Contextualization

Pioneers’ statement on contextualization

Messengers who bring the good news have the privilege and responsibility to faithfully communicate the biblical gospel message. They should model and teach obedience to all the Scriptures under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Thus Pioneers workers desire to minister in ways most likely to yield faithful disciples and the reproduction of biblical churches among those with least access to the gospel.

We believe God normally desires new believers to remain connected with their social context (1 Corinthians 7:17‐24), while not compromising biblical teaching in their beliefs or practice (e.g. permanently retaining their former non‐Christian religious identity). The implications of living out this creative tension and gospel witness are best worked out by groups of believers, through prayer and diligent study of the Scriptures, informed by the story of God’s people throughout history and the global body of Christ.

This affects key issues, including:

Allegiance

We encourage believers to live in such a way that those around them become increasingly aware of their wholehearted submission to Jesus as Lord. He calls all believers to a process of transformation into the image of Christ (Romans 12:1, 2; Colossians 3:10), giving courageous and respectful testimony of Christ’s work in us (1 Peter 3:14‐16).

Identity

We want believers to understand their biblical identity in Christ and his church, and to embrace the implications of that identity as active members of a local community of believers (Ephesians 2:19‐22; 1 Peter 2:9).

Obedience

Our passion is to see believers obey all that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:20). This involves an ongoing process whereby believers are empowered by the Spirit and nurtured through the Scriptures (Galatians 5:16‐25; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 1 Peter 2:2, 3).

Worldview and beliefs

Believers are intentionally discipled in such a way that their worldview and beliefs are increasingly transformed into conformity with Scripture (Romans 12:2; Hebrews 5:14).

Suffering

God grants us suffering in this world to refine our faith, strengthen his church and bring glory to Christ (Philippians 1:29; 3:10; 1 Peter 1:7). Together, we recognize that persecution is not to be feared, and ‘everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted’ (2 Timothy 3:12; Matthew 10:28; Hebrews 10:32‐34).

Culture

All cultures reflect elements of God’s creative goodness and human sinfulness (Romans 2:14, 15; 1 John 2:15‐17). We encourage believers to live out biblically sound and culturally appropriate worship, witness, relationships, and lifestyles (Ephesians 5:15; 1 Timothy 5:8; 1 Peter 2:11, 12, 16, 17).

How Arab World Media applies this

While Arab World Media strives to effectively reach Muslim communities in a culturally appropriate way, we do not endorse forms of hyper-contextualisation, which encourage new believers to retain their Islamic identity or meet in mosques as secret believers who follow Jesus but continue to revere Muhammad as the prophet of God. Thus we do not affirm or promote:

  • The Qur’an as a holy book
  • Muhammad as a prophet from God
  • The recitation of the Muslim creed (Shahada), ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger’
  • Staying in the mosque and continuing to participate in the ritual prayers (Salat)

In all that we do, whether producing, corresponding or counselling Muslim enquirers, we will hold to this policy.