As militant Islam increasingly rears its head all over the world, there seems to be a corresponding increase in negative talk, promotion of fearful ideology, and even hatred toward Muslims - certainly in the media, but also in the Church. If you are a reader here, you'll know that this disturbs me. I am not suggesting that we should instead gloss over important issues and pretend that everything about Islam is just perfect. No, let's deal straightforwardly with the militant side of Islam, especially as it is starkly contrasted to the grace of God found only in Christ! However, I am suggesting that we need to start seeing Muslims as individual human beings and not as terror statistics.
I continually remind Christians that we have far more in common with any average Muslim from Afghanistan to Mali than we do with any of our atheist neighbors from Arizona to Maine! Now I don't have much hope for the media on this one, as this hilarious and fear-filled video from ABC news today demonstrates. However, I do have hope for the Church. Wasn't it Jesus who said in Matthew 5:44 to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," anyways? Besides, Muslims are not our enemies, Satan is our collective enemy! But even if they were our enemies (like the small portion who follow a militant ideology), we are still commanded by our Lord to love them. So let's start promoting more love and understanding instead of hatred and fear. Along these lines, I want to promote two new websites.
I think they are both great, and represent the kind of shift in thinking that I pray happens in the West, and especially in the Church. The only unfortunate part is that some of the testimonies of Americans who have converted to Islam sadden me for the lack of understanding about Islam that the people demonstrate. I fear that lots of Westerners often convert to Islam because it's the "in" thing to do in certain circles, and/or they've got a totally deficient understanding of Christianity (but that's for another post). In any case, I recommend you have a look at these sites. I for one can say that my two best friends are both Muslims. They would do anything for me, even die for me or my family. I love those two brothers as if they were my own flesh and blood. So I can certainly relate there!