Joiepirkey's Weblog

A Word in Due Season

Serious Prophecy about Islam and Christianity for the Fox Valley / “Common Ground Conference” held in the Fox Valley – Pigeonholing Christianity with Islam

Serious Prophecy about Islam and Christianity for the Fox Valley
Aug 17, 2009

I was told in a vision on September 25, 2007 that “people in the Church,” somehow emphasis on leaders of the Church, were already beginning to publicly postulate that Islam was, in effect, quite like Christianity. They would proceed to give examples of our similarities and begin to, and He used the term, “pigeonhole”, Christianity with Islam. This in effect would erode the line of demarcation between Islam and Christianity and He said that He “hates this.” That has been the only time, to date, that the Lord has used the word hate in any visions He has given me.

He also, in that same vision, told me that the head of the Taliban was, and I quote, “the head of a snake.” He said that He would stomp that snake, killing its head. He told me that the name of the man who was the head of the Taliban was Omar.

In July of this year, 2009, the Lord began to speak to me again about this issue. He was simply giving me information about the Church and how they were whittling away the difference between the Biblical beliefs of Orthodox Christianity with elements of the Islam faith. He then asked me with some urgency to post the vision publicly and I did so on my Facebook Group titled Shouts of Joy Ministries. Click here to see that posting on Facebook.

In early August of this year, I was told by the Lord during a time of prayer with others to “Shout to the people the sins of the Church”. Immediately this issue of Christians merging Islam with Christinaity came to mind but I had no idea specifically what the Lord was referring to and how He wanted me to do this.

The next day I was contacted by a member of the body of Christ here in the Fox Valley. The person was sharing information about a new movement sometimes called the “Insiders Movement” and the “Common Ground Movement” built on the C5 mission strategy of contextualization. C5 strategy promotes the idea that Muslims can remain in Islam and still be “Christ Followers” even as they continue to hold to Mohammed being God’s prophet and, for many, even holding that the Quran is a “holy book.” Obviously holding to Mohammed being God’s Prophet, when he denies Christ’s divinity, death and resurrection, compromises the core truths of our faith and blurs the line between Christianity and Islam. There are a number of ways this movement breaks down the line between us. I mention these two as examples only.

Elements of this movement are an example of how the Church is “pigeonholing” the Christian Faith with Islam. This is a sin and God hates it.

I am not writing to begin a debate with a movement or even to give my doctrinal opinions. I am simply conveying to you what the Lord has said about this broad issue and am asking you to pray about this; to consider it with great seriousness. I believe this will begin to affect many of us in the United States and in the Fox Valley in the very near future.

As I was praying about this issue and how to confront it, the Lord brought something to mind. Some years ago in a prophecy given first for CTR and then expanded to the Fox Valley churches the Lord was rebuking us for not allowing Him to be the Head of the Church. In His specific definition He said this,

“You are not allowing Jesus to be the Head of the church. The church is His House. You are putting people into ministry that God is not putting into ministry. You are taking people out of ministry that God is calling into ministry. You are putting people out of the church that God is calling into the church. You are bringing people into the church that God is casting out of the church. If you repent of this the Holy Spirit will be loosed on the church and the enemy will be held back. If you do not repent the devil will be loosed on the church and the Holy Spirit will hold back.” (Bolding mine)

I believe that what the Lord is speaking to regarding the Islam/Christian issue refers directly to the bolded part above. “Bringing people into the Church that are not being brought in by the Lord” is, in effect not allowing Him to be the Head.



“Common Ground Conference” held in the Fox Valley
Pigeonholing Christianity with Islam
Aug 23, 2009

On August 17, 2009, I sent out a prophecy that the Lord gave me in September of 2007 that contained this statement, “leaders of the Church, were already beginning to publicly postulate that Islam was, in effect, quite like Christianity. They would proceed to give examples of our similarities and begin to, and He used the term, “pigeonhole”, Christianity with Islam. This in effect would erode the line of demarcation between Islam and Christianity and He said that He “hates this.” (Prophecy posted on my blog.)

On July 20, 2009, I posted this vision on my Shouts of Joy Ministries Facebook Group.

I didn’t know why, at the time, the Lord was pushing so urgently for me to get that vision posted, but in retrospect, I think that He wanted it posted before this non-biblical paradigm was introduced and taught in the Fox Valley.

As people in our region began to read these posted prophecies, I began to get a number of emails saying that Christ the Rock Community Church in Menasha, WI, was in fact hosting a “Common Ground” Conference on August 21, 2009. At the time the Lord began to speak to me about Islam, in 2007, I had no idea He would be referring to anyone in Wisconsin much less the Fox Valley. I was of the belief that my ministry in Rwanda and surrounding African countries would bring this issue to the forefront. But when I began to research the “Common Ground Movement” and what they postulated with the understanding that Christ the Rock was seemingly embracing this paradigm, I could see that those previous words were speaking to what is happening here and now.

We have an audio tape of the conference held at Christ the Rock this past Friday. I will post audio clips below of some of the quotes that brought me great concern. Many things stuck out as being biblically unfounded but my goal here is not to refute their teachings but to highlight that they are in fact “pigeonholing” Christianity with Islam; others can refute the basics of their paradigm in the blog.


  Quotes from the “Jesus and Islam Conference” held at Christ the Rock this past weekend:

   
  Example 1:  Click link here to hear audio and follow along to better understand what he is saying below

“Second thing, we really believe that the only way to be reconciled to God is through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus is the only way. This is what He said in John 14, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. Nobody comes to the Father except by me.’ This is the same thing that they said in Acts chapter 4 that there is no name under heaven by which we must be saved, given what’s in Acts. So for us Jesus is the only way. Now, that may or may not mean that you have to change your religious identity.”
  
      
  Example 2:  Click link here to hear audio and follow along to better understand what he is saying below

“…meaning there’s a possibility; that we are going to walk through the Bible and talk about why this is true; there is a possibility that someone could consider themselves a Muslim and yet follow Jesus whole-heartedly and be born again.”
   
      
  Example 3:  Click link here to hear audio and follow along to better understand what he is saying below – () added where text isn’t fully understandable

“It is something that is really unique in our day because, if you will, it’s fourteen-hundred years just between Christianity ‘n Islam; there’s been some cases (he); there have been (quite a few ways) that seem to be that God is radically at work amongst both the Christians and the Muslims drawing them together in His kingdom.”
   
   
***See Jay Smith’s full refutation of the “Common Ground Paradigm” here.***

   
Not only have the Christ the Rock missions leaders embraced this process of “pigeonholing” in hosting such a conference, and in effect have begun to teach it, I have also been informed that Janet Lenz has plans to meet with a Senator where she will address what they are seeking to do with the Muslims so that, and I quote, “His (the senator’s) purpose would be to take this information to the entire Muslim world.”

This subject of pigeonholing Christianity with Islam is very serious. It is spreading quickly and it is breaking down the line of demarcation between Christianity and Islam. God has said that He hates this. At many junctures as I attempt to write this article I find myself wanting to take up a theological debate regarding how what this movement is teaching is not biblically sound but God keeps bringing me back to tell you that He hates this. He wants you to hear His heart, to allow what He hates to impact you and your choices and your passions.

To those at Christ the Rock, be aware that your leaders are not allowing Christ to be the Head of the church, especially regarding this Islam/Christianity issue. As the original prophecy that I sent to the Christ the Rock Leadership in 2005 states,
“You are not allowing Jesus to be the Head of the church. The church is His House. You are putting people into ministry that God is not putting into ministry. You are taking people out of ministry that God is calling into ministry. You are putting people out of the church that God is calling into the church. You are bringing people into the church that God is casting out of the church.”



I believe that this issue is one that demands action. It is very serious and the Church needs to respond. One primary response would be to forward these sets of prophesies to everyone that you know who attends Christ the Rock and encourage them to demand from their leadership that they hold to the truth. Also we must agree together in prayer, that this paradigm of “pigeonholing” stops, and whatever the scheme the enemy has in doing this will be bound and ceases. Then we must pray for our leaders that they will seek the heart of God in order that they may do His will His way. In every circumstance may you seek to do what pleases the Father, obey with courage and boldness what He asks you to do, allowing Him to be the Head of His Church!

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August 17, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

249 Comments

  1. Jo,

    Below is my response to the answer to the first question posed to the “Common Grounder” by Jay Smith. My words are green.
    D.

    “Insider: We [leaders representing the Common Ground, and John Travis] define “Insider” as “One who embraces Jesus, yet remains as a light in his ‘oikos’ (household) so that as many as possible might be saved” (Matt 5:15). “

    Just from an exegetical point of view, they are being inconsistent with Scripture. Matthew 5.15 uses the word καιω (light) because it conveys the primary emphasis of keeping a thing burning (Bauer 396). To extend further the logic of their eisegetical usage of this verse I would ask, if the purpose of remaining in Islam is to be a light to Islam how does one expect light from a flame being deprived of its fuel? In a mosque, or even in a Muslim home, is a “believer” supplied the word of God, fuel for one’s lamp? Furthermore, doesn’t the incognito approach to living as a believer that the “insider” espouses contradict the logic of not placing a lamp under “the peck-measure (v. 15)” to effect visibility in the place? Also, the New Testament teaches that baptism in contradiction of “Insiderism”, typically a public expression of faith, is to be central to Christian practice. Finally, the Common Ground methodology as spoken of by the insider who responded to Jay Smith’s query has referenced a verse of Scripture whose immediate context runs antithetical to “insider evangelism”. Verse fourteen uses the imagery of a “city set on a hill”, a highly visible thing. Verse sixteen says “Let your light shine before men….” Εμπροσθεν (before, or, in front of) communicates the fact of being seen doing something. It is the same word Jesus used in Matthew 6.1 where he warns us not to “practice righteousness before men to be noticed by them….” Matthew’s use of this word intends to convey the idea of ‘visibility’, objective knowledge about something or someone by others.
    I made these observations easily which begs the question why haven’t the Common Grounders?

    Douglas

    Comment by Douglas | August 17, 2009

  2. Joie,

    You and I have discussed this before. This is a very serious issue. I am reminded once again that just because we carry the label “evangelical” doesn’t mean we are being responsive to the Lord. The fact that the C5 strategy allows one to maintain a profession of faith including the shahada which holds to Mohammad being God’s prophet is more than troubling. Mohammad’s message denies Christ’s divinity, death, burial and resurrection. Contextualizing the gospel is one thing. Compromising truth is another…and is, as you say, something God hates. Thanks for being faithful here.

    Comment by Tim Snell | August 17, 2009

  3. Thanks guys for the posts. I just returned from Canada and need sleep but I’ll share some more of the emails tomorrow.

    Comment by joiepirkey | August 19, 2009

  4. WOW! I just found this article on Muslim speakers bureau web site. So even President Obama is preaching this stuff. The wording is almost verbatim to what the Common Ground Conference people are preaching in our churches.

    ISB welcomes Obama’s Call for a New Beginning

    The Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta (ISB) welcomes a new course for relations between U.S. and Muslim communities as set out in President Obama’s landmark speech in Cairo Thursday. The tone and focus of the visit and speech is a breath of fresh air and gives promise to the vision and mission of the ISB’s work for the last 8 years.

    The president has eloquently acknowledged the long history and contributions of Muslims abroad and in the U.S. then offered a new beiginning “based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap and share common principles, principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings,” the president said.

    This is exactly that vision that has propelled much of the work of the ISB, an affiliate of Islamic Networks Group.

    Those efforts aim to counter stereotypes and prejudice that have long born their bitter fruits, both to those who hold them, and to those that are a victim of them. It is also part of ISB’s core belief that is also reflected in Obama’s policy, that mutual understanding and respect brought about through dialogue and discourse can help promote peace and solve conflicts.

    As the President emphasizes, “There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other, to learn from each other, to respect one another, and to seek common ground. As the Holy Quran tells us, Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.” It is telling that he emphasizes the importance in our dialogue that we include a truthful expression of the concerns we have with each other, rather than letting them fester within.

    ISB appreciates the long missing recognition from our leader that will hopefully inform discussions that have for so long focused only on the negative, that – as he said, “the relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and co-operation.”

    It is to shed light on this hidden history that inspires ISB speakers to deliver presentations on “Islamic Contributions to Civilization.”

    But the President’s history lesson did not end there; he acknowledged too “that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote, ‘The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims.’ And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our Universities, excelled in our sports arenas, won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch. And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers – Thomas Jefferson – kept in his personal library.

    This is the very story of Muslim history in America that ISB speakers relate many times a year when they deliver presentations on “Root of Muslims in the U.S.”

    ISB hails President Obama’s emphasis on freedom of religion that has made this country from its founding a beacon of hope for the religiously oppressed. He is right in pointing out that at the same time it is incumbent upon Muslims to practice this same religious freedom and respect which is foundational in ISB’s interfaith work as based on the Qur’an’s principles or religious pluralism.

    His call for equality for women balanced by his acknowledgement that women do not have to make the same choices as men to be equal, and his reference to the historical precedence of women heads of state in four Muslim-majority countries reflects the message of ISB’s popular presentation on “Women in Islam.”

    The President puts forth the notion that ISB has long worked towards, that putting aside our differences and emphasizing our commonalities is the only way forward: “So long as our relationship is defined by our differences,” he said, “we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end.”

    ISB hails his statement that emphasizes our commonalities and humanity: “… let there be no doubt, Islam is a part of America. And I believe that America holds within her the truth that regardless of race, religion, or station in life, all of us share common aspirations: to live in peace and security, to get an education and to work with dignity, to love our families, our communities, and our God. These things we share. This is the hope of all humanity.”

    ISB members welcome this new era of dialogue, respect, and new relationship between all of the world’s people.

    Comment by Anonymous | August 23, 2009

  5. Joie,

    It is interesting that the same “religion of peace” that these evangelicals who are, by their actions, denying the basic tenets of Christian faith and wanting to identify with, are killing their family members in “honor” killings, killing their family members who convert to Christianity, and killing and burning down churches all over the world. They are supporting an enemy which is the FALSE religion of Revelation which beheads brothers and sisters in Christ (Rev. 20:4), and which was warned about by Jesus in Mark 13:22 and Matt 7:15 and 24:24
    Galatians 3:1 “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”

    There truly IS a famine in the land for the Word of God. I knew we were in trouble right after the WTC and Pentagon terrorist attacks when the news media blamed the US and glorified those who practice Islam. I did not understand that these were the first birthpangs for Christ’s return at the time. These are going to be exciting times, it will be a time that the wheat will be used for God’s kingdom and will not be afraid, and the tares will show themselves, (like those who are espousing this accursed teaching).

    Fear NOT for God is with us!
    Ray

    Comment by Ray B | August 23, 2009

  6. Hi Joie,

    Is there a link to audio or anything from this conference?

    Thanks,
    AP

    Comment by Adam P | August 24, 2009

  7. Quote from Jay Smith:

    If the Insider proponents want to be held credible, they are going to have to take these interpretations and hold them up to public scrutiny, outside of the comfort of their conferences. I would suggest that they write up their interpretations of these verses in journals where bonafide Biblical scholars can assess whether they are indeed interpreting these scripture correctly. My impression is that they come to the scriptures with an agenda, and then look for those verses which they believe will back up or substantiate this agenda. This is unhelpful and perhaps even dishonest. Many cults have worked on that principle, do disastrous effect. I hope this is not the case here.

    Comment by joiepirkey | August 24, 2009

  8. Having listened to a substantial portion of the recording of the conference, my hopes that this was something other than what I had heard it was supposed to be were dashed. This was a complete compromise of the gospel message. Encouraging believers to study to Quran because it is a “holy book” and encourage believers to accept Mohammad as a prophet of God (when he denies the divinity, death and resurrection of Jesus) is to deny the gospel itself. These things were clearly taught at the conference. In fact, each participant was given a Quran!! Are you kidding me! I thought we were supposed to be giving Muslims the Bible (and not just the Muslim compliant one that the Insider’s Movement promotes…which omits references to Jesus being the Son of God.) My heart breaks over this issue. I have no doubt that Jesus will hold those who promote such teaching accountable as He says in His word. There is no other way to describe this than as a spiritual abomination that breaks the heart of God. As a fellow Pastor here in the Valley, I am praying for discernment for those in the body of Christ at CTR and for repentance for those in leadership who promoted this conference with full knowledge of what would be taught.

    Comment by Tim Snell | August 24, 2009

  9. Christians now thanking Allah
    ‘Islamic Antichrist’ author attacks church commitment to Ramadan

    ——————————————————————————–
    Posted: August 24, 2009
    9:01 pm Eastern

    © 2009 WorldNetDaily

    Leaders of the “emergent church” movement within evangelical Christianity are “observing” the Muslim month of Ramadan, writes the author of the bestselling new book, “The Islamic Antichrist,” which contends that the Beast of Revelation is most likely to emerge from within the Muslim world.

    “This year, a group of “Emergent Christians,” led by one of the United States’ most influential pastors, Brian Mclaren have announced they will actually be ‘observing’ the Muslim holy month, along with a Muslim ‘partner,'” writes Joel Richardson in a WND commentary today. “Ramadan is the month that Muslims thank Allah, their god, for revealing the Kora to Muhammad, their prophet. On Mclaren’s personal blog, he recently announced his intentions: ‘We, as Christians, humbly seek to join Muslims in this observance of Ramadan as a God-honoring expression of peace, fellowship, and neighborliness.'”

    We need to take a stand.

    Comment by joiepirkey | August 25, 2009

  10. The Common Ground proponents of the “Insider” methodology are not merely utilizing dynamic equivalents of culture for facilitating evangelism and the transmission of biblical truth. As Christians they are actually modeling themselves contrary to the model of Christ in Scripture.

    In the Gospel of Mark from chapter eight through chapter ten, Jesus three times foretold emphatically the death that awaited him. The first time he told it Peter rebuked him but Jesus thwarted the potential in Peter’s rebuke by stating in the hearing of the other disciples, “Get behind me, Satan!” (Mark 8.33 ESV). Peter, along with the others, had certain sensibilities and expectations for the Messiah that were royal in nature, triumphant, and what Jesus was saying about himself was unconscionable to Peter. The way of deliverance was the way of the cross, and the Roman occupation, as problematic as it was to Peter, was part of God’s sovereign plan of salvation. Jesus used a figure of speech that harkens back to his rebuke of Satan in the wilderness during the temptation to “pushback” Peter’s earthbound mentality (see Matthew 4.8-11).

    Why would an Insider, why would the leadership of Christ the Rock Community Church, approve of a personal approach to Christian ministry that runs contrary to the personal approach by Jesus in the Bible? There is no place in Scripture that validates compromising Jesus nature or deviating from his methods. (He put on humanity, not our political and religious sensibilities.) We are not capable of fully imagining the ensuing catastrophe and defeat had Jesus acquiesced to Peter’s small perspective? It is one thing for Christians to empathize cross-culturally but it is entirely another to alter the truth about Jesus.

    Christ the Rock Community Church has, by hosting the Common Ground conference, cooperated in the propagation of heresy.

    Comment by Douglas Pirkey | August 26, 2009

  11. Some questions no one else will ask, so I will:

    1. Where did you get your information that this was a Common Ground Conference? (It wasn’t. You are either misinformed or purposely trying to stir up trouble. again)

    2. Where did you get the recording? This was not a public event and no one gave permission to have this recorded. From the quality of your audio, it would appear someone hid a recorder in their purse or pocket. A sly and probably illegal thing to do.

    Comment by Redflag | August 26, 2009

    • it’s not illegal.

      Comment by Lisa | September 5, 2009

  12. Hey Redflag,
    “Common Grounders”, “Insiders”, or “C5 contextualization”, all are names given to the movement that profess that Muslims can remain being Muslim and be born again. There are other unbiblical tenets of this way of handling missions, those are not what I am speaking to. I am saying that God has told me that He hates it when Christians pigeonhole the faith with Islam, and that some leaders at CTR are engaging in this sin. Did the conference do this Redflag?

    Also about recording, on the audio clip they say that
    “for those of you who are recording this conference please use discretion with how you use it.” I would say that that is an obvious act of permission and so would any court.

    What has happened to being like the Bereans and going to the Word of God and prayer to discern and find out if something is actually true and from Him? What happened to that?

    About the first thing that you assume, saying that you will ask me these questions because no one else will, here you are very mistaken. Every time I have a vision I am asked by the leadership in my church to write it down or tape it so as to get it documented verbatim. Then they are scrutinized thoroughly. Are they biblical? Are they accurate? What is my interpretation and what was actually said? Every thing I write down from the Lord goes through many people praying, discerning, researching. I am asked many many questions every time. I am committed to this process because I believe that the Bible clearly spells out that a discerning process should occur every time a person believes they are hearing like I do from the Lord. I submit to my husbands discernment who has a degree in Christian Studies, to my Pastor who has his Masters in Divinity, to prayerful discerners who know me very well. The process is long and complicated and full of questions.

    Please, for the sake of the Church in the Valley and for the leadership at CTR, and the Muslims they minister to, pray about this, ask about this, see what the Lord would have you do, that’s all I am asking.

    Comment by joiepirkey | August 27, 2009

  13. ANY ORGANIZATION that teaches:

    a. Muslims can remain Muslim but be “christ followers” and in fact should not convert to Christianity
    b. the quran and Bible should both be read and used side by side
    c. Muhammad did many wonderful things and the truth about Muhammad is not discussed
    d. Jesus should be referred to as someone other than the Son of God because that is offensive

    Is wrong, no matter what the name of the conference is.

    Comment by Anonymous | August 27, 2009

  14. Regarding the above post, the audio taken at CTR at last weekends conference confirms each point listed above.

    Comment by joiepirkey | August 27, 2009

  15. Gossip…hummm. Second hand info…hummm. I’m sorry but it nullifies your biblical credibilty. Show me your work in the Muslim world; your call to missions and maybe I’d listen. I hear the words of a wounded, disenfranchised person. Sorry, but your surriptious attacks cause me to question your “prophetic” gift. If you want to come work with us in Iraq, you’re welcome.

    What did Jesus say to the Samaritan woman about where to worship or about her false Samaritan belief system?

    If you were in charge, she would have never heard the Gospel. Check Acts 15 as well. And, please end the gossip; a reprehensible sin before God.

    Praying for your healing.

    Ralph

    Comment by ralph | August 28, 2009

  16. How is it that Joie is “attacking”? God will deal with CTR as He sovereignly sees fit. If Joie is a fraud, then I guess CTR has absolutely nothing to worry about.

    By the way….notice how Jesus didn’t beat around the bush with the Samaritan woman? He confronted her immediately on her sin vs 17, 18 and also told her that he was the Messiah during the same conversation. vs 26

    Comment by Anonymous | August 28, 2009

  17. Did he ask the Samaritan to become a Jew?

    Of course Jesus confronts sin in us. But why did he avoid her questions of religion comparing Jews to Samaritans. I assume you done the research on Samaritanism. Why does Jesus only focus on her need to acknowledge Him as Messiah, while not addressing the false belief of Samaritans?

    As for Joie’s motivations, I’m not as adept as she is in knowing other people’s hearts. Maybe that’s God’s perogative alone.

    Comment by ralph | August 28, 2009

  18. Ralph

    He didn’t avoid the question at all…He said vs 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know, we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.

    LOL, no I’m most definitely not an expert in Samaritanism (didn’t even know there was such a word as that quite honestly)

    Comment by Anonymous | August 28, 2009

  19. Keep going in the text. It shows poor hermeneutics to pull out one sentence. Just think. If we were all out winning Muslims to Christ (my offer stands for anyone who wants to live in the Muslim world with us) then we wouldn’t have time to sit at home and find fault in others. Real fruit (scripturally speaking) always supercedes empty rhetoric.

    Go share your faith today with a Muslim and let us all know how it goes.

    Comment by ralph | August 28, 2009

  20. Ralph,
    First let me thank you whole heatedly for the work you mentioned in your post with the Muslims in Iraq. I cannot imagine the difficulty of being there as an ambassador of Christ and our prayers are with you.

    In my work with the few Muslims that I have encountered I found that when sharing that Jesus has died for our sins, becoming the propitiation for our sins, and consequently the debt for our sins is paid to God, that that fact alone strikes a deep cord with Muslims. Also, with one Muslim girl in Rwanda that does some interpreting for us, two angels appeared to her outside her village in east Rwanda, and told her that Jesus was in fact God’s Son and that she was to follow him. She had to leave her family then because if they knew she had converted they would have to kill her. She was 16. She left everything she knew and went to Kigali where she found others who were following Christ.

    I was speaking to Walt Kaiser, the Hebrew scholar, this past week, who also shared such stories of Muslim’s being converted through visions and dreams. That I find very exciting and a fun testimony to share. Those types of situations are obviously not the norm and we are as the body of Christ still called to share the gospel.

    I want to take some time to pray about responding more to you Ralph because I find that I have so many thoughts about what you have said and I want to be sure that I am pleasing God and reaching out in love as I share what He wants me to share. I’ll be back later.

    I can say that I believe that it is imperative for those who know theology to answer these questions well and in love.

    Comment by joiepirkey | August 28, 2009

  21. Ralph,
    Can you speak to these points that were postulated at the conference?

    — teaching that Muslims don’t need to become Christians, but can remain Muslims and simply “discover Jesus” in Islam.

    — teaching that these believers should continue to pray to Allah, as revealed by Mohammed.

    –teaching that these believers who have “discovered Jesus” can continue to hold to the Muslim profession of faith, the Shahada, which says that there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is God’s prophet. (This in spite of the fact that Mohammed’s “revelation” of Jesus included the denial of His divinity, death, burial and resurrection.)

    –teaching that the Quran is a book which these believers should continue to look to, along with the Bible, in order to “discover this Jesus.”

    –teaching that God is equally drawing both Christians and Muslim’s, through their respective revelations, into the Kingdom of God.

    –teaching that, in fact, Mohammed may be a true prophet of God (some think he is and some think he isn’t) and it is up to each conference participant to decide. (One quote highlighted in the workbook promoted that he was a true prophet of God. “My own judgment is that I see Muhammad as an authentic prophet of God, even though like other prophets after the time of our Lord, neither morally perfect nor doctrinally infallible.”)

    –teaching conference participants to be careful in presenting Jesus as the “Son of God” as this would be offensive to Muslims.

    Comment by joiepirkey | August 28, 2009

  22. Hello,
    I popped over here because Joie has been mass emailing a lot of members and staff, and wanted to clear up a few things for those of you who read her blog.

    Here is what Christ The Rock Church believes and teaches:

    1. There is only One God, that always was and always will be, ever present in 3 divine persons; The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

    2. We believe everything the Bible says about Jesus Christ. That He is The Son of God, The Son of Man, The Messiah, The Savior of the world, the Hope of the nations, The Lamb of God, The Lion of the tribe of Judah, The eternal I AM, The Prince of Peace, The ONLY mediator between God and man, The ONLY way to The Father, The ONLY way into the kingdom of God, The ONLY way to salvation and eternal life. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is The Prophet, Priest and King. His kingdom will have no end.

    Anyone who wants to learn more about our beliefs is welcome to visit our web site at christtherock.org, or better yet come to our weekend services.

    God’s peace.

    Comment by CTR | August 28, 2009

    • Thank you for joining the conversation.

      Can you address how CTR plans to proceed from the conference/seminar/meeting? Is CTR adopting the message and strategy posed at this conference as valid?

      Your answers to these questions will surely help clear things up, more than what can be currently found on your website (as even this meeting couldn’t be located on your calendar of events).

      Comment by Adam | September 5, 2009

  23. Thanks CTR for your comment. Could you explain then what in the world Joie is talking about? Was there a conference/seminar last weekend held at CTR and if so, was any of her bullet points about the conference/seminar true in your opinion?
    Thanks

    Comment by Anonymous | August 28, 2009

  24. Hi Joie,

    Just a couple of questions real quick and then I’ll answer your questions. Were you at the conference or are you acting on second hand information? If you’re acting on second hand information then you are in a dubious position. In your “prophetic” gift (I don’t think prophets work based on heresay) you might want to ask God why he has tasked you to merely criticize a church that wants to reach Muslims when most churches don’t even care? What is the Great Comission? So if a church doesn’t care…their okay? Tell me the churches you know who are doing a Christ-like job at winning Muslims in your neighborhood? If they aren’t, then they have a real problem with Jesus’ command.

    Wouldn’t your prophesy, really be against failing to fulfill the great comission?

    It seems to me that Satan’s strategy would be to turn believers against belivers.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    Comment by ralph | August 28, 2009

  25. Oh and real quick. Have you read the Qu’ran? I assume you have because you speak with authority. A couple of other books you might read are:

    Building Bridges: Christianity and Islam by Fouad Elias Accad

    Muslims, Christians, and Jesus: Gaining Understanding and Building Relationships by Carl Medearis

    Both writers are evangelical Christians.

    Can’t wait to hear from you

    Comment by ralph | August 28, 2009

  26. Why is everyone so silent?

    Comment by ralph | August 29, 2009

  27. Hey Ralph, I am sitting on my front porch listening to the storm. Beautiful!

    Okay, first question, was I at the conference? No. I was given an audio of the entire conference and heard first hand everything the speakers said. I also have access to the workbook that was handed out and have done some research via the internet on the C5 Contextualization method for missions.

    I think that most people would say that a recording of the conference would constitute first hand knowledge of what was said.

    About the information impacting what I am saying prophetically, the prophecy regarding CTR not allowing Christ to be the Head- by bringing people into the Church that Christ was not bringing in- was told to me in 1999 and to the leadership of CTR beginning with Bill in 2001.

    The prophecy regarding Pigeonholing Christianity with Islam was given to me in 2007 at which time I had no idea that CTR was ministering to Muslims. I knew they were in the camps but was not aware that the people there were Muslim.

    This past July I was told to post the “Chrislam” prophecy publicly and then in early August was told to shout this sin publicly, also that it was CTR who was the Church, but I did not make the connection until a person attending CTR contacted me. (Posts and dates can be verified on Facebook Group Shouts of Joy Ministries and the SOJ Newsletters on the web site).

    The actual information of what was said at the conference simply verified that the prophecy was true.

    When you say, “Tell me the churches you know who are doing a Christ-like job at winning Muslims in your neighborhood? If they aren’t, then they have a real problem with Jesus’ command.”

    I am of the belief that God calls individuals and churches to different missions. Some churches to Rwanda, some to China, some to the inner cities, and so on. I would have to agree with you in one respect, if a local church or any church really, isn’t actively reaching out to some people group through missions work then yes, I would say there was something unhealthy about that church. But surely you don’t believe that every church is to minister to Muslims. Also, the call itself does not justify the means by which we do our work. I have seen many called and anointed ministers doing missions in a very sinful way. That sin should be dealt with. If they actually espouse a method of missions that is unbiblical that also should be addressed. I believe that from a biblical perspective those issues should begin between the Lord and the person in charge. If that person refuses to bow to the will of God and come in line with scripture then someone who witnesses the ministry done in an unbiblical way should address it. If there still remains no repentance then the original person should have another witness and go public to rebuke that leader as we are told in I Timothy 5

    “9Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.”

    When this process does not work or God sees fit He sends a prophet.

    You said, “It seems to me that Satan’s strategy would be to turn believers against belivers.”

    I also believe that it is satan’s desire to turn believers against believers. I also believe that it is satan’s desire to have people focus on the messenger and not on the message even though we are told to check out prophecy and to hold to what is good. I also believe that the enemy is coaxing people to think that confrontation and calling people to repent is division and not from the Lord.

    About having read the Quran, in it’s entirety, no. It is heresy and I don’t want anything to do with it. Parts of it, yes, because I want to understand why there is so much hate coming from the extremists.

    About “Building Bridges: Christianity and Islam by Fouad Elias Accad” This man was quoted a number of times in the workbook that was handed out at the conference. This quote alone causes me to want to rebuke Accad and not read his work,

    “As I’ve studied the Qu’ran for thirty years, I’ve found it overwhelmingly pro-Christ, pro-Christian, and pro-Bible.” See page 10.

    From what I have read of the Qu’ran this statement is at best misguiding, and most likely very self serving because the Qu’ran denies the divinity of Jesus, His death and His resurrection. That is blasphemy.

    About being silent, I have received a number of emails and phone calls from all over the country but I think that people are afraid to speak out, to take a public stand because in our culture now it is very politically incorrect to confront anyone. That’s just a thought. You can watch the site meter to see how many people are reading this though.

    Now, will you answer this? Can you see how telling Muslims that they can be born again and remain Muslims is pigeonholing Christianity with Islam?

    Comment by joiepirkey | August 29, 2009

  28. Oh the storm. Elijah heard the “still small voice” in the storm. Perhaps you might listen there. Elijah, in his depression (something you might consider) thought he was “the only one.” Yet God had others reserved for Himself. Hmmmm. Are there others beside us? A question Jesus rebuked His disciples about. “There are others of another fold.” Maybe you could enlighten me on these passages.

    Sorry, so you have not read the Qu’ran? Is that correct? So our conversation is based on what? If you quote Fuad, then you must, in all honesty before God, understand his point. It’s called hermeneutics. Perhaps you could read Acts 17 and tell me how many times Paul quotes “pagan” literature in his evangelism to the Stoics and Epicureans. Why does he do that?

    As for the Qu’ran, I do not believe it’s inspired in any way. However your “unread” understanding of what it says is completely wrong. (Really, don’t you hate when people make claims about the Bible having never read it…using your same justification…”it’s false so I can just ignorantly ignore (nice double negative) it.”

    Actually, the Quran affirms everything we revere about Christ. You can read as follows:

    Perspectives from the Al Qur’an
    What the Al Qur’an says about Jesus

    1. He was born without an earthly father
    Sura 19:19-22; 27-31 (Mary)
    19. He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son. 20. She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?” 21. He said: “So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, ‘that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’:It is a matter (so) decreed.”
    22. So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.
    27. At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: “O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!
    28. “O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!”
    29. But she pointed to the babe. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?” 30. He said: “I am indeed a servant of Allah. He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; 31. “And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live;

    Sura 21:91 (The Prophets)
    91. And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples.

    Sura 3:45-47 (The House of ‘Imran)
    45. Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.
    46. “He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.”
    47. She said: “O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?” He said: “Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, ‘Be,’ and it is!

    2. He is called a “miraculous sign” and “a mercy” from Allah
    Sura 21:91 (The Prophets)
    91. And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples.

    Sura 19:21 (Mary)
    21. He said: “So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, ‘that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’:It is a matter (so) decreed.”

    Sura 3:55 (The House of ‘Imran)
    55. Behold! Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.

    3. He is “most illustrious in this world and the world to come”
    Sura 3:45 (The House of ‘Imran)
    45. Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.

    4. He is called Allah’s (God’s) Word
    Sura 4:171 (Women)
    171. O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.

    Sura 3:39 (The House of ‘Imran)
    39. While he was standing in prayer in the chamber, the angels called unto him: “(Allah) doth give thee glad tidings of Yahya, witnessing the truth of a Word from Allah, and (be besides) noble, chaste, and a prophet,- of the (goodly) company of the righteous.”
    [Explanation: This is the Qur’anic account of the Angel of the Lord appearing to Zakariya (Zacharias) announcing the upcoming birth of Yahya (John the Baptist). The verse says that John will be a witness for the truth of a Word from Allah (Jesus).

    Sura 3:45 (The House of ‘Imran)
    45. Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.

    5. Jesus is the “Straight Way” (Musta-qiim)
    Sura 43:61 (Ornaments of Gold, Luxury)
    61. And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way.

    Sura 3:174,175 (Women)
    174. O mankind! verily there hath come to you a convincing proof from your Lord: For We have sent unto you a light (that is) manifest.
    175. Then those who believe in Allah, and hold fast to Him,- soon will He admit them to mercy and grace from Himself, and guide them to Himself by a straight way.

    6. Jesus healed the blind and raised the dead
    Sura 3:49 (The House of ‘Imran)
    49. “And (appoint him) an apostle to the Children of Israel, (with this message): “‘I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah.s leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah.s leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe;

    Sura 5:110 (The Table)
    110. Then will Allah say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit, the lepers, by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave.

    So what if the Qu’ran is saying that all people must come through Christ in order to enter the Kingdom of God? Because we believe John 14:6 and that the Bible is the only inspired Word of God and that Jesus is the only way unto salvation.

    So just a thought. What if, as you work through your own inner healing issues, you consider that maybe the great God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, somehow, made a way for Muslims to know Him. Apart from you, maybe He considered them.

    I think that perhaps you need to go to God’s word and read apart from your agenda. Maybe God has thought more than you have. I had to do that. It’s really a pride issue, I think.

    Rather than talk about all this. Maybe you could use your blog to talk about your own struggles. You know, the real stuff…marriage…raising kids to follow Christ in the US. I have had the benefit of my kids growing up on the field. They are grown and are back in the Middle East. What do your kids want to do?

    My wife and I tried hard to prevent our kids from just sitting in the USA and critizing others. How are you doing that?

    That would be an awesome blog. Could you tell us, with the same authority you use in criticizing missions approaches, how to make our kids long to live among Muslims. You know, the Great Comission and all that.

    I can’t wait to hear your insights.

    I’m sure all your readers would love to know how to make their kids want to live in the Muslim world.

    You’re up!

    Come on bloggers…let’s make this a great site.

    Comment by ralph | August 29, 2009

    • Ralph,

      I suppose you read the book of mormon as well, and the books of the Jehovah’s witnesses. I suppose that CTR has invited them into their church for understanding as well, I suppose that CTR has conferences to tell mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses to stay in their cults as well. I suppose they are preparing new works for those in scientology, shintoism, taoism, etc.
      Joie goes to Africa several times a year, she and her family have invested much time helping the orphans there and was instrumental in getting one of those who suffered in the genocide with his story to be published.
      You seem to be very invested in this, so much so that you are falsely accusing a sister in Christ with things you have no idea about. She has the recording, she has the workbook, that is NOT second hand knowledge. You quote the koran, nowhere in those quotes does it say that Jesus is God, in fact it states the trinity is a lie, that is BLASPHEMY, and you were quoting it to support your cause, it is a work of SATAN, and you are quoting from it.
      When I work with those in cults, I do not use their works, I use the Bible, why, it will not come back void. It is the power of GOD for salvation, it is used for doctrine, reproof and instruction in righteousness. NO WHERE ARE WE TOLD IN SCRIPTURE TO LEAVEN IT with satanic works.
      As for the direct quote from the “secret”(Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. AND Be sure, your sin will find you out.)”…there have been (quite a few ways) that seem to be that God is radically at work amongst both the Christians and the Muslims drawing them together in His kingdom.” But what does the Bible say? “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” and what did Jesus say? “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

      As far as a churches statement of faith is concerned, it is just writing if what is done inside goes against it’s statement.

      And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

      The great turning away from the truth has indeed come.

      BTW, I witnessed to Muslims in Turkey, and I did not use the devil or should I say prince of Persia inspired koran to do it.

      May God grant you a love for HIS word.

      Ray

      Comment by Anonymous | August 29, 2009

  29. Ralph, Are you in Iraq or are you in the states now? Were you at the conference? Just curious.

    I think that what you are omitting from the Q’uran is also very important here.

    But what the Q’uran says, although important to you and your ministry to Muslims, is not important to what I am saying. I am not giving you my opinion of the methodology, I am simply telling you what God has told me.

    I don’t need to have read the book to tell people what God has told me. I don’t need to refute the paradigm. I simply need to obey and tell people as best I am able what God has asked me to say. then you, meaning the body of Christ, need to discern those statements as they are, disregarding me.

    Ralph, do you believe that prophets still get words from God for the Church today? Just curious.

    I can’t tell by your post but you are sounding a bit sarcastic Ralph. And for some reason it’s funny to me. Thanks for asking about my children. They are doing great and serving God and looking to go into ministry actually. As far as my marriage goes, I really like Douglas and so does everyone who knows him. And he’s cute. 🙂

    In regards to encouraging your children to live amoung the Muslim well that would be something that I would let to the Lord.

    Comment by joiepirkey | August 29, 2009

  30. Ralph,
    I think that you might find this interesting:

    http://www.shoutsofjoyministries.com/rwanda/calltoafrica.shtml

    Comment by joiepirkey | August 29, 2009

  31. Regarding post #28.

    To everyone reading this blog. Please be in prayer and think twice before reading the Quran. It is most definitely not inspired by God-even ralph admits this, but you need to ask youself who ultimately inspired it? Who inspired Muhammad? Supposedly Gabriel? Even Muhammad himself admitted that he believed he was being inspired by satan at one point.

    Ralph, a couple questions for you:

    What exactly is the Ka’aba?

    What is “The Shirk”?

    Comment by Anonymous | August 29, 2009

  32. Wow! So much response! Awesome! Joie, your blog is popping. Like the movie “Juie and Julia.” The problem with blogs is that you just kind of preach to the choir. Not your fault.

    So great to hear about your family. That’s awesome. I apologize for any sense of sarcasm…ahh the curse of computer conversations.

    I love your question about “shirk”…very well done. Actually “shirk” is the idea of attaching a partner to God. You see Muslins believe that we as Christians believe that God partnered with Mary to produce Jesus. Of course this is false, but the Arabic translation of the Bible uses the phrase “ibin Allah” about Jesus. The word “ibin” in Arabic means “the product of a sexual relationship.” So, if I say to a Muslim that Jesus is the Son of God, which is true, they hear something other than what I mean.

    It’s a tough question. The Qu’ran asserts that Jesus is the Divine Word of God and the Messiah before whom all of us must stand in judgement. Furthermore it claims that Jesus is the only way to God. While I don’t believe it is inspired in any way, it can be used to point Muslims to the Bible, and to true faith in Christ. I’m saying this from 20 years in the Muslim world. We have seen many Muslims come to faith in Christ. They are amazing witnesses.

    My wife and I live in the Middle East.

    As to your question about my belief in the “prophetic word” today; I do believe in this. However, the penalty from God against a less than 100% prophecy is serious. I don’t think Daniel, Jeremiah, etc. said “I just say what I heard from God and then dissassociate myself from the outcome.”

    Be cautious with this gift. It’s a great gift. Just be careful in weilding it. Make sure you have the right target.

    And hey, Joie, do a quick study of all the pagan literature used in the Bible. Espcially, Paul. Somehow the inspired writers felt like they could take “unredeemed” writings and use them for the advancement of the Kingdom. Let me know…well all of your bloggers…the results of that study.

    Hey, I’m going to respond to Ray now. It has nothing to do with you.

    Many blessings.

    Please visit us when you can. We live in Baghdad.

    Comment by ralph | August 29, 2009

  33. Hey Ray and Ralph I am so curious, how did the two of you find out about the prophecies and the conference?

    Comment by joiepirkey | August 29, 2009

  34. Ralph, would you also agree that Muslims would believe that they would be guilty of “Shirk” if they believed in any way shape or form that Jesus was in fact equal to God? My understanding is that this is THE unforgivable sin in the muslim religion.

    The truth is that the quran is actually the antithesis of the Bible. I’ve heard it explained this way: The good guys in the Bible are the bad guys in the quran and the bad guys in the Bible are the good guys in the quran.

    Comment by Anonymous | August 29, 2009

  35. Hi Anonymous,

    I like your name. Webster’s defines this word as:
    (lacking individuality, distinction, or recognizability.)

    Hang on, we’ll assume you have a real name that deserves a real response.

    Actually the Qu’ran points to Jesus as the only way to salvation. “Shirk” as I’ve said before, is the belief that God physically partnered with Mary in producing Jesus.

    Of course this is wrong, since we know, biblically, that Christ was the incarnation of God in human form. You know, the hypostatic union!?

    So, for the Muslim, to believe Jesus as merely a biological son is Shirk. What we have to do as followers of Christ is to present the truth about Jesus, the author of our salvation.

    The unforgivable sin for the Muslim is to believe in more than one God. They very wrongly think that we as Christians believe in three gods…God, Mary and Jesus.

    Just keep that in mind as you continue your outreach to Muslims. I assume you have such an outreach.

    Can’t wait to hear from you.

    Oh, and change your name. It’s spurious.

    Comment by ralph | August 29, 2009

  36. Okay I am going to way in here, If Muslim’s redefine Jesus then they are speaking about, teaching about, relating to a FALSE Jesus. It frightens me to think that you are literally expanding the way to God, the God who has revealed Himself in ways that Muslims deny, for a purpose that I yet can not see. Can you hear me Ralph? God hates this. What do you say about that? Have you asked God? Lay out a fleece, fast, pray, ask for discernment, anything, but please seek God if what I am saying is true.

    Like the Mormons and the J.W.’s and those who believe that homosexuality is okay in the Church today, we can debate a million times back and forth but the bottom line remains the same. You are misusing the Word of God and pigeonholing Christianity with Islam and are not willing to see if you are wrong.

    Has anyone else been sort of waking up to the fact that Church is falling apart all around us?

    Comment by joiepirkey | August 29, 2009

  37. Joie,

    It is the false religion of Revelation. Why do you think there is such a move to accept it? Sharia law being observed in Ohio and Michigan, honor killings in New York. The fact that it is the religion of the Anti-christ, who has NO REGARD FOR WOMEN (the muslim religion has no regard for women, you can see it in how they treat them, as slaves.)

    Ray

    Comment by Anonymous | August 30, 2009

  38. While you are all debating, hey, take a look at this blog entry by Joel Rosenberg: http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/irans-supreme-leader-urges-muslims-to-mobilize-against-u-s-and-israel-to-prepare-for-messiahs-arrival/

    Here is the leading quote from that blog entry: “Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on Muslims in neighboring countries this week to intensify preparations for the coming of the Islamic Messiah known as the Mahdi or the “Twelfth Imam.” He specifically urged Muslims to mobilize forces to defeat the United States and Israel.”

    I feel Khamenei’s goal is to erase Christianity and the Jewish religions from the face of the earth.

    Comment by Cindy K | August 30, 2009

  39. Hi Joie,
    Just a quick aside: to “weigh in” is not the word “way.”

    I think I said this, but I live in the Middle East. Blessed Sunday to all of you since we’re 7 hours ahead.

    And Ray, you are welcome out here with us. I’d love to hear what you would say to 200 Palestinian grad students here. And, you’d have to move beyond your Fox News understanding of Islamic women. Problematically, some of them think their head covering is spiritual. You would need to have some reference point to refute their belief and convictions. Oh and Ray, I am not a member of CTR, but I can’t wait to hear your response as you biblically meet with them and voice your complaints. As a man of God we all await your meeting results. To complain on a blog discredits you and Joie.

    As to the “pigeon holeing” terminology, I’m not sure what that means. As far as I know, that term refers to making something smaller. (Ray you’re the expert; help me out here.)

    So far, Joie, no one has answered my question about pagan literature used in the Bible. So I’m a little discouraged in this bog. No one seems to think. Come on Joie, lead the way in biblical knowledge. Or is this just a place where random claims are made?

    Here’s the thing about the Qu’ran. It is not inspired, but it does contain some truth by which we can lead Muslims into the Bible and faith in Christ. Ray may know more than I do, but I don’t think that is “pigeon holeing” (what an ironic term). Joie and Ray, tell us about the Muslims you have led to Christ. I’m sure all the bloggers would love to hear your victory stories.

    And Ray, I’m guessing you’re Amish with your devout committment to being “separate”, but then you must have a computer so that would negate the Amish idea. So you must be “separate” in some self-defined way. Anyway, please let us know when you meet with the CTR leadership. All us bloggers can’t wait to hear the results. If you don’t go; then we can’t really give any credit to what you say.

    So here’s the deal. We, those of us like Ray, who live and work in the Muslim world and love Christ, invite Muslims to consider Christ. The Muslims have a narrow view of Jesus..as a prophet…so counter to this “pigeon-holeing” idea, we advocate Christ as prophet, preist and king. The one wherby we must be saved.

    So a couple of action points:

    1)Ray led many Turkish Muslims to faith so he and Joie should come to the Middle East, stay with us and instruct us in Muslim ev.

    2)Ray is meeting with the leadership of CTR and will report the results. This will avoid any charge of gossip.

    Can’t wait to hear how things go.

    And, Joie and Ray, you don’t need a visa to come where we are. I think your bloggers will be encouraged by yours and Ray’s step of faith. Awesome. Please don’t let us down.

    Comment by ralph | August 30, 2009

  40. Ralph, are you discredited by writing on this blog as well? Just curious.

    And why do you think that Ray is going in to speak to the leadership at CTR? I think that he is from out of state as well.

    How did you get to this blog Ralph? Have you read the prophesies that these comments are to?

    I will take some time to think through my answers and if I should answer and get to posting tomorrow. So for now, Good night fellas and Good Morning Ralph, where ever you are.

    Comment by joiepirkey | August 30, 2009

  41. Ralph, I don’t think anyone has a problem with using the Koran to evangelize, (or the book of Mormon either). They do have things in them that can be used to reach out to them in their darkness. (The best lies have some truth to them). At the same time all of us have to recognize that Islam is a powerful demonic deception that holds many in darkness and spiritual captivity, and God desires them to be freed from deception and come to salvation in Christ. Mohammed was a false prophet, his followers are lost in darkness without knowledge of the truth of salvation, and his revelation in the Koran is part of that great darkness and deception. Using their Koran as an opening to preach the gospel is very different than watering down the gospel and not speaking the whole truth to them so as to make a way for them to remain Muslems while believing in Jesus. It leaves them within and still holding to a demonic teaching and deception. They are left still believe Mohammed is a prophet and the Koran is the word of God, but the Koran denies Christ’s death and resurrection among many other lies and distortions.

    I think pigeonholing means to try and put one thing into another (that doesn’t naturally fit). The prophecy Joie got was that the church is pigeonholing Islam and Christianity, and that God hates that. Soon after she felt led to re-speak that prophecy she found out a local church was having this conference, which isn’t just a coincidence. This teaching is saying the two religions are compatible, that with a little blurring and watering down of certain truths, they can remain Muslems and be believers, and that we can accept their revelation as having some truth and being from God, and so be more acceptable to them by accepting their truth as being from God. It is compromising to be acceptable, and to break down barriers. I am sure their intentions are good, but I am also sure God does hate it, because Islam is an evil demonic deception that holds so many captive to lies, lost in their sins and trying to find salvation through means of the flesh, and God hates it.

    I know how hard it is for Christian coverts in Muslem countries, and I know how hard it must be for ministers of the gospel in those countries, but it is meant to be by the power of God, not by compromise or watering down and blurring the truth, that we preach the good news of Christ to these people. It is not by our own wisdom or our own persausivness.

    2 Cor 6
    4Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
    17″Therefore come out from them
    and be separate, says the Lord.
    Touch no unclean thing,
    and I will receive you.”
    18″I will be a Father to you,
    and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
    1Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

    Paul may have used an idol to an unknown god as an opening to preach the gospel to idolaters, but Paul didn’t compromise with idol worship in his day. He didn’t look for a way to blend Christianity with error or the demonic, to make it more acceptable, or to make Christianity more acceptable to the world through accepting their beliefs as valid. He preached the gospel knowing it has the power to save:

    18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. … God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

    1When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.[a] 2For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. … 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.[c] 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    Comment by Martin | September 1, 2009

    • Martin said it as well as it can be said. A VAST difference between using the Quran as a bridge to preach the truth…and watering down the truth to make it more palatable. That is the difference between those who practice C3-C4 outreach in the Muslim world, and those who practice C5.

      Comment by Tim Snell | September 10, 2009

  42. … which is to say we need to be led of the Holy Spirit.

    Comment by Martin | September 1, 2009

  43. Well said Martin.

    Now I wonder if those attending CTR and those funding these trips to the Muslim populations will take stock and at the least ask the Lord if this is in fact okay to be doing.

    We need some serious repentance in the Church today and I can feel the growing need daily. Things are about to get very serious. The way we have been doing church for many decades is about to be at it’s end.

    Comment by joiepirkey | September 2, 2009

  44. In reference to the Shouts of Joy August newsletter, it was disturbing to hear that some in the church are mixing Islam with Christianity. Also, some are advocating continued adherence to Mohammed as a prophet of God and the Koran as a holy book even when becoming a Christian. We members of Jesus’ church must maintain sound doctrine and not compromise the Word of God. II Timothy 4:1-5 makes this very clear.

    What is being described as the ‘pigeonholing’ of Christianity and Islam appears to be one of the very serious things Jesus has against the church in Revelation 2:20-23 – embracing the Doctrine of Jezebel. One of the applications of these letters to the churches from Jesus in the Book of Revelation is for correction and is meant for the church in all ages – that includes now.

    The Doctrine of Jezebel in a nutshell refers to bringing in false prophets and worshipping a false god. Jezebel (see I & II Kings) a self-proclaimed prophetess, brought the false god Baal into Israel, served him, worshipped him and corrupted God’s people. She brought idolatry and apostasy to Israel. A grove (refer to Deut 16:21 and I Kings 16:33) was made in Israel to worship Baal, and this practice provoked God. In the church, this same practice refers to combining Christian doctrine and pagan beliefs and practices. Jesus declared that his church should have no part of it.

    Islam and its prophets deny the deity of Christ. Listen to God’s Word in I John 2:20-25 and 4:1-3. We are to “try the spirits” and every spirit that does not confess Jesus Christ is not of God and is the spirit of antichrist. (Refer again to Rev 2:20-24; note the consequences to the people in the church who hold this Doctrine of Jezebel.)

    We are to love the people who adhere to Islam, share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them, and pray for them, but individuals must not be told they can adhere to Jesus and a false prophet who denies him – this is deception and false doctrine. We are not to accept or condone false doctrine is Jesus’ church.

    John 14:6 states the Church’s position clearly: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Jesus is the only way! Jesus is the only one who shed His blood for us and died to cleanse us from all sin. Many scriptures confirm this. Anyone who holds the idea of mixing Islam and Christianity or the belief that these two are compatible, please study the Scriptures in the Bible, pray and seek sound doctrine.

    Comment by Rodney Little | September 2, 2009

    • Thank you, Mr. Little. I so appreciate and respect you. I thank God for the heritage of the Lord in you!

      Douglas Pirkey

      Comment by Anonymous | September 9, 2009

  45. This past Saturday evening a member of Christ the Rock Community Church gave me a letter written to the congregation from Pastor Bill Lenz. It contained their statement of faith and an explanation regarding their interest in the C5 Contextualization method, sometimes called “Common Ground” and “Insiders Movement”. They said that they had hosted the conference in hopes of learning more about the method. That being said, the process of pigeonholing Christianity and Islam has begun regardless of their commitment to every tenant of the C5 belief system.

    Below is a link to an article addressing the work CTR is doing in the dessert. Note the quote from Janet Lenz, the programs director below.

    http://www.upes.org/body1_eng.asp?field=sosio_eng&id=1501

    “For its 2009 seminar, Christ the Rock is opening the doors to religious leaders from a number of other countries, including South Africa, Spain, and France. Local Saharawi Muslim leaders and Christ the Rock volunteers hope to continue building cultural and religious bridges in the North African region.

    “We didn’t come here to convert anyone,” assures Janet. “We’re trying to open up conversation so we can better love our fellow man.” “

    Comment by joiepirkey | September 2, 2009

  46. http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/02/muslim.minister.defrocked/index.html

    This is so serious. Who will take a stand for truth?

    Comment by joiepirkey | September 2, 2009

  47. I greatly encourage readers to listen to the following selections from Janet Porter’s Faith to Action radio program.

    To get to the site, type http://www.f2a.org. When you get there, click on the Radio/TV store section at the top of the page. A drop down box should appear that will give you the choice to click on Radio Archive Programs.
    After you click on that, choose the programs from August 20th, 21st, and the 24th.

    The programs for the 20th and the 21st feature Walid Shoebat a former PLO terrorist who is now a Christian. He has a book entitled: God’s War on Terror. The program for the 24th features Brigitte Gabriel, author of, They Must Be Stopped.

    I subscribe to a devotional called Tabletalk from Ligonier Ministries. This ministry is of the Reformed faith. I have some theological differences with them but these differences are nothing that would have me breaking fellowship with someone from that perspective. In fact, the reason I read their devotional is because I greatly appreciate their respect for and emphasis on the holiness of God.

    With that said, I want to focus on something Dr. R.C. Sproul has in his monthly column called Right Now Counts Forever. The subtitle for the column this month is: Is the Reformation Over? There’s a parallel I want to make with Islam so please bear with me.

    At the end of the column he says the following: “At the moment the Roman Catholic Church condemned the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone, she denied the gospel and ceased to be a legitimate church, regardless of all the rest of her affirmations of Christian orthodoxy. To embrace her as an authentic church while she continues to repudiate the biblical doctrine of salvation is a fatal attribution. We’re living in a time where theological conflict is considered politically incorrect, but to declare peace when there is no peace is to betray the heart and soul of the gospel.”

    Reading this reminded me of this blog and the discussion over what took place recently at CTR concerning Islam and the Christian church. It should be helpful to remember that there will be no peace without the Prince of Peace. Remember, he won it all at the Cross, therefore, it’s counterproductive, and dare I say, blasphemous, for Christians to think they can establish peace by compromising the gospel message.

    I agree, we must love those around us, regardless of their spiritual makeup. However, calls for loving our neighbor, even when they may be our enemy, aren’t enough. Even an atheist can love his neighbor. The problem is, by doing so he’s actually not living consistently within his stated worldview because atheists don’t believe in anything that isn’t physical or material. In other words, an atheist can’t account for the non-material aspects of life such as love or hate, therefore he has to borrow (steal perhaps?) from the Christian worldview. In the end, Jesus, who is the treasure of all wisdom and knowledge, doesn’t get any credit for having given the atheist their ability to love.

    So where does that leave us as born-again Christians? The answer should be obvious. Let’s stop acting like atheists and give credit where credit is due by not just loving Muslims but loving them to Christ. In order to do that you have to tell the truth without compromise. You may encounter resistance in the process, but so did the apostles. Their responsibility is our responsibility as well. In short, the Reformation never ended. Each new non-Christian we encounter is an opportunity to begin the process all over again.

    I leave you with this encouragement from Hebrews 10:23-24: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (NIV) I don’t know about you but I need that kind of encouraging love to continue the battle. It’s the kind of love that confirms the doctrines of Scripture and puts feet to my faith.

    Comment by B. Gardinier | September 3, 2009

  48. Good conversation folks with such biblical scholarship and prophetic gifting. Oh wait. Do any of you work among Muslims? Wow, if we had all your expertise out here with us, the Muslims would have come to faith long ago. Please don’t deny them your great gifting…or if long term missions life is outside your perview, which I hardly think it can be with all the talents exhibited here, maybe just a couple of victory stories about winning your Muslim neighbor to Christ.

    I keep asking…but don’t see any response.

    Still waiting.

    Comment by Ralph | September 3, 2009

  49. Did your “Secret Source” forget to mention that Pastor Lenz announced to the CTR attendees that this was NOT a Common Ground conference like you reported, and that Common Ground wasn’t even there? You got schooled pretty soundly last weekend.

    Now…someone needs to repent of her slanderous lies. I won’t hold my breath for a retraction even though you are clearly publishing falsehoods.

    While you’re doing that, you might want to ask yourself if it is equally unethical to record a non-public seminar for the purposes of harm? That person who recorded the seminar and gave it to you should be ashamed, and you should not only be ashamed but worried that someone could press charges. It is illegal to post unapproved recordings on a public web site.

    Not only is this illegal, you’ve also endangered lives in the mission field. Hey, but as long as your favorite obsession and his family are “getting theirs” for whatever wrong you think they’ve done to you, it’s perfectly justifiable, right J?

    Comment by Redflag | September 3, 2009

    • Redflag,

      Be sure, your sins will find you out. Do nothing in secret. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal
      life: and they are they which testify of me, I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father, except by me. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

      So you were having private meetings to protect some from death, who would kill them? Other Christians? Or those worshipping a false god? The false religion of Revelation that follows the false “prophet”? Seeing as Obama states we are NOT a Christian nation. But in Cairo he stated we are a Muslim nation, and we have churches here that are celebrating ramadan, and inviting muslim clerics into their churches, and as the Pastor’s wife at CTR stated, they are not trying to convert anyone, but are trying to gain understanding, I would say you have a lot of explaining to do.
      Are you mad that she had the gall to call your church out? To post FIRST HAND recordings of what is going on there?
      You should read the Old Testament about God’s thoughts of mixing His truth with false gods. He said He is a Jealous God, don’t mix the profane with the Holy. But you seem to be supporting of just that, because you are following a man and not Christ. And whatever the man decides to do must be alright, it must be for the right reason. Well God said don’t do it, a man decides he knows better than God.
      Remember when David went to get the Ark of the Covenant? Instead of making the priests carry it all the way back to Israel on staves, which God had said he wanted it done, David put it on a cart, well surely it must not be bad to help the priests out by not making them carry that heavy load. Well it started to slide off, a man was trying to help out by not letting it slide off the cart and BLAM, he died. But it had to be good because David, a man after God’s own heart said it would be ok, right?
      Again, when has CTR had the mormons, or the JW’s, or the taoists in to their church to gain “understanding”? Why just THIS religion of Revelation 12? God is NOT pleased.

      Comment by Anonymous | September 5, 2009

  50. J said:

    “Also about recording, on the audio clip they say that
    “for those of you who are recording this conference please use discretion with how you use it.” I would say that that is an obvious act of permission and so would any court.”

    What do you think this warning was about? Why do you think people need to be careful with recordings? Do you really think they were talking to people like your source who hid her secret recorder, or were they referring to the technical folks who were pre-approved to record this session? I’m betting that if those missionaries thought for a second that this could end up online and put Christians in the Muslim countries in danger, they never would have come.

    Comment by Redflag | September 3, 2009

  51. To quote the infamous African theologican Augustine , “In essentials, unity.” Okay, a general statement on the American church today. We no longer can name the essentials of Christian orthodoxy. Cultural Christianity has fallen prey to the whims of our culture, which is “tolerance.” A few years back I remember seeing a cover a Christianity Today entitled, “Is God Tolerant?” This kinda stayed with me. I would say He is tolerant in the non-essentials and has severe patience with us. But He is intolerant in the non-negotiables of the faith. Does our knowledge save us? No. But is Jesus the only way? Yes. And I’m afraid that there are many ways in which cultural Christianity has strayed away from teaching this. Just listen to some of the average evangelical sermons online. It is enough to make you wonder, does anyone care about the core tenets of the Christian faith that historically has preserved the church, offered salvation, and changed lives? I think this a word in season.

    Comment by Tracey Lawrence | September 4, 2009

  52. It’s interesting to see how Christians are willing to dilute the gospel to fit into what they believe.
    By Ralph’s logic , Stephen’s stoning in the bible, The martyrdom of Peter and Thomas and countless other martyrs who died for Christ in Rome ,Pakistan ,India and the middle east preaching the gospel and standing up for their faith was in vain .I have family who were kept in a tiny cell 10 feet underground with only a tube to let air in for them to breathe for many months….. just for sharing the gospel and the love of God . I think some of you need to get out of the US and actually live in the Middle East by yourself ( without your church sending you a monthly survival fee) work there under some of those muslims and share the Gospel ( under the threat of being fired from your job, put in jail and deported ) and then come here to comment . IMHO Islam does not have the concept of forgiveness and on the last day ..It is up to ALLAH to decide whether you are eligible to get 32 Virgins or not .
    Last days …. what else can I say ?

    Comment by Asian Christian | September 4, 2009

  53. Oh by the way … forgot to mention …. I had lived,worked and shared the Good News in the Middle East, Indonesia and other places.

    Comment by Asian Christian | September 4, 2009

  54. PS Pardon my un-modified statement–the word in season I am referring to is this warning to turn away from heretical teachings. This is a word that I believe is from God, and as Christians we are called to discern the times. Jesus was very upset with the disciples when they could not do that.

    And a note to Asian Christian–thanks for fighting the good fight in the Middle East.

    Comment by Tracey Lawrence | September 4, 2009

  55. PSS I think God is using Joie to admonish. She is not claiming this to be her own soapbox, but something the Spirit impressed on her to share with the Body. The fruit of this message will be made evident.

    Comment by Tracey Lawrence | September 4, 2009

  56. Just a real off the whole guess here, but I’m thinking that if anyone didn’t want their seminar recorded and shared, it had more so to do with the fact that they’re protecting themselves. They should be proud of what they’re teaching.

    If they’re telling Muslims not to convert to Christianity, but remain Muslim, why would that put anyone at risk whatsoever?

    Comment by Anonymous | September 4, 2009

  57. I think that it is important to keep the focus in all of this. CTR is pigeonholing Christianity with Islam, breaking down the line of demarcation between the two and the Lord hates this. They are bringing people into the Church that God is not bringing in.

    ___________________________________________________________

    When you begin to focus on who is saying what and mincing the truth so as to deflect a sincere desire to know the truth then you are giving false witness. And we know how God feels about that. What is happening here is very serious.

    To Red Flags comment: “Did your “Secret Source” forget to mention that Pastor Lenz announced to the CTR attendees that this was NOT a Common Ground conference like you reported, and that Common Ground wasn’t even there? You got schooled pretty soundly last weekend.”

    This comment frightens me for some reason. I want to say that I do not have a “secret source”. Many people, seven of them to date, both men and women who attend CTR have either dropped by my house, or emailed me letters, audio clips, minutes to meetings, prayer requests and so on, asking for help. They are afraid of being attacked, and they do not feel that they have a voice, nor do they feel they able to get a straight answer. They are afraid, angry, deeply concerned about what is ACTUALLY being taught not only at the conference but now I am finding out at many of the mission trips to different parts of the world with different people groups. Let me post an audio of what was actually said at CTR from the pulpit from Bill that Redflag was referring to.

    [audio src="http://www.shoutsofjoyministries.com/events/audio/CTR_endorses_Common_Ground.wma" /]

    Bill names Common Ground. He says that the training is from this group and they were here training this past Friday and Saturday, with some of our leaders. He then says that the training was “absolutely excellent”.

    Let me say in closing tonight that no where in the Word of God does He reveal Himself as Allah.

    Comment by joiepirkey | September 5, 2009

  58. Opp, one more thing Redflag said, Bill nor anyone in his family have ever done anything to hurt me and I do what I do here in obedience to and love for the Lord in hopes that Bill will repent and be restored.

    Comment by joiepirkey | September 5, 2009

  59. There is much that could be said; my thoughts for rebuttal are many,but in the final analysis, what would seem to be a very complex issue can, in fact, but dealt with in a very straightforward way.

    Jesus Himself said He came to testify to the Truth;and that He is the way, the truth &the life; that no man comes to the Father except thru Him. From the beginning, Satan has brought the challenge, “Did God really say?….”. It is what Dr Del Tackett calls the Cosmic Battle – the spirit of truth v the spirit of falsehood.

    To me it is not a question of “where” you find Jesus i.e. salvation( I myself found Him while in a cult) as much as the choice you make then as to how to follow HIm i.e. Lordship.

    How in the world does anyone believe that Jesus can be Lord while in “competition” w/Allah, Buddah or any other self-proclaimed god?

    We, as believers, have been called out of the darkness and into His marvelous light – how dare we believe that it should be anything other than the same for those who are still in the darkness?

    It’s a lovely sentiment to say we just want to “love” people,(as opposed to proseletyzing) but we must never forget that God so loved (people) that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, so we could be reconciled to God

    Loving for loving’s sake is admirable, but it is loving with God’s irresistible love and grace for the sake of the lost that we are called to. If this were not true, Jesus would never have commissioned us to “make disciples…”

    God forgive us for our apathy, our addiction to creature comforts, our relative thinking and our smug and arrogant ways in dealing with those who do not believe as we do. But at the end of the day, we must believe that Jesus is the only way to the Fr. If God be true, then every man a liar…

    Comment by Kathi Rose | September 5, 2009

  60. When we take up our crosses daily to follow Christ, it is not with a flatbed cross carrying truck. It’s not a simple and easy thing to do. That is to say, it is not a new understanding of what we’ve already been doing — we are made new.

    Comment by Adam | September 5, 2009

  61. Ralph – I have a question. Since you work with Muslims, you clearly see that there’s a need for them to turn from Islam to Christ, right? Otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it. Please let me know if I’m assuming too much, but I want to know why you think there’s a need to turn from Islam if it’s mostly an alright faith, that teaches enough about Jesus to make it compatible with Christianity.

    Ralph, I think your intended meaning is being circumvented by the thick cloud of condescension in your posts. Please make room for the fact that God moves (and has moved) in others just as he’s moved in you. They might not have a string of Muslim conversions on their belt, but those really belong to God anyway.

    Here’s what I know about Christ/Holy Spirit/God: if He’s not strong enough to turn you from your old way of life, then He’s not enough of a God to serve. But He IS that strong. If there’s a method/strategy out there to get around this truth (c5), why on earth would we want to promote it? Rhetorical question, really.

    Comment by Lisa | September 5, 2009

  62. The Lord brought forth a prophetic word directly after the worship one Sunday in Aug. In this word He specifically told us to be prepared for the persecution that is to come….but that the persecution would not come, as we might expect, for believing in Jesus.

    Many, He said, believe in Jesus. The persecution of the true church will come because we refuse to compromise the truth; that we will stand and be heard in the public square for our defense of truth as God states it, not as man has interpreted it, and for our stance, we will be called intolerant, biased, prejudiced, bigoted, narrow minded and uninformed.

    The Holy Spirit is drawing a line of demarcation. Though man wants to blur it, those who walk by the Spirit will have eyes to see it.And that line of demarcation is the truth that Jesus Christ is the ONLY begotten Son of God; that there is no other way to the Father except through Him.

    Lord, may we have eyes to see and ears to hear. May we never allow the voices of our world to drowned out your still small voice within. May we never be distracted by the workings of man so that we do not see the move of your Spirit in these last days. Amen

    Comment by Kathi Rose | September 5, 2009

  63. All talk. No action.

    Comment by Ralph | September 6, 2009

    • All talk. No answering of specific questions posed to you.

      Comment by Lisa | September 6, 2009

  64. If the action is laced with what God hates, then so be it, no action. But Ralph I assure you that you are speaking to Pastors and theologians and missionaries here on this blog and we all have much “action” to attest to, however it seems uncomely to display it on demand as proof that our hermeneutics is valid. Your premise is false Sir, offensive, and your assumptions are incorrect. That being said, it is a sin to pigeonhole the gospel.

    Comment by joiepirkey | September 6, 2009

  65. Becoming born again requires a supernatural encounter with a supernatural God.

    1 Corinthians 2
    4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

    Comment by Tanya | September 6, 2009

  66. Please pray with me that the leadership of CTR will hear the call from the Lord. Zech.10. And for the members who attend there that they will seek the Lord and hear His heart on this matter.

    Comment by Anonymous | September 7, 2009

  67. Wow, wonderful time with Beoudin leaders. We need all your gifts. I keep asking…no one seems willing to move.

    Waiting for the doers.

    Ralph

    Comment by Ralph | September 8, 2009

    • Do you mean Bedouin?

      Comment by Lisa | September 15, 2009

  68. Ralph,

    I have been reading your responses. I have to say you come over as quite arrogant. Your accusations of Joie were uncalled for. You obviously have acquaintances at CTR who have informed you about her. You should have gone to here privately about those things. I have never known her to be depressed, although I have only known her a few years. It might help you to read over your responses to others to see what I mean.
    Recently I was informed of a young man that is beginning to me a missionary from CTR to Turkey. I was considering supporting him, however if you are any indication to the training he will receive there, I am beginning to have doubts that I will support him now. I may go ahead with a missionary that belongs to an organization with another missionary my family and I support who will be going to Africa.
    Joie,
    Can you bring some copies of Eric’s book on Sunday?

    Thanks,
    Ray

    Comment by Ray Brown | September 9, 2009

  69. Come out with us Ray. We need you. Seriously. But, the support of any “worker” is awesome. Good for you. Very sacrificial and noble.

    Be doers.

    Comment by Ralph | September 9, 2009

  70. http://action.afa.net/Blogs/VideoBlogPost.aspx?id=2147486643

    Comment by Anonymous | September 9, 2009

  71. I keep hearing from the Lord to “point at the missing head of CTR and say, “There is no head.” Not sure how to do that exactly but this is a start. They have no head.

    Comment by Joie Pirkey | September 9, 2009

  72. Below is a quote by Chuck Baldwin:

    Anyone with even a casual knowledge of Islam knows that when Muhammad founded the Muslim religion there were about 300 pagan gods being worshipped in the region. He selected the moon god, Allah, and proclaimed it to be the one true God. This is, of course, the origin of the crescent moon symbol of Islam.

    So, here is the sixty-four million dollar question: can a Christian pray to Allah or to any other false god? Can a Christian worship any other god? Can a Christian recognize a pagan god to be equal to the Lord Jesus Christ?

    Every true Christian knows that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to God the Father. Jesus is not “a” way of salvation. He is the only way of salvation, and His is the only name whereby we are saved. No man comes unto the Father except through Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). This is Christianity 101. We have pre-kindergarten children in our Sunday School that apparently understand more about Bible truth than our supposed “Christian” friends.

    However, the Scriptures are even more explicit. For example, 1 John 2:22,23 states unequivocally, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.”

    Could the Apostle John be any plainer? Any person denying the Son denies the Father, and any person who has not the Son has not the Father. Plus, anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah, Savior) is an antichrist.

    The Apostle Paul stated in Philippians 2:10,11 “That at the name of Jesus [not Allah] every knee should bow [including the knee of Muhammad], of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess [including the tongues of Muslims, Shintoists, Buddhists, and atheists] that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

    I ask again, can a true Christian pray to Allah or worship Allah (or any other false god)? Would any real Christian not cringe at the thought that he or she might actually equate the Lord Jesus Christ, the virgin-born Savior of the world, with a false, pagan god or dare to reduce the sinless, resurrected Christ to the ranks of pagan idols? Perish the thought!”

    Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida.

    Comment by Joie Pirkey | September 14, 2009

    • “The training was just absolutely excellent.” Bill Lenz, Senior Pastor, CTR

      The training Bill was referring to was done by a married couple, and in the conference at CTR the wife stated that she prays to allah. With the backdrop of comment seventy-two above, Bill’s statement is brought into the most important context of all, that of the authority of Scripture. Bill’s words are indefensible.

      Douglas Pirkey

      Comment by Douglas Pirkey | September 15, 2009

  73. Wow. Really everyone?

    I’ve read through this all, and it sure seems like a perfect definition of “the blind leading the blind.” If you actually read through all this open-minded, you’d realize how amazingly ignorant some of you are sounding.

    Joie, you brought the first prophecy to CTR, correct? Or… e-mailed it to everyone I mean… hmm… sounds biblical. Stop hiding behind this amazing tool of coward-ism called the internet and go to them face to face. Every “prophecy” you put out is another little attempt to a knife in the back.

    I wanted soooooo badly for the leadership at CTR to stand up and announce who you are and exactly what you are doing. To warn that body of your divisiveness and lies. But they got up and simply stated what they’re for, Jesus! Jesus’s Name! The POWER of HIM ALONE!!! They turned their cheek over and over with you, and you slap away.

    From what I have read on your facebook and other sources paint a beautiful picture of what you’re involved with in Africa. Good for you! Do that! Stop this foolishness. Stop making “revised” versions of your prophesies when time-lines come and go without truth backing. You live in Love towards those you love in Rwanda.

    1st John 4:20 “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.”

    -your response will be something along the lines of: “I do love CTR, that’s why I’m doing this, so they might repent of their evil ways… blah blah blah” Prove it Joie, go to them, sit and talk, be willing to see if you’re wrong. You may think they’re stubborn on the issues and not willing to see that they’re wrong. That Pastor Lenz isn’t willing to see that there is “No Head” in the church he pastors at. I’ve had the privilege to sit and talk with Pastor Lenz a many times, and it’s a privilege not because I follow him. I follow Jesus, and what a companion Bill has been to me in that race of chasing after the ONE we call Savior! Go to him, face to face. Stop these foolish jabs!

    We are all called to PREPARE the Bride! Yet you put so much effort into defiling it.

    There WILL be a day when this is all known, where TRUTH is completely clear, and if you’re in the wrong, I’m terrified of what will happen. It’s funny how much the Bible warns about “false” prophets. Do you think all those false prophets truly thought they were false? Could those false prophets be people who Satan quietly spoke lies into their ears, made it sound “similar” to Truth and decieved them? Is Satan not a master of lies, and deciept?

    Definition of decieve by Webster:
    4 : to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid

    Satan is good at that, he’s amazing at it. He’s soooo good at it, he even did it to you!

    All that to say, how do you like it when someone comes in and tells you that everything you believe is wrong? I truly believe that you are Joie, and Tim and anyone else who backs this stuff. But you won’t hear a word I just wrote, because you believe with everything in you that you’re right! Correct? Yes!

    Here’s the kicker, I’m more confused on how to Love you guys well than I am at Loving a Muslim well. I have first hand watched a Muslim open up to Christians when Christians have used the quran to point to Christ. They see what Christians and Muslims have in common (Common Ground). THEN, THEN my friends I have watched those same Muslims who now trust those Christians go to them and ask what the difference is. Thats the point where THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD was given. To see their faces, to just simply see their faces light up when they hear of Grace and Forgiveness by way of the sacrifice Christ made on the cross. OH WOW!!! We are not their savior. You are not their savior. What are we called to do?

    LOVE!

    You quote Janet Lenz as saying “We didn’t come here to convert anyone,” assures Janet. “We’re trying to open up conversation so we can better love our fellow man.”

    Amen Janet, Amen!

    They will know we are Christians by our LOVE! That TRUE AMAZING LOVE that can only come by Christ IN US! A LOVE soo TRUE and holy, that they can’t stand but know it too.

    You’ve gotten it mixed up. We can not Save them. Hatred cannot cast out hatred, only LOVE can do that! So we bring Love, not a watered down gospel.

    Is there a better way to bring this, I hope so. But this is the most received way so far. I promise, way’s you would try will end you up dead or hurting! So lets bring LOVE!

    The Heart of God longs that NO MAN shall perish! How can you ever ever say that CTR is bringing people into the Church that God is not?!?!?!

    You will respond with all types of arguments. But the heart of CTR is to bring Christ. To love well. God is raising up Pauls within these nations that will be able to proclaim loud and proud someday soon. But, if they do it the way You want them to, they’ll be dead, and the Gospel will be snubbed out again, like it has for centuries. Don’t be a part of snubbing out the Gospel of Love. Dont!

    I hope this was out of Love. I mean for it to be. I want to Love you all as well, but it’s hard to know how to Love those who try to destroy you.

    Ralph, may we always be willing to see oppertunities of how to bring the Message of Hope to these people. But until those come, I’m praying for you in your ministry.

    Joie, may we always be praying for the Gospel to be carried out to the ends of the earth, no longer attacking. Know I’m praying for you!

    10/40 window = most unreached part of the world for Christ = mostly muslim, lets try anything we can. “I have become all thing to all men so that I may save some.” And as Ralph said, even quoting the “Heretical” to point to Jesus!

    “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done!” I pray

    -natalie

    Comment by Natalie | September 15, 2009

    • Since you’ve used Webster to give the definition of deceive, I thought I’d use it to define heresy: an opinion, doctrine, or practice contrary to the truth or to generally accepted beliefs or standards. In your last paragraph you say we should quote the heretical to point to Jesus (admitting you think that the C5 movement is heretical). There’s just one problem: the heretical doesn’t point to Jesus.

      I’ll point to Colossians Chapter 2. In it, starting at the heading above verse 4, my bible reads “Christ versus the Colossian Heresy,” and goes on to warn about staying away from the heretical (Christ versus Heresy is a pretty compelling argument for not using heresy, I think). I’ll point specifically to verse 8 “Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.” All in all, a wonderful chapter about staying away from teachings that are developed by the human mind, and do not come from Christ himself. I doubt very highly that Jesus would tell missionaries to tell the Muslims he’s not really the Son of God as to not offend them. Jesus was not worried about offending people by telling them the Truth. If we’re to follow his example, we shouldn’t be worried about it either.

      Comment by Lisa | September 17, 2009

    • I have to comment, This church that is so LOVING,fired their receptionist of 3 years because she refused to reconcile with her husband. No unemployment compensation, no severence pay. One day notice, involuntary termination.
      Joie may have tried to bring her insight or prophecy to the leadership at CTR but they would have responded the way they always do to criticism.They would choose to protect themselves and their postions and discount her as disgruntled, or just crazy. Its a good old boy society and they will pull rank and cover up to protect what they have.
      Men have all the power at CTR and so it doesn’t suprise me that they are sympathetic to Muslim teachings.
      Though this church has hurt many and lost many members over the years, I believe that for the leaders there is a true desire to please God and I hope that they will quit trying to protect themselves and accept correction from Him if he tries to reach them.

      Comment by CTR member | October 27, 2009

  74. Here are some questions that respected pastor, John Piper has asked about the methods we’re discussing on this blog. Here is a link to the full article he has written regarding this topic: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TasteAndSee/ByDate/2005/1308_Minimizing_the_Bible/

    1) Are the essentials of biblical faith embraced by new converts to Christ, and do they make them known in love to others? For example, do they embrace and make known that the Bible is the only inspired and infallible written revelation of God, and that Christ is God and was crucified for sin and raised from the dead above all authority?

    2) Are the former religious behaviors of converts to Christ, which they may retain, communicating regularly a falsehood about what the convert means and believes?

    3) Are words being used by converts that mislead people rather than make the truth plain? Are missionaries and converts following Paul’s commitment to candor: “But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2)?

    Comment by Lisa | September 15, 2009

  75. Natalie,
    I have a question to this quote, “Stop making “revised” versions of your prophesies when time-lines come and go without truth backing.” Can you be specific? I don’t know what you are referring to. The prophesies have been posted and dated with many who heard them before they happened. But if you find one that seems changed, please let me know.

    Also, yes it was me who sent the prophecies that called CTR leadership to repentance back in 2003. Prior to sending the email to many who attended the church I did speak to Bill personally two times. I then sent the prophecies to the leadership only. Then I spoke to three of the elders, Chama, Don, and Al two times as well. When no repentance occurred I sent it to whoever was in the public Church Directory.

    Here is another thing you mentioned, “be willing to see if you’re wrong.” Because I believe so strongly in submission to your spiritual head when I receive a vision/prophecy from the Lord I go to my husband, my pastor, women in my prayer group with a strong gift of discernment, I also make sure that what I am hearing is biblical and that it is delivered in a biblical way. The prophecies took five years to become public because of the extensive process that I and the leaders of my church and the elders of CTR went through to be sure they were biblical and true. Click this blue link for the outcome of the two year discerning process with the elders of both churches; http://www.shoutsofjoyministries.com/articles/FVP_CTR_outline.shtml (see bottom of the page)

    You write, “There WILL be a day when this is all known, where TRUTH is completely clear, and if you’re in the wrong, I’m terrified of what will happen.” Natalie, the truth can be found out now.

    Another point, you say, “The Heart of God longs that NO MAN shall perish! How can you ever ever say that CTR is bringing people into the Church that God is not?!?!?!” Sug’ I am not saying that. God is. I had no idea CTR was spreading this heresy to the Muslim’s. Had I, I would have questioned their theological basis for what they are teaching. But that’s not what happened. God told me to prophecy about bringing people into the Church that He was not, long before I heard about these conferences. What I have prophesied is not my opinion. It is something that I am telling you the Lord told me. Now it is up to you to discern and to either acccept and repent or reject.

    And one last point, you say, “lets try anything we can” in reference to evangelizing the Muslims. Natalie, to pigeonhole the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Islam is a sin and God hates it regardless of your motives. My suggestion, repent and try sharing your testimony and the good news of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. I promise you it will work better.

    Comment by Joie Pirkey | September 15, 2009

  76. To answer your first question, I recall something about things happening to the abortion clinic and beansnappers by a certain date that never came to be. I can’t quote it, I think I threw it away because I “rejected” it.

    Joie, all day today, what I wrote, and this whole subject was heavy on my heart. Tonight I sat and watched the sun go down, absolutely beautiful by the way, and prayed. I prayed something along these lines; “Father, show us Your Truths, is there any truth in what Joie is saying? Are we (CTR) really off?” And I gotta be honest, it’s incredibly hard for me to even ask such a question, because I know first-hand the amazing things that have happened within that body. My own heart was completely changed and softened. But I humbled myself and asked if there was any of “me” within what I was seeing as Godly.

    As I prayed that, the things I sensed were pretty clear.

    -now I say “I sensed…” because I know all to well how often our own thoughts, disappointments, desires, etc… distort what is truly being said, if it’s being said at all. And to be honest, I’m really alarmed by the fact of how you keep saying “I am not saying that. God is.” There is a whole ton of things on your site, and blogs that seem to be yourself convincing everyone of your gifting. Hmm, alarming again. No need to convince if it’s true.

    In Jewish beliefs, one way of “using the Lords name in vain” is to say that the Lord said something, when He really didn’t. So be careful Joie! I urge, you, be so very care-full in using that statement.

    Anyways, when I was praying, this is what I sensed, (again, it may be me, it may be God, I’m trying to discern that) “Look at the fruits, first the fruits of CTR, and then more specifically, the fruits of the muslim relationships we have there.”

    The fruits speak for themselves. Take some time to stop and see them. The fruits say that the Head is at CTR and strong. The fruits say that we are Loving Muslims with a Love that Christ tells us to love with. Lives are being touched, and drastically changed within that body.

    In your prophecy about Bill not allowing Christ to be the head of the church, you mention that one of the splits would be sin that falls upon the youth of CTR, you even went to such pathetic extremes as spreading horrible gossip about some youth. Here’s what I’ve seen first hand:

    Youth making mistakes, sinning, just like ALL youth do. But at CTR there has been such a large amount of youth that fall on their knees in full surrender to God. Fully allowing the Spirit (which is very present) to change them from the inside out. I’ve seen youth lead well by the church, and leading each other into the throne room of God! I’ve seen broken marriages healed, I’ve seen massive unseen heart issues dealt with and healed. I’ve seen “the least of these” loved well. I’ve seen the hurting helped, the lost sought after, the arrogant humbled, the leaders fully surrendered, the naked clothed, the homeless provided for, I’ve seen all these things done within that church by the power of the only ONE we worship!

    Joie, the thing you’re doing more than anything else is that you’re telling this elaborate tale of what CTR believes and stands for, with only seeing little distorted glimpses, you see what you wanna see. Let me assure you something here;

    Ready?

    I proclaim this loud and proud. Jesus Christ, the Son of The Most High is the HEAD of CTR. The fruits back this up completely. CTR is full of honest, transparent people who love the Lord, INCLUDING LEADERSHIP, they have lead well!!

    Comment by Natalie | September 16, 2009

  77. To answer your questions:

    “To answer your first question, I recall something about things happening to the abortion clinic and beansnappers by a certain date that never came to be. I can’t quote it, I think I threw it away because I “rejected” it.”

    You are referring to a prophecy that the abortion clinic and the Paradise club will come down. No date nor time was given, only that it would happen near the time that CTR splits.

    You prayed, “Father, show us Your Truths, is there any truth in what Joie is saying? Are we (CTR) really off?”

    I think here Natalie that you are being too vague. There are so many people at CTR who are right on and sincerely moving in what God wants for them as you have mentioned later in your post. A more accurate request would be, “Are some of the leadership at CTR pigeonholing Christianity with Islam? And do you hate that?”

    On a broader scope then a truth seeking prayer could also be something like, “Has Bill put people into ministry that You were not putting in, has Bill brought people into the Church that you are not? (Thus not allowing Christ to be the Head?)”

    About your comment regarding “sensing” and hearing from God. I agree, when we think we are hearing from God in a way that I believe is typical of most Christians, where we get a sort of sense, then we should only use the term sense. However, when I publicly put out a prophecy it is a different matter, in that I am actually having visions, where I can see the Holy Spirit and hear Him. In those times I am not thinking about a subject, nor knowing much about what I am hearing, I am simply getting information that I am not generating, getting it from the Lord. The Bible says that when something like that happens we are to discern it. See if it is from God by a series of test, give it then to whom you are told to share it with, and then wait and see if it comes to pass. The Bible also says that as hearers of things like this we are to NOT DESPISE it but to hold to what is good and get rid of the rest. In the New testament we find godly ways to handle such experiences. That being said, it is just as important for the one who is hearing the word to take it before the Lord and see if it is Him, as it is for the one delivering it. Yes, the judgments might be different for each if there is a mishap, but I assure you that I am well aware of the warnings to those who prophesy falsely. Let me add here that upon further biblical study I have found a “False Prophet” to be not someone who gets it wrong, as in something not coming to pass, but someone who prophesies that Jesus is not the Christ, like Mohammad for instance. It is very easy to be mean to someone who gives you a word from the Lord that you do not want to hear and call them a “False Prophet”. But you are accusing that person of promoting a different Christ. I can assure you that I am in NO WAY saying that the Jesus of the Bible as revealed in the Bible is not the Christ.

    You say, ““Look at the fruits, first the fruits of CTR, and then more specifically, the fruits of the muslim relationships we have there.” To see if a “prophecy” is from the Lord, looking at the fruits is a biblical way to discern it, I agree. However, to look at what the fruits would be if the word is followed through I believe is a more accurate inspection. Let me explain. I am saying that “CTR leadership is pigeonholing Christianity with Islam and that God hates this.” What are the fruits if that would be true and sewn into your lives? Now, we could come up with a number of ideas but basically the bottom line would be an uncompromised Gospel. Let’s test the “prophecies of Mohammad in the same way. He says,
    ” But when the fateful day arrives, woe
    to the unbelievers! Their sight and hearing shall be sharpened
    on the day when they appear before Us. Truly, the unbelievers
    are in the grossest error. {88} Those who say: “The Lord of
    Mercy has begotten a son” preach a monstrous falsehood, at
    which the very heavens might crack, the earth break asunder,
    and the mountains crumble to dust. That they should ascribe a
    son to the Merciful, when it does not become Him to beget one!”

    First this quote from the Quran is contrary to scripture, so we should reject it, but lets put it further to the fruits test. If we sew this “word” into our lives we in effect reject Jesus who is the Son of God, even the Christ! We alienate ourselves from God, thus this “word” from Mohammad is not from God and bears bad fruit.

    With this fundamental quote from Mohammad lets go back and look at the word I have given. If some in CTR leadership say, or promote, or allow the teaching that Mohammad is in fact a prophet from God and that Allah is the One True God and new believers can follow Allah and read this blasphemy found in the Quran, then could you say that perhaps they are pigeonholing Christianity with Islam?

    You also say, “you even went to such pathetic extremes as spreading horrible gossip about some youth.” What are you talking about? This is a pretty harsh accusation Natalie, can you explain?

    In regards to Ctr having a head? “Look, CTR has no head.”

    Comment by joiepirkey | September 16, 2009

  78. It seems to me that Jan Lenz’s comments that they aren’t trying to convert anyone are really untrue on two levels. First, saying that no one is converted when the post-modern definition of “Christian” slides to “christ follower” and that they are indeed trying to change a muslim to a “christ following” muslim…. is this really “not trying to convert anyone”? Isn’t this equivocating to both the christian as well as the muslim audience? Couldn’t the end result of this attempt bring muslim governments to persecute “christ following” muslims?

    It seems to me that the whole appraoch is fostered by a belief that God is NOT going to do the following:
    1. He is NOT going to open the heart of the king, president, religious system etc. of a muslim country.
    2. He is NOT going to protect converts to Christianity from oppressive family, social and gonvernmental persecution
    3. He is NOT going to going to use (as He has throughout history) the marytdom/persecution of saints by oppressive political or religious systems to foster unprecedented growth in His church.

    Since He is NOT going to do those things to change the political, familial, social, religious culture, the proponents of c5 therefore are adopting a more subversive and clandestine approach where we reinterpret the New Testament to mean something other than what it has historically meant in order to ‘friendship evangelize’ the 10/40 window. Ralph, your comments will likely take me to task for not being in Baghdad with you – but I think my point is that the integrity of the very Word of God is what is at stake here. Your condescending comments trying to make anyone who is not on your mission field feel worthless don’t ever get to the root of what is really at issue…. namely that the New Testament needs to be linguistically reinterpreted in order for this C5 contextualization to be God’s idea. I for one can’t think of a more important issue than the integrity of God’s word.

    Paul is given the credit for c5 contextualization since he stated “I am all things to all people that some by any means be won” but look at his testimony in Acts 26 in Caeserea befor King Agrippa and Festus. Festus claims that Paul is trying to convert him to christianity and Paul replies, in verse 29, “Short time or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

    Now to a c5 contetualist I imagine the response that Paul is remarking about is becoming a “Jesus Follower” and that is exactly the kind of revisionism and reinvention that comes about. The Bible itself begins to slowly become a nice book of lessons rather than the very word of God.

    I feel remorse at the thought that God’s children are mistreated, persecuted and even imprisoned or killed for the gospel, but God is the one who is the head of the church and any sly or subtle reinvention of His word for the purposes of rhetorically converting a muslim to a “Jesus Following” muslim simply doesn’t fit with the whole of the New Testament. Even the common ground people say that Jesus statement that He is the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him is true… BUT (they say) that may or may not mean that a person need to reject thier former identity in order to follow Jesus. MAY OR MAY NOT!? they are staking the integrity of the Word of God on a “may or may not” presupposition? On that presupposition hangs whether the word of God is true (as has traditionally been taught) or if it can be reinterpreted into something quite different. When you add to this the notion that Muhammad is a bonifide prophet, that the Quran is a holy book to be read by christians, christians should take part in the holy muslim month of ramadan, say the shahada etc. one can only wonder if this teaching is not just misguided, but evil to its core.

    The deeper I get into this stuff the sicker I feel about it.

    Comment by Dan | September 16, 2009

  79. “A WAY THAT SEEMS RIGHT”
    Prov. 14:12

    I. THERE IS DANGER IN TRAVELING THE WRONG WAY
    1. Bible contains many warnings
    2. Jesus and apostles warn us. Matt. 7:13, 14; 2 Pet. 2:1-3
    3. Wrong way may even seem to be right way. (Text?)
    4. Our ways not God’s ways. Isa. 55:8, 9
    5. God’s way is perfect. Psalms 18:30

    II. WE MUST NOT FOLLOW THE WAY THAT IS:
    1. Broad. Matt. 1:13
    2. Popular. 2 Pet. 2:2
    3. Much traveled. 2 Pet. 2:2
    4. New. Jer. 6:16
    5. In us. Jer. 10.23
    6. Our way. Isa.55 :7-9

    III. SOME WAYS THAT SEEM RIGHT
    1. Denominational ways
    2. Mourner’s Bench way
    3. Three baptisms way
    4. Instrumental music way
    5. Society System way
    6. Humanly devised ways of doing Lord’s work

    IV. WHERE IS THE GOOD WAY?
    1. God’s way is the good way. Jer. 6:16
    2. God’s way is the safe way. Heb. 10:20
    1. God’s way is the perfect way. Psalms 18:30

    V. WICKED MUST FORSAKE HIS WAY. Isa. 55:7

    Sermon Outline by George William Butterfield

    Comment by Paul | September 17, 2009

  80. THE TRUE GOSPEL IS THAT WHICH THE APOSTLES PROCLAIMED…
    1. Their gospel contained “facts to believe”, such as:
    a. Jesus was crucified for our sins – 1 Co 15:1-3
    b. He was raised from the dead – 1 Co 15:4
    c. He is exalted as Lord and Savior – Ac 2:33-36
    d. He is coming again to execute judgment and be glorified
    – 2 Th 1:7-10
    2. Their gospel also contained “commands to obey” (cf. 2 Th 1:8;
    1 Pe 4:17; in which we learn the gospel must be “obeyed”);
    such commands include:
    a. Believing Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God – Ac 8:35-37
    b. Confessing your faith in Jesus as Lord – Ro 10:9-10
    c. Repenting of your sins – Ac 2:38; 3:19; 17:30
    d. Being baptized for the remission of your sins – Mk 16:
    15-16; Ac 2:38; 22:16
    e. Remaining faithful to the Lord until death – Mt 28:19-20;
    Re 2:10
    3. And their gospel contained wonderful “promises to receive”,
    including:
    a. The remission of sins – Ac 2:38; 3:19
    b. The gift of the Holy Spirit – Ac 2:38; cf. Jn 7:37-39;
    Ac 5:32
    c. The gift of eternal life – Ro 6:23

    1. The warning against receiving “A Different Jesus, Spirit, And
    Gospel” is a timely one…
    a. There are literally thousands of different denominations,
    teaching conflicting doctrines
    b. Many have developed doctrines that are distinctly different as it
    relates to:
    1) Who Jesus is
    2) How the Spirit reveals His truth to us
    3) What constitutes the gospel of Jesus Christ

    2. Who, and what, is the true Jesus, Spirit and gospel? – cf. 2 Co 11:4
    a. The true Jesus is the One the apostles preached
    b. The true Spirit is the One received by the early Christians, Who
    guided them into the truth which is fully and completely revealed
    in the pages of the New Testament
    c. The true gospel is that one proclaimed by the apostles and
    received by the early church

    3. Brethren, be careful lest “your minds…be corrupted from the
    simplicity that is in Christ”!
    a. Satan would love to deceive us like he did with Eve
    b. He has his own “ministers of righteousness” working in his behalf
    – cf. 2 Co 11:13-15

    The only way to avoid being deceived is to be like the Christians in
    Jerusalem who “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…”
    (Ac 2:42).

    Whose doctrine are you heeding?

    Comment by Paul | September 17, 2009

  81. Wow! Paul, after reading through your second comment above I felt like my spirit got a spiritual bath. It was refreshing, and well stated, and true, and really really meaty. Thank you for this and AMEN!!!! I am going to have my children go through it and look up each scripture and think through each point. Thank you.

    Comment by joiepirkey | September 17, 2009

  82. Thank you, Natalie. You summed it up perfectly.

    Comment by Anonymous | September 17, 2009

  83. Joie, here’s the core problem within everything stated in this entire “prophecy”, there is not a SINGLE leader within CTR who believes Mohammad to be a prophet of God! NOT ONE. So… wherever you’re getting that from, it’s VERY wrong. That’s why I was so amazed when I read through this the first time. You speak of things you do not know.

    Anyone who has watched Pastor Bill lead know this, when it’s been anything that he could have a biased oppinion on, he’s taken himself out of the decision process. He has also NEVER once made a decision on his own. The deciders are people I have put myself under in the past, and the way they have loved me has been amazing. Not a sugar coated love either, true and harsh, but very good. These leaders are all part of my life, and I am able to watch them closely, and when I read your prophecies against them (especially Bill, since you like to name him) I don’t understand, because I know the things you say are not true. Bill has never been a dictator, never made decisions alone, he has put seasoned leaders around him in the church, and other satellite leaders to watch over him, (you know them, you e-mailed them as well at one point). They have watched over him. He hasn’t put people above him who knew nothing in the matters of what he was to be doing (wink).

    I do want to thank you Joie for something with your first prophecy. The way the body of CTR responded through it was pretty sweet, there was no split. But that body grew in what it meant to be a body, to love each other better and most importantly, to Love God better. It kept our leaders on their knees seeking Him more and more, so I guess it was a good reminder for us all, a reminder of where we need to focus our attention. It wasn’t what you said, it was more the attempt of what you were doing that reminded us of it. I watched from a back seat as the body of CTR grew in what it meant to run after Him!

    Timing of this newest one is actually pretty good too, right in the midst of our current series “Reaching Further” when our leadership has been very honest and open about what our church is doing in other parts of the world. You brought stuff up, and it caused people who didn’t really know what we were involved with to check it out. And I think that because of that, they back it all the more! Our church is not full of fools or deceived people following a pastor that allows no God-Head. Our church is full of God-fearing followers who love taking this journey with some amazing leaders leading by example of what it means to follow that God-Head!

    He makes everything beautiful! Amen!

    Well Joie, it’s been three days of thinking about this, and praying about it. And I’m sensing it’s time for me to stop with the conversation. It will probably go in circles for quite some time. So instead of spending my time defending the church I call home, I’m gonna go and encourage that body, encourage it and Love it, to make the Bride even more beautiful. Which I’d suggest to you as well. It’s quite evident that the people of CTR have “rejected” what you call prophecie, because they’re still going strong with a fabulous Head! It’s the end of round two, if you feel like round three, I’m sure we’ll be seeing another e-mail. No longer worrie about us, if you are right, then WE will be the ones to answer to God about it. You’ve done what you’ve felt lead to do, now let it be. You are not the Judge that will decide. If you wanna reach Muslims how you think it should be done, then do it, there’s plenty of Muslims to go around, we’ll love them as we are called.

    As long as you push, you’re saying that you do not trust that God will deal with us. You’ve voiced your concern (or what you believe is God’s concern). Thank you. If you throw out everything I said in this, please please just re-read this past paragraph. Trust Him, pray that He would help us see where we are wrong. And you can stop, we no longer hear your voice.

    Don’t delete this either Joie, you want a balanced blog, an honest one, leave this. Don’t be one-sided. The above is my opinion, and let it be heard.

    I personally will continue to pray for guidance and Truth. And know that you are in my prayers as well.

    -natalie

    Comment by Natalie | September 17, 2009

    • Out of curiosity, why do you think Joie would delete this?

      Comment by Lisa | September 17, 2009

  84. First – Natalie, I suggest you take your own (Biblical) advice and contact Joie directly regarding your concerns.

    Second–
    http://www.joshuaproject.net/assets/InsiderMovementsResponse.pdf
    Pages 6 & 7 of the document (pages 21-22 on the sheets).

    In response to this, it feels like they are very much Americanizing the Christ faith to these Muslims. It reminds me of a person who tells all of their friends of the benefits of a new vitamin or dietary supplement, while still maintaining all other unhealthy aspects of a life. It reminds me of the person who lives their life ala carte, picking up beneficial hobby after beneficial activity. It’s an add-on… it’s an attachment. It’s the faith equivalent of cortisol (unwanted belly fat). You don’t have to eat (or do) anything different, just take this pill (listen to this Missionary convince you that you’re already set). That’s very American.

    What power is there in proclaiming that Muhammad is the prophet of Allah?
    What power is there in the Bible if the Qu’ran still holds authority?

    This seems like it’s a trick to get people to say they believe in Jesus. Is the spiritual impact any different than the Christianization of Rome by Constantine? Once it became the State religion, everyone became a Christian — it was easy. It was a declaration of law, not of heart and spirit.

    What of the Sikhs who also have writings about Jesus? Are they able to continue worship of other gods and idols while still sharing the benefits from taking some doses of Jesus? There is some “common ground” there?

    Comment by Adam | September 17, 2009

  85. In response to Natalie,
    You say,”Joie, here’s the core problem within everything stated in this entire “prophecy”, there is not a SINGLE leader within CTR who believes Mohammad to be a prophet of God!”

    Nowhere in the prophecy do I say that any leader believes that Mohamed is a prophet. I am saying that some leaders are pigeonholing Christianity with Islam, looking for similarities and saying how they are the same.

    They are in effect bringing people into the Church that God is not, thus not allowing God to be the Head.

    CTR has no head.

    Thank you for praying for me Natalie, I sincerely appreciate it and I think that your attempts to defend your leadership are brave and admirable.

    Comment by joiepirkey | September 18, 2009

  86. 7Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. 11Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.
    2 John:7-11

    Comment by Mindy | September 22, 2009

  87. Here is that same scripture in the Amplified version.

    Amplified Bible (AMP)

    View commentary related to this passage

    7For many imposters (seducers, deceivers, and false leaders) have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge (confess, admit) the coming of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) in bodily form. Such a one is the imposter (the seducer, the deceiver, the false leader, the antagonist of Christ) and the antichrist.

    8Look to yourselves (take care) that you may not lose (throw away or destroy) all that we and you have labored for, but that you may [persevere until you] win and receive back a perfect reward [in full].

    9Anyone who runs on ahead [of God] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ [who is not content with what He taught] does not have God; but he who continues to live in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ [does have God], he has both the Father and the Son.

    10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine [is disloyal to what Jesus Christ taught], do not receive him [do not accept him, do not welcome or admit him] into [your] house or bid him Godspeed or give him any encouragement.

    11For he who wishes him success [who encourages him, wishing him Godspeed] is a partaker in his evil doings.

    Comment by joiepirkey | September 22, 2009

  88. This was posted on the Revival School web site and sent out in their news letter today:

    IXING ISLAM with CHRISTIANITY – WARNING

    TWO EXTRACTS are BELOW-

    (1) ‘Evangelical Christians’ now thanking Allah
    © 2009 WorldNetDaily
    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=107816

    Leaders of the “emergent church” movement within evangelical
    Christianity are “observing” the Muslim month of Ramadan, writes
    the author of the bestselling new book, “The Islamic Antichrist,”
    which contends that the Beast of Revelation is most likely to
    emerge from within the Muslim world.

    “This year, a group of “Emergent Christians,” led by one of the
    United States’ most influential pastors, Brian McLaren have
    announced they will actually be ‘observing’ the Muslim holy month,
    along with a Muslim ‘partner,'” writes Joel Richardson in a WND
    commentary today. “Ramadan is the month that Muslims thank
    Allah, their god, for revealing the Quran to Muhammad, their prophet.
    On McLaren’s personal blog, he recently announced his intentions:
    ‘We, as Christians, humbly seek to join Muslims in this observance
    of Ramadan as a God-honoring expression of peace, fellowship,
    and neighborliness.'”

    Richardson adds that McLaren is not fasting for the salvation of his
    Muslim friends.

    “Instead he is seeking through the practice of this Islamic ritual to
    promote ‘the common good, together with people of other faith
    traditions,'” he writes.

    “The Bible abounds with proofs that the Antichrist’s empire will
    consist only of nations that are, today, Islamic,” says Richardson.
    “Despite the numerous prevailing arguments for the emergence of
    a revived European Roman empire as the Antichrist’s power base,
    the specific nations the Bible identifies as comprising his empire
    are today all Muslim.” [- http://www.wnd.com ]

    (2) “Common Ground Conference” – Pigeonholing Christianity with Islam
    -by Joie Pirkey.

    On August 17, 2009, I sent out a prophecy that the Lord gave me in
    September of 2007 that contained this statement, “leaders of the
    Church, were already beginning to publicly postulate that Islam was,
    in effect, quite like Christianity. They would proceed to give examples
    of our similarities and begin to, and He used the term, “pigeonhole”,
    Christianity with Islam. This in effect would erode the line of
    demarcation between Islam and Christianity and He said that He
    “hates this.”

    On July 20, 2009, I posted this vision… I didn’t know why, at the
    time, the Lord was pushing so urgently for me to get that vision
    posted, but in retrospect, I think that He wanted it posted before
    this non-biblical paradigm was introduced and taught in the Fox Valley.

    As people in our region began to read these posted prophecies, I
    began to get a number of emails saying that [a] Community Church
    was in fact hosting a “Common Ground” Conference on August 21,
    2009… they are in fact “pigeonholing” Christianity with Islam…

    This subject of pigeonholing Christianity with Islam is very serious.
    It is spreading quickly and it is breaking down the line of demarcation
    between Christianity and Islam. God has said that He hates this.
    At many junctures as I attempt to write this article I find myself
    wanting to take up a theological debate regarding how what this
    movement is teaching is not biblically sound but God keeps bringing
    me back to tell you that He hates this. He wants you to hear His
    heart, to allow what He hates to impact you and your choices and
    your passions.

    -Joie Pirkey.
    VISIT HER WEBSITE – http://shoutsofjoyministries.com/articles/

    Comment by joiepirkey | September 24, 2009

  89. Over a year ago, I heard a warning from the pulpit about hard times to come in the following few months. I questioned the Lord about it and heard the word, ‘shaking’. In the book of Hebrews, chapter 12 verses 25-29, God warns that both heaven and earth will be shaken so that those things that cannot be shaken would remain. Even in the churches God is speaking of how there are those who will no longer endure sound doctrine, and how what is evil will be seen as good and what is good will be seen as evil. More than ever before we must study God’s Word to show ourselves approved by God and cling to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. May the peace of Jesus be with you and still your hearts that you will wax strong in Him.

    Comment by Karen | September 24, 2009

  90. I received this email this morning and agreed so much. Please, do not hear that I am saying anything even remotely hateful toward any Muslim. To the contrary, my heart is broken to think that those who know the truth are not sharing that Muslims can have forgiveness of sin and freedom and a personal relationship with God. Can we love them enough to face the conflict that their current belief systems hold with the Lord?

    _____________________________________________________________

    “andrew

    show details 4:10 AM (7 hours ago)

    I taught the Arabic for many years as a subject and at college level. One thing I know and this drew me to Christ and today am a pastor,the minister of the word was compassionate. I saw God in him and I was instantly healed. I immediately gave my life to Christ. It’s been ten years now and I have seen the faithfulness of God. Mtt9:36 compassion goes beyond love,it makes you feel the pain of the lost and put yourself in their place. We need to do this for our Muslim brothers. I lived in Mombasa which has the highest number of Muslims in Kenya and I had pastors talk about Muhammad,Muhammad didn’t die for a soul. I won many Muslims into the kingdom but the preachings of a pastor made them leave. America,your revival comes through this,be compassionate,this does not mean you compromise,preach Christ with deeper love. Miracles are yet to happen again,the religious are looking for a sign, you have the rod of signs and wonders and like Moses just cast it on the ground with compassion.”

    Amen Andrew, Amen!

    Comment by joiepirkey | September 25, 2009

  91. This also came into my email box from a woman named Jodi:

    “In June 2007, Presidential candidate Barack Obama declares the USA no longer a Christian nation.

    In 1952 President Truman established one day a year as a National Day of Prayer.

    In 1988, President Reagan designated the first Thursday in May of each year as the National Day of Prayer.

    This year however, President Obama, decided to cancel the ceremony at the White House not wanting to offend anyone.

    September 25, 2009 50,000 Muslims gather at our Capitol for prayer.

    There is no one to be angry with except the non-praying Christians”

    Comment by joiepirkey | September 25, 2009

  92. On Wednesday, September 1, 2004 I received the following message from a friend of mine. It reads:

    “God is in a time of cleaning out. What is not of Him will have to go for us to do the incredible things He has called us to do. We have entered a new time and He has placed greater accountabilities on His people today. To whom much is given, much will be expected. We are entering the ‘will be’ time. Great things are about to be released within the true Church. Mighty, marvelous things. We are to prepare our hearts and lives for this time. Strange events will take place with the existing church. Sudden, untimely deaths, more divisions over praise, more accepting of sinful lifestyles; compromises that God will no longer turn His head from among those who are truly called out for His purposes. I’m not sure why I told you that. It just came. Hope it is useful to you. Perhaps it is things you have been thinking or hearing. Often God tells us these things ahead of time, so we will not be surprised when they happen.”

    A similar message, delivered via a pastor in our area was also heard by a different friend of mine. I hope whoever is reading this will be as encouraged as I was.

    I would also encourage anyone who hasn’t yet done so to watch the DVD, Obsession – to gain a better understanding of the Muslim agenda.

    And, I would encourage anyone who is interested in prophecy to listen to the dialogue between John Paul Jackson as it pertains to, The Perfect Storm – and the host, Sid Roth – as can be seen on his program, It’s Supernatural.

    I’m finding all of this, including the posts on this blog, very interesting. Love others? Yes! Share the Gospel? Absolutely! Compromise? No!

    Comment by Denise | September 25, 2009

  93. On September 17th, the VCY America Radio Network did a show on the Emergent Church movement. Go to http://www.crosstalk america.com, scroll through the archives to find the show for that date and you can listen to it online.
    The guest for this show is Chris Rosebrough who has a degree in Religious Studies and Biblical Language from Concordia University-Irvine and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University. He’s also the host of an Internet radio program called, “Fighting for the Faith”.
    Chris attended a conference in Chicago concerning the Emergent Church Movement. He connects the dots between Tony Jones, German theologian Jurgen Moltmann (Author of Theology of Hope in 1964), and 19th century theologian/philosopher G.W.F. Hegel.
    The idea brought out is that Christ’s death and resurrection are two contradictory events. So, instead of looking at these events in the traditional fashion, the Emergent Movement apparently believes that salvation was won for everyone in the sense that there’s no need to evangelize and that instead, our efforts should go toward building the new order that God is trying to establish here on earth. The problem I have with this ideology is that it mimics the New Age view almost perfectly. If this movement attempts to find common ground with Islamic teachings, what will happen? Will this be the opening Islam needs for effective penetration(via Sharia Law)into American society or will Islam itself become watered down as we head, as some believe, toward a one world religion?
    Speaking of Sharia Law, also listen to today’s (9/25/09) Crosstalk program. It originated from St. Louis where there was a Take Back America Conference. You can fast-forward through the first ten minutes until you get to the speech by General Jerry Boykin. He gives a brief but very sobering assessment of Islam and how important it is for Christians to be vigilant.

    Bob

    Comment by Bob | September 26, 2009

  94. As Bob stated:
    “Speaking of Sharia Law, also listen to today’s (9/25/09) Crosstalk program. It originated from St. Louis where there was a Take Back America Conference. You can fast-forward through the first ten minutes until you get to the speech by General Jerry Boykin. He gives a brief but very sobering assessment of Islam and how important it is for Christians to be vigilant.”

    Please listen to this!!! WAKE UP AMERICANS AND CHRISTIANS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Anonymous | September 26, 2009

  95. A call to action.

    Comment by Joie Pirkey | September 30, 2009

  96. I used to attend John Pipers Church in Minneapolis when I went to Bible college a block away. Here is a quote from him regarding the document signed by a large number of Christian ministers sent to Muslim leaders that I had addressed in an earlier post:

    “I just want to register publicly a disappointment with this document, in fact a profound disappointment with the way that it is worded and surprised that some of the people that signed it, some of my friends who signed it, who i would have thought would be more careful in what they lend their support to because what’s missing from this document is a clear statement about what Christianity really is and how we could come together to talk with muslims from our unique, distinctive, biblical standpoint.”

    Comment by Joie Pirkey | September 30, 2009

    • John Piper is awesome 🙂

      Comment by Lisa | October 8, 2009

  97. Am watching Glen Beck. He is showing signs made for the Tea Parties. The one he just showed made me think of the leadership at CTR regarding this matter:

    ACCOUNTABILITY! WHY NOT?

    Comment by Joie Pirkey | October 2, 2009

  98. That’s funny, because as far as I know, CTR leadership went to strong, time-tested leaders nation-wide to keep them accountable. I’m sure you know them, I believe they received e-mails from either you, or your “accountability”. I think the correct phrase would actually be something more like:

    ACCOUNTABILITY! WE’VE GOT THAT!

    Haven’t looked at this blog for a while, just thought I’d take a little look. Funny I saw that last post. It, along with other accusations against CTR, isn’t exactly true… actually pretty false.

    Where is your accountability? Who is your accountability? Did your “accountability” have much knowledge of the things they were to be having to watch over you with? Ironic, you see what YOU want to see. It’s also funny how much you know about CTR while still being pretty distant.

    Look at the Fruits!

    -Natalie

    Comment by Natalie | October 9, 2009

  99. Joie’s fruits are to slam down the Body of Christ rather than to point others to Him.

    You want proof? Just read her own words all over this blog and her Shouts of Lies website. It’s dedicated not to making Jesus known, but to hurting the leadership of a church she once called home. First and foremost, it is dedicated to slander the particular family who serves that church, that very family with whom she once lived.

    Her only “accountability” is those gas bubbles that no one else can see but her.

    Her fruit is like rancid onions.

    Comment by Ted | October 9, 2009

  100. As an outsider reading this blog, I find it curious that all the people who are opposed to this Common Ground teaching write thoughtful responses, speaking to the issue of the false teaching and quoting scriptures. One walks away with the sense they have a deep concern for the direction of the Church. Those that appear to think this teaching is of God (and also appear to be connected in someway to CTR) write from a angry, spiteful, attacking voice. I point that out because the last two posts(and actually a few others) have accused Joie of having bad fruit. Judging from these conversatios it makes me wonder if perhaps they shouldn’t look in mirror before they make such accusations.

    Comment by Rachelle | October 9, 2009

  101. “CTR has no head” is hardly thoughtful or nice.

    Comment by CTR | October 9, 2009

  102. In reference to comment by CTR:

    If the Lord is actually telling me to say that CTR has no head so that when it begins to split apart in the near future people will know why and consequently turn to God and not away from Him, wouldn’t that, in fact be kind? To risk your public reputation, to say something that will cause people to question your motives and even your sanity, to risk being …unliked and ridiculed… for the sake of their well being when everything actually finishes transpiring..wouldn’t that be something very loving?

    Comment by Joie Pirkey | October 9, 2009

  103. About the Accountability Group that Natalie is referring to:

    When we sent the letters to the Accountability Group listed on the CTR web site, explaining to them the process in which we had taken in calling Bill and the CTR leadership to repentance and why we were doing so, some of those listed resigned from that Board. A few days later Bill explained to the congregation that the Accountability Board was in fact only an Advisory Board and had no spiritual authority over them. On the CTR web site they then changed the name from “Accountability Board” to “Advisory Board”. We have documentation to prove everything that I mention here.

    That being said, Natalie, can you tell me who the Elders at CTR are actually accountable to?

    Also you ask who I am accountable to. That is a very good and valid question. First my husband who is very wise and well educated, and a deeply spiritual man. Then my Pastor, who is one of very few that I see who is willing to risk his own ministry and stand up for the truth. There are also Elders at our Church who are kept abreast of everything and I have a Board of Directors for Shouts of Joy Ministries. They are aware of everything that I send out prior to it, have discerned and advised, verified facts, and prayed about these prophecies.

    Comment by Joie Pirkey | October 9, 2009

  104. Here is the current post from the CTR web site:

    Advisory Council

    Our Advisory Council supports the Governing Elders by providing outside and objective counsel. This council is comprised of different local and national Christian leaders who have an ongoing relationship with the leaders and body of Christ The Rock. Although the council has no legal or formal authority at Christ The Rock, we highly value its input, feedback, council and encouragement. These leaders love and care for the well-being of CTR and its leaders, and are available to provide wisdom and advice on issues the elders deem necessary from their respected areas of expertise.

    Comment by Joie Pirkey | October 9, 2009

  105. I would like to clear up some factually-incorrect statements:

    · While I update the Web site daily, we have changed neither our beliefs nor our non-denominational evangelical structure of Christ The Rock Church.

    · Pastor Bill Lenz did not “explain to the congregation a few days later.” That just never happened.

    · No one has resigned from our advisory council as a result of Joie’s harassing e-mails. It never happened.

    · CTR’s accountability is not with our advisory council, but rather with the biblical structure of the elders of our church–just as it is with most every other non-denominational evangelical church.

    · We believe in the plurality of leaders as authorities, and not the authority of one senior pastor or leader.

    There is no better place to seek truth than the original source. That said, I won’t be reading responses as this is my third and final visit to this site, but would love to talk with anyone who wants to call me or e-mail me to follow up.

    Making Him known,

    Amy Spreeman
    CTR Communications
    aspreeman@christtherock.org

    Comment by CTR | October 12, 2009

  106. Hey guys,
    I took some time last night to really pray about responding to Amy, to search for the documentation I am posting, and to talk over something that has been really bothering me about what I have been seeing in CTR leadership and now here in Amy’s response to my comments to Natalie. I want to address a few things in this post but do not want to lose sight of Natalie’s comment: “ACCOUNTABILITY! WE’VE GOT THAT!”. Keep in mind as I dissect some of what Amy posted above, accountability is the underlying issue here.

    There has been this very disconcerting way of addressing the prophecies and what I post periodically on the blog by the leadership of CTR. Instead of simply speaking honestly and forthrightly to what I am actually saying they have in the past and again now in this above blog post changed what I am saying to make either me sound ridiculous, or to be able to make “true” statements without actually answering a pointed question. Here is what I mean. Above Amy tells us that she is going to, “clear up some factually-incorrect statements”. And then goes on to post this: “No one has resigned from our advisory council as a result of Joie’s harassing e-mails. It never happened.”

    When I read this statement I have to say that yes, this is a true statement. But it has not given truth to the hearer. Natalie, reading this post hears, “See! No one resigned because of any letter you wrote! Joie is lying!” but in fact that is not what Amy is saying. She is stating that NO ONE has resigned from our advisory council as a result of Joie’s HARASSING EMAILS.” Can you see the subtlety? They were not “harassing”. They were not “Emails”. They were one Letter. The letter was asking the Accountability Board for some kind of explanation regarding what to do when the Elders have not been informed of very significant facts and yet are asked to make important decisions based upon those missing facts. We were attempting to help CTR see a dangerous blind spot and help the leadership understand why it was so important to take a moment and check the facts before making some of the choices they were. The letters did not contain the prophesies, and I am hoping that Ms. Spreeman has not seen them, nor is aware of them, because I would rather believe she did not know than to think that she is simply trying to statically lie to cover up sin. And then make such a definitive statement as: “It never happened.” Now, is she lying or has she been lied to? (See link below to resignation letter).

    This also happened the Sunday after I sent out the Islam Prophesies. Pastor Bill, from the pulpit, explained to the congregation that there had been rumors going around that questioned the beliefs of CTR. He then went on to quote the Orthodox Tenants of Faith. Yet no one was questioning his beliefs regarding any of the points he mentioned. The prophecies are specifically about questioning the practices of what they are doing with the beliefs of Islam and how they are breaking down that clear line of truth between the two religions. Yet the congregation heard that “someone” most of them assuming me, was questioning Bill’s and their actual fundamental Christian beliefs. These little twists in answering the true question leads me to believe that not only is the leadership guilty but that they know it and are working carefully to cover it up. Why else spin it?

    All that being said, let’s go back to Natalie’s Cheer of “ACCOUNTABILITY! WE’VE GOT THAT!”. What did Amy actually state in her post?

    “CTR’s accountability is not with our advisory council, but rather with the biblical structure of the elders of our church–just as it is with most every other non-denominational evangelical church.

    We believe in the plurality of leaders as authorities, and not the authority of one senior pastor or leader.”

    That being said, they have no accountability. She agrees with me and explains why. So if she agreed with me why not just say so? Why this “political Spin speak”? Why? You’re a Church for Pete’s Sake. Rely on the truth. It’s easy. You don’t need a PR Person as Amy is here to spin what you want people to understand when all you have to do is tell the plain and simple truth.

    I could go through each and every one of Amy’s points above but I don’t have time today and I don’t really thinks it’s necessary. I will post one of the letters that both Pastor Tim and I received just after we sent the Accountability Board letters explaining how the Elders were not handling significant issues in the Church in a Biblical fashion so that you can read what I read and then see if you think that my comment was in fact not factually true as Amy has postulated: “When we sent the letters to the Accountability Group listed on the CTR web site, explaining to them the process in which we had taken in calling Bill and the CTR leadership to repentance and why we were doing so, some of those listed resigned from that Board.”

    Link: http://www.shoutsofjoyministries.com/events/docs/John_Dawson%20Letter_CTR.jpg

    (If you download it you can see it better)

    I will also post the screen print that we took just after hearing Bill explain the Accountability Board as the Advisory Board knowing that he was going to have to change the web site. Download for clearer picture and note the date at the top of the page.

    Link: http://www.shoutsofjoyministries.com/events/docs/Accountability_Board_CTR.jpg

    I have to tell you this saddens me deeply. What is happening to the Church. And I am not just speaking about CTR. I am concerned for the entire Church in U.S. I believe that the “good men of truth” sitting back and doing nothing are the very catalyst that make such demise even possible. God help us.

    Comment by Joie Pirkey | October 13, 2009

  107. Hello to you all!
    I’ve been “out of the loop” for a while. Just getting caught up with the blog. I stopped reading a little over half-way through. For those of you who don’t know me and may be reading this response, I want to say I am noone extraordinary. I am a simple housewife and mother. I am not college educated, so I have no degrees in biblical studies or theology. I have very limited knowledge of Islam. In fact, I have very limited knowledge of most other religions. I may know some of their basic beliefs or whatever it is that keeps them from being considered a “Christian” religion, but I do not pretend to know all of their inner workings and the “complexities” that may come from the ties between their cultural beliefs and their religious beliefs.
    As I said, I a simple housewife. And for 22 years, thanks be to God and HIS grace upon my life, I have been a Christian; a “follower of Christ”. And as such I have done my best to study His Word, the BIBLE, to seek His face, and to listen and obey.
    I currently reside in Europe, but for a season my walk with the Lord brought me to the Fox Valley in Wisconsin. While there, I had the pleasure of meeting MANY MANY other Christians who desperately desire to see God’s will be done in their own lives, as well as the Fox Valley region, and even the Body of Christ at large. These people came from all different walks of life, different nations, different socioeconomic classes, different denominational and cultural backgrounds; people, hearts, minds, hands, time, and even pocketbooks moved for and by what we as Christians refer to as “The Great Commission”!
    This is where our unity lies, in spreading the Good News of Christ together!

    That said, I have been deeply moved by this blog, and not entirely in a good way. I am concerned because while I believe in having open discussions about “controversial” issues in the church, I wonder if having them in such an open arena is perhaps in some way not protecting the “babes” in Christ who, judging by some of the posts I’ve read, are UNDOUBTEDLY reading this blog.
    This is a tough issue that, in my humble opinion, might be better left to all the heads of the Christian churches in the Fox Valley…people who might better understand what’s going on, who have a heart for these “babes” and don’t want to see them, and ALL Christians in the area confused or hurt by the enemy during what appears to be a “conflict” in the body of Christ in this region.
    The early church was not immune to such issues. When Christ rose again, it was awesome and beautiful and wondrous, and opened up doors to God the Gentiles had never before had access to. However, dealing with the new multi-cultural church was pragmatically challenging. I am reminded of Acts chapter 15. Issues of circumcision for converts (a required practice of all Jews – God’s “chosen people”) had never before been so prevalent. Some members of the early church felt VERY strongly that all new converts MUST still obey the Jewish law and be circumcised. Others sympathized with the new converts and contested that this was just too much to ask of them and questioned whether or not there was anything in Christ’s teaching that would necessitate such a rule. In Acts the 15th chapter, it says that Paul and Barnabas have a “sharp dispute” (NIV) with other followers over the matter and so they took the issue to the apostles and the elders. The LEADERSHIP, after “much discussion” then handed down their decision through letter and by sending ambassadors, and peace and encouragement returned to the body.
    I understand that these two issues are not the same. I’m not comparing the issues. I’m trying to highlight how they dealt with it and wondering if perhaps it might apply here. I’m wondering if there might be some way for the LEADERS of the CHRISTIAN churches in the Fox Valley to get together, bring their spiritual strengths and gifts and points of view to the table, and work this out for the sake of the body in that region.
    Now perhaps attempts at such a meeting have already been made, perhaps there are other things going on “behind the scenes”; information that I am not privy to that might make my post insignificant. But, I do believe there is a solution to this issue and that the solution is found in God the Father, His Son, Jesus of Nazareth…The Messiah, The Holy Spirit, and His Word…the BIBLE.

    Before I end this post, I would like to say that you can look all throughout the scriptures and see where Jesus, speaking to all walks of life as well, said things that “divided” those who were listening. What He had to say was RADICAL. It was not EASY to hear and submit to. In fact, when the early disciples repeated what he had to say OVER AND OVER they were beaten and imprisoned even KILLED for it! It was OFFENSIVE to some. And that same gospel is still, even today, going to be offensive some people. A life with Christ is going to mean giving up ALL that is NOT Christ-like in your life and I believe that includes the ungodly ideals contained in our cultures. All cultures contain these things. Americans hold MANY cultural beliefs that are not Christ-like. We have to give these up just as our brothers and sisters in other areas of the world will be called to give up those things that are not of God as well….but praise Him because, He gives ALL people grace to grow and walk with Him at their own pace. He never forces Himself on people, He simply tells people the TRUTH and lets them choose to obey or disobey. Obey and you move forward in your walk with Him – you are changed into a closer reflection of His image. Disobey and with His grace you may stay where you are at in your walk OR begin to move backward as the distance between you and your Savior grows. The choice, nevertheless, is yours. But remember tomorrow is NOT promised for anyone. And while He lets us go at our own pace, He does not change. His plan and purpose for this world does not change and His timing for His return does not change.
    The bottom line then (FOR ME) is that in witnessing to ANYONE – no matter where their past has taken them. There are key truths that cannot be compromised. They are ALL OVER the OLD AND THE NEW Testaments. If you are unsure about them, look them up. Everything else is subject to God’s revelation about the particular situations we find ourselves in. This revelation, if not found directly in His Word, can SURELY be found through prayer and fasting.

    So, to all Christans reading this blog I have this to say. Please, no matter what side of this fence you find yourself on, and especially if you’re feeling defensive or overly emotional about the subject, search the BIBLE, then seek His face in prayer and fasting (if you have reached a point in your walk where you understand fasting…if not – study it and then try it), and THEN when you feel you’ve received something of the LORD, submit your convictions to the webblog in a spirit of love and humility. The enemy LOVES to use our emotions to divide us (this is a truth I know TOO well). Please do NOT move from a heart that desires to see all of the body reconciled to GOD first and then to each other. A beautiful woman of God recently said to me “Nothing (no issue, no person, no circumstance) is worth coming out of that place where you can CLEARLY hear God. Nothing is worth moving out of the spirit and into the flesh.” It was revelation to me. I hope it encourages some of you as well.

    I am excited to hear what the Lord in doing in the Fox Valley. These conflicts to me signal that God is in fact on the MOVE! Things are being shaken and His Bride is being refined in new ways! I see it as a preparation for the revival He wants to bring to the area! Remember Romans 5:3-4 “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” (NLT)

    Love and blessings to all of you – my BEAUTIFUL brothers and sisters in Christ!

    To those of you who know me personally I just want to say that I miss you terribly and can’t wait to see you again!

    Just another work in progress,
    E. Warigi

    Comment by E. Warigi | October 14, 2009

  108. Emily,
    Thanks for your post. Well said. And I agree.
    Being that I am in a much different place than Tim regarding what we both are doing to contend for the faith my path has been different. For me, when the prophecy came about Not allowing Christ to be the Head by putting people into ministry that God was not, and bringing people into the Church that God was not, (and the opposites) I went to Bill. In the first meeting Janet joined us and in the second it was just he and I. He responded quite well and actually sent a very loving note thanking me. Shortly after the Lord told me that he did not repent and so I wrote out what I was told and sent it to him again. I also sent this information to the leaders at CTR and the few people mentioned in the document. I then met with three of the CTR elders and our 3 elders, Tim and Douglas. I don’t recall off hand but I think we met twice and then Doug said no more. However the meetings between the elders of both churches were extensive. After quite some time the elders gave me permission to release the prophesies publicly as the Lord had told me to do.

    The Islam/Christian word is a continuation of that prophecy. It speaks to CTR leadership bringing people into the Church that God is not. I was asked to expose this sin and did so. Meeting with Bill was not an option based on his elders statement that he would not meet with me again.

    Tim on the other hand has emailed Bill directly. Then had a tentative meeting to meet with Bill which was canceled. More meetings have been attempted to be made but as of this afternoon we are still hearing that CTR leadership is not willing to meet. Tim is still in process of meeting with local ministers.

    The process of how things have been handled has now brought me as much concern as the original issues themselves.

    One more thing Emily, if you read the book of Galatians you see the same debate and public rebuke from Paul of Peter for the issue of going back to the Law. That being said, notice that the rebuke was public. Even in front of the “babes”. One way to learn a lesson is to see someone else go through the correction. The Islam issues being taught at CTR are far more dangerous for the babes that sat in on that conference. Many of them desiring to go on the mission field and in their 20’s. They especially need to hear from somewhere that what they just sat and ate at CTR was in effect poison, and that they need to spit it out.

    Comment by joiepirkey | October 14, 2009

  109. dear christian visitors of this site.
    Salam o alaikum.(this is how Jesus used to greet others,this is the way muslims greet each other today).
    I see lot of emotionalism on this site.Emotionalism sadly means intolerance to any thing different in this case.We forget though that we are what we were born into.Most christians therefore haven’t even read bible and so don’t know what was the mission and ministry fo Jesus.Let us read bible and Quran.
    I being a muslim read bible and was surprised to see there are many bibles,each differs each other.There is a catholic bible,then there are of Jehovas witness,then there is of mormons then there is of others.Then within bible there are many many errors.if you google “Awake magazine Sep 8, 1957″ you will read there are 50,000 errors in bible.You must be knowing that this magazine is put out by jehovas witness.
    To my christian brothers and sisters here are some facts about
    Quran, which
    was written and memorised in the time of Muhammad.Quran was from the beginning the property of people,(not of scribes nor of clergies).Quran was in live language i.e.Arabic,(while bible is in dead language,e.g.Aramaic and ancient greek both are dead languages so what ever scribes wrote and clergies interpretted had to be accepted otherwise threat of heresy was there,the oldest manuscript in museum of bible is in ancient greek,and not in Aramaic.Quran is the same of all sects in Islam and same all over the world.Every muslim learns Arabic besides his language.All the copies
    of the Quran have Arabic text and then the translation right next to it.
    Quran has teachings about everything concerning daily living and dealings with others etcetc.It offers a complete way of life.
    there have been many scholars who did research on both Quran and bible.One french scientist,Dr.Maurice Bucaille did such a research and wrote a book”The bible,the Quran and science” which is avilable from Amazon.com and he writes in this book,that “Although there are many scores of references on every discipline of science in it yet there is not even one sentence that is in contradiction to modern science, He continues,this can not be said about bible”.
    I invite my christian brothers and sisters to do research,read Quran.US is a great country and we are a great nation,we have done astounding experiments in science,let us do this experiment in religious tolerance and interrelations,i.e.let christians read Quran,like muslims read bible.
    God bless this country and its people and bring them to tolerance through truth.

    Comment by Ahmad | October 25, 2009

  110. “dear christian visitors of this site.
    Salam o alaikum.(this is how Jesus used to greet others,this is the way muslims greet each other today).”

    Ahmad, speaking politely as you malign the faith of Christians makes you no less malicious. The hypocrisy of your post, with its air of superiority, is despicable in that the obvious intent or your words is destructive. You feign closeness with Jesus, claiming to know his manner of greeting. I think I know how he would greet you today: “…but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18.6).

    “I see lot of emotionalism on this site.Emotionalism sadly means intolerance to any thing different in this case.”

    Brothers and sisters in Christ, Ahmad would like nothing better than to gain control of our mental faculty anyway he can. He seeks to capitalize on the political correctness rampant in America today. He implies we are irrational and says we are intolerant because he sees our passionate defense of the Gospel and would like to invalidate our passion in the minds of readers. When the Apostle Paul encountered people attempting to adulterate the gospel and the faith of Christians he confronted them: “…there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ….If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1.6,9). To be emotional like the Apostle Paul, confronting lies with the truth, is the natural outflow of the jealousy of our God, “(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)…(Exodus 34.14). Righteous indignation is necessarily intolerant, and this intolerance is completely righteous.

    “We forget though that we are what we were born into.”

    Ahmad, you don’t have to be! You, Ahmad, are born of the slave woman, as were Christians. But having been born again, born of the free woman, born through promise, Christians are no longer what we were born into! See Galatians 4.21, ff.. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God….And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3.3, 14, f.).

    “Most christians therefore haven’t even read bible and so don’t know what was the mission and ministry fo Jesus.”

    Here it is: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3.16).

    “Let us read bible and Quran.
    I being a muslim read bible and was surprised to see there are many bibles,each differs each other.There is a catholic bible,then there are of Jehovas witness,then there is of mormons then there is of others.Then within bible there are many many errors.if you google “Awake magazine Sep 8, 1957″ you will read there are 50,000 errors in bible.You must be knowing that this magazine is put out by jehovas witness.”

    Ahmad, with your “wisdom” as you continually seek to undermine God’s word you are, in fact, undermining yourself. The Apostle Paul speaks to people like you: “Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.” I will not argue the inerrancy of Scripture with someone whose obvious ultimate goal is to destroy faith in the Christ of Scripture.

    ”To my christian brothers and sisters here are some facts about
    Quran, which
    was written and memorised in the time of Muhammad.”

    Ahmad, as a practical matter, interpreting ancient documents, no matter what they are, requires an exegetical approach if one wishes to understand the intended meaning of what is written. Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament, is no longer spoken but it is nonetheless a language of sophistication and precision that God uses to this day that is easily understood, not only through exegesis but also in English translations. Some English translations represent a conveyance of meaning “word for word” from the original languages to English, but others, with the use of dynamic equivalents, represent a conveyance oriented to “thought for thought” transmission of meaning. Both are valid but the latter is a translative example of indigenization, “the use of various forms of communication and transmission found in the culture to which a speaker or writer is bringing his message” (Interpreting the Bible by Mickelsen, p. 172). What is in error is syncretism, “an invalid procedure by which the content of the gospel is changed or partially assimilated by a hostile world view found in another culture” (Mickelsen 172). An example of this is the C5 methodology of contextualization that is used by some “Christians” ministering to Muslims, that intentionally excludes essential elements of the Bible that pertain to the nature of Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God. Islam teaches that the Father had intercourse with Mary and produced Jesus sexually. This is a lie from Muhammad but the C5 “missionaries” allow the truth to be assimilated by a lie and, therefore, do not teach Muslims that Jesus is the Son of God. About this the Bible says that “The Holy Spirit will come upon you…” (Luke 1.35). “Come” in that verse is from the Greek word επερχομαι which means “come over or upon from above” (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, by Bauer, p. 285). In that same verse we read, “…and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” “Overshadow” comes from επισκιαζω, meaning, “cast a shadow, cover, and as a mysterious expression for that which enabled Mary to give birth to the divine child” (Bauer 298). So you see Ahmad, it is you who has believed a lie, for the Bible says the Holy Spirit and not the Father was the person of the Godhead that was the agent and the agency was, not sexual, but spiritual in nature. The Bible teaches that Jesus, the Son of God, was both fully man and fully God. It is not the Bible that suffers from errancy or fallibility but the Koran.

    “I invite my christian brothers and sisters…”

    Ahmad, we Christians are not your brothers and sisters and for you to say so is the height of duplicity. Your words are a polite attack on our faith that, if pictured, would depict a “helpful” man whose smile has daggers for teeth.

    “God bless this country and its people and bring them to tolerance through truth.”

    That’s pretty transparent. Ahmad, you’d like us to tolerate the lies you’ve told but I for one do not and will never! Your blindness reminds me of that of Pontius Pilate when he asked, “What is truth” as Truth stood before him (John 18.38). I leave you with this, Ahmad: “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8.31, f.).

    Comment by Douglas Pirkey | November 1, 2009

  111. It saddens me to see how facts are twisted by implied meaning and association. For instance, this quote:

    ‘“We didn’t come here to convert anyone,” assures Janet. “We’re trying to open up conversation so we can better love our fellow man.”‘

    This statement plainly does not imply any (dis-)belief in the necessity of renouncing all others to follow Christ. No future action, nor any intent nor desire, can reasonably be inferred. To say otherwise is at least disingenuous, if not actually slanderous.

    Beware; legalism is both insidious and blinding. Yes, there are absolute truths, but this does not relieve us of our obligation to also love others regardless of whether they ultimately come to Christ. It is our God who saves, not the evangelist; it is Jesus who paid the price, not martyred missionaries; it is the Holy Spirit who convicts the sinner, not the prophet.

    Comment by Anonymous | November 2, 2009

    • “We didn’t come here to convert anyone,” assures Janet. “We’re trying to open up conversation so we can better love our fellow man.” This statement plainly does not imply any (dis-)belief in the necessity of renouncing all others to follow Christ.”
      What about this one: “‘Our goal in the morning, we lay out a foundation for the Kingdom of God. We become really clear about what we are doing when we are trying to talk about our faith or sharing our faith: that it’s the message of the Kingdom of God, that we’re not interested in any Muslim converting to Christianity because that wasn’t Jesus’s way and it was an old message.’” The statement above was made at a conference hosted by Christ the Rock Community Church in Menasha, Wisconsin. The statement that you, “Anonymous,” have quoted seems on its face legitimate but its context is that of a church leadership that has embraced heresy, embraced other ministries that have embraced heresy, and taught heretical missiology to others at a conference that was extremely heretical in nature. The Bible says, “Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God’” (John 3.3).
      You argue that to love people is essential, whether loving them results in their conversion or not. I agree, but Janet Lenz, Bill Lenz, and the leadership of CTR have been asked to renounce their activities that render conversion itself a non-essential element of faith, but, heretofore, they have refused. Here is another statement from the heretical conference they hosted at CTR, and the presenter said this is what they say to Muslims committed to following Allah but have not accepted Christ: “So I’ll say, ‘You’ve already started on that straight path. You’ve already stepped into the Kingdom.’” Below is a link to an illustration of what the conference meant by the statement above.
      http://www.shoutsofjoyministries.com/InJesus/Summary_of_Common_Ground_Teaching.shtml
      This illustration comes from the conference workbook. It clearly equalizes the three religions, rendering unimportant what Islam and Judaism believe about Jesus Christ and the New Covenant he established in his blood! But, the Bible says, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4.12).
      Jesus loved people and talked to people, he made disciples, but never did he deny the truth about the Gospel as has CTR. “Anonymous,” with your post you defend heresy and twist the Gospel. May you be saddened by the truth of what you have done. The headship of Christ is non-existent among the leadership of Christ the Rock, a name of which they are completely unworthy!

      Comment by Douglas Pirkey | November 2, 2009

      • Unless you have spoken directly with Janet Lenz, Bill Lenz, and the leadership of CTR, the only basis for your claim of heresy is third-party information, rhetoric, and logical fallacy. I pray that the naive are not drawn into your deceit, no matter how well-intentioned you think you may be.

        Comment by Anonymous | November 2, 2009

      • The claim of heresy cannot be refuted by the Lenz’s nor the leadership of CTR even if they would sit down and speak to me. Because the audio tape of the conference speaks for itself. We simply listen, and then like a good Berean, take the teaching back to the Word of God to see if it lines up with scripture. When we find claims like Muslims are already on the straight path to the Kingdom of God, and that they do not need to be converted, we can plainly see that these ideas are not Biblical. Therefore it is heresy, unbiblical, false. Bill or Janet cannot change that. Their opinion does not matter. Only their rejection of this teaching is now appropriate. And, both to many who have gone to them personally and from the pulpit, they have yet to reject it and repent. They have though, invited one of the teachers of this heresy to go with them to Africa this month and continue in this teaching.

        Anonymous, can you please be specific regarding what you are reading that is deceitful?

        Comment by Joie Pirkey | November 2, 2009

      • So, your concern is not the verbatim of unbiblical teachings that Bill Lenz, Janet Lenz, and the leadership of CTR are disseminating internationally, direct quotes of which you could be checking for yourself with a conference recording. Your concern is not that the Gospel they are presenting to Muslims is not the Gospel of Scripture. Instead, your concern is whether I’ve spoken to them directly. I defend the Gospel with Scripture, interpolating nothing. I’ll leave the defense of heresy and its host to you.

        Comment by Douglas Pirkey | November 2, 2009

  112. Well let me tell for the last time.Islam is a relgion very unique in certain respects.E.g
    It is the only religion that is not named after any person or place.Why?Because it is from God alone.,for God alone.Islam means two things,belief in one God and accountability for actions.When there is a law there is accountability otherwise law doesn’t make sense.If my brother is mayor of my city and I cross red light.,I deserve ticket.I can’t tell judge well because Mayor is my brother so I don’t care.Same thing with divine law.We muslims believe we have to constantly strive and struggle to be a better human being as a neighbour,as spouse,as child, as citizen as human etcetc.
    Islam is only religion that not only tells its followers laws,gives hope but tells ways on how to achieve peace in life on this world.Islam was the religion of every prophet before Muhammad because every prophet taught belief in one God and being accountable for deeds.
    Quran is the only book that is in the living languagage,it is unchanged unaltered.Nothing added after death of Prophet Muhammad nothing changed etc.It is the only book that has changed the hearts of even staunches aethists or of other faiths.
    It is the only divine book that was checked against modern science and was confirmed to be in accordance with it.Read “Bible,the Quran and science” by Maurice Bucaille.There has been more research by different scientist and same conclusion was reached.Quran is the living miracle.
    It is the only book that has laws about every walk of life.
    Muhammad was the only prophet who lived complete life so was role model for mankind,as husband and father.His coming is mentioned in book of every faith,ie.hinduism(mentioned 100 times by name)in zorastrianism,in Bhudism,in Old and new testament.Muhammad said his and Jesus are like two sons of different mothers but same father.We believe him and respect him.
    We muslims don’t believe the concept of original sin.We don’t believe God contradicts its words because God said no human being will lift the burden of other it is in Bible,in Quran also.Just like due to the human rights voilations of blacks by white settlers in US todays white can’t be responsible for the crimes of their great grand fathers similarly people of today can’t be responsible to the spiritual or flesh women of Abraham and their desendents.Relgion is hope and responsiblity for mankind and Quran gurantees it.
    So Doug,to you your religion and to me mine.But I cant’ be convinced because you not only contradict yourself but also contradict teachings of Jesus.

    Comment by Ahmad | November 2, 2009

    • Ahmad, do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?

      Comment by Douglas Pirkey | November 4, 2009

  113. […] beliefs, their statement of faith? Here is another quote from their public relations person on the blog: Comment from “CTR” (posted August 28, 2009):   Hello, I popped over here because Joie […]

    Pingback by ADDRESSING HERESY IN THE NATION – Exposure of C5 Contextualization Pigeonholing Christianity with Islam « Joiepirkey’s Weblog | November 5, 2009

  114. You say that the Quran was the only book that is special because it was not altered? Why then could Allah not keep his other scriptures/torah from being altered? Just curious?

    Comment by Tanya | November 10, 2009

    • Don’t get mad.Be reasonable and investigative.
      Here is the reason.
      Bible was always the property of the church so for a long time and until recently christians had no access to it.
      While Quran from day one was available to people so any change could be noticed immediately.Quran was memorised in the prophets’ life ,written in his life and daily read in his life.While Bible initially was different for almost every church and the agreement to write the preface was done 360 years after Jesus.
      When Quran was compiled ie put in one book there was not a disagreement on even a coma or a period.Because there were thousands of people who memorised it by heart.While Bible today is different among different sects and even in one sect reprints sometimes leave some verses out then later put them back in.Quran is same for all the sects.No difference.
      Quran is in living language while Injeel given to Jesus was in Aramaic now a dead language so the so called “scribes” were assigned to writing it and ordinary people could not check their writings or compare it to source.Thats why it is written in bible Jeremiah 8:8″How can you say,we are wise for we have hte law of the lord,when actually lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?”WHen you buy Quran you will see the text,same that was given to Prophet Muhammad while Bible the oldest one in museum is in greek while Jesus spoke Aramaic.
      In Islam also there are other books,ie.Hadeeths,ie.sayings and doings of Muhammad and Biography of Muhammad.These books are like cross references though Quran is on the top and there is no contradiction among them.With Bible we don’t have any cross reference.
      If today,Tanya you collect all the bibles in the world and dump them in high seas people will be without bible(ignore the internet for a minute)but if you do the same with Quran,it will be reproduced word for word ,coma for coma and period for period.,thanks to millions of muslims who have memorised whole Quran by heart.
      Tanya if we are emotional about faith then we should impartially investigate for the truth.

      Comment by Ahmad | November 10, 2009

  115. Very “conveniently” altered don’t you see. Is God so weak that he couldn’t stop the bible and the Torah from being altered at the hands of men?

    Convenient for the man that wrote the Quran so that all scriptures from God can be denied in order for him to replace them with a fake.

    the scriptures (New Testament) verify that the Torah is true. God gave us hundreds of prophecies of Jesus the Messiah, Son of God. Here is one of them.

    Isaiah 9:6
    For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

    We don’t have to cry out that the Old testament was altered because Jesus fulfilled every prophecy written. Where are the prophecies for Mu hummed?

    Matthew 24
    10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

    There will be many false prophets. The Quran is not unique, there have been many alternate scriptures written, many different gospels, the Mormons whom you mentioned have their own prophet with their own bible as well. Satan likes to mimick God as a form of deception. Why did other false scriptures die away and the Muhammad’s survive? Because of it’s cult like tactics that it uses, including killing all those that question the Quran or did not convert. It’s extreme oppression. Another thing is the arrogence and pride that it instills in those that believe, as well as the fear and hatred of “outsiders” (cultlike behavior), as well as the the promises of “clean virgins” and the like if they do Jihad.

    Comment by Tanya | November 10, 2009

    • Tanya,the muslims today are a weak group of nations and don’t control technology,then why is Islam growing in west most including US ,among people who are rich and educated.
      Recently there was article in NY times that high class of Britons are flocking to Islam.High class means rich ,educated and well placed.Most of such people said that they got interested to learn about Islam when they heard negative criticism on it.Surprising!

      Comment by Ahmad | November 10, 2009

      • Ahmad, do you mean negative criticism like this: “As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1.9,f.

        The point is Ahmad, you seek to destroy the faith of Christians. I’ll ask you again the question you have thus far evaded: do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?

        Comment by Douglas Pirkey | November 11, 2009

  116. What does ignorance or technology have to do with this? Satan is crafty too, does that confirm that he is the truth?

    Tell me then? what did they learn about Islam that was good since you say they were interested to learn?

    You probably already know this but westerners are very tolerant people who try to except everyone and Muslims use this against them as a kind of deception.

    As far as I can remember, since I read part of the Quran, you are commanded to kill otherwise you are going to hell? Why then are you not? Cause you have a conscience and know that these commands are not from God so you chose to ignore them? So then, why should I not ignore them if you do?

    Comment by Tanya | November 11, 2009

  117. Tanya,your good question what they learned about Islam.I have always been interested in it.There are some websites but I will name only 2 by an American pastor who became muslim his name is Yusuf Estes,sites are http://www.shareislam.com and http://www.islamalways.com.
    You wrote westerners are very tolerant people.I also say that but when you read history you see a different pic.e.g
    Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years yet they were minority and when christians attacked back then there was not even one muslim or Jew left.Not even one.Either you become christian or get killed.Not the first time either.Remember crusades same thing.Blood of humans killed in palestine was knee deep for horses.Written in history.Disgraceful for any one who calls himself civlised.Muslims ruled India for 1000 years yet they are minority.If they would have used sword like christian western settlers in American continent,north,central and south every one would have been christian.Either you convert or die.Same thing in Australia,in newziland,south Africa and many other African countries.What happened in Rawanda,missionaries pitched one group of people against the other for material benefit and conversions.And the result is embarrassment.
    Ask blacks in this country about tolerance of westerners.
    But we can’t accuse the present generations for the past ones actions.As long as the tolerance is not denied to the present generation.
    YOur accusation that Quran commands muslims to kill non believers is “Qoutation out of context.”Please write me the qoutes so I can comment on it.
    Look Tanya,Islam is the only religion which says very very clearly that a)There is no coercion in faith, b)God guides those who turn to him. c)God says if we liked we would have made every one muslim but we like to see how people strive for virtue.Islam is the only religion that accepts Jesus as its prophet.Is it intolerance?Islam calls christians and Jews as people of the books.Is this intolerance?

    Comment by Ahmad | November 11, 2009

  118. Joie or Doug, Honesty is a precious quality needed for health in both education and religion.
    There were some good websites here that seem to be removed.You post only those responses which are in accordance with your thinking.A person with a muslim name had put two sites e.g.www.shareislam.com and http://www.islamalways.com. I think instead of deleting them and his response would have been honest to invite him i.e.yusuf Estes or someother muslim scholar or some converts to Islam and ask them some pointy questions for every ones benefit.

    Comment by john | November 15, 2009

    • John,

      You did not identify yourself as a Christian so I will tell you what the Bible says about bringing to Christians a non-Christian teaching:

      “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works” 2 John 9-11).

      For the benefit of Christians the Apostle John took very seriously all things heretical. May Jesus, the Son of God, be glorified in your life.

      Comment by Douglas Pirkey | November 29, 2009

  119. John,
    I can assure you that I have not deleted any post on the blog. The one who posted it is the only other person who could remove it. That being said there are no posts unaccounted for. Maybe you were looking at a different thread.
    You said, “You post only those responses which are in accordance with your thinking.” Read through the blog, this statement is simply not true. I am very open to any debate on the blog and welcome anyone. Check out the thread on the newest post. Douglas has been doing just what you suggest with a number of Muslims.

    Comment by Joie Pirkey | November 15, 2009

  120. Some good stuff to read from a new article in “Christianity Today.”

    Muslim Followers of Jesus?
    by Joseph Cumming
    Believers from Muslim backgrounds are trying to forge new identities in Islamic cultures. The debate over their options has grown furious.

    Can one be a Muslim and a follower of Jesus? Tens of thousands believe so, and in this third installment of the Global Conversation, Yale University scholar Joseph Cumming describes the furious debate their example has fueled. The question of following Jesus while remaining within a practicing community of Muslims has great importance in regions where the two faiths contend. It also serves as an important example of a wider challenge. As the gospel moves across cultural boundaries, those who respond will answer its call in different ways. As missions historian Andrew Walls has written, “Conversion to Christ does not produce a bland universal citizenship; it produces distinctive discipleships, as diverse and variegated as human life itself.” The gospel must be contextualized, but how far can contextualization go without violating the gospel? And who sets the boundaries? —The Editors

    In 1979 my best friend decided he saw himself not as a “Christian,” but as a “Messianic Jew.” John had come from a secular Jewish background and was actually a practicing Hindu before he met Jesus. Then, for three years he was active in a Bible-believing Christian church. But now John felt called to reconnect with his Jewish roots, join a Messianic synagogue, keep a kosher home, and raise his children Jewish. He saw no contradiction between following Jesus as Messiah and identifying—ethnically and religiously—as Jewish.

    Like most Christians in the 1970s, I initially reacted with skepticism, quoting biblical texts I thought rejected kashrut (the Jewish dietary laws) as contrary to our liberty in Christ. I gradually learned that those texts could be understood differently, and came to respect the legitimacy of the fledgling Messianic movement—but not before I hurt my friend by my hostility to his effort to explore his identity as a Jewish follower of Jesus.

    The wider Jewish community also reacted negatively. Most saw Messianic Judaism as simply repackaging centuries-old efforts to convert Jews, destroying Jewish identity. To them Messianic Jews were not Jews at all. Recently, however, some Jewish scholars have cautiously suggested that Messianic Jews who faithfully observe Torah and halakha, who participate constructively in the life of the Jewish community, and who pass on Jewish traditions to their children are in error but must be recognized as fellow Jews.

    In the 1980s a similar movement began among Muslims who had come to faith in Christ. These were Muslims who trusted Jesus as Lord and divine Savior, believed Jesus died for their sins and rose again, and insisted this did not make them ex-Muslims or converts to the Christian religion. They wanted to remain within their Muslim community, honoring Jesus in that context.

    Reactions from both Muslim and Christian communities have varied widely. On the Muslim side, some have persecuted these believers, while others cautiously accept them within their communities. On the Christian side, defenders see them as “Messianic Muslims” whom we should accept—just as we accept Messianic Jews—as authentic disciples of Jesus. Critics argue that Islam and Judaism are different, that Muslim identity cannot be reconciled with biblical faith.

    Mixed Faiths, Mixed Reactions

    When Nabil had a life-transforming encounter with Jesus, he remained within the Muslim community, participating in Muslim prayers. As his love for Jesus became known to family and friends, some followed his example, but others actually attempted to murder him. After being imprisoned for his beliefs, he decided he no longer considered himself a Muslim. He saw Islam as the system responsible for persecuting him. Today Nabil considers himself a Christian. But some who followed him in faith still see themselves as Muslims.

    Ibrahim was a well-respected scholar of the Qur’an, a hafiz. When he decided to follow Jesus, he closely examined the Qur’anic verses commonly understood as denying the Trinity, denying Jesus’ divine Sonship, denying Jesus’ atoning death, and denying the textual integrity of the Bible. He concluded that each of these verses was open to alternate interpretations, and that he could therefore follow Jesus as a Muslim. Soon members of his family and community came to share his faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Ibrahim was also imprisoned for his faith, but unlike Nabil, Ibrahim still wanted to follow Jesus as a Muslim. Nonetheless, some whom he led to Jesus no longer see themselves as Muslims. Ibrahim and Nabil are friends and respect each other as brothers, though they disagree about their identity.

    As Christians from other cultures meet believers like Nabil and Ibrahim, they have mixed reactions. Phil Parshall and John Travis have, between them, worked for more than 60 years among Muslims, and they respectfully disagree with each other. They have published a series of articles in missiological journals, setting forth points on which they differ. Numerous articles by others have followed.

    In technical terms this is known as the “C4-C5 debate,” drawing on a scale designed by Travis to describe various Christ-centered communities (Cs) with which Muslim-background believers in Jesus (MBBs) identify, and the ways they understand their identity:

    C1: MBBs in churches radically different from their own culture, where worship is in a language other than their mother tongue.

    C2: Same as C1, but worship is in the MBBs’ mother tongue.

    C3: MBBs in culturally indigenous Christian churches that avoid cultural forms seen as “Islamic.”

    C4: MBBs in culturally indigenous congregations that retain biblically permissible Islamic forms (e.g., prostrating in prayer), investing these with biblical meaning. They may call themselves something other than Christians (e.g., “followers of Jesus”), but do not see themselves as Muslims.

    C5: Muslims who follow Jesus as Lord and Savior in fellowships of like-minded believers within the Muslim community, continuing to identify culturally and officially as Muslims.

    C6: Secret/underground believers.

    The most vigorous disagreement is between C4 and C5 advocates. To help readers understand the issues, I’ll set forth concerns expressed by C1-C4 advocates troubled by C5. Then I’ll summarize responses from C5 defenders. These concerns and responses are in quotation marks to make clear that these are others’ views, not necessarily my own. Then I’ll add my own comments.

    C4 concern: “Scripture (e.g., 1 Kings 18:21; 2 Kings 17:27Ð41) condemns syncretism. Trying to be both Muslims and followers of Jesus is syncretistic.”

    C5 response: “This is not the syncretism Scripture condemns. C5 believers live under the authority of the Bible (e.g., 1 Cor. 9:19Ð23; Acts 16:1Ð3; 21:20Ð40), reinterpreting or rejecting anything contrary to Scripture.”

    Comment: Both sides of this discussion have done serious exegetical work in Scripture, which they believe supports their view. It is impossible to do justice to either side in this article. Readers would do well to examine articles in Evangelical Missions Quarterly and the International Journal of Frontier Missions, where the biblical issues are set forth.

    C4 concern: “Islam and Judaism are different: one cannot compare ‘Messianic Islam’ with Messianic Judaism. The Hebrew Scriptures are recognized by Christians as inspired; the Qur’an is not. The mosque is pregnant with Islamic theology that explicitly denies biblical truths.”

    C5 response: “Islam and Judaism are different, but both are monotheistic. Islam recognizes the Torah and New Testament as Scripture alongside the Qur’an. Rabbinic Judaism sees as authoritative not just the Hebrew Scriptures (Tanakh) but also the Talmud, which, like the Qur’an, contains a mixture of material compatible and incompatible with the New Testament. Traditional synagogue liturgy also seems to repudiate New Testament teachings, but both liturgies can be reinterpreted, and attendance at prayers does not necessarily mean affirming every word of liturgy.”

    Comment: The term “Messianic Islam” is unhelpful. For Jews the messiahship of Jesus is a watershed issue, whereas Muslims recognize Jesus as Messiah but raise other objections to Christian beliefs about Jesus. Most Muslims believe the text of the Bible has been corrupted, but some Muslim scholars disagree. C5 believers affirm the Bible as God’s Word. Sacred texts must be examined closely, considering whether proposed interpretations are legitimate and honest.

    C4 concern: “The C5 approach is deceitful. How would you feel if Muslims showed up at your church claiming to be Christians, then tried to convert your people to Islam?”

    C5 response: “It is not deceitful if C5 believers are transparent with the Muslim community about who they are and what they believe. C5 believers honestly see themselves as Muslims, not as Christians pretending to be Muslims. They are not seeking to convert Muslims to Christianity”

    Comment: Remember, Travis’s scale describes how believers born and raised as Muslims understand their identity, not how people raised as Christians describe themselves.

    C4 concern: “The Muslim community won’t tolerate such aberrant Muslims within their ranks.”

    C5 response: “It’s too soon to be certain of that.” Comment: The Muslim community can speak for itself. When I have discussed this with Muslim leaders, their primary concern has been whether these people continue to practice the moral and ritual requirements of the Muslim community with which they identify (i.e. what madhhab they follow). They also assert that all Muslims follow Jesus as Prophet and Messiah, just not in the terms Christians draw from the New Testament.

    C4 concern: “To call oneself Muslim is to affirm Muhammad as a true prophet of God. That is incompatible with the Bible.”

    C5 response: “Actually, ‘Muslim’ means different things to different Muslims. C5 believers have a variety of views about Muhammad, including: (1) one can be culturally Muslim without any theological affirmation about Muhammad; (2) Muhammad was a prophet, but not always infallible (cf. 1 Thess. 5:20–21 and Caiaphas in John 11:51); (3) Muhammad was a prophet for Arabs, but not for other peoples; (4) Muhammad was a true prophet whose words have been misinterpreted; (5) this question is unimportant either way.”

    Comment: For the overwhelming majority of Muslims, the prophethood of Muhammad is non-negotiably essential to Muslim identity. But the word Muslim (literal Arabic meaning: “submitted to God”) does mean different things in different contexts. The Qur’an calls Jesus’ first disciples “Muslims” (Q3:52). In some societies, “Muslim” and “Christian” refer more to ethnicity than to religious beliefs.

    C4 concern: “C5 MBBs retain Muslim identity to avoid persecution for the cross of Christ.”

    C5 response: “That’s an unfair judging of motives. The issue is religio-cultural identity, not the cross of Christ, which C5 believers affirm.”

    Comment: If C5 believers are trying to avoid persecution, it isn’t working. Many have been terribly persecuted, suffering imprisonment and worse for their convictions.

    C4 concern: “What about the church? Do C5 believers see themselves as part of Christ’s body?”

    C5 response: “C5 believers form Christ-centered fellowships in which they study the Bible, pray, and celebrate baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These are ekklesia in the New Testament sense, though they may look very different from what Christians usually call ‘churches.’ ”

    Comment: Studying and obeying Scripture helps local fellowships be holy and apostolic. But Scripture also calls fellowships to recognize the unity and universality of the worldwide body of Christ. Some C5 fellowships, and some workers partnering with them, have very negative views of or broken relationships with non-MBB churches. Other C5 fellowships have healthy attitudes toward the wider church.

    C4 concern: “I have heard some C5 groups have sloppy Christology. This alarms me.”

    C5 response: “Some C5 believers do have fuzzy Christology, but so do many ordinary Christians everywhere. What matters is C5 believers’ direction of movement: toward Jesus Christ. They pray in his name, worship him as Lord, and experience his supernatural working in their lives. Their Christology keeps moving higher.”

    Comment: That seems reasonable for new believers. But as this movement grows and its leaders mature, one hopes those leaders will understand sound Christology and articulate it in terms intelligible to their flock. Sensitivity to direction of movement is right, but only with clarity about the ultimate destination of that movement—toward Jesus Christ, not only as Savior and sin-bearing Lamb, but also as eternal, uncreated Logos, God manifest in human flesh.

    Thoughts Regarding Identity

    C5 believers like Ibrahim challenge assumptions about what it means to be Muslim or Christian. We all have more than one identity and community. For example, most American Christians assume one can be both a patriotic American (loyal to that community) and a faithful Christian, though they may disagree with some things their fellow-Americans do or teach. Believers like Ibrahim seek to be both authentic Muslims (loyal to the community of their birth) and faithful disciples of Jesus, critically evaluating what their fellow-Muslims do and teach in light of the teachings of Christ – sometimes accepting, sometimes reinterpreting, sometimes disagreeing. Do such disagreements require American believers to repudiate American identity and community, or require C5 believers to repudiate the Muslim community and their Muslim identity? How can believers best be “critically loyal” to the community of their birth and to their family heritage, respectfully critiquing what is unscriptural, while upholding God’s Commandment to “Honor your father and mother”?

    Ever since the Wesleyan revival and the Great Awakening of the 18th century, evangelicals have insisted that what matters most to God is not one’s identity as “being a Christian,” but rather whether one has a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. David Brainerd was expelled from Yale University in 1742 for remarking that a certain faculty member (a loyal “Christian”) had “no more grace than this chair,” because he did not have a personal relationship with Jesus.

    Does it follow that it is totally unimportant for believers to call themselves Christians? With Messianic Jews, the evangelical community mostly accepts that the label “Christian” is not essential. Is the same true for C5 believers, or is Islam too radically different? If the latter, then what specific differences between the Jewish and Muslim communities prompt us to accept one and reject the other?

    Let me close with a plea from my heart. In recent months this debate has grown acrimonious. Muslim-background believers like Nabil and Ibrahim are mostly unable to participate directly in the discussion, because doing so would expose them to further persecution. Instead, Christians from non-Muslim backgrounds are holding a debate without them, anathematizing first Ibrahim, then Nabil. But Nabil and Ibrahim themselves respect each other as brothers and are able to disagree in love.

    God Is Doing Something New
    by John Travis
    A Response to Joseph Cumming’s ‘Muslim Followers of Jesus?’
    To facilitate a truly global conversation, we ask Christian leaders from around the world to respond to the Global Conversation’s lead articles. These points of view do not necessarily represent Christianity Today magazine or the Lausanne Movement. They are designed to stimulate discussion from all points of the compass and from different segments of the Christian community. Please add your perspective by posting a comment so that we can learn and grow together in the unity of the Spirit.

    For the past 2,000 years, the Kingdom of God has expanded as people groups representing the world’s “minor religious traditions” (animistic and polytheistic) in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, among the major world religions, like Hinduism and Islam, relatively few have put their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. As the gospel is now being shared in an unprecedented way with those of the world’s major religions, discussion concerning new approaches is bound to occur.

    Cumming mentioned that since the Wesleyan and Great Awakening revivals, evangelicals have emphasized that personal faith in Jesus Christ is more important than any particular religious affiliation. This is really at the heart of the C5 discussion. Can Muslims who accept Jesus as Savior and Lord remain Muslim or must they join a new religion? Can born-again Muslims, similar to Messianic Jews, live as “Jesus Muslims” remaining in their own community?

    While the term C5 is relatively new, the basic concept is not. It was described in the late 1930s by missionaries working in the Middle East. Their reports mentioned that the term “Christian” in many Muslim lands had only an ethnic, political, or cultural association that was largely negative, with no implications of a spiritual rebirth. In addition, they noted that numbers of Muslims had become followers of Jesus Christ, yet refused to separate from the Islamic community, so that they could continue to live with their people and share their new life in Christ. In Lebanon in 1969, Baptist missionary Virginia Cobb emphasized that we are saved by Christ, not “religion.” Cobb stated, “We are not trying to change anyone’s religion. Religion consists of affiliation with a group … [a] dogma, structure of authority. … [T]he New Testament is quite clear that none of this saves. It is possible to change all of them without knowing God … our message is a person we’ve experienced, not a doctrine, system, [or] religion. … ” In the following decade, mission leader John Anderson (1976) and missiologists Charles Kraft (1974, 1979) and Harvey Conn (1979) all encouraged the idea of groups of Muslim followers of Christ who would be salt and light to their own people. Each of these writings has engendered both enthusiasm and criticism.

    What these missionaries described is exemplified in the life of Ibrahim, the Qur’anic scholar mentioned by Cumming. Ibrahim closely examined verses commonly understood to deny Christ and the Bible, and found alternate interpretations in line with the Bible. He concluded that he could follow Jesus and remain inside the religious community of his birth. Soon members of his family and community came to share his faith in Jesus. While many Muslims would not take the bold step to reinterpret aspects of Islam for themselves, some do.

    Most of those who do find such alternative interpretations become active in C5 fellowships and invite others to join them. My wife and I have had the privilege of spending extended time with dozens of Muslim followers of Jesus like Ibrahim, from a variety of places and walks of life. Some have secular or nominal backgrounds; others have deeply religious roots and wear distinctive clothing. Whatever the background or religious flavoring, they see themselves as Muslims who have chosen to follow Christ.

    Cumming stated that the intent of C5 is not to avoid persecution. I concur. Tragically, a C5 believer known by one of my colleagues was recently martyred, poisoned by his own family because he would not stop talking about Jesus. Cumming also mentioned that C5 fellowships should eventually recognize the worldwide Body of Christ. I agree and see this occurring among the C5 believers I know.

    The Spirit of God is doing something new among the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims. I close with this challenge to us: Can we as Christian followers of Jesus recognize the true work of God in the lives of Muslim followers of Jesus? Can we honor and pray for them, befriending them if God opens the door? May God give us wisdom and grace in the years ahead to extend a warm welcome to true Jesus-followers, wherever they may be found.

    John Travisis a pseudonym for a missionary who has lived and ministered, along with his family, in Muslim communities for more than 20 years. He initiated the C1-C6 scale described in Joseph Cumming’s article.

    Away with the Sterile Debates!
    by Martin Accad
    A Response to Joseph Cumming’s ‘Muslim Followers of Jesus?’
    To facilitate a truly global conversation, we ask Christian leaders from around the world to respond to the Global Conversation’s lead articles. These points of view do not necessarily represent Christianity Today magazine or the Lausanne Movement. They are designed to stimulate discussion from all points of the compass and from different segments of the Christian community. Please add your perspective by posting a comment so that we can learn and grow together in the unity of the Spirit.

    As a follower of Jesus with a Christian family background, as a Lebanese having grown up and currently living on the Muslim-majority side of Beirut, as the grandson and son of grandparents and parents who have loved and served the Muslim community with the gospel of Jesus throughout their lives, I am often alarmed at how sterile and decontextualized much of the whole debate over so-called “contextualization” has often become in churches, seminaries, and missionary circles. The irony is that most of those directly affected on a day-to-day basis by the issue, the “Nabils” and “Ibrahims” in the Muslim world, whose lives are on the line yet for whom the victory of one side of the debate over the other is virtually meaningless, are not even aware this debate is raging. Did members of the Gentile churches of the New Testament await the outcome of the debate within the Jerusalem church about their legitimacy before they became and called themselves Christ-followers (Christianoi)? Thank God they did not!

    Joseph Cumming has served us well in his article by distilling this tiresome debate for us in around 2,000 words. He puts faces and names to the controversial phenomenon: “Nabil” and “Ibrahim” summarize the main issues of the debate dialectically in eight concise points. Cumming helpfully recasts the debate in the comparative context of Messianic Judaism. I say “helpfully” because today, unlike in the ’70s, most American Christians have become sympathetic to the cause of Messianic Jews. Conversely, due to the widespread attitude of suspicion of all things Muslim since 9/11, a substantial number of American Christians find it hard to believe there is anything legitimate or even redeemable in a Muslim’s religion and culture. Never mind the fact that, as an Arab Christian, I share much more with the culture of Arab Muslims than with that of American Christians.

    I remember sitting half-amused some time ago at an international missions conference lunch table, while two gentlemen debated whether my grandfather, Fouad Accad (author of Building Bridges: Christianity and Islam, 1997), would have sat more comfortably with the C4 or the C5 side of the “contextualization” debate. My grandfather was an Arab Christian, a friend of Muslims, conversant in the Qur’an and Muslim traditions and practices. He lived and died in the Arab world, was there as friend and mentor at the side of many high-profile Muslim leaders as they embarked on the path of Christ and remained respected leaders in their communities. He did not engage them in a debate on whether they should proclaim their break with Islam, pack their bags and travel “West” or simply await persecution and death. He did not give them a list of items they could legitimately keep in their religious bag and others they should do away with. Nor would he have awaited the decision of mission and church leaders on whether he should proceed with his calling using the C4 or C5 model of ministry. Thank God he did not!

    Those like my grandfather and father, who are engaged in living and modeling Christ in the Muslim world (cultural insiders or outsiders be they), should not, and indeed do not, await a green light from some mission-theory gurus sitting in the West in order to pursue Christ’s calling. Joseph Cumming and his family are an excellent example of that. They lived the way of Christ and shared his love in the context of real-life friendships in North Africa, and they practiced responsible and wise discipleship several years before the C1-C6 debate began to rage. This kind of discipleship continues to ask two simple, time-tested questions: (1) How will you make sense of your social identity, with full respect for your context and avoiding the loss of your social influence, in the light of your experience of the living Christ and in obedience to his Word? And (2) How will you live your life in the path of Christ in a way that is compelling and can serve as a model for your family, relatives, and broader community? These are the two great questions of relevance and continuity that no effective servant of the Good News can afford to ignore.

    When certain key figures of the Jerusalem synagogue (Paul in Acts 9) and of the Jerusalem church (Peter in Acts 10) came to terms with the fact that their primary accountability was to God and to the living Christ, rather than to Judaism and its precepts, they were released for effective ministry to the Gentiles, for whom, they realized, Jesus had died as well. When we, in our churches, come to terms with the fact that our primary accountability is to God and the living Christ, rather than to Christianity and its institutional boundaries, we will be released for effective ministry to Muslims, for whom Jesus has indeed died. Cumming has mastered the art of marrying relational transparency with gospel clarity, on the one hand, with the ability, on the other, to explain clearly some complex and sensitive issues of missiology to the internal audience of the church. Let me be clear. It is not the classification of a phenomenon on a scale that is the problem. On the contrary, when Travis developed his C1-C6 spectrum in 1998, he provided an important framework to understand what God had been doing across the world. (See “Must All Muslims Leave Islam to Follow Jesus?” by John Travis, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, 34 (4), 1998, pp. 411-415.) It is the ensuing discourse, which turned an interpretive framework into a missional methodology, that misses the forest for the trees.

    Martin Accad serves as director of the Institute of Middle East studies at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Lebanon, and teaches Islamic Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.

    A Muslim Follower of Jesus
    by Mazhar Mallouhi
    A Response to Joseph Cumming’s ‘Muslim Followers of Jesus?’
    To facilitate a truly global conversation, we ask Christian leaders from around the world to respond to the Global Conversation’s lead articles. These points of view do not necessarily represent Christianity Today magazine or the Lausanne Movement. They are designed to stimulate discussion from all points of the compass and from different segments of the Christian community. Please add your perspective by posting a comment so that we can learn and grow together in the unity of the Spirit.

    As a Muslim follower of Jesus, I would like to briefly comment on the current discussion. A Muslim follower of Jesus is someone, like me, who comes from a Muslim family and chooses to maintain his or her culture after being irretrievably transformed by the saving power of our Lord. Being born in a Muslim family automatically makes one a Muslim and part of the Muslim community. I was born a Muslim, not a Hindu nor a Christian nor a Jew. I am a part of the Muslim community even if I do not practice or believe all of it. But the day I reject it outright, I disavow myself of my family, my community, and my people.

    Muslim followers of Jesus are being transformed by the same Holy Spirit that transforms all followers of Jesus. We read the same Holy Bible that Christians throughout the centuries have read. Shouldn’t we believe the Holy Spirit will show us if we need to re-learn how to pray or change our forms and customs? Shouldn’t we be free to follow Christ without being forced to adopt 2,000 years of Western religious culture? How can an outsider know the impact of our customs on our hearts? If we say our religious customs do not negate what is in our hearts, how can others negate our faith?

    Vocabulary is an issue in this discussion. I often hear, “Followers of Jesus shouldn’t call God ‘Allah.'” But Allah is the Arabic word for God, and is the normal and usual word used by Christian Arabs for God. It shares a Semitic root with Hebrew words for God (el, eloah, and elohim).

    Those who criticize followers of Jesus who want to remain in their largely Muslim culture may not fully understand us. My heart breaks for young believers who receive subtle (and perhaps unintentional) messages from Christians that the way of life handed down to them is ugly. They are given the impression that God cannot be in their culture. If I were a Jewish believer continuing to call myself a Jew and remaining inside my Jewish community, I would be lauded by most of the Christian West. My experience is that most Jewish ideology rejects the entirety of the New Testament and does not honor our Lord. (In contrast, as Joseph points out, “Islam recognizes the Torah and New Testament as Scripture”; Islam also recognizes Jesus as Messiah and his virgin birth.) Yet even with those obstacles, believers that remain inside Judaism are able to faithfully follow Jesus, and do not undergo scrutiny by Christians. Can we not honor Muslim followers of Jesus just as we honor Jewish followers of Jesus?

    Here is something that most people in the West may not understand: Islam is the blanket with which my mother wrapped me when she nursed me and sang to me and prayed over me. I imbibed aspects of Islam with my mother’s milk. I inherited Islam from my parents and it was the cradle which held me until I found Christ. Islam is my mother. You don’t engage a person by telling him his mother is ugly. No matter what your friend’s mother may look like, you don’t say to him, “Your mother is ugly,” or his initial reaction will certainly be to fight you.

    I notice in some of my Christian brothers and sisters almost a sense of betrayal if something positive is said about Muhammad. They may say, “We also have to be honest about the negative aspects of Muhammad’s life … ” Why is this so important? I am allowed to say good things about Oliver Cromwell without being reminded that he chopped off the king’s head. I am allowed to speak positively about Thomas Jefferson without incessant interruptions that he impregnated his slave. Are we somehow admitting defeat, or dishonoring Christ, if we mention positive aspects of Muhammad or the religion he founded? I am convinced that Christians aren’t required to dislike Islam in order to engage it.

    I long for the day when we can err on the side of preferring and respecting one another, resisting the temptation to search out heresy every time someone disagrees with us or challenges the status quo.

    I say to my Christian brothers and sisters as they consider the idea of Muslim followers of Jesus, “Show me that you love Muslims! Show me that your attitude is like that of our Lord! Show me that you are acting out of love and not out of the emotions that surface when two civilizations collide!”

    I am a Muslim follower of Jesus because I was born into a Muslim context and I don’t wish to reject my heritage. Islam is my heritage and Christ is my inheritance.

    Mazhar Mallouhi is an Arab Syrian novelist and writer. In 1998 he founded Al Kalima, a publishing association, to print and distribute books that build bridges of understanding between Muslims and Christians. His 50 year journey with Jesus is the focus of Pilgrims of Christ on the Muslim Road by Paul-Gordon Chandler.

    Have fun reading and thinking.

    Ralph

    Comment by ralph | December 1, 2009

    • Your advocacy of your way of “winning” Muslims to Christ (C5) is hostile to the heart of the gospel: “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2.22). You tacitly approve of the Quranic teaching hostile to the Sonship of Christ: “It is not befitting to Allah that he should take unto himself a son” (Maryam 35). When speaking to Muslims about Jesus you refrain from identifying him as the Son, the very identification that the Apostle makes clear is the crucial substance and importance of who he is! You prioritize the sensibilities of those offended by the true Jesus and in the process delude yourself that they are in the true kingdom of God’s Son: “They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful” (Revelation 17.14).

      It is clear that the biblical identity of Jesus was crucially important to the Holy Spirit who inspired the Apostle John to write the above. Yet you syncretize Scripture at the point of its ultimate concern! Your duplicity is heresy.

      Comment by Douglas Pirkey | December 3, 2009

      • I just can’t believe.If you don’t agree with Doug/joie 100% then you are a heretic,if you are a christian,and outright antichrist if you are muslim.Using religion to divide people not to unite them.How sad!Doug and joie think about it.

        Comment by john | December 3, 2009

      • John,
        It’s the Bible we are giving not our own ideas. A heretic is someone who defines God in a way that goes against scripture, not against our opinions. And Muslim’s redefine God into another god named Allah as defined in the Quran. They also say that Jesus did not die on the cross nor did he resurrect. They also say that He is a prophet only and not God. That is anti Christ. The way of the cross is not a way that desires all to unify while they hold to the very lies that will condemn them. It is the straight and narrow path that few will find and many will find offense with.

        It is political correctness that says UNIFY! at the cost of love and truth. If you really love someone you tell them the life saving truth even if they reject it and you.

        Comment by Joie Pirkey | December 4, 2009

      • I think seeking knowledge is the first step towards tolerance,and even following faith of Jesus.Bible says in Isiah1:18,”Come let us reason together” because narrow mindedness caused such shameful acts as witch hunting in the past, so to say.
        In todays world striving on Information technology it will be pure neglect or mischief to ignore the facts about Islam which is the only religion which makes it an article of faith to respect and love Jesus.I have some muslim coworkers so am saying as first hand information.Islam is the only religion that is not named after any person or place.It is the only religion that is mentioned with its name in its divine book called Quran.(Christianity and judaism are not mentioned in their books)Its book Quran is the only book that is present in its original text as it was given to Muhammad.Same Quran no matter where you pick up a copy ,of which ever sect in which ever country in which ever language will have Arabic text right next to it.Quran was written,memorised in the lifetime of Muhammad and after his death not even a coma was added or altered(as it has happened with bible,reprints and editions are different and so is of different sects) with clergies and publishers or scribes adding books and paragraph as in bible.
        Muhammad is the only prophet as they say whose biography and sayings and doings are safely recorded.
        Muslims surely say Jesus is prophet and not God but they say Muhammad is also a prophet and not God.They say you are not muslim and believing God if you don’t believe in all his prophets equally.
        As for your saying that muslims redifine God into another god named Allah,facts and truth is necessary.
        They blieve their is only God worthy of worship without any partners.They call him Allah because they say,It is a unique name,it is name that Allah told people to call himself,Jews called him Elohim,similar,Jesus called him “Elloi” before being crucified.Elloi is much closer to ALlah than to God,or to Yehweh,or to Jehova or to Dios.Allah is a name that has no gender,like in God,there is no male or female Allah.There is no godfather(or Allah father),there is no tingod(or fake ALlah).There is no plural.Muslims don’t call Jesus as son of God but today there are more and more churches which are saying Jesus not to be divine.It may be political correctness to say UNIFY but it sure is educational and tolerant to understand others as they are and then to accept them.They believe Islam to be the final and practical truth but they don’t go any farther then conveying the message of Islam.May be we should do the same instead of assigning labels and throwing dirt we should focus on our people but with logic and reasoning not with anger and disrespect.

        Comment by john | December 5, 2009

  121. So Jesus said again, “I assure you, unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them at the last day. For my flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink. All who eat my flesh and drink my blood remain in me , and I in them. I live by the power of the living Father who sent me, in the same way, those who partake of Me will live because of Me. I am the True Bread from Heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live forever and not die as your ancestors did, even though they ate the manna.”……..

    “Does this offend you? Then what will you think if you see me, the Son of man, return to Heaven again? It is the Spirit who gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are Spirit and Life. But some of you don’t believe Me.”……..

    At this point many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you going to leave too?”

    John 6: 53-58, 61-64, 66,67

    The Blood and the cross are offensive to many including Muslims, but also His disciples and the Jews. Without the precious Blood of Christ there is no salvation. This is a hard teaching for many.

    Comment by Anonymous | December 3, 2009

    • Amen! Amen–especially to the last sentence.

      Comment by Jesus lover | December 4, 2009

  122. John above goes to great lengths to “respectfully” deceive and lead astray followers of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Bible says this about our Lord: “And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy– the Son of God'” (Luke 1.35). All three members of the godhead are mentioned or implied in this verse, and it is because of verses like this one that Christians are trinitarian in their theology. Notice that John says, “Muslims don’t call Jesus as son of God but today there are more and more churches which are saying Jesus not to be divine.” Read how the Apostle John described people like John: “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2.22). John appeals to reason hoping for an open door to reason people into rejecting Christ. Again the apostle says, “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works” (2 John 10, 11).

    John, repent of your wicked works!

    Comment by Douglas Pirkey | December 5, 2009

  123. Check out this video. Very interesting.

    Video: Following Jesus

    Have fun.

    Comment by Ralph | December 15, 2009

  124. Cool Article in Esquire. Who’d of thought. Have fun reading.

    What If Jesus Meant All That Stuff?
    This radical Christian’s ministry for the poor, The Simple Way, has gotten him in some trouble with his fellow Evangelicals. We asked him to address those who don’t believe.
    By: Shane Claiborne

    To all my nonbelieving, sort-of-believing, and used-to-be-believing friends: I feel like I should begin with a confession. I am sorry that so often the biggest obstacle to God has been Christians. Christians who have had so much to say with our mouths and so little to show with our lives. I am sorry that so often we have forgotten the Christ of our Christianity.
    Forgive us. Forgive us for the embarrassing things we have done in the name of God.
    The other night I headed into downtown Philly for a stroll with some friends from out of town. We walked down to Penn’s Landing along the river, where there are street performers, artists, musicians. We passed a great magician who did some pretty sweet tricks like pour change out of his iPhone, and then there was a preacher. He wasn’t quite as captivating as the magician. He stood on a box, yelling into a microphone, and beside him was a coffin with a fake dead body inside. He talked about how we are all going to die and go to hell if we don’t know Jesus.
    Some folks snickered. Some told him to shut the hell up. A couple of teenagers tried to steal the dead body in the coffin. All I could do was think to myself, I want to jump up on a box beside him and yell at the top of my lungs, “God is not a monster.” Maybe next time I will.
    The more I have read the Bible and studied the life of Jesus, the more I have become convinced that Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination. But over the past few decades our Christianity, at least here in the United States, has become less and less fascinating. We have given the atheists less and less to disbelieve. And the sort of Christianity many of us have seen on TV and heard on the radio looks less and less like Jesus.
    At one point Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, and he said, essentially, “I sure love Jesus, but the Christians seem so unlike their Christ.” A recent study showed that the top three perceptions of Christians in the U. S. among young non-Christians are that Christians are 1) antigay, 2) judgmental, and 3) hypocritical. So what we have here is a bit of an image crisis, and much of that reputation is well deserved. That’s the ugly stuff. And that’s why I begin by saying that I’m sorry.
    Now for the good news.
    I want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion, or politics, for that matter. (If there is anything I have learned from liberals and conservatives, it’s that you can have great answers and still be mean… and that just as important as being right is being nice.)
    The Bible that I read says that God did not send Jesus to condemn the world but to save it… it was because “God so loved the world.” That is the God I know, and I long for others to know. I did not choose to devote my life to Jesus because I was scared to death of hell or because I wanted crowns in heaven… but because he is good. For those of you who are on a sincere spiritual journey, I hope that you do not reject Christ because of Christians. We have always been a messed-up bunch, and somehow God has survived the embarrassing things we do in His name. At the core of our “Gospel” is the message that Jesus came “not [for] the healthy… but the sick.” And if you choose Jesus, may it not be simply because of a fear of hell or hope for mansions in heaven.
    Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in the afterlife, but too often all the church has done is promise the world that there is life after death and use it as a ticket to ignore the hells around us. I am convinced that the Christian Gospel has as much to do with this life as the next, and that the message of that Gospel is not just about going up when we die but about bringing God’s Kingdom down. It was Jesus who taught us to pray that God’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” On earth.
    One of Jesus’ most scandalous stories is the story of the Good Samaritan. As sentimental as we may have made it, the original story was about a man who gets beat up and left on the side of the road. A priest passes by. A Levite, the quintessential religious guy, also passes by on the other side (perhaps late for a meeting at church). And then comes the Samaritan… you can almost imagine a snicker in the Jewish crowd. Jews did not talk to Samaritans, or even walk through Samaria. But the Samaritan stops and takes care of the guy in the ditch and is lifted up as the hero of the story. I’m sure some of the listeners were ticked. According to the religious elite, Samaritans did not keep the right rules, and they did not have sound doctrine… but Jesus shows that true faith has to work itself out in a way that is Good News to the most bruised and broken person lying in the ditch.
    It is so simple, but the pious forget this lesson constantly. God may indeed be evident in a priest, but God is just as likely to be at work through a Samaritan or a prostitute. In fact the Scripture is brimful of God using folks like a lying prostitute named Rahab, an adulterous king named David… at one point God even speaks to a guy named Balaam through his donkey. Some say God spoke to Balaam through his ass and has been speaking through asses ever since. So if God should choose to use us, then we should be grateful but not think too highly of ourselves. And if upon meeting someone we think God could never use, we should think again.
    After all, Jesus says to the religious elite who looked down on everybody else: “The tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom ahead of you.” And we wonder what got him killed?
    I have a friend in the UK who talks about “dirty theology” — that we have a God who is always using dirt to bring life and healing and redemption, a God who shows up in the most unlikely and scandalous ways. After all, the whole story begins with God reaching down from heaven, picking up some dirt, and breathing life into it. At one point, Jesus takes some mud, spits in it, and wipes it on a blind man’s eyes to heal him. (The priests and producers of anointing oil were not happy that day.)
    In fact, the entire story of Jesus is about a God who did not just want to stay “out there” but who moves into the neighborhood, a neighborhood where folks said, “Nothing good could come.” It is this Jesus who was accused of being a glutton and drunkard and rabble-rouser for hanging out with all of society’s rejects, and who died on the imperial cross of Rome reserved for bandits and failed messiahs. This is why the triumph over the cross was a triumph over everything ugly we do to ourselves and to others. It is the final promise that love wins.
    It is this Jesus who was born in a stank manger in the middle of a genocide. That is the God that we are just as likely to find in the streets as in the sanctuary, who can redeem revolutionaries and tax collectors, the oppressed and the oppressors… a God who is saving some of us from the ghettos of poverty, and some of us from the ghettos of wealth.
    In closing, to those who have closed the door on religion — I was recently asked by a non-Christian friend if I thought he was going to hell. I said, “I hope not. It will be hard to enjoy heaven without you.” If those of us who believe in God do not believe God’s grace is big enough to save the whole world… well, we should at least pray that it is.
    Your brother,
    Shane
    Find this article at: http://www.esquire.com/features/best-and-brightest-2009/shane-claiborne-1209

    Comment by Ralph | December 16, 2009

    • Ralph, what is your response to my reply to your post dated 12-1-09?

      Comment by Douglas Pirkey | December 16, 2009

  125. My reply is Merry Christmas. Let’s pray for a blessed 2010.

    Comment by Ralph | December 17, 2009

    • And my reply: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2.8-9). Repent, Ralph!

      Comment by Douglas Pirkey | December 18, 2009

  126. Doug,
    You keep on reminding every one to repent.How about this one that the christianity has some such pagan customs added that christiandom celebrates the Sun god’s birthday and calls it christ birthday.In reality Christ was born in months of autmumn i.e. September when the sheperds still were grazing their flock.So Doug why don’t you celebrate the christmas in September as well or don’t celebrate at all like Jehovas witness people?

    Comment by john | December 18, 2009

    • John, do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?

      Comment by Douglas Pirkey | December 18, 2009

  127. Doug,
    I am a unitarian christian and believe God to be only One,without any son and it is what Jesus taught.Remember Oh Israel your and my lord is one God.
    But it is very difficult to follow Jesus when it contradicts with mainstream christians.

    Comment by john | December 18, 2009

    • John, the issue is the following: “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also” (I John 2.22-23). In this text there is much to note and understand. It is a defense of the gospel attacked. Throughout the Old and New Testaments there are numerous attestations to the trinitarian reality of the godhead. They are easily found. Jesus himself affirmed it: “…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28.19). Notice Jesus said “name”, singular, of persons, plural. It is because the three Persons comprise the revelation of the God of the Bible, and because people like Ralph who tacitly facilitate the perpetuation of antichrist belief among Muslims that denies the Sonship of Christ, that I confront them with Scripture. You, John, seem to have adopted the “spiritual correctness” of political correctness which is itself a facilitation of the denial that Jesus is the Son of God. You worship ‘unity’; I worship the Creator: “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth…(Colossians 1.13-20). To tell you to repent is to defend and speak the truth in love: I love you, John.

      Comment by Douglas Pirkey | December 18, 2009

  128. Doug,You are a good person at heart as it reflects but matters of religion deserve more than just emotions due to its inheritance.Because we love our parents so we inherit their name and their views.But in the day of judgement,our parents will be alone explaining their deeds and answerieng questions,they will not speak for us.
    For example,You say you worship the creator.Very good.Thats the way it should be but here comes the question.First,if Jesus is God(part of triune)Did he die.Can God die?.Then who created whom,who prayed to whom,did God prayed to Jesus or Jesus prayed to God.If Jesus prayed to God,that means God and Jesus were not equal,One was creator and other creation.If he was triune that should mean 1 taking 3 forms,God,Jesus and holy spirit.This becomes very confusing.There is only one God and Jesus was created by him like holy spirit was created also.If you worship creator,then the creator is alone,only one.Once you add son and holy ghost no matter what names or reason you give then it is no more Creator but has creation with it.This is drift from teachings of Jesus.
    The numerous attestations to trinity you mention in old and new testament actually are “Explanations” and not “Proof”.Explanation of a certain statement tells differrent meanings by different people while proof is only one and every one will interpret it as the same.This is the problem.Unfortunately in Bible ,differrent for different sects and different even in the same sect,due to prints,reprints,editions and revised editions None is sure of the writings either.
    God bless you.

    Comment by john | December 21, 2009

    • John, to whose God do you refer, yours, or mine?

      Comment by Douglas | December 22, 2009

  129. Hey John,

    Let’s go get a coffee together. It is the season of “…peace on earth and good will to all people.”

    I’ll buy. I’d love to talk to you and be friends.

    Comment by Ralph | December 22, 2009

    • Ralph,
      Greetings,and many thanks for the offer.I live on east coast so may not take the offer but surely I appreciate it.
      God bless you.

      Comment by john | December 22, 2009

  130. Doug ,there is only One God who created universe,who created Jesus and every one from Adam to newest birth.
    There are many gods,is the thinking of polytheists not monotheists.Abrahamic faiths are monotheists.And truly all faiths were monotheists but they drifted away from its teaching,just like Jesus said”I have come to revive the law”,this tells a lot.In any case it is surprising to note that all the faiths have some surprising commonality,and that is there is only One God.In Hinduism who practice pantheism,i.e.every thing is God,tree is god,snake is god,etcetc still in their books “Vedas and Puranas” it says there is only one God.Bible(old and new testaments) says there is only One God,Quran says there is only one God,Dasatir(divine books of Zorastrians who are fire worshipper and live in Iran and surrounding countries as a minority),there is one God.But when you see carefully and analyse all these faiths you see there is a big drift from the original teachings though there are some points still present among all of them.It is extremely fascinating and enjoyable to read scriptures of different faith impartially and analytically.I worship God so I search for him.
    Jesus said “there is only One God”meaning one God for whole universe.He never said that our God is a different God.

    Comment by john | December 22, 2009

  131. Hello friends,
    I have been sometimes reading the posts.Knowledge to me is respectable and is always welcome.Here are some youtube clips that I like to share to everyone.Those on both sides of the issue should base their views on logic and reason.

    or enter in you tube “Why Jorge Garcia accepted Islam”.This man pretty much studied all different sects and ultimately found peace in Islam.Being a learned in different sects of christianity he offers good insight to christians and muslims alike.

    Comment by Hassan | December 22, 2009

  132. Hey Hassan,

    I watched the You Tube video. Very interesting, thanks for telling us about it. Who is the host of the show? Do you know his name? John and I are meeting somewhere on the East Coast for a coffee and some good discussion? Can you come? That would be great. I am Ahl al-Kitāb (أهل الكتاب ) and I think John is Unitarian…it should be a fascinating.

    Have a great Christmas

    Comment by Ralph | December 23, 2009

  133. Doug,did you ever consider to invite muslim scholars to come and explain their views either on the stage as dialogue or as debate.There are many muslim scholars who could be invited.If that is not convenient then you can come on http://www.deenshow.com ,where I am surprised to see an episode “God that was never a man” an interview with Dr.Zakir Naik.We have to know their view so we can reply it effectively.

    Comment by peter | December 24, 2009

    • Peter, about inviting people to a venue for explaining their views, views that are hostile to the gospel and antichrist, the Bible says, “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works” (2 John 9-11). No invitation will be forthcoming.

      Comment by Douglas | December 28, 2009

  134. I meet with Muslim scholars all over the world. To be honest the Deen Show is not very good. I know Muslim scholars who are far better at presenting Islam. My goal is that Muslims might come into a true understanding of Jesus. Following the example of Al-Massih, I do not engage in debates. In the last two weeks we’ve seen three Muslim men; an Afghan, a Jordanian and an Indian embrace the sacrafice of Jesus. It’s been wonderful to see their lives transformed. Blessings, Peter.

    Comment by Ralph | December 25, 2009

    • “I do not engage in debates.” Hmm… This blog thread has many posts made by you that obviously are part and parcel of the debate you’ve been engaging in for months. You seem very reluctant to personally speak directly and plainly to my reply to the post you made 12-1-09. My reply is a rebuke, one you would do well to heed. To that rebuke you have no biblical response, so you hide, while you can. The Jesus you present is your mongrel, and one day, before Jesus, you will stand.

      Comment by Douglas | December 28, 2009

  135. John, my response to your post #127 is, you obviously do not believe the Bible is God’s Word. Here is Peter’s response to Jesus when Jesus asked, “‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is’. And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God'” (Matthew 16.13-16).

    John, the devil has lied to you. His ultimate aim is to destroy you. Notice Jesus’ response to Peter: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (verse 17).

    This text from John 5 shows you how the Jews interpreted Jesus’ relatedness with the Father: “This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (verse 18).

    John, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1.15).

    Comment by Douglas | December 28, 2009

  136. Douglas, the Jesus that Ralph represents is the Son of the Most High God! This Jesus that you just called a mongrel. Watch your words, they will come back at you soon. How is it that the God of Love allows so much attack and hatred from these lips that confess Him as King? Ralph – I celebrate with you that you have watched the Living God take reign in these three muslim men’s hearts! Angels celebrate, still so many on here sit in skepticism and anger towards those who are actually going out and pouring their lives out for “The Least of These”. There are no words that will shut the mouths of you who spread slander and accusations towards us. So we wait for the King to do it in His time. And I’m scared for you in that moment when your eyes will be opened and you’ll understand what you’ve been doing to His Bride!

    So Douglas, Joie, Tim and any others who join them, I would encourage YOU to heed to these words. You are not encountering persecution for the sake of the Gospel, you are encountering Truth standing against the lies that you have spoken against the Bride of Christ. Taking something True and distorting it and twisting it to an audience of easily confused, to make it what you want it to be.

    Joie, stop these pathetic attempts to destroy something you once loved and now hate. And use your time better than to sit and follow this blog non-stop and playing Farmville with your life. Go and make disciples of all men. Instead of criticizing those who are at least trying. and not just trying, but seeing amazing fruits from their labor. You labor in vain, unlike these warriors for the Kingdom you come against. How many years will you continue to speak these “prophecies” (I don’t feel right even saying that word with anything associated with what you’ve put out) and then try to self-prove them to the world?

    Comment by Peter | December 29, 2009

    • “Douglas, the Jesus that Ralph represents is the Son of the Most High God! This Jesus that you just called a mongrel. Watch your words, they will come back at you soon.” This was said by Peter above.

      “Actually, the Quran affirms everything we revere about Christ. You can read as follows:
      Perspectives from the Al Qur’an
      What the Al Qur’an says about Jesus”
      This was said by Ralph whom Peter defends as someone who represents the “Son of the Most High God”.

      But Ralph, claiming that the Qur’an affirms everything we “revere” about Christ posted the following:
      “4. He is called Allah’s (God’s) Word
      Sura 4:171 (Women)
      171. O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.”

      Ralph says we “revere”: why didn’t he say we ‘believe’ when he seems to have meant us to understand him to imply what is ultimately important about Christ?

      Ralph posted from the above which is from his post #28 that “Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah…” But the Bible says “‘…You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven'” (Matthew 16.16,17).

      Ralph posted about Jesus “…an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him”. This is a restatement of a heresy named Docetism that claimed that Jesus only seemed to be human, that he was only an appearance of a human being, “a spirit proceeding from Him [Allah]”. The apostle John countered, “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already”
      (1 John 4. 2, 3).

      Ralph posted the following: “…so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son.” But the Bible says “And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God'” (Luke 1.35). In this one verse all three members of the godhead are referenced.

      Ralph, the one about whom Peter above in post #135 said “the Jesus that Ralph represents is the Son of the Most High God!”, posted this, too: “for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son.” The apostle John wrote “…that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1. 3). The question is begged: if Allah is “above having a son”, how can he be any god at all when he contradicts the Bible? Ralph, if you believe Jesus is the Son of God, how can you also post that Allah is God since Allah has no son?

      Ralph, the one who says all these things he posted affirm what we “revere” about Christ, also included in his post, “To Him [Allah] belong all things in the heavens and on earth.” But the writer of Hebrews wrote the following about Jesus: “…but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (1. 2, f.). The heavens and the earth belong to JJJEEESSSUUUSSS, the SSSOOONNN of GGGOOODDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      So, Ralph (and Peter). The Qur’an contradicts the Bible, and, by your own post I have shown that it is not the God of the Bible that Ralph “represents / revere”(s). Which god is it?

      Comment by Douglas | December 29, 2009

  137. Good one.

    Comment by Ralph | December 30, 2009

  138. Pete,
    I love the people at CTR. I love them enough to obey God and say these difficult things to say.

    I have so little time to even read the blog and have been so grateful for Douglas and the way he has been caring enough about the Muslims who have been posting on the blog to speak to their questions and concerns.

    As far as evangelism goes~ don’t worry, I have been diligently seeking the Lord about folks that the Holy Spirit is after and have witnessed to many, ministered to many, and lead some to the Lord these past busy Christmas weeks. And my tree looks awesome! I’ll see about posting a picture. It really looks great!

    As far as Farmville goes… LOL…I love Farmville. It is such a great unwind after so much serious discussion. My farm is quite advanced and I’ll post a pic for you here on the blog. Just an FYI~ It has been a great opener of personal discussion with my multiple cousins over the holidays. We gift each other often. 🙂

    Happy New Year all! May God have His awesome way and may Jesus be glorified!

    Comment by Joie Pirkey | December 30, 2009

  139. “those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” Revelation 3:19

    Love? Could Love be the intention? Love can often come across in many ways. Sometimes because we’re human, our flesh can rise up..but that happens to all of us. Do you know her heart? Could Love be the real intention? If that’s hard for you to believe, then maybe you should let go and trust God because of this verse…

    “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” Acts 5:38-39

    This speaks two things, either this is of human origin and it will fail, so your arguments wont matter anyway, because she will fail. OR it is of God, so you will not be able to stop her, and you will only find yourselves fighting against God. Do you trust God to carry through His word?

    Comment by Anonymous | December 30, 2009

    • Of course I trust God. I was just hoping I could encourage Joie to do the same and stop. Trust He will carry out judgment on the whole situation. Or continue in His blessings that CTR has encountered.

      Very wise words Mr./Mrs./Ms. Anonymous Sir/Ma’am

      Comment by Peter | December 30, 2009

  140. Joie, your words are refreshing and kind. Keep fighting the good fight!

    May our awesome God (who is also Jesus) be honored and glorifed in all we do!

    Comment by Jenny Newhouse | December 30, 2009

  141. Great discourse going on at this site. The issue is taking center stage because there is a group of us heating up the dissent. God has called a number of men to take up arms and refute. There is a reason for that.

    http://www.baptiststandard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10557&Itemid=53

    Comment by Joie Pirkey | January 2, 2010

  142. Yes discourse went on before but now with your intolerance for different point of view it wouldn’t.

    Comment by fatima | January 3, 2010

  143. Knowledge comes from different views.This tolerance for different views helped Europe come out of dark period.So the best way to talk with muslims is to read the Quran.
    About C5 movements etc,it is better to build bridges with muslims rather than let christians loose faith totally and become atheists as is the case.
    I wish there was a movement among christians to rediscover the originality of mission and ministry of Jesus as is being said by the ministers who have converted to Islam due to a confusion that exists in christianity now a religion by the church ,of the church for the church.
    I see yusuf Estes name not visible among “possibly related posts” ….automatically generated.
    Make the discussion on this site more educational and informative.It will help us talk with muslims effectively.

    Comment by Jay | January 3, 2010

    • There is a movement among people that profess to be Christians. It is called “Insider Movement”. The “originality”, as you put it, that they have discovered is from long ago; it is ‘believing the lie of the devil’, claiming to be ambassadors of Christ while they deny the truth of who He is, denying that he is the Son of God. But Jay, if you want a sample of the originality of the “mission and ministry of Jesus”, here is one: “…Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel'” (Mark 1.14, f.). God loves you, Jay. He died for you on the cross.

      Comment by Douglas | January 4, 2010

  144. As a former Muslim, now a believer in Christ, I can emphatically say that the insider movement is not of God. There is nothing wrong with an Muslim Background Believer living within his or her Muslim community after becoming a follower of Christ. However, there is a major problem when the same—for fear of persecution—claims to be a Christian and a Muslim, going to the mosque to observe the five daily prayers (salat) and have allegiance to Prophet Muhammad and the Qur’an. Hadith shows salat was invented because Jews and Christians had their own prayers. Muslims used to observe Jewish prayers. Islamic theology is antithetical to that of Christianity, therefore, one cannot claim allegiance to both. If you would like to read more, please read my autobiography, Cracks in the Crescent, online. To God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, be the glory!

    Comment by Hussein Hajji Wario | January 12, 2010

    • Hussein,

      I praise God for your testimony. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1.6). Thank you for your post!

      Comment by Douglas | January 13, 2010

  145. Salat is ordained in Quran,given to Prophet Muhammad and practiced in times of Prophet Muhammad.Muslims never observed jewish prayers.Mr.Wario have you read Quran or are using a muslim name to advance the “no tolerance agenda” of Doug and Joie.Islamic theology is the only theology so much inclusive of Moses and Jesus that it is the only religion that was called “religion of Abraham” by Prophet Muhammad who himself said his religion is nothing new it is the continuation of what and where Jesus left.
    I do belive there should be ban on prosetylisation that goes on in the world by bribes and pressures.Religion is something one should chose based on logic and reasoning.

    Comment by muhammad | January 12, 2010

    • Muhammad,

      My allegiance is not to your religious sensibilities, just as yours is not to mine. The tolerance you speak of seems to be defined as your entitlement to insist that I agree with you. But, for example, I will never agree that Muhammad was a prophet; he taught things that contradict the Bible, God’s word. For instance, he taught the following:

      “O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son” (Surah 4:171).

      But the Bible says the following:

      “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2.22).

      So, you see, Muhammad, your religion is not tolerable, because Islam, as you can read above, is antichrist. My prayer for you and all Muslims is that in Christ Jesus you who are far off will be brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2.13).

      Comment by Douglas | January 13, 2010

  146. To any reader who wants to understand the difference between Jesus in the Qur’an and Jesus in the Bible, click on the following link.

    http://www.shoutsofjoyministries.com/contextualization/Subsumption_Theology.shtml

    Comment by Douglas | January 13, 2010

  147. Doug,
    There are more and more christian pastors/priests who are rejecting the concept of Jesus being divine.
    watch http://www.gainpeace.com.Islam is the only religion that makes it an article of faith to respect and revere Jesus.Which other relgion does it?
    There is a chapter in Quran named”Mary” while there is no such chapter on the mother,wife or daughter of Muhammad.What more proof of tolerance does any one needs?

    Comment by Mike | January 14, 2010

  148. Mike,

    Is “tolerance” the name of your god?

    Comment by pirkey | January 14, 2010

  149. No the name of my God is God who is only one,unique,nor he has begotten a son,nor he dies,nor he feels hungry.He is the one who created universe and for the salvation of mankind sent all prophets,including Jesus and Muhammad with books to show the people straight path and become themselves role model for the books they brought.

    Comment by Mike | January 14, 2010

  150. In what book do I read about your god?

    Comment by Douglas | January 14, 2010

  151. God is only one who created this universe.It is not my God or your God.Same God sent different prophets with books to different people in different times.,who all came with one message comprised of two points,belief in one God and doing good deeds.So we have many books which have these points in common ie.One God and yet some uncommon what people changed.
    A prominent scholar said e.g Bible doesn’t contradict Quran except where it contradicts itself.Surprising but true.The same one God is very kind to keep the last book unchanged ie.Quran while previous ones changed ie.Torah,gospel,Vedas,Bhagvat Geeta,Vedas etc.The last book is unchaged because it is in original text,in live language and was written and memorised at the time of its descent as is now by millions upon.
    Doug same One GOd created you who created me.You may follow message of Jesus(which is also by the way nothing except two points, belief in one God and to do good deeds)but still it is one God to whom you and I will return.Are you prepared?WHat then Jesus says,I never said,worship me or I am your God.Then wouldn’t you feel totally bankrupt at the time you needed most to be on the good side?.On the contrary worshipping One God with Jesus not his son but his prophet is a safe insurance and investment.
    I was one time very rigid like you but then I realised that such inflexibility hurts only the believer and not the truth.

    Comment by Mike | January 14, 2010

  152. Mike,

    You said “On the contrary worshipping One God with Jesus not his son but his prophet is a safe insurance and investment. I was one time very rigid like you but then I realised that such inflexibility hurts only the believer and not the truth.” So then Mike, since you are not rigid you can understand the safety in believing that Jesus is the Son of God, since that is flexible and will make you safe just in case Jesus really is who the Bible says he is:

    “He [Peter] was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him'” (Matthew 17. 5).

    Just in case other readers need proof that Allah is not the God of the Bible, not the Voice in the gospel of Matthew above, the Qur’an says the following:

    “They do blaspheme who say: ‘Allah is Christ the son of Mary…!’ ‘They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a trinity….’ ‘Christ the son of Mary was no more than an apostle; Many were the apostles that passed away before him’” (Qur’an 5.72, 73, 75).

    But the Bible says, “And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God’” (Luke 1.35; English Standard Version). And Isaiah prophesied, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (9.6).

    The Bible clearly teaches that Christ is a member of the triune godhead and the Qur’an, written hundreds of years after the Bible, clearly teaches that its god, Allah, rejects that teaching.

    Mike, you should know that the Bible also says, “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2.22). Your belief, Mike, is antichrist and so is the Qur’an.

    Comment by Douglas | January 15, 2010

  153. Doug,
    It is heartening to see how you remember and qoute bible to explain your beliefs but did you even think that this bible is not what Jesus taught.After 2 thousand years this bible is changed so much that one can’t be sure if a certain line is what Jesus said or what is added,altered by the people,Scribes in the past and publishing houses now a days.Every sect has its own bible and everys sects bible has rewritten,reprinted,with additons and alterations.Surely Jesus didn’t teach from this English bible written by Mathew,Mark,Luke and John.And where is the original text?

    Comment by Albert | January 17, 2010

  154. Albert, Mike, Muhammad, et al,

    The fact that you attack the integrity of the Bible, picking and choosing verses (like so much grocery shopping) to deny God’s word, makes you enemies of God. It is one thing to differ with me about things that the Bible says that can legitimately be interpreted differently but it is another to attempt to steal the authority of Scripture by discrediting it. You can pretend all you want but Islam is a false religion that is defeated; it was conquered at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ! Your problem is not with me but you should wish it were. Your problem is with the Lamb slain for you:

    “They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” (Revelation 17.14)

    May Jesus grant you repentance: “…so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty; but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55.11).

    God is love, Albert; he died for you, for you on the cross! Hallelujah!!!

    Comment by Douglas | January 17, 2010

  155. Dear Brother Doug,
    I am happy to see my name,you remember old admirers.I admire you to be a devout believer in God.In this time and age it is very difficult but you worship creation(Jesus)not the creator,you follow man made religion(made by church authorities,scribes and historians,not what was given by Jesus (Pbuh).You have brought few points.
    You say Islam was conquered at the time when Jesus was crucified.Brother,Jesus was preaching all his life Islam(belief in one God and telling people to do good deeds,but if you say Islam to be the teaching of Muhammad (pbuh)then he came 600 years after.
    You say I attack integrity of Bible.I bleieve in Injeel(as was given to Jesus (pbuh) not this in English,by Mathew,Mark,Luke and John,printed,reprinted,every sect having a different one,and the same sects bible changing as time changes,reprints are different than the prints.etc,etc.)NOt two bibles are exactly alike yet each is said to be word of God.
    Now I follow what Quran says,Quran says if you don’t know something,ask the expert in the field.Now the expert in the area of Bible is one who is MA in divinity at Harvard,ordained minister in methodist church,He is Dr.Jerald Dirks.In interview he talks about “Amazing facts about Bible with Eddie on wwww.thedeenshow.com.
    Worth watching,and if he is wrong,Please do me a favour,do all christians a favour,do bible a favour,contact Eddie and come on the show.I love truth and I know truth doesn’t need crutches.
    I love you Doug,May God show the right path to you,the same path,Jesus followed and preached people to follow.

    Comment by Muhammad | January 18, 2010

    • Muhammad,

      You wrote the following: “In this time and age it is very difficult but you worship creation(Jesus)not the creator,you follow man made religion(made by church authorities,scribes and historians,not what was given by Jesus (Pbuh).”

      You claim to honor Jesus yet you qualify his Word with “Injil”, your way of picking and choosing the Scripture you prefer to believe. Your arguments are bogus.

      The following identifies the difference between the Creator and Allah: “…God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” ≠ “O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son” (Hebrews 1.1-3; Surah 4.171).

      Upholds the universe by the word of whose power: the Son’s! Again Scripture identifies Jesus as the Creator:

      “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colassians 1.15,ff.).

      The Bible also proves the pre-existence of the pre-incarnate Son of God, Jesus:

      ” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” John 1.1-3).

      Muhammad, you have no alternative but to deny the validity of the verses from the Bible. Deny all you want but the truth of God’s word remains: Jesus is the Creator, the Son of God, and Allah is not God. When the Qur’an disputes and contradicts consistently the identity of Jesus it becomes apparent to Christians that for Islam to be the truth the Bible must be the lie. May God have mercy on you.

      Comment by Douglas | January 19, 2010

      • No Doug,
        Bible is not all lie.Bible is not all truth either.This is what many christian scholars are saying.
        Now don’t be emotional.Be logical.How can every thing in bible be 100%true when there are contradictory statements in the bible.
        Doug,God bless you.Pray to God and ask to show you the truth what ever it is,but pray impartially not with bias.He will show you sign.

        Comment by Muhammad | January 20, 2010

  156. Quote sent from a member of the Biblical Missiology Society:

    “The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction. And he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease…” John Dryden

    Amen

    Comment by joiepirkey | January 18, 2010

  157. Muhammad,

    How can Allah be the Creator when he, according to the Qur’an, has no Son: “It is not befitting to Allah that he should take unto himself a son” (Maryam 35).

    Compare to what your book says what the Bible says: “…God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1.1-3).

    It is the Son who is the Creator whom you do not worship. You worship someone else…created by the Son.

    Comment by Douglas | January 20, 2010

  158. So then with the same token,where is the grandson of God?How can Jesus then be god?

    Comment by Tony | January 21, 2010

    • Tony,

      The Bible says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1.12).

      To “become” means a change in spiritual condition, from that of the natural to that of the supernatural. This has nothing to do with natural generations (sons, grandsons, etc.); it is about God choosing to adopt for himself children.

      The Bible says to Christians, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!'” (Romans 8.15)

      At some point, one abandons his rationale at the point of his ultimate concern; that is, he entrusts himself to God, not answers. The proof of this is, if the one you believe in you fully understand, that one is not God; it is your equal.

      The Bible says, “…yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ…” (Galatians 2.16).

      May the Lord Jesus have mercy on you.

      Comment by Douglas | January 22, 2010

  159. Muhammad,I thank you for the good site you told in your earlier post.The interview is an eye opener.
    I always wondered on the validity of christian concepts like sonship of God,originality of sin,Dying of God to save man while he could have just forgiven unless he was not a God to begin with.The triune God.All were baffling enough.
    Now in this interview I understand that the confusion is because christianity is not any more religion of God.It is of the church.Even there is no agreement on one Bible!.
    Knowledge and truth are no one’s property so it should be propagated and similarly those who block it due to fear should know that bible says “Come let us reason together”.Why ?If such reasoning would have continued may be today the original teachings of Jesus would have remained in practice.

    Comment by Tony | January 21, 2010

  160. Tony,Just want to comment on your “Come let us reason together.Here is one example.
    Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist in River Jordan.Think.Sinners are baptised not the sinless ones.So the crucifixion of Jesus is useless because according to Bible he was baptised.
    Solution?
    Quran says it was not Jesus who was crucified but someone else who was made to look like Jesus.I surely consider it a respectable solution.By the wasy muslims consider Jesus to be sinless.

    Comment by Albert | January 24, 2010

  161. Albert,

    You remind me of the Jews about whom Jesus said, “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (John 5.44) Surely there has been between you and Tony a spiritual “high-five”, you know, like your falsehood has won the argument game.

    John the baptist rebuked the Pharisees and Saducees who were coming to be baptized, saying, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham” (Matthew 3. 7-9).

    But look at the difference in how he spoke to Jesus, when he came to John to be baptized: “John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?'” (Matthew 3.14). John is acknowledging that Jesus did not need to be baptized as a sinner needing repentance. About Jesus the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews said, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” Hebrews 4.15).

    Jesus’ response to John was “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3.15). In Isaiah 53 we read of the role of the Suffering Servant, that he was to be numbered with the transgressors (v. 12). It was the LORDS’ will that Jesus was in baptism fulfilling, and the Father’s voice in Matthew 3.17 implied that: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” But Albert, you don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God either, do you?

    John the Baptist said of Jesus, “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3.36).

    Albert the wrath of God remains on you! You need the sinner’s baptism of repentance!

    Comment by Douglas | January 25, 2010

  162. Test

    Comment by Douglas | January 28, 2010

  163. Hey Everyone.

    Check out these famous Christians discussing Islam. Very good.

    http://www.stream-express.com/se/Meetings/Playback.aspx?meeting.id=790677

    Comment by Ralph | February 5, 2010

  164. Ralph,

    You had no real response to my reply to post #136 about your post #28. All you said was “Good one” as if this is not a serious matter. In your post you promoted many Islamic beliefs about Jesus, beliefs that not only contradict the Bible but also attack the Christian faith. With Scripture I showed the beliefs you posed to be what they are, anti-biblical and antichrist. For Christians, everything you post is suspect.

    Comment by Douglas | February 5, 2010

  165. Good one, Doug.

    Comment by Ralph | February 5, 2010

  166. Doug, come on, this blog is drying up. Throw out a question. Call someone the “anti-christ” or “anti-christian” or something. If this blog doesn’t bear fruit, then you have a serious problem with John 15.

    If you need help, here’s a question: Was Jesus a Christian?

    Go Doug. We wait in anticipation of your scholarship.

    Comment by Ralph | February 10, 2010

  167. Good one, Ralph.

    Comment by Douglas | February 10, 2010

  168. Janet Lenz, if you are reading this (and I truly believe you are), know that you’ve been on my heart the past couple of days. God loves you and wants you to turn away from the sin that has you entangled. The choice is yours….

    If you continue to promote the teaching of Jesus in the Quran, then do so proudly. Let everyone in staff at CTR know what’s going on. Stop hiding.

    Comment by Jenny Newhouse | February 10, 2010

  169. Come on Dougie. You can do it.

    Comment by Ralph | February 11, 2010

  170. Ralph,

    I enjoy your sense of humor. Your post #166, though you seemed a bit antagonistic, was funny to me (e.g. “call someone the ‘anti-christ'”). Maybe one day we can have coffee together and discuss our differences. But in the meantime, please consider the following:

    “For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2.3, f.).

    Comment by Douglas | February 11, 2010

  171. Hey Doug,

    Coffee? Sounds good. I do appreciate your fervor. Really we don’t have any differences. We would agree Christ is Lord of all and the only way to salvation. Perhaps our only point of deviation is in the presentation of the Gospel. I’ve been in the Muslim world for 20+ years and it’s a little more complicated than just calling everyone “anti-christ” HA! Just a mind attempt at humor. I was arrested in my first years here for “insulting Mohammed” and the sentence was ten years in prison. It’s an interesting story. I’ll tell you over the coffee…and I’ll buy. Later, while in Iraq, four of our team were killed. I had to pick up their bodies. As you might imagine, the Gospel moved beyond “sitting in America” rhetoric quoting verses in harmless blogs.

    But here’s what I discovered. The Bible is truer than I ever understood and God, through His Spirit, works deeper than I ever imagined. Also, I found immense wonder in the way Jesus talked with people. He loved them. Love permeated everything He ever said.

    The Apostle Paul reflects this in I Corinthians 13.

    If, we as Christians are known by our love…than we must respond in love, with love to all who question the hope that lies within us. To do otherwise, is to be “a clanging gong.”

    So Doug, let’s win the world. You are welcome to come here in the Muslim world with us…so few Christians come here.

    Thanks for the offer of a coffee, but I’m not sure you’re ready to come where we live. It’s a tough place. The God, “who tests our hearts” as you rightly quote, also said “Go into all the world.” With your acuity in the scripture, you’d be great here with Muslim imams. Perhaps you could make us better in what we’re trying…albeit humbly…trying to do.

    Many blessings to your family.

    Comment by Ralph | February 18, 2010

  172. When some christians talks about love and following the teachings of Jesus I start wondering what kind of christianity were those people following who came to North,Central and South America and killed all the young and strong,raped the women and then came clergies and said “Accept Jesus ,he died for your sins”and today we don’t have any one left in these continents who could comfortably and proudly practice his faith(prechristian)culture and language.Same in Australia and other countries like Newziland,and some countries in Africa.What kind of butchery was done to African slaves brought to US and Europe and by people of what faith.
    It is surely very fascinating to present christianity like this but at the end of the day what is visible has nothing to do with Jesus and his teachings.
    I believe proselytising should be banned totally while presenting one’s faith be allowed.In India we have shaming examples of behaviour of clergy.Offering people job,and visa to US and Europe for being spy in their native country and then accepting christianity.One example exposes the real nature of such missionaries.One guy told me,in a mission hospital a christian nurse gives a medicine to a patient and says take it with the name of Muhammad or Bhagvan and the medicine because it was a placebo didn’t work then gave genuine medicine latter and said take it with the name of Jesus and told him now it will work.The christian nurse got some moral awakening and exposed herself the practice of christian missionaries.These practices deserve to be banned.But who will?

    Comment by Kumar | February 18, 2010

    • Kumar,

      You said “I believe proselytising should be banned totally while presenting one’s faith be allowed.” But the Qur’an says the following:

      “The Hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder.
      But if they see a Sign, they turn away, and say, ‘This is (but) transient magic.’
      They reject (the warning) and follow their (own) lusts but every matter has its appointed time” (Qur’an 54.1-3).

      The Qur’an also says this:

      “Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not ‘Trinity’: desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son…” (Qur’an 4.171).

      Kumar, you are a hypocrite. You claim not to proselytize but your book gives examples of doing that very thing, telling people to turn from their current beliefs to instead believe the Qur’an. The Qur’an and you are antichrist:

      “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son (1 John 2.22).

      Kumar, repent or perish!

      Comment by Douglas | February 21, 2010

  173. The Bible denies Jesus’ divinity by stating that he was just a man that God used and empowered with the holy spirit if you read Acts 10:38 and Acts 2:22. And also the Quran does not deny His resurrection or the fact that he is the Messiah because in the sura “The Women” verses 156-159 state:4:156] (They are condemned) for disbelieving and uttering about Mary a gross lie.4:157] And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of GOD. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him – they were made to think that they did. All factions who are disputing in this matter are full of doubt concerning this issue. They possess no knowledge; they only conjecture. For certain, they never killed him.*
    4:158] Instead, GOD raised him to Him; GOD is Almighty, Most Wise. (Resurrection confirmed)4:159] Everyone among the people of the scripture was required to believe in him before his death. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them (confirms ACTS 1:11!!!!! “And they said, ‘Men from Galilee, why linger gazing skyward? This Jesus taken from you into heaven will come thus, in the way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11).confirming that he is the Messiah and that he is coming back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!hallelujah is the Highest praise

    Comment by Ahmad Micah | February 18, 2010

    • Ahmad Micah,

      You said, “The Bible denies Jesus’ divinity by stating that he was just a man that God used and empowered with the holy spirit if you read Acts 10:38 and Acts 2:22.”

      Ahmad Micah, you are in error. The Bible says the following:

      “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made….And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1. 1-3,14).

      The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is God the Son! But there is more to your lie. You said, “And also the Quran does not deny His resurrection”, but you went on to present lies from the Qur’an that deny his crucifixion. And why would that denial be so important to you? Because it is by his crucifixion that our sins our forgiven:

      “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Corinthians 15.3-9).

      “Christ died for our sins”!!! Ahmad Micah, your sins are forgiven because Christ died! His sacrifice satisfied the righteous requirements of the holy God because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, God the Son the Lamb of God. Therefore being fully God and fully human his payment for our sins is completely satisfactory for paying for our sins and completely applicable to your and my account because he, fully human, did for humanity what humanity could not do for itself, atone for our sins!

      Ahmad Micah, you referred to Acts 10.38 but what about 10.39: “And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree…”

      Ahmad Micah, you are perpetrating lies. REPENT!

      Comment by Douglas | February 21, 2010

  174. Ahmad Micah,You qoute bible as if it is unchanged word of God given to Jesus.It is not.Which bible you are following,that of Catholics,protestants,Jehovah witness,Mormons or what each differ from other.Did Jesus speak English,was he illiterate that Mathew,Mark,Luke and John had to write this for him to qoute from that you are qouting from also.?

    Comment by Kumar | February 19, 2010

  175. Hi Kumar,

    All your questions about the Bible are answered in the Quran. If you knew the Quran well, you wouldn’t be making such superfulous inquiries.

    Comment by Ralph | February 20, 2010

  176. Ralph,Let the visitors of this site benefit from your scholarship.What does Quran says about”English language bible written by some anonymous writers called Mathew,Mark,Luke and John with so many contradictions or errors.Google this”Awake magazine Sept8,1957″ and it will lead you to only one of the many researches by bible scholars on bible.May be you can challenge it.
    Yes Quran challenges its readers by saying”If it was from a human source you would have found many discrepancies in it”.Discrepancies you find in bible with in same edition or with others.KJV writes in its preface that there have been 5 maor revisions before.5 major revisions!Imagine if your great great great grand father writes a will and every of the 4 previous made revisions then it comes to you and you revise it now there are 5 revisions.Then you take it in the court and say Your honour this is the will of my great,great great grandfather and the decision on inheritance be based on it.What the judge will do ,he will send you for psychiatric evaluation and book you for forgery.But with the bible it is OK.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hallelujah.

    Comment by Kumar | February 20, 2010

  177. Hi Kumar,

    None of that is in the Quran. What does the Quran say about the Tawrat, Zabbur and Injeel? All the other things you say contradict the Quran.

    Comment by Ralph | February 21, 2010

  178. Ralph,

    You said, “Perhaps our only point of deviation is in the presentation of the Gospel.”

    Are you suggesting that your post #28 is an example of a mere difference in presentation?

    The gospel revealed is the gospel to be presented. When the Son of God put on humanity he remained the Son of God. Though he changed contexts he did not diminish himself in any way and neither should we! As to this the apostle John wrote, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (John 1.18).

    Ralph, if it has been your intention to reveal to Muslims Jesus in the Quran, the consequence has been the redefining of Jesus in the Bible. May God have mercy on you.

    Comment by Douglas | February 21, 2010

  179. Ralph,
    Have you read Quran?No you haven’t because if you had you would have known.Quran is a book that is full of challenges to its readers,like Ok if this book is wrong then do this and you will prove it wrong ,called falsification tests.No other divine book has such falsification tests in it.
    Quran surely talks about Tawrat(Torah),Injeel(bible according to Jesus i.e.as given to him and Zabur(Psalm) as given to David.
    Now do yourself and whole christiandom a favour if you are a true christian find the bible according to Jesus in Aramaic,not according to Mathew ,marks ,Luke and John some anonymous writers.Do you know oldest manuscript of Bible in museum is in Greek (NOT IN ARAMAIC).So when you can’t find bible according to Jesus then follow Quran the book sent from same God who sent Jesus with the message(no where to be found today).Same is true of Torah with difference i.e.it is in Hebrew but changed a lot.,has become a book of history thanks to Rabbis with political and financial agenda.
    Sadly Bible has gone through worst fate,it is neither in its original language,nor in original text.Did God have plan for this to happen as it has or God of bible was helpless(Well he couldn’t help his son from dying on cross inspite of his pleading and begging.Remember Elli,Elli Lama sabacha tha ni.
    Oh God,Oh God why have you forsaken me!

    Comment by kumar | February 21, 2010

  180. Hi Kumar,

    I have been studying the Quran for 20 years with Imams in the Middle East where I live. Thank you for asking.

    بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيم
    الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين
    الرَّحْمـنِ الرَّحِيم
    مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّين
    إِيَّاك نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين
    اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيمَ
    صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّين

    You don’t seem to understand Quran. The Quran says it is the “protector” of the Scriptures (Surah 15), which could only be the Tawrat, Zabbur and Injeel, since the Quran was originally an oral document. Each time you criticize the Bible you are saying the Quran failed in its goal.

    Instead of attacking the Bible, why not reflect on the Quran. That would make you sound more intelligent. It is always better to be an expert in your own book first, before you criticize another.

    Please enjoy the surah above. Instead of arguing, which is not Allah’s way, let’s explain to the reader’s here what the Straight Path to Allah is.

    Why don’t you go first, and then I’ll contribute to your expertise.

    السلام عليكم

    Comment by Ralph | February 23, 2010

  181. Hey Douglas,

    Thanks for your prayer for mercy. I can always use that. While you’re praying for my mercy, could you shoot one up for the US Olympic Hockey Team. Hey, you’d be a good chaplin for a sports team. Have you ever considered that?

    Comment by Ralph | February 23, 2010

  182. Hey Ralph,

    Thank you for your suggestion. I was once a chaplain in a hospital but that is all of my chaplaincy unless the Lord redirects me back into it.

    I have a question: How can the Qur’an, written many hundreds of years after the Bible was written, be the “protector” of the Scriptures when the Qur’an contradicts and even disputes what the Bible says?

    The Qur’an says, “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)” (15.9). The Qur’an also says, “It is not befitting to Allah that He should beget a son” (19.35). But the Bible says, “For to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’?” (Hebrews 1.5). The Bible also says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1.14). So then, how can Allah be the God of Jesus when the Bible says Jesus is the Son of God? He cannot be!

    Comment by Douglas | February 24, 2010

  183. Hi Doug,

    Hey, did you notice Kumar hasn’t answered yet? I think there are two reasons for his lack of response: he doesn’t speak Arabic and he doesn’t know the Quran.

    I find it ironic that both you and Kumar are on the same page. I don’t mean theologically, of course. You seem gifted at identifying “anti-christs” and for this I applaud you. Even the Bible is a little vague on that issue, so I’m glad you are here to update us, albeit Kumar and I are thus identified by you.

    So here’s where you and Kumar are alike…neither of you speak Arabic, and, dare I say, neither of you know your own book. Ouch. Sorry.

    Really Douglas, don’t quote the Quran using proof texts. Isn’t that what every critic of the Bible does?

    In answer to your question about the Muslim (Quranic)problem with the word “son” in reference to God, well, Douglas, you’re going to have to do a little work. As a start, check out the Arabic word for “son” and then see if that is the term you would use for Jesus’ relationship to God. You might be surprised.

    Once you figure this out, perhaps you could use this site to help Muslims to embrace Jesus as Lord. Or is that not the purpose?

    Kumar is longing for salvation, but all you’re teaching him is how to argue. Pay attention to his need.

    If you need help with the Arabic, let me know.

    لأَنَّهُ هكَذَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ الْعَالَمَ حَتَّى بَذَلَ ابْنَهُ الْوَحِيدَ، لِكَيْ لاَ يَهْلِكَ كُلُّ مَنْ يُؤْمِنُ بِهِ، بَلْ تَكُونُ لَهُ الْحَيَاةُ الأَبَدِيَّةُ.

    Sic enim dilexit Deus mundum ut Filium suum unigenitum daret ut omnis qui credit in eum non pereat sed habeat vitam aeternam.

    Comment by Ralph | February 24, 2010

  184. Ralph you qouted surah 15,which Doug has written much clearly i.e 15.9 “We have without doubt send the message and we will assuredly guard it from corruption”.It doesnot say that Quran is protector of scriptures as you mention.Quran came because scriptures were corrupted.,message of previous prophets,Moses and Jesus were lost then and in case of Christianity even the original language was also lost so whatever someone said about what Jesus, could not be checked with any crossreference available.In the same surah verse 90 it says”Just we had revealed scriptures to the separators(i.e.Jews and christians,separators means they had separated away from the teaching of Moses and Jesus.
    In case of Moses at least Hebrew remained alive as to this day but in case of christianity Aramaic was lost.For knowledge sake it is important to know that this fate is unique to gospel.Hindu scriptures called Vedas written 4000 years ago in Sansikrat is still available though changed a good amount so that it can show contradictions.Sansikrat is still around, people can learn it in Universities in India but is not spoken.
    Quran surely is preserved today,the only religious book in its original language and in original text.Every copy that you buy will have text and translation.,and muslims insist that the Quran is the Arabic text not the translation in another language.Also Quran is the only book that is memorised by millions of muslim world over,if you take all the copies of Quran from the whole planet ,put them in ships and dump them into high ocean ,it can be reproduced in its entirety word by word,coma by coma and period by period in one hour due to these memorisers.That wouldn’t happen with anyother relgious book.
    Now coming to what happened to gospel.A man named Paul who was a Jew,said he was,lived as one and died as one according to most scholars didn’t meet Jesus but yet after Jesus he wanted to be included in the group of disciples of Jesus and started adding statements that were against the open and clear teachings of Jesus.E.g Jesus said he will not change the law,which law Mosaic law ofcourse,means that the divine law,ie.book because torah had changed already.Jews didn’t want anyone to tell their present Rabbis to change from their practices and became enemy of Jesus and ganged with Romans for his execution.So Jesus also said don’t eat Pork and himself was circumcised and told others to be circumcised.Paul said no,there is no need.And in contradiction to Jesus ,teachings of Paul were accepted by those who called themselves christians.This is the first example of hijacking of gospel by Paul,before it was rewritten by Mathews,Mark,Lukes and John.Christians have to understand that if the Jews didn’t tolerate Jesus in his life how much they would not have done to destroy his teachings or change if they couldn’t destroy.Surely both happened.
    I respect your advice Ralph,it is always better to be expert in your book first.So Ralph why don’t you think to do research on gospel in finding out the mission and ministry of Jesus.That would be a big service to christianity.
    Today the straight path to the creator called as Allah by all the prophets is through two things,Quran and the life of prophet Muhammad,both are preserved.
    Quran is criterion on which you can check other relgious books meaning if a certain teaching contradicts it then it is corruption.

    Comment by Kumar | February 24, 2010

  185. Ralph,

    To identify you as a man who calls himself a Christian who also posts lies that strike at the heart of the gospel (your post #28) and engages in human wisdom that obscures salvation (your post #180) is completely appropriate: “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1.21). Your argument about the use of the word “Son” is not what the apostles preached. If your argument’s premise is to be used in any and all cross-cultural contexts, one would have to argue that it is important to prioritize sensibilities over Scripture. Where would humanity be if the Son of God prioritized the cultural context of our fallen human sensibilities over the revelation of Himself, somehow avoiding offense by incompletely revealing himself, curbing the truth about His holiness and mans’ sinfulness?

    Ralph, where in all my posts have I misinterpreted the Bible? Point it out to me because, if I have, I want to know. You said, “So here’s where you and Kumar are alike…neither of you speak Arabic, and, dare I say, neither of you know your own book. Ouch. Sorry.”

    Ralph, did I misquote the verses from the Qur’an? You only said, “Really Douglas, don’t quote the Quran using proof texts. Isn’t that what every critic of the Bible does?” But Ralph, I referenced the very verse you appealed to in your post to Kumar and I did so with the reasoning by which you appealed to Kumar in your post #180:

    “You don’t seem to understand Quran. The Quran says it is the “protector” of the Scriptures (Surah 15), which could only be the Tawrat, Zabbur and Injeel, since the Quran was originally an oral document. Each time you criticize the Bible you are saying the Quran failed in its goal.”

    You sound insulted, but all I did was have the gall to confront you with yourself. You seem more invested in C5 / “Insider Movement” methodology than you are the truth. Your methodology is not to be foundational to your ministry: “According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 3. 10,f.).

    Ralph, shouldn’t methodology accord with who the Bible says Jesus really is, and can’t you rely on God’s word to have its intended result: “…so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it (Isaiah 55.11).

    I pity you, Ralph. I say that not to humiliate you but to draw your attention to yourself. Your posts drip with arrogance, conceit, and insincerity. About what could you be so bitter?

    Comment by Douglas | February 25, 2010

  186. Hi Kumar,

    Thanks for your response, but actually you’re wrong about what the Quran says is the Straight Path. Check again and get back to me.

    Comment by Ralph | February 25, 2010

  187. Hey Douglas,

    Thanks for your pity, I appreciate it. And “drip” nice Hebraic parallelism. Well done. Hey, could you lead Kumar to Christ so I can learn from you? Thanks.

    พระเจ้ารักเรา : เพราะว่าพระเจ้าทรงรักโลกจนได้ประทานพระบุตรองค์เดียวของพระองค์ เพื่อผู้ที่ไว้วางใจจะไม่พินาศ แต่มีชีวิตนิรันดร์

    Comment by Ralph | February 25, 2010

  188. Ralph if you would have read whole Quran you would have known that the prayer in the beginning is “Guide us to the straight path” and the whole Quran and the life of Muhammad tells one on the straight path.I don’t have to check it out I read Quran and also other read sometimes Bible by Mathew,Mark,Lukes and John revised majorly 5 times.
    Yes by the way were you able to find “Gospel by Jesus in Aramaic”.I mean that is the single most important document in christianity to sift right from the wrong.
    Quran is Gods’ mercy and guidance for whole mankind those who give God importance and his guidance importance.

    Comment by Kumar | February 25, 2010

  189. Hi Kumar, السلام عليكم

    Please consider surah 7. It’s very beautiful when Adam cries out to God.قَالاَ رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ﴿7

    So, you still have not explained the Straight Path to Allah. Mohammed told the way but you don’t seem to know it.

    I think Douglas can explain it to you.

    Go Doug.

    I’m listening and learning.

    Comment by Ralph | February 26, 2010

    • Ralph,

      Is it your contention that Muslims are on “the Straight Path” and are, therefore, already in the kingdom of God?

      Comment by Douglas | February 28, 2010

      • Straight path to reach to salvation is based on two points,first is uncompromised belief in One God(and all the divine books of different faith have still in them this very clearly written that God is only one,no son,no partners,be it gospel,Old testament,vedas or what ever in spite of the changes they have undergone)and second is doing of good deeds and staying away from evil deeds and accountability.This is also mentioned in all the divine books though due to change over time be not very clear and assertive in some, including gospel(in james).This second part is a must because God is just and he says it again and again.In Islam one of the attributes of God is “The Just”.He is just otherwise the world would become chaotic.So to some he punishes in the life more some less but they get punishment in hereafter as well.In Islam you will not go in paradise only because your name is a muslim name or you were born in muslim family.God has created all mankind so if muslim does anything bad to non muslim God will still punish him.Many christians told me that the belief in christianity that Jesus died for your sins and you will enter in eternal kingdom is the cause for all the barbaric crimes and evil that goes on.Serial killer or rapist will go in eternal heaven only if he is christian and believes in Jesus,this is not fair and Godly.

        Comment by Abdus | February 28, 2010

  190. Ralph,my point is never to debate for the sake of debate or for the sake of proving that other person is wrong even if he has better reasoning because that would be arrogance.Similarly if I don’t either benefit or can’t benefit other person I will stop discussion.About surah 15, verse 9 you don’t understand which if you ask 10 students of 4th grade what this means each will tell you exactly what it is written that “God says we have sent the Quran and we will guard it ie. from corruption”.But you don’t understand because you don’t want to understand.You don’t want to understand Quran a latter revelation proved to have no statement in it that if checked scientifically to be wrong.And it contains statements on embryology,geology,oceanography,marine biology,water cycle,astronomy,animal kingdom and list goes on.There are scientists who have researched on Quran to prove it wrong on its statements on above disciplines but couldn’t.So they went a step further and did research on both bible and Quran from purely scientific perspective and one such scientist namely Maurice Bucaille wrote a book “The bible,the Quran and science” and writes in it there is not even a single statement that contradicts modern science while there are many in bible that do contradict.Now question why in Bible,is it because bible is not God sent.Well the present is changed so much that it contradicts modern science.Surely the gospel Jesus taught was above errors and discrepancies.
    Islam is the only religion in which its divine book says “there is no coercion in religion”.God guides him, who turn to him for guidance.
    If you believe “head God” to be the creator of this universe and every thing in between then pray without bias “Oh God,show me the truth.I am only a human being, a sinner,but I want to get closer to you.I want to be in your good books.Oh God,guide me to the truth.what ever it is,if it is Christianity or Islam.God will show you the truth.
    God bless you.Let us use time for better purpose of learning not proving each other wrong.

    Comment by kumar | February 26, 2010

  191. In nutshell according to Quran those who will get salvation is written in surah 103 ,called the time,Here is what it says:By the time,verily man is in loss,except such as have faith and do righteous deeds and (join together) in mutual teaching of truth,and of patience and of constancy.

    Comment by Abdus | March 3, 2010

  192. Abdus and Kumar,

    Your doctrine of salvation depends on human accomplishment, and I pity you. The Bible says the following in the Epistle to the Ephesians, chapter one:

    “1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
    To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

    2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Spiritual Blessings in Christ
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

    11In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

    Muslims are bound by chains of religion that only Jesus can break.

    Comment by Douglas | March 3, 2010

  193. Doug,
    Your letter should also have included besides me and Kumar , all those muslims and christians who believe in logic and reasoning and seek actual teachings of Jesus.Don’t forget reasoning and logic is based on facts,investigative facts not superficial.
    Muslims believe what Quran teaches as I said earlier,salvation depends on two things,faith and good deeds,side by side,and same is written in “book of James” in bible.
    As a chrstian scholar who became muslim said,there is no contradiction between Bible and Quran except where Bible contradicts itself.Quran is the only divine book which is in its original text and language.Which other book is?
    Did you think what happened to the “gospel according to Jesus in Aramaic”.He didn’t teach from the gospel that you qoute frequently,written by some unknown writers,Mathew,mark,luke and John,in english and revised many many times since then.
    Languages don’t die in ten year or even 20 years,they die when an organised and systemic effort is done.That was done so after Jesus having disappeared from the scene his opponents worked overtime to destroy and distort his message.Paul whom you qoute frequently had in the life time of Jesus been persecuting christians and after him joined the group of his disciple to create confusion and deviation.He himself said,I am a Jew,and died a Jew.Jesus was an educated,learned man who himself might have written the Gospel as was given to him by God which he preached but after him his opponents made every effort to not only make sure that original copy be removed and destroyed but Jews implanted Paul among the group to get information to make sure that every sincere person to Jesus who had the gospel written be contacted and intimidated or removed that can only explain why Aramaic disappeared so soon.Then after 65 years according to the preface of bibles were these anonymous writers appeared who wrote gospel according to the pleasure and satisfaction of his powerful and influential enemies.
    Just think alone.Ask any expert on language development and discuss.Knowledge never hurts.
    If you can on youtube enter”The historical Jesus,Khalid Yasin.”Jesus was a very important prophet of God and sadly there is no other prophet whose life and mission is so much ignored by those who call themselve christians.

    Comment by Abdus | March 4, 2010

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  196. Chers amis,

    Depuis mon enfance j’ai toujours ressenti au plus profond de mon âme une différence entre moi et mes camarades, j’ai mis du temps pour en comprendre les raisons, ce qui me paraissait acquis et naturel ne l’était pas nécessairement pour mes proches.

    Au fil des années, j’ai compris que Dieu m’avait transmis un don, le don de clairvoyance.

    J’ai hésité avant de décider de publier mes visions dans ce blog. Une des raisons est que je n’avais pas foi en moi étant donné qu’en peut trouver de nombreuses prophéties ou visions à travers le monde.Ces prophéties sont généralement cryptées, obscures ou se sont tout simplement avérées fausses. Je tacherai par conséquent de vous décrire mes visions le plus clairement possible, je m’engage de les ajouter à fur et à mesure.

    Bref, voilà mes visions :

    Guerre au Moyen Orient entre Israël et les nations de Mahomed, cette guerre débutera entre juin et novembre 2010, l’origine de la 3 Guerre Mondiale.
    Alliance économique et militaire entre les rouges (Russie & Chine) et les nations mohamediennes.
    Révolutions et heurts sociaux en Europe, aux Etats-Unis et dans de nombreux pays.
    L’église sera mise à rude épreuve et sa transcendance.
    La troisième guerre mondiale et l’Antéchrist.
    L’effondrement de l’empire américain et de l’occident.
    La victoire de la chrétienté sur les forces de l’islam.
    La paix et l’instauration d’un gouvernement mondial après la grande guerre.
    Le retour du christ et le jour du jugement dernier.
    L’âge d’or et la conquête spatiale.
    Je reste bien évidemment à votre disposition, mes chers amis, pour tout renseignement complémentaire de votre part.

    Sincères salutations.

    Orvaillant

    Source : http://orvaillant.wordpress.com/

    Comment by orvaillant | June 21, 2010

  197. a French guy ended this discourse? lol Well more articles coming to address this issue. It has not died that’s for sure. Actually it has become one of the hottest issues in Christendom today, most defiantly in missions. God has stirred up the hidden yuck of the IM and is exposing it and lifting the skirt. Thanks to all of you who have engaged the debate and kept the topic going. It is necessary to get the Church aware enough of the problems of C5 to take a stand against it.

    Comment by joiepirkey | May 23, 2011

  198. First of all I would like to say awesome blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I have had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Many thanks!

    Comment by Gertie | November 30, 2012

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    Comment by Sienna | July 29, 2013


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