Dazzer, not so. Just because I also ask questions does not mean that I am being stubborn. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion and a discussion.
"If you genuinely believe that God has called you to witness to folk who would otherwise end up in an eternity in Hell, then technicalities such as legality, how you obtain a visa and how you attract individuals with whom you can share your faith are not critical issues. You do what you have to, to save souls."
Sounds like a plausible excuse for Islamic terrorists as well. I know what you're trying to say, I just don't buy into the basic reasoning as being objectively acceptable. That said, as a committed anti-theist, I never back down from a good discussion :)
",,there are not any Muslim missionaries in China at all. Never happened and will never."
Sorry, but that's an outright lie or at least extremely naive thinking.
Going back to the question:
I don't think missionaries hurt foreigners. I think Chinese are smart and stubborn enough to make up their own mind. I think that if student are annoyed by a teacher or complain about him, he is probably hurting himself more. And in the end if it progresses for a long time may lose students and/or his job.
@dazzer I don't think tomman has made up his mind - he genuinely seems to be trying to engage people.
@arabic absolutely true
Missionaries are downright evil people, arrogant enough to think that they are rightfully doing a gods work.
Unfortunately I had to work with them for a little while and they are human trash. If you think they are here to do good, then you have not understood what they are doing. OR seen it first hand.
Or helping the poor? You are gotta be joking, None of them is here to help the poor. Ever got invited to their homes,.....talking about rich and poor gaps.
And yes they shed bad light on all foreigners, I could tell a few stories about some of their actions it would disgust you. Unfortunately since those people are also quite powerful I better not.
Plus I have personally been asked so many times if I am religious or a missionary, since they are so active in Yunnan because there is such a good potential market.
I hope they will find a few of them and put them in Chinese jails, for at least 20 years for spreading fear to the weak and poor.
Just terrible people.
I'm actually wondering who's taking advantage of whom.
Missionaries seek converts to what they believe is a better life - granted tremendous evil has been done in the name of religion - not restricted to Christianity - but rather exemplified by alleged pseudo-Christian countries - without naming names.
I've found foreign missionaries and missionaries fantastic, in general. They invite people over for free food - when I was a student (in ancient times) - free food was a great draw - paid for with time spent listening to stories (aka bible study), outnumbered by a variety of people at various stages of life and maturity within the religious system. Generally a pretty nice crowd of people - none perfect, but mostly genuinely nice - good examples of what people, community, and society should be - people helping people without hidden agendas.
As we are painfully aware - people in China won't generally help strangers for well-founded fear of being drawn into some complication by the victim (for example, being accused of mowing down a hit & run victim...by the victim).
As for deception - read the bible - Christians are called to be as "cunning as foxes" etc...if I correctly, but vaguely recall excerpts from the old and new testament (but not something Christian evangelists would like to dwell upon, nor espouse).
As Christianity, Islam, etc have been around for thousands of years - I highly recommend students and people in general explore and understand these various philosophies/belief systems to draw their own conclusions about the relevance or irrelevance of deities, evolution, etc.
As the systems are durable and sustainable - they also make fantastic business case models. My favorites - selling something we won't realize until after we've died - akin to life insurance, no?
Religions are also responsible for some of the world's greatest architectures and events - the Louvre, the Vatican, Michelangelo, da Vinci, the Spanish Inquisition (oops...my bad)...
China has had several of its own brushes with religious cults and fanatics - hence China's separation of church and state - churches being regulated by the state. In the USA - Americans were in an uproar over the proposed construction of an Islamic mosque near the 911 site - a knee-jerk, racist, bigoted, ignorant response - nothing much has changed since the attempted extermination of native American Indians, using Chinese labor to build the most difficult and dangerous sections of the rail infrastructure (historically accredited to mostly white Irish American/immigrants, with occasionally passing mention to the oriental flavor of the lines), the internment of Japanese Americans into concentration camps (the camps were propagandized as "protective custody" for the Japanese Americans - but the machine gun towers were targeted inside the camp, as opposed towards the outside...), etc etc ad infinitum...e pluribus unum.
That doesn't make the USA or China evil countries, nor does it make Christianity a necessarily evil religion, and guns don't kill people.
What people do with their lives and how they interact with society - especially strangers, is what counts to me. I firmly believe in hospitality - but I'm not particularly hospitable - hospitality is firmly dosed with caution, because there are a lot of crazy and or evil people out there.
So - I think Christians proselytizing, evangelization, inviting people they don't know into their homes to try to spread hospitality, caring, social support - they're rather brave in my eyes (but I tend to avoid evangelistic Christians in general - well, I tend to avoid people in general - I'm introverted, despite my prolific, verbose, and debatably gregarious blogging).
So - long story short - ONLY if asked, I always recommend exploration of various mainstream (versus cult) religious and philosophical things - and occasionally enjoy lively discussions and debates on the subject(s).
My goal is not to change or influence people's faith based systems or explorations - but rather to help the newbies try to see both sides of the coin clearly, so they can make their own educated (or emotional) decisions.
The Chinese education system is so rigorous - it produces a rather general and pervasive population of worker bots - without addressing the needs of the soul (assuming one believes in such esoteric things) - the greater "vision" of life - as opposed to "going thru the motions" of being alive.
So (in characteristic verbose fashion) - as with all things intellectual or spiritual - I'd suggest encouraging your students to explore cautiously, analyze to the best or their abilities (Chinese aren't particularly well taught how to think creatively - they tend to look for formulas to copy...but then, don't we all), and make rational, personal decisions - understanding the benefits and costs while concurrently realizing - one can always change lanes, change directions, change destinations...unless you're in a cult or a particularly restrictive religion - such as Mormonism (I believe one becomes excommunicated, when one steps away from that church - losing your friends, family, acquaintances, business guanxi, etc ad infinitum) - happened to an allegedly highly respected Mormon boss I knew when he decided to dump his wife for a trophy wife...but a lot of his kids work for him - so dunno how the excommunication thing worked with that.
But y'all may want to disregard my comments, cuz I also believe in public executions for rapists and murderers - and I'd really be biased towards cutting off the hands of those <censored> who ripped off my bicycles and my son's bike.
Ah...(choose your favorite deity...eg God) works in such mysterious ways. who can perceive the profound depths of <choose your favorite gender - Shinto believes in nature spirits - so we'll go with the "tree gender" for this insert here example> infinite and boundless wisdom...
I'm waiting for the moderators to add VERBOSE to the forum posting rules...so I can get banned. No joy yet...
I don't agree withyou about the goodness of the missionaries, because I 'had to' witness what they do. And they are not individuals operating alone.They are working in groups or cells,(cells seems like an ironic enough term for it.)
Especially your school thought about the chinese school and learning system (that I agree with) seems a bit inaccurate, well let's say that the christian influenced schools and thought are not ment to be creative or freeminded at all.
I remember my (although moderate denomination) bible classes as kid and it was very clear what I have to think or do and actually even what questions I have to ask.
I don't think from that sort of angle a better world could be created.
Look at all the conflicts and war that is fought over religion. Even the impact missioned christians (or other religions) already have in the last 20 years, just in Yunnan.
If somebody wants to find religion, he or she will find a person taking profit from it will only stand in your way of elightenment.
China is one of the few refuges, and I hope it stays that way.
And luckily they learned their lesson from their mistake to let missionaries in (not that they wanted to) the country a few hundred years back.
And finally even the only positive influence they had here is making red wine, but even that they couldn't do properly.lol
@Arabic: "there are not any Muslim missionaries in China at all. Never happened and will never."
LOL! What a ridiculous comment...
Muslim missionaries are not as well organised and publicised in the mainstream media as Christian missionaries, but a lot of them exist with 100% certainty. I grew up having Muslims as my closest friends and can say for sure that they are widely active in propagating the righteousness of their faith, just like Catholics, Protestants, Atheists etc... I was even very good friends with one when I was in Beijing. He was local. Chinese. They probably don't exist for you because your interpretation of "missionaries" follows what is portrayed in the mainstream media.
Atheists only target Christians because that's the easy way. No retaliation. I've yet to see Daily Mail readers being publicly active when it's Pakistanis who are concerned.
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