What does it look like love to Muslim people in the hostile world we live in today?
President Obama defended his claims about refusing to call the terrorists around the world, as Muslim or Islam. And in this moment I actually agree with him.
He was asked the question, "Why do you not call these self-proclaimed muslim-motive terrorists by the name 'Islamic terrorists'?"
He responded by saying, "I have been careful not to lump these murderers into the billion Muslims that exist around the world including in this country. Who are peaceful and responsible...and when we begin calling these organizations, islamic terrorist the way it is heard and received by our friends and allies is that somehow Islam is terroristic."
He goes on later to relate it to the Christians, saying in summary, that if there was an organization going around killing people under the label of Christian, I as a Christian am not going to let them claim Christ.
As Christians we need to be careful in how we treat people, words included. I have Muslim friends that I have asked about this topic and they have confided in me, saying they don't feel safe, welcomed or loved in America, or in THE CHURCH. And that is something that breaks my heart
As followers of Christ we are called to win people over to Christ, (1 Thess 4:12). We don't do this by kicking them out because of false claims and accusations because of what someone else did.
That is not what Jesus would of done. All throughout the Gospels we see Jesus seeking out the outsider and bringing them in. The ones that no one wanted to talk to. The ones that did a lot of bad things. The ones with stigmas. The ones that were different. The prostitute, the leper, the zealout, the tax collector. And I think the Muslim would fit into that list as well.
We have let fear drive our actions and our attitudes toward an entire group of people because of the actions of a few.
We do not claim Westbro Baptist as our own, neither should we claim those around the world hurting and killing in the same grouping as the Muslim firefighter or teacher.
The church should be the loudest voice of love, and the most inviting place for all. We have failed in large part to be that with our Muslim neighbors and friends.
Lets fight back the darkness, by not just pointing out where the darkness is, but bringing light into the dark areas.
There is no question that what these murderous people think they are doing is speaking for Islam, but we don't want to validate what they do by giving them the title of Islam. As followers of Christ, we have to be careful with our words, because they are powerful. Maybe we need to be a little more tactful and wise when we throw around the term, radical Islam.
If we want to see people come to know Jesus as Savior we first must begin to love those who He would have loved. And I promise you "Muslim" is on His list.
"And you, my child, will be called prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace." (Luke 1:76-79)
Full video of President Obama interview: Here
*photo by Sadie Butler in Meknes, Morocco