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BSF Senior Staff
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Aug 19, 2023
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A person who embarks on a religious mission with the goal of evangelizing to others—typically but not always abroad—is referred to as a "missionary".

In a sense, Jesus served as a missionary, traveling the world and sharing his faith while preparing people for salvation. Jesus was not the first missionary, technically speaking. It was not until John the Baptist started traveling and sharing the gospel that Jesus did. Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would have a preeminent figure who would clear the path for him.

Loving God and loving others are the two main goals in life for Christians. One reading of the Bible holds that those who reject God's offer of salvation and do not become Christians will not spend eternity with God. Christians find this to be horrifying! It feels like everyone around you is about to die, and all you have to do is tell them what you know to save them.

Christians therefore have a duty to share the gospel with others because they love both God and people.

As all Christians are called to share the good news with those who do not know it, they are all ministers.

Some people incorporate this into their everyday lives by setting a good example of Christian behavior and striking up conversations. Some believe that it is their duty to go to far-off places and spread the good news. Stated differently, they go on missions.

To fully cover the history and controversy of missionary work, a library would be needed. The salient features of it are:

It was common for missionaries to face criticism for destroying the customs of the communities they came to teach in. They would frequently trade with Western countries (who bring in alcohol, weapons, and goods of questionable value) and introduce diseases. Native Americans were frequently taken advantage of by them, either as cheap labor or as servants. They often destroyed holy books, religious artifacts, and idols, offending followers of other gods and religions.

Even though they don't break any laws or harm anyone, a lot of missionaries have been martyred, attacked, beaten, and subjected to other hardships by the cultures and governments they enter.

Typically, missionaries establish hospitals, schools, and other social services where none previously existed (feeding widows and orphans, for example). The Bible and other books are typically translated into the native tongue; in cases where none already existed, they may even create a written language from scratch.

Missionaries frequently advocate for the abolition of human trafficking and slavery, female genital mutilation, child labor, child marriage, spousal abuse, and the practice of human sacrifice. They also support the rights of women.
 
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