The Newest Christian Missionary Deception Against Muslims

A Christian missionary in his natural habitat

Thanks to social media, you may have noticed a growing trend.

Christians are using Islamic symbols and themes to propagate their idolatry, from Arabic calligraphy to recitation of the Bible in a “Quranic way.”

But this is an old strategy of the Christian missionaries, with basis in their scriptures.

The Historical Failure of the Christian Mission

In 1888, at the height of European colonialism, Rev. Isaac Taylor, an Anglican priest and philologist from England, published a pamphlet with an explicit title, The Great Missionary Failure, where he asked: Why spend so much money on failing missionary work? In particular, he acknowledged the resistance offered by Islam.

He wrote (p. 6):

It is plain that these futile missions should be given up. A few Eastern Christians may be perverted, but the missionaries make no way among the Mahommedans.

Referring to the experience of a fellow Christian missionary with extensive experience in the Muslim word, he continues (pp. 7-8):

We shall fail to make converts so long as Christianity presents itself infected with the bitter internal animosities of Christian sects, and associated in the minds of the natives with the drunkenness, the profligacy, and the gigantic social evil conspicuous among Christian nations.

Drunkenness, profligacy, gigantic social evils? Not much has changed in Christian nations, except perhaps a massive increase in all these ills.

More than a century later, Carl Braaten, an American Lutheran theologian, echoes this frustration:

The relative failure of the Christian mission to Islam has issued in frustration. In view of the negligible results, why not move on to more receptive communities?[1]

This theologian acknowledges what every Muslim knows. So why shouldn’t Christian missionaries cut their losses and focus on other, more pliant groups? Hindus or Buddhists, perhaps? Maybe Qadiyanis?

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“Contextualization”: The Strategy in One Word

Such epic historical failure was always bound to create a reaction, which came under the pretext of “contextualization.”

Dr. Ishtiyaque Danish, a late Muslim scholar from India, wrote a research paper on the subject, and after showing how the idea was conceptualized in the early 70s and adopted by Christian missionaries in the late 80s, he gives a generic definition:

Contextualization includes, in sum, all that is implied in indigenization and a bit more. It is, in fact, an activity to engage in constructing or developing a national theology or making Christianity relevant to a provided group of people.

Using a people’s language might be logical from a missionary perspective (or that of Da’wah for that matter), but Dr. Danish then goes on to specify that such “contextualization” also implies explicit references to Islam which are purposefully distorted just to misguide Muslims, including Biblical Qur’an-style recitations, “Christian Eid’s,” etc.

They even compromise on their own basic theology, avoiding or adapting terminology such as “son of God,” for the sole purpose of misleading Muslims.

The Paulinian Roots of the Strategy

We will not discuss the perfidious role assigned to Paul when it comes to the corruption of Christianity in traditional Islamic historiography (going back to Sayf Ibn ‘Umar al-Tamimi in the 8th century), nor modern “critics of Christianity” such as Nietzsche, the German philosopher, who famously called him the “real founder of Christianity” for his doctrinal role.

There’s a whole academic literature on “Pauline Christianity” and how its Hellenic (or Greek-pagan) nature differed from Jewish monotheism.

But what we’ll look at here is Paul’s role in devising the “contextualization” strategy.

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We read in 1 Corinthians 9:20-22 :

That is, with Jews, what I did was put myself in the position of a Jew, in order to win Jews. With people in subjection to a legalistic perversion of the Torah, I put myself in the position of someone under such legalism, in order to win those under this legalism, even though I myself am not in subjection to a legalistic perversion of the Torah. With those who live outside the framework of Torah, I put myself in the position of someone outside the Torah in order to win those outside the Torah — although I myself am not outside the framework of God’s Torah but within the framework of Torah as upheld by the Messiah. With the “weak” I became “weak,” in order to win the “weak.” With all kinds of people I have become all kinds of things, so that in all kinds of circumstances I might save at least some of them.[2]

So, here’s the “contextualization”: Be whatever you want (even a cross-dresser?) as long as it is aimed to “win over” people! We have to ask: Is this some form of Pauline taqiyya?

No wonder Jewish writers see here trickery, deceit, and pious fraud.[3]

Obviously, Christians themselves will have their own interpretation (after all, they succeed in finding the Trinity in the Torah, so they can justify pretty much anything). But a few honest ones call a spade a spade. And Augustine, the single most influential theologian in Western Christianity, is representative when he says:

The apostle made himself like them out of mercy and compassion, not from craftiness or deceit.[4]

So, Muslims, beware the Christians missionaries who can barely keep the faith alive in the West are working to deceive you and send you straight into hell. But remember, it’s out of mercy and compassion.

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Notes

[1] Carl E. Braaten, That All May Believe: A Theology of the Gospel and the Mission of the Church, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2018, p. 170.

[2] Translation taken from the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB), the translator, David H. Stern, is a so-called “Messianic Jew”, a Jew who believes ‘Isa (‘alayhi as’salam) is indeed the Messiah, but without calling himself a proper Christian.

[3] David J. Rudolph, A Jew to the Jews: Jewish Contours of Pauline Flexibility in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, Mohr Siebeck, 2011, p. 13.

[4] Judith L. Kovacs (editor), 1 Corinthians: Interpreted by Early Christian Medieval Commentators, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005, p. 156.

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Zaid Diaz

Hmm… in Bangladesh, Christian missionaries use innovative tactics to lure poor Muslims away from Islam and into Christianity. They use these treacherous ways in North Bengal and among the Rohingya people. Even during the British period, these missionaries converted some Muslim villages of the then Nadia (modern Meherpur) into Christianity. The Muslims were starving and some were dying, these missionaries fooled them with earthly benefits and many of the Muslims fell for their trap 🙁

Zaid Diaz

To add more, since the British period, Muslims and Hindus have been lured to Christianity for more money and ‘better lives’. Even today among South Indians, such incidents happen sometimes. I once heard that in Singapore, some Muslim South Indians tend to sell Islam to Christianity for money and status.

akh

So why shouldn’t Christian missionaries cut their losses and focus on other, more pliant groups? Hindus or Buddhists, perhaps? Maybe Qadiyanis?”

Forgot the Shia? Nowhere is Christianity growing as fast in the Middle East as in Iran.

You also see this trend with Shia refugees in the West. Most of the ‘Muslims’ here that convert to Christianity are actually Shiites. Particularly Iranians. Iraqi Shiites for some reason tend to prefer atheism.