Friday, February 20, 2009

Great Thougths from a Muslim Friend

I was meeting a friend yesterday morning for coffee. His name is Hasan and he is an Imam (a Muslim Pastor) in Arlington. As we were talking he said a couple of things that I thought were greatly interesting and also challenging to the Christian community.

He gave typical Islamic reasons for being against Christianity, such as the thought that the Trinity is a form of Polytheism etc. These are always very good and challenging discussions. The two things he said, which I thought were interesting, were the following:

1. He said, "Your pastors are so proud of preaching that is so focused on man. I have never seen someone who has walked out of a church challenged by God, just more focused on themselves and what they need to do."

What a powerful statement! Although I corrected him on the over generalization, it seems he has a decent point. He went on to say, "Don't your pastors understand they are talking about God!" I believe his challenge is incredible because if we truly trust that God knows us better than we even know ourselves would it not be best to seek Him and then let Him tell us what is best for us? Instead, many times we fall short by focusing PREDOMINANTLY on us. I am not saying preaching and teaching will not include practical outworkings, but it is possible to focus in such a way that we look good in carrying out "good works", while we miss Him.

2. Hasan also said something that is a fairly typical argument for Muslims, but is always interesting to talk through. He said, "Islam is an entire way of life. Christianity is only spiritual. In fact, separating Christianity into the spiritual seems to be a pride they like."

Again, I corrected him in saying that Christianity is not an entire lifestyle. I believe it is, but listening to these objections from someone who does not trust in Jesus for eternal life is always quite sobering. I believe Hasan is right when it comes down to many Christians trying to segment belief from lifestyle. This is not the way of Jesus.

I say all of these things hopefully in a way that is challenging to you, if you are a Christian. I also say these things so you have a chance to see things through the eyes of a Muslim. I am always challenged and encouraged in Jesus when I am able to have a conversation with a Muslim.

Love Truth