Thursday, September 27, 2007


Lutherans and Catholics drink a lot of beer

Organizers of San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair — sponsored by Miller Brewing Co. – have portrayed Christ and his disciples as half-naked homosexual sadomasochists in the event’s promotional advertisement.

I think Miller Brewing Co. should hear from some Lutherans. They shouldn't just pull their logo, either, but all sponsorship money should be returned, all advertising pulled, and Christians should stay home.
    "Miller Brewing Company has decided to pull its logo from a "Last Supper" poster-featuring homosexuals and sex toys-advertising the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, Calif. But a Catholic group is urging the company to cut all ties with the homosexual "leather" street fair." CNS news

Thursday, September 20, 2007


A word about short term missions

Find another term for short term missions this African pastor suggests.

"Besides bringing an agenda, what tends to distinguish the American personality?

Americans have two great things going for them culturally. One is that Americans are problem-solvers. Every time I come to the U.S., I like to spend a couple hours in a Wal-Mart. I find solutions to problems that I never thought of!

The rest of the world, even Europe, isn't so intent on solving inconveniences. We tend to live with our problems. In America you almost never go into a house where the sinks have two taps, a cold water tap and a hot water tap, because that means you have to mix the water in the sink to get it to the right temperature. You have these single faucets that mix the water before it comes out. It makes perfect sense. But that's a problem the rest of the world wouldn't even think to solve.

Americans don't easily live with a problem—they want to solve the problem and move on. The rest of the world is more willing to live with the problems.

The second great thing for Americans is that your educational system teaches people to think and to express themselves. So a child who talks and asserts himself in conversation is actually awarded higher marks than the one who sits quietly.

How are these traits seen, say, in Africa?

Those two things that are such great gifts in the home context become a curse when you go into missions. Americans come to Africa, and they want to solve Africa. But you can't solve Africa. It's much too complex for that. And that really frustrates Americans.

And the assertiveness you are taught in school becomes a curse on the field. I often say to American missionaries, "When the American speaks, the conversation is over." The American is usually the most powerful voice at the table. And when the most powerful voice gives its opinion, the conversation is over.

So what should talkative, problem-solving Americans do?

I tell Americans: "We're going into this meeting. Don't say anything! Sit there and hold your tongue." When you sit around a table, the people speaking always glance at the person they believe is the most powerful figure at the table. They will do that with you when you're the only American. And at some point, they will ask you: "What do you think?"

Don't say anything. If you say anything, reflect back with something like "I have heard such wisdom at this table. I am very impressed." And leave it at that. Affirm them for the contribution they have made. Don't give your own opinion.

Americans find that almost impossible. They do not know how to hold their tongue. They sit there squirming, because they're conditioned to express their opinions. It's a strength at home, but it becomes a curse on the field.

In a sense western missions has been marked by that. But isn't it strange that Jesus not only entered society incarnate at the weakest point, as a defenseless child who needed the care of his host community, but he also told his disciples: "Do not go with money; do not go with a second pair of shoes; go in a stance of vulnerability; be dependent on the communities you visit"? Isn't it interesting that for 30 years he doesn't speak out; doesn't reveal himself; he remains quiet, and only after 30 years of listening and learning the culture does he begin to speak."

Read the whole interview with Oscar Muriu at Christian Bible Studies.