http://www.baptiststandard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9004&Itemid=53

Coexist. 

You’ve probably seen those bumper stickers, using the symbols of various world religions to look like the spelling out of the word “coexist” with the implication that people of all religions need to just get along peacefully, respect each other’s beliefs and culture, and get along.  There’s not enough of a message there to interpret much more than that, if you can even get that far with it.  I don’t know if the implication is that all religion is equal, or simply a matter of personal preference or choice, or upbringing, and therefore all religion is valid, or if it is just an appeal to end a plethora of petty bickering, along with a lot of violence done in the name of religion, but frankly, I don’t have a problem with “coexisting.” 

As a Christian, I have no desire or intention to harm another individual, or attack their faith and their beliefs simply because they don’t line up with mine.  I believe it is entirely possible to do that, and still hold fast to the belief that Jesus Christ is the only means by which all human beings can be saved, and that the Bible represents the primary means God has chosen to reveal that, and all other associated truth.  I also believe it is entirely possible to coexist, and still give valid testimony, with the intention of explaining the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and sharing its message of salvation, and move toward a relationship with an evangelistic intent. 

The recent letter exchange between a group of Muslim leaders and the Baptist World Alliance is a step toward coexisting.  From the contents of the letter, as reported in the referenced article from the Baptist Standard, it seems that the response from the BWA, and some other evangelical leaders, was stated well enough to make the Christian position clear without compromising anything.  Obviously, there are those who disagree with that assessment, but the idea is to keep the door open, and at this point, becoming too detailed with regard to doctrine would likely not get favorable results.  The BWA letter emphasizes the Christian belief in a triune God.  It is a delicate road to walk, balancing between not compromising your own faith and not giving full credence to the beliefs of another religion while at the same time hoping to accomplish something that leads to some kind of positive result.  With God, all things are possible.

“Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.  For we once also were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.  But when the kindness of God our savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to his mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”  Titus 3:1-6

Even though we do not see  truth in the teachings of Islam, it would be against scriptural instruction to approach Muslims with anything other than the same love and peace that God desires them to receive from him, and which we receive from him in abundance.

Advertisements

About LS

I'm 56, happily married for 25 years, B.A., M.A., career educator with experience in education as a teacher and administrator, native Arizonan living in Pennsylvania, working on a PhD and a big fan of the Arizona Wildcats, mainly in football and basketball.

2 responses

  1. Debbie Kaufman says:

    What struck me most concerning the testimony of Joseph Hamas Yousef, was the fact that he read the Bible, which said to love our enemies. Something totally contrary to what he was taught and what the Quran said. This is significant. That is the difference between Christianity and other religions.

    Good thoughts Lee.

  2. spiritualsamurai says:

    Very good blog Lee.

    It is just so sad that it is not usually the people of faith who use the faith of people to advance their own personal agendas.

    It is hard to coexist with someone who is trying to build their empire by making you “the Great Satan”.