Please disband the United Nations or move it to Beijing and remove the veto powers so a democratic U.N. emerges. The passing of this resolution is sickening.
Now, my head went all over the place for a moment. Do I really want to defend the U.N.? No, probably not. Do I want to think through the strange juxtaposition of Beijing and democratic? Hmmm... no, I don't think so. Have I time to try and figure out which resolution is in question? Not really.
So I'm left with a choice... to post or not to post the comment? That is the question.
I decided not. But the snippet above illustrates so well my experience in speaking with many Muslims, particularly Arab Muslims. The conversation almost always takes a hard turn toward politics and foreign policy, usually lamenting or lambasting the U.S. and the West for their anti-Muslim, anti-Arab efforts in some place on the news.
The task for me, for all of us engaged in such a conversation, is to remember from which nation we come. If we're Christians, our concern for U.S. or U.K. foreign policy is vastly secondary or tertiary. This world is not our home; we belong to the peculiar nation of Christ. We're Christ-ians, and remembering that our allegiance is to the kingdom of heaven will keep us from choking in political smoke screens. And hopefully it will help us to make things personal.
Our real concern is the person standing before us. Every Muslim man, woman, and child is made in the image of God. Their lives are of infinite worth as image bearers. And every Muslim man, woman, and child that we encounter is made to worship God. And yet, every Muslim man, woman, and child that we talk with is lost in their sin, alienated from the God they are to worship, and facing the dreadful day of judgment without God and without hope (Eph. 2:12).
In our evangelistic efforts we must press these truths home. We must wait patiently until all the political air is let out of their lungs and then redirect the conversation to the central issue: what will they do with their sins? How will they be saved from the wrath of God that is coming against all sin-sick men, women and children who reject Jesus?
Most Muslims will be eager to agree that God is holy and just, that he will punish the wicked. What most Muslims fail to realize is that in their sins they are the wicked. Most Muslims have a shallow view of sin, thinking of sin as "mistakes" or "faults" of some generic sense that may be dealt with simply by "repenting" and asking for forgiveness. They fail to understand the gravity of sin, their own personal sin by failing to recognize that sin is a rebellious, frontal assault against the holy God of the universe who will bring all men to account. They fail to realize that even the smallest sins alienate men from God and that approaching Him is not as simple as saying "I'm sorry" and calling for a mulligan. Atonement must be made. True repentance, the kind that turns from sin and toward God through faith in Jesus Christ, is absolutely essential. And it is only on that basis alone that forgiveness is possible.
In our witnessing to Muslims we must cut to the chase. We must make it personal. We must insist upon the heinous seriousness of sin and the clear and present danger they are facing.
Having established the reliability of the Bible, press these revelations into the conversation. Take your Muslim friend to the Ten Commandments (Deut. 5) and to Jesus' exposition of the commandments (for example, Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28, 38-48) and press them to examine their own lives in light of God's perfect holiness.
Nothing is gained from endless debates about politics. It only engenders strife. And nothing is gained by abstract discussions of religion, a sort of interpersonal interfaith discussion between friends. Work, depending on the aid of God's Holy Spirit, to expose their hearts before God. Knowing the severity of God, let us persuade all our Muslim friends to face the mirror of their own sins and see themselves the way God sees them: made in His image but like us scarred and ruined by their sin.