top of page

Colonialism & Missions: Understanding the History of Colonialism & Evangelical Missions

The basis of Western missiology is on the West's ability to go into all the nations. The problem is... that's just not biblical.

It's interesting because missiology, as it is today, is fully contextualized for the Western world and not for the rest of the world. When missionaries go into different parts of the world, there is this underlying message that's been sold to them that says, "what you have is better than what everybody else has." It takes on this message that God is only working through one culture and people group.

Historically, when you examine efforts to spread Christianity in various regions around the world, especially in Africa, it becomes evident that these approaches often involve colonization. When Protestants start coming in, they typically start out by establishing schools with little or no understanding of the culture, language, or how things work in the community. As a result, these students are receiving the Gospel through a cultural lens that is not their own, causing them to feel like they must conform to whiteness or Western culture in order to be close to God.

Being an Ethiopian women and having been called to serve in majority white spaces since I've moved to the United States, I've sat at fundraising events and I've watched the white savior narrative move people to tears and motivate them to give large amounts of money. And as I've sat in those spaces, as one of the very few people from that exact location they're talking about, I have felt an overwhelming sadness for their reductive, materialistic perspective on the human experience.

There's so many discrepancies on how history is told to Western Christians, so the machine of sending the masses continues. This multimillion dollar industry continues. Thinking that one culture or people group carries the weight of evangelism is a lie that does not support the Gospel.

God is powerful and able to make sure that everyone around the world hears the Gospel without any of us, he just chooses to use us. It's because of His mercy and His love for us that we get to participate in this work.


This excerpt was edited for clarity. Listen to the rest of the episode here and follow the Upwardly Dependent podcast on Spotify.

Subscribe to the Podcast:

13 views0 comments


bottom of page