// Carl Medearis raised some interesting questions with his ministry among Muslims. I refer you to an interview and teaching since I will not attempt to summarize his own opinion.
We would do well to see the difference between Do-ers and Writers. Carl is a Do-er, not a Writer.. though he is an Author with some books. Anyone can author a book and some Authors even get their books published—like Carl. Writers carefully understand something and express it so others can also understand. They have an analytic skill and a way with words. Carl, on the other hand, has a way with people.
Reconciling different peoples at war with one another, explaining Jesus to people who hate Christians, and choosing the right words to get one’s self out of a tight pinch certainly take people skills—that’s Carl. He tells of miracles and favor—things the Apostle Paul also had. While Carl doesn’t describe things how many of us would, we certainly owe him recognition for his ability to be at peace with his enemies and gain an audience with those that the American government can’t even make peace with.
The problem I have, respectfully of course, is with his approach to words. Too many people get divided over, what seem like, big problems when, truthfully, they just don’t have their terms straight. Paul warns about this in his discipleship of Timothy.
Satan is the Great Counterfeiter. He takes good things we all understand, creates fake versions, and labels them with the same good words we all understood.. well, before he created confusion. Should we change Jesus’ name because so many people misunderstand Him? Do we want Satan to re-Author the rest of our dictionary? At what point do we blow the whistle and defend our terms?
Sarah Palin won’t throw good terms under the bus. Consider “Capitalism”. The mega-monstrosity that eats up local businesses, as Sarah explains it, is “Crony Capitalism”. She supports true Capitalism: the freedom to invest. If she can call a counterfeit a “counterfeit”, so can we.
“Evangelism” actually is in the Bible. It’s the Greek verb we often translate “spread the good news”. And, an “Evangelist” is a person who does this, as listed in Ephesians 4:11. But, most people confuse “evangelism” with “proselytizing”. Carl would have us abandon both terms, but I say, keep the baby, not the bathwater, and help everyone to see the difference. Many Muslims think they don’t like “Christianity” and Carl recommends we teach about Jesus “instead”, but a “Christian” (Acts 11:26, 26:28) is merely a “follower of Jesus”. It actually is “Christianity” that Lebanese Muslims invited him to explain, they just didn’t understand that. Many Muslims have “Christianity” confused with the Holy Roman “Christendom” that warred with them not even five hundred years ago.
When someone misunderstands, Carl has a good angle: Don’t niggle over misunderstood terms. But, Carl, don’t surrender our terms either. Just table them for later. Then, you open the door to eventually explain how Satan harnesses half-false religion from both sides.