If I understand the verses below from the Qur’an correctly, it is obligatory for every Muslim to practice “da’wah” – to “invite” or summon all people to Allah and the true understanding of the faith of Islam so they might follow the straight path and thereby escape hell-fire and obtain Paradise.
And if I understand the verses below from the Bible correctly, it is obligatory for every follower of Jesus to practice “evangelism” – to proclaim to all people the Gospel (literally, Good News) that if they follow Jesus as his disciples and put their faith in his death on the cross for their sins, they will escape hell and enjoy God’s forgiveness and presence in Heaven forever.
Is it possible, then, for Muslims and Christians to share their faiths with each other with compassion, mutual respect, and integrity?
A group of Muslims and Christians in Great Britain known as the Christian Muslim Forum say a resounding “Yes!”
But. . .they have also put together a very interesting list of ethical guidelines for Muslim da’wah and Christian evangelism.
You can find that list below.
Christian Muslim Forum
Ethical Guidelines for Christian and Muslim Witness in Britain
As members of the Christian Muslim Forum we are deeply committed to our own faiths (Christianity and Islam) and wish to bear faithful witness to them. As Christians and Muslims we are committed to working together for the common good. We recognise that both communities actively invite others to share their faith and acknowledge that all faiths have the same right to share their faith with others. There are diverse attitudes and approaches amongst us which can be controversial and raise questions. This paper is not a theology of Christian evangelism or mission or Da’wah (invitation to Islam), rather it offers guidelines for good practice. The Christian Muslim Forum offers the following suggestions that, we hope, will equip Christians and Muslims (and others) to share their faith with integrity and compassion for those they meet.
1) We bear witness to, and proclaim our faith not only through words but through our attitudes, actions and lifestyles.
2) We cannot convert people, only God can do that. In our language and methods we should recognise that people’s choice of faith is primarily a matter between themselves and God.
3) Sharing our faith should never be coercive; this is especially important when working with children, young people and vulnerable adults. Everyone should have the choice to accept or reject the message we proclaim and we will accept people’s choices without resentment.
4) Whilst we might care for people in need or who are facing personal crises, we should never manipulate these situations in order to gain a convert.
5) An invitation to convert should never be linked with financial, material or other inducements. It should be a decision of the heart and mind alone.
6) We will speak of our faith without demeaning or ridiculing the faiths of others.
7) We will speak clearly and honestly about our faith, even when that is uncomfortable or controversial.
8) We will be honest about our motivations for activities and we will inform people when events will include the sharing of faith.
9) Whilst recognising that either community will naturally rejoice with and support those who have chosen to join them, we will be sensitive to the loss that others may feel.
10) Whilst we may feel hurt when someone we know and love chooses to leave our faith, we will respect their decision and will not force them to stay or harass them afterwards.
(Postscript: So. . .my Muslim and Christian readers. . .is it our spiritual duty to share our faiths with each other?
In addition to spiritual duty, shouldn’t we also share what we believe because we truly love each other? Share from our particular faith perspective about who God is, why Jesus came, and how we can enter Paradise from this great motive?
Shouldn’t we love each other too much to be silent?
After all, I think we all believe that our eternal destiny is at stake!
(Please see another post of mine on this incredibly vital subject: http://markv63.sg-host.com/2012/07/i-love-you-too-much-to-be-silent/.)
Finally, what do you think about these guidelines? Please hit the “Leave a Reply” button below and share your thoughts about my questions as well as the 10 Ethical Guidelines for Christian and Muslim Witness above. Shukran!)
The best religion is not about declaring who goes to heaven or hell—it is not one that has the best theory/theology….the best religion is one that INSPIRES humanity to work for the benefit of all of God’s creation…that is true worship of God.
“I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.”—Quran, Surah 51 verse 56
My Muslim friend, one thing I try to stress through this blog is that I don’t want to create competition as to what is the “best religion.”
Having said this, I do believe that correct theology – grounded in objective truth – is absolutely vital to our eternal destiny. I believe right belief – resulting in right behavior (such as “working for the benefit of all of God’s creation”) – determines whether we will spend our eternity in hell-fire or with God forever in “true worship.”
In that case, our sentiments match….it would be so great if we could move away from “interfaith dialogue” to interfaith action (charity)….all the Worlds religions emphasize charity and if all the peoples of the world could pool their resources together for the betterment of all of Gods creation then we may truly have what Christians call “God’s Kingdom” here on earth…?…
My Muslim friend,
I appreciate your reference in this response – and in others – which reveal your care and concern for those who are in need in this world.
Jesus thought caring for them was important too. He said:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
I appreciate your care for people who suffer on this earth.
This is WONDERFUL! The best thing I have read in a LONG time. Thank you, Mark.
Mike, this is very kind of you! Thanks so much. God loves Muslims and so do I!
Muslims are my family and friends.
Thanks, Bakari! While I have no Muslim family, I sure have a lot of Muslim friends!
Well,Guidelines from Me..
1) Stop Deceiving Muslims,No I know you,I know Christians like who acted in same way to deceive Muslims..
2) Stop Mixing Muslims concept with Christian methods…
In Dawah We Invite to worship the The Only True God,The God whom Jesus Christ Worshiped.
Christians invite to worship Man Jesus Christ .
Who was a Man Who was servant of God.A Man Who didn;t have anything of his own.
3) Stop Using Corruption of Bible mate….The passage,which was not in most trusted manuscript and which was added later in bible..
thank you for reading …
(Ex-Christians-Now Muslim,Alhamdulillah )
My friend, I want to state again: it is not my intention to deceive anyone but to engage in sincere, honest, respectful conversation about our faiths.
Can you do that? Are you open to that?
I wrote a blog post some time ago about my reasons for sharing my faith with others. The reason is. . .love!
Please see this post: http://markv63.sg-host.com/2012/07/i-love-you-too-much-to-be-silent/
Finally, there is one more blog post I hope you will look at since you struggle with my intentions.
Believe me, I am not trying to “convert” you or anyone else to a “religion.” I don’t promote religion, not even Christianity. I just promote Jesus!
No. Islam is not a religion. It’s a dictatorial political ideology. We don’t go around killing and raping and molesting and stoning and beheading and acid stacking, why don’t we? Because our god through Jesus is a good god. He never commanded we do these things like Muhammad says “Allah” commands.
Robert, first of all, I don’t know any “Muslims” like the people you have mentioned here. Are they out there? Sure. But there are people who call themselves “Christians” who commit terrible attrocities as well.
Question for you: what attitude does Jesus say you are to have toward your “neighbor”? The answer is easy. Love. Love your neighbor! And you probably have Muslims as neighbors – or at least Muslims who live somewhere in your part of the country/world. So Jesus is unmistakably clear: you are to love Muslims as your neighbors.
Another question for you: what attitude does Jesus say you are to have toward your “enemy”? The answer again is easy. Love. Love your enemy! I do not consider Muslims as my enemy but you apparently do. So for you, Jesus is again unmistakably clear: you are to love Muslims as your enemies.
Either way, Robert, whether you see Muslims as your neighbors or as your enemies, Jesus has a word for you: love!
You’re blind. I’ve studied Islam for years now what they have shown you is nothing more than Taqiyya. Pleas show me any verses where Jesus commanded murder or pillage. True, the old testament was filled with violence…..of past tense. I can show you more than 90 verses from the Quran ordering violence and killing either for power or greed. Why don’t you travel to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Qatar, Yemen, Sudan, and rebel held Syria and openly practice Christianity. The reason you have not seen the killings in mass in the west is only due to their population, it isn’t a significant percentage yet. When it is, they will try and implement shariah. You do what you want…..you have been warned.
Robert, thanks for your warning.
I understand your concerns and where you are coming from. I am not blind. My head is not in the sand. I understand the agenda of extremists and have read the verses you refer to. I know Christianity cannot be openly practiced in many parts of the world. I know people cannot “choose” their religion or “change” their religion in certain parts of the world without serious or even fatal consequences.
But. . .I also know what I told you is the greatest truth of all. The words of Jesus. Love. . .
Robert, do you love Muslims?
Christianity isn’t a suicide pact. I will fight Islam until my last breath to protect my way of life.
Robert, I admire your level of commitment to a cause that you see is vital.
Jesus called people to commitment also. A commitment to a way of life different than all others. The way of life he called people to was the way of the Kingdom of God – a life surrendered to God, the King. A life committed to spreading His Kingdom. But the core value of that Kingdom was one word: love. Even. . .love for your enemies.
Jesus was mocked when he hung on the cross. Mocked by almost everyone: the Jewish crowds, the Jewish religious leaders, the Roman soldiers, and even the two criminals dying on each side of him.
What was his response? “God in Heaven, strike them all down! Kill them! Make them pay – make them suffer!”
No! No, these were not his words. You know his words: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
No one has ever loved like that.
Robert, this is the love Jesus is calling us to.
Muslims didn’t exist in the time of Jesus and never were they referenced. “Thou shall not have any other god” Islam is a false religion made in the mad mind of a murdering thief, the ultimate false prophet. To answer your question no, I do not love Muslims. I know their agenda and will do my part to stop it.
You don’t need to respond to this.
I am so sorry to hear you say that you don’t love Muslims. I did not really either until about 7 years ago. One weekend, I visited a city in America that is heavily Muslim. I cannot explain what happened except to say that God supernaturally filled my heart with love for Muslim people. Notice I did not say agreement with all they believe. No, not at all. But love for the people themselves, Robert. Real people like you and me with hopes and dreams, with joys and heartaches. Most of them just want to keep their heads down and live a peaceful life – they want to go to work, make a living, have children and grandchildren, be good citizens.
Love for them compels me to talk with them about Jesus. This is my passion. This is my calling.
Robert, I beg you to ask God for one thing: to show you how He feels about Muslims.
Would you do that?
You keep loving the people that will demand you submit and convert to Islam one day, it will get you nowhere but dead. Me, I am a crusader, I will never submit.
You don’t need to respond to this either.
I know you mean well. I know you are just trying to warn me. Protect me. Help me to not be naive. . .or even dead.
My highest commitment is to Jesus. I owe him everything. My whole life. He died so I could live. Now – like all the rest of his followers – I am compelled to tell the world about what he did for us. For all of us.
“For God so loved the world. . .” The world. All the peoples of the world.
If I perish, I perish. But Jesus will be proud. And ultimately, that’s all that counts.
God bless you.