Missions and Western Guilt
What hath America to do with Indonesia? What hath the West to do with the East? Much in every way.
As a white male American there are many critiques that can come your way. It is white Western males who have been responsible for world wars, for imperialistic missions, for ethnocentrism, for racial prejudice, for sexism, etc etc etc. In all of this a sense of Western guilt can accumulate that leaves one feeling dangerously close to paralyzed. While I don’t always think about it, this is often a way I can feel when it comes to the continuing role of the West in the modern Christian mission movement.
Today in class a recent and helpful article in Christianity Today was pointed out. It’s written by Hwa Young, a Methodist bishop in Malaysia, who argues that Western guilt may actually be a sign to the continuing validity of the gospel in the West. Rather than paralyzing us, it should cause us to learn from our past mistakes and humbly move forward into the future. I found this article an encouraging and helpful read as I continue to struggle over finding my place in a body of Christ that spans the globe. Check it out.