Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Perspectives Week 9... The Task Remaining

Perspectives Week 9… The Task Remaining

So I’ve taken another break from my 14 blog series recapping the 14 weeks of our Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class. Today I’ll be recapping week 9, The Task Remaining, which is the last of the four lessons in the Historical Perspective section of the workbook (hoorah!). Our instructor for week 9 was David Cashin, and was one of Jeremy’s and my favorite instructors of the 14 weeks. His ministry and missions have been concentrated with Muslims. He is currently a professor at CIU in Columbia, SC. David told a variety of hilarious stories throughout the two and a half hours, and his own testimony, which was thrilling.

A lot of the material that David taught was statistical, on the “task remaining”. I’m not going to focus on that, because if you’re interested you can do the research and look up statistics on the internet. What I found most insightful from my time listening to him was his plethora of knowledge on Muslim culture, beliefs, etc. and since that it was stood out to me more, that is what I will share.

David said that Muslims don’t have a personal relationship with God, because their god is absent and removed. It’s more of an authoritarian structured religion. The book of law (The Koran) was given, and now they follow those laws. Their prayer is not conversational, it’s all formulaic. He suggested that in evangelizing Muslims we should always take every opportunity to pray with them and to introduce them to a relationship with God. He noted that since the system is works based there isn’t much security that your deeds have been good enough to be accepted. The only way to guarantee this is to be a suicide bomber (or to give your life in battle). David asked the question “How much of Muslim culture can someone keep and still profess Christ as Lord?”. (This has been a controversial question in Muslim missions). His answer was most of it, just as we can keep must of our culture, but he noted that they couldn’t call Mohammad a prophet. They can continue to dress, eat, and carry on with most of their culture (just as any other culture would do when newly converted), but not carry with them anything in direct contradiction to the Gospel. To paraphrase one thing that Doug Dorman said one of the first few times I met him, we don’t need to make Muslims become Americans in order to become Christians. In other words, we don’t need to first make them adhere to our cultural standards.

So now, your mission, if you choose to accept it... approach the Muslim people whose paths you cross and ask them if you can pray with them. Or David said that he has NEVER been turned down when asking a Muslim if they wanted to study the Bible with him... so give that a try also.


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