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Quotes

Here are quotes* from Pastors, church planters, missionaries, and other believers in the “Two-Thirds World” or the “10/40 Window”:

“From India, I had always looked to the United States as a fortress of Christianity….I expected to see a bold witness. God’s grace obviously has been poured out on this nation and Church in a way no other people have ever experienced. Instead I found a Church in spiritual decline.”

“Many North American Christians live isolated from reality—not only from the needs of the poor overseas, but even from the poor in their own cities. Amidst the affluence live millions of terribly poor people left behind as Christians have moved into the suburbs. I found that believers are ready to get involved in almost any activity that looks spiritual but allows them to escape their responsibility to the Gospel.”

“Americans are more than just unaware of their affluence—they almost seem to despise it at times….this nation routinely takes its astonishing wealth for granted.”

“…I compared their clothing to that of the national missionary evangelists whom I had left only a few weeks before. Many of them walk barefoot between villages or work in flimsy sandals. Their threadbare cotton garments would not be acceptable as cleaning rags in the United States.”

“I began with alarm to understand how misplaced are the spiritual values of most Western believers. Sad to say, it appeared to me that for the most part they had absorbed the same humanistic and materialistic values that dominated the secular culture. Almost immediately I sensed an awesome judgement that was hanging over the United States…”

“[Many Americans seem to have a television in every room] and they operate day and night. This ever-present blast of media disturbed me. For some reasons Americans seem to have a need to surround themselves with noise all the time. Even in their cars, I noticed the radios were on but no one was listening. Why to  they always have to be entertained or entertaining? I wondered. It was as if they were trying to escape from a guilt they had not yet defined or even identified.”

“I was constantly aware of how large—and overweight—most Americans seemed to be. Americans need big cars, big homes and large furniture, because they are big people.”

“I was amazed at how important eating, drinking, smoking, and even drug use were in the Western lifestyle. even among Christians, food was a major part of fellowship events….To my horror, the food and ‘fellowship’ frequently cost more than the money they had given to missions. And I was amazed to find that American families routinely eat enough meat at one meal to feed an Asian family for a week.”

“Many national missionaries and their families experience days without food—not because they are fasting voluntarily but because they have no money to buy rice. this occurs especially when they start new work in villages where there are no Christians.”

“These extravagant [multimillion dollar church] buildings are insanity from a Two-Thirds World perspective. The $74 million spend on one new building in the United States could build nearly 7000 average-sized churches in India. The same $74 million would be enough to guarantee that the Good News of Jesus Christ could be proclaimed to a while Indian state—or even some of the smaller countries of Asia.”

“What troubles me much more than the waste is that these efforts often represent a wordly mindset. Why can’t we at least earmark 10 percent of our Christian giving for the cause of world evangelism? If Christians in the United States alone had made this commitment in 2000, there would have been nearly $10 billion available for Gospel outreach!”

“Religion is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States. Entering churches I was astonished at the carpeting, furnishings, air-conditioning, and ornamentation. Many churches have gymnasiums and fellowships that cater to a busy schedule of activities having little or nothing to do with Christ. the orchestras, choirs, “special” music—and sometimes even the preaching—seemed to me more like entertainment than worship.”

“The United States has over 5000 Christian book and gift stores, carrying varieties of products beyond my ability to imagine—and many secular stores also carry religious books. All this while 4,845 of the world’s 6,912 languages are still without a single portion of the Bible published in their own language!”

“Eighty-five percent of all Bibles printed today are in English for the nine percent of the world’s people who read English. Eighty percent of the world’s people have never owned a Bible while Americans have an average of four in every household.”

“8000 Christian magazines and newspapers flourish. More than 1,600 Christian radio stations broadcast the Gospel full-time, while many countries don’t even have their first Christian radio station. A tiny 0.1 percent of all Christian radio and television programming is directed toward the unevangelized world.”

“The saddest observation I can make about most of the religious communication activity of the Western world is this: Little, if any, of this media is designed to reach unbelievers. Almost all is entertainment for the saints.”

“The United States with its 600,000 congregations or groups, is blessed with 1.5 million full-time Christian workers, or one full-time religious leader for every 182 people in the nation. What a difference this is from the rest of the world, where more than 2 billion people are still unreached with the Gospel. The unreached or ‘hidden peoples’ have only one missionary working for every 78,000 people, and there are still 1,240 distinct cultural groups in teh world without a single church among them to preach the Gospel. There are the masses for whom Christ wept and died.”

“American believers were still the leading givers to missions, but this appeared due more to historical accident than the deep-set conviction I expected to find. I discovered they had terrible misconceptions about the missionary mandate of the Church.”

“One-fourth of the world’s people live on an income of less than $1 a day—most of them in Asia. The gross national income per person in South Asia is only $460 a year. Americans earn an average of 77 times more—and Christian Americans, because they tend to live in the upper half of the economy, earn even more.”

“While much of the world is concerned mainly about where its next meal is coming from, affluent North Americans spend most of their wages and waking moments planning unnecessary purchases.”

“Finally, few domestic needs exist [in North America]. Although unemployment is a serious problem in some areas, it is many times higher in nearly every country in the Two-Thirds World. How many of us can comprehend the suffering of the millions of the homeless and starving people in nations like Bangladesh? Overseas the problems are on a grand scale.”

*Most quotes taken from the book, “Revolution in World Missionsby K.P. Yohannan.

 

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