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John Allen Chau

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:46 am
by edwardmurphy
This was in another thread, but I was curious what people here thought, so I'm starting this thread.
thatkidakayoungguy wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:48 pm
This reminds me of that missionary who was killed by those stone age islanders near India.
https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-u ... bf074f0fc6
I'm not seeing how this relates in any way to religious persecution in China. Maybe the kid can be more specific. Moving on...

My personal opinion is that Mr. Chau was a reckless, selfish, deluded moron who got what was coming to him. He broke a bunch of laws to get somewhere that he wasn't supposed to go, and he went back after the locals attacked him the first time. His behavior was suicidal.

The part that irritates me most is that he seemed not to realize the threat that he represented to the population of Sentinel Island. There are recorded examples of modern people making first contact with uncontacted tribes, and they all seem to end the same way - the majority of the uncontacted people contract diseases for which they have no immunity and they die. It's basically 1492 all over again. If the islanders hadn't killed him he would almost definitely have killed most of them. That, to me at least, seems like something that Mr. Chau should have known. If he didn't then he was reckless, and if he did then he was reckless at best, and a sociopath at worst. Either way, things ended about as well as they could have.

What do others think about this situation?

Re: John Allen Chau

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:50 am
by DBowling
edwardmurphy wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:46 am
What do others think about this situation?
I'll be the first to admit that I do not know all the particulars of this situation.

But as a general rule, I fully support any effort to bring the Gospel to any people group who have never heard the truth about Jesus.
Many throughout the history of the Church have become martyrs while sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And they shall receive their reward.

However, I do differentiate between people sharing the truth about Jesus Christ, and people attempting to increase the power of organized religion.

my .02

Re: John Allen Chau

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:10 am
by RickD
I don't see this as a persecution issue.

From what I understand, the tribe is wary of any strangers, and will attack anyone who goes near the island. There was a pic I saw, of one of them shooting arrows at a helicopter flying by after the tsunami.

Re: John Allen Chau

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:11 am
by Philip
I agree with DB. And I don't know all the details either. Missions are what the Church (collectively) was told by Christ to pursue - as Christianity did not spread by Christians not reaching the world beyond them with the Gospel. Sure contact with those not immune is a serious concern. But whether or not Christian missions should be pursued - it all goes back to whether the God of the Bible exists, and whether Jesus was God who became man and was resurrected. "If" so, God's Great Commission is to be taken seriously. And this can be done in loving, safe ways, that truly respect and try to help those in remote places. It also doesn't mean that native people's cultural beliefs and practices - where harmless to themselves and others - should be replaced or attempts should be made to change them. So, it depends upon how one goes about missions. It might well be that this young man's heart was in the right place, but his actions were misguided as to how he went about it. Remember, we're merely to expose the lost to the Gospel - we're not to subjugate people or to force their beliefs. NO one is saved by being forced to believe anything! God respects the free will of all, whether to believe or not. Out only job is to spread knowledge of the Gospel.

Re: John Allen Chau

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:13 am
by Philip
BTW, another person had contact and interacted peacefully with these people in the '80s. But yeah, disease is a real concern. However, many of the diseases that wiped out the Indians are now very rare and vaccinations do exist.

Re: John Allen Chau

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:44 pm
by edwardmurphy
I didn't know about the person in the 80s. I'll have to look that up. I've read about a bunch of accidental contacts that ended in the outsiders either being killed or managing to escape with their lives despite the threat of imminent attack.

The issue with diseases is that members of an extremely isolated population are extremely vulnerable to whatever germs are developing in populated areas. Isolated people still get sick, but they aren't exposed to the badass germs that emerge from densely populated areas. These days it wouldn't be measles and small pox, it would be something like the nasty virus that developed at my wife's elementary school and has had me coughing up crap since late September.

Re: John Allen Chau

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:13 pm
by Philip

Re: John Allen Chau

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:02 pm
by Kurieuo
I've not heard stories of Christian missionaries wiping out tribes with disease, though I've not looked for them. I'm aware colonisation did have a big impact on native populations though.

On the other hand, I've heard many stories of Christian missionaries helping tribes, not just witnessing to them, but bridging warring tribes, providing modern medicines, even electricity and helping them gain land rights to their occupied land when the government of the encroaching outer world wouldn't really care. Jim Elliot and the End of the Spear for example. The book was best, sheds much better light and more details than the movie. The movie was still good, but really a quick and brief covering. You want to know what goes on inside the head of a missionary who's willing to risk their life, pick up a copy of the book -- I couldn't put the book down when I read it. Good story, not preachy.

As for people ridoculing this particular guy. Well, I'm sure being speared was a possibility he considered but he considered it worthwhile giving his life to Christ nonetheless. I imagine that he researched this tribe and understood some back history to them. I heard via Rogan (don't know if best authority ;)), that some perverted guy visited the island some 100 years ago to measure genitalia and the like. Also that a ship was wrecked on the island, with the sailors having to be evacced. The tribe's people have since made use of the metals found on the ship. I never really heard about the place before a week ago, but it seems these people have come into contact sparingly on multiple occasions with outside world.

As for this man, having his dead body dragged around I'm sure could possibly bring disease. Or perhaps contact with the outside world like this, allows them to progressively develop immunities.

I've heard several non-Christians, like Rogan, and other reports, basically called him a stupid fool. One reason being that didn't he know it was dangerous? Another reason being that it is treasonous to many secular folk to talk to others about one's own beliefs in God. Proselytising is considered by many as bigoted and immoral. You've got to understand Ed, many Christians do take their beliefs seriously as truth, truth above all truths, and really do wholeheartedly believe the world is lost in sin. It is believed a lot of the pain and suffering just wouldn't be had if humanity didn't resist and rebel agaist God so much.

On the back of that, many feel a strong desire in their heart to announce good news that Christ brought about God and us. Whether you think it true or not, such beliefs and hope has done wonders to the lives of people. To let people who will listen know that God doesn't desire to judge and condemn us, but God is a merciful God who wants to forgive and love us (John 3:17) -- such a message is far from bigoted or evil imo. Yet, God is both righteous and loving, so there is a problem that needs resoliving given our wickedness, and this problem Christ said was resolved through Him.

I understand this message is nonsense to many, and perhaps even comedic that a person would want to share it with others who haven't received it, let alone die over it. Yet, I don't see this guy as necessarily foolish, but rather more loving than most in the world that he would risk his life to share such a message with people who'd kill him. Not to rattle the cage of some here, but I find this especially refreshing in light of the many Christian folk in America who would readily pick up a gun and shoot an intruder. :P

As to whether or not they would have gotten diseased despite previously having contact numerous times with the outside world, and despite now dragging around a dead body. Non-Christian commentators who just think it all foolishness are really overplaying this I think, surely a dead body is still contageous? OR, if killing him somehow made a difference, like Rogan and certain news articles claim, then perhaps this John Chau fellow believed God would protect the people from such. The irony is, such a belief was vindicated since God allowed his man to be killed to save the tribe (if that be true).

Re: John Allen Chau

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:40 pm
by PaulSacramento
And maybe conversion is a good thing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLs-UoqzLlU

Re: John Allen Chau

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:33 pm
by RickD
PaulSacramento wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:40 pm
And maybe conversion is a good thing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLs-UoqzLlU
Maybe?

What kind of Christian are you, Paul? :poke:

Re: John Allen Chau

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:47 pm
by Kurieuo

Re: John Allen Chau

Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:05 am
by Stu
PaulSacramento wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:40 pm
And maybe conversion is a good thing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLs-UoqzLlU
Good to see stories like this.

Re: John Allen Chau

Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:49 am
by thatkidakayoungguy
edwardmurphy wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:44 pm
I didn't know about the person in the 80s. I'll have to look that up. I've read about a bunch of accidental contacts that ended in the outsiders either being killed or managing to escape with their lives despite the threat of imminent attack.

The issue with diseases is that members of an extremely isolated population are extremely vulnerable to whatever germs are developing in populated areas. Isolated people still get sick, but they aren't exposed to the badass germs that emerge from densely populated areas. These days it wouldn't be measles and small pox, it would be something like the nasty virus that developed at my wife's elementary school and has had me coughing up crap since late September.
It's made worse since they've inbred for at least a few centuries. If they still had contact with outsiders like they used to, then it wouldn't be so bad.
Which makes me ask why did they shun the rest of the whole world? Bad contact with colonists? Weird cargo cult?

Re: John Allen Chau

Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:07 pm
by Philip
Kid: Which makes me ask why did they shun the rest of the whole world? Bad contact with colonists? Weird cargo cult?
A lot of tribes, under threat by their enemies, retreat to an unoccupied area that offers natural defenses of terrain or water. So, originally, their location was born out of survival and defensive considerations. Of course, they didn't have to stay there. But if a safer spot that also offered plentiful game, fish and a water source, it would have made sense to remain where huts or shelter had been built. Plus, everytime you move somewhere new, you had to consider whether you were either moving into an area with hostiles or too close to such a threat. Tribes are often insular and territorial - a matter of survival. And the more tribes and the smaller available land is, the greater the potential for warfare.