From Ghana with Love and Heat

Hello from beautiful (and humid) Ghana! The wonders of technology make it possible for me to update my blog via telephone. Amazing.

Anyhow, I’m glad to say that we’re all here and in good health except for one woman on our team who has malaria. Students are now posted in various village communities where they will be preaching, praying, teaching, and sharing the good news in word and deed for the next 2 weeks. Today we make our first rounds to visit them and make sure they’re okay and that there are no major health issues or team dynamic issues to sort out.

As for me, I’m doing well though naturally I miss my beloved who is enjoying herself on a Hawaiian vacation. I am taking every opportunity to chat with the General Secretary (GS) of the Ghanaian student movement to think about trends in missions and student work worldwide. I am focused and ready for the task at hand while also being keenly aware and engaged with issues back at home.

Critical lesson observed thus far: American Evangelicals must take the scriptures much more seriously than we do currently. Dealing with poverty is a far less important issue than snatching from fire those who are hellbound and oppressed by the powers of darkness.

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6 thoughts on “From Ghana with Love and Heat

  1. Well, I’m an American Evangelical, so I can’t speak with quite the perspective the GhaFES folks have… While I think you and I would agree that both poverty & snatching from fire those who are hellbound and oppressed are important, and not equally so, I’d say that you’d be doing Jesus’ actions and teachings a great disservice to casually dismiss poverty issues as insignificant.

    I’m not sure if you’re doing that–it’s a pretty short few sentences there–but I know the directions you lean, and this seems to lean further in the same direction… and so I’m quick to judge. Excuse me if I’m wrong. 🙂

    Of course when I sit and think about these issues–specific passages, eternal vs. immediate, etc.–I’d say your statements certainly line up with some of Jesus’ teachings. But then when I really dig into Scripture, I also find that poverty, the oppressed, the hurting, the needy, the sick–these are the types of things Jesus preaches when he preaches the Good News of the Kingdom. So… when I see American Evangelicals start taking Scripture more seriously, I usually see them START caring for the poor (in ways that they’re certainly not right now), not STOP it. Not to say that poverty on earth is more important than our relationship with God–but if we’re to bring the Kingdom here, then poverty on earth is pretty important.

    Just my thoughts.

  2. I think we agree substantively. So let me clarify my point a bit. When I say American Evangelicals don’t take scripture as seriously as they should it is a separate point from the one about poverty. American Evangelical Christianity is weak on scripture in general with many unable to quote it, find books in it, or having any notion of how to interpret or apply it to their lives in any real sense. Naturally if people livee and breathe the scripture they will be concerned about poverty, etc. However it is in some way far easier (and trendy) to care about the material circumstances of the poor and be utterly unconcerned about the spiritual deprivation of the poor and the rich. One cannot proclaim the gospel without it having societal and economic implications, but one can attempt to deal with poverty without the gospel (an effort that often fails or leaves a culture materially rich but spiritually poor and depraved – see modern Japan).

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