This year at the SBC Annual Meeting, I was able to talk to Dr. Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Seminary. I have long admired this man ever since I heard him preach in chapel while I was visiting SEBTS; he is in my Top 5 favorite preachers (David Platt, C.J. Mahaney, Russ Moore, Danny Aiken, Chuck Henderson). I could list many reasons while I admire this man, but one of the reasons is his desire for missions. Recently, Southeastern published a book containing 5 sermons from Dr. Aiken where he used 5 missionary lives to illustrate his expository sermons. As I was talking to him at the Convention, he gave me a copy of this book, Five Who Changed the World, and was telling me about it. He told one particular story about Jim Elliot, and while telling it, he had to pause to collect his thoughts as his eyes slightly watered.
Sunday, John Piper blogged this exact same story on Jim Elliot. Rather than describing it to you, I have copied and pasted from his blog for you to read:
What do the supreme court ruling on guns and the martyrdom of missionaries have to do with each other?
Noël and I watched Beyond Gates of Splendor, the documentary version of End of the Spear, the story of the martyrdom of Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, and Nate Saint in Ecuador in 1956. That same day we heard that the Supreme Court decided in favor of the right of Americans to keep firearms at home for self-defense.
Here’s the connection. The missionaries had guns when they were speared to death. One of them shot the gun into the air, it appears, as he was killed, rather than shooting the natives. They had agreed to do this. The reason was simple and staggeringly Christlike:
The natives are not ready for heaven. We are. [emphasis mine]
I suspect the same could be said for almost anyone who breaks into my house. There are other reasons why I have never owned a firearm and do not have one in my house. But that reason moves me deeply. I hope you don’t use your economic stimulus check to buy a gun. Better to find some missionaries like this and support them.
Oh that we could all have the heart for the lost like Jim, John, and Danny . . .