We’ve been having an interesting discussion about the lack of teaching in schools about colonialism. Inevitably the subject of missionaries came up (by me, actually.)
My son made the not unreasonable point that
God is a just and fair God. If a people have never heard of Jesus, then when they die, surely God would treat them fairly. However, if you then tell them about Jesus, you are opening up the possibility of them going to hell! Which seems a bit unfair.
My response was
Life is grim, difficult and broken. Knowing about Jesus gives you hope for something better – the way it is supposed to be. It will be just as grim, difficult and broken if you are living as a secluded tribe in the heart of the amazon – we think it would be idyllic but that’s just our romantic notions.
The heart of Christianity is to understand that we should know that God created us, the world and the universe and loves his creation. If we don’t honour God as sovereign, then we are just squatters in his world. But this sovereign Lord has done everything that is necessary for us to live a full life; now and forever. If I know that God loves you as an individual but I don’t tell you, then I’m keeping a very precious gift from you. Surely that’s not right?
I totally get that an atheist would have a very different perspective on this but to assume that evangelism is just some extended form of invasion or domination, is to completely miss the point of intent.