Well, at least, not the way we mean it when we say it. What we usually mean is, “The people there are virtually unreachable,” or “Our resources are better spent elsewhere because there are areas in which people seem more ‘ready’ than in _________.” It’s a way of trying to get the most bang for our buck or missionary. It’s also sometimes our way of avoiding tough ministry.

I get it. I just don’t agree that we can judge, scientifically, where the Gospel is likely to take root and multiply. I don’t mind using it as one among several factors. I just don’t believe we can we forsake entire people groups on such data. It betrays a lack of belief in what the we read in the Scriptures about Nineveh repenting en masse, Jesus teaching on soil types and mustard seeds, the Great Commission and the spread of Christianity recounted in the book of Acts.

My parents didn’t raise me to be a sectarian. I don’t know where I got it from. I was born and raised in the Church of Christ, which I’m sure had something to do with it—though most churches I interacted with weren’t the, “We are the only ones going to heaven” kind.

I didn’t know, back in those days, what to do with people of other tribes. What to do with all these Presbyterians, Baptists, Calvary Chapelers, Methodists, and the like? They preached some mighty fine sermons, seemed like nice people and wrote some great music. But, that didn’t make them right.

I know for many readers of this blog, you’ll be puzzled by this struggle. I’m puzzled by it as well… in hindsight.