Chau and the Sentinelese: Discussion Questions

Here is an excerpt from an article published by Plain News that could bring a larger perspective to the sacrificial death of John Allen Chau.

Since many people who don't have the courage of Chau are being quite critical of him, we think it may be helpful to raise some good questions.

  • Laying aside the questions of whether Chau wisely approached the Sentinelese, would I be willing to give my life for a small group of people who have never heard the Good News of the Kingdom of God?
  • Should a Christian disobey a government’s rule to avoid contact with a people group, if the law is based upon the fear of spreading disease to people who are likely not immunized against common diseases? How should Christians view the insensitivity of Europeans who brought diseases to America and other continents, and wiped out large numbers of the native populations?
  • Not only did he break the law himself – and there are many times that Christians including the Apostles have done this – but he implicated other people in his lawbreaking. Is that justifiable?
  • Is the goal of preserving a culture a good goal, when thinking of limiting contact with uncontacted people groups? Or, as some people feel, is it rather cruel to keep a small people group isolated from the benefits of modern medicines, better tools, and higher quality foods?
  • Is keeping outsiders away from an uncontacted tribe similar to keeping a group of monkeys or other animals in a pen, so that others can marvel at them?
  • If someone is called of God to a specific task, should he assume that all subsequent choices he makes in fulfilling that call are also from God? Does God always or usually use other Christians to help a person fulfill the call in His timing? Consider [Saint] Patrick, who felt called as a young man to evangelize in Ireland, but waited and prepared for this work for about 30 years until his church blessed him to go.
  • Can methods other than the “brave missionary with a Bible under his arm" technique be used in approaching unreached people groups? For example, could drones be used to drop gifts or pictographs for a while, before making contact? What would happen if a team of dedicated, accountable, and praying Christians would seek the will of God in finding the most effective way of approaching a people group that are hostile to outsiders?

These questions are to stimulate our thoughts; not provide absolute answers. While Chau’s death may look like a failure, one positive thing it has accomplished is to draw people’s attention to this little people group. Previously unknown, many people around the world will likely be praying for the Sentinelese now. Will you join them in prayer?

Used by permission of Ernest Eby, founder of Plain News and a member of the call center team at GospelBillboards.org (CAM's Billboard Evangelism Program). Ernest and his wife Cathy are guest hosts and property caretakers here at the ABT base.

Read the complete article from Plain News.

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  • “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
  • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things.” Luke 24:47, 48
  • “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
  • “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
  • “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:6
  • “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
  • “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” Mark 11:17
  • “Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8
  • “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.” Revelation 7:9
  • “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25
  • “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
  • “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” Psalm 22:27
  • “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numbers 14:21
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:3, 4
  • “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
  • “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.” 1 Kings 8:60
  • “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
  • “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9
  • “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11
  • "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
  • "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
  • "You are worthy. . .; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God." Revelation 5:9, 10