A Better Way

By Francis Frangipane
(En EspaƱol)

A man might be a nominal Christian, mostly unaffected by spiritual things, until one day he reads the Bible and the Holy Spirit ignites in him a fire. If that person remains steadfast in his inspiration, he will increasingly pattern his life after Jesus Christ - that is, he will become more loving, more forgiving, and more ready to give his life for the redemption of others. Spiritual power will accompany his life as he becomes more and more like Christ. As Jesus said, "The works that I do, he will do also" (John 14:12).
However, if a nominal Muslim begins to read a Koran, if he continues his daily reading and feels an increasing zeal toward obeying the precepts of Mohammed, as he continues on, this man will ultimately desire to possess true Islam - that is, total submission to Allah. Among this group, a smaller percentage will fully embrace not only the teachings of Mohammed, but his works as well; the works Mohammed did the follower will also do. The zealot will become militant in his community. He will seek to convert unbelievers by any means, including terror, and if one converts from Islam to Christianity, he will seek that person’s imprisonment or death. If one carries this version of complete Islam in his or her soul but does not openly use violence, they will at least sympathize with those that do.

Thus, the radicalization of at least some Muslims is inevitable, for the normal growth of an unrestrained, religious zealot will eventually conform him to the founder of his religion. This means that as long as there are people reading the Koran, there will be a small percentage who will feel justified to use violence to spread Islam. We who live in the predominantly non-Muslim world will have to cope with the violence of these "true believers."

It also means that moderate Muslims must realize, unless they desire war with their non-Muslim neighbors, they will have to expose and denounce the radicalized Muslim, especially in communities where Muslims and non-Muslims live together.

Are you Muslim? Do you want the radical extremist to represent you and your people? If not, then you must find ways to direct the radical Muslim into a spiritual jihad against the sins of his soul rather than a violent jihad against the people of a community.

Are you Christian? You must guard against prejudging all Muslims, for many people turned to Islam as a reaction to the sinfulness of the West. In a real way, they were seeking God but the church failed them. In this present atmosphere, however, they now doubt the choice they made to follow Islam. Therefore, we must reveal Christ and the love He has for all people if we hope to win Muslims.

And finally, as Christians, we must forgive and pray for Muslims. My wife and I pray daily for Muslims, that the Lord of the harvest would send laborers into the Muslim world and that Jesus would be revealed to them, including the most radical, even those who are prepared to kill non Muslims.

The radical Islamist will only be won by the radical Christ follower. We must show them a better way.