Building Bridges

One of the most common criticisms against missionaries is that they worsen the problem of Muslim hostility towards the West. Here is a story that challenges that notion.

from: PTAP ( (Praying Through the Arabian
Peninsula) – Weekly Update – December 2006

A couple of [months] ago I went to what I can only describe as
a Muslim home group. The leader then introduced the guest sheikh
and the topic for the evening: How can we find unity again after
the recent political event in our country? The religious sheikh
spoke for about 20 minutes about four paths to unity: a pure
heart, drawing near to God, forgiving others, and spending time
with each other. I was astonished!

The home group leader ended by thanking the host and thanking
everyone for coming. Then he introduced me! “We’re especially
glad that ‘Brendan’ could be here tonight. Of course, he’s not
a Muslim. But he follows Jesus, and his Arabic is very good.
Brendan, is there anything you’d like to say to us?”

I couldn’t believe it. I said, “…For me, what gives me the
power to forgive others is when I remember that God has forgiven
me. When I consider how much God has forgiven me, it’s usually
easier for me to forgive others…” But just about everyone came
up to me afterwards and thanked me for being there and for what
I “spoke from my heart.” Pray for this group of men, please,
as I spend Sunday nights with them.

Posted on February 22, 2007, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. “The religious sheikh spoke for about 20 minutes about four paths to unity: a pure heart, drawing near to God, forgiving others, and spending time with each other. I was astonished!”This could describe any religion on earth. The term God is a title, and benignly generic. What sets the true church apart is Jesus Christ who is the Way,Truth and Life.Luke 9:25For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

  2. You’re missing the point. The point of the story is not that the two religions are the same, but that the missionary built on what the Sheik already understood, much like Paul did in Athens (Acts 17). This story shows that not all Muslims are antagonistic to Christian missionaries. This goes against the stereotype often portrayed by Western media.

  3. I understand that stereotypes are not valid and I agree with that point.Why do we always bring up Paul in the Aeropagus? That was the least successful of all the evangelistic efforts mentioned in Acts.Salvation is by grace through faith alone. Peter preached from scripture and 3000 were saved.Romans 10:17No man can draw near to God, or forgive others outside of Christ. Therefore the works of Eph 2:10 in conjunction with verses 8 and 9 say that repentance, works of faith etc come after entering salvation, not before. Jesus said that even the gentiles and pharisees love their families, etc. and that we, being evil, do good for those we love. I do not believe in what is commonly called “pre-christian” I do believe that God sovereignly moves and chooses based on His foreknowing.

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