Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (NIV)
Paul, writing in 1 Corinthians, gives a very clear indication that to win others for Christ means getting alonside them, so that we can identify with them and they with us. This does not mean adopting lifestyles that are contrary to Christ, but it should mean being aware of the basis of someone else’s thinking.
If you were trying to share Christ with other religions, you would need to ask how well you understand Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or whatever religion and culture? Not what you have heard said by others, but what you have learned through study and research, as well as mixing with people of other religions. The lesson from what Paul says in 1 Corinthians is that as Christians we need to ‘become like’ those we wish to share the message with. For example, to share the message with Muslims you would not actually become a Muslim, but you would be like a Muslim in that you would understand the basis of their faith and culture. This understanding would need to be in enough depth to effectively discuss with them, amongst other things, the basis of Christ’s divinity, the Trinity, the gospel of grace, forgiveness and the authority of scripture (as these are typical stumbling-blocks for Muslims).
The question is – what do you need to do to make sure the message you are sharing isn’t being filtered out by others through a cultural or religious bias that you don’t understand?
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