Ethnocentrism is when we evaluate other cultures according to the standards and customs of our own culture. In other words, we think that everyone else should be like us, and, if they aren’t, they are different and wrong!
Seeing the world through our own lens is hard not to do, and no nation is probably more ethnocentric than America. But, as shocking as it may seem, North America has one of the smallest populations by percentage of all the continents of the world.
According to Wikipedia, which takes its figures from the UN…
- Asia – 4.6 million people (60%)
- Africa – 1.2 million people (16%)
- Europe – 738 thousand people (10%)
- North America – 579 thousand people (8%)
- South America – 422 thousand people (6%)
- Oceania – 38 thousand people (less than 1%)
- The continent of Asia contains almost 2/3 of the world’s population.
- Europe, North America, and South America combined don’t even comprise 1/4 of the world’s population.
- We who live in places like America should have a huge focus on the rest of the world.
- If we truly realize that the gospel is for all people, we should be at all surprised if 60% of our efforts go into reaching Asia, 16% into reaching Africa, 10% into reaching Europe, 8% into reaching North America, and 6% into reaching South America.
Christ commanded us to be “witnesses unto him both in Jerusalem, and in Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” The Great Commission is not our city and our country first; it is both, meaning simultaneously, at the same time!
What are you doing to reach the whole world with the gospel? How have you been unbalanced in your focus? Are you doing enough to reach the whole world with the gospel?