On May 9 of this year the Committee on MTW passed a resolution recommending to the GA that it PASS the overture condemning "Insider" Bible translations but STRIKE the language calling for a study committee. The rationale is, in their own words, "MTW has conducted extensive research and has numerous resources and tools available to
assist local churches in evaluating insider movements."
What is the "Insider Movement"? Well, in some forms, it's bad, bad, bad... It's heresy, and we're not talking about paedocommunion heresy or Federal Vision heresy (which don't really fit the category of heresy) - it's completely give up the Gospel heresy and destroy the Church in the Islamic World, straight from the Pit of Hell heresy. Insider Movements tell Muslims that they can be good Muslims and believe in Jesus. They don't have to join a church, reject Mohammed, or get baptized. All they have to do is believe in Jesus. Brothers and sisters, since Islam is a religion created explicitly to reject Judaism and Christianity, that would be like saying that you can be a Christian and a Satanist (except you'd do a LOT less harm to others as a Satanist).
What my missiologist friends are telling me is that the Insider Movement, rather than adding to the number of Christians, is growing by luring Christians out of churches! There are also rumblings that MTW has been less than vigorous in dealing with this in the mission field. Now, Paul Kooistra (head of MTW) has apparently rejected Insider theology without reservation and written a short article or two about it. The problem is that there are Insider experts who are criticizing MTW's manner of dealing with this issue.
Do we really need a denominational study committee on this? Here are some reasons why we MUST have a study committee.
1) While they are claiming that they have material available to the churches, I wrote them as a pastor of a church asking for it and got no response. People I know who are "in the know" say that there's nothing they have besides an article or two by Dr. Kooistra. Maybe they have more, but they aren't giving them to the churches.
2) Since there's some rumbling about the cleanliness of MTW's hands in all of this, it would be most proper for people outside of MTW to deal with this. Not that MTW is always concerned about proper accountability and being beyond reproach in appearances. This is the agency which has Dr. Kooistra's brother as CFO (Dr. Kooistra controls the organization and his brother controls the money). My wife is a CPA and she doesn't have ANYTHING to do with the church finances because of the possible appearance of impropriety. It is important with money, but even more with the accurate teaching of the Gospel.
3) This is THE most significant theological issue since inerrancy. Do we wish to be asleep at the switch when this train comes bursting out of the tunnel?