A Muslim woman wearing hijab

Image via Wikipedia

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and in the United States.  And right here in Northeast Wisconsin, there is a rapid influx of Muslim refugees coming in to our area from war torn Somalia.  This presents a challenge and an opportunity for us as the Body of Christ.

Emotions run the gamut throughout Christian leadership regarding the growth of Islam in our communities.  Some Christians fear what this growth might mean to our community—others just don’t think it is a big deal at all.  The one thing we cannot do with this situation is come at it from a position of fear or ignorance.  To be “ostrich Christians’, sticking our heads in the sand just will not do.

So a couple facts about Islam:  First, they believe we who call Jesus Christ the Son of God are blasphemers.  Second, Islam is more than a religion—it is a religion and governmental system wrapped up in one.  It seeks to be an exclusive theocracy whereby all citizens are forced to convert to Islam.  If they do not, they are treated as third class citizens or in some countries threatened with imprisonment or death.

The Islamic Koran and Hadith—further Muslim teachings extending from the Koran—teach that while Jesus is not the Son of God, he did not die.  They believe Allah spared his life and that Jesus will return with the Mahdi—the Muslim Messiah—in the final days.  And Jesus will break every cross and help the Mahdi put all Christians and Jews to death.

Knowing these things, it is foolish to ignore the growth of Islam in our community.  While I am certain that the majority of Muslim Americans are good people who just want to live here in freedom, some coming over here may indeed have a more radical agenda.

However, there is one more thing we need to know about Islam—its followers need to hear the true gospel of Jesus Christ—no different than anyone else who has not yet accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  Now how we best share the gospel with them is certainly a topic of intense discussion and debate.  Some prefer a more gentle, long term approach, like the C4 and C5 Insider movements.  Others like our frequent guest Elijah Abraham, use a more direct approach.  Instead of trying to forge common ground by talking about Jesus and Issa, Elijah lovingly confronts Muslims with the truth of who Jesus is—the Son of the living God who died and rose for our sins.

So, by all means, let’s have a robust discussion on how best we address the concerns and opportunities we face with the growth of Islam in our community.  Let’s come together in prayer to discuss how we as Christians in our community can educate ourselves and reach out with the gospel to Muslims coming here to live among us.

Islam is here to stay.  And the worst thing we can do is to ignore it, hoping it will just go away.  Pastors, we need you to lead on this issue.  We need you to come together as a community of leaders and seek God’s desires for how we best address the concern and opportunity in front of us.  Please—please—do not ignore the situation.  God has ordained you to lead us in difficult times.  We hope we can count on you to do so, before the situation gets out of hand and something terrible happens.

 

Download this Podcast Subscribe (RSS | iTunes)

 

Related articles