Sunday, December 18, 2011

Compromised Jesus: The "Insider Movement" Creates "Spiritual Schizophrenics"


"Schizophrenia" - etymologically, "to split" (skhizein;σχίζειν) "the mind" (phren; φρήν).

Following a few links I discovered the book Chrislam - I'd like to read it. It gets excellent reviews by scholars I admire. It deals with what in Christian missions is called the "Insider Movement," as this strategy relates to Islam. Apparently some missionaries are promoting the idea that, when a Muslim converts to Christianity, they should remain a Muslim. Having last Sunday preached on 2 Cor. 6:14-18, the very idea of this troubles me.

This is about the perennial missionary dilemma between "cultural sensitivity" and "syncretism." For example, I've taken my guitar into bars and played and sang about Jesus. For me this is incarnating the Gospel, like the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. But I didn't get annihilated with the bar's patrons. For me the reception of the Real Jesus brought me out of alcohol abuse, never to return.

The Real Jesus-follower is "in the world" but not "of the world." New Testament scholar Darrell Bock writes: "The emotional line between cultural sensitivity and syncretism is thin, but the theological line between them is great. One (cultural sensitivity) is important to maintain, the other (syncretism) is crucial to avoid."

Moses Gbenu reviews Chrislam: "The insider movement does not produce disciples of Jesus Christ but spiritual schizophrenics. The Insider Movement is not inside Islam and is not inside the Gospel. It is, in fact, more an Islamic movement than Christian. It is another form of Islam. It is a perversion and disservice to Christ. Those who have the interest of Muslims at heart should read this book again and again."

William Lane Craig states: "The critical question concerning the so-called insider approach to missions is not the pragmatic question of what works but the theological question of what is essential to the New Testament Gospel."

Surely there are difficult choices to be made when it comes to bringing the Gospel to non-believers.

Surely non-believers will not want our Compromised Jesus if we present them with a schizophrenic situation.