So it happens sometimes: a missionary losing his faith on the mission field. Like a soldier becoming a pacifist in battle. It may be hard to imagine, and shocking when you find out, but it does happen. So it happened to a friend of ours, serving as a missionary in Asia. After years of living with increasing doubt, after asking ‘too many’ questions, he lost his faith and could no longer call himself a Christian. He lost his ‘BFF’ – his Best Friend Forever – Jesus. On the process of and the reasons for this loss, he skillfully writes on his blog ‘Losing Your BFF – How I lost God as a Christian missionary’.
Just to give you an idea of what this is about, so far he has written the following posts:
- Let It Go
- Hidden Immigrant
- Playing Chess with a Big Mouth
- Losing Faith, Reason #1: The mission of God (part 1 and part 2)
- What Kept Me In? Reason #1: The Web of the Mega-Belief
- Losing Faith, Reason #2: Worldview (part 1 and part 2)
I feel challenged by what he writes, as it challenges my own faith, and my own ‘mission’ in this world. The ‘easy way out’ would be to ignore what he writes, or to put it aside with a few superficial statements. And I know there are many people who don’t believe in God at all, but somehow that doesn’t bother me as much as someone who has been a dedicated Christian – just like me – and then loses his faith. Especially someone who likes to think hard about difficult questions and believes in the power of reason – just like me.
As a student of theology, I also feel challenged by his questions. I cannot choose to ignore them, as this is now my field of study. I need to and want to have an answer to his questions, or at least take them seriously and think about it. Even if my answer is ‘I don’t know’ for the moment.
If you are a Christian, missionary or not, I invite you to have a look at ‘Losing Your BFF’. Make up your mind on what he writes and let our friend know what you think. Or let me know what you think, in the comments below.