Arguing Against Arguments
About ten years ago, a young Muslim college student came into my workplace – a Christian book store. He desired to be educated in Christianity. He was burdened with his Muslim faith since the obliteration of the Twin
Towers on “Nine-Eleven” in New York City, USA. This was his home. His initial motive for studying about Christ was to make an impact on a girl. She told him that she only dated men who were water-immersed, into Christ, for the removal of sins. This is why he was brought to me. I was one of a small number of people who understood the importance of baptism/immersion in relation to Christ’s grace and mercy.
We talked about history, theology, covenant, and commitment. He was very suspicious and critical of Christianity. (His dad is Muslim and his mom is Catholic). At first, he brought up the Crusades of the Middle Age. His knowledge was limited to the rhetoric he had been taught. This rhetoric was his “fact-check” about the“evils” of Christianity. It took a while to prove to him that the Crusades were a very twisted view of Christian teaching that did not stem from God (John 17:20-21; 2 Timothy 2:15).
Years later, I shared these events with an African friend of mine. My friend spent much time around African and Middle Eastern Muslims. He reminded me that, as a rule, Muslims will lie to non Muslims; meaning, it is not wrong for them to do so according to their faith. However, as I will explain later, what the Muslim man did do showed that he was not deceptive but honest and sincere toward God and Christ.
This young Muslim was challenged with the truth that Jesus is God’s Son (John 8:42-47; 10:24-38; 12:44-50; 14:24). He respected Jesus but didn’t grasp Him to be greater than the prophet Mohamed. How could Jesus be greater than Mohamed (John 14:6)? How could Jesus be God’s Son (John 1:1-14, 18; Hebrews 1:2)? How could Jesus be God Himself (Genesis 1; John 1:1-4; 8:58; Philippians 2:6; Colossians 1:17)? These types of questions are nothing new when studying with a skeptic. In fact, many Jews, during Jesus’ time, responded poorly to the teachings of Christ (Matthew 27:42-43; John 10:29-42; 14:9)? How about the cynical response of the Gentiles/Romans (Acts 17:30-32; 1 Corinthians 1:22-23)? Much about God’s teachings are challenging to people– not just Muslims (Luke 8:4-15; 2 Timothy 4:1-8).
One struggle with being a Muslim is the real danger of leaving their faith (Acts 8:1, 3; 9:1; 26:11; see, The Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef). I talked about this with my Muslim friend. Originally, he was from Egypt and now went to a university close to his family. He shared what he was doing with his mom and dad. His dad became livid and left his house for over a week. Can you imagine being a “good” Muslim and finding out that your child is seriously considering becoming a Christian (Matthew 10:32; 12:48-50; Luke 12:8; John 7:13, 32; 9:22; 12:42; 16:2)?
I became hyper vigilant because of what can happen in other countries to Christians who attempt to proselytize to Muslims (Galatians 2:20; 2 Timothy 2:3-9; James 5:10). Months later, I met the family at a local restaurant. Neither his mom nor dad acknowledged me but, to my surprise, I did recognize the dad. He was actually outside my work during the week he was outraged at his son. I walked past him and got a very good look at him (remember, I’m hyper vigilant). He was just sitting in his car (1 John 3:12ff).
Happily, through long study of Scripture, he asked to be baptized into Christ for the remission of his sins. In front of many witnesses, he confessed Christ as the Son of God and received forgiveness by coming in contact with Christ’s blood at baptism (Joel 2:32; Matthew 3:7; Acts 2:38, 22:16; Romans 6:2-6; 1 Peter 3:21-22). It was glorious. We sang. We hugged. And we prayed together. My friend from Africa said a baptism into Christ would be a true showing of his sincerity toward Christ; especially, since it was done in public. I wish my new brother in Christ well and I hope he is successful at reaching the lost among his family and friends. He is truly an example of one who humbled himself before the only Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Lord’s humbled . . . John A. Reeves www.thelordshumbled.com