<a href="https://biblicalmissiology.org/author/fredfarrokh/" target="_self">Fred Farrokh</a>

Fred Farrokh

Rev. Fred Farrokh is an Iranian-American Christian of Muslim background. He is an ordained missionary with Elim Fellowship. He has a PhD in Intercultural Studies from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

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    Fred highlights a significant danger in missions today. While many North American followers of Jesus are following Him as “the way, the truth and the life,” believing that no man can come to the Father accept by Him (Jesus). It takes an intimate cultural understanding of what this terminology means for Muslims or any people group.

    It is important for cross-cultural church planters to know the difference between the form and meaning of the words they are using. While the example in this article presents a good bit of English understanding on the part those being mentioned; many throughout the world are falling into the same difficulties as they use tracts, films and other teaching materials that have been translated for them. Without the intimate knowledge of the culture and worldview of the people they are working with, I am afraid mistakes like these are being made all over the world, while reports come back to churches listing the droves of people that are now “following” Christ. But what are they following Him to? Tragically, in many cases they are following Him to their next bowl of rice, good health or financial blessing, and not as the only means by which they can be reconciled to God. When this is the case it isn’t the gospel they are hearing all. This is perhaps the greatest danger of the short-term strategy, and by short-term, I mean any amount of time that does not allow for mature, adult like understanding of the unreached people group’s language and worldview.

    Rather we would be more prudent to equip our cross-cultural church planters with the skills and technical ability to learn languages and worldviews well. While this will take workers more time, the fruit of it will be that the hearers will understand the gospel in their mother tongue, in a way that prevents syncretism, and cross-cultural church planters won’t be left with a false understanding of what they are truly communicating.

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