The latest shooting by potential Islamic terrorists at an art event depicting artist’s representations of Mohammad has some Americans flag-waving for freedom of speech and singing God Bless America.
What is wrong with us?
I’m all for flag-waving and God Bless America, but where is the wisdom in purposefully doing something that you know will make enemies and possibly incite violence instead of responding to Muslims the way the Bible instructs?
The Bible gives instruction on responding to Muslims?
Yes. Yes it does. Here’s a few passages to mull over.
“In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (I Peter 3:15).
“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (Colossians 4:6).
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness” (II Timothy 2:24-25).
It is true that Islam, as a religious system or set of beliefs, must be confronted with the truth from the Bible about Jesus Christ. The passages above give us a guideline on how to do that. But to intentionally do something that you know will only make a bad situation worse isn’t helping your witness, and it isn’t even helping your political rights.
In my former ministry I confronted a lot of Muslims with the truth about Jesus Christ—hundreds of them. I found the vast majority willing to talk and open to hearing a different perspective. I made my mistakes, learned from my arrogance, and hopefully I have a better witness now than I did then. And it all comes down to humility.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13).
“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience” (Ephesians 4:1-2).
We won’t win the Muslim world with art exhibits about Mohammad. We won’t win the Muslim world by confronting Islam’s brutal history. We won’t win the Muslim world by giving them a taste of their own medicine. We just won’t. It’s not our job to confront Islam. It’s our job to confront people—with humility and respect.
We will win Muslims with grace, reason, dialogue, and most of all, love and humility. If you’re not willing to do that, then please don’t screw it up for the rest of us.