Wednesday, March 28, 2012

W. H. Temple Gairdner on mission to Muslims

WHT Gairdner is one of the greatest missionaries in the history of the church's mission to Islam. A brilliant man who is an inspiration to me. I love this quote of his:

If the efforts to evangelize Islam had not resulted in a single conversion, they would have been worth while; for they represented Christianity as a religion that is not afraid , a religion with a message of love and goodwill evinced in deeds of love and goodwill.

--WHT Gairdner

Friday, March 23, 2012

Al Qaradawi on Christian Missions to Muslims

What Muslims say about Christian mission:

In the contemporary age, the Muslim community has been exposed to horrendous invasions and aggressive attacks, one of which is the missionary invasion that aims at uprooting the Muslim community altogether. This invasion began its missions with the Western colonialism (of the Muslim world), and it still exercises its activities in the Muslim world and among the Muslim communities and minorities (in non-Muslim countries). One of its goals is to entice Muslims to convert to Christianity. This goal was made clear in the North American Conference on Muslim Evangelization (that was held in Colorado in 1978). Forty studies about Islam and Muslims and how to spread Christianity among them were submitted to that conference, and US$1 billion was allocated for this purpose. In addition, the Zwemer Institute (in South Carolina) was established to train missionaries to preach Christianity to Muslims.

From  Apostasy Major and Minor by Yusuf al Qaradawi

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Titus Presler: 60 Episcopal missionaries today: What does this figure say about a church?

Abu Daoud and family have a sort of dual citizenship in the Anglican world. We are members in good standing in both The Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA) and the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East. However, we are own work is not coordinated through the national Episcopal Church in the USA. Ergo, we are not among (and do not want to be among) the 60 people Presler mentions.

Presler speaks of the decline of EUCSA when it comes to sending out missionaries, and laments the situation, which I think is right. But ECUSA is spending all of the missions money on lawsuits, thanks to the bold leadership of Kate Jefferts Schori, the presiding 'bishop' of ECUSA. Presler makes some great points:

The Episcopal situation stands out even among the historic mainline denominations, all of which have far fewer missionaries than they did in, say, the 1950s.  Yet today [2011] the Presbyterian Church (USA) has the same membership total as the Episcopal Church  – about 2.2 million, maybe even fewer – but they field 3.5 times as many missionaries: 217 serving in over 50 countries.  That works out to one missionary for about every 10,150 members – still not good, but a lot better than 1:35,500.

Moreover, missionaries of other churches are financially much better supported than are Episcopal missionaries.  Declining Episcopal support over the years has meant that the General Convention budget offers only travel, health insurance, pension premiums and $500 a month (sometimes less) for a missionary.  Other denominations such as the Presbyterian, Lutheran and Reformed churches offer a realistic stipend that bears some resemblance to a stateside salary and a number of other benefits.  Thus, compared with that of other churches, the Episcopal Church’s investment in missionaries is even smaller than the differential in missionary numbers would suggest.

Read it all at his blog.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pope Shenouda III, rest in peace

On this feast day of St Patrick, another great man of God has fallen asleep in the Lord--Pope Shenouda III, shepherd of the Coptic Orthodox Church. A great man of God, he led his flock faithfully and I am fearful for his flock. In this most difficult of times in Egypt it will be extremely difficult to find a man adequate for the task.

Pray for the Egyptian Church. Pray for a worthy successor. Thank God for the fruitful life of his servant Shenouda.

--Abu Daoud

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Letter from Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, from prison

Yousef Nadarkhani is in jail in Iran for the crime of apostasy. Thank goodness that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance!

Here is the entire letter, which I got from HERE. Reads like something straight out of the Church Fathers, and in the midst of my own frustrations with life in the mission field I was encouraged by his bold and faith-filled words.

--Abu Daoud

Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

When someone internalizes the revelation of the Truth, he will be willing to share it with others and future generations. We are indebted to the people who, in the past, fought for the Truth, allowing us to have access to this glorious revelation of Jesus Christ. These believers understood the richness and the beauty of the revelation and they were ready to fight in order to pass down the fruit of the revelation.
How can we bear similar fruit for eternal life? It depends on the way we choose. First we have to close our ears to the voice of the darkness as it is written in the first psalm:
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Psalm 1:1
The second thing is to open our ears to the Voice of the Spirit speaking through the Word of God, as it is written:
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psalm 1:2
The fruit of communion with the Lord through his Life-giving Word is stability in this life and eternal fruit that others bear in their life, as the Scriptures say:
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:3


A lot of people admire Jesus as a unique model to follow for generations and a lot of people would like to become like Him. Jesus did not come to be admired but to give us a perfect model to follow. If we want to be like Him, we need to take a step of faith, like Peter. When the apostle saw his Lord walking on the furious sea, he asked to come to Him on the water. Jesus said: “Come!”
Everyone willing to follow the Lord is supposed to have listened in some way to this seemingly imperious command: “Come!” a command which implies an act of faith, referred to sometimes as the “leap of faith.” As it is clear from the Scriptures, what we are able to see is not faith, as the biblical faith is defined as : “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We have to decide “in spite of”’, in order to experience the power of God.  But we need to remember that everything must be done according the Word of God.  Peter did not experience the possibility to walk on water because he decided to leave the boat but because of the Word, the Command of the Lord.
The Word of God tell us to “expect to suffer hardship” and dishonor for the sake of His Name.  Our Christian confession is not acceptable if we ignore this statement, if we do not manifest the patience of the Lord in our sufferings. Anybody ignoring it will be ashamed in that day.
 Let us remember that sometimes the leap of faith leads us towards some impasses. Just as the Word led the sons of Israel leaving Egypt toward the impasse of the Red sea. These impasses are midway between promises of God and their fulfillments and they challenge our faith.  Believers are to accept these challenges as a part of their spiritual course.  The Son was challenged at Calvary in the hardest way, as it is written in the Scriptures:
“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” Hebrew 5:7-8
The cry “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” is enough to express the sufferings of our Lord at Calvary. Behind this cry of distress, we can identify the great faith that led Him to accept the will of the Father. Yea, He knew that God will “not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” and he was to rise up within 3 days. Beyond the power of death, the Lord perceived the victorious power of the resurrection.
I don’t need to write anything further about the basis of faith. Let us remember that beyond beautiful or painful feelings, only three things remain: Faith, Hope and Love. It is important for believers to make sure which kind of Faith, Hope and Love will remain. Only what we receive according the Word remains forever. I would encourage you to live in a way that is worthy to the Holy calling of the Word. Let believers, who are heirs of the glory, be examples for others in order to be a witness of the power of Christ for the world and the future. I beg you to live according the Word of God in order to chase the powers of darkness that generates doubts in your heart. The overcoming faith that casts out the doubt comes by hearing the Word of God.
Only a church based on the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ will remain, for beyond the protection of the Word of God the destroyer destroys. Let us keep His Holy Testimony.”
Your brother in Christ,
Youcef Nadarkhani

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Goat ate my Qur'an

Muhammad's child wife said this after Muhammad died: 
"The verse of the stoning and of suckling an adult ten times were revealed, and they were (written) on a paper and kept under my bed. When the messenger of Allah expired and we were preoccupied with his death, a goat entered and ate away the paper."
References: Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal. vol. 6. page 269; Sunan Ibn Majah, page 626; Ibn Qutbah, Tawil Mukhtalafi 'l-Hadith (Cairo: Maktaba al-Kulliyat al-Azhariyya. 1966) page 310; As-Suyuti, ad-Durru 'l-Manthur, vol. 2. page 13

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daoud Kuttab on Christ at the Checkpoint 2012, Bethlehem

Hi All,

Well, if you are anywhere in the Arab world then you have heard of this meeting. It was sponsored by Palestinian Christians living in the occupied West Bank mostly, though some are Israeli citizens and live in Israel. They tackled a lot of thorny topics, and I plan to write something about it for St Francis Magazine, so make sure to add SFM to your RSS feed so when it comes out you can read it.

There were several key points presented, including a robust argument that a) the State of Israel as it exists today is NOT in continuation with the Israelites of the Bible, and b) that evangelicals have misunderstood the meaning of words like 'Jew' and 'Israel' in the New Testament, especially when used by Jesus and (more importantly for American evangelicals) St Paul. Also, there was a statement of fellowship towards Messianic Jews (and equally tiny and despised group of people, at least in Israel-Palestine). And also an affirmation of non-violence.

Anyway, will go more into it in the April article, but for now here is a journalistic summary of the events from Palestinian reporter Daoud Kuttab (who was there).
Christian Zionism challenged in Bethlehem, Palestine

I am curious to know where my readers stand on this topic. Do you see the State of Israel today as the fulfilment of biblical prophecy? Do you believe that Jews are saved by the covenant of God with Abraham, apart from faith in Christ and incorporation into the Church? These are thorny questions, I know. But do leave your comments and keep it civil, please.

--Abu Daoud

Christ at the Checkpoint
Christ at the Checkpoint on Facebook

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Abu Daoud on MSN Research Page

The above information is generated by Microsoft Academic Search®, please visit Microsoft Academic Search for more information. Please check here for terms of use.

An old picture of Abu Daoud

An old picture of Abu Daoud...