God on Their Side

I was shocked to see this line in a column by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times: “[T]he wave of activity abroad by U.S. evangelicals is one of the most important–and welcome–trends in our foreign relations.”

Kristof, writing from Mozambique, seems surprised that the evangelical Christian missionaries he’s met aren’t “redneck zealots forcing starving children to be baptized before they get a few crusts of bread.”

Instead, what he finds are people helping people not because it’s a means to coerce them to accept Jesus Christ, but simply because they’re needy.

He doesn’t quite get it, though. He expresses the hope that the pragmatic, non-judgmental (as he describes them) evangelical missionaries in Africa will “be a good influence on the Christian Right” back home in the US. Why does Kristof believe that there is a moral and theological disconnect between the missionaries and the churches that support them?

Well, maybe he’s right. We should all be influenced by those who have responded to the call of Jesus Christ to drop everything and follow Him. And in turn, I hope the missionaries Mr. Kristof has met will be a good influence on him. It would be nice to have a Bible-believing Christian writing for the New York Times Op-Ed page.

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