Monday, December 14, 2015

A Christian Response to a Muslim Topic

What to do about Muslims? Talk about a volatile question! Okay, I will. 
Albeit, briefly.

First off, this answer may not make sense to those who aren’t Christians. And to those of us who are, this may upset some. Yet I believe this answer is one we arrive at when we “put on the mind of Christ”, which according to the Apostle Paul, we have.[1] Unfortunately, too many Christians think in the flesh, with our primary desire being to protect our flesh, our physical bodies. But lest we forget, our mission is not to save ourselves from possible terrorists, but to join with God in the Great Co-Mission by making disciples out of possible terrorists. We must remember that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”[2] This means that our struggle is not against Muslim’s, but against the one (Satan) who desires to keep them from being freed from the terror of sin. We should have compassion and love for Muslims, especially when we remember that they are trying desperately to earn God’s favor and forgiveness.

So how do we this? I’d like to suggest 3 ways.

First, don’t generalize about all Muslims being terrorists. Yes, the basic tenants of their faith are not grace, love, and mercy to all people (as is the Christians). In fact, violence is an accepted way of making converts in the Quran.[3]. That being said, most Muslims do not practice this in the same way that most “Christians” do not practice the Great Commission. Most Muslims simply want to live peaceably. We absolutely cannot equate being a Muslim with being a terrorist.

Second, we need to have a paradigm shift. For some Christians, the question has become, “how do we have more Christians in the world than Muslims? Do we have more babies? Do we outlaw Islam?” This is the wrong question to be asking. The question should be “how can we do a better job of making disciples of all people, especially Muslims?” It’s not us versus them. The goal is not to “win” as if this were some contest. The goal is to glorify God by seeing more of his creations be redeemed thru faith in Jesus. Some of us need to change the way we think.

Third, let’s look at Muslims coming to the USA as an opportunity. For centuries we’ve had to primarily send missionaries to other countries in order to reach Muslims with the Good News of Jesus Christ. This is far less true today. In addition to that, I’ve heard reports of many Muslims around the world coming to faith in Jesus. This should excite, encourage, and challenge us to reach out to our Muslim neighbors with the hopes of starting a dialogue about the true identity of Jesus.

Christians, we need to be careful. It seems that our country is waking up to some of the realities about Islam and so it would be very easy to jump aboard, leaving behind our Christian witness. While Politics has its place, remember that it will never save people. We cannot police the world to Christ. Choose your battles wisely, and remember that it’s not Muslims we’re fighting against.

[1] 1 Corinthians 2:16
[2] Ephesians 6:12
[3] Quran 2:191-193) 

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