…..well, today was really hectic at work, in fact all week was a whirlwind of activity. TGIF ! My mouth surgery seems to be healing now, but I still need to get appointments to start dealing with the hyperparathyroidism – doctors, doctors, lots of fun. Oh well, I am thankful to have good healthcare.
Today I saw a couple of articles on the web that got my attention. The first is the story of a Muslim boy who had visions of the cross in his dreams at night and his quest to understand what they were all about. He lost his parents in war, and had quite a hard life. Eventually he met a Christian missionary who told him about Jesus and the cross – the young man became a Christian. It is amazing how God works over the course of a person’s life.
“My message to the Kurdish Muslim people is simple,” says Mustafa, eyes beaming. “If you want to walk the Straight Path to real blessing and joy, then you need to come to the Cross and meet the One who says to each of us: ‘Rise up, take up your mat, and walk.'”
There was also a Muslim prayer in the article that I think is quite inspiring. The prayer is addressed to Allah of course, but would make a good prayer for Christians also. I realize that Allah means God in Arabic, that Arabic Christians say Allah when they say God. Some Christians don’t understand this, they think that Allah is a different god, than the One God. Even though I know that Allah means God, I would not be comfortable using that word: I would need to say God, Jesus, or another Trinitarian word for God. Here is the prayer, it is a beautiful prayer.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds,
The Beneficent, the Merciful,
Owner of the Day of Judgment,
Thee alone we worship; Thee alone we ask for help.
Guide us to the Straight Path
To the path of those whom Thou hast favored;
Not the path of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.
The next article talks about how many Muslims find us (Americans) to be a grossly immoral people.
CT managing editor Mark Galli made the same point in these pages soon after 9/11. Islamic militants are angry at the West, he said, for exporting “hedonism and materialism into their very homes through television, enticing Muslims to become religiously lazy and morally corrupt.” Galli quoted a 1985 communiqué from the terrorist group Hezbollah: “Our way is one of radical combat against depravity, and America is the original root of depravity.”
Considering the trashy things that pass for normal in contemporary American culture, they do make some valid points. Our society has become in many ways (not all) a degenerate culture. One thing that intrigues me is that many people; Islamist militants and Americans both seem to think that Christian = American. This is of course, absolutly not true, but it’s not easy to convince people of this fact. Another aspect of Christian / Muslim relations is that in many respects they should be natural allies rather than mortal enemies. Both groups beleive in the virtues of modesty and chastity, both agree that God wants us to help the poor.
The thing that causes a lot of problems is sexual morals. Muslims and orthodox Christians pretty much share the same values in this area. However, some people discard orthodox morality and theology and adopt modern or postmodernist ideas of – do whatever feels right to you at the time and other similar ideas. These “liberal Christians” discard orthodoxy, yet they are still called “Christians” by themselves and by others. In actual fact, a person who thinks abortion is right or Gay “marriage” is good is really stretching the definition of Christian. I wonder if there is a such thing as a “liberal Muslim” ?