Magazine article New Internationalist

"What If Jesus Came Back?"

Magazine article New Internationalist

"What If Jesus Came Back?"

Article excerpt

IN the village, the discussion sooner or later always comes back to Jesus - there are more foreign missionaries for each Melanesian than in any other place on the planet.

Maera addresses her community literacy group in her own language. She puts a question to everyone: 'If Jesus came back today, would he be a rich man? A politician?'

'No. He'd come back the same way that he came the last time, as a poor man.'

'OK, let's suppose that Jesus came back today,' says Maera. 'He's a poor man. He has no land, no house, no food, no work. Who would help him? Where would he find the true Christians?'

A couple of newly converted Pentecostals speak up: 'In America. That's where our missionaries come from. That's where he'd find true Christians.'

Maera moves to the blackboard. She lists some figures as she talks. 'In the US, 6 million people have no house to sleep in, 13 million people don't have enough food to eat, at least 30 million are unemployed, and over 100 million do not have enough land to plant subsistence gardens. If Jesus came back to America, who would give him food, housing, work or land?'

People start to make comments about how people from America, Europe and Australia find it hard to fit in with traditional Melanesian ways of sharing. …

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