Insider Movement: diagnostic questions for churches

Apologetic Christianity

Premise:

“Evangelical Missionaries” with ‘good intentions”, islamize the Gospel or preach a corrupted gospel to Muslims. This connotation is called ” Insiders”. Often Pastors really rooted in the Scripture do not know about this parallel reality and trust all missionaries working among Muslims. Here the tool! The Bible says,  1 John 4.1: Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Diagnostic questions for churches assessing their missions programs ( Author: Bill Nikides)
1. Do you consider heresy a possibility in Muslim ministry? Are you aware that most heresy involves subtle changes to the identity and work of Christ?
2. Do you believe that Jesus always pre-existed in heaven as God the Son and not as an impersonal Logos or Wisdom?
3. When did Jesus become the Son of God?
4. Who made Jesus?
5. Do you refer to Jesus as the Son of God or only as a special prophet or special person such as a prince in your teaching, literature and Bible translations?
6. Do you ever proclaim Jesus as Lord in the field or do you only use terms that mean less than God to Muslims?
7. Must believers acknowledge that Jesus is fully God and fully man? Is the belief that he is fully God and fully man part of the gospel?
8. Do you think of the Trinity as three forms of one God?
9. Is belief in the Trinity necessary for salvation or is it a secondary teaching that occurs at some point after a Muslim’s conversion?
10. Do you have a written biblical basis for your ministry?
11. Is Muhammad a prophet of God?
12. Is it legitimate to confess Muhammad as the prophet of God?
13. Should believers call Muhammad a prophet in any sense other than that which is defined by either the Bible or the Qur’an?
14. Do you consider the Qur’an a source of revelation about the Father and the Son? In other words, does the Qur’an move us toward the God of the Bible?
15. Does the Qur’an describe Jesus accurately? Is the Isa of the Qur’an the Jesus of the Bible?
16. Does the Qur’an affirm the crucifixion or resurrection of Jesus?
17. Do you know that Christianity and Islam have divergent and contradictory world views? Can you describe them?
18. Do you personally affirm the Muslim Creed, the shahadah or do you encourage Muslim background believers to affirm it?
19. If you do recited the shahadah in the mosque, do you use the original words or do you quietly substitute biblical words in their place?
20. Do you perform the Muslim prayers in the mosque?
21. Do you claim to be a Muslim when you are with Muslims? Do Muslims think you are a Muslim? Do they think you are a Christian or something else?
22. How many holy books do you tell Muslims there are?
23. How many books are there in the New Testament? Should Muslim Idiom Translations have all 27 books or only the four Gospels and Acts because the other books are considered Hadith?
24. Are the Gospels four original texts or one book that eventually was corrupted into four sometimes contradictory texts?
25. When you say you are church planting, are you planting churches/Jamaats or are you creating subsets of the mosque or other communities?
26. Since there is no messianic hope in Islam, do you realize there cannot legitimately be messianic Muslims?
27. Do you teach that there is one Church, the body of Christ, visible, historic and universal and that it is characterized by the right teaching of biblical doctrine and administration of the sacraments?
28. Do you teach converts that their most important identity is as part of the visible church in the world, not the mosque or ummah, and, therefore, they are accountable to their worldwide brothers and sisters in Christ?
29. Is it good, bad, wise or unwise for followers of Christ to be members of local mosque councils or other Muslim organisations?
30. Is it ok for followers of Jesus to participate in Muslim practices such as Korban (animal sacrifice); observing Ramadan (the fast), going on Hajj (pilgrimmage to Mecca), or attending Islamic prayers for the dead?
31. Should believers attend mosque?
32. Should new believers identify themselves as Christians, wait for a few months or continue to refer to themselves as Muslims of some kind?
33. Should new believers think of themselves as Christians or as a new kind of Muslim or something else?
34. How do you define church?
35. Is a Muslim follower of Jesus a kind of Muslim?
36. What do national Christians from a Muslim background think of your work? Do you conceal your work from them? Do they claim that your ministry helps or hurts them?
37. What is your formal relationship? Do the people you work with meet and fellowship with Christians or only other Muslims?
38. If we support your ministry, can we visit the local communities you work in and not just a central location separated from them?
39. Can we interview insiders that are not the leaders with our own translator?
40. What do local Muslims think of you and your work?
41. Do local Muslims think local followers of Jesus are Muslims, Christians, or something else?
42. How do you know?
43. Who trained you and how were you trained?
44. Do you have theological or just missiological/linguistic training?
45. Are Christianity and Islam religions? Are they two separate faith systems or branches from the same tree?
46. What is a religion?
47. Is genuine faith connected to a particular religion or is it embodied in any religion, like yeast in the dough?
48. What is the gospel?
49. What is the relationship of the gospel to the visible, historical, organized church?
50. Is the organized church a Western, cultural expression?
51. Can a mosque be church?
52. What makes a church a church? What should be the relationship of a church to a parachurch agency in the field?
53. Muslims are offended by the phrases “Father” and “Son” in the New Testament. Is it advisable to replace these “biological” terms with something equivalent but not as offensive?
54. Is it a good practice for a new follower of Jesus to pray the Muslim prayers, but replace the traditional Muslim language with Christ-centred words.
55. Are you contextualizing what you do for us since we might not really understand what you do? In other words, are you changing the words you normally use to describe yourself in the field from the words that you use with us? Some of these words can include: Word of God, Gospel, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, church, Bible study, church member, baptism, Lord’s Supper, pastor, elder, deacon etc.

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