Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Catching Christian Draft-Dodgers

What would convince you to move overseas as a missionary?  What would get you to pray, "Send me, I'll go"?

If you are a Christian, you have already been drafted to participate in the greatest war in world history.  It is a war won with Bibles, not bullets, and its aim is to turn enemies into brothers, not corpses.  But it is a war that requires real sacrifice and real suffering.

Sadly, many people wearing the Christian uniform are content to stay in the mess hall, the commissary, or the barracks.  Those who do fight, usually choose to fight where our forces are already heavily concentrated.  Meanwhile, the most important battle lines are being advanced by a few courageous but heavily outnumbered and often ill-equipped men and women. 

I recently finished reading a stirring book aimed at correcting this tragedy.  Jake Taube's Send Me, I'll Go aims to uncover and explode every excuse that Christian draft-dodgers offer.  I warn you: this book may cost you a lot.

He also seeks to destroy false ideas about what missions is.  My guess is that while missions recruiters will love this book, some missions strategists will not, because it attacks a number of their slick techniques currently in vogue.  If you are hoping that you can just teach English or feed hungry people instead of actually speaking the gospel to them, Taube makes it clear that in this war, Christians have no "Peace Corp" alternative to the Great Commission.

I don't mark up many books as heavily as I did this one.  I underlined frequently and wrote a number of marginal notes.  I am still praying through what the implications of the book look like for my own life.  Taube does not answer all the questions that he raises, and you may not agree with all of the answers that he does give.  But the book stirs you to think outside your box.  It disturbs your equilibrium. 

However, the book motivates with joy rooted in the gospel, not with guilt.  Jake makes the Great Commission so compellingly beautiful that by the end of the book you are left feeling, "Why would I ever want to do anything else with my life?"  You will think more of the rewards to be gained in heaven than of the treasure to be lost on earth.  Think of this book as the Christian version of Henry V's Crispin Day speech.

You can read an excerpt from the book here.

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