So, I was in church the other day, yesterday in fact, and it was a commissioning service. As I found out, this is where a person or people who have committed themselves to become missionaries are now fully qualified, ordained missionaries; if ‘ordained’ is the word I mean, it may well not be.
This of course required a speech by the person who’d been their tutor at missionary school, All Saints Christian College, wheresoe’er that may be; and then a promotional DVD presentation from WEC, the missionary group that’s sending these two people out there.
The whole service shocked me rather. I don’t believe that missionary work is right and good, and that if a community needs help, then it probably needs that help in terms of practical equipment and funding rather than spiritual assistance, and I think we are all free to choose our own path and beliefs and such. I’m not a very Christian christian, really, but I was talking to a guy after the service who was as shocked as I was, and his father’s a vicar!
The DVD was the worst, though. It talked about the 1.7 billion people who as yet don’t know about God, and then went on to say that those 1.7 billion people are going to Hell unless we can reach them. The sermon that followed pointed out that, supposedly, God will forgive you if you ask him to do so before you die, and you will then go to Heaven even if you were a serial killer, or initiated mass genocide, and so on.
I cannot and will not believe this of the God I now believe in, and I know I’m not alone. I don’t even think I believe in heaven as such – goodness is it’s own reward, I think, and I merely try to act in a way that does not hurt other people, where I can. I try to enjoy myself, and I try not to be a git, and I think that’s enough, isn’t it?