|In the wise and winsome way of a church statesmen with decades of research and relationship behind him, Bert de Ruiter pulls back the curtain on seven trends he sees shaping the Islam of Europe (He says “Islams!”)
If you are European, perhaps you see dynamics similar to those Herr de Ruiter describes. If you are American or from somewhere else, you may wonder if similar dynamics are emerging in your country. (Even if your country is Muslim majority!)
I was directed to Bert’s insightful essay by a pleasingly long and balanced article recently published by Christianity Today. In it, Jayson Caspar, writer, pray-er and my new favorite author explores how Europe is reacting to its growing numbers of Muslims and whether or not the U.S. should try a different approach.
Being a pragmatist at heart, I Ioved Caspar’s recounting of de Ruiter’s closing advice for European Christians, and presumably the rest of us, in light of the growth and changes afoot with Islam.
Research: Matthew 10.11 speaks of finding the worthy person in a village you come to. Likewise, Christians must learn the real situation of actual Muslims, not media-driven images.
Reflect: Psalm 139.23,24 invites God to search our hearts. Anti-Muslim prejudice is often unconsciously ingrained, and with humility Christians can repent and develop attitudes of compassion.
Relate: In 1 Thessalonians 2.8 Paul describes how he shared his life with those he was trying to reach. Christians must develop relationships with Muslims, in hope of also sharing the gospel.
Relax: In Psalm 46.10 the Lord reminds believers to “be still, and know that I am God.” Whatever changes happen in Europe [and elsewhere] are according to God’s sovereignty, and he will be exalted among the nations.
That’s the alliteration I’m inviting you to steal (Please credit Caspar and de Ruiter.) for your Facebook status, your Twitter feed, your church bulletin or bulletin board or as the ready made outline for your next sermon. I just might do that!