Christianity is a religion which must be taught (Mt. 28:18-20). While preaching the gospel to those who are in direct opposition to Christ is a difficult task, we must not use difficulty as an excuse to refuse to adhere to Divine commands. The gospel is for all—God is not partial and neither should we be (Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11). Muslims need to hear that there is one God, and that He is the God of the Bible, not the Qur’an. Christians must be willing to have the tough conversations with our Muslim friends and neighbors and point out the differences that exist between our religions. We must not opt for the easy way out and avoid them as if they have spiritual cooties. We must be willing to be the bold individuals that God would have us to be with His truth (Eph. 6:19; Phil. 1:20). How can we reach out to practicing Muslims? How can we be tactful and truthful as we engage those under the ridiculous sway of a man made religion? We will observe some ways that we can engage with Islam and reach those who are in a spiritual desert, thirsting for the water of life (Jn. 4:14).
Knowledge is Necessary
In order to reach anyone outside of Christ, we must have some knowledge of their beliefs in order to properly assail them. We can better relate with and reach others when we know of what they believe. As an example, Paul was anchored in the truth of the soul saving gospel, and Christ was the focus of his preaching (Rom. 1:16-17; 2 Cor. 4:5). However, Paul was not opposed to citing secular writers and poets which his audience was familiar with in order to build credibility with them and further emphasize truth (Acts 17:27-28; Tit. 1:12-13).
It would be wise and beneficial for Christians (as Islam gains popularity) to research this false and fatal religion and be able to engage in sensible dialogue with its adherents. If we would reach out to those enslaved to the darkness of this false religion, we must first be knowledgeable to some degree about what they believe.
Boldness in the Book of Acts
Americans have been blessed with a great level of religious freedom. Consequently, sometimes we do not know how to react when it seems as if such freedoms are being compromised. Christianity is not a religion that can only survive when supported and applauded by the government. Christianity can thrive even under the most hostile oppression. While I agree that evangelizing a man with a bomb strapped to his chest would not be a wise decision, for most of us, bombs are not stopping us from reaching out to others, but a lack of boldness is. W. Corduan points out in reference to Muslims, “there are truly evil people for whom killing others is enjoyable, but there is little chance that those are ones you will encounter” (163).
In the book of Acts, the apostles are warned not to preach in the name of Jesus (Acts 5:28). These men then resolved that they should obey God rather than men, and we must do the same (Acts 4:17-21; 5:29). Throughout the book of Acts, Christians are persecuted, assaulted, and inconvenienced for truth’s sake, yet they continue to preach the gospel without a grumble (Acts 8:1-4). We could use a double dose of this boldness when reaching out to Muslims who might hold a heinous view of Christians. We need to have more faith in God than we have in the threats of our enemies. We need to boldly show Muslims the love of Christ.
The Love of Christ
Though knowledge and boldness are necessary components to reach any group of people, it is impossible to be successful without love. Jesus calls His disciples to be people known for their love (Jn. 13:34-35). We need to be careful about painting with too broad a brush and writing people off that may be prospects for the gospel. We must look at every individual we come into contact with as a potential brother or sister in Christ (yes, even Muslims!). Jesus shed His blood for all men (1 Jn. 2:1-2) and God desires all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-4). God has even delayed the coming of Jesus so that more men would come to repentance—Muslims included (2 Pet. 3:9). We must keep this in mind as we evangelize Muslims, post things on social media, and talk in the break room at work. God is a God of love, and we need to mimic His behavior (Eph. 5:1-2; 1 Jn.4:8).
We will be successful in reaching our Muslim neighbors if they first see our love. We are never given a free pass by Christ to degrade, belittle, or mock others—no matter how they treat us. The Christian call to holiness and kindness is not determined by how we are treated by men, but by how we have been treated by a merciful God (Lam. 3:22-23). Islam is false and must be pointed out as such, but we must do so in love. We can engage the Muslim community, but we must start with love for their souls in our hearts. As one former anti-Christian terrorist once put it: without love, our spiritual labor is in vain (Acts 9:1-2; 1 Cor. 13:1-8).
Corduan, W. Neighboring Faiths: A Christian Introduction to World Religions. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2012. Print.