In our most recent Shouts of Joy Ministries Newsletter titled “Addressing Heresy in the Fox Valley,” I sited a prophetic word that I received in a vision back in 2007 about Church leaders pigeonholing Christianity with Islam and how God hates the Church doing so. When I received this prophecy I was under the assumption that it was addressing the Church in the U.S. but also in other countries. When the Lord began to speak to me again this past summer about this issue He was directing me to my own back yard. Here in the Fox Valley, Christ the Rock Community Church (CTR) in Menasha, WI, a large Evangelical Church, was hosting a “Jesus in the Quran” conference that is a strong proponent of C5 Contextualization that most definitely pigeonholes Christianity with Islam. I was asked by the Lord to expose CTR’s sin of promoting this heresy and did so in the previous newsletter. Since that time I have been aware of just how prevalent and national this sin has become.
Ministers from outside our area have been in contact with me, sending information regarding the C5 Contextualization in missions to the Muslims and how the heresy is spreading in some Evangelical and Emergent Churches across the country. The staff here at Shouts of Joy Ministries has been working diligently on researching the topic and gathering resources and information as well. A number of ministries have been mentioned to us and we are in the process of verifying those and getting examples of the extent to which they hold to C5 Contextualization. I will mention the few that I have been able to verify and am posting the documentation on my website in the near future:
- Wycliffe Bible Translators is promoting “Muslim-friendly translations” of the Scriptures in audio and in print, often behind the scenes, in which “Son of God” and “Father” (in reference to God) is substituted with other language in the name of not misconstruing false ideas to Muslims. One translation exchanged the words “beloved of God” for “Son of God.”
- Navigators has adopted this approach to minister to Muslims.
- Fuller Theological Seminary, U.S. Center for World Mission, and IJFM (International Journal of Frontier Missions) promotes these ideas in spite of permitting some voices of dissent.
- Perspectives, the mission’s course from Fuller Seminary that is used in Evangelical churches throughout the country, promotes this, as well as the spinoff, “Encountering the World of Islam.” They have been using the book titled, “Encountering the World of Islam” in their course.
- Frontiers, the third largest missionary organization to Muslims, tolerates individuals who use this method. Some Frontiers members are not in Insider Movements. But some are involved. Frontiers has yet to clarify exactly what level of involvement exists.
- Grace Fellowship Church in Snellville, GA, is the host Church of the “Jesus in the Quran” Ministry and posts their link on their church’s website.
- Common Path Alliance is an organization that brings together a number of groups that have the common thread of promoting C5 Contextualization.
As I read through the Common Path Alliance website, I found many quotes that literally grieved my spirit. Keep in mind these are not quotes from an Unitarian “Coexist-type” Church, or a New Age group trying to unify the world, but from professing Christians, many who are ministers of the Gospel and pastors or ministers to Evangelical Churches.
From the (now removed) Common Path Alliance website
Graph Depicting Abraham’s Two Sons of Mercy
Graph Depicting The Straight Path
Why do some Christians and Muslims try to convert each other?
“If the Holy Books do not talk about converting someone, but rather talk about what the straight path into the Kingdom of God looks like then this should be the focus of Muslim-Christian dialogue.”
Doesn’t Jesus teach that people must convert to Christianity?
“Actually this notion is nowhere to be found in the Bible.”
Doesn’t everyone have to become a Christian to be saved?
“…the Crusades, immorality, polytheism (some Muslims think Christians worship three gods), western, impure (pork-eating, wine-drinking, loose-dressing), corrupt (politics and movies color the way the world sees the ‘Christian’ west) just to name a few. So if these are some of the connotations associated with ‘becoming a Christian,’ why would a religiously devout Muslim who is submitted to living a life of purity and surrender before God want to become like this?”
Under AWARENESS —> DIFFICULT ISSUES: Conversion
“I grew up believing not only that Jesus wanted the entire world to be converted to Christianity; I also believed my responsibility before God was to make everyone in my reach a Christian. That’s just the way it was.
Think about this myth for a second! Can you really believe that this Middle Eastern message of the Good News of Jesus and the Kingdom is owned by Western Christians and that all others around the world must become Christian in order to have eternal life? How haughty we are?
The greatest damage here in this myth is that Christians take on the attitude that they are the only ones who are right and therefore the only ones who will receive salvation from God. The secondary damage from this myth is that missionary organizations actually stir up more persecution than might have been. When missionaries insist on the natives ‘converting’ to Christianity and to denounce their culture, they have the wrong goal.”
Under AWARENESS —> DIALOGUE
“There is a third path that is an alternative approach that many Muslims and Christians have not even considered: bridge building. This is the approach I have chosen.”
“I love going to the mosque when I can and I have made the reading of the Qur’an a part of my regular life routine…. I have a deep respect for the Qur’an and the character of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).”
Under AWARENESS —> DIALOGUE
Listen to the Prophets
by Pastor Jeff Burns
In this article, he states, “To answer this question we must turn to the revelations of the Prophet Mohammed in the Al-Qur’an and the Prophet Isa (Jesus) as written in the New Testament (Injeel)” equating Jesus with Mohammed and the Bible with the Quran.
In the same article he goes on to state, “The second principle is that God’s heart for Muslims and Christians is that we would walk together as the nearest of spiritual kin. This brings Him great pleasure… It is imperative that we find our common ground in all the Holy Books and rejoice that God has not hidden His intention from us. We must stand together like a family.”
Under AWARENESS —> DIALOGUE
The Eternal Blessing of Ishmael
by Pastor Jeff Burns
“This view of Ishmael is inconsistent with the teaching of the prophet Moses in the Old Testament (TAWRAT) scriptures. We Christians have read the passages on Ishmael through a Zionist lens and have not seen the love, mercy and blessing that God had for Abraham’s beloved first son. I believe that the prophet Ishmael has a very special prominent place in the plans and purposes of God.”
The Common Path Alliance website becomes important here in the Fox Valley because when you click on the button titled ADVOCATES, you come to a series of choices. The top one is titled ORGANIZATIONS. When you click that icon you are offered a video about the Saharawi people. When I listened to it, I was utterly surprised to hear the Director of Missions at CTR, Janet Lenz’s voice, doing the narrative. One reason that this is surprising is because from the pulpit and in multiple meetings with Ministers in the Fox Valley who are questioning if CTR holds to this belief, Bill Lenz is saying that they were in fact only “taking a look at the teaching” at the conference. Many people who attend CTR have also voiced this same understanding. Here is a quote from the blog from one such person:
Comment from “Upset Reader” (posted November 3, 2009):
“I am extremely disappointed at your poor attempt to slander CTR’s leadership. I was attending church during Pastor Bill’s explaination of the church’s training session regarding Commonground. After you conviently cut off the audio clip where he explains that the training session was excellent, he went on to say that CTR leadership did not agree with C4 and C5 Contextualization. In addition, he reread our statement of beliefs.”
I have heard from local Ministers who have spoken to Bill Lenz personally who were told that the leadership of CTR was simply looking into the teaching. He explained that they had brought “Jesus in the Quran” in for leaders of CTR to see what they believed on the matter and so on. This was also the sentiment shared at the Fox Cities Evangelical Minister’s Fellowship. Here is the audio where Bill addresses from the pulpit that they are taking a look at the C4 and C5 model of Contextualization:
Note where Bill says, “we are still in the process of investigating and learning about that approach.” However, if you take a look at the Common Path Alliance website (now gone) that I was explaining earlier, and click on the website link at the bottom of the article that explains the video that Janet Lenz is narrating (www.betheirvoice.org), you see the Common Ground ideas being taught again behind the “Build a Bridge” link. Then click on the contribute link in the right hand column as if you were going to make a donation. Here is the place that you make a check to:
Not Forgotten International, Inc.
P.O. Box 324
Little Chute, WI 54140
I wondered if Janet may be the person collecting those checks. Little Chute is a very small Village and I know of no other ministers to the Muslim here in my home town. Also I had asked the Holy Spirit for some sort of undeniable proof that Janet was linked to the C5 teaching if He wanted me to say it publicly again. So, I Googled “Not Forgotten International, Inc. Janet Lenz” as I felt He was leading me to do. This is what I found: http://www.un.org/News/Press/ docs/2009/gaspd423.doc.htm
Note the quote:
“JANET LENZ, Not Forgotten International, Inc., said she had been working on the ground in the camps for 10 years, and would read selected words from more than 750 letters written by Saharawi children who ‘could not speak for themselves.'”
So, if Janet and her organization is the supporter and Advocate of Common Path Alliance, the website quoted above, then how can CTR leadership say that they have simply brought “Jesus In the Quran” in to take a look at C5 Contextualization when they have been a noted Advocate of it for some time? Why is the leadership of CTR denying their affiliation and adherence to this method of missions? If they do in fact know that it is heresy then why have they failed to renounce it both publicly and privately?
Why do they use the pulpit to deflect this extremely serious issue by saying that people are questioning their orthodox beliefs, their statement of faith? Here is another quote from their public relations person on the blog:
Comment from “CTR” (posted August 28, 2009):
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 website at christtherock.org, or better yet come to our weekend services.
CTR’s statement of faith is not in question and yet they keep implying by re-reading and handing it out that it alone answers these accusations. This attempt to deflect the focus from the true contents of the prophecy, and their obvious adherence to the C5 method of missions, and their pigeonholing of Christianity with Islam, is very telling. I believe it speaks to the original prophecies that state that Christ is not their Head and it is not His agenda that they are seeking.
When God gave me the prophecy about leaders in the Church pigeonholing Christianity with Islam He simply said that He hates it. He went on to speak to me about what was coming for certain groups inside of Islam. The second time that He spoke to me about this He told me that I would have to prophesy nationally about the issue and He spoke to me about some of the consequences that would come from doing so. The third time He called me to expose the actions of the leaders at CTR and to make it public that they were pigeonholing Christianity with Islam. This past time, He told me to rebuke the specific ministries that would be outside my local area but inside the U.S which He would reveal to me through a number of means. Below is the list of those ministries:
Common Path Alliance, Be Their Voice (deleted site), Jesus in the Quran, Grace Fellowship Church, Brian McLaren, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Navigators, Fuller Theological Seminary, Perspectives (Fuller Seminary Missions program), U.S. Center for World Mission, IJFM (International Journal of Frontier Missions), and Frontiers
Here are the issues that I have found that I believe the Lord has shown me to be acts of pigeonholing Christianity with Islam:
- When Christians acknowledge Muhammad to be in any way a prophet of God.
- When Christians acknowledge in any way that the Qur’an is inspired by God or is Holy.
- When Christians say that a verbal confession of faith in Jesus Christ is unnecessary for salvation they are pigeonholing that Muslim into Christianity.
- When Christians tell Muslims that they can retain their Muslim identity and be true followers of Christ, even encouraging them to remain Muslim.
- When Christians say the Shahada (Islamic confession of faith) or tell new believers that they can say the Shahada.
- When Christians join in the Salat (5 daily prayers) or encourage new believers to do so.
- When Christians take the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) or encourage new believers to do so.
- When Christians change any wording in the Scriptures especially to make it non-offensive to Muslims.
- When Christians share the Gospel of Christ but leave out His death, burial, and resurrection; that He is fully God and fully man; that He is the Son of God; and leave out the need for repentance on purpose so as not to offend the Muslim.
Christ the Rock Community Church and each one of the ministries listed above need to renounce this heretical teaching from their respective pulpits. I am prophesying to you that God hates this. He is calling you to repentance. As I prayed about how to end this article God gave me this scripture: Ephesians 4:11-16
“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (NASB)
Shouts of Joy Ministries