Wineskins Archive

December 18, 2013

Behind Muslim Hostility – Part 4 (Sept-Dec 2010)

Filed under: — @ 9:53 am and

by Edward Fudge
October 17, 2010

For every thousand residents of America today, eight are Muslims. A few are radicals bent on terrorism, but every indication is that most are not. Even if the Qur’an teaches the violent spread of Islam, these enlightened Muslims interpret it in a peaceful way. Our Constitution guarantees them freedom of religion, just as it does us. Whatever else we might say about Muslim Americans, they, too, are our neighbors. That means, according to Jesus, that they are beneficiaries of the second greatest command, to love our neighbors just as we love ourselves. We are obligated to practice the Golden Rule — to treat others the way we would like to be treated. If you lived where Christians were outnumbered by Muslims 125/1, what would you wish from them? Is that too much to ask? Jesus thought not.

In America, we also have the freedom to share God’s grace with our Muslim neighbor, first by living graciously, then by telling the story of God’s saving grace through Jesus Christ — whom Muslims already revere as a prophet but do not yet know as God incarnate. We must not think that a hopeless task: the teenage son of a founder of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas eventually became a disciple of Jesus because a tourist he did not know and who did not recognize him, invited him to a home Bible study one day in Israel.

Meantime, we pray “Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven,” and we cooperate with God by placing ourselves and our daily lives at his disposal, to be transformed into living samples of what he has in mind for humankind. We certainly must not ever concede to despair. Instead, as Christians, we can cling to certainties that transcend politics, whether local, national or global. God–and only God–is totally trustworthy. His kingdom–and only his–will last forever. Whatever happens today or tomorrow, or the year after that, and whether we thrive or suffer, whether we live or die, we are safe in his hands.

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