.

    Any person who learns anything about that island would learn that one of the primary reasons that the island is off limits is that the mere presence of an outsider could result in the death of every person on that island. They are not immune to our diseases. The common cold could kill them.

    And you are worried about the dangers to the poor missionary? No. Just no.

    Chau “loved” them like a stalker “loves” his victim. It was all about Chau. Chau wanted their attention. Chau wanted glory. Chau wanted his Jesus points. Even if It killed every person on that island. And it may yet if he carried any disease to the island.

    If your magic invisible friend wants these people to know about him, why doesn’t he show up and introduce himself?

    Because an arrogant, self absorbed American shouting “I love you and Jesus loves you” in English (seriously!) is just a stalker who loves only himself.

  • We are discussing the attempted genocide of every person on that island and their entire civilization.

    And Floydee is worried that Ben sounds angry.

    Your priorities suck.

    Me, I am livid at the arrogance and selfishness of John Chau. And disgusted by christians who defend him.

  • The Bible isn’t evidence of a god any more than a Native American creation myth, or the Quran. You’re just making your preferred brand of unsupported assertion.

  • If “the mere presence of an outsider could result in the death of every person on that island” – what about “the mere presence of” … “T N Pandit … [the] lead anthropologist with the Anthropological Survey of India when he carried out several trips to the Sentinel Island between 1966 and 1991” – not to mention his “20-member team, including armed local security officials”?!

    “The Sentinelese hid in the forest”, he said – “IN ENGLISH”. “I believe they are aware of the power of a firearm and did not want a confrontation.”

    So, Larkey, did that “firearm[ed]” expedition “result in the death of every person on that island”?!

    Source: T N Pandit, interviewed in Mallica Joshi, “It took some coconuts, and 25 years: The killing of a 27-yr-old tourist on the Andamans has brought the reclusive Sentinel tribe into the spotlight: An 83-yr-old anthropologist recalls his years of waiting, numerous visits, and many gifts, including a pig and buckets, leading up to one solitary meeting with them one fine day”, The Indian Express, November 25, 2018.

  • Yes, “go.” Give it a go. Try it out. Break some glass. Go Full Fundie. Drain the Swamp and eat up the Alligators. Make somebody call the Police (or at least the PC-Police) on you. Wanna try it?

    Go poach some no-good penny-ante Atheist Websites (with their permission, of course), and do a WWE PowerBomb on ALL their regulars. See how well you can defend the incomparable, infallible, inerrant Bible against today’s gummy-worm skeptical attacks. And cut all the Safety Nets too!!

    Can you take on the entire Skeptics Annotated Bible and burn that Devil’s Mess up to a well-earned Fare-Thee-Well? Sure you can. If you can play with Black Cat Firecrackers without getting burnt, you can EASILY torch up that Skeptics Annotated Bible. Don’t you like some good clean fireworks?

  • Oral Roberts also perhaps did good things in his years on planet earth, until he didn’t and went off the deep end.

  • Yes, I did say that. And I stand by it. Physical attraction has a lot to do with why folks become sexually entangled with leaders like the Rinpoche, especially if that leader makes it appear to the follower, in this weakened/enthralled state that sex with them is somehow devine will.

    You’ve now posted this twice, to my memory since I posted it, what’s your point, your pointlessness?

  • I don’t think that someone who holds a position within the Indian government, lead anthropologist with the Anthropological Survey of India, would be breaking the law when carrying out his brief.

    YMMV

  • You and HpO do speak the same mumbo-jumbo dialect! English words but a scramble salad of delirium.

    I think they need to increase your dosage. 🙁

  • I have little doubt that John Chau was convinced that Jesus wanted him to go to North Sentinel Island. As an observer after the fact, I am not similarly convinced that Jesus called him to get killed in this manner. It’s tricky business to discern “callings” and fend off those which are matters we cook up In out own heads. It’s possible, unfortunately, to be both sincere and sincerely wrong about something at the same time.

  • The article seems to indicate Chau was the ONLY missionary with the desire to reach the isolated tribe with the message of Jesus’ salvation from sins. Jesus came to seek and save all peoples. From the Jews to the Gentiles, or non-Jews. Jesus taught and preached salvation from sins to the curious, to the convicted who wanted Eternal Life, and to the rebellious who just wanted to argue with him. Jesus’ salvation from sins message is for all peoples. In Acts 7 the young deacon Stephen’s speech about Jesus cut his life excessively short. This would seem to be a wasted effort and ill-advised attempt to evangelize. Out of this tragedy, Saul of Tarsus (later Apostle Paul) was dramatically converted. Jesus sometimes works through the most horrific of circumstances and ill-advised plans. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, even the most rebellious of us.

  • -> “…we cannot disregard the fact that the good news must be shared in order for these people to know the hope and salvation available to them in Christ.”

    BS — They don’t need a charlatan savior and his lame threat of eternal damnation. This whole article perfectly describes the bizarre, selfish and immoral missionary mind. They don’t care if bringing Jesus really brings extermination instead…they never have. It’s the missionary mindset which needs to be converted to rational thought or wiped out.

    The only good missionary — is the position!

  • Of course, like much of what you post, that’s an unqualified, uncoraborated opinion on your part.

    As is mine in this case.

  • “He was going to show those Darkies what they needed to know ….”.

    Yes, your mind reading skills are second only to your logical acumen.

  • I am glad you recognize your evidence beats no one’s evidence.

    That should trim the length of your posts substantially to the general benefit of everyone.

  • No, we are not discussing the attempted genocide of every person on that island and their entire non-civilization.

    You just hate Christians and this is a good excuse to strike a pose and vent.

  • Yes, we are discussing attempted genocide.

    They have no immunity to common diseases. Flu, measles, even the common cold could kill most or all of the tribe.

    For examples, look at what happened when Europeans brought diseases to the new world. 80% to 90% DIED.

    I know that christians don’t care how many of those (brown) other people die. But I don’t share your (lack of) morality and empathy.

  • Influenza. Measles. Mumps. Even the common cold.

    We have immunity to these diseases, through gradual exposure and vaccines.

    The people on that island have no immunity.

    The 1918-19 Flu pandemic was a new strain and killed 5% of the world population. 1 in 20, world wide, includung the entire populations of some isolated communities. Read about it.

    Like so many “missionaries” before him, Chau could have brought disease that would wipe out the entire community.

    I care about those people. Chau only cared about his goals and his wants.

  • FOR THE RECORD & A EULOGY TO THE NOW MOST FAMOUS MISSIONARY EVER: “John Allen Chau [is] remembered for commitment to sharing the gospel with those who have never heard … He … had studied, planned and trained rigorously since college to share the gospel with the North Sentinelese people. … A seasoned traveler who was well-versed in cross-cultural issues, Chau had previously taken part in missions projects in Iraq, Kurdistan and South Africa. He joined All Nations as a missionary in 2017 and trained at its North American headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. … [where the] vision is to see Jesus worshipped by all the peoples of the earth [yes, including these North Sentinelese people. The] mission is to make disciples and train leaders to ignite church planting movements among the[se] neglected peoples of the earth. All Nations aspires to see disciple making movements in every people group of the world so that Jesus may be worshipped by every tongue, tribe and nation.”

    BE WELL DEAD ASLEEP, MY BROTHER JOHN, UNTIL THE RESURRECTION. SEE YA, DUDE.

    Source: All Nations Family, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri, (1) “All Nations Grieves Reported Death of ‘Humble, Courageous’ Missionary on Remote Indian Ocean Island”, November 21, 2018; and (2) “Vision and Mission”.

  • So far the only innocent person who died was John Chau.

    Of course, he was Christian, so you’re rubbing your hands together and smiling.

  • We do not know what immunities the people on the island have.

    You have a guess.

    What we do know is you, Ben in Oakland, David Allen, Thin the Herd, and Susan Humphreys either hate Christians altogether, or hate Christians who don’t see things their way.

    Some are blunter than others about it, but the fact remains the gloating, clucking, finger wagging, and other unseemly posting illustrate a lot about the hate for Christians and nothing insightful about John Chau.

  • Their “non-civilization”? Wow.

    Aren’t you precious.

    I have no problem with the average christian.

    I have nothing but contempt for christians who use other people to assuage their religious needs. I have even more contempt for people who do not notice or care when other people’s lives are put at risk.

    In case this is unclear, I find your callousness and contempt for the humans living on that island disgusting.

    I stopped being a christian when I realized there is zero evidence for the claims of christianity. But even if their were evidence for christianity, I see the behavior of christians more clearly. I simply would not want to be as arrogant and self centered as Chau and his defenders.

  • Apparently the word “civilization” is a new one for you:

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/civilization

    Noun

    “The stage of human social development and organization which is considered most advanced.”

    These natives are described as living a stone age existence.

    I find your feigned concern for these people disingenuous at best, your comment “I have no problem with the average christian.” ordinary plain prevarication, and your arrogant self-centered posing rather nauseating.

  • “Missionary … position” – get it?

    Wherever Evangelicals are killed, see, whether in the North Sentinel Island or in Sutherland Springs, Texas, you can always count on Damien Priestly for your Best Atheist Mockery FIX. Like these dosages that run through the Veins of Atheism Everywhere:

    (1) “Damien Priestly a year ago … We must look only to ourselves to prevent these tragedies. Praying failed long ago.”

    (2) “Damien Priestly a year ago …It is time to start putting aside any ideas of the afterlife. Clinging to life after death only allows us to avoid taking action that may stop evil in our temporal world…like having no more future Sutherland Springs kind of horrors. As for faith — that’s an easy one…Drop it like a bad habit. Faith is the reason to believe something when there is no other good reason to believe.”

    (3) “Damien Priestly a year ago … I suspect … Southern Baptists will feel pain…not because of any mass shooting, they haven’t cared about those recently…They will be more concerned about the trans-woman winning a Virginia Assembly seat in rural Virginia today. Now that is real pain for a Levitican !!”

  • Chau lied about the purpose of his visit to India.

    Chau chose to break law after law when he approached that island. He had access to all the information he needed to understand the seriousness of his decisions.

    Innocent? I think not. Chau chose his path. The people on that island did not consent to be the object of Chau’s religious posing.

    They were innocent here. Chau was not.

  • Think of this way: John Allan Chau is now the most talked-about missionary ever!

    So you’ve got that right about our brother, as this was his calling after all, such that it ended up as:

    “Jesus sometimes works through the most horrific of circumstances and ill-advised plans.”

    RIGHT ON.

  • I have never suggested that John Chau:

    – was the brightest bulb in the package;

    – did not break the law;

    – or did not need a mentor well-grounded in reality.

    On the other hand:

    – he was innocent of attempted genocide;

    – the attraction of the usual suspects to this topic like flies to manure has little or nothing to do with John Chau personally and a lot to do with their pre-existing agendae.

  • Chau’s actions were inexcusable. He was not a Christian. He was a criminal who willingly went to the island to murder humans. This is what he shall be remembered for.

  • We don’t hate Christians. We hate fake Christians like you and Chau who are willing to kill people just to convert them to their fake brand of Christianity.

  • “Murder”?!

    So that’s what happened after this happened? T N Pandit didn’t tell us that in the interview!

    “[When, in 1967, as ‘a 20-member team, including armed local security officials’] we tried to venture into their territory … the Sentinelese hid in the forest. I believe they are aware of the power of a firearm and did not want a confrontation.”

    Then BANG BANG BANG – who & how many were “murder[ed]”, Pretty Cwack?

    Source: T N Pandit, interviewed in Mallica Joshi, “It took some coconuts, and 25 years: The killing of a 27-yr-old tourist on the Andamans has brought the reclusive Sentinel tribe into the spotlight: An 83-yr-old anthropologist recalls his years of waiting, numerous visits, and many gifts, including a pig and buckets, leading up to one solitary meeting with them one fine day”, The Indian Express, November 25, 2018.

  • How is he innocent of attempted genocide?

    He has reportedly been obsessed with the tribe fot years. The fact that an outsider could bring disease that would wipe them out is part of every discussion of them.

    He willfully ignored that information. His letter home was all about “I might die” without an ounce of concern for the serious negative impact he would have like them.

    I repeat that he is like a stalker. Stalkers claim to “love” their victims. They have unilaterally decided that their victim needs to love them back, or else. They ignore all evidence that their victim is terrified and harmed by the stalker’s attention. They bulldoze over any hint of allowing their victim consent. It is all about the stalker getting the attention he/she craves.

    Chau was not innocent.

  • From your own source:

    The society, culture, and way of life of a particular area.

    When I said “We are discussing the attempted genocide of every person on that island and their entire civilization.” this is the relevant definition.

    Stone age civilizations are still civilizations. And neither you nor Chau have expressed one ounce of concern for the people on that island or their civilization. Rather, you both exude an arrogant and contemptuous (e.g. “non-civilization”) “I know what’s best for them” attitude.

    You are actually in the minority. I have read comments by other christians that do show respect and empathy for these people.

    Most christians do not seem to be like you. I care about behavior. I admire kindness, compassion, humility and empathy wherever I see it.

  • We have centuries of factual information on what happens when disease is brought to indigenous cultures. The result is universally the same – betwen 80% and 100% of the people die.

    And we have a scientific understanding of Germ Theory and immunity.

    We know what happened when outsiders reached every other island in that area.

    There is no basis for any other conclusion.

  • Exactly. In fact, most christians seem to understand how wrong Chau was, and care about the health and safety of the people living on that island.

  • Most stalkers are convinced that they are entitled to attention and affirmation from their victims.

    Stalkers are still criminals responsible for the harm they cause. Their self-claimed sincerity does not excuse them.

  • There is zero information on whether John Chau had one disease microbe.

    We have longstanding consistent information on your dislike of Christianity.

  • Most people hate fakes like you who contrive and fabricate concern for people to gin up some anti-Christian rhetoric.

    It is obvious claptrap.

  • Now that you’re here, what inspired you to think of spousal sex after reading this article in these terms? “The only good missionary — is the position!” Is it because your wife’s prehistoric race was wiped out by “missionar[ies in such] position” as John Allan Chau?

  • Yes that is part of the issue. Great harm has been done to many people on many continents in the name of “saving” people from Sin and/or for Christ!

  • What? Nobody is that ignorant of basic science.

    Of course he brought microbes with him. The human body is covered with microbes. 200 species of microbes live on your forearm. It is estimated we all carry about 10 pounds of microbes in our digestive system, on average 40,000 bacterial species. Our immune systems are equipped to deal with the microbes we were raised with. When people are exposed to new microbes with no immunity, they usually get sick. That is why travelers to Mexico get “Montezumas Revenge” and locals do not.

    When we are confronted with an occasional new microbe, usually our immune system can respond. But as evidenced by 80% to 100% death rates among indigenous people, a large influx of microbes will overwhelm the immune system and cause death.

  • He broke the law. Was he supposed to get a pass because he was Christian? Just like your pedophile priests and bishops?

  • You’re awfully insecure about your alleged “faith”. You faith more resembles smarmy condescension than anything.

  • And he died.

    As far as I know law-breaking priest and bishops get convicted if the evidence supports it.

  • You appear to that ignorant about other basic facts, so I am not sure why you’d be surprised, especially given your dire assessment of his education.

    You will unable to prove an average of 80% to 100% death rates among indigenous people in the last hundreds years or so.

    17th and 16th century Europeans with various chronic STDs, tuberculosis, and so on are another matter.

    I am pretty sure this young man was not walking around with any of those things.

  • Given the track record of the Bolsheviks, the Soviet Union, Red China, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Fidel Castro, and so on much the same can be said about atheism.

    Yes, I understand you have an axe to grind against religion, Christians in particular, but no, you’ve been able to actually build a case beyond your personal animosity.

  • More harm has been done to people under the guise of saving them for Christ then all the wars combined , Millions of indigenous people around the world have been wipe off the face of the Earth due to misguided actions of missionaries and other Christian and Religious groups, I remember what has happened to the indigenous natives here in the Americas, all in a desired to convert them and to destroy their way of life in the mistaken belief that they worship unchristian deities or such, also that God has commanded you to take their land, i.e (Man i- fast- Destiny). I understand the need to carry out the mission of Christ, but some how I don’t think Christ would want the people you target to be wiped out and kill for His stake. It is one thing to go to them if they ask, or have basic understanding of what you are offering them, then to try to convert them to your ways. It is wrong on so many levels and cannot and should not be condone. Misguided intentions is dangerous both to you and those who is being preach to. This young man paid the price for his endeavor. You should love and pray for the native people. But please stop putting their lives as risk to satisfy your need to save them. This go for any religious group that has the save or convert them to their way. don’t do it any more. I remember some where it is stated in the Bible where Christ stated that I have people who are not in this faith. That worship God in their on way.

  • Your problem is you don’t know your bible, which would’ve otherwise told you, No, Wannabe-a-man, “it is [NOT] stated in the Bible [that] Christ stated that I have people … not in this faith … that worship God in their on way”!

    According to John 10:14-16, 19, what instead The Christ Jesus says to The Jews, and how they react to it, is:

    “‘I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep [The Non-Jews], which are not of this fold [The Jews]; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock [both The Jews and The Non-Jews] with one shepherd.’ … A division occurred again among The Jews because of these words.”

  • “Convicted” for a minor fraction of the thousands of offenses. Has nothing to do with evidence, dolt.

  • When the greatest offense to you is that someone dares to criticize the Church, then you are insecure.

  • Blah blah blah.

    You have one note, and you keep playing it.

    You have one reason and one reason only to be here: to carp at believers in religion.

  • Calculate the minor fraction for us, defining your numerator and denominator with some detail and precision, thus proving the one and only reason you’re here is other than carping and scoffing at religion and religious believers.

  • “It’s a great shame that this boy died.” Since when is a 26 year old man a “boy”? He was a college graduate (although that may be a stretch as it was Oral Roberts “University”) and knew full well the island was off limits to EVERYONE. Instead this was an example of the Darwin Awards in action. No I have absolutely no sympathy for him or his family as they are consumed by the literal mis-interpetation of the KJV Bible. He died due to his actions and the consequences of said behavior.

  • I do use the word boy for a young man like this. That is simply my way of speaking, and I don’t need to really to go into long explanations of why. But I take your point.

    I certainly understand your feelings about it. I feel sorry always for any wasted Young Life. It’s just what I said: we only get one shot at life, there is no afterlife as far as I’m concerned, and we have no control over it even if there is. So this is all you get as far as We Know.

    On the other hand, as I have said in several of my postings on this subject, there are no Rewards or punishments, there are simply consequences. As Commander Scott said when his party was dying in the Antarctic a hundred years ago, ” we took risks. We knew we took them. Things have come out against us. Therefore, we have no cause for complaint.” My issue is much more with the sense of entitlement and the clear sociopathy this young man’s intentions. But then, I seem to have that kind of problem with all kinds of dominionist religion ” do what I say, because I am speaking for God.”

  • And you deserve it. Most “believers” are bad people.

    But that’s not the issue. The issue is a fact you can’t face: The overwhelming majority of your dear priest sex offenders were never prosecuted.

  • You can’t support that in any coherent way.

    If they weren’t prosecuted it’s because the offenses took place decades ago, and they’re dead or the statutes of limitations have run out, or they’re senile.

  • No, not “everyone” — just people like you (and Wanbleeman, Spuddie, and JD). For everyone else, it’s not annoyance, it’s education.

  • Wrong, you are justifying what has been done to people according to your beliefs. God is not a one size fit all. I understand your Jesus, but have issues with some of His followers. I don’t believe, that just because I don’t believe the same as you that I am going to hell. Let me tell you about hell, it is right here and now,That’s a fact. I believe that should be a caring, understanding entity. God created all of mankind, and I could never understand why some Christians feel a need to mess with people’s minds and life with the ideal that they are they are the only one that have the true God and everyone else’s is doomed. What I seen in the past twenty years with you so called Evangelicals and missionaries make me want to have nothing to do with you. So please don’t try tell me by your actions that you want save me or my people. NO, no. I will talk to you, but I keep you ways to yourself, you have done enough damage, to me and my people.

  • See, I am correct.

    Have you ever been evaluated using standard metrics with something like an MMPI?

  • Yes I recognize you have serious life issues that are, as you put it, “a one size fit all.” I don’t care, neither do God & Jesus, who set the terms of condemnation – not I.

  • You sure do have a high opinion of yourself and your goals.

    Crusader Rabbit.

    Protector of Humanity.

    Defender of Truth.

    How about “loud bitter cranky gay guy”?

  • I know that Wanbleeman is not in the Bible, for that is my Native American name, and my life is fine, thank you. Your comments verily what I was concern about in my original post, by (Stating that I have serious life issues and that you don’t care nor dose God and Jesus care) , no,no, you may not care about me but, for I know that God love’s me and Christ surly loves me, for they Created me. I will not follow a legalistic God, but a Spiritual Caring God. Your views clearly that you are dangerous to the people who do not agree and accept your bland of worship. I am not judging you, but with your view of how God interact with humans the means justify end to convert non believers, This was the mind set that cause the massacre of 290 Cheyenne Native American over a 100 years ago at Sand Creek, Colorado. Wipe out the salvage to save their souls. Take a good look at yourself, sir, and what can and will happen to people who do not believe in your way. I choose love to win people to accept a spiritual path. Religion has done more harm, with the exception of the love of money and power to humankind over the eons. This is my task is to love any and all, allowing them to find their own path to the Creator. Go in peace, Love all, understand all, allow others to grow at their own pace to God. If God wants them to follow a certain way, He will open the path, not forcing them in a narrow gate.Love your fellow humans as God love’s you. “WALK IN BEAUTY”

  • You’re rude, arrogant, hateful, insecure, condescending, bigoted and homophobic. Jesus must be so proud.

  • Next time do what I do. I do not misrepresent the “Walking in Beauty: Closing Prayer from the Navajo Way Blessing Ceremony”, unlike what you did “two days ago” to John 10:14-16, 19. You chose to distort what The Christ Jesus says in there to The Jews, and how they react to His statement.

    He said, “‘I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep [The Non-Jews], which are not of this fold [The Jews]; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock [both The Jews and The Non-Jews] with one shepherd.’ … A division occurred again among The Jews because of these words.”

    But you deceived your readers by saying, “I remember some where it is stated in the Bible where Christ stated that I have people who are not in this faith. That worship God in their on way.”

    I don’t now do what you did to Jesus. Instead, I show proper respect to these words:

    In beauty I walk
    With beauty before me I walk
    With beauty behind me I walk
    With beauty above me I walk
    With beauty around me I walk
    It has become beauty again

    Today I will walk out, today everything negative will leave me
    I will be as I was before, I will have a cool breeze over my body.
    I will have a light body, I will be happy forever, nothing will hinder me.

    I walk with beauty before me. I walk with beauty behind me.
    I walk with beauty below me. I walk with beauty above me.
    I walk with beauty around me. My words will be beautiful.
    In beauty all day long may I walk.
    Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
    On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
    With dew about my feet, may I walk.
    With beauty before me may I walk.
    With beauty behind me may I walk.
    With beauty below me may I walk.
    With beauty above me may I walk.
    With beauty all around me may I walk.
    In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
    In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
    My words will be beautiful…

  • Thank you and have a good life. I do not misrepresent any thing. You have your path as I have mines. Only the Creator knows our I intentions. I honor your path, kI hope that you mines. Our goal is to serve our Creator and fellow man. My words to you were kind, how ever, if I aligned you I am sorry. Have a good life. I love your Native Words. It’s been refreshing having a discussion with you. Have good life. I hear you. Lets agree to disagree. Good night.

  • Funny, but I don’t see a waiting list of people who want to become a christian just like Mark Connelly. For some reason ignorance, arrogance and bigotry just don’t attract most people.

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