As Islam spreads into the Western world, I think a lot of Christians are getting a little nervous. We wonder if the next 9/11 is coming or the next Paris attack. We want less mosques and more churches right? I mean they can be Muslim and serve their God as long as they do in the desert over there. Don’t bring it to my back yard. Right?
But, what if the spread of Muslim people onto our soil were less to be feared and more to be embraced by Christ followers. What if the “Go into all the world” command of Jesus was actually coming to us?
If that’s the case, what are we supposed to do?
So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.” Acts 17:22
Do you notice how the Apostle Paul starts his address to this group of people who serve a different god? He compliments them. He makes an observation on how religious they are.
As we interact with Muslim people, we must respect their religion, their culture and their humanity. We need to stop seeing them as a group and start seeing individuals who have souls God longs for.
I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person. 1 Cor. 5:9-11
You might disagree with the tenants of their faith, and that’s OK, they disagree with yours. But don’t avoid friendship because of it. Don’t hide from them. Don’t avoid saying hello or opening a door for someone just because they are a different faith. The call of Christians is definitely not to live in isolation from the rest of the world.
Love & Pray
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” Mt. 5:43-44
So this is a teaching that the last thousand years of Christians missed. Remember those pesky crusades where the cross was heralded, blood was shed, innocent people were killed for some land? Yes, Christians don’t exactly have the best reputation in the Muslim world. We have a lot of making up to do. So…
Love. Love. Love. Pray. Pray. Pray.
Love in a crazy way. Love in a servant way. Love in a trustworthy, faithful way. Love with redeeming love.
Pray in a crazy way. Pray in a servant way. Pray in a trustworthy, faithful way. Pray redeeming prayers.
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Do you believe what Jesus said? Do you believe that he is the only way? If you believe it, share it.
If you have respected, associated with, and loved and prayed like Jesus, your Muslim friend will have already have had an experience with Jesus before you even say his name. And that’s what it’s all about.
And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. –Apostle Paul