Connecting with Muslims
by Fouad Masri
Neighbours & Newcomers National Network
So there’s a ‘communication gap’ between us and Muslims. And we must ‘cross the street’—literally or just figuratively—to reach them with the Good News of Jesus. Fouad talks to us about what is keeping us from being fully obedient to Jesus in this area of our great commission walk.
Three Myths That Hinder
Two thousand years ago, Christ asked us to engage with others and to be intentional about witnessing to others. But now an incredibly apparent gap exists between Christians and Muslims. Christians are still called kafirs (“unbelievers”) by many Muslims today. Wars and misunderstanding prevail where connection, rapport and open dialogue are needed.
Many Christians still subscribe to several myths about Muslims. First is the sentiment among many Western Christians that all Muslim's hate us. Yet so many amazing opportunities await us when we commit to meeting Muslims and talking to them about Jesus. Often, fear prevents believers from taking the initiative to get to know Muslims, or even engaging in light conversation with them. I have to ask: What so frightening about talking to Muslims?
A second myth is that Muslims are not interested in Jesus or Christianity. And a third and even more upsetting myth is that God Himself doesn't care about Muslims and Islam. But it is clear that from the beginning God cared for all races and all religions. It is time to bridge the gap that we have created between us.
In the Middle East, I saw the casualties of raw hatred. I watched Christians build walls of fear so high they forgot the key word of the Great Commission in Matthew 28: "Go." Regrettably, the same tragedy occurs today among Christians who, overcome with fear, view Muslims as the enemy. Are Muslims not worthy of the gospel message? Can every day Christians begin seeing Muslims through Jesus’ eyes? Are there ways to bridge the gospel to the Muslim mind and
heart? Walls can fall down when even one Christian infused with
God’s love becomes an ambassador to Muslims.
It takes more than a guilt-laden sermon to come to the realization, "Perhaps I could share the gospel with a Muslim." It takes seeing Muslims as Jesus sees them. Feelings of fear towards Muslims must be replaced with compassion and love based on Christ's command. Feelings of inadequacy must be replaced with courage based on the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Feeling of hesitancy must be replaced with initiative and action as we use effective communication tools.
You do not need a PhD in Islam to share your faith with a Muslim. Instead, you need to know Christ, have a heart of an ambassador and an array of effective communication tools. That’s what Fouad’s book is all about — loving Jesus and loving Muslims.