Encountering Islam

This morning Medo and I met a young Muslim man who was from Afghanistan. He was a Sunni Muslim. He was cold to us at first, but then warmed up after we conversed about Islam. He told us that he does not like it when people approach him and try to win him to their religion, but that he was ok with us. Possibly he did not understand that my desire was that he turn to Christ. Thus, I proceeded to tell him that I have no problem with the principle of proselytizing, granted no one is called to convert by force. 

A side note: Neglecting to talk about God, sin and death, heaven and hell helps solidify the eternal punishment of millions. Many do not want to talk for fear of debate and disagreement. They love peace more than truth. Unfortunately, their lack of love for truth inhibits them from knowing what true peace really is (peace with God). This makes me think of the famous phrase: “Ignorance is bliss.” Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance has not taken the time to ponder what true bliss really is.  One may say “Not talking about religion is peace.” I say, ” The principle of “not-talking-about-religion” (more precisely, Jesus Christ) for the purpose of peace, fails to find out where true peace is truly found.   

Back to our talk with the young Muslim man: After giving a mini defense for proselytization, I sought to help him think through a serious problem with Islamic doctrine, namely, how to have your sins washed away.  We talked about the law of God given to Moses. He confessed to breaking the law. We then talked about God’s justice and his righteous judgment. Naturally, we were led to talk about one massive difference between Islam and Biblical Christianity – how to recieve the forgiveness of sins.

We tried to help him see that if someone were to kill his parents, there is no place for pardon apart from punishment. He agreed. If a man killed his parents, the murderer must be punished. Then we tried to apply the illustration to Islam to help him see that confession of sin and banking on God’s mercy do not adequately satisfy the just demands of a just and holy God. He did not seem to understand my argument (I think). Possibly I was unclear (or maybe he understood me, it was hard to tell). Whatever the case, I thank God for the opportunity to tell him about the holiness and justice of God and that Christ came to suffer for our sins in order to satisfy the just demands of our just God, who must execute judgment on all sin (either on the sinner OR on own his Son, Jesus Christ).

He works in the area, so I am confident I will see him again.

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6 responses to “Encountering Islam

  1. Hey Paul! Did you get my email? I recently read a very helpful biography called Infidel. It really helps one understand the mindset of a Muslim. Hope we can connect soon,

    Nick

  2. Hey Paul,

    Great to hear about the work you’re doing with evangelism in TO. I’m also doing evangelism this summer for New Life Church. We should connect sometime this summer.

    If you don’t remember who I am, I’m Maja’s friend from Yorkland – we had dinner together awhile back. Shoot me an email.

    Cheers,
    Keith.

  3. “Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance has not taken the time to ponder what true bliss really is.” Good observation.

    What’s with the extreme example of “murdering one’s parents”? 😛

    • I suppose you should know that before using this particular example I always ask the person whether or not his/her parents are still alive. If the parents are still alive, I proceed to tell him/her that “I hope this never happens, but, let’s say . . . (hypothetical situation).” I am open to corrections and other suggestions, but let me briefly answering your question: I can think of at least two reasons why I use the example of “murdering one’s parents.” I tend to think that it helps provide a fitting parallel to help one see, feel and to personally identify with (1) the exceedingly sinfulness of sin (extreme offense against our Holy God) and 2) the need for justice to be executed – sin must be punished (this is an essential dynamic of the doctrine of substitution). I suppose that I want the person to not only understand but to feel the need for sin to be punished AND to be persuaded that God is just in his dealing with sin (it must be punished on the sinner or on His Son). I am open to more appropriate illustrations; please let me know what you think.

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