Christians and Islam
by guest blogger Stephen J. Bedard
I have noticed that there is a huge concern among Christians about Islam. In some cases, feelings border on fear. Does that cashier with the head dress really want to kill my family and force my conversion? What should we be thinking? I thought I would share a few thoughts here.
First, I do not accept Islam as a true way for salvation. I do not believe Muhammad was a prophet, nor do I believe that the Qur’an is revelation. I believe Muslims are wrong. Jesus is the Son of God and he did die on a cross. I believe that Jesus is the only way for eternal life. I do not support “Chrislam” as the blending of Christianity and Islam (although it bothers me when people use this label to any Christian who is nice to Muslims). I also have some concerns about the actions of some Muslims. It is frightening what can happen in some countries to Muslims who convert to Christianity. It bothers me about the lack of scholarly study by Muslims of their own religion and unwillingness to examine things in a critical way. Of course there are extremists who rely on terrorism and those who would impose Sharia law on all people. This must be rejected.
At the same time, we really need some perspective. Many people who are most afraid of Muslims probably have not had a real conversation with a Muslim outside of an anonymous Internet debate. Most Muslims are no different than most Christians, they are trying to live their life and to integrate their religion into the rest of their life. Do Muslims want the who world to convert? Sure. So do Christians. Are most Muslims willing to use force to make those conversions? Not likely. Even though there are some that do, we must remember that there have been times that the church has used forced conversions on Muslims. In fact most of what Christians dislike about Muslims are things that the church has done in its past.
I have heard Christians concerned about Sharia law coming to the west. Of course we should guard against that. But at the same time, atheists are much more active in trying to change our laws and restrict our religious freedoms. In fact we may find that Muslims are likely to support our fight for religious freedoms as we share many values.
So when you see a Muslim in your community, don’t look at them as a potential terrorist or persecutor of Christians. Look at them as someone that God has brought out of a closed country so that we can enter into relationship with them, love them and share Jesus with them.
Stephen J. Bedard is an author, teacher and pastor. He has M.Div., M.Th. and M.A. degrees from McMaster Divinity College and is a graduate of the Arrow Leadership Program. He is currently in the Doctor of Ministry program at Acadia Divinity College. You can read more of his articles at his blog, Hope’s Reason.