Contend Earnestly: What Comes to Mind When You Hear "Muslim" or "Islam"?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What Comes to Mind When You Hear "Muslim" or "Islam"?

I want to see how many responses I can get from this. Please just give me your honest thoughts on what the first thing is that comes to mind when you hear the term "Muslim" or "Islam"? If you don't want to put it into comment form, please email me at smcbee at mcbeeadvisors dot com. Thanks.


Chris Price said...

They have the right to kill other Muslims if they are not living up to stardard (and people get irked about Church Discipline). they can sin in front of thier enemies if it is against the clean if it is in deception so they can harm or destroy us, the infidel. Alms. No pork. Conversion by sword. Muhammed thought that his visions were demonic but his older wide said they were from God. This is the first things that come to mind.

Josh Follansbee said...

The first thing that comes to mind is the worlds third serious religion is the bastard child Judaism. Every time I hear Muslim/Islam I think immediately of their own literature that states that Ishmael is their forefather and they follow his line. Then I think of how they try to incorporate Jesus as a solid valid prophet and how that totally contradicts Jesus being through the line of Issac.

I tend to close with how little Israelites, Muslims, and generally the world knows about Jesus Christ and his genealogy as they relate to God's promises.

Darlene said...

They are what the Scriptures call "unbelievers." They reject Christ, do not believe in His deity or resurrection, and misunderstand and therefore reject the Trinity.

Becky said...

When I think of "Muslim" and "Islam," I think of the Sierra Leone flag hanging from my rearview mirror. I think of all my conversations with my friend Benjamin about how I respect him, care about him and his wife, and consider his children my brothers and sister. I also think about the times when I've told him that Jesus is the only way. I think about my friend Watta who doesn't eat pepperoni because it's made of pork and makes an amazing hardboiled-egg-covered-in-hamburger-meat dish. I think of watching her sons being baptized while tears poured shamelessly down my face. I think of her daughter who is in my youth group and is being faced with the decisions about meaning and purpose that come with growing up. I think of Weima who owns the coolest store ever, filled with Sierra Leonean treasures. I think of the time that she came to church and gave me her scarf because I told her it was beautiful. I think of all of the other Muslims who live in my neighborhood who I have not met and who need Jesus just as much as I do. I think of the faces of people who I have shared the gospel with and the faces of those who need to hear. I think of my friends who have become family (One thing I love about Sierra Leone culture is that family is not about blood). I also think of the people I met while I was traveling in Israel. I think of the man who spoke to my group while I was at a mosque in Dearborn. I think of the hopelessness of trying to measure up on your own (such is the sum of all world religions that I have come in contact with). Ultimately, I think of the people I love, and I think of ways to share the love of Jesus with them.

Jake said...

I'm just reposting this from your facebook status: Monotheist, patriarchal, no alcohol (lol, don't know what it says about me that that's third...), high regard for religious authority based on their sacred texts, a great amount of cultural achievements throughout the Middle Ages, my friend Tareq, and probably the deplorable lecture former Sen. Rick Santorum gave on Shi'a Islam at my university last year.

Couple other thoughts I've had since first seeing the question: If you were to ask a group of Muslims the same question about Christians, what would the response be? Second, granting that I don't love a Muslim in the same way I would a fellow Christian, what does Christian charity toward a Muslim look like? Specifically based on this meta, is an almost-exclusively negative view of Islam (which is how the above comments sound to me) consistent with Christian love?

I realize that may be posing the question in a loaded way, but I don't mean it to be. I could see how someone might argue that Islam is a false religion and relating in love to a false religion means calling it on its falsity. I'm just not persuaded by that argument, for the moment. Assuming there are readers who hold to that line, would some of you explain your thought a bit more?

Michael & Shannon said...

Check this out:

Tripp said...

Turban. Just sayin...

Darlene said...


Could you be more precise and clear as to what point/s you are trying to make? Then I'll be glad to respond. :)

In Christ,


Jake said...

Darlene - Sure. Basically I'm asking what does Christian love toward the Muslim community look like?

I couldn't help but notice almost all the comments about Islam were focused entirely on the negative aspects of the faith. When I read that my first thought is "They're being uncharitable." But I'm guessing some evangelicals would say "No, it's not uncharitable. It's a false religion, the most loving thing to do is reveal the falsities."

My response is to say that there's got to be a relational component to that love. If the "love" serves only to alienate Muslims, then it's not really love. It's just a cover to hide something - laziness, a failure to relate well to Muslim individuals, or something else.

Basically - I want to understand why so many Christians focus exclusively on the negatives of Islam and seem to be completely oblivious to all else.

Darlene said...


Thanks so much for the clarification. :) First of all, I responded directly to Seth's titled comment. That is, "What Comes to Mind When You Hear "Muslim" or "Islam"? His question is addressing the ideology/theology of the Islamic faith as a whole, not individual Muslims. The question does not ask how we would evangelize Muslims or what do we personally think of Muslims we have encountered. Therefore, I answered in a concise, dispassionate manner as much as possible.

Now, if the question were to ask how I would treat a Muslim or how I would speak of Christ to a Muslim, then I would answer differently.

BTW, the original answer I gave could be the same for various non-Christian faiths besides Muslims.

Being that I am an Orthodox catechumen, I have a particular view of Islam that may be different from Evangelical Protestants.

Christ be with you.

Jake said...

Darlene - OK, that helps a lot actually. I'm really bad at thinking about things in the abstract, so I hadn't even thought of it that way. My mind went straight to individual Muslims.

Orthodox catuchumen, eh? I've always wanted to learn more about Orthodoxy. Would probably scare my parents to death if I ever converted, but I'm certainly curious about it.


Anonymous said...

no comment,
but I enjoyed reading the comments on this hot button topic

God bless you

SnatchedFromTheFire said...

Darlene -
what is "Orthodox catechumen"? All i can find says it's something about preparing for baptism? Is that big "C" or little "c" catholic idea. Where do you find such a practice in Scripture [waiting period before baptism]?

Darlene said...


You said, "I've always wanted to learn more about Orthodoxy."

It has been a journey of over three yrs. with much prayer and reading that eventually convinced me of the veracity of Eastern Orthodoxy. However, it was through attending Divine Liturgy and participating in the life of the church that I became certain that I needed to become Orthodox.

Christ be with you!

Darlene said...

Dear Snatched from Fire,

I'm not quite sure what you are trying to say regarding your comment about the Orthodox faith. An Orthodox catechumen is someone who is being instructed in the faith by learning the teachings of the church as well as attending Divine Liturgy and participating in the life of the church through prayer, fasting, and seeking spiritual counsel.

Christ be with you!

SnatchedFromTheFire said...

Darlene -
What are the "teachings of the church" specifically? Do you mean, the teachings of the Scriptures or the teachings of church tradition? Seems to me Augustine, Martin Luther and Calvin worked pretty hard against the latter?
... and also with you.

Darlene said...

Dear SFTF,

What I meant specifically by "the teachings of the church" is what the Orthodox faith (Church) teaches. For example, even if you were to join a Protestant church such as a Presbyterian OPC, or an Independent Baptist Church, even there you would first have to learn what that particular church's teachings were with regard to major doctrines of the faith. Doctrines such as the Trinity, the nature of Christ, the Eucharist (Lord's Supper), Baptism, the Resurrection, etc.

BTW, the Orthodox believe that Tradition is Scripture rightly interpreted. As an Evangelical Protestant, I believed that all tradition was bad. Now my understanding is that there is both good and bad tradition.

Now that I look back, I realize that all Protestants have a tradition, even though they would not say such a thing since tradition is a dirty word within most Protestant churches. :) For example, Luther took quite a bit of his understanding of Scripture from St. Augustine, and thus preserved a sacramental view of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Anabaptists and Mennonites take their traditions from Zwingli who understood Baptism and the Lord's Supper as only symbolic.

The point I'm trying to make is that Christians do not understand Scripture within a vacuum. Rather, each particular denomination has a particular understanding of Scripture upon which they base their teachings. So, for example, if I wanted to become a Lutheran, I would be taught Luther's teachings on major doctrines of the faith. However, if I wanted to become a Reformed Calvinist, I would first have to be taught and understand things such as the Doctrines of Grace and the TULIP.

We just can't get away from tradition. :)

Christ be with you!

Anonymous said...

أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ الله و أشهد أن محمدا رسول الله

Seth McBee said...

Thanks Anonymous for stopping by...

In case anyone was wondering...Anonymous posted in Arabic and it says:

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God

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