Whew- halfway through week 1. This class has been tough- I'm in a cinder block room with no windows, sitting in a little desk just like in high school. At 3:30 in the afternoon, some fresh air would be like, well, a breath of fresh air!
We've spent a great deal of time discussing Muslims today. This has been a fascinating subject as we've looked at the numerous ways that Islamic belief borders on Christian belief. Also, it's compelling to realize that within the Muslim world are the greatest number of unreached people groups, while western churches send fewer missionaries to those countries than anywhere else. I am impressed by groups like Frontiers (the group Robert Mitchell is with, for those who know him) who are committed wholly to going to unreached "frontier" countries where a vast majority of the people are Muslim. God is making some inroads into these places and bringing people to the truth of Jesus Christ. I realize now why the CMA is so focused at this time on redistributing our resources (missionaries) to get people who are working in "reached" countries (Ecuador, Hong Kong, etc.) into countries that are not reached (the Middle East, Northern Africa, India, etc.). Did you know that within the country of India there are over 4,000 DIFFERENT people groups, and the majority of those groups have no significant witness to Christ? It's time we renew our commitment to taking the Good News to every nation. (Note: nation is not a geographical word in the New Testament; it refers to distinct people groups.)
The Muslims know so much about Jesus, but they miss His power and relevance at a crucial point. They deny the death (and therefore resurrection) of Jesus Christ, believing that he was too "special" to God to be allowed to die. Yet we believe that it is just because Jesus is so special to God that he was able to die for us and redeem us from an empty way of life. As missionaries attempt to dialogue with Muslims, they try to keep the focus off of the religious difference and stay focused on who is Jesus and what did he come to do. As we recognize the reality of Jesus' death and resurrection, our faith takes shape. The hinge point of our faith always has been and always will be the resurrected Christ who draws us to himself. Draw near to Him today, and pray for the eyes of the lost to be opened to His plan for salvation.
Journey on, friend. I'd love to hear from you.