I hate JoshuaProject.net.
According to the website "Joshua Project is a research initiative seeking to highlight the ethnic people groups of the world with the least followers of Jesus Christ." But I really hate this site. Self speaks:
1. It pops the bubble that I live in. If I am not living so that the glory of Christ is made known among all nations, I am living a lie. My whole life is a lie. A fraud. A self created sin polluted circus of meaningless vanities.
2. It is quiet. If JoshuaProject were loud, obnoxious, and rude I could justify ignoring it but I know the Lord’s voice is quiet and easy to ignore. Truth is easy to ignore because it is quiet. If only I could claim that foreign missions is theologically complicated, obscure, or vague, then I could claim it was beyond understanding. But it is not. It’s simple and easy to understand.
3. It reminds me that I am not dead to the world. Sure I am baptized and attend church. I also read the Bible and pray sometimes. But something inside me gets so irritated and upset when I hear about foreign missions. Every time I see the JoshuaProject website or hear about foreign missions I try to justify my disobedience, look away, claim exemptions, and grasp for flimsy excuses. What I hate is that I am conscious that I do these things! Something about foreign missions elicits rebellion in me. It reminds me that I am not really dead to this world, I am still very much alive and interested in this world rather than actually doing something that will hasten the return of Christ. I know that I’m called to die and not to live. I know that suffering awaits me if I live for Jesus. If I really want to be like Jesus I know that I will suffer hardship and pain.
4. It provides undesirable definition and clarity. I do not like that JoshuaProject.net is actually drawing lines and defining the work to be done. If the Great Commission could only remain vague and abstract it would be easier to ignore, easier to justify indifference. To make it worse, workers at Joshuaproject continue to classify people based on whether they have access to gospel resources! That is disturbing my complacency and I hate it.
6. It ruins my internet browsing time. My internet browsing just became infinitesimally unimportant. I know that five minutes praying for a people group hastens Christ’s return but I was watching funny videos instead. Then I had to check for specials on iphone cases on ebay. Oh how my priorities militate against Christ and his love for the world! To make a concession to my conscience I made the Joshuaproject prayer calendar my home page so that I am forced to look at it everyday. After about a week though I always open a new tab to avoid that unpleasant reality.
7. Every year it will not go away. Why can’t this site just pass like a fad or trend? Why can’t the reached portion of the world just zip up to %100 so that we can be finished? Every year this site remains and the suffering of the unreached continues. Why is technology advancing and scientific papers are being published in abundance but missions seems to be at a dead stop. I hate that there is no shortcut to finishing the work. I cringe when I recognize it will not get easier but probably harder the longer I delay.
8. It testifies against me. It is a witness. It is a sign showing us what to do. But we will not do it. I will be punished for my delay, indifference, and silence. 2 Kings 7:9, Esther 4:14, Ezekiel 33:8. No generation previous to this generation has had the task so well defined, so many unreached people groups so clearly delineated. We are the guiltiest generation. No generation before us has been guiltier. Self screams: Make this JoshuaProject.net site go away! Kill this witness and obscure my guilt!
9. The website is well designed. It actually looks like some intelligent professional web designers put in a lot of time and money to put the website together. It looks like there are people who are actually very serious about the Great Commission and living obediently to Jesus. If the website had been put up in a slipshod and careless manner with single-spaced impossible-to-read-without-becoming-dizzy size 8 font with no pictures, no graphs, no margins, black and white, I could dismiss it. The problem with the joshuaproject website is that it’s easily accessible every day. It speaks. The evidence, stats, graphs, and figures speak.
10. It makes me feel so powerless. Thinking about the great challenges and mighty spiritual forces that must be overcome to reach so many unreached people groups shatters my pride and confidence beyond repair. I can not point to any of my possessions, education, or accomplishments as capable of doing anything worthwhile to even begin to finish the task. JoshuaProject reminds me of how frail and weak I am. “Of my own self I can do nothing.” Nothing. I am humiliated and brought to seek help from God.
11. I have the character of Satan. I am filled with Satan because like the disciple Peter I crave a Jesus with a different mission. Oh that I could say “Jesus let me tell you what your mission will be…” but no, I stand rebuked by Matt 16:23 and Mark 8:33. That I am so troubled by Joshuaproject and seek to expel it from my mind is one of the strongest and clearest evidences that I am more like Satan than Jesus. I have Satan’s mind and Satan’s purposes.