Our savior complex

I was facebook creeping and I came across this picture. It’s nobody I really know, but you know how it goes… a friend of a friend… anyhow I wanted to share it with all of you, because it reeks of “savior complex”.

This guy apparently went on a mission trip to Rwanda. From the little I know about Rwanda, it is one of the places on earth that needs support the most. I think it is amazing and admirable that he took time out of his schedule to go and meet some of the needs of the very desperate Rwandan people. But, of course, I have a couple things to say about this picture.

Now, to clarify, I know that this guy probably did an amazing work while in Rwanda. I don’t pretend to know everything about this trip or this person. I want to just talk about this picture.

I feel like this well meaning man has embodied everything that is wrong with our current ideas about missions.

I look at this and I say to myself, “look at that rich white man coming to be a savior to a poor nation and to bless the little people with his greatness.” It looks to me like this guy finds this poor child amusing.

Shouldn’t we be getting down on their level? To me, when you go to someone’s nation, you need to get to where they’re at before you start trying to help them, otherwise you risk forcing these people into submission to your western prosperity. These people don’t need button up shirts and khaki pants. They need friendship. They need love. They need someone who understands them. We need to be sure that when we practice service and ministry we aren’t acting as almighty providers but as friends who are sharing with others.

Again, I am sure this guy probably did all of those things. I just want to be sure that we understand our position and responsibility. Jesus served by getting on the same plane as the people. He ate with publicans and sinners. He stooped on the ground to pick up the adulterous woman. He let the children sit on his lap. He did not go to a poor nation dressed like a preacher and tell them all how blessed he is. He got dirty. He did things that religious people snubbed their noses at.

Be challenged that we are all the same. That Rwandan child needs redemption just like we do. Christ died for our ugliness and depravity just like he did for the tribes in South America who sacrifice their own children. We need help just like the Cambodian orphans. Christ is the only savior, not us. Don’t ever let yourself forget that.

That is all.

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