“Why Do the Heathen Rage?”

I am going out on a limb with this post. It is not my nature to tackle controversial issues.

This comes in response to the recent news of a young man who was killed in his attempt to share the gospel on an isolated island in the Indian Ocean. I do not know all the details, first learning of the event in a fellow blogger’s post accompanied by a video of the island. In the video is the scene of the inhabitants on the beach of North Sentinel island which the reporter called “wildmen.” This video left in me a sad image and the thoughts that I write here.

How different is the majority of people in any land to this small band of isolated people?

How few welcome people they do not know?

How hostile are most people to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ?

People, in general, are ignorant of the good news of Jesus Christ and are antagonistic to those who want to share this good news.

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” Psalm 2:1-3

Psalm 1 describes two types of people, the righteous and the ungodly. In Psalm 2, the heathen are the ungodly, described in Psalm 1; and the righteous are those whose delight is in the law of the Lord, Psalm 1:2. Kings of the earth and rulers are described as heathen. There are Biblical references to men as beasts.

“So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.” Psalm 73:22

Where is True Civilization?
How different is the scene of those islanders and others who demonstrate in the streets of our nation in anger of whatever comes against them?

How different are they than we are when someone disagrees with us? Only the laws of our land and God’s power of mercy keep us from destroying each other.

Why do we lock our doors? We live in fear of strangers who may come and harm us or take what is ours.

History of the Sentinelese
There seems to be in the history of the Sentinelese a time when their people were kidnapped. There is the story that centuries ago some were taken to another country where the two oldest died, then the others were taken back to the island. Imagine their fear passed from generation to generation. Does this not give us some understanding of their behavior against outsiders?

We cannot condone this savagery, but we do well to learn from this event.

Only one person has ever brought the gospel to an antagonistic people, died in the process, and rose from the grave ~ and His death by His own people who did not accept His good news.

The church leadership needs to train God’s people. There are many para-church organizations – even churches – that are encouraging young people to consider missionary work. Many have the will and the zeal, but not the skill. Jesus trained and sent His disciples in companies of two.

The church used to be the catalyst, ordaining and training for the mission field. Taking the gospel to an illiterate people is a dangerous endeavor, it is a work that requires counseling and training, in addition to faith and prayer.

Please do not attack me for what I have written. I am not criticizing this young man, but believe he was doing what he thought he should do to share the good news. I am just sharing what I believe the Lord has put in my heart, and hopefully, give us things to consider when we think of sharing the gospel outside our own culture and time zone.

A Technological Thought
Another thought, which may seem a bit whimsical: We are not Christ. We either need bullet-proof vests or to pray and brainstorm some way to air-drop something to get and hold the attention of those we want to hear the gospel. Someone with the funds could build a robot that looks like the Islanders and program it to transcribe the gospel into their language.

I pray that this young man’s life is not a loss; that the Lord would show us what we need to reach the unreachable for His glory. What a joy it would be to see our modern technology used in such a way as this. Even this might be dangerous to their immune systems ~ win them to Christ and wipe them out?

Gracious Father, we thank you for sending your Son and for your Holy Spirit who reveals Him to us as our Lord and Savior. We ask you to show your church how to counsel and train those whom you call to the mission field. We ask that the Chau family know your comfort and peace and be drawn closer to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


10 thoughts on ““Why Do the Heathen Rage?”

  1. Costly — precious — immeasureable — invaluable — in the sight of the Lord, is the death of His saints. (Psalm 116:15) Prayers for all who knew this courageous young man of God whose only desire was to share the Good News to those who did not hear it…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a good post. Your thoughts are the same as mine. We need the church to send missionaries. We also need to understand the history of the interaction between this tribe and foreigners which is not pretty with what was done in the past against them by outsiders

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jim, thank you for your comments. They are always special to what I think the Lord wants us to share with others. We pray that people will be more aware of those to whom they desire to witness. You cannot use apologetics on someone who does speak the same language and there is no interpreter..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fran, I don’t know why anyone would attack you for this post, as it was very balanced and reasonable. I have found yself ambivalent over this at times. Of course, we must spread the Gospel. Of course, those folks need it also. But the points regarding their safety and autonomy are valid too. What I took away from this most, and appreciated it the idea of being “sent.” Excellent point and I had not looked at it from that perspective, which sort of shocked me. We do believe in our work that all missionaries are, in fact, sent by some local church; folks aren’t just to be out there randomly running around. That is for many or the reasons you listed: training, resources, direction and even safety for the missionary and the target people. Good stuff, Sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wally, I greatly appreciate your comments. It is interesting that the parents of this young man are quoted as saying that their son is responsible for his own death, not these islanders. I wonder if he had any counseling before he made his plans. We greatly need comraderie in the church for whatever we do in the Lord’s name. Another thought that came to mind was, whose were the prayers for this mission?

      Liked by 1 person

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