|Tips for reaching out to moderate and secular Moslems|
We would encourage our readers not to fall into the trap of hating Muslims. As many react against the Muslim immigrants within their communities, it is the church that should demonstrate true love to these people, as well as seek to maintain their freedom of religion and right to exist without persecution. The Muslims in our communities need to hear the gospel of Christ, and with this in mind, we would like to recommend the following website, which is intended to teach Christians the truth about Islam so that we can approach Muslims with an adequate understanding, both spiritually and theologically, about their religion.
OR those of you who have Moslem friends and neighbours, we would like to give you some tips on how to effectively reach out to them with the gospel of Christ. Please note that these are ideas for reaching out to the secular and moderate Moslem (read Dr. Labib's article about the attacks on the World Trade Centre for more information about the various type of Moslems). Concerning the fundamentalist Moslem, if you would like to reach out to them, all we would recommend is pray, pray, and then pray some more. They are a difficult and sensitive group to reach with the message of Christ.
Keep in mind Ephesians 6:12: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
1. Show Them True Unconditional Love
Show them true love during this difficult time when many of them are facing discrimination in Western countries. Establish true relationship with the Moslems around you. Let them see your life and see your faith in action.
2. Before You Speak One Word
Be in PrayerAs mentioned earlier, our battle is in the spiritual realm. Pray that God will begin to open and enlighten their hearts before you say even one word about Christ. Many Moslems in the Middle East who have never heard a word about Jesus in their lives have received Christ through visions and dreams. God loves to use us to do His work, but ultimately, it is His work, and He really is capable of even doing without us.
3. Acknowledge and Honour Our Similarities
Christians and Moslems share many of the same values: strong families, a belief in God and absolutes, good moral values, a hatred for sexual sin and pornography. Many Moslems equate "American" with "Christian", and therefore think that we share in and support the moral decadence in that country. Point out to them that we as true believers do agree with many of their moral standards and show them proper honour for the good choices they have made in their lives. Also acknowledge that you don't think they are terrorist and that you understand that there are differing beliefs among Moslem people. This is certainly true. There are as many different factions and beliefs within Islam as there are in Christianity. See point nine below for more information on Nation of Islam or Black Islam specifically.
4. Try Not to Argue With Them
Do be equipped with good information as is found on this site in order to be able to answer honest questions. However, Moslems love to debate and it rarely leads anywhere. Don't fall into the trap of a debate. An area they particularly try to argue about is the Trinity, calling us polytheists. Try to defuse the debate by focusing on the fact that we do worship one God, and the Trinity is a deep spiritual reality that does not undermine God's oneness. Another area is the authenticity of the Bible versus the Quran. Dr. Labib has much information on this subject, but ultimately, keep pointing them back to the next few points:
Eternal Destiny, A Personal Relationship with God,
The Power and Intimacy of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Believer.
One area, however, that you may want to tackle is gently probing what the Quran has to say about Jihad, fighting and killing. Usually moderate and secular Moslems will deny it all. Gently continue by pointing out the Quranic scriptures that do support those actions, and ask them what they think they mean. They may come up with a good answer on the spot, but continue to pray that the Lord will challenge their hearts with the inconsistencies of their faith.
5. Emphasise the Assurance Christians Have of Their Eternal Destiny
Most Moslems when asked "Will you go to heaven when you die?" will answer, "I don't know." This is because their religion is based on works, not love, grace and faith like the Christian religion. Point out to them that you are confident that you will go to heaven
because a loving Christ has paid for your sins, and that through the grace of God, you have complete forgiveness.
6. Emphasise a Personal Relationship with God
To the typical Moslem, God is a distant being. He is to many of them harsh and unyielding. Most Moslems will be stunned by the idea of a loving relationship with an ever-present, personal God. The idea may draw them immediately. On the other hand, our more loving relationship may initially shock them and seem too informal. However, as they see you demonstrate this lifestyle of relationship, it will be a very powerful testimony of the truth of the gospel of Christ. I believe at heart, this is one of the biggest differences between Christianity and Islam.
7. Emphasise the Power of the Ministry of the Holy Spirit
Islam is not a religion of the supernatural. It is not a religion of miracles or a religion of God speaking directly into the lives of individuals. Although Christians may be divided on issues like "The Baptism of the Holy Spirit" and "Speaking in Tongues", I think that most of us can agree that the Holy Spirit, the comforter, is ever present and at work in our lives.
8. With Women Emphasise How the Bible Honours Women
Women in Islam suffer great oppression: some unwillingly and others willingly due to their religious convictions. Emphasise to women the way Christ honoured women. Tell them about how He invested time in teaching Mary and Martha, about His close and gentle relationship with Mary Magdalene and about His intervention on behalf of the adulterous woman. Tell them how Christ forbade husbands to divorce their wives, with the exception of marital infidelity. For most Middle-Eastern born Moslems, these will be striking contrasts to their own religion. Also explain to them the difference in the marital relationship. Christian wives, like Moslem wives, are to be faithful, pure and submissive. However, the husband's role is very different in Christianity. Christian husbands are to love and honour the wife that God has given them. They are to treat them as their own flesh. They are even called to defer to their wives out of love.
9. Understand the Differences Between Middle-Eastern Islam and Nation of Islam
Many of the black Moslems you will encounter are followers of the Nation of Islam, otherwise known in America as Black Islam. Understand that unlike Middle- Eastern Moslems, they do have a prophet after Mohammed. There are distinct differences between "Nation of Islam" and true "Islam".Most of the tips above should still be effective, but keep a few additional points in mind. Pray for wisdom in being sensitive to these differences. Study it further. Pray for racial reconciliation. Many black Moslems don't realize that the Arabs have also had black slaves throughout the ages. In fact, there are still countries in Africa today where Arabs capture and enslave black Christians. Acknowledge their frustrations with our western nations' history of slavery and the continuing racism that exists. Ask their forgiveness on behalf of the "so-called" Christians who have done and continue to do these things. Ask them to forgive so that with a clean heart they may choose their religion based on spiritual reasons, not political ones.
[ TOP ]
Appeared in Issue CETF 7.2 January 2002