He shared these thoughts —
For one, it is a myth that the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are unified in the embrace of classical Islam’s religious precepts. On the contrary, man Muslim peoples have a poor understanding of what their religion is really all about.
It is plain that Islam, theologically, is not a monolithic structure. Even the most foundational statement of all, that God alone is to be worshiped, is belied by superstitious practices. What makes Islam strong is not its religious dogma, but the allegiance it demands to a socio-political-religious way of life that extracts fierce penalties from those who would leave it. Harsh reprisal is clearly taught in classical Islamic law, and rigidly enforced in many communities.
For another, it reveals the heart hunger of ordinary people. Muslims, too, want forgiveness and acceptance by God, and freedom from sin and guilt. They, too, are looking for meaning in life and the assurance of an eternity in God’s presence. But Islam does not promise any of these, and so they turn to mysticism or culturally acceptable forms of animism.
Understanding these things doesn’t remove resistance, or prejudice, or doubts and suspicions. It doesn’t remove disappointments, misunderstandings, and tears. But it does put witness into a new perspective. People who follow Islam have the same spiritual needs as all of us – needs which can be met only in Jesus Christ.
Conditioned against Christianity, the followers of Islam of our day may resent the gospel messenger or reject the message, sometimes with great passion. But they are capable of recognizing truth when they see it. Not that such recognition is easy. Usually, in fact, it is painfully slow.
But the followers of Islam are religious people and under the right conditions, open about sharing their beliefs. The word of God, presented under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and watered by the intercessory prayers of God’s people, can do its work in their heart just as in the heart of any who seek truth.
The follower of Christ’s responsibility is to share the same love and concern for the followers of Islam that God has, the truth as it is in Jesus Christ — the One who can make him free indeed.
- Sheep without a Shepherd. (callingallsheep.com)