Now that radical Islam has rudely foisted religion onto the world stage, to the chagrin of most, an obvious question arises for Christians: how should we both view and reach out to Muslims?
Reconciliation Ministries, based in Toronto, Canada, knows exactly how to answer that question. Ministry head, Magdy Tadros, has been reaching out to Muslims for more than 20 years.
"Magdy's story is a huge thing in itself," says board member, Marwan Nasser. In brief, originally from Egypt, Tadros was tortured for converting Muslims to Christ. In the face of death threats, he eventually escaped to Canada. A journalist in his previous life, he set all aside to obey the call to evangelize his Muslim brothers and sisters. "Before coming to Canada, he brought thousands of Muslims to Christ," says Nasser. Despite speaking little English, Tadros continues to see the same happening in Toronto.
As more Muslims migrate to North America, especially with the recent influx of Syrian refugees, it is incumbent upon the Christian to consider these sons and daughters of Ishmael from a biblical perspective.
"First, we do what we do because we love Muslims," Nasser says. "They won't listen to Christian theology. We have to talk to them through the Koran. Christians need to know the Koran to be able to show them how it supports Jesus Christ as God." A big part of the problem he says, is that most Muslims do not know their own scriptures. The growing ministry is made up of both Christians and former Muslims, largely from the Middle East, giving them particular insight into the Muslim mindset.
"ISIS does what it does because it's simply following what's written in their own holy book. They are still our brothers and sisters who are seriously misguided," says Nasser. Part of the work of the Ministry of Reconciliation is teaching Christians how to speak to Muslims through the Koran, challenging its logic around the deity of Christ and what it means to have God live in them (Col.1: 26-27).
The other effective way to reach out to Muslims is being able to give them something other than religion. Nasser goes on to explain how many Muslims associate the loose living ways of North American culture, or of individual Christians or churches as not contributing anything different to modern life. "They say, if that's Christianity, then I don't want it," Nasser says. "We have to give them something different to what they already know."
The difference he implies here is the power that exists in no other religion except Christianity. "Mark 16 tells us to heal the sick, raise the dead and to cast out demons. If that's true, let's just do it," says Nasser matter-of-factly. "Since we've been believing this, God has been glorified in performing many healings and freeing people from the demonic. Sadly, there are those in the church who say this is no longer for today."
He certainly has evidence to the contrary, he says, recounting the recent instantaneous healing of a man immobilized by back pain and a baby raised from the dead twice, to name only two instances.
Believing Islam to be a deceiving spirit, making room for the supernatural aspect of Christianity is crucial in these days of ISIS, says Nasser.