One thing every Christian needs to know about Islam
My first day living in the Middle East, I was sitting in a small, cement block room with 20 other Christians. With the bustle of the street outside and the distant humming of the call to prayer ringing in the background, our trainer asked us this simple question: “What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say the word ‘Islam’?”
Immediately, my mind went to violence, terrorism and fear. I wasn’t the only one either. When we are honest with ourselves, we realize this is often our natural reaction. What we see on TV leads us to believe that the source of terrorism is Islam. This is wrong.
Over the next few months, all of my beliefs about Muslim people flew out the window. What I had believed to be a cold, hostile culture soon proved to be the complete opposite. These people were kind, overly hospitable, generous, and peaceful. Their homes were always open to welcome others in with endless food, tea, smiles, and deep conversations.
During my time in the Middle East, God challenged me with this truth: “Muslims may not have chosen me, but I created them and love them and want more than anything for them to love me. What right do you have to not love them?”
Muslims are not the enemy to be beat; they are friends who need to hear the Gospel and see Jesus’ love through you.
We live in a broken world where bombings, terrorist attacks, and shootings flood our headlines weekly—where it is easy to put a name to the unexplainable terror by blaming a religion. The only thing that will put an end to the problems filling the headlines is the Gospel — the good news God has called us to share with everyone, including Muslims.
Talking about our faith can seem daunting. But daunting doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. Satan capitalizes on our fear, because he doesn’t want us to realize that Muslims are just like us. One thing every Christian needs to understand is that we are all people in need of a Savior.
6 Tips for Sharing Your Faith with Muslims
1. Be informed.
What do you really know about Islam? The best way to dispel misconceptions, increase our ability to share the Gospel, and show that we care is to make an effort to learn about someone else’s religion. Books and studies by believers with Muslim backgrounds, like The Gospel for Muslims by Tahiti Anyabwile, give great perspective into Islam.
2. Avoid arguing.
Muslims are not the enemy to be beat; they are friends who need to hear the Gospel and see Jesus’ love through you. Don’t start with refuting or tearing down what they’ve built their lives on. Instead, ask questions. Listen. Get to the heart of why they believe what they believe.
3. Be ready to answer.
1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have.” Islam is a missionary religion much like Christianity, so don’t be surprised if, in the midst of sharing the Gospel, you find yourself being evangelized! Be ready to answer why you believe what you believe. Jesus is Lord, but why? What is the trinity, and why would God have three parts? Why did the creator of everything have to kill His Son to save us? Before you face questions like these, ask them of yourself.
4. Live out what you believe.
Religion is much more than a doctrine for Muslims; it is a way of life. Muslims believe they are born Muslim. This is why Muslims are so confused about Christianity. They see our Western culture and its loose morals and believe that is Christianity because, for the most part, they believe Americans are born Christians.
If all a Muslim sees is us going to church on Sunday and doing good things, we are showing them a works-based religion and they already have that. We cannot reach Muslim friends with the Gospel if we are not living out its message.
5. Boldly proclaim Jesus.
Be open about who Jesus is to you and what He has done in your life! The story of how Jesus changed your life might be just what someone needs to see Jesus is what he or she is missing!
Prayer is huge in Muslim culture. But prayer absent of relationship with Jesus is a wish list. You can listen to a Muslim all day long, hear their story and share yours, and even share the Gospel but it is all for nothing without Jesus. Jesus is the one who draws people to Himself (John 6:44) so pray that those you share with will come face to face with the only one who can save them: Jesus!
God gives us a hefty command in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…”
There is a reason God included every nation in our call to share the Gospel. Every nation was made by God and every culture brings glory to our Creator in their own unique way. When we fear our fellow man and blame them for the world’s problems, we fail to love them like Jesus would have and miss out on what they can show us about God.
This article was written by a NewSpring Church owner currently serving overseas.