Missionary:Why I Went To Africa.

Testimony of Paris Reidhead….Christianity says,”The end of all being is the glory of God.”

Humanism says,”The end of all being is the happiness of man.”

What is the philosophy of missions?What is the philosophy of evangelism?What is the philosophy of a christian?

A missionary writes…

When I went to Africa,I went primarily to improve n the justice of God.I didn’t think it was right for anybody to go to hell without a chance to be saved.And so I went to give poor sinners a chance to go to heaven.Now when you analyze this,do you know what it is?It is humanism.I was simply using the provisions of Jesus Christ as a means to improve upon human conditions of suffering and misery.

And when I got to Africa,I discovered that they were not poor,ignorant,little heathen running around in the woods waiting for,looking for someone to tell them how to go to heaven.I discovered that they were monsters of iniquity.They were living in utter and total defiance of far more knowledge than I ever dreamed they had.They deserved hell because they utterly refused to walk in the light of their conscience and the light of the law written upon their heart and the testimony of nature and the truth they knew.

And when I found that out,I assure you,I was so angry with God that on one occasion in prayer,I told him that it was a mighty little thing He’d done.Sending me out there to reach these people that were waiting to be told how to go to heaven.When I got there,I found out they knew about Heaven,but didn’t want to go there.And they loved their sin and wanted to stay in it.

I went out their motivated by humanism.I had seen pictures of lepers.I had seen pictures of ulcers and native funerals…And I didn’t want my fellow human beings to suffer in hell eternally after such a miserable existence on earth.

But it was there in Africa that God began to tear through the overlay of  this humanism.And it was that day in my bed room with the door locked that I wrestled with God.For here I was coming to grips with the fact that the people I thought were ignorant and wanted to know how to go to heaven and were saying,”Someone come and teach us”,actually didn’t want to take time to talk with me or anybody else.They had no interest in the Bible and no interest in Christ…And they loved their sin and wanted to continue in it.

I was to the place at that time where I felt the whole thing was a sham and a mockery and I had been sold a bill of goods.I wanted to come home..and there in my bed room as I faced God honestly with what my heart felt..it seemed to me I heard Him say:”Yes,will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” “The heathen are lost and they are going to go to hell,not because they haven’t heard the gospel.”They are going to go to hell because they are sinners who loved their sin and because they deserved hell.”

“But I didn’t send you out there for them.I didn’t send you out there for their sakes.”I heard God say to my heart that day something like this:”I didn’t send you to Africa for the sake of the heathen.I sent you to Africa for my sake.”

“They deserved hell,but I love them and I endured the agonies of hell for them.I didn’t send you out there for them.I sent you out there for me.” “Do I not deserve the reward of my suffering?Don’t I deserve those for whom I died?”

And it reversed it all.It changed it all.It righted it all.And I wasn’t any longer working for Micah and ten sheckels and a shirt…but I was serving the living God.

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12 Comments on “Missionary:Why I Went To Africa.”

  1. pastorinthewoods Says:

    All I can say is WOW!

    What is embodied here is the struggle of biblical evangelism in western society. Our denominations are full of “Christian” people who are consumed with self interest and their theology reflects this. As a result our evangelsim is pragmatically seeker sensitive and focused upon releasing the inner good in human beings.

    The clash between the truth of Romans 1 and the humanistic theology of the modern church is illustrated here. The goal of the Bible verse the goal of the western humanistic church is made painfully obvious through this.

    Thanks hottub,

  2. Les Puryear Says:


    This needs to be read by everybody. I’m going to link to this post if it’s okay with you.


  3. Bill Says:

    Brother, did this testimony come from a book or article or did you hear it? I’d like to know more. My email address is pfister5@citcom.net

    Great post,
    Bill Pfister
    Brevard, NC

  4. Bill,
    I transcribed this testimony from..youtube..Revival Hymns
    Also click on link above…Paris Reidhead.This testimony comes from his sermon..”Micah..ten shekels and a shirt..Judges.17-18.At abouts 32 minutes into sermon.
    Hope this helps,

  5. Mark Says:

    A shame anyone goes to the field with a stereotype like that intact. There are many who have never heard and are waiting to hear, but the majority anywhere are like the majority elsewhere — defiant, ungrateful souls who refuse to acknowledge God and give thanks. I’m glad he discovered the truth about missionary service, that we go because the Lord says go, not because we are going to save anyone. But I don’t see how one naive missionary’s humanistic thinking winds up being a condemnation of others. Making my own experience representative of everyone else is as humanistic as thinking I’m God’s gift to the heathen.

    • Tom Says:

      Mark, please do not miss Paris’ point. We do not go to the mission field just because God said so, that ignores motive and leads one to treat oneself as a mere hired hand, not as a fellow-laborer. We choose to go to the sinner because we hope to glorify God through their salvation. “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.” (2 Cor. 4:15) I’m not trying to pick nits. The question gets to the heart of our Christian lives – our motives. To go to the mission field simply because God commands it is to act for legalistic reasons. So what is the reason we go to the mission field? Because the LIFE of Christ in us compels us. Life reproduces life. All living things reproduce. If I have life in me I am driven to reproduce that life, to multiply life. “Go into all the world,” is the New Testament equivalent to God’s directive in Genesis, “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.” Just as a healthy organism will obey that command because it has life, so Christian filled with the life of Christ goes into all the world and shares the Gospel, making disciples-naturally.

  6. Mark,
    Perhaps I missed something in Reidhead’s testimony.Where is the condemnation of others?

  7. pastorinthewoods Says:


    Maybe they are talking about my commentary.

    I will give you another example:

    This year we participated in a county wide missions project. The news media asked one of the youth participating, ” Why are you doing this missions project?” He said, ” It makes me feel good and it helps others.” 2 questions:

    1. Is this the goal of missions?

    2. Is this not humanistic?

    That is what I am seeing.

  8. pastorinthewoods,
    Since you came to Gaffeny as a missionary,the crime rate has gone down 00.1 per-cent.Lottie Moon offerings have risen 10%.You are a legend in the “Red neck”capital of the South.
    I regret that your motives may have been attacked on the hottub blog.

  9. Greg Says:

    I heard this through Heart’s Cry Missionary Services resources on Revival Hymn and then listened to Reidhead’s 10 Shekels and a Shirt. No condemnation from me, but it is extremely human in our fallen state to look at God as a means for our ends, not as the glorious end of all things. Reidhead’s testimony in this sermon (as the humanist and his experience with others like himself) is true of me. Many times I am undone by the Holy Spirit and The Bible and see myself trying to get God to serve me for my ends and not asking Him to continue to change me so that I am finding joy in serving His ends. Might I add, everyone who Christ has not changed is like one of the natives he speaks of. We all know there is a God we owe worship and will judge us, but we worship the creation or ourselves. This is Romans 1 and Genesis 3 in its true meaning. We make light of the truth in our hearts and nature so we can act as God. We love our sins.
    I think John Piper’s read on the reason for missions is a help to us in righting this universal sin. “Missions exist because worship doesn’t” Not because we are doomed to hell as individuals, but because our salvation leads to worship and promotes God’s glory to the creation or maybe even dimensions we have no knowledge of. God saves for His glory not ours. The fringe and collateral benefits are awesome for the labor force though…US.
    In Christ Alone,

  10. Greg Says:

    Your read on youth service and evangelism is right on. When I was in VA SBCV put on a annual youth camp. A well known regional youth evangelist spoke several times over the week. When the youth gave testimony about what they had learned or been inspired by…well lets say they felt loved by their friends and saw their inherent self worth… They learned nothing of God or of their real selves. They basically went to a Wayne Dyer rally sancitfied by having a Baptist label and a smattering of misused scripture. These kids were being taught to serve God on the side while recieving 10 shekels and a shirt to live well in their real enviornment…not Christ, but the culture of which they were just being encouraged to be a church going slightly more moral version of. That night I now believe was a key time in splitting that church. Some thought the kids had been well served. Many knew that God had not.
    In Christ Alone,

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