Relating to Muslims

Comments

  1. So i do feel intensely lonely…as a follower of Jesus…i do have mentors many years ago who helped me feel comfortable with dropping the name christian and studying the Quran…

    i found Phil Parshall and loved his book…

    but then i found yours…i speak the way you speak and think the way you think…like minded people are a rarity for me…

    i will try to rise the money to bring you to Boise to speak so i can meet you…

    my table is always open to you as it is to my Muslim friends…

    love the language you use…and i am part of the growing community of which you speak…

    thanks for the words in this video…

  2. Robin says:

    This video is one big “YES!”.

  3. Susanne says:

    Loved this. Thanks!

  4. Wesley says:

    Carl –
    who are these Christian leaders who are criticizing you (exhorting you)? What have their comments been specifically? w/o knowing all the facts it’s hard to really say but – if they feel at all like i do about some of what you say – i find it hard to imagine they feel you are loving Muslims too much but rather too little. You seem like an intelligent guy so it feels odd to hear you make such a weak argument. Simple logic would say that it is not ‘loving’ in any way for a doctor to tell a man with malignant brain cancer that they both have brains and breath air and have lots of other things in common, etc. and say nothing about the fact that he is in dire peril. It’s all well and good to build relationships with and love (and even like) people but you are not being loving AT ALL in the end not to tell them (whoever they are) of their dire condition of sin and the judgement they WILL face when they die if they aren’t saved. Now, of course, that’s not the conversation opener, but it is incoherent to befriend a man with a truck racing towards him, not tell him he needs to get out of the way, and then file that under ‘just loving people’. Food for thought. Sin is not AN issue we all face, it is – ultimately – THE issue, and their is only One solution to that issue.

  5. Wesley, not sure what you mean here, but let me make a couple of comments:

    1. Of course there is more to share with this or anyone else. Not sure why you were thinking that this was the end of the story – I surely didn’t say that.

    2. We are obsessed with sin. Dallas Willard says we often preach the “gospel of sin management.” It’s all about getting saved so we aren’t sinners and can go to heaven. This is such a dumbing down of the good news that Jesus came to bring.

    3. While you’re analogy is true in that we wouldn’t be good friends if we do not rescue someone from getting hit by a truck – it falls short. Did Jesus “preach” like that to all the sinners he met? Not at all. In fact, if you look at the interactions our Lord had while on earth with outsiders – you’ll be surprised at how little he said.

    So if you’re serious about this discussion, here’s my challenge to you. Read all four gospels and write down every interaction he had with sinners. Not with the 12 disciples and not with his own religious leaders. But with outsiders sinners. See what you come up with.

    carl

  6. Wesley says:

    Carl –
    thanks for replying. I did just recently read through the gospels though not with this specific purpose. I’ll try to go through again with that in mind. That said, you do realise that the the Bible is not a moment for moment transcription of every word Jesus said or everything He ever did (the end of John’s gospel makes reference to this specifically); we can see this clearly is Luke’s treatment of the sermon on the mount as opposed to Matthew’s. So, just from memory i can see where you’re getting Jesus not going up to folks and saying, ‘hey, you’re gonna die in your sins and need to believe in me or suffer in hell eternally’ – no, He obviouslty didn’t do that, nor am i suggesting we do that. But i think if we look at the big piture; the overarching metanarrative of Scripture, we can easily infer that Jesus didn’t come to help the poor or teach us good moral lessons or heal people primarily. Now, He did do those things too but Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world – He came to die and He died for sins. So each interaction He had would have been with His purpose for coming in mind, even if He didn’t explicitly state it explicitly. Some examples that come to mind: woman caught in adultery – He saves her from being stoned and says HE doesn’t condemn her, but He also says, ‘go and sin no more.’ The woman at the well – Jesus doesn’t even mention the word sin, but calls her promiscuous lifestyle on the floor and calls her to repenance. Zaccaeus – the conversation recorded doesn’t mention sin either, but we see Zaccaeus repenting and making restitution for his sin. So i think we can see that b/c Jesus purpose in coming was to free sinners from their bondage to sin and make a way for them to the Father and eternal life, He always had that in His mind; seasoning every interaction He had with people b/c He had come to save them from that sin. John the Baptist and then Jesus’ message began with ‘repent’ before it ever spoke of the Kingdom and there was a good reason for that.
    Beyond that, i don’t understand where you’re going with the Willard quote as (i pray) no intelligent Christian who actually ‘gets’ grace thinks the gospel is about “sin management” or that being saved means “we’re not sinners anymore”. That is, sadly, probably what some would say but it is a mis-understanding of the gospel to believe or preach such foolishness. The gospel changes us – to be sure – but we will not experience the ultimate benefit of that until glory.

    p.s. yes, i am serious about this discussion 😉 thanks for being willing to enter into it with me. God speed.

    1. Joshua says:

      Wesley,

      I think you may have just made Carl’s point for him. You just highlighted two instances of Jesus engaging someone whom his society told him he should hate, and whom he would have been justified in condemning. As you clearly pointed out, Jesus did not explicitly say anything about their sin guilt, nor did he instruct them to repent, and yet repentance happened! He simply approached them in the love and power of God, and their sin was dealt with, and without their sin being the focus of the conversation. Actually, Jesus sounds down right friendly – not even confrontational – with the woman at the well, as well as Zacchaeus. Sure he knew he was going to take care of their sin on the cross, just like we can – and should – keep on our mind when we talk to anyone that Jesus has taken care of this person’s sin on the cross, and that he wants to deal with it in their life. No doubt, we should definitely keep the cross always in the front of our minds, as it reminds us of our example in the extent to which we should love Muslims, and everyone else.

      Carl,

      I was not able to go, but my girlfriend attended the conference you spoke at in Austin last weekend and gave me a thorough report. She was really touched by what you said, and how you said it. One thing that really struck her was that you, as she put, are “definitely not religious.” I got a kick out of that. God bless.

  7. Sue says:

    In support of what you are proposing, Mother Teresa stated that in India, the Muslims did not use the term “Christian” or “Catholic.” Instead, they referred to those who ministered in Christ’s name as the “people who love.” It was their love of the Muslim and Hindu people that drew their attention and elicited their questions. I’m convinced that is the reason why Paul said to always be ready to give an answer for the hope we have. Our lives should provoke others to ask questions.