Me: What are you doing Prodigal?
Prodigal: I am looking at these pioneer’s and thinking about how courageous they had to be.
Me: I agree they had to focus on the future and not look to the past.
Prodigal: I never thought of it like that, but I agree.
Me: I have a story of a missionary pioneer that I think you will like.
Prodigal: Probably will.
This is from the book Overcoming Spiritual Blindness by James Gills, M.D.
Adoniram Judson was an outstanding pioneer American missionary who lived a remarkable life, taking the Word of God to the Asian country of Burma (now called Myanmar). His monumental achievements include providing the Burmese people with a grammer, a dictionary, and a Bible in their own language. However, these wonderful achievements would never have happened if Judson had not progressed from his spiritual blindness, characterized by rationalism and his faith in the ideas of man, to an authentic faith in God’s supremacy.
Judson was a precocious and gifted child. He was also ambitious. When he went to Brown University, he became enchanted by the academic environment, turning from the traditional religious teachings he received as a child. A fellow student influenced Judson’s decision to embrace deism, causing him to become skeptical of Christianity. Deism is a system of thought that advocates “natural religion,” the seeking of a moral life without recognizing the need for God’s gracious redemption. It also denies the hand of the Creator in the laws of the universe. This sounds like the cult of Darwinism, doesn’t it? After finishing his studies, Judson went on the New York to work as a playwright.
Content for a time with his career and enamored with the powers of his own mind, Judson experienced a dramatic tragedy that would awaken him to divine truth and turn his life and service to God. One night while he slept at an inn, he heard noises coming from the next room that could only mean the man in that room was dying. By morning the “neighbor” was dead, and Judson wondered if the poor fellow had been a skeptic, like himself, or he died a Christian. He was shocked and dismayed to discover that the dead man was the same college friend who had influenced Judson’s decision to renounce Christianity. From his sound childhood religious upbringing, Judson now realized that unless his friend had changed his philosophy recently, he was lost forever. In that stark moment, Judson also realized that he would be lost as well if he did not change. He promptly returned home, entered seminary, and eventually became a great missionary. Adoniram Judson’s spiritual eyes had been opened to the fragile, fallible nature of human intelligence, and to the sin of granting it stature above God’s wisdom.
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Jennifer Van Allen