We read of saints like St. Patrick, St. Columba, and St. Boniface who went among the heathen and converted them. We read of other saints who died trying. And others who didn’t die, but didn’t get anywhere, either.
In that we belong to Jesus Christ, each and every Christian is called to represent Him in some way: we are all His servants. That’s why the heathen rejoice when we fall short–as we all do, from time to time.
My question is: Are we as Christians required to engage in “dialogue”–very often a euphemism for getting shouted at–with persons who hate us, who despise our faith, who deny God, and go out of their way to make their feelings known? Some say yes, that’s our mission field. Others say don’t bother, it’s casting pearls before swine.
I think that some are called to do this while some are not. It takes a special kind of moral strength not to lose your temper, not to give way to intemperate language, not to punch the scoffer in the nose as St. Nicholas once did. I don’t have that kind of moral strength, so there’s no point in my trying to dialogue with a pagan pinhead. I’ll just get mad.
Somebody has to try to convert these heathen. What odds would you have given against St. Patrick actually being able to convert the pagan Irish? But I think he would tell you it was the Holy Spirit’s power, not his own, that did it.
Those of us who are called to do other things, should do them. You can sell insurance with honesty and grace, and represent the love and righteousness of Christ. You can prepare a good meal, play a nice song on your guitar, mix up a batch of medicine that helps somebody cope with illness–there are more ways to do it than there are people. And how many times did St. Paul preach that lesson?
I’m not going to wade into situations wherein I know I’ll only lose my temper. Let those deal with it who can.
If St. Columba thought the Picts were a tough audience, he should see the leftists of today.
6 comments on “Are We All Missionaries?”
Excellent! Amen and Amen!!! Thanks for your efforts, Lee, in your particular mission field! God bless you and your family!
I don’t know how to tell you how much I appreciate that, Steve.
“But I think he would tell you it was the Holy Spirit’s power, not his own, that did it.” You are bang on, there, Lee. It is the power the Holy Spirit to convert souls – not ours. Jesus told us all to spread the gospel message, to be ambassadors for Him in the world. You can lead a heathen to Christ, but you can’t make him/her believe. I need to pray for patience every day on this front – and I’m just a layman.
Yes, A.R., we need to see each person as someone who can be saved, but realizing only God knows who will be. This is a great mystery. Our duty is to be faithful by abiding in Christ, and He is the One who produces the fruit.
“I’m not going to wade into situations wherein I know I’ll only lose my temper. Let those deal with it who can” Same here. Sometimes I can; sometimes I can’t. And sometimes I ask God for discernment, but he always puts into my mind “read the Bible.” Well, that’s where I started – and i’m still there.
I don’t like contention so I avoid it as much as I can. Scripture says to be at peace with other as much as you can. St. Paul said he became all things to all men so that he might win some. And again in Proverbs, “Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom.”