Over the years I have been asked to comment on Bob Finley’s book, “Reformation in Foreign Missions.” The late Bob Finley was the founder of Christian Aid Mission.
The book begins with the false premise:
“Contemporary foreign mission operations as carried on by churches and para-church organizations of the USA, Canada, Korea, and other industrialized countries are in dire need of reformation. Generally, with a few notable exceptions, those who go from one country to another as missionaries end up hindering rather than helping the cause of Christ.” (page 5)
This statement alone shows the falsehoods of the book. The book is filled with extreme, negative examples, some which might have happened in some situations some place, but certainly I have never read, heard or experienced in 45 years of ministry in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. I have a hard time believing the above and especially believing the following ever happened:
“In 1954 I was visited in Washington by one of my "disciples" from Inter-Varsity days who had just come home "on furlough" after four years in Africa. Inspired by my rhetoric he had gone "to the mission field" determined to "identify with the people." But upon arrival the old-time heads of his affiliated mission sat him down and laid out the code of conduct which he was to follow. He was there to become identified with the foreign community that made up the spiritual family of his mission, not with the "nationals" who were to be kept "in their place."
"And don't you come out here with any of those nonsensical ideas about Africans being equal to us," the director told him. "These people ARE inferior, and the sooner you recognize it the better." (page 61)
Why would anyone write such falsehood? No director would ever think or say such a thing! Can anyone believe this really happened? Even if it did, it was an extreme illustration and certainly not true of 99.9% of the missionaries in history worldwide with effective loving ministries for Christ and His glory.
" . . . for a wide door for effective service has opened to [us], and there are many adversaries . . . Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men [be mature], be strong. Let all that you do be done in love" (1 Corinthians 16:9, 13-14, nasb).