I was appalled by a blog post of someone Caleb, an American missionary in Serbia: http://calebgoodnight.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/first-day-in-belgrade/ You are in your right to believe whatever you want (as long as it’s not in breach of your local legislation that is), but if going on a mission to a foreign country, do you really believe that WhateverYouCallYourGod wants you to be THAT DUMB? Are you certain the Deity you profess is behind your efforts, while you are making a fool of yourself – and more so, all over www?
I have no idea who is the blogger in question, more so he seems to be rather innocent guy of a fervent faith – i also do not know which Christian sect he represents, but the post he made is… hilarious.
He came to convert people whose religion he doesn’t know – he calls it “dead religion”, he went to Church and laments about listening to chants in Serbian
- for goodness sake, is it possible that you traveled all the way from US, without even reading the Wikipedia article about your destination and religion practiced there?! The services in Orthodox Churches are held in Old Church Slavonic, is it possible, being a missionary, not to know that? Why exactly did you come to a country which history you don’t know? He writes – a communist country… Well, not so. A comment added later on: “Well I meant the buildings were built while under USSR rule which was communist.” The thing is that Yugoslavia NEVER was under Soviet rule.
So, you don’t know neither the history nor the believes of these people, and yet you came to convert them? Into what exactly? Presumably you believe in Jesus, maybe (just maybe) you could do a bit of research and - SURPRISE ! – you would have found out that they do too!
More so, you would have found out that these people, whose religion you call “dead” are the founding fathers of Christianity – which, in its turn – on the moment of its foundation, was merely one of some 20+ JEWISH SECTS IN JERUSALEM.
Who knows, maybe – if you dig deeper – you would have also found out that Jesus was in fact Yehoshua, an observant Jew and, most probably, a Kabbalist.
Further on, it would turn out the apostles were Jews too - and you would have found out that these righteous souls were merely Yehoshua’s bodyguards. (it’s not that you think they would let him turn the tables in the synagogue upside down, without his being escorted by fully armed bodyguards, right?)
And… he wasn’t a blond hippie as you imagine him, he was middle Eastern, right?
What he was prophesying is everyone’s guess, given that all of it was written many years later. Obviously, there is a fairytale-ish touch to it all – and i am not referring to the walking on water part, i have no problem with imagining that at all.
I’d stay away from the theological implications of the story because i believe that Christianity with time became a religion in its own right and i do know people for whom it does wonders. Let alone that i know ‘immaculate conception’ to be a Hebrew word for young woman which got lost in translation – combined with pre-Christian myths of “Gods” impregnating humans – check out the evidence of Faith Healing at Lourdes, that story does work for many and i believe that’s what matters.
On another level, i believe all these stories and images to be merely a tool to activate your own archetype of miracles , it’s not InsertWhicheverApllies who heals you – you do, by activating the potential we all have within us; whether the image of Jesus does it for you – or of Guan Yin, is none of my business, i only keep my fingers crossed that some of it works for you.
But, if seriously – what exactly you came to profess in these foreign to you lands? I recall ‘The Poisonwood Bible’, an amazing novel by Barbara Kingsolver about a missionary family from Georgia in Congo – i believe every single missionary crossing the border should be obliged to recite it by heart, prior to departure – and kept by authorities in case they don’t know it.
Serbs don’t need your religion, trust me – they have their own and for better or for worse they’ve proved generation after after generation that they are ready to die for it in a blink of an eye. Not that it has done them much good in my opinion, but hey, who am i to judge?
And i read the comments posted by this guy’s family – they are cheering him up as if he is in the midst of WWII , fighting the fascists … Wasn’t the money invested into this guy’s meaningless trip – better donated to one of the Serbian orphanages? Just saying. I am neither Serbian, nor Christian – but how stupid you need to be to write that these people are ‘nonbelievers’?! It’s easy to be a “believer” where you come from, with all the religious freedoms and the living standard you have back home – but to survive Balkan reality, it takes more than believing in God, it takes CERTAINTY that He exists.
What each of us here in Balkans calls Him/Her – is our own business – so please, just go home, kay?