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Former Muslim: Don’t lose sight of what really matters
Stephanie Smith
September 02, 2010
3 MIN READ TIME

Former Muslim: Don’t lose sight of what really matters

Former Muslim: Don’t lose sight of what really matters
Stephanie Smith
September 02, 2010

CHICAGO, IL — The proposed

mosque near Ground Zero has stirred up a lot of hostility toward Muslims. But a

former Muslim who now pastors a thriving church in the Caribbean has a message

for Christians who are up in arms over the growing public presence of Islam — don’t

lose sight of what really matters.

“Increasingly, God seems pleased to bring the Muslim world

right to our doorsteps. The work of cross-cultural evangelism and missions has

never been more accessible,” says Thabiti Anyabwile, senior pastor of First

Baptist Church of Grand Cayman in the Grand Cayman Islands and author of The

Gospel for Muslims: An Encouragement to Share Christ With Confidence.

Anyabwile explains that “the

Gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed triumphing in the hearts, minds and lives of

countless men and women from various Muslim backgrounds … I know, because I

am one such person.”

The author converted to

Islam during his college years while studying the history of Africans and

African Americans. “I grew angry toward white people in general. I became

zealous for Islam, ‘the perfect religion for the African American’,” he

remembers.

Ironically, it was during

Ramadan that “a steady awareness settled over me that Islam was not true.”

He recalls, “As a Muslim, I

had devoured as much of the Quran as I could. The Quran plainly taught that

Jesus was born of a virgin with no earthly father (Sura 3:42-50). The Quran

plainly taught that the Gospels were books revealed by Allah (Sura 4:163-165;

5:46-48; and 6:91-92).

And in many passages, the Quran — written approximately

600 years after Christ and the apostles — expressed such confidence in these

sections of the Bible that it called people to judge the truth using the Bible (Sura

3:93-94; 5:47; and 10:94). So, for me, any consistent and intellectually honest

Muslim had to come to grips with the teaching of the Bible.”

Christians don’t have to

spend a lot of time attacking the Quran, Anyabwile says. Instead, our focus should

be on “helping our Muslim friends understand why they should humbly accept the

Bible as revelation from God and therefore believe its message. In God’s

marvelous kindness to Muslims and to Christians doing the work of evangelism,

the Quran itself states ample enough reason for the Muslim to accept the

Bible.”

Still, Anyabwile reminds

believers to temper their confidence with humility when engaging Muslims on

biblical truths.

“Typically, if we’re

thinking about winning or losing debates with our Muslim neighbors, we’ve lost

sight of what really matters,” he concludes. “Sometimes we have to draw sharp

lines in order to be understood. But even when we draw lines, we should do so

with love because we’re representing a loving God whom we wish to make known.”