Living out the message of God
“Once again Islam and radical Muslims have become daily headlines,” said John* from OM Australia’s Ministry to Australian People (MAP). “The terror of groups like IS and Boko Haram leave politicians powerless, citizens afraid and Christians wondering – wondering what we should be doing about Muslims in our country.”
John has heard ideas across the spectrum – ranging from lashing out against Islam to handing out roses to Muslim women to show they are accepted. What can and should Christians around the world be doing?
“Jesus, as the incarnate Word of God, came to live out the message of God among us,” continued John. “He then commissioned his followers to go and make disciples of all nations, so in a similar (though different) way again to live out and proclaim the message of the Gospel to all people – to the sympathetic ones, as well as the ones who are very opposed to the message.”
According to MAP Australia, research has shown that more than 60 per cent of Muslims who become followers of Christ do so because they have Christian friends.
“The tragedy is, most Muslims in Western countries never have a single Christian friend,” added John. “Building genuine friendships in which we openly share our beliefs and values is the single simple way by which every Christian can impact the lives of others, including Muslims.”
A Fijian-Indian Muslim woman, who has been a friend of John’s wife, Lydia, for a few years, recently went to church for the first time. She had been afraid for some time, due to a pending operation she needed. After praying with her, Lydia gave her a Bible and biography of George Mueller. Greatly impacted by the book, she asked to go to church and has since been introduced to a small Nazarene church in her neighbourhood, to which she is now well connected.
“We Muslims live in close community – but we don’t trust each other,” said another friend, sadly. “I cannot tell any of my problems to my Muslim friends. They will think I am weak, and they will use this against me. I can only be open with my Christian friends… Since meeting Christians, I have become very disappointed with my Muslim culture. I want to understand why Christians are different.”
Pray for OM Australia’s MAP team, as they live out the message of God in various communities in Australia, and pray that more Christians across the globe would be encouraged to engage with their Muslim neighbours.