Contextualization Without Compromise

Winter 2011

Dear Ministry Partners,

Have you seen any miracles lately? One of our field members just wrote last week, reflecting on the big picture: "In the past thirty years they have come in the tens of thousands, rather than the twos and threes as in the fourteen hundred years before that! Something has really changed. The harvest is underway. Muslims are following Jesus." Praise be to God!

Friend, the member you support and pray for may not have shared any personal ministry breakthroughs recently. Nevertheless, the faithfulness of God's people is part and parcel of the miracle of God drawing all peoples to Himself. Particularly - as we live and work in line with His Word.

There are strong indicators the main direction of some organizations is changing from that of church planting to that of C5 / insider movements. Such highly contextualized approaches (C5 / insider movements) believe the church can be redefined and arise out of the religious identity of Islam. While this is a complex issue, when we searched the scriptures and we disagreed with the core tenets of this belief.

In C5 / insider movement approaches, the church can be redefined and limited to an individual inner experience with Jesus, which is still able to retain much of the religious identity of Islam and its accompanying religious behaviors and practices. The belief that a mature believer can keep his or her religious identity (vs. cultural identity) and that Jesus can be added or mixed into that experience - is different from the belief that following Jesus requires one to choose a single spiritual identity or allegiance. We believe that scripture fully supports the latter, and that the former is not even an option. Rather, the former is something the Holy Spirit is grieved to see His people practicing.

When asked for feedback on the article, "Can one be a Muslim and a Christian at the same time", one of our field workers said: "Our role is not to lead them into Christianity ... but to lead them to Jesus. Their identity is not in Christianity but his place, position, family, and relationship is in Jesus." I couldn't agree more.

I invite you to read, think and pray along with us - that we might each hear our Master's "Well done, good and faithful servant." The fields are white, unto harvest.

For the Master, 

Nelson and Karee Lee

Contextualization is about effective evangelism and discipleship through the language and culture of the people (one hand in God’s hand – understanding His heart; the other in the people’s hand – understanding their heart).

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