Watch Aaron in the film Holy Wars

Friday, June 08, 2007

Living in two worlds

I must admit that living here in America often makes me feel like I am living in two separate worlds. The one world is the world I live in and interact with people every day. That is the American world, and it consists largely of going to church, eating Taco Bell, and watching Spider-Man. The other world that I live in is the near-daily communication I have with Christian leaders living in places like Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Senegal. With the exception of Nepal, I have been to these places more than once, inluding actually living in one of the places. With my memories of my travels and my near daily communications, I am reminded how the concerns of my brothers and sisters living around the world are drastically different than my rather petty concerns here in America.

I receive a report from a ministry we support in Pakistan and I am reminded how my Pastor friend (who is around my same age) is concerned with building a Bible School, an orphanage, and helping the poor. I receive a report from Nepal and, although I am delighted they are using the mega-voice players that I sent them (a tool from the God Story Project that plays the gospel story in multiple local languages), I am reminded that some of their pastors have just been beaten for the sake of the gospel. I am delighted that a pastor in India is in the process of translating my book "The Road Back Home" and plans to distribute it among the pastors under his organization, but then I am reminded that in my world back home, how many pastors do I oversee that would be interested in reading one of my books? Rather than relishing in my new celebrity status in one tiny part of the world, I know full well that my Indian pastor friend would be delighted to receive any Christian literature from an American Christian, since gospel literature is so scarce in his corner of the world. Living in two worlds can be quite humbling at times.

9 comments:

Matt said...

Just found your blog and look forward to reading more.

Adam said...

In my life, God has blessed me with many people who continually help me to see that there is much more to life than this "American world" Christianity. I wonder though, how many Christians actually think about it; and better yet, how many act! I just don't think the reality of how people live is really known to much of the American Christian society. Until someone meets face to face with the brutal treatment or famined lifestyles of some human beings in this world, or Jesus causes them to see, I don't know if its possible to see and hear the cries. I sometimes wonder how much American Christians could accomlish if we as an entire group, who call ourselves Christians in this country, actually felt Jesus' compassion for His people. Anyone ever done hypothetic anylasis?

Adam

Pete said...

Adam,
You wrote "I wonder though, how many Christians actually think about it; and better yet, how many act!".
While I understand your concern, the solution that you seek may not be as simple as it seems.
For example, if everyone were constantly thinking about the bad things in the world, depression would become a worldwide constant. Who wants to become a Christian if we're all a bunch of Debbie-downers?
Also, if all of us Christians were to act on these things and leave to become missionaries or what not, where would missions get funding? The fact that American christians are willing to go and make good money every day and contribute to their local church is the very thing that keeps missionaries in action worldwide.
So I guess my question would be; how should Christians think about the "bad things" in the world and then how should they act on these thoughts?
Pete

Adam said...

Wow Pete! You said a lot... by the way, nice to meet you!

To clarify my thoughts, I don't mean that Christians should always focus on the negative of the world, just somewhere in all of our lives I think we should consistantly be aware of it to the point that causes us to act in some way and genuinly have compassion on others like Jesus (not to say that even in doing this we don't live a life of joy). I deffinately don't mean we all should or could sell everything we have and go to missionfield personally. How crazy would that be if everyone on the planet did that! No one could get anything done because we'd all be constantly buzzing around each other trying to reach the world. Not only this, but for me to imply that I would be very hypocritical given that I am in the military full time, not the "ministry." The acting I was refering to most deffinatley largely includes supporting those God has called to the mission field in the many ways He leads. Got to go for now, great talking to you!
Adam

pete said...

Adam,
Good reply and it's good to meet you as well.
You're an MP huh? I'll make a note not to mess with you.
Pete

Aaron D. Taylor said...

Pete,

Good call on not messing with Adam. Adam is my cousin and I know that he could kick your butt...and mine too.

Welcome to my blog Matt. Feel free to join the conversations.

Adam said...

What's up with the time? Is this this site set to zulu or something? Maybe its out of CA huh?

Anyway, Aaron I think my butt kicking days are over... unless of course I run into Chad at aunt Liz's christmas party!

Adam

Kenneth Tremble said...

Dear Aaron, Peter never preached daily expectation of Christ's Coming as he knew he would die in His LORD's service. Gospels. also 2Peter "I must shortly leave this body even as our LORD has shown me." Paul was told by Agabus so he knew experience sufferings of Christ. He also met Peter so he knew what our told him about his manner of dying. Ken kentremble@optusnet.com.au

Aaron D. Taylor said...

Excellent point Kenneth. I'm not sure what it has to to with my post, but it did make me think.

Aaron