This is an article from the May-June 2011 issue: Jesus Movements

Mission Frontiers Needs Your Help

Mission Frontiers Needs Your Help

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To be honest, I would consider donating considering how I have been blessed in the past by Mission Frontiers, but your wholehearted support of insider movements makes me skittish about supporting you. While there are some thoughtful articles in this issue, as a future missionary myself I’m still fairly unconvinced of the appropriateness & faithfulness of insider movements and insider translations. Furthermore, this issue doesn’t really feature any opinions from people who actually disagree with you, which I don’t think is particularly becoming when you want to promote thoughtful dialogue and conversation. Sorry.



The purpose of this issue was not to exacerbate an argument that is already far too heated but to promote understanding of those who come to biblical faith from various cultural backgrounds. If you read my editorial, you will see that I advocate for,
1. Understanding of the tough choices that people born into non Christian cultural backgrounds face.
2. They must reject those portions of their culture that are not Biblical.
2. The outside Christian community should not endorse or persecute these people. They should be left alone.
3. These people have a right to choose according to their conscience whether they stay within the culture of their birth or not.

I also state that their faith may not survive in the hostile cultural contexts in which they were born.

So which of these statements do you disagree with?

Thank you for your comments.

Rick Wood


Thanks for writing. I hope that my comment was not taken too harshly, as I simply wanted to register my honest concern with some of the overenthusiasm I see about a pretty serious issue.

To answer your question, I would disagree with statement 2b, that “the outside Christian community should not endorse or persecute these people.”

I don’t feel like our choice is either/or. All believers, no matter where we are in the world or what our background is, are meant to support, encourage, rebuke, love, teach, and serve one another. There are many, many missionaries (though still sadly not enough!) and believers who grew up in these difficult cultural contexts who are neither in a position to “endorse” nor can they “persecute” these movements. They are working hard to proclaim the Gospel and show their concern for a movement that may be leaving people in their sins. I don’t think there is any Biblical precedent for saying that other Christians ought “to be left alone”—God has given us each other! I suspect that this is your heart as well. Saying that the choice is endorse, persecute, or let them be is a false dilemma. Furthermore, I feel as though a lot of the Missions Frontiers articles this time around wholeheartedly fall on more of an “endorsing” side.



Sorry, for not responding sooner. I think those of us who live out our faith outside of the cultural contexts of the people who make up Jesus Movements need to understand that we cannot take the initiative in endorsing or persecuting or trying to help. We should be ready and willing to help when we are asked for help. The people in these movements need to be in charge of the contacts they have with believers outside their culture.  Associations with people outside their culture can lead to deadly consequences for these people and they must be in charge of what risks they are willing to take and feel able to take. We cannot decide that for them. Increased contact also has the potential of robbing these movements of their indigenous character and thereby stunting their growth.

In terms of the articles in this issue, our goal was to try to understand these people and these movements, not to have a tit for tat argument. We did have an article that attempted to deal with the “Potential Pitfalls” of these movements.

I do not know how these movements will ultimately turn out. But given the generally dismal results of our mission efforts to reach Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists etc. by extracting them from the culture of their birth, I do not see that we have much to lose by allowing people who are committed to biblical truth to try creative approaches to reach their own people. What they do not need if for people on the outside to criticize and persecute them for their efforts, which unfortunately, is now happening.

Thanks for reading

Rick Wood
Mission Frontiers



Thanks for responding. We’ll have to agree to disagree about this because while I certainly understand the points that you’re making, I still don’t think that there is sufficient Biblical justification for these movements, especially when there are still plenty of indigenous believers in these same contexts who have come to the conclusion that insider movements are not wholly Biblical, and many of them are asking for our support. While some may feel that this is a matter of Christian conscience, very few of these indigenous believers who are risking their lives to proclaim the Gospel in a more traditional way feel this way.

I do appreciate that Mission Frontiers spent an entire issue trying to understand insider movements, and the “potential pitfalls” article was good. However, even within that article there was a very heavy slant against anyone who is deeply concerned about whether or not these movements reflect appropriate Biblical truth. Again, we as the body of Christ worldwide need to be working together to love and minister to one another, not controlling or persecuting. However, I think that part of loving one another is speaking out whenever we see teaching not consistent with the Bible being proclaimed.




Thank you for this “conversation”. This is exactly the kind of interchange we are hoping to foster with our new website. While there may not be a changing of minds in the process, I hope that it does provide clarity as to the respective viewpoints.

It is only as we keep on learning and trying to understand what God is doing that we will be able to participate most effectively in the mission He has given to us.

God Bless

Rick Wood

Matthew & Rick,

I wish to thank both of you for the foregone conversation.  I have benefited from both your perspectives. I came to the articles in reference with such openness to the overriding theme they sought to portray, that I really drank them in and began to review and articulate a fresh disposition . Matthew’s loving caution checked my unrestrained swallow. I believe however that our precious LORD will not leave us alone to grapple with issues presented by these insider movements by ourselves. We all must just stay very close to HIM as we interact with those issues. We should not allow ourselves to settle on any unpliable positions but follow the listing of ‘the WIND’.


Hello Rick,
Greetings from Bangladesh!
This is Jipu . I am an Evangelist and doing ministry in Bangladesh since 2003. My dad is an Evangelist and Pastor also.
Bangladesh is a Muslim country . 95% are Muslim, 12 % is Hindu and some Buddhist an Christian’s are less than 1%.So it is a great field for Ministry.
So I would like to invite you to started ministry /Church planting in Bnagladesh. Its a great harvest field.
If God spoke to you for our Country, please come help change Bangladesh. 
In His service-
Jipu Barikdar

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