Reasons for Christians to Love Muslims
I am mortified by the number of Christians who express absolute hatred toward Muslims. And when I express love for Muslims, these Christians throw their toxic hatred at me.
I’ll be the first to admit I can be sensitive toward things said to me or about me online, but when people are nothing but haters, it doesn’t bother me. You can hate me all you want, but I’m going to keep loving Muslims.
What makes Christians so harsh, when they have been the recipients of such lavish grace through Christ? I don’t have a good answer for that, except it is a learned response and we need to do everything we can to unlearn it so we don’t pass it on to future generations.
Here are the reasons I love Muslims.
Muslims believe what they have been taught, the same as us.
But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it? (Romans 10:14-15, MSG)
People will naturally believe the religion their parents and culture have taught them from childhood. Sure, some grow to question it later, but for the most part people stay with what is comfortable, familiar, and culturally acceptable. That doesn’t give us grounds to hate them. They need the opportunity to hear the life-changing message of Christ and they won’t do that if the Christians they encounter are hate-filled instead of loving.
Jesus died for the sins of all people, not just a few of us.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:16-17, NLT).
Do you really believe that? If Jesus died for the sins of all people, then who are we to hate Muslims? Jesus loved Muslims so much He died a cruel death on their behalf so they could learn of his love. If Jesus loves them, how can we not do the same?
Jesus said to love your enemies.
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate” (Luke 6:35-36, NLT).
The vitriolic rhetoric that comes from the mouth of too many Christians online has to do with the fact that some Muslims are bent on killing Americans and Christians. Jesus said we should expect that. He said to love our enemies. Their actions toward us have no bearing on our love for them. If anything, it should break our hearts more and cause us to love them more urgently.
Jesus said to pray for those who hurt you.
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you” (Luke 6:27-28, NLT).
People will persecute anyone bearing the name of Christ. Jesus said it. Representatives of God throughout history have borne the brunt of persecution. Don’t be a sissy. Suck it up, man. It’s going to happen. Yes, it’s horrifying and sad, but the answer is not hatred and retaliation. Jesus said to pray for those who persecute you. When you can pray for them and ask God to bless them, love them, and bring them to a vibrant knowledge of Him, then you are loving your enemies.
Jesus commanded us to share the gift of salvation with the entire world, and that includes Muslims.
“Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day, right up to the end of the age.” –Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20, MSG).
Just because someone has a different religion than you is no reason to hate him or her. You were once lost without Christ, too, so remember you were no better than Muslims in that regard. We need to celebrate that Muslims will be the future recipients of God’s grace, if we get busy loving them into God’s kingdom. It’s nothing more than spiritual bigotry to hoard the grace of God and not share it with others.
Jesus is coming back and time is shorter than ever to reach people with the gift of salvation.
This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed (Romans 13:11, NLT).
I’ve heard people call down fire and brimstone and anathema upon Muslims, but Muslims don’t need to remain under God’s curse. Time is too short to waste in hatred, finger-pointing, and name-calling. Stop it! Jesus is coming back soon and we need to spend our time building relationships with Muslims, not cowering in fear and calling them names from a distance. The public perception is that Christians hate Muslims, whether that’s true for you or not. Sadly, that means Christians have already put up a roadblock to keep Muslims from experiencing the love of Christ. We need to work individually to break down those barriers so we can build relationships with Muslims. Then, gradually, over time, on a foundation of love and trust we can begin to share God’s love with their hurting hearts. What? You don’t think they have the same hurts and questions you face?
Muslims are coming to Christ in greater numbers than ever before so we have the opportunity to support what God is already doing around the world.
Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death (Ephesians 2:16, NLT).
There are reliable testimonies of God intervening directly with Muslims through dreams and visions to reveal Christ as the one, true Savior. But we can’t rely on that. We are failing in the Great Commission. Jesus commanded us to take the gift of salvation to the entire world, and that’s not a mysterious “call” for a few super-spiritual believers who become missionaries; it’s a command for every Christian. With global communication through the Internet, we can build relationships with people all over the globe. There’s nothing from stopping you from being a missionary right now. Today. Every day. (Of course, going to the mission field is better, but do what you can.)
God loved Saul, who killed Christians until a life-changing encounter with Christ turned him into one of the pillars of the Christian faith.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and pointed me to serve him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief (1 Timothy 1:12-13, NLT).
How can you say there is no hope for those who are killing Christians? The apostle Paul proves that wrong. No one is beyond the grace of God, even Saul who killed early Christians until he encountered a vision of Christ. If God can change the heart and life of a Christian-killer then, He can do so again now. Although most Western Muslims are peaceful, we see prominent evidence of violent Muslim acts in the news regularly. Even for these extremists, there is hope. God can change their hearts. Prayer is the answer, not hate.
God is glorified when we love Muslims.
Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory (Romans 15:7, NLT).
There is no better reason than that. Our love for others glorifies God. When others see how we can forgive, in spite of devastation, love, in spite of opposition and hatred, and serve, in spite of personal risk, they will glorify God for our selfless service. When we rise above the pettiness of this world and act based on an eternal perspective, we let God’s love flow through us and let His light shine in the darkness of this world. Our actions enable God to reach people who need to know Christ. Will your actions help or hinder the work of God in bringing Muslims to Christ? Let God be glorified.
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I’m saying is Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” -Jesus (Matthew 5:43-48, MSG).