Red Deer Express, August 24th, 2011. Amanda Lindhout is considered a hero in central Alberta. No doubt she has tenacity, resilience, compassion, ambition, and fortitude. But I think she is a misguided woman on a mission that is doomed to fail. In fact, I know this because impudence is not an avenue to success. It is a good deed to point out her fault: the woman ought to be dissuaded from causing trouble to the people she aims to help; and she should be saved, too, from having to be redeemed, at great cost, once again.
She had little reason for being in Somalia as a journalist when she got kidnapped there. If women should leave the more dangerous assignments to men, how much more hazardous for a woman to jump into the furnace of Somalia as a freelancer! It cost donors around a million bucks to get her out of there. Then she had the gall to return to the country of her captivity, which many would call a courageous act, but which, in fact, is an act impudence: cocky boldness and disregard. To go back there, in provocative Western attire, no less, is to tempt fate in the face of having been redeemed once already. Since she speaks in churches, she must consider herself to be a Christian. She ought to know, then, that redemption should cause meekness, not impudence, to abound. But churches like Crossroads are not in the habit of teaching doctrines like redemption and meekness to its congregation and guests.
Amanda’s impudence may be further shown by her choice of title for a certain program to help African women: ‘SHE WILL.’ Can one think of a more impudent title than this? Can one think of a title more apt to raise the ire of African men? Is that a good motto to guide women by? Put that motto beside the “meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Peter 3.4), and be stunned by the glaring contrast. It is the difference between the spirit of impudence and the meekness of Christian spirit. The spirit of Miss Lindhout’s mission has an unchristian ring and feel to it. How far will African women get by adopting a ‘SHE WILL’ attitude? They will get themselves mowed down by oppressive men who fear, more than anything else, the Westernization of their women. In Scripture, women are not taught to overcome oppression by impudence, but by the ‘hidden man of the heart,’ the ‘meek and quiet spirit.’ Do you think the education that Miss Lindhout is raising money to provide includes such teaching as that? A program called ‘SHE WILL’ will tend to provoke, rather than win over, African men, and therefore it is bound to cause trouble. Many women could lose their lives by opting into a program with a title like that tacked on to it. This mission of Amanda’s is of the wrong spirit. And so no matter how much money is poured into it, failure is guaranteed. The ‘SHE WILL’ program was created to provide survivors of rape with medical attention, therapy, and education. Medical attention and therapy are necessary and good. But instruction that is steeped in a ‘SHE WILL’ attitude is a feminist spirit that we should not be planting on foreign soil. This ‘in your face’ approach will only serve to make more angry the abusive men that African women have suffered by. Let trained missionaries bring the gospel in. Then education will be allowed as grace mollifies the spirits. This is the way.
When you are on a misguided mission, the spirit of it, and perhaps your own, will be unbiblical, as I have shown. And then you will contradict what the Bible says. It is not possible to end, in our lifetime, ‘the very worst forms of poverty,’ as this woman claims. Jesus said, “For ye have the poor always with you” (Matthew 26.11.) Did Jesus speak this concerning his generation alone? That is a coincidence, then, that the poor have continued with us until now! I’m all for feeding hungry, starving bodies. But let’s get these stars out of our eyes and our eyes into the Scriptures. Then, by having a biblical objective instead of a romantic ideal, our spirits will not fall into despair. The ointment poured upon Jesus’ head might have been cashed out instead to feed the poor. We are to take the lesson: do not lose sight of Jesus while you stare at the suffering in this perishing world. From what I’ve observed, read, and listened to, churches like Crossroads and missions like Amanda’s aim at relieving the body while they forget the soul.
Giving money for the education of African women through a Western woman exhibiting impudence cannot be wise. ‘SHE WILL’ is a provocative attitude that will endanger the women that the program aims to help. And this attitude is being pushed by a woman who seems, and must be, frankly, quite ignorant of what the Bible says and what the gospel is.