Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord tells Israel, even as it is in captivity in Babylon (Jeremiah 29:7)
…seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
Therein lies the root of what it means to be a faithful witness to God: Pray for the welfare of even of those who oppress you.
This thought is brought to its highest expression by Jesus, who repeats the message, amplifying it in Matthew 5:
44…Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
So, should we love and pray for Muslims who would deny Christ, and deny our right to follow Him? Yes. And this one distinctive about Christianity, over against Islam: we know that the peace of Christ, a peace that passes human understanding, is sufficient.
We would prefer that Muslims came to know Christ; it is, in fact, our duty as agents of the Great Commission to preach the gospel, even in the face of the violence and hatred that is so prevalent in the Islamic world. But it is also our duty to pray for those who do not accept Christ as Lord, and who in turn use violence to deny us our faith.
They claim to be the “religion of peace.” We are.
| technorati tag | Christianity|