Talk about blaming the victim. Worthington's heartlessness is made even more appalling by dismissing the work that this Korean Christians were doing and the message they were proclaiming.
He assesses, from his privileged perch 8000 miles away, these Christians’ “martyr complex” and compares them to suicide bombers. He blithely suggests that these Christians are not Jesuits and the Taliban are not Iroquois, and does so without backing up his argument as to why this situation is different.
He goes on to say:
“Christian groups should be discouraged from dabbling in regions where their religious faith is not appreciated, and where others are required to risk their lives to save them when inevitably they are kidnapped, to be used as political bargaining chips.”
Now he’s starting to sound like a good, ol’ fashioned liberal, the kind he often rails against. Keep faith private. Let the real power of the world deal with evil.
But at its heart, his argument is that Christians don’t belong in the hellish places of the world. But isn’t that exactly were Jesus asked his followers to go? Isn’t that were Jesus himself went?
Or does Worthington see Christianity as merely a self-help tool, comfort when times get tough, a little moral guidance for the kiddies, but need to get out of the way when the “real” work of building a new world needs to be done?
Or does he feel convicted by the witness of these Christians, showing him the shallowness of most western Christianity, so he dismisses them as dangerous, uniformed, idealists?
I know I’m convicted by the actions of these Korean Christians: building schools and hospitals, bearing witness to an alternative reality that Jesus called the Kingdom of God.
We can learn from what they have to teach us.