31 October 2015

Voudou and Fear

While I was publishing my "Are you afraid?" post, Matt was writing the below post, both of us equally touched by our conversation with our friend, and by Haiti's "day of the dead" celebrations coming up November 1 and 2.  I loved reading through his answer to the same question!


When people hear that I’m a missionary in Haiti, many of them ask, “Aren’t you afraid?” The answer is always NO.
Haitian voudou, like all mystic and pagan-anamistic worldview and religions, is one of fear and intimidation. Namely, it is the fear of the unknown secrets that exist under the cover of darkness that keeps people under its control.
Yes, I have heard countless stories of people being cursed with illness (physical and mental both), dying, zombified, and even eaten in the name of voudou. One of the things about this dark dynamic of voudou is that it is all very mysterious. No one really knows how, they just know that. This sort of unknowing spirit keeps people always looking over their shoulders, needing to cast encantations against possible unseen and unknown threats. Voudou perpetuates a spirit of “You cannot trust anyone.”
Corresponding with this are concepts such as batri (booby traps), malveyant(spy), lougawou (shape-shifters that can infiltrate a home or person by taking on the form of an animal or bug, not unlike a werewolf), among other things.
Once again, the natural question that follows is, “Aren’t you afraid?” Again, NO!
Here’s why I’m not afraid and never will be: because Jesus has exchanged my life for his. 
It is true that the Adversary has a claim to our lives when we are outside of Jesus. However, for those who are in Jesus, Satan can make NO CLAIM ON OUR LIVES. The entire purpose of the cross is for Jesus to give his life in exchange for our own. This is what it means when the Bible says that our lives are “hidden in Christ”.
Colossians 3:3 says, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (NIV). This means that our lives are safe with Jesus.
Moving beyond this, however, how do we account for the fact that Christians around the world are not immune to pain, illness, suffering, betrayal, or even physical death? Easy. When Colossians 3:3 says that our lives are hidden with Christ, it does not mean that we will be immune to these things. Rather, it means that ultimately our eternity is with Jesus.
Was Jesus not betrayed? Did Jesus not suffer? Of course! In fact, it was this very betrayal and suffering that became the means for the salvation of the world. I’m following a guy who ended up dead on a cross. How can I expect to be immune from such things when Jesus himself was not? This is no reason to fear. I trust that whatever pain, suffering, or betrayal comes my way, it will ultimately glorify the father, just as with Christ’s suffering, because Christ ended up glorified with the Father after his resurrection. Like Job we say, “Though he slay me I trust him.”
We don’t follow Jesus in order to avoid suffering and pain. We follow Jesus because through him we trust that God can use these things in our lives to glorify himself if we hand them over to him and put complete and unbridled trust in his goodness.
The One who loves us is sovereign, and this drives out all fear. John writes, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18).
Greater is he who is in your than he who is in the world.
The final reality is that abiding in us is the one who conquered death. John writes, “By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit  (1 John 5:2). If death is the Enemy’s greatest sting, what is there to be afraid of?
If I fear in this life, then the death and resurrection of Jesus is in vain. 

1 comment:

  1. Amen! When Wayne King took Kelli Dingus and I to the Pool of Jacques for the first time... the "minions" at the gate were afraid of us!