Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Chasing the Dragon

I was very sceptical when I first picked up this book (it was one that was at my in-laws' Perth house) and I thought it would be sure to end up in my recycling bin.

I ate my words!  Wow, what a book!

Chasing the Dragon (an expression which means smoking heroin) is the story of Jackie Pullinger, but really it is God's story of how He transformed the lives of people far from Him, using Jackie in the process. Jackie, a British missionary, arrived in Hong Kong in 1966 and ministered among drug addicts, gang members, and prostitutes in the Walled City. It what seemed like an overwhelmingly hopeless place, God used Jackie to spread the gospel. Many believed and lives were transformed.

I think the way Jackie arrived in Hong Kong was a bit unwise - she arrived by herself. With the recent death of John Allen Chau - killed on North Sentinel Island by an unreached people group - it shows the danger of lone missions. Jesus sent His disciples out in pairs to show we NEED each other. We aren't meant to go alone. Jackie said God led her there, and while there's no doubt He used her tremendously, and later she teamed up with other Christians, it doesn't mean she did the right thing by going alone; it means God brings good out of foolish decisions.

Being from a conservative, evangelical background since becoming a Christian, I'd often been influenced to think critically about speaking in tongues. It generally gets dismissed a lot, or explained away among Christians I rub shoulders with. I still don't agree with hardline Pentecostals, who insist a Christian MUST speak in tongues, otherwise they don't have the Holy Spirit. That is a dangerous false teaching. Rather, I was challenged by how God works in the world, among people who have never heard of Jesus, have no Bibles and are illiterate. In some ways, it mirrors The Heavenly Man and shows nothing is impossible for God. In our suspicious, Western mindset, we too often forget our God is an awesome God of miracles.

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