Over the last several days, one of the most intriguing stories on the mainstream is the murder of John Chau. An American and outspoken Christian evangelist, Chau had an unusual fervor for reaching uncontacted peoples, or isolated tribes. As a 26-year old, he eschewed the frivolities of his generation, instead seeking a higher purpose.
Any Christian worth his or her salt stands in admiration of Chau’s faith and dedication. According to Mark 16:15, Jesus stated, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Exegetically, this declaration leaves little to interpretation. Evangelism includes uncontacted peoples, not just established (and convenient) cultures and civilizations.
Chau took this command literally, and set out to preach the Good News to the Sentinelese. They are one of the few remaining uncontacted peoples that exist today, located on a remote island under Indian administration.
Again, Chau’s passion for evangelism is commendable. Unfortunately, his actions were not. In reaching out to the uncontacted peoples on North Sentinel Island, he violated Indian law. Due to the Sentinelese tribe’s consistent aggression and hostility to outsiders, India clamped down on access to their island.
Further, because the Sentinelese are genuinely uncontacted peoples, they do not have the same tolerances to “our” diseases. The potential for a devastating biological outbreak constantly exists when outsiders interfere.
Apparently, that didn’t bother Chau. Neither did the Word of God. 1 Peter 2 makes it abundantly clear:
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.”
Evangelizing Uncontacted Peoples and the Migrant Invasion
If only Chau read and discerned the full context of the Gospel message! Evangelism centers on reaching lost souls, providing a real-time ambassadorship for Jesus Christ to a hurting world. It is not about righteous vigilantism.
Based on the many negative and critical comments on social media and the blogosphere, I sense that most Christians understand. So I find it interesting that many will not extend the same logic to our present migrant invasion.
For instance, the mainstream media blasted First Lady Melania Trump for being tone-deaf. Her crime? FLOTUS extravagantly decorated the White House in Christmas décor while the U.S. Border Patrol tear-gassed “innocent” families in Mexico.
Of course, the optics of murdering an evangelist and tear-gassing little kids is horrendous. This provides fodder for the media to build a victimization framework. However, in both cases, no one asked the impacted parties to commit their subsequent actions.
In fact, government authorities demanded that both cease their intentions to violate laws and official mandates. They refused, and stubbornly set out for their cause. That they met consequences for their brazen disrespect for authority should be expected.
Indeed, it’s not President Trump, nor the Border Patrol, nor the “vitriolic environment” that caused the death of an evangelist or little kids to be tear-gassed. The former had himself to blame, while the latter falls on the parents’ responsibility.
But in this self-centered world, personal accountability is apparently the last thing society instills in our children.