Opinion Sociology World Mission

Sickness and Immigration, Revenge and Xenophobia

Based on 2 real people I have had contact with, but with names changed. Have a read and a think. Comment if you like below.


Back to Sender - Version 2Joseph was suffering from some leg pain without any particularly obvious cause. Clearly someone with a grudge against him or envious of him in some way must have caused that pain. Getting medical help won’t deal with the underlying problem, and he’s understandably not very confident that the clinic will do anything much for him. The only real way to deal with it is to visit the traditional healer who can help suggest who might be to blame, and then try to do whatever it takes to send the sickness ‘back to sender’. Surely that’s quite understandable?Whether or not sickness can be caused by malevolent witchcraft, doesn’t the Christian need to trust in and honour God first, not seek revenge? Serving the spirits that make us a slave again to fear is not what a child of God should do, is it?

Following the Beirut and Paris attacks security is on everyone’s minds at the moment. Immigration is also in the news and it’s made some Christians think carefully about their duty. While it would be nice to offer help and hospitality to desperate destitute refugees, Jessica is a concerned Christian mother who has realised that the security of her own family is paramount. If welcoming strangers and exiles, orphans and widows might just possibly run the risk of allowing in just one bad guy who might do harm to the West, then it’s a Christian’s duty to say no and so guarantee the security of their own family. Surely that’s quite understandable?

Whether or not a terrorist might slip in with immigrants, doesn’t the Christian need to trust in and honour God first, not seek absolute security? Serving the god of security makes us a slave again to fear and is not what a child of God should do, is it?


Sometimes moving around outside your culture can give you a different perspective on Christian discipleship and that, I think, is one of the major contributions cross-cultural mission has to make to the local church.

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