There is nothing helpful in telling a Muslim he believes in “the wrong God.” What may be true, and definitely more helpful, is to show our Muslim friends how they can believe in God more fully in and through Jesus Christ.
The most important thing we can do as followers of Jesus is to do just that. Follow Him. Jesus Himself is the Good News. The message we carry is Jesus.
If we truly wish to be able to build a relationship with a Muslim friend, the most important thing we can do is to follow Jesus’ lead.
Suggestions in conversing from Carl Medearis —
- Don’t insult Muhammad, and don’t be flippant with religious phrases or with God or your Bible. Show respect and you may well be respected for it.
- Do everything you can to keep it from becoming a me-versus-you debate. Or a my-religion-can-beat-up-your-religion diatribe.
- Show interest in your Muslim friend’s faith not as a means of deception, but because you are interested in him and what he thinks about God. In fact, keeping the conversation on common ground and about everyday spirituality will prove to be far more effective than confrontation. Many Muslims are uneducated about their religion and any attempt to force a theological point will end in shared frustration.
- Be genuine and patient. Whatever denomination or church we come from, it is not our job to “secure converts.”
- When speaking with a Muslim about Jesus – use His title as a term of respect, i.e. “Jesus the Christ” or “Jesus the Messiah.” These are terms that Muslims accept, and it shows a sense of reverence.
- Many Muslims are pleasantly surprised when they see someone praying, reading a Bible, or treating religious things with a sense of devotion. We don’t want to wear our devotion on our sleeve, but we are free to be people who are obviously seeking to follow the ways of God and be more like Jesus. This is how we want to live and what will pave the way for many genuine friendships.