Lachlan, subbing at Suburban Blight, writes about the cargo cults of Vanutu, and how it has lead to recent conflict there following the converson of one of the last leaders to Christanity. (Perhaps by the Melanesian Brotherhood, an Anglican religious order, I wonder? They’re not afraid to put themselves in harm’s way for the Gospel.)
Cargo cults practice a kind of magic, the benefit being the cargo that rained on them like manna during WWII when military supplies were being dropped from American planes. (Didn’t every thirtysomething read about them in the Scholastic Readers in grade school? My partner had never heard of them when I made a “cargo cult” pun a few weeks ago.)
Of course, this should give any Christian (missionary or otherwise) pause. How often do we pray to God and expect a quid pro quo? A cargo cult mentality isn’t unique to the South Pacific.
Just a thought.