God will provide? Sacrifice in mission and culture

“Culture – whether it’s church culture or everyday culture, makes demands on us that makes us fight the better angels in our nature.. The bit that is the most harmful is that in the religious setting is we give that authority to the ultimate principal.. for God to demand a sacrifice from us is something you can’t negotiate with. 

..Our capitalist culture about work and achievement.. and providing for the family is the same narrative. A good provider will miss out on.. formative stuff because they’re doing something else because it’s best of the kid.  

..The culture has taken hold of the families and said you have to do this. We demand sacrifice. So we’re not just looking at a religious problem, but a deep cultural problem.. The secular god is just as strong.”

What would it mean if you were told from a young age that you needed to be sent away from parents, from home, from all that is familiar… because God required it? How do children understand such a sacrifice in the name of God, and how might it change their lives?

The kind of thinking which led to such decisions reveals a great deal about the kind of god we worship and how we live. Dr John Chenoweth joins the podcast to share his reflections on the experience of being a very young child sent away to boarding school in Malaysia so that his parents could work as missionaries.

It is a story that reveals much about our human experience and how trying to do good can lead us into great wrong. John is one of the authors and editors of the book, Sent: Reflections on Missions, Boarding School and Childhood. 

Listen to the podcast online.

A podcast exploring the deeper mysteries of faith, meaning, and beauty. Based at St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane, the podcast invites others into conversation who are also “on the way”; seeking a transformative spirituality and inclusive faith that speaks to real issues of today. Together we seek to make meaning and articulate a Christianity that expresses the liberating and life-giving message of the Gospel in our time