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Thursday, February 28, 2013
Christians Should Be Creative
Christians should be a creative—the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and the leaven that leavens the whole lump.
(The Cross and the Crescent) Muslims can understand as little about Christianity as many Christians understand about Islam. Yet both are evangelistic religions. Christianity practices evangelism, and proclaims the Good News of Jesus Christ. Islam practices Da'wa (a Call) inviting all to accept its faith. Against such a background, the message... can be summed up in a single statement:
That if God calls us to evangelize the Muslim world, He will give us everything we need to do it successfully. For God never orders us to do the impossible.
To start with, though, we need to ask what difficulties underlie the task of evangelizing Muslims, and why it is that many Christians have effectively “given up” the challenge. I suggest there are two factors at work. These have to do, first, with the weakness of the Church, and second, with the resistance of Islam.
1. Lack of obedience to the Great Commission
The greatest impediment to the evangelizing of Muslims lies in the Christian Church. A weak and lukewarm Church neglects its first duty, which is missions. Divided believers have much time to fight—and no time to witness. Many congregations are self-satisfied. They prefer the cozy atmosphere of their closed fellowships to the challenge of going out to reach the lost. The result is that believers “lose touch” with the surrounding world. They actually drive sinners away because nobody wants to be like them.
By contrast, the Spirit-filled and Spirit-obeying believer witnesses to God's saving power, and thus leads others to know Christ as personal Savior.
2. Lack of confidence in the Christian faith
In almost all countries where Christians are a minority, they exhibit a lack of confidence, both in themselves and in what they believe. The act like the ten spies who returned to Moses from Canaan and declared that the proposed invasion should be called off (Num 13:28-33).
In Muslim states, this behavior is reinforced by social attitudes dating back to the seventh century Covenant of Umar. A major purpose of the Covenant was to protect the life and property of non-Muslims—particularly Christians and Jews—who were resident in Muslim countries. But it did so on strict conditions. First, that Christians put no obstacles in the way of a fellow Christian who desired to become a Muslim. And second, that Christians make no attempt to convert Muslims to Christianity.
Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab used the Covenant to consolidate his conquests. He would present it to Christians in subject territories and demand they sign....
Centuries later, the terms of the Covenant remain deeply embedded in the way Christian and Muslim communities relate in Islamic nations.
Against this background, it is important for Christian minorities in Muslim countries to know what is expected of them. They should be a creative minority—the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and the leaven that leavens the whole lump (Matt 5:13,14; 13:33).
The Cross and the Crescent (excerpt)
Abdul Hadi is an international Bible scholar who has lectured and taught in several countries around the world; a Christian apologist, evangelist, and international authority on Islam.
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