By Motte Brown, Family Formation Ministry manager
Dr. Albert Mohler wrote a delineative article last week about Christians respecting other religions. It's something I struggle with, particularly regarding Islam.
There's a teacher in my church from Egypt who's a expert on Islam. He speaks with great passion about his love for Muslims and desire to see them come to know the Lord. He grieves about the events of 9/11, both the loss of innocent life and its effect on evangelizing the 10/40 window.
The stories he tells of Muslims loving Christians who work and live alongside them in Muslim countries are powerful. There's one testimony in particular that I'll always remember (though not in enough detail to recount here).
But even while he's providing me with a foundation of respect through the power of story, in the back of my mind, I can't help but also remember that large percentages (40-70 percent) of Muslims in Muslim countries agree with terrorism. And in the west, it's a high as one in five.
So how do I respect a religion whose followers want to kill me? Or support those who plot and plan to?
What's interesting about Dr. Mohler's article is that he never goes there. The fact that large percentages of Muslims may think it perfectly acceptable for someone to kill him seems perfectly beside the point. His sole focus is on their need for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As for respect, Dr. Mohler says we should respect Muslims, but not Islam:
Thus, evangelical Christians may respect the sincerity with which Muslims hold their beliefs, but we cannot respect the beliefs themselves. We can respect Muslim people for their contributions to human welfare, scholarship, and culture. We can respect the brilliance of Muslim scholarship in the medieval era and the wonders of Islamic art and architecture. But we cannot respect a belief system that denies the truth of the gospel, insists that Jesus was not God's Son, and takes millions of souls captive.