You think that the detriment of our nation is due to the large growth of people who follow the ways of Islam. You think that Allah calls for all you follow him to die for him. You don’t understand the five pillars of their faith, or realize the beauty found in the writings of their Qur’an. I bet you didn’t even realize that the Muslims are responsible for many things we take for granted.
Yet you condemn them all. You condemn them because of a few extremists who’ve made local news. You condemn them because you think “Allah” is evil, yet you don’t understand the beauty.
My heart goes out to those Muslim men and women who have been treated wrongly because of our prejudices. Let me tell you, as a believer in the One God, I applaud you for standing up in your beliefs. I applaud you for the deep respect you have for your families and the elders in the community. I applaud you for being devoted to what you do, what you believe, and most of all, defending your faith among a bunch of people who have no idea the contributions and beauty you have brought to the world.
And to you “Christians” who believe that the “Muslims” are evil, let me remind you of where hatred and greed has gotten us in the past. In the past, our hatred and greed got us to the Crusades, where if you didn’t believe what the “Church” told you to believe, you were condemned and killed. Even during the “Great Reformation” going against the church was not a wise idea if you wanted to do well in society or live. Hatred and greed led to the Holocaust, where Hitler told Christians Jews killed Christ. My dear brothers and sisters, are we so blind to the hurt we’ve caused others that we continue to do so in our daily living?
When I saw on the news a terrorists was caught not that far away from me, I thought of the few Muslims I’ve met and how I learned from them, not that they were terrorists, but they had insight into my faith that no one had helped me to see previously. Have you read their “version” of the birth of Christ? or what about Joseph and Potiphar’s wife? Such beauty, such insight! yet we neglect their contribution and go straight to telling them they are the reason our nation is the way it is.
Did you know the Muslims believe it is their responsibility to give alms/care for the poor? Did you know they pray five times a day, fast regularly, and attempt a pilgrimage to Mecca (at least once in his life)? How many Christians make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem or Bethlehem and set aside regular fasting and prayer times? (answer: not all that many!) Is it just me or is something wrong here?
You may remember the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. The leaders of the law tried to test Jesus and say “hey! look! she’s a sinner! what should we do with her?” And Jesus knelt down, drew something in the dirt and then said “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone?” and one by one they walked away. I can imagine those leaders looking at what Jesus wrote and then thinking through their pasts and all their mistakes and then *harrumph*ing as they walk away realizing they, too, had sinned. After they all stomped away, Jesus looked at the woman, already an outcast because of being a woman, and even more so because she was caught in adultery. I imagine he had those kind eyes that you love and hate all at the same time, the ones that read your deepest and innermost thoughts, and I imagine she had a hard time looking at him. I imagine he placed his hands on her face and gently lifted it so she would look at him and I imagine him saying gently, but with authority, “woman, where are they? Where are the ones who condemn you? Has anyone condemned you?” and I can imagine her looking away, ashamed, amazed, and probably astonished before looking back wide-eyed. “No one is here, sir.” The best part of the story is this one line. “Then neither do I condemn you. Go, and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:1-8)
There is NO condemnation in Christ and yet we Christians condemn anyone who is different than us. We condemn the LGBT community, the Muslims, that one church from Kansas, the illegal aliens, the poor, the fatherless, the divorced/single parent families. We cast the first stone even though that is not what we are called to do. We are called to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth. We are called to be radical and live out Christ’s teachings, but instead we sit in our offices, classrooms, pulpits and begin arguing over who goes to heaven. Heaven is not what we should be focusing on. We should focus on the Kingdom of God that is like a pearl of great price, or a treasure found buried in a field. We should give our lives so that others can know and find this treasure.
Where have we gone wrong, brothers and sisters? And what must we do to return to where Christ is our greatest teacher?