Loving Muslims Is Active Faith

Loving Muslims Is Active Faith by Dr. Alfonse JavedI understand it is easy to be afraid and to react to what frightens us. Regarding Muslims, what I do not understand is why Christians allow such fear to dictate what they believe and what they don’t believe, and more importantly why they allow Satan to steal their joy and their opportunity to demonstrate their love towards Muslims. I grew up in Pakistan and experienced discrimination and religious persecution first hand by fellow Pakistanis who were Muslims. Under no circumstances dp I want to belittle your position regarding Muslims, especially after the recent videos on the Internet in which ISIS and affiliates beheaded Christians by the dozens. Also, I will not water down the power of fear that comes out of genuine circumstances and paralyzes our ability to think and act Christ like, after all we are nothing but human.

However, I do want to point out that all Muslims are not the same, just like all Christians are not the same,a and for that matter all people are not same. I believe that love is something that takes patience and faith and time to understand each other and earn each other’s trust. Particularly, when there are cultural, social, and religious differences.

Faith and fear cannot co-exist. For Christians, “Loving Muslims is Active Faith” is a matter that I believer is bigger than our personal opinion or conviction. It is fundamental to our belief in Christ, because fear is the manifestation of your lordship.

It does not matter what you think, what matters the most is how you act. If you claim that Jesus is your lord, but if He does not have full control over your life He is not your Lord. It would be nice to say that since I accepted Christ as my lord I have no fears anymore yet we do. So, it is bad but the question is how bad is it? And more importantly what do we need to do to deal with our fears so that we can reclaim our position in Christ and don’t let the fears of our lives drive or make decisions for us.

The idea of lordship is such in which a person surrenders everything to the one who is the lord. Absolute control over everything, as it is said before either Jesus is lord of all or not lord at all. Imagine your house, or apartment. You have different rooms and closets in you house. You have bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, perhaps another room or two and then closets. If you have all those room filled with good stuff, and keep them neat and clean but only one room or even a small closet is full with stinky old rotten food will it not make the whole house smell. You could give all the rooms in your life to Christ but keep one to yourself where you hide your impurities, fears, and human desires. Jesus does not want you to give him just one or more rooms of your life; He wants to be the Lord of your whole house, whole being.

It means every inch of your being must belong to Him. If your thoughts are controlled by worry, anxiety and fear then you have not given over everything to Christ as the Lord. If you have given all the rooms of your being to the lordship of Christ and kept the rationale, and intellectual room to yourself, so that, you can evaluate whether life makes sense or not I tell you the truth you have not fully surrendered yet. It is written, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14, ESV).

In both English and Greek, the word “Lord” in our New Testament is a word that can mean (1) simple respect or it can mean (2) Jesus is the king of kings, Lord of Lords, the controller of everything. He is God. This is why early Christians would not say “Caesar is Lord.” Who controls your life? Who is the Lord of your life?[i]

Jesus said in Luke 6: 46-49,

 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.[a49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great” (ESV).

Basically, what Jesus is saying here is “how can I be your Lord if you don’t obey me” and then he outline three very simple step to evaluate whether Jesus is truly the Lord of one’s life. In verse 47 Jesus said, “I will show you what he is like, who  (1) comes to me and (2) hears my words and (3) does them.

Therefore, when Jesus calls us to love others He calls us to Muslims. It might be difficult for you right now but if you start loving Muslims in due time it will become part of our life and you will know that fear has been replaced by faith in Christ and his promises.

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Dr. A. R. Javed

Dr. A. R. Javed is on faculty of New York School of the Bible, offering and heading the department of Missions and Understanding Islam. He is a lecturer at Davis College's NYC site and regularly gives lectures on Islam, Missions, Christian Theology nationally and internationally.

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