Episode from the podcastTruce - History of the Christian Church

Exporting Jesus and the American Way (feat. Melani McAlister)

Released Tuesday, 19th January 2021
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Melani McAlister, author of "The Kingdom of God Has No Borders" and Professor of American Studies and International Affairs at George Washington University joins us to discuss how we export Christianity. In the 1950s and 1960s, American denominations sent white missionaries to Africa to share the good news. But with them went their bias and racism. This was the era of Jim Crow laws. Some missionaries took those laws to Africa, not allowing black people to eat at their tables.
In this episode, we examine the problem of tying the United States to Christianity. When the US makes mistakes or does evil, how does that reflect back on the church?
Christian missionaries sometimes export the United States with their messages. What else is going with our missionaries?
Discussion Questions:

Have you ever been on a mission trip before? What was your motivation for going?

Do you think that it is possible to marginalize the people we are trying to witness to?

How do you feel about showing pictures of poor people in church presentations? How might that practice encourage churchgoers to marginalize a people group?

Do you think poor people in other countries are happier?

Is it okay for us to export the American way with the gospel? If yes, then which things should we export?


The Kingdom of God Has No Borders

An interesting introduction to the British Empire and their withdrawal from colonialism

An introduction to the troubles in Congo

An NPR article about US-backed rebels

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