Hello World Changers!
I’m new at blogging…and when you start the process through WordPress, the auto-filled initial blog is titled “Hello World!” So with a nod to WordPress, I’ve decided to call my blog “Hello World Changers!” These blogs will run each Thursday, starting today. Most will be musings on that particular day’s entry in A Pocketful of Seeds.
For example, the November 3 entry is titled “Study World Religions” and is primarily about Islam. How timely! The already-infamous 2016 presidential election is five days away. Both leading candidates hold strong opinions about foreign relations. Strong opposite opinions. About Muslims.
And God, as always, turns the world’s wisdom upside down.
Here’s the entry.
We Westerners need to study Islam, not just out of curiosity, but out of necessity. And certainly the reverse is true as well. We (and they) need truth—not stereotypes, because world events are lining up for a showdown. I recently read that the sharia court of ISIS issued a fatwa that its jihadists should “empty the city of Al-Qamishli of all Christians, take their women; they are yours, and behead the Christian men.” Does mainline Islam support this? How do everyday Muslims deal with terrorism in the name of Allah? How would everyday Christians deal with terrorism in the name of Christ? What are Muslims told about Christians––that they/we are moral-less infidels? And what are Westerners told about Muslims––that their women wear burkas covering suicide bombs?
Are Muslims and Christians enemies? Jesus addressed the issue of enemies. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:43–45)
Um, that kinda nails it.
So we need to study other religions from a trustworthy source. We need to understand other religions and formulate our response. If world events do line up for a showdown, what position will you take?
Daily Seed: Seek out a world religions course from a reliable source. (I’ve heard great things about www.engagingislam.org.) Then, find your voice on the topic. And “beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” (Colossians 3:14)
“My experience of living with people of diverse religions and cultures taught me that one will never be at peace with the other if one is at war with oneself.” (Tariq Ramadan, Swiss-born professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford)