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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thought for the Day: How Far is Too Far?

Recently, Muslims ended the month of Ramadan, a month devoted to fasting and prayer in order to purify themselves through restraint and good deeds. So why is this significant? Attention has been drawn recently to certain a prominent Christian emergent leader, Brian McLaren, who announced that he was also fasting during Ramadan in order to "come close to our Muslim neighbors and to share this important part of life with them." Other Christian leaders such as Albert Mohler disagree with him, saying that "The logic of Islam is obedience and submission. It's by following these practices that a Muslim demonstrates his obedience to the rule of the law through the Quran. For a Christian to do the same automatically implies a submission to the same rule."

To most of us, it probably seems obvious that this was a bad idea. But it was successful in a way: the Muslims that McLaren spent time with felt that "Here is a pastor who wants to understand us, who does not want to convert us, and who is even prepared to walk with us, to fast with us. That is a big gesture." He was able to connect with them in a way that showed respect. So what should we take from this? What do you think Christians should do to show Jesus' love to those around us, including Muslims?

1 comment:

  1. I have no objection to the fasting, but rather to the "neighborly solidarity":

    Paul wrote, "To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law." (1 Corinthians 9:20-21)

    If Islam existed in Paul's time, I believe he would have had the same thing to say about Muslims, and for the same purpose, to win them to Christ, not to establish any kind of "solidarity".

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