I came across a blog post this week from missionaries in Papua New Guinea. They shared:
“'You must respect Mother Mary.' This is the first thing that my friend Philip told me as I greeted him today. The day before I had called him during Catholic mass unknowingly and today he was telling me that I must respect the Catholic religion. We talked a little more about other things for a while, he invited me to have some saksak and stay over for some dinner but then he told me I must go. He told me that he had to go heal someone from a sickness they had that lived close to our place.
I thought he meant maybe something like malaria or the common cold but he told me that someone had given them the sickness with the spirit he called Masalai. He grabbed some tangat leaves ,his Bilum, and his Bush knife and we headed back to our place. He told me he must take these leaves to the person and speak the name of the Spirit into leaves and that the Spirit would leave the man’s body.
This is the kind of thinking that plagues the people of Papua New Guinea. Religion has influenced them a little, yet they hold on tightly to animistic beliefs; afraid of all the spirits that are around them. This is the result of poor teaching and lack of understanding about the culture that they are teaching in. You’ll hear words like Jesus, God, and heaven but they don’t understand anything about what they mean and how it affects their lives.
This is why we came, to give them the understanding of what the Scriptures really say and to free them from the fear of animism and the spirits that they hold onto. This was a good reminder today, as I am learning language and culture to remember the big picture of why I am here and what I am here to do."
When I read the third paragraph in particular I thought about how it could apply to we here in the U.S. We are a people who have been influenced a little by religion but hold onto our own idols and fears; mixing our faith with New Age and all manner of other things. You could say of many of us here as well, "You’ll hear words like Jesus, God, and heaven but they don’t understand anything about what they mean and how it affects their lives." In our desire to be free to speak about God we have taken the bite out of the Gospel leaving many people with the idea that God wants to improve your life on earth- give you your "best life now" when the result of the true Gospel is a focus on God and not ourselves. I have no doubt God wants to bless me, but I did not give my life to Christ to serve my needs but to serve my Savior. My best life is yet to come!
New on the site this week:
Freebie Thursday- Sharing patterns from three of my favorite quilters.
My look at Psalm 119 continues with:
Happy New Year-Part 2- more photos from our trip
Good Reads from Around the Web
Why Millenials are Leaving the Church: a response-"Truth be told, I don’t want a church that serves my preferences. I want a church that gives me Jesus and makes me want to serve His. " Interesting read from Trevin Wax on The Gospel Coalition website. He wrote a post in response to a piece that was written by Rachel Held Evans.
A Softer Propserity Gospel: More Common Than You Think- "In the end, the tragedy of the soft prosperity gospel is the way it focuses so much on earthly improvements. By offering Christians their best life now, the eternal realities of heaven and hell are lost. This brings the very real possibility that many who hear the soft prosperity gospel are and will remain lost."
Is Church Growth All ABout the Pastor? -"the only thing the Bible consistently holds up as the measuring rod for pastors is not their skill in preaching, though they must be able to teach. It is their character." Interesting thoughts by Aaron Armstrong about how we measure success in the church.
The Shocking Secret to Finding God's Will -Another one by Aaron Armstrong. This was my favorite read this week.
I would love to hear your thoughts on any of these.
Wishing you a blessed weekend,
I am a wife, a mother, a quilter, and most of all a follower of Jesus Christ.
Join me on facebook
Follow me on Twitter