Witnessing to Muslims: Effective Methods For Christians

C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

This topic evolved from a discussion in another thread I started. I wanted to compile ways Christians can reach Muslims with love and respect. In doing so, I hope we can discover ways to witness to them without turning them off. Elsewhere, Jan posed, a challenge in stating:

@Jan said: "There's also a cultural aspect. In Middle Eastern culture, people defend their positions with zeal and passion. If you don't show the same, even if your arguments are the better ones, you're not going to convince many. You still gotta do it with love and respect..."

Any insights and/or tips? CM

Comments

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,831

    Just preach the Gospel. Love them and preach the truth.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    @reformed said:
    Just preach the Gospel. Love them and preach the truth.

    Welcome Reformed,
    What you said is the broad goal. This thread is to tease out the methods and details in getting there. e.g. strategies, types of preaching, building relationships, sensitives, etc.

    In short, fulfilling the mandate of Matt 28:18-19. We want to drill down in outreach to Muslims. Do you see a necessity it or they're not worth it? CM

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345

    @C_M_ said:
    This topic evolved from a discussion in another thread I started. I wanted to compile ways Christians can reach Muslims with love and respect. In doing so, I hope we can discover ways to witness to them without turning them off. Elsewhere, Jan posed, a challenge in stating:

    @Jan said: "There's also a cultural aspect. In Middle Eastern culture, people defend their positions with zeal and passion. If you don't show the same, even if your arguments are the better ones, you're not going to convince many. You still gotta do it with love and respect..."

    Any insights and/or tips? CM

    If we preach the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for our sins, the Holy Spirit does the rest. He opens even the hardest heart. And then we follow through with the message of repentance and baptism for all who believe. This is a supernatural work of God. All we need to do is keep the message pure and true to scripture.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,831

    @C_M_ said:

    @reformed said:
    Just preach the Gospel. Love them and preach the truth.

    Welcome Reformed,
    What you said is the broad goal. This thread is to tease out the methods and details in getting there. e.g. strategies, types of preaching, building relationships, sensitives, etc.

    In short, fulfilling the mandate of Matt 28:18-19. We want to drill down in outreach to Muslims. Do you see a necessity it or they're not worth it? CM

    I'm saying we overthink this. Preach the Gospel. It is not our job to save them, that is the Holy Spirit. Preach the Gospel and preach it unapologetically.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    @reformed said:

    I'm saying we overthink this. Preach the Gospel. It is not our job to save them, that is the Holy Spirit. Preach the Gospel and preach it unapologetically.

    Mr. Reformed,
    A part of going is to plan, target, study, prepare, survey, etc. He who fails to plan plans to fail. Planning doesn't rob the Holy Spirit of its job. CM

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,831

    @C_M_ said:

    @reformed said:

    I'm saying we overthink this. Preach the Gospel. It is not our job to save them, that is the Holy Spirit. Preach the Gospel and preach it unapologetically.

    Mr. Reformed,
    A part of going is to plan, target, study, prepare, survey, etc. He who fails to plan plans to fail. Planning doesn't rob the Holy Spirit of its job. CM

    Do we see planning in the NT or just proclaiming the Gospel?

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    Mr. Reformed,
    A part of going is to plan, target, study, prepare, survey, etc. He who fails to plan plans to fail. Planning doesn't rob the Holy Spirit of its job. CM

    Do we see planning in the NT or just proclaiming the Gospel?

    Mr. Reformed,

    Yes! We see order, methods, planning, and strategy:

    1. Luke 10:1-- “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.” (KJV)
    2. Mark 6:7-- “And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits.” (KJV)
    3. 1 Corinthians 14:29-- “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.”
    4. 1 Corinthians 14:27-- “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.” KJV
    5. Luke 24:49 -- "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."
    6. Matt 3:3-5 -- "For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan."
    7. Acts 1:4 -- "And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me."
    8. Paul Missionary journeys.
    9. Luke 12:22-25 -- "And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
    10. Matt. 28:16-19 -- "Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
    11. 1 Corinthians 14:37 & 40-- "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord...** Let all things be done decently and in order**.

    Need I say more? CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 585

    @C_M_ said:
    I hope we can discover ways to witness to them without turning them off...
    Any insights and/or tips? CM

    Great Question! Here is my two cents/Yen:

    I think that communicative contextualization is highly important for Christians to simply "preach the Gospel". Take for example an English speaker simply preaching the Gospel to an individual who does not know English, or does not know it well. Would that really be effective? Could one real claim to have preached the Gospel in such a situation? (this actually happens a lot in the country I reside in) Such an example makes clear that one needs to know the language of his/her audience in order to effectively really the message of the gospel.

    Sometimes to simply preach the gospel one needs to make sure that his/ her audience really understands what he/she thinks he/she is simply preaching.

    For example, before, someone I know became a Christian whenever people simply preached "Jesus" he thought Jesus was the son of Zeus or Greek god. Why? partly because a Missionary (or evangelical individual) had told him that Jesus name meant 'God saves' but the only name of a god that sounded anything like Jesus was Zeus. He also thought that Christ was a last name. No one ever stopped to explain that by 'Christ' they were preaching was Ha- Moshiach(the Messiah) and that Jesus was an English transliteration of a Koine Greek transliteration of the name 'Yeshua' a shorten form of the name Yehoshua. The connection to the Hebrew Bible and the God of Israel wasn't relayed at all.

    Think of "1 Corinthians 9:20~21". Paul was already Jewish by birth so what would it really mean for him to become a Jew in order to preach the Gospel? What did it mean for Paul to become like those without the law? Did, that mean that he went around breaking the commandments? Personal I believe it meant that it means that Paul relayed the Gospel in terms that his particular audience could understand.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,831

    @C_M_ said:

    Mr. Reformed,
    A part of going is to plan, target, study, prepare, survey, etc. He who fails to plan plans to fail. Planning doesn't rob the Holy Spirit of its job. CM

    Do we see planning in the NT or just proclaiming the Gospel?

    Mr. Reformed,

    Yes! We see order, methods, planning, and strategy:

    1. Luke 10:1-- “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.” (KJV)
    2. Mark 6:7-- “And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits.” (KJV)
    3. 1 Corinthians 14:29-- “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.”
    4. 1 Corinthians 14:27-- “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.” KJV
    5. Luke 24:49 -- "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."
    6. Matt 3:3-5 -- "For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan."
    7. Acts 1:4 -- "And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me."
    8. Paul Missionary journeys.
    9. Luke 12:22-25 -- "And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
    10. Matt. 28:16-19 -- "Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
    11. 1 Corinthians 14:37 & 40-- "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord...** Let all things be done decently and in order**.

    Need I say more? CM

    I think you and I mean two different things when we discuss planning vs proclaim the Gospel.

    @Mitchell said:

    @C_M_ said:
    I hope we can discover ways to witness to them without turning them off...
    Any insights and/or tips? CM

    Great Question! Here is my two cents/Yen:

    I think that communicative contextualization is highly important for Christians to simply "preach the Gospel". Take for example an English speaker simply preaching the Gospel to an individual who does not know English, or does not know it well. Would that really be effective? Could one real claim to have preached the Gospel in such a situation? (this actually happens a lot in the country I reside in) Such an example makes clear that one needs to know the language of his/her audience in order to effectively really the message of the gospel.

    Sometimes to simply preach the gospel one needs to make sure that his/ her audience really understands what he/she thinks he/she is simply preaching.

    For example, before, someone I know became a Christian whenever people simply preached "Jesus" he thought Jesus was the son of Zeus or Greek god. Why? partly because a Missionary (or evangelical individual) had told him that Jesus name meant 'God saves' but the only name of a god that sounded anything like Jesus was Zeus. He also thought that Christ was a last name. No one ever stopped to explain that by 'Christ' they were preaching was Ha- Moshiach(the Messiah) and that Jesus was an English transliteration of a Koine Greek transliteration of the name 'Yeshua' a shorten form of the name Yehoshua. The connection to the Hebrew Bible and the God of Israel wasn't relayed at all.

    Think of "1 Corinthians 9:20~21". Paul was already Jewish by birth so what would it really mean for him to become a Jew in order to preach the Gospel? What did it mean for Paul to become like those without the law? Did, that mean that he went around breaking the commandments? Personal I believe it meant that it means that Paul relayed the Gospel in terms that his particular audience could understand.

    Yes I agree with this. Obviously you wouldn't preach in English to someone who speaks Arabic only, I assumed for this discussion that was obvious.

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 585

    I am glad you found the 1st example I gave to be obvious, however, the 2nd example is one that may not be so obvious to everyone.

    The 2nd example is one that actually happened between English speakers and is an issue of cross-cultural miscommunication.

    People who share (or seem to share) the same language may not necessarily share the same understandings, knowledge, inferences, culture, and backgrounds.

    So, in the 2nd example, when the well-meaning English speaking Christian felt he was sharing the Gospel, he may not have realized that there was a large gap in understanding between what he thought he was saying and what was actually (but unintentionally) being communicated.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    @Mitchell said:
    I am glad you found the 1st example I gave to be obvious, however, the 2nd example is one that may not be so obvious to everyone.

    The 2nd example is one that actually happened between English speakers and is an issue of cross-cultural miscommunication.

    People who share (or seem to share) the same language may not necessarily share the same understandings, knowledge, inferences, culture, and backgrounds.

    So, in the 2nd example, when the well-meaning English speaking Christian felt he was sharing the Gospel, he may not have realized that there was a large gap in understanding between what he thought he was saying and what was actually (but unintentionally) being communicated.

    Mitch,
    You help make the basic point of Preaching the Gospel. There must be thought, wisdom, knowledge in the planning, as well as, the doing, especially across culture. You will find readings on "Critical Contextualization" helpful. Many people have the "zeal without knowledge" and do more harm, than spread the "Gospel."

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 585

    Thanks for the comments CM. I am not a missionary but I lived outside of the country of my birth for about 17 plus years. My time outside of my country and native language have lead me to read up on cross-cultural communication, Intercultural communication, and contextualization as means to survive, live, and communicate. I think you are right readings on "Critical Contextualization" are very helpful.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    Mitch,
    Missionary or not, you have a rich opportunity to reach across culture, to others, for Jesus. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 585

    @C_M_ said:
    Missionary or not, you have a rich opportunity to reach across culture, to others, for Jesus. CM

    Thanks, C_M_ I am actually struggling now with if and how I should go about outreach. My current job leaves me little time and energy for me to do much of anything, else.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    Mitch,
    No problem. There are many ways to witness for Jesus. The best way is to be a "Living Epistle". Live what you believe. Build relationships, help those in need as you encounter them, and be a good neighbor. As you do these things, you will be given opportunities to witness verbally with another and others. God will inspire and guide. CM

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    Mitchell,
    If you're really serious about witnessing, consider the suggestions and resource below:

                                Growing Plans for Witnessing 
    

    SIMPLE WAYS TO SHARE YOUR FAITH

    MAJOR EVENTS STATEMENT

    1. Birthdays
    2. Christmas
    3. Thanksgiving
    4. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
    5. Graduation
    6. Weddings and Engagements
    7. Birth or Adoption of a Baby
    8. Moving to a New Home or Apartment
    9. Easter

    IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

    1. New Neighbors Barbecue
    2. Welcoming Tea
    3. Block Party
    4. Neighborly Giving
    5. Agape Feast
    6. Children’s club

    MAKING A PUBLIC

    1. Rent a Billboard
    2. Write Your Leaders
    3. Sing in the Park

    TIMES OF DIFFICULTY

    1. Pray for Discernment
    2. Pray for a Spiritual Birth
    3. At the Hospital
    4. In Financial Crisis or Loss
    5. In Grief
    6. In Breakups of Relationships

    CELEBRATION

    1. Making Things Special
    2. Party Alternatives
    3. Celebrating Spiritual Growth
    4. Bible-Style Celebrations
    5. At Home

    "We see therefore that New Testament evangelism does not rest on fleshly ambition, a "winning personality”, oratorical skills, or crowd psychology. Evangelism as Jesus intended it does involve natural talents, but all of them as sanctified tools under the Lord’s controlling Spirit."

    Adapt to the culture and be a tool in God's hand. CM

    SOURCE:

    From: Roberta Hormas, 52 Simple Ways to Share Your Faith, 1991

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    What keeps Muslims from accepting Christ is that Christianity teaches that Jesus is divine as well as human and that He died on the cross. Muslims believe that Jesus was merely a human being and He did not die on the cross. This is a major obstacle to them. We can't deny the truth. If you think that is bad, consider that there more thorny issues to address.

    There are six obstacles that prevent Muslims from accepting Christianity:

    • (1) according to Islam, the Quran is more authoritative than the Bible.
    • (2) Islam denies the deity and the crucifixion of Christ.
    • (3) A person can convert to Islam but not from Islam.
    • (4) To convert to Christianity is to become an apostate from the faith of Muslims and a traitor to one's country.
    • (5) Islam is a religion that permeates all of life and is practiced more in public than in private.
    • (6) Islam'still has the memory of the Crusades.

    How do we proceed? Understand this much: An attack against Muhammad the prophet and the Quran makes Muslims angry because Muhammad and the Quran are very sacred to Muslims. Any thoughts? CM

    SOURCE:

    -- J. Herbert Kane, A Concise History of the Christian World Mission: A Panoramic View of Missions from Pentecost to the Present (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992), 114-17.

    -- Robert Morey, The Islamic Invasion (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1992).

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