If the gospel brings about fundamental change in worldview, and if, with regard to missions to Muslims, increasing understanding is shown for the human being who is subject of such change, what guidelines are given to the missionary as agent of change? A deeper problem lies in the matter of response to that ‘seeing’.
In a power encounter situation, an unrecognized temptation exists to inject a Western worldview along with the spiritual dynamic that deals with the offending ‘powers’ and ‘beings’. A transformed Muslim may thus be quickly alienated from his own culture.
Jesus was often careful when He had been involved in power encounter to insist that the released persons stay within the bounds of their own cultures. The ‘harvest’ at Sychar illustrates, in a cross-cultural situation, the effectiveness of such an approach to power encounter.
In mission to Muslims, the essence of power encounter is not a war against the particular culture pattern of the Muslim concerned but a commitment to battle, from within the culture pattern, against the spiritual forces which bind men, women and children, and keep them at a distance from their Creator.
In the next few post there will be some examples of patterns of thought within folk-Islamic culture, which need careful appraisal if the kind of deep-level changes brought about by processes of power encounter are not to bring societal disintegration as well.