What should be the Christian’s attitude toward Muslims
Howard Coles, Coleford, England
What should be the Christian’s attitude towards Muslims?
People calling themselves Muslims have perpetrated many acts of terrorism in the recent past and therefore it is understandable that those who are not Muslims think that most Muslims are terrorists or at least sympathize with their aims.
However, the overwhelming majority of Muslims are peace-loving, hospitable people. Most Westerners who have taken the time to get to know Muslim men and women agree with this statement. The fact is that they are victims of an extreme few just as much as are the population at large. This undoubtedly leads to suspicion, anger, frustrations and hatred of the Muslim population by many in Western countries, so, what should be the attitude or viewpoint of the Christian?
The Christian will need to be careful by not believing everything that is published in the media and should be willing, in spite of any general bias, to reach out in love to the followers of Islam. This love may not be reciprocated in some parts of the world; indeed in many parts of the world Christian minorities are persecuted for their faith. It remains, nonetheless, if the Christian is to remain faithful to the gospel commission given by the Lord Himself, that love must prevail and the gospel made freely available to all. ‘And he (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned’, Mark 16. 15, 16.
Many Christians today continue to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus and are paying a high price and some are martyred for their faith by extremists from other faiths. Why do Christians continue to reach out to those who oppose the message they bring under such circumstances? Because they know that in spite of their opposing beliefs, however false, men and women are dying without Christ and as a result face an eternity of punishment in hell.
Muslim extremists make up only a fraction of the Muslim world, yet they receive most of the attention because of the terror they cause. Would it be fair to equate Christianity with ‘so called’ Christian movements as the Klu Klux Klan or the followers of David Koresh, (Branch Davidians of Waco, Texas) or Jim Jones of the People’s Temple?
Unfortunately, deep misconceptions apply to both sides. Muslim people often mistake the immorality of the Western media including Hollywood films, as being ‘Christian’ just because they come from the so called ‘Christian West’. As Christians we will be horrified when we hear of such misconceptions, but it is similarly unjust for Christians to label all, or most, Muslims as extremists or terrorists. Muslims are often just as horrified at such atrocious acts of violence as are we.
Rather than strike out at Muslims in anger, Christians must show Christ’s standard, by loving them and seeking to bring to them to hear the wonderful message of salvation and truth as found in the Bible. By showing Christ’s love in such a way they may see Christ reflected in us, and will be encouraged to come to a personal knowledge and encounter with the Lord Jesus. Perhaps God has called you to be His messenger of peace in such a time as this?