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Christian Missions, Making Disciples & Cultural Contamination.



I recently had a short but provocative twitter conversation with Ukumbwa Sauti, M.Ed.  who is a professor of cultural media studies, and is trained in Indigenous African Spiritual Technologies in the Dagara tradition.  The conversation centered on the perceived cultural imperialism of Christian Missions.  This is by no means a new concept, and the tendency towards being colonial in Missions still exists.  I would have to say the my North American brethren are far more prone to making little North Americans then Making Disciples of Jesus.  In  my work on the mission field in Ecuador, I have worked among the Shuara and Quichua Indians, and the Mestizos (the mixed indigenous).  I have also worked in the midst of countless sub-cultures in the Cloud Forest Region and beyond.  I have also worked among the Navajo people in the United States.  I can honestly say that I have never, in my desire to bring Christ to these people have sought to simultaneously change their culture.  One could argue that bringing Christ into a culture is to change its culture, and if that be the case, then I am guilty.  A question which should follow logically then, is, can we bring Christ to a people, a culture, without contaminating that culture?

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