Muslim Attitude to Christian Witness
Look for the Best, not the Worst
Secondly, you must be aware that most Muslims have from their earliest childhood on been indoctrinated to believe in the absolute superiority of their religion vis a vis all others, including Christianity. Now that may have been true of my generation of Reformed Christians as well, but I sense that a certain degree of humility, true or false, has crept into the hearts and minds of my generation and that is advancing among subsequent generations growing up in and living with the realities of multi-culturalism and multi-religion. We tend not to be quite so absolutist about other religions anymore. Without necessarily having thought through the issues arising from such humility, we are slowly sliding into greater openness to them.
If your church wishes to engage in evangelism to Muslims, I recommend two simultaneous approaches, both communal and individual. If possible, let your church involve a spiritually sensitive ex-Muslim who knows Islam well, continues to adhere to much of their culture and has retained his respect and love for Muslims. Let him be your front runner. and resource person to whom you come for advice. There may come a time you can invite a group of Muslims for a church or restaurant dinner and be prepared to have it reciprocated. As to Muslims in your neighbourhood, seek them out, get to know them, invite them into your social life, including your home. Attend some of his/her events in order to get closer, show interest and, eventually have him attend some of yours. Do not talk religion all the time, but have general conversations on a variety of topics.
Throughout the Muslim world, thousands of Muslims have come to Christ through dreams that are remarkably similar. A white-robed figure tends to appear to them who identifies Himself as Christ and invites them to follow Him. This is often the result of having heard about Christ through some channel—radio, TV, a book, a conversation that could have been with you. You just sow the seed and leave the harvest to Him. Pray, but don’t worry about it. He has His own ways.
There is also the global situation that has filled Muslims with mistrust and, often, hatred towards the West and its Christians. We must be aware of the imperialistic way in which the West has treated the Muslim world. The current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are seen as mere continuations of a long imperialist tradition that sought to exploit them and impose secularism on them. Some writers, even in the CC, apparently want to ignore or deny the true impact of that history. However, we must acknowledge it not only, but also do all we can to transform our national governments and corporations into peaceful and just directions that are more in conformity with the way of Christ. Christians must be seen and heard by Muslims to be doing so. At least, if we are interested in correcting the image of Christ that Muslims everywhere have. To Muslims, politics and economics are tools of mission. The Christian dualistic separation of these two is an unbelievably naïve and, pardon the expression, stupid approach. You want to improve the image of Christ in the Muslim world? Then work hard at reforming/transforming our international politics and economics. There is a great need for Christians to so contribute to the international politics and economics of their own nations quite apart from witnessing concerns. It is simply the right thing to do. Failure to do so will surely confirm the general Muslim suspicion that Westerners are out to destroy and undermine Islam. Witness and mission must go together with politics and economics on a global scale. Their separation leads to trivializing the Gospel and our witness. Witness is no child’s play!