Thoughts on “Muslim Evangelism”

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visuals

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After my trip out to Indonesia and Malaysia, God really spoke to me about my ignorance about the Islamic faith and the Muslim people. It is interesting that no matter how many theological classes you have taken in seminary about world religions, there is a difference between head knowledge and practical knowledge.

I received Phil Parshall book by one of my former HMCC members who is now back in Indonesia (the largest Muslim populated country in the world). Parshall, in some ways is like the godfather of Muslim missions.

I have read a lot of academic books on the Islam faith, but for some reason this book was different. There is a huge difference when a person writes a book academically with just head knowledge compared to when a person writes a book from years of missionary experience. I was able to notice the difference right away.

This book was written in 2003 so in some ways it is still fresh. But so much has happened in the Islamic landscape especially with what is going on in Iraq. This is a must read for anyone who has a burden for Muslims or who wants to do Muslim missions in the future.

The major issue that Parshall covers is the issue of contextualization. In various seminaries and missions organizations there are some theological discussions about how to do evangelism in the Muslim world. Not everyone agrees with the various methods, but the importance of it is beginning to bring people together for dialoguing and strategizing.

God used this book to open up my eyes to the Muslim worldview and how there are so many different bridges Christians can make that might be easily overlooked. This book also exposed some of my own prejudices of how ought to be when it comes to witnessing to Muslims.

After giving some more thought and reflection, one thing that the Lord impressed on my heart is that God needs to raise up a special generation of Christians in order to evangelize to the Muslim world. When you look into the Muslim’s worldview of holiness, you start to realize why they hate the West so much. Also, when they look at Christians and how little reverence they have for their Christian God it is almost laughable for the Muslim.

Due to their works mentality in their relationship with Allah, it is hard for them to look at a Christian who preach grace that does not produce holiness.

I am wondering if the type of Christians who will be able to minister to the Muslims will be people who are radical in their faith (even willing to die for it), live in holiness and possess an unconditional love that cannot be explained by human terms.

But the problem that I see that there is a smug current that flows in the Church in the United States. There are people who disguise their comfortable and self-made Christianity under the banner of grace. Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book, “Cost of Discipleship” explains,

“Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace. Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian ‘conception’ of God…
Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything they say, and so everything can remain as it was before. ‘All for sin could not atone.’ Well, then, let the Christian live like the rest of the world, let him model himself on the world’s standards in every sphere of life, and not presumptuously aspire to live a different life under grace from his old life under sin. That was the heresy of the enthusiasts…
The call goes forth, and is at once followed by the response of obedience… Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. It remains an abstract idea, a myth which has a place for the Fatherhood of God, but omits Christ as the living Son… There is trust in God, but no following of Christ…
He wants to follow, but feels obliged to insist on his own terms to the level of human understanding. The disciple places himself at the Master’s disposal, but at the same time retains the right to dictate his own terms. But then discipleship is no longer discipleship, but a program of our own to be arranged to suit ourselves, and to be judged in accordance with the standards of rational ethic.”

It is my prayer that God will raise up radical Christian who are committed to radical discipleship. This is the only way we will be able to gain respect and a hearing from the Muslims. Lord, may this be the standard and not the anomaly!

Face Mask Fellowship

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

I realized the power Christina has over my life. Last night, Christina somehow convinced me to try putting on a facial mask. At first I was very resistant because I have always associated guys putting on a facial mask with – well, I can’t say it on this blog :-)

When I saw it as a means of connection and good time of fellowship, I caved in. As the mask cream started to dry, I was shocked to feel the tightness on my skin. Christina made it clear to me that I could not laugh or move my facial muscle because it would crack and not work as well.

After rinsing off the mask, I was pleasantly surprised to feel the difference on my skin. But for the record, I don’t think I will be doing this on a regular basis. Oh, what some of the things people go through to take care of their skin!
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My facial mask mug shot – I still can’t believe I did it.
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I violated the facial mask rules by laughing… seriously, no shame.

Thoughts on “The Difference Maker”

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visuals

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There are two groups of people when it comes to attitude – one that carries a bucket of gasoline and another that carries a bucket of water. Depending on the circumstance, some people either stoke the fire of optimism burn brightly or they eradicate it quickly.

I think we all have met people that make a difference through their attitudes. They are the kind of people who constantly see the cup half-full rather than half-empty. They are the “can-do” people in any situation. They are usually contagious people to be around because they stir up the fire of optimism in our own hearts.

John Maxwell, who has taught on leadership for more than a quarter of a century, constantly draws attention to this factor of attitude in a lot of his leadership materials. If leaders are the thermostat of any group then their attitude will determine how other people will respond in a particular situation.

He mentions that there are the “Big Five Attitude Obstacles” that everybody faces: discouragement, change, problems, fear, and failure. The way we handle any one of these five obstacles shows us about our attitudes.

Here are some phrases that I highlighted from this book:

• People always project on the outside what they feel on the inside.

• Your attitude colors every aspect of your life. It is like the mind’s paintbrush.

• Poor self-image and poor attitudes often walk hand in hand. It’s hard to see anything in the world as positive if you see yourself as negative.

• Every thought you have shapes your life.

• My attitude in the areas that I do control will be the difference maker

• The happiest people in life don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They just try to make the best of everything.

• Life often gives you whatever you expect from it.

• Every challenge has an opportunity. And every opportunity has a challenge. A person’s attitude determines how she handles those.

• Because your attitude is your emotional approach to life… it’s the framework through which you see events, other people, even yourself.

The one phrase that stuck out for me was – “Most of the great work in this world was done by men and women who didn’t believe that what they were doing was impossible.”

When I think about history-makers and those who have transformed different parts of the world, they were people who believed that nothing is impossible. The Christians who made a difference were people who believed in a Great God who is able to do great things.

As we make the investment in our attitude, we will slowly see how powerful it really is in our daily lives.