A couple of months ago, the world press was full of reports about the reaction of the Muslim world to cartoons appearing in the European press that were considered insulting to the prophet of Islam.
While I do not condone the deliberate provocation and insensitivity of the Western press, and can even admire the zeal with which many Muslims leapt to the defence of their prophet, the reaction clearly demonstrated a fundamental difference between Islam and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus himself set the example for his followers when at his own trial he did not attempt to defend his own honour ('honour' is very important in the Arab/Muslim world) but, willingly suffered abuse in obedience to God's will. 'Victory' (over sin, evil and the devil) was won, not by a display of force, but by the way of the cross. This kind of thinking is foreign to Islam and indeed foreign to human reasoning.
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world," though it clearly impacts upon it. God gives his people even the right to turn their backs on him, albeit to their own eternal peril. The duty of Islam is to establish the 'Kingdom of God' on earth. There is no right of personal choice to reject the revealed path. Hence democracy and human rights as we understand them in the West are not native to traditional Islamic thought and practice.
What does all this mean? It means we need to pray... frequently and fervently for the salvation of Muslims near and far. Pray for those seeking to witness to them. Pray for those who have turned from Islam to Christ. Pray for GRN and other Christian ministries operating in Muslim areas, and pray that God would give us love for our Muslim neighbours and the opportunity and ability to share God's love and truth with them.
In Christ, Graydon