This week, we’ve been hearing about many different beliefs found throughout the world that contradict the truth of God and His Word.
One such belief has been called “the Cargo Cult” and is in reality simply materialism. The ultimate goal is the “cargo” or the wealth of possessions. This comes in many forms in every culture around the world! In America we have the “American Dream”, which is what? Yeah! To get what “they” have! Here in PNG it isn’t much different. Other countries seem to have more. Other people seem to have more. So how can we find the “secret” to getting all that they have? And our materialism combines with other beliefs to create a belief system that conflicts with what God has said. God said that our “treasures” (what things we hold most important in our lives) ought to be of eternal things not temporary and earthly. He also warns us that we cannot serve two masters—we cannot serve Him and serve materialism. He also tells us to serve one another and to “prefer one another” over ourselves. We cannot do this if we are consumed with getting all we can get for ourselves. He tells us to “rejoice always” which we cannot do if we are always thinking about what “they” have and what I want. And it’s so easy to go there! “If only…” is a very dangerous statement!
However, this week we heard an amazing story about one of the bush churches! This materialism saturated several of their long-held beliefs. Just a few years ago, when the missionaries first began in the village, the people believed that if they got close to the missionaries and listened to their teachings they might be able to learn the secret of getting the “cargo.” This year, at a teacher training seminar that brought together many different church groups and cultural groups, they saw for themselves that the body of Christ is bigger than the area they know of! As the people gathered, one of the missionary wives noticed a growing pile of bags and odds-and-ends on one side of the village and asked about it. “Oh!” they said, “Last year we had heard about a tribe that is many hours walk from the road and from town and it is very hard for them to get what they need. The believers up there really don’t have much of anything and getting what they need is difficult for them. So we spread the word that we are collecting things to take up there to them!” They had a mountain of bags containing clothing, blankets, shoes, cooking containers and dishes; there were bush knives and shovels. One boy had been given an acoustic guitar by one of the missionary women. He approached her that day and asked if she would permit him to give it to these believers. “They don’t have any instruments to sing with. They still only have drums.” (Of course she said yes!)
This is a changed people with changed hearts! Possessions no longer motivate them as they once did! Instead, they demonstrated that the love of God now fills them! What a mighty God we serve! Praise the Lord for the beauty of their sacrifice!