If you’ve been part of the Christian subculture for long enough, you’ve probably noticed the staggering amount of oddball Jesus Junk we manage to produce. Take your pick: Testamints (a perennial favorite target of skeptics everywhere, and yet, strangely tasty), Jesus playing hockey figurines (but would He have brawled during the heyday of the Wings/Avs rivalry?), Bible snack bars or this must-have design statement for your home (magically painted in light, no less). If you’ve got some time on your hands, Marko has been handing out Jesus Junk awards for awhile now.
Most of the time, I can either enjoy or dismiss these Jesus junky items with ironic detachment — I mean, seriously, how can you not appreciate the irony of “armor of God” pajamas that look like Roman soldier outfits straight out of a Passion play?
However, what can we make of a board game called Missionary Conquest? It sounds like the derisive kind of satire that those outside the church use to criticize Christians:
The object of “Missionary Conquest” is to establish as many missions around the world as possible, while racking up blessing points. Along the way, you try to avoid temptation and bad stewardship. If you get kicked out of a country, you lose bonus points and if you’re martyred, you’re out of the game, but you gain 150 blessing points
While many followers of Christ seek to live out and participate in the mission of God in their everyday communities with humility, love and respect, a game like this painfully reinforces the misperception that our faith in Jesus is colonial, domineering and/or oppressive.