Understanding Islam, Loving Muslims
November 12, 2013
Updated March 22, 2018
14 comments 271 views
I give thanks to God that I have been involved with Salaam Project for two years now. Salaam Project is a multi-agency initiative by the CRC to equip the church to engage with Muslims. I wrote one of my first presentations to help people in our churches reach out to Muslims with the Gospel in an effective way. However, almost right from the start people told me that they needed more basic information about Islam because they did not have a basic understanding of what Muslims actually believe or practice. They just were not ready to actually engage with their Muslim neighbor. When I asked people in seminars if they had ever read even a little of the Quran, or if they had ever heard of the Hadith, very few hands went up. So I began to teach more about Islam.
This has had a number of benefits as people tend to fear what they do not know. Knowledge reduces fear and allows people to take a step of faith and engage the stranger in their midst. In Leviticus 19 the people of Israel are commanded to love their neighbors. Then later in the chapter they are commanded to love the alien living among them as one who is native born (verse 33). As followers of Jesus it continues to be important to understand those who now live among us and to love them. The challenge in an increasingly pluralistic society is to interact with people of other faiths in a respectful and honest way.
The November 20 webinar "Learning to Love Muslims" will give a basic introduction to the religion of Islam in order to create an ethos of love for our Muslims neighbors. For more details and registration visit crcna.org/webinars
What questions do you have about Islam and loving your Muslim neighbor?
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Greg: In Leviticus 19:33 God said" love" and added "do not mistreat him (neighbor)". However in Judges 6:16 the Lord said to Gideon "I will be with you and you will strike down all the Midianites together". On the one hand, do not mistreat and on the other hand stike them down.
So obviously some discernment is required.
When Jesus sent out the twelve disciples he warned them to "be on your guard against men" (Matt 10:17). and he encouraged them to be "shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves". (Matt. 10:16) In other words: to prevent harm to yoursellves," know the folks you are dealing with".
How many Christians really know and understand the Islamic faith? I would venture very few. Nonie Darwish in her book "Joys of Muslim Women" provides a number of insights into the workings of Islam including:
>in the Muslim faith a man can marry a child as young as 1 year old and consummate the marriage by age 9
>Radical Islamists are working to impose Shariah law on the world, teaching that non-Muslim (including Jews & Christians) are to be subjugated or killed. (Sadly and to their dismay, Holland and Britain are finding out what Shariah law is all about as is Dearborn Michigan).
>Islamic scholars agree that those who criticize Islam or choose to stop being Muslim should be executed.
When witnessing to a Muslim neighbor we would do well to follow what Reagan did with Russia "Trust but Verify". Similarly, Jesus gave excellent advice to his disciples. We would do well to heed it.
No disrespect to Ed, but I'll defer to Greg's take on this subject. Greg ends his post with "What questions do you have...". Seems like Ed has his answers already, but as for me - lots of questions! I will register for the webinar now.
Greg Sinclair's statements are in keeping with the words of Jesus when He stated; "Love God...Love your neighbor!" May God bless you Greg in your work with the Muslims and Christians!
I am surprised by some of the negative comments that are posted! By the way....Sharia Law will not be the Law in the U.S.A. The Constitution of the U.S. is THE Law! There are some "peoples of culture", that may want to be ruled by a different law, but that does not matter. Only the Constitution matters!
If there are people that consider the Muslims as their enemy, Jesus had a back-up plan for that...He said; "Love your enemies!"
I l love the Muslim people! We have great dialogue with each other concerning our faith. We work together on different projects together with Trinity Christian College students and Muslim students and adults.
If a Christian is unsure of their own faith, then maybe you shouldn't have dialogue with the Muslims!
Keep the Faith Greg! Dean Koldenhoven Palos Heights, IL Member of PH CRC
Been Muslim for 20 years -- ask me anything. Nothing is taboo
Shawn, are you a muslim now, and would you read the new testament of the bible?
Yes, I am a regular reader of the Bible-- I prefer the King James Version. Respect for all.
Why do you prefer the King James version of the Bible? And can I ask what is your favorite verse in the new testament?
Yes, I am a regular reader of the Bible -- I prefer the King James Version.
I have 2 muslims living in my home. I have grown to love them greatly! They are quiet, fun-loving, respectful young men. I have recently attended a mosque with one of them. He wants to convert me. I would love to understand more deeply what they believe. We have had some conversations, but they can't get beyond Jesus being God and the Trinity. How do you get beyond these topics? I would love to listen to your webinar, but am unable to due to my work schedule. Is there an on demand version? Or is there some other way to get the information you will discuss?
I am glad Ruth that you are having talks with your two Muslim friends. It sounds like you have a good relationship with them. Both the incarnation and the Trinity are major stumbling blocks for Muslims. But keep at it. There is no magic solution. If you are honest about your faith and are interested in their faith, and care about them, doors will open. These things take time. Sometimes God intervenes in miraculous ways and provides dreams and visions. But generally it is all about being good friends and modeling what life as a follower of Jesus is all about.
Webinars are archived and can be accessed after their viewing date - so you will still be able to listen to the webinar.
Webinars can be found at www. crcna.org/webinars under the "archived" tab.
I picked up a book in Toronto some time ago written by Ami Ben-Chanan wherein the author compares the Quran and the Bible. His hope is that the reader will understand the origins of these Books and find theTruth contained in its pages. (Quran-Bible..Comparison). The book was distributed at a gathering of people honoring the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders who is solely responsible for rolling back some earlier decisions that allowed Muslim culture to thrive alongside Dutch traditions. To keep his head attached to his shoulders Geert required the protection of 9 security people including 4 RCMP officers,
Many folks who confess to believe the Bible have only a vague understanding of the Truth contained between the pages of Scripture. I would encourage a thorough study of the Truth in Scripture first before picking up the Quran.
With respect to Truth, check out the website of : WildBillforAmerica, who provides some insights into the practices of the Islam faith, as follows: (direct quotes)
-Islam is committed to brutally eliminating all who do not worship Allah
-Sharia Law does not permit Muslims to befriend Christians or Jews
-Muslims in the Middle East live under horrible oppression
-The Muslim community is shamefully silent about Muslim attacks
-In those countries where the Muslim population is greater than 6%, violence skyrockets. France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, the Philipines are some examples
-wherever Islam sprouts, violence and bloodshed follow.
As Christians we are encouraged to spread the love of Jesus Christ to all peoples, which include Muslims. However, in order to witness effectively it is wise to first understand the mindset/culture/faith of the people being witnessed to.
Your 2 sources of 'Truth' Ed are most interesting. I am sorry, but obviously there is no such person as Ami Ben-Chanan. I suppose it was a play on words from the Jewish musician, Chanan Benami. And to cite 'WildBillfor America', obviously he has an agenda that doesn't include truth as a priority. Just as I wouldn't seek truth about civil rights from a white supremist, we should be so very careful who we trust to guide us, our Pastor's included. In times such as there we can be so easily lead astray. I pray that your Christian faith doesn't preclude you from reaching out & trying to love our Muslim neighbors.
Thanks for your input Greg. There is absolutely no need for you to be sorry. As you correctly concluded, "Ami" is given as a pseudonym. The author (whoever he is) likes to be assured he can rest at night in his own bed, unlike Geert Wilders who, for his own safety has to sleep in a jail cell when in his home country.
Nevertheless, "Ami's" book was written in 2007, is registered as ISBN 0-9781206-0-4 and I think represents the positons of both faiths, Muslim and Christian in an unbiased manner.
As for Wild Bill, he is a colorful character but no one, or any one group, has sued Wild Bill for libel nor are any suits pending. Secondly, Bill is known to be a strong and discerning Christian....not afraid to separate fact from fiction. North America needs more men with similar backbone, present respondents excepted of course.
Thankfully my Christian faith does not preclude me from reaching out to people of all persuasians, including Muslims. I appreciate your concern in that regard.
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