Islamic views of “Christianity”

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Robby Butler tells the story of a Kuwaiti Muslim who was asked what he knew about Christians and Christianity.  He replied that a Christian is someone who promotes immorality, pornography, and sexually oriented television programs like Sex in the City, Desperate Housewives, and so on.  Butler goes on to comment that “for a Muslim to say that he has become a Christian is to communicate that he has launched into a secret life of immorality.”  In short, Butler argues that becoming a Christian is perceived by Muslims to be entering a prayerless, apostate community.  Yet, despite these perceptions, Muslims generally hold positive views of Jesus Christ.  The Quran teaches that Christ had a miraculous birth, was a miracle worker, and was a prophet without sin.

A couple thoughts on this.  First, this shows very clearly why we need to get away from calling America a “Christian Nation.”  While sincere Kingdom people may struggle with any of the above mentioned issues, it isn’t who we are, and by Christ’s power we can overcome them.  However, whenever an entire nation is branded “Christian,” then the Kingdom of the world gets equated with what we’re about.  This is tragic, since it gives the Muslim nation a sad and inaccurate picture oftentimes of followers of Christ.

Second, even though I believe my first point to be valid (that our nationalism has given Muslims a misinformed opinion of what it I looks like to follow Christ), I have to admit that even among churches seeking to follow Christ today there is a lot of people living “secret lives of immorality.”  Our legalism and love of judging others has forced Christians to hide their sins in a closet, rather than bringing them to the community of faith to be healed, restored, and held accountable.  

Muslims are right to hold our feet to the fire on these I think.  Will we be humble enough to allow those from other faiths point out to us where we don’t live out what we say is important to us?  Will we be honest enough to admit that what most Muslims rejects is a form of following Christ that has be wedded to the American Democratic form of government, not Christ Himself?  Lastly, will we be humble enough to realize that it is often our lives, and not a militant resistance to Christ, that prevents Muslims from following Jesus? 

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3 responses to “Islamic views of “Christianity”

  1. Derek — this is a disturbing development. I hadn’t heard it put quite like that before. It’s not unlike the way we think of Muslims stereotypically. Of course, the big difference is that the things we often associate with Islam are probably consistent with the Koran, whereas their stereotypes of Christians are inconsistent with the Bible.

    I think we do need to be honest about the negative rep of Christianity and the West, though.

  2. Chris, thanks for the comment. Here is another sad fact. One of the main reasons extreme muslims condone hating and killing people in America is that America by far surpasses any other country in the production and sending out of esexually explicit material. In their minds, if you get rid of America, their people can’t be corrupted by such heinous material. I read this on Greg Boyd’s blog, and it blew me away to see how our lax views of sexuality in America have contributed (not directly caused) terrorism against us.

    Back on topic: I would go a little futher than you did by pointing to our negative reputation among muslims. I would say it is our actual behavior that needs fixed oftentimes. Many (most?) Christians do live a secret life of sin. The problem is that it isn’t really as secret as we think apparently. I’m not saying that we have to prefect or confess to others all the time, but i do think that if we preach that Christ can transform hearts and lives, then we need to ask ourselves in America if we are evidence for or against this truth.

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