I have been reaching out to Muslims in evangelism since 1983. I was taught well in seminary in Greek, Hebrew, theology, hermeneutics, apologetics and evangelism, and I was also taught well in missions and missionary principles and the importance of listening, learning the other person’s heart language, and learning their culture and spending time with the people so as to model the attitude of Jesus in Philippians 2:5-8 and the attitude of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. After I came to a Reformed understanding of theology and the doctrines of Grace, slowly but steadily, from around 1994 to 2000; (part of that time while an overseas missionary), I also noticed a bad attitude toward missions and evangelism that I could not put my finger on until now. Dr. White, in dealing fairly and truthfully with Muslims, and also growing in his own methods of outreach, friendship, and respecting Muslims and praying for them and learning to eat lunch and meals with them, etc.; has done the Reformed and conservative Christian world a great blessing.
Dr. James R. White refuted Pastor Steve Camp. What Dr. White has been doing is exposing a very deep and ugly attitude that some conservative Christians have in relation to people who are different than them, or from another religion (like Muslims), or culture. If Camp and Brannon Howse, Sam Shamoun, and others like them represent a large percentage of Bible-believing churches; well, no wonder missionaries have such a hard time raising support and communicating. Or, as I have experienced, we get a blank stare and “God bless you brother, you go for it; but I don’t want to do that, and don’t ask me to.”.
I especially love Dr. White’s point at 1:01 and following:
Steve Camp and many other conservative Christians’ attitude towards Muslims is:
“The Love of Christ compels us . . . to keep you at arms length and never have any to do with you”
Camp’s methodology is pretty much: “to check off my tick list that I mentioned Jesus, the atonement, resurrection, repentance, and I said it to you and gave you a track and that is all I have to do” – That seems to be the attitude of a lot of people who advocate only street preaching and /or handing out tracks, etc.
This is the attitude that I have noticed a lot from a lot of my fellow Bible believing Christians – the only evangelism many of them seem to think is Biblical is open air preaching, passing out a tract, or a five minute monologue where the Christian gets to say all the main points of the gospel and then walks away, thinking he has communicated the gospel. (But he really has not communicated the truth of the gospel.)
This whole thing has exposed a great weakness in many conservative Christians’ attitudes towards others (foreigners, Muslims, people of other religions, cultures, etc.) .
Thank you Dr. White for this. Every Bible Believing missionary would love your balance and zeal on this issue. And every Bible believing Christian should agree with what you are saying and if they had that bad attitude before, I pray that this would lead them to repent.