Set the AtmospherePosted: June 7, 2016
As Western Christians, we must face the issues that affect the world around us. We most certainly want to see multitudes of Muslims come to know Jesus (Isa, as He is known in the Qur’an) as their Savior and Lord, but issues such as Islamic terrorism, the encroachment of Islamic sharia law, and the challenge of assimilating multitudes of refugees from the Middle East into Western nations can cause Christians to be confused. On one-hand Western academics and media tell us that Islam is a religion of peace, yet reports about terror groups acting in the name of Islam tell a much different story.
It can be difficult for Christians to have a balanced approach to Islam. Some Christians become angry or fearful over the actions of terrorists and other Islamists and view all Muslims with suspicion. Other Christians in an attempt to compensate for the perceived hatred of Muslims from those who are angry or fearful compromise some of the foundational beliefs of Christianity and ignore the dangers of radical Islam.
As Christians, we must respond to Muslims from God’s perspective rather than reacting as the secular world does. Be forewarned though, it is difficult to step back and listen to what God is saying when we live in a day when we witness terrorist attacks as they happen. From tweets of victims caught in a music hall to graphic news coverage of bomb blasts in airports, modern media brings the violence into our homes.
Anyone can be a thermometer – reporting the current conditions, and passing along the latest reports by simply hitting a share button on our social media accounts. After each terrorist attack, our Facebook feeds will be full of reports, heart-wrenching personal accounts, and opinions. How do we as the body of Christ respond? How do we share the heart of God in these situations?
Rather than simply reporting the current conditions like a thermometer, we have the ability to be thermostats and set the atmosphere.
The words of our mouths, the articles we write, the things we share on social media, and the prayers that we pray corporately all have the ability to speak God’s life, light, truth, and love over horrendous situations. The difficulty is how do we communicate the heart of God for Muslims without seemingly trivializing the suffering of Islam’s victims? For our God so loved the world – all the world – even those deceived and caught in an evil ideology.
We truly live in a time where only God knows how to respond. As the body of Christ may we all seek Him so that we may be thermostats that change the atmosphere and advance His Kingdom in the earth. We must speak life – and pass along His light in the midst of this darkness.