Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stand for Compassion, Part 4

A couple of years ago I heard about Christians in a predominantly Muslim country who refused to pray for or share Christ with their Muslim countrymen. Why? Because these Muslims has persecuted the Christians in this country for over thirteen hundred years. If these Muslims died as infidels and went to hell, then that was just fine with these professing Christians. You might be thinking, "That's horrible. Christ commanded us to love our enemies." True enough, but let me ask, are we not equally conflicted in our posture toward Muslims now that we are engaged in a war against what the press so delicately terms "Muslim extremists"?

In reality the War on Terror will not be won with bullets, warships, and fighting aircraft. It will not be won with drones and missiles. If it is to be won, it must be won one heart at a time. First, our own hearts must be won to the idea of compassion for men, women, and children bound in the darkness of Islam's fatalistic and works based idolatry. Our hearts need to melt in prayer for these people--a people to whom the Gospel came in ancient times and among whom it once flourished. God is bringing Muslims into contact with Christians in ever increasing and creative ways through mass communication and transportation. In the small town to my south my own pastor spends time at the gym every day with a Muslim, and looks for ways to share Christ with him. I had the privilege once, sitting in the airport in Charlotte, N. C., of sharing with a Pakistani who is now a U. S. citizen and a wonderful gentleman with a Catholic wife. Our hearts must be won first. Maybe as you prepare your Operation Christmas Child Shoebox, you could take just a few minutes with your family to pray for the child who will receive each box, that he or she will also receive Christ, God's gift, through your gift.

In fighting the War on Terror, not only must our own hearts be won, but also the hearts of Muslims around the world must be won. They must be won through ongoing acts of compassion. CNN reports that a Christian in Pakistan saved the lives of many Muslim women by blocking a suicide bomber from entering a crowded school cafeteria (read the story at In ancient Rome the Christians softened the hearts of their persecutors by their willingness to love their enemies in the face of overwhelming violence. On the one hand, as citizens, we must fight to protect our nation. But on the other we must send more missionaries, pray harder, and give more sacrificially to show love for Muslims here in the U. S. and around the world. Pray that God will open their hearts to the Gospel. If you can afford it, take your vacation to a Muslim country and help out struggling Christians there. There are any number of missions agencies that have a long list of temporary needs and assignments. It will change your life. And by the grace of God, it may change the lives of people living in darkness and bondage. Do something the world views as radical as you take a stand for compassion.

1 comment:

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