WARNING: A sinister condition may lurk in your home without your knowledge. You need to be aware of this menace so you can fortify yourself and your loved ones against it. It has been known to rob people of their children and grandchildren, divert money from their savings, cause them to travel to far-off places, tempt them to eat unusual things and commit them to relationships with people who speak different languages and, in some extreme cases, do not shower daily.
This condition, known to experts as C.M.Z. (contagious missionary zeal) spreads rapidly and is easily detected in those it affects. Victims tend to demonstrate predictable but varied traits and behaviour patterns, such as love for God; frequent attendance at church functions; uncontrollable and often protracted fits of evangelism; high degrees of motivation and commitment; concern for others; “colour-blindness” and a willingness to ingest substances generally considered inedible.
You can take precautions that will greatly reduce your family’s chances of becoming victimized by C.M.Z., though we must advise there is no guarantee of prevention and no known antidote once the affliction has taken hold. In certain notable cases, C.M.Z. has proven to be fatal. Taking the following steps, however, will go a long way toward ensuring that you and those you love are never affected:
- Do not read the Bible, as you may get the impression that missions is God’s pet project.
- Never, under any circumstances, invite missionaries into your home. Your children will never be the same.
- Stay away from missionary biographies, as they will infect you with a deep burden for lost people around the world.
- Boycott all church missions conferences and other missionary presentations. You may catch a vision for some kind of personal missions involvement.
- If you are currently praying for missionaries, stop! There is no way to predict what God may do in your heart if you persist in this activity.
- Never, ever offer money, goods or services to any missionaries or mission agencies. You may find that you never miss them, and you may seriously affect your accountant’s mental state.
- Do not correspond with missionaries for any reason, as you may develop an affinity for them and their work and become irreversibly entangled in what God is doing through them.
Anyone employing the above measures can be reasonably sure of escaping the devastating effects of C.M.Z. However, as previously stated, there are no guarantees. For instance, one can never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit…
This article first appeared in 2003 in WorldView, a publication of Biblical Ministries Worldwide www.biblicalministries.org