"How Can I Share My Faith in Jesus Christ
with my Muslim Friend?"
You have a friend, Abdallah (or Fatima, etc.), with whom you would like
to share your faith in Christ. You hesitate, however, because you've heard
that Muslims react against what Christians have to say about Jesus, or
because of what you've already experienced. So you feel a need for help.
To avoid misunderstandings when talking with Muslims about Jesus, I find
it helpful to keep two things in mind: what they believe about Him, and
what they think we believe about Him. Muslims believe a number of things
about Christ with which you can readily identify: that Jesus was born
of a virgin [He is therefore called "son of Mary"], that He performed
many miracles "by leave of Allah," and that one of His titles is "Word
of God," whatever that means. All this comes straight from the Qur'an,
but then the Qur'an also categorically denies His Deity and His crucifixion.
What they think we believe about Christ is more problematic. From the
Qur'an they also get the notion that Christians believe Him to be one
of a triad of gods, born of a physical union between God and a woman ["Trinity"
would mean a father god, a mother god and baby god.] As a result, when
Christians share what they believe about Christ, Muslims tend to "hear"
something very different than what is intended. Call Jesus "God" and they
hear "a god beside God." Call Him "Son of God" and they hear "God took
a wife and had a son" (Qur'an 72:3). To have your words so distorted is
a very frustrating experience indeed. What is worse, many Muslims believe
they already know what Christians believe--from the Qur'an!
Given these circumstances, how can one share Christ with Muslims? First
of all, relax! Don't get up tight. Don't think you have to prove anything.
Remember that if Muslims distort your witness to Christ, it is that Satan
has "blinded their minds" (2 Cor 4:4); only the Holy Spirit can break
through to reveal Christ to them. Second, make a practice of choosing
your words with care. In general, avoid red-flag terms such as "Son of
God," at least until you have been able to share what it really means,
but do not be evasive; they know Christians call Jesus "Son of God" so
they will ask you if you really believe that.
Here is where my third suggestion comes in. It is always helpful to clear
the air by negating their idea of what you believe: "No Christian believes
that God took a wife and had a son. That is blasphemy!" Keep in mind,
however, that when all is said and done the Christian view of Christ and
theirs are still worlds apart. The Bible calls Jesus "Son of God" in a
spiritual sense to say that He is indeed God, but distinct from God the
Father, and to indicate the close working relationship and fellowship
that exists between the two. This leads to a fourth suggestion: read Matthew
or John with your friend, asking leading questions that point to Jesus'
true nature. If you want further help I recommend Reaching Muslims for
Christ, edited by Bill Saal and published by Moody Press.
Arab World Ministries
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