John Chau was killed by natives on India's North Sentinel Island in mid-November. Photo via Instagram

Death of missionary sparks debate over mission work

(RNS) — Some call him a martyr.

Others call him a colonialist.

A few just call him tragically misguided.

Almost everyone, it seems, has an opinion about John Allen Chau.

When Indian officials reported last week that the young American missionary had died at the hands of indigenous people living on a protected island off the coast of India, a heated dispute erupted in Christian circles. As his story continues to capture international attention, the debate intensifies over his approach to spreading the Christian gospel at North Sentinel Island — and whether he should have been there at all.


RELATED: Missions: Is it love or colonization (COMMENTARY)?


Much of the discussion is rooted in Chau's 13-page account of his final days, which was shared by his mother with The Washington Post.

According to the handwritten diary, he convinced several local fishermen to bring him as close as possible to North Sentinel Island on Nov. 14, at which point he paddled to shore in a kayak. He described seeing women “looing and chattering” before being confronted by men wielding bows and arrows.

“My name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you,” he shouted at them, according to the journal. He then threw a fish at the Sentinelese and fled.

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)


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He returned the next day with a bevy of gifts — fish, scissors and a safety pin. When a man wearing a crown shouted at him, he sang worship songs and hymns until a boy shot an arrow that stuck in Chau's waterproof Bible.

He retreated again, but returned one last time, telling the fishermen he would be fine staying on the island overnight. When they returned, they saw several Sentinelese people dragging his body down the beach.

Chau's relatives since have said that they forgive his killers and that Chau “loved God, life, helping those in need and had nothing but love for the Sentinelese people.” Indian authorities say they have no plans to recover his body, according to The Guardian.

Some mission experts shake their heads at Chau's actions.

Scott Moreau, dean of Wheaton College’s graduate school and a scholar of mission work and intercultural communication, said Chau’s approach sits on the “naive end” of the missionary spectrum.

“If I had been training him, I would be appalled at what he appeared to do based on his diaries,” he said. “To go stand on a beach and holler at them ... it just seems unwise, to say the least.”

Moreau suggested that Chau could have tried sitting on a beach quietly and waiting for an islander to approach rather than hollering at them.

Yelling, he said, can be interpreted differently in various cultures, and “typically it's not very positive.”

Amy Peterson. Courtesy photo

Amy Peterson, a former missionary, said Chau’s story reminds her of missionary biographies that inspired her as a little girl growing up in an evangelical Christian home in the United States. They were stories of adventure, of heroic figures who traveled to locations that seemed exotic to her as a child.

Those stories inspired her to become a missionary to southeast Asia.

"I wanted to be one of the real, true, greatest Christians — one of heaven's heroes,” said Peterson, who wrote “Dangerous Territory: My Misguided Quest to Save the World” about her experience and how it changed her thinking about missions.

That “missionary myth,” as she calls it, is common in evangelical Christianity. It first developed in the 1700s, she said, when famed revivalist Jonathan Edwards compiled the biography of David Brainerd, a missionary to the Delaware people in New Jersey.

Originally published as “An Account of the Life of the Late Reverend Mr. David Brainerd,” the biography is replete with tales of survival in harsh circumstances and is the most reprinted of Edwards' books.

That work inspired many famous missionaries like Jim Elliot, who, along with four other missionaries, was killed several years into a mission to share Christianity with the Waorani people in Ecuador. Chau's case has brought up memories of Elliot's death for many.

But that adventure narrative is a dangerous and damaging way of talking about missions, Peterson said.

For one, she said, it’s tinged with white supremacy and Western cultural imperialism. It also emphasizes faith over planning, education and common sense.

“I think it's foolish and it’s tragic," she said. "But what (Chau) did was right in line with the way that missionary work has often been mythologized in the white American church."

An open Bible sits on a map. There are many different training options and approaches to mission work. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons


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Mary Ho, international executive leader of All Nations and one of Chau’s trainers, disagrees. She told Religion News Service that the 26-year-old had spoken for years about his desire to reach the Sentinelese and that he “knew that’s what his life’s mission was about.”

Ho said Chau spent years preparing for his mission. He majored in sports medicine at Oral Roberts University and received training as a both a missionary and a wilderness EMT. He also reportedly had been vaccinated and quarantined himself in preparation for contact with people who would have no immunity to many common diseases.

He told others his plan was to spend years on the island, learning the indigenous language and sharing his faith with its residents, according to reports.

His diary makes clear he knew that local authorities would not approve of his action: He wrote that “God Himself was hiding us from the Coast Guard and many patrols,” according to the Post.


RELATED: John Chau and the dangers of missionary work (COMMENTARY)


But Ho insisted that her organization instructs missionaries to follow laws.

“We train our All Nations missionaries to obey authority and to respect laws,” she told RNS.

Ho also said Chau may have been under the impression it was legal to travel to the island. She claimed All Nations had no contact with Chau in the final days before his death. But she said that Chau told family and friends that he believed the Indian government had rescinded a ban on travel to North Sentinel Island in August.

Earlier this year, the Indian government had relaxed rules for anthropologist and researchers to visit North Sentinel Island. But Chau failed to get the correct papers before visiting, said Ministry of Home Affairs Additional Director A. Bharat Bhushan Babu.

"We believe that his visit to that land was illegal," Babu said.

But Babu didn’t think Chau’s murder had anything to do with his missionary work. The tribes probably saw him as simply intruding on their land.

Chau had a visa that stipulated he was in India as an educator, according to Babu. But he apparently journeyed to the island posing as a tourist rather than a missionary. Babu said investigators were still trying to get to the bottom of how and why he went to the island.

A lone cross sits in a field at dusk. Photo by Aaron Burden/Unsplash/Creative Commons


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Authorities could not find Chau's body on the island after few aerial surveys. Searching the island’s thick forests could possibly hurt the habitat and unnecessarily disrupt the indigenous tribe further.

Nand Kumar Sai, the chairperson at the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, a public agency, criticized the government’s relaxation of the rules for researchers.

"Now the damage is done,” he said, adding that nobody should be permitted on the island. "We cannot put tribes on risk."

Ho, of All Nations, told the Washington Post that the organization knew Chau had not gotten the proper missionary visa because such visas “aren’t easy to come by.”

And the missionary trainer defended Chau’s tactics, arguing that his presentation of a fish as a gift was “very, very appropriate.” She also said she was "proud" of him for shouting his name in English because it was a "relational" move, even though the Sentinelese language remains unknown.

She didn’t rule out re-evaluating his approach, however.

“We are now still grieving, and I am sure that we will take time to reassess, to re-evaluate the events of the last week,” she said.

Scott Moreau in 2013. Photo by Michael Hudson, courtesy of Wheaton College


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Moreau said such legal concerns are unlikely to keep stalwart missionaries from their work. Some operate in countries where their actions are prohibited by law and where religious freedom is restricted. He acknowledged that he has participated in meetings abroad that may have been considered illegal by local governments.

“You will find people who say 'We don't care what governments say,' because for many missionaries this is an eternal issue versus one that's happening now,” he said.

Chau's death comes at a time when many evangelical groups are re-evaluating their approach to mission work, said Craig Greenfield, founder and director of Alongsiders International.

"Frankly though, much more needs to be said and done to help churches, missionaries and Christians in general be more aware of their own cultural biases, and the historical actions of the countries they come from," he told RNS in an email. "Especially if they are going to be engaging with others of a different culture and socio-economic context.”

The Rev. Randy S. Woodley, co-sustainer of Eloheh Indigenous Way/Eagle’s Wings Ministry and author of “Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision,” has produced guidelines for Christians wanting to do mission work that stress mutual learning and cultural contextualization.

Otherwise, Woodley said, they may repeat mistakes of the past.

“I think that we have to earn our right to be heard — and now more than ever and especially among indigenous peoples. The track record is abysmal,” he said.

Randy Woodley in 2015. Photo courtesy of George Fox University


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In the U.S. and beyond, that track record includes wiping out indigenous populations with diseases to which they had no immunity and viewing the people they wanted to reach as the “savage and heathen in this land,” said Woodley, who is is Keetoowah Cherokee. It also includes destroying indigenous cultures and languages and forcing indigenous peoples off their lands and into boarding schools.

Would-be missionaries should begin with repentance, he said. They need to be humble, seeking out cultural guides and being conscious of where they have and haven’t been invited.

“Most indigenous peoples have always been hospitable and forgiving,” Woodley said. “And even after the horrendous history that has happened, I think if people showed up in humility, our people by and large — not all, but by and large — would still say, 'OK, you're welcome to be here to talk to us, to share with what we have.'”

Greenfield of Alongsiders said he’s seen the negative effects of more traditional approaches to missions during his time living in Asia for more than a decade. He has written about new approaches to that work and believes the word “mission” now comes with so much baggage it is no longer helpful.

“Missionary work has historically been guilty of a great many things — as they were part of the broader colonial movement. But there were also positive impacts such as education and science that were spread through missionary work,” he said. “So it's only fair to note that it has been a mixed bag.”

Moreau also acknowledged that mixed legacy. And he knows that some critics see missions work as a form of colonialism. Still, he says, many Christians believe their faith compels them to convert others anyway.

"I understand the criticisms and critiques of mission work because I teach them, but that doesn’t mean we stop altogether because there is an eternal issue at stake," the Wheaton professor said.

"I don’t see this dying off unless Christians completely change their convictions."

This story has been updated. Siddhant Mohan contributed to this report from Varanasi, India. 

Comments

  1. Just wondering why these Sentinel guys can defend their border from one lone missionary; but the United States cannot defend its border from a caravan of 5,000 lawbreakers?

    Maybe John Chau was seeking asylum.

  2. No, it did not spark a debate over mission work.

    It simply provided grist for the mill for those with various axes to grind, or with a need to gin up an article.

  3. Your bias is showing – none of the caravan are lawbreakers UNTIL they try to illegally enter the US or attack US officials.

    Who says we can’t and aren’t defending our border against the caravan? We used tear gas against a group throwing rocks and trying to get in the US.

  4. His actions are not going to have any real effect on missionary work. The True Christian is going to follow Jesus’s exhortation in Matthew 25 and preach the good news and make disciples worldwide. They will disobey man’s law to achieve this goal.

  5. I was thinking about the people on these pages that are for open borders, but were pretty satisfied that John Chou got waxed by a barrage of arrows.
    Just pointing out the lack of consistency with my peers here (spuddie).
    And be honest, we don’t really defend our borders. If we did, how come 500 (or whatever the number is) illegals come into the country each day?

  6. I didn’t say we are successful. I was referring to the caravan. I have sympathy for Chou and his family – he didn’t deserve to die for his foolhardy actions.

  7. Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” He never said, “abandon all sense of reason and follow me.”

  8. I like the evangelistic approach that has been attributed to St. Francis – preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.

  9. Speaking of the “debate over mission”, here’s its “Reception”, according to Wikipedia’s sources:

    “The film grossed $17.2 million at the US and international box office against a budget of £16.5 million, which at the time was the US equivalent of $25.4 million, making this film a commercial flop. The Mission received mixed to positive reviews from critics. The film currently holds a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 24 reviews.”

    … What? What did I say? … Shall I continue? … Thank you.

    “In the 1740s … Spanish Jesuit priest Father Gabriel … enters the northeastern Argentina and eastern Paraguayan jungle to build a mission station and convert a Guaraní community to Christianity. The Guaraní are not initially receptive to Christianity or outsiders in general, and tie a priest to a wooden cross and send him over the Iguazu Falls. … [Even though] mercenary and slaver Rodrigo Mendoza makes his living kidnapping natives such as the Guarani community and selling them to nearby plantations, … Father Gabriel … challenges Mendoza to undertake a suitable penance. [As] Mendoza accompanies the Jesuits on their return journey, … the natives embrace … Mendoza … In time, Mendoza takes vows and becomes a Jesuit under Father Gabriel and his colleague Father Fielding. … [After] The Treaty of Madrid (1750) … Papal emissary Cardinal Altamirano … tries to explain the reasons behind closing the mission … [but] Father Gabriel and Mendoza, under threat of excommunication, state their intention to defend the mission alongside the Guaraní … Mendoza … decides to break his vows to militarily defend the Mission. Against Father Gabriel’s wishes, he teaches the natives the European art of war and once more takes up his sword. … A joint Portuguese and Spanish force attack … Mendoza is shot and fatally wounded … Fielding … is killed … and Father Gabriel, the rest of the priests and most of the Guaraní, including women and children, are gunned down.”

  10. TRUE OR FALSE: “Jesus … never said, ‘abandon all sense of REASON and follow me.'”

    FALSE: See? You don’t know your bible, because He did say that, actually, according to Mark 2:1-3, 5-6, 8:

    “When [Jesus] had come back to Capernaum … many … came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. … And Jesus [was] seeing their faith, but some of the scribes were sitting there and REASONing in their hearts … Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were REASONing that way within themselves, said to them, ‘Why are you REASONing about these things in your hearts?'”

  11. I know you don’t know your bible, but y’wanna know what That Other Francis knew what his apostle Paul would’ve told him off for “preach[ing] the Gospel … when necessary, us[ing] words”?

    It’s recorded in Romans 10:12, 14-15, 17:

    “How will they … Jew and Greek … believe in [The Christ Jesus] whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written [in Isaiah 52:7], ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!’ … So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”

  12. If this is your Troll4Christ(ianRightNationalism), it’s One Ugly & Smelly Troll.

    How could you.

  13. Thumbs up on sentences two and three, but down on 1st sentence.

    He was killed while convinced he was evangelizing. I’m still alive, but my dear brother in The Christ is now well dead asleep until the resurrection. I’ll tell him what you wrote.

  14. You should think of tribal lands as land that is owned by a corporation, the tribe. It’s privately owned land and the corporation, the tribe, gets to set the rules of who, what, when, where and why.

    If evangelicals don’t respect other people’s property, treating it as public property where evangelicals can do as they want, anyway they want to do it …well…you’re just awful, disrespectful, arrogant, colonizing people.

    But, given the percentage of evangelicals who voted for Trump, we already know that.

  15. Please keep it rational, folks. President Trump was not involved with ANY part of the Chau situation.

  16. This was ONE individuals, not “evangelicals”.

    “But, given the percentage of evangelicals who voted for Trump ….”.

    You left out “Hillary won the popular vote.”

  17. Linking John Allan Chau’s killing at the Sentinel shoreline to “a caravan of 5,000 lawbreakers [at] the United States … border”, from the Liberal-bashing, Christian Right Nationalist point of view – is as “legit” as linking it to spousal sex in a “missionary … position”, from the Evangelical-bashing New Atheist angle such as Demonian Priestly’s the other day. Both of you Punting Pundits truly deserve each other, for having lost your Moral Compasses at this island, whose inhabitants can’t wait to welcome you in style, as your new tour guides:

    “Andamanese men often waggled their p*nises at visitors by way of friendly greeting.”

    Source: Adam Goodheart, “The Last Island of the Savages: Journeying to the Andaman Islands to meet the most isolated tribe on Earth”, American Scholar, September 5, 2000.

  18. Tell that to evangelists such as Jehovah’s Witnesses who put up with imprisonment and death to preach the word behind the Iron Curtain and in countries where they were (and now are) banned. Or the defiant christians in China.

  19. Wow, as usual, a lot of quotes, parentheses and citations; but no original thoughts addressing the comments.

  20. It all points to Chau being a fanatic — who tragically thought he, and he alone, knew the mind of God, and all others were required to accept his insight as the sole way to salvation.

    His zeal is commendable, but his narrow-mindedness proved to be his downfall.

  21. But the overall lack of respect and consent of others seems to be a common trait there. Nobody asked him to be there. It was considered hazardous for himself and others for him to be there.

  22. They aren’t lawbreakers, nor do they represent a credible harm to our country like a missionary carrying diseases a local community has no immunity from.

    If we had a president who wasn’t a white supremacist seeking to manufacture a crisis, we would simply handle this like every other refugee wave in the last 55 years. Set up a refugee / asylum processing center on our side of the border. We have a president who not only has no respect for asylum laws, but engages in abduction and hostage taking to prevent it.

  23. You can’t even be truthful.
    They are NOT refugees; they have said so themselves. They are looking for work. By definition, that takes away your asylum position.
    If they are refugees, what natural disaster or war are they fleeing from?
    BTW, I love that Trump is forcing them to wait in Mexico. Even the mexicans are annoyed.

  24. Such a sad story! My condolences to the Chau family.

    Tragically, Chau’s approach was more than ill-advised; it was unbiblical. No prophet, no apostle, no true witness ever approached an unbeliever saying, “God loves you”.

  25. No, they are refugees and asylum seekers. You saying they aren’t doesn’t mean anything. If we did not have a white supremacist president looking to create a crisis, such individual issues would be handled by USCIS personnel at a refugee processing center. Like we do with all such refugee waves. Let them figure it out. Like sane people and not panicky bigoted fools trying to create a massacre (which apparently is Trumps goal)

    You love that Trump is ignoring our own asylum laws and generally normal procedures in such a situation. Because you want to see violence and misery at our borders.

  26. Didn’t Jesus also say that if you enter a town and are not welcomed you are to move on?

  27. There is a passage in the Bible where Jesus tells his followers that if they aren’t welcomed in a town they should simply move on. I would think that first arrow shot at the man was a sign that he wasn’t welcomed and IF he had really believed in what the Bible said he should have moved on!

  28. Seeking asylum IS LEGAL.

    We are a nation of immigrants. Welcoming immigrants is part of our cultural heritage.

  29. One of the first Naval operations my father-in-law participated in was working at a delousing station on an island in the Black Sea, cleaning up White Russians escaping from the chaos of the Russian Revolution. Then they were helped to immigrate to the US and western Europe. The only difference between the two is the color of their skin, and of course the fact that the POTUS is a raging bigot.

  30. A look through history will show that it wasn’t always a welcoming experience. This apparantly is one of those times. The welcome mat has been pulled out.

  31. The welcome mat is there for those who choose to enter through the front door. The problem is, they choose to hop the fence.

  32. “Precisely,” huh? Then why did you state “I ‘would’ think” instead of “I think…” Nice though you wrote “should.”

  33. Sad?? I LOVE this story. Stupid, misguided deity worshipper tries spreading his vile religion and gets croaked for his troubles. This is one of my favorite stories of the whole year.

  34. No Greg, YOU should I think of them that way if you want. Others should decide for themselves.

  35. If you don’t know what they are fleeing from in Honduras, you are blind. Also, Asylum’s first step is to arrive at a checkpoint.

  36. They are not refugees, nor seeking asylum!! Can’t you make your argument based on truth and reason instead of histrionics?

  37. Why would I have said anything other than what the Bible said when quoting the Bible? You need to get over yourself!

  38. Putting exclamation points after a statement does not make it true. It is the definition of hysterics and a lack of truth and reason.

    And no, you are wrong.
    Their current plans are to obey U.S. law by presenting themselves at the border to seek asylum.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/15/world/americas/caravan-mexico-honduras-guatemala-migrants.html

    A group (smaller than a typical crowd at any given Wal Mart this month) of bedraggled families walking hundreds of miles to get here is not a threat to our nation. It is not an invasion. It is a refugee wave not unlike the dozen or so this nation has handled in the last 55 years.

    Hysterics is using this group as a campaign ploy and playing it up as some kind of threat which demands apparently violent action for conservatives. Of course handling them as asylum seekers would be far more orderly, sane and in line with past reactions to such events. But it wouldn’t play well to Trump’s bigoted panicky low information base.

    https://warisboring.com/donald-trumps-border-deployment-doesnt-make-american-safer/
    “The migrants in the caravan not only are not a security threat to the United States, they are in fact some of the least powerful people in the entire world — homeless, penniless, effectively stateless families with no weapons and barely any food or water.”

  39. Except for Jesus, of course.

    “Love one another as I have loved you.” Jesus was god. QED.

    More specifically: “Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” 1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

    Then there is always St. Paul, who tells everyone that if they have not love, they are nothing. Sounds like an exhortation to me.

    But of course, being the sola scriptorum guy that you so clearly are, you can explain to me how the clear word o’ god means something else entirely.

  40. When the Lord said to love one another as I have loved you, He was speaking to His disciples. Likewise, Paul and Peter were writing to the Lord’s people – believers. You can’t apply their letters to the world at large any more than you can take your neighbor’s mail and say it’s addressed to you.

    On the other hand, how did the Lord speak to those religious Jews who rejected Him? He called them serpents, vipers, hypocrites, white-washed tombs full of dead men’s bones, and told them they are of their father Satan.

    And what are His feelings toward Esau? Workers of iniquity? Those who bear false witness? He. Hates. Them.

  41. I wasn’t talking about illegals. I don’t want any illegal immigration or visa overstaying. Trump has drastically reduced the number of refugees allowed in and we have an anti-immigrant, nationalistic Executive branch.

  42. How do you know? You don’t and have no right to judge. That’s why each person has the legal right to apply for asylum and plead their case. In 2017 only 20% of applicants were granted asylum. Those are the facts and no histrionics.

  43. Obviously he wasn’t welcomed. Will someone else try? Yes. That’s evangelism and why Jehovah’s Witnesses keep knocking at your even if you show no interest.

  44. My first sentence implied that missionary work in general will carry on. No reference to Chau personally.

  45. Ok. Maybe if we could control the fence hoppers and coyotes; we could then open the door wider for those that do it the right way.

  46. We can make room for true refugees but I have no problem limiting the number of legal immigrants. If we have no work for them, we don’t need them. I don’t approve of bringing in cheaper labor. That includes those in STEM jobs. That’s why need to grant legal status to those illegals working in agriculture and other jobs that Americans refuse to take.

  47. They? All 5000+ have spoken? Can you give me links to that?You are also ignorant of what is happening in Central America.

  48. The man was an arrogant fool. He will get the Darwin Award.

  49. Yes, missionary work will continue because some people will just not leave others alone.

  50. Voting for him is proof of personal immorality, and evangelicals are his most avid supporters.

  51. “S.H.U.T. U.P. already”?!

    Scrutinize “already”?! Yes, I will., Tot2.
    Hinder “already”?! Yes, I will, Tot2.
    Unearth “already”?! Yes, I will, Tot2.
    Tweak “already”?! Yes, I will, Tot2.

    Uphold “already”?! Yes, I will, Tot2.
    Peruse “already”?! Yes, I will, Tot2.

    So 1 more time, then, Tot2:

    “How will they … Jew and Greek … believe in [The Christ Jesus] whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written [in Isaiah 52:7], ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!’ … So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”

  52. Actuality it is. The illegal entry charges get waived if they meet asylum criteria.

  53. No, Tot2, I vote someone else instead gets “the Darwin Award.”

    THESE 2 GUYS, ACTUALLY.

    Because “Jacques Cousteau once came to shoot a documentary on the islands” and “Claude Lévi-Strauss asked Indira Gandhi to let his students do fieldwork among the Andamanese”!

    Source: Adam Goodheart, “The Last Island of the Savages: Journeying to the Andaman Islands to meet the most isolated tribe on Earth”, American Scholar, September 5, 2000.

  54. You don’t know your bible. Jesus meant only the Jews “in … town”. Which is to say, “if [His 1st apostles & disciples, all Jews] aren’t welcomed in a town [in Ancient Israel] they should simply move on.” And they did just that. Neither John Allan Chau was a Jew, however, nor are these Sentinel islanders. And besides Jesus told His people that before His crucifixion, burial & resurrection. After those 3 earthshattering events, however, He commanded them & me to go evangelize from town to town all Jews & Non-Jews alike.

    Suzanna, Suzanna, when will you ever see The Light?! Must God & Jesus teach you all The Basics of Atheism over & over & over?!

  55. UNBELIEVABLLY LOW SPIRITUAL I.Q. YOU HAVE FOR A “PILGRIM”. But let God & Jesus help you with these words from John 3:

    “A man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews … came to Jesus by night … Jesus … said to him, ‘… God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.'”

  56. BUT “all others [including you ARE] required to accept his insight as the sole way to salvation.” Works for me & millions today, thank you very much.

  57. So what that they’re “tribal lands”?!

    At least 2 other guys and their groups had already been there prior to John Allan Chau: “T. N. Pandit [and] Jacques Cousteau”!

    Source: Adam Goodheart, “The Last Island of the Savages: Journeying to the Andaman Islands to meet the most isolated tribe on Earth”, American Scholar, September 5, 2000.

  58. Re: “There is a passage in the Bible where Jesus tells his followers that if they aren’t welcomed in a town they should simply move on.” 

    Actually there are multiple passages to this effect in the Bible: In the gospels, in Mt 10:14, Mk 6:11 & Lk 9:5 (arguably, all 3 of these are the same text, just manifest separately in the 3 synoptics). It also plays out, in Acts 13:51 (wherein Paul and Barnabas actually did this after running into resistance). Interestingly, it seems to be a citation of Neh 5:13 from the Old Testament. 

    Many Chrishuns will tell you that Jesus’ mission for his apostles, as related in the synoptics, was for them only, and it was to be carried out while he walked the earth himself. It was, they’ll say, later superseded by his issuance of the Great Commission, in Mt 28:18-20, which was for the post-Jesus-walking-the-earth era (which we still live in). But, that Paul and Barnabas would have obeyed Jesus’ instructions from Mt 10:14 et al, flies in the face of that … or so one should think. 

  59. Sorry, there are other verses that directly contradict your use of John 3:16. As God doesn’t contradict Himself, your understanding cannot be correct.

  60. At least they didn’t go there to disrespect and destroy the islander’s culture.

  61. Yep I sadly spent too many of my teenage years around Jehovah’s Witnesses – the most relentless of evangelizers!

  62. A belief I respect. But included in the belief is attempts at conversion of those on that island, and similar others, when found. Are you up for such as that? If not, perhaps your beliefs are not quite the same as Mr. Chau’s, though I commend the strength of belief you (and the millions you cite) do have.

    I hope your belief came after personal discernment and not simply because some authority figure told you to that is what you must believe. Remember, any human authority figure is saddled with all the faults of humanity. He could be wrong.

  63. A Recap (No IQ Necessary)

    PILGRIM: “No prophet, no apostle, no true witness ever approached an unbeliever saying, ‘God loves you’.”

    JESUS TO NICODEMUS: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

    PILGRIM: “[Which] other verses … directly contradict … [And which, therefore] cannot be correct.”

  64. “Gregory Peterson 2 hours ago [swore to me that] ‘At least they didn’t go there to disrespect and destroy the islander’s culture'” – even though:

    (1) “[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.”

    (2) “The policemen and naval officers took as souvenirs some of the household goods the Sentinelese had left behind: bows, arrows, a basket, the painted skull of a wild boar.”

    Source: (1) 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. (2) Adam Goodheart, “The Last Island of the Savages: Journeying to the Andaman Islands to meet the most isolated tribe on Earth”, American Scholar, September 5, 2000.

  65. “JAKE to HpO 2 hours ago … Authority figure[s God & Jesus] could be wrong.”

  66. Furthermore, if you interpret John 3:16 to mean that God loves all mankind without exception, you’ve contradicted the word of the LORD which says…
    * He hated Esau (Malachi 1:3; Romans 9:13)
    * He hates all workers of iniquity (Psalm 5:5)
    * He hates the wicked and those that love violence (Psalm 11:5)
    * He hates a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that run to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies, and those that sow discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:17-19)

  67. At this time we need missionaries in the United States who can convert our church people from their emotional fall into Trumpism. We should put out the call of need to all other nations so they will send us Christians who can work here with a difficult population.

  68. This level of IQ gonna hurt you. Not my responsibility. Read on at your own risk, Kelvincyst!

    2 key New Testament Greek words in John 3:16 that hereby call & render you st*pid-O, are:

    (1) κόσμον – kosmon – means the world, the universe of worldly affairs, and the inhabitants of the entire ordered ensemble and system of this world!

    (2) πας – pas – means all, every, the whole every kind of whatever and whoever; each part of a totality and the rest of it; the total picture, one piece at a time that’s making up the whole to the end!

  69. The “He” in my last sentence refers to the “human authority figure” in the previous sentence. You strike me as too educated to not know that. Your God was not disparaged.

    But, I do infer from your comment that you gained your belief directly from God, making it free from error. You are welcome to the beliefs that; 1) God talked to you, and 2) you and Chau are therefore inerrant.

    I suspect we will have more disagreements over time. Let us agree to be civil and logical, traits I hope are endemic to both of our religious/spiritual views. The Golden Rule is the standard.

  70. Likewise, world (κόσμον) in 2 Cor. 5:19 “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them”. Since you interpret κόσμον to mean “the inhabitants of the entire ordered ensemble and system of this world”, it follows that you believe in a universal salvation. The Bible doesn’t teach that. Careful…the Lord hates a false witness that speaks lies.

  71. I took care of the JWs. They left one of the watch tower pamphlets on my door.So I read it and did a critical review of one of the articles–the one on homosexuality and the Bible. I actually looked up each of the passages cited in the article then sent my critique to the local church and the publishers of the Watch Tower. Never heard back from the local church!

    Then when others show up at my door I simply state before they even get started that I am an Atheist and they back off! Very sstisfying.

  72. ” Very sstisfying.”

    It is certainly consistent with your dislike of religions.

  73. He apparently was already on the beach and the first arrow ended his ability to move on.

  74. As in from “JAKE 3 years ago … I vote for The Golden Rule … Rules … are superfluous”?!

    I vote no and you out!

    “Golden Rule” – my foot! You Lukewarm, Navel-Gazing Pseudo-Cathoholik don’t set the term; God & Jesus do!

  75. 2nd Recap (Again No IQ Necessary Even for Hyper-Kelvincyst):

    HYPER-KELVINCYST: “No prophet, no apostle, no true witness ever approached an unbeliever saying, ‘God loves you’.”

    JESUS TO NICODEMUS: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

    HYPER-KELVINCYST: “[Which] other verses … directly contradict … [And which, therefore] cannot be correct.”

    JESUS TO NICODEMUS: “God so loved the world [kosmon = the world, the universe of worldly affairs, and the inhabitants of the entire ordered ensemble and system of this world], that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever [pas = all, every, the whole every kind of whatever and whoever; each part of a totality and the rest of it; the total picture, one piece at a time that’s making up the whole to the end] believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

    HYPER-KELVINCYST: “It follows that [JESUS does] believe in a universal salvation [and] the Lord … speaks lies.”

  76. By your own Sinner’s Seat Spilling, “You’re not hearing [yourself]”!

    “Pilgrim 7 months ago … 6 months ago … Sadly, I never heard the Gospel of God … Not once. … Never The Truth … because each one is a dead sinner with no ability in themselves to live, see, hear, believe or bow … and understand … with ears to hear and a love for the truth. … The Holy Spirit … must make His Word effectual … [otherwise I] hear it to none effect … To tell [me] The True Gospel when the gospel [I’m] hearing is a false gospel is absolutely going to make [me] upset.”

    GOOD I’VE ‘UPSET’ A HYPER-KELVINCYST.

  77. OK — understood — civility and logic not options. Happy Holidays!

  78. Like Jim and every other human, I AM cold hearted sometimes. Pedestrian comment.

  79. A handful of jealous Pedros and Marias is for sure a threat! Besides, if they are spitting out kids AND homeless, I definitely don’t want them!

  80. Readers, if you want an example of someone who is “ideologically possessed,” look no further than Susan.

  81. Ok you have full bigot. You are going to give me a post full of stereotype and ignorance. I’m done pretending you have anything worth saying. But

    I will say that I would gladly trade refugees, people who have to work to survive, for deadweight welfare soaking tweaker trailer trash.

    To paraphrase the fictional Reverend Jesse Custer “why are all the self styled defenders of American citizenship are always the worst examples of it “

  82. These Natives aren’t living in a dictatorship and they’re as innocent as everyone who passed away the day after Jesus died on the Cross.

    And no they didn’t go to hell.

  83. “Pilgrim 7 months ago [then] 6 hours ago … Sadly, I never heard the Gospel of God … never The Truth … [yet] told the truth”?!?!?!

    Speaking of “pity”, when “moved with pity, [Jesus] stretched out his hand and touched … the leper … and said to him, ‘… Be clean.’ And immediately the leprosy left him”. (According to Mark 1:41-42.)

    But when Pilgrim here was moved with “pity”, what did she do?

    (1) She judged The Christ Jesus as “no prophet, … no true witness [for] approach[ing Nicodemus] an unbeliever saying, ‘God loves you’.”

    (2) She declared, “Other verses … directly contradict [John 3:16, which, therefore] cannot be correct.”

    (3) She accused The Christ Jesus in John 3:16 of “believ[ing] in a universal salvation [of which] the Lord … speaks lies.”

    And so,”the leprosy [of Hyper-Kelvincystisis NEVER EVER] left h[er]”!

    “Pity”, indeed!

  84. Readers is you want an example of someone who can’t stand a woman that can’t be bullied look no further than FHRITP.

  85. Silly. Stupid. I applaud his zeal as someone else stated but if he knew his bible, instead of the book of mormoni, he would’ve known God says to pray for enemies, or the illiterate, or native tribes that don’t have contact with the world; don’t shout prayers at them. The Book of Mormon is WRONG folks. They’ve interpreted the True Word incorrectly, and pray about a false prophet smith who brought on mass deception!

  86. When will we see that all creation is the family of the one true God and creator. We’re not all different. We’re actually all the same! Some of us harbor more lies than others, and spread them willingly like a cancer. Instead, God said, be humble. The sermon on the mount: Matthew 5:3 – Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:5 – Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

  87. Chau was an protestant christian, probably evangelical, not mormon.

  88. These twelve Yeshua sent forth, and commanded them saying: Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans, do not enter. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel: And as you go, preach saying: The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out devils: Freely you have received; freely give! Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: For the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town you shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and there abide until you go there. And when you come into a house, salute it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you: It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment, than for that city. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: Therefore, you be as wise as serpents, and harmless as doves! (Matt 12:5-16)

    I.E: Respectfully, do not go where you are not wanted-welcomed. Why? Because YHVH prepares the heart-mind-Soul (the next chapter is the parable of the Sower), prior to the hearing of the Good News of Messiah Yeshua and His glorious work on the Cross. Otherwise, you are in sin by (metaphorically) casting pearls before swine (Matt 7). Furthermore, you must first be able to raise the dead, heal the incurable, and perform exorcisms. If you do not have these powers, then you should reconsider evangelistic proselytization altogether.

    YHVH is Love; Satan is Pride!
    If I go to all the people that reside within a 10 mile radius of where you live and work and church, do they all know you as that persistent christian who keeps trying to share Jesus with you? If not, why then, would you go beyond that radius? And the answer is simple (and no, it’s not Matt 24:14): Missions and missionaries are like the celebrities of churches. It’s a revenue funnel. It is all pride-ego-emotion, not the traits of all Heaven-bound disciples of Messiah, which is Love-humility-wisdom. It is pride that drives the bulk of the westernized-christianized-monetized-industrialized.

    Ad hominem reactions unreciprocated; trolls & comment-commenters ignored.
    Click avatar> full profile> link! A disciple of Messiah Yeshua!

  89. When the right thing is done for the right reasons, the risk is worth it. Don’t believe me, talk to a soldier.

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