It is increasingly difficult to describe our ministry setting as a strictly “Muslim context.” Yesterday, my wife and I experienced something that is an example of why this difficulty is growing and situations are unpredictable. We had an opportunity to share the good news and biblical truths with three people who work at our driving course (we now have a driving license in two countries) and one of their friends. One moment, in particular, reminded us of what we truly deal with on a whole in our country, but especially in our city.
After we had shared some truth, one of the four went around the room pointing to each person and describing their beliefs in a joking-with-a-grain-of-truth manner. He started, “I am a communist/materialist, he is a sort of Muslim nationalist for his minority people group, she is a secularist, and he is an [alcohol]-ist [i.e. hedonist].”
This moment typified for us the reality in the globalized, befogged, interconnected world in which we live. Trying to explain the gospel to these four different viewpoints was challenging. We bounced from arguments and Scripture that point to the existence of God and Him as Creator, to Bible verses about salvation coming by grace through faith and not from good works. We talked about why the world was broken, and how we are all sinners.
They all seemed to listen intently at various times, but they would respond with different points and challenges. Yet, on all of their government identification cards, I am certain it says, “Religion: Islam”. But, the reality is that we are striving to share the good news with deists, atheists, hedonists, and self-righteous legalists. Or, to say it more clearly: with broken, sinful humans who are looking to everything else in this world, besides our Savior, for direction and satisfaction.
In one sense, wherever we are, we all face this sort of challenge in sharing the good news. Few people believe according to their religious text or manifesto. That is because, in the end, humans want to control their own destiny and be their own god.
Will you please pray that these four friends would recognize that all of their belief systems share one main thing in common – they are futile? Pray that they would see the beauty of our Savior and trust in Him for salvation.