“You’re Doing It Wrong!”

A quick shout out and welcome to new Muslim Connect readers, joining us from this Denison Forum article. Thank you for subscribing.

There’s a classic scene in the movie Mr. Mom in which the title character drops his kids off at school for the first time. (His first time, not theirs. Mom has been doing it up to now.) Looking for a shortcut, he bucks the flow of traffic. As horns honk and moms yell, his son announces, “You’re doing it wrong.” He argues, “Nah. We’re doing the Jack Butler method.” The boy’s insight is echoed by drivers all over and finally the patronizing traffic monitor confirms, “Yes, you’re doing it wrong.”

It’s this sentiment, isn’t it, behind much of our current trouble? The sense that other people are doing “it” wrong. Getting vaccinated or not. Having hope in the new administration or vilifying it. Doing church wrong, doing it right.

The mental pathology giving rise to this is called “Everyone Is Stupid But Me” syndrome and I absolutely have a bad case of it!

Muslims often do, as well. The conviction that other Muslims are not doing Islam right gives rise to much of the violence we see between Muslims. (Of course, Christians often share this conviction, but these days it’s acted out more in the form of stink eyes and social media posts, rather than guns and tanks!)

Realizing this adds nuance to our understanding of Muslims. The global community of Islam is every bit as diverse as the whole body of people who call themselves Christian. I contend that there’s not a single thing that is true of one Muslim that is not also untrue of another. As our nuanced understanding grows, so does our ability to make friends and offer hope.

Quick question: What would help your pastor or your church respond in godly, effective ways to the expected influx of nearly 100,000 Afghans to the U.S.? I want to be a part of the solution and want to help you be so as well. Please take a moment and let me know what you think. Thank you. 

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