I recently listened to and spoke with missionary and one of the founders of Arab Vision. It seems as though we, as local churches, are neglecting the Arab world in our missions and evangelism. If I remember correctly, something like only 22% of the Arab world has heard the Gospel. If I am wrong please correct me. I will also try to find the number. Regardless of that number the Arab people have been ignored. The very place where the church father Augustine pastored hardly has any Christians left. You can read more about some of these issues on Arab Vision’s website.
I would like to touch on his answer as to why we don’t seem to hear much from the “moderate” Muslims in response to the “radical” Muslims abhorrent teachings of death to the USA, etc., flag burnings and killings of infidel’s and such. He basically said that the moderates don’t go against the radicals because the so-called radical position is the prominent one based on the Qu’ran. He mentioned that most Muslims he knows are peaceful people themselves though. What it comes down to is that the moderates understand that the radicals aren’t out of line with the Qu’ran, but they don’t prefer that route themselves.
In looking at who is right with what the Qu’ran teaches with the more peaceful position vs. the radical he said one has to understand the “law of abrogation” in Islam. That is, what comes later in the Mohammed’s teachings overrules what was written first. So the earlier written more peaceful Sura’s written in Mecca are overruled or abrogated by the later more aggressive teachings written in Medina. This helps us see the excepted interpretation that of a more aggressive Islam towards non-Muslims.
I then spoke to the missionary after he talked to the group. I was curious as to why and threw out some ideas of my own. One of the reasons he talked about was our fear of the Arab nations due to the radical Muslims. I asked if he thought that certain theological positions such as dispensationalism and the blurring of the church and politics in the
US may have something to do with the lack of missionaries to the Arab world. He did agree. We talked about how certain evangelicals send millions of dollars to Israel every year while some holding religious ceremonies together acting as if Christians and Jews are brothers in faith. To a place we the Gospel cannot be publicly shared and a place that persecutes our Arab brothers in the faith.
He also mentioned a problem in the Americans with wanting to give money and see a return. Americans want something tangible for their offering and they can’t always see that in giving to underground missions though I think it is partially true for all missions giving. One last problem is that Americans are so concerned about putting millions into church buildings for themselves. Reaching the community is one thing, but being excessive is another. He travels to Texas a lot and sees the multi-million dollar church buildings.
It only takes $3,600 to $9,000 per year to support one Arab mission family. As I understand it this is much less than it takes for American missionary families.
Saving the best for last, there are many conversions going on in the Arab world. Arab Vision doesn’t send Americans into the Arab world to evangelize. They train Arab converts themselves so there is no problem with them knowing the culture and being in Arab countries. Apparently, the Christian Arabs have no problem going door to door sharing the Gospel. And I ain’t talking about going around inviting people to come to church. The last mission he gave us a report on said that in six months there were 50 converts to Christ which created a need for more home churches. Awesome!