Thursday, 2 June 2011

Thursday Thought

Isn't it great when you reach the end of the book and find that there are discussion questions, so that you can make the book last even longer! And then, just when you've started pondering them, you realise that this is something you want to discuss further............... but the right person just isn't there (or maybe they're just too busy). Well, then this is the place for you!

Every Thursday I'll be posting a discussion question, challenge or thought from one of the Christian books that I've read. Then I'll post my personal response.
Then its your turn: consider the question and, if you feel moved to do so, post a comment or a link to the answer in your own blog. You don't have to participate every week, just when you want to.

Today's question comes from 'Secret Believers' by Brother Andrew and Al Janessen.

Do we view Muslims as enemies? Or are we seeking to win them to Christ?

My response:
I'd like to begin by pointing out that Brother Andrew says in his book that by 'seeking to win them to Christ' he does not mean forcing anyone to become a Christian. In-fact he urges his readers to realise that the choice to become a Christian should be just that, a choice through free will. 
Reading this book I realised how few Muslims I actually know. Most of the people I come into contact with on a daily basis are Christians and in my community the only other faith-group that I've really have conversations with has been a small group of Hindus. This makes it very difficult for me to say with all certainty how I would feel about meeting Muslims in my community. 
Having said this, I did once become friends with a Muslim who sat next to me in RE classes at school. We used to have really good discussions about our faith and I believe that we both learnt a lot from each other. She was never anything more than a good friend to me and I never really considered her faith an issue. Then, one day, she suddenly said that she couldn't talk to me about faith any more. She began to refuse to sign any petitions I brought into school associated with charities run by Christians. Slowly our friendship began to fall apart.
What does this have to do with the question posed, you may ask. Well, I believe that she (or at least her parents) had begun to see me as the enemy. They thought that I was seeking to win her to Christ. Actually, I was just wanting to have a chat with my friend and, since we happened to be sitting in an RE lesson, my faith seemed a suitable topic. My belief truly is that most people with true faith do not need to seek to bring others to faith, they just simply show and speak their faith automatically. And, if we do not see others as enemies, then we will do this too.
I have to admit that I often find it hard to speak to others about my faith nowadays, especially when I know that they may not feel the same way. That's why most of my faith discussions are through the internet (and then in the form of blogs where I don't have to make an immediate response). I believe this is because I am worried about others seeing me as the enemy. I pray for the faith to truly believe that, if I can consider all as friends who deserve to hear what I truly believe to be the truth.

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