Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Improving our Attitude toward Muslims

Monday, I talked about the toxic attitudes and behaviors that some Christians display towards our Muslim neighbors, and how those prejudices hinder our ability to reach followers of Islam for Christ.  I’ll be the first to admit that I have never shared the gospel with a Muslim, but I’d like to think that if I were given that opportunity, I’d be willing and able to do it.  So these are some steps we should take to improve our mindset so that we are ready if that time comes.

Make an effort to understand Islam. I’m not saying we need to become Muslim scholars, but understanding the religion serves three purposes.  

One, we avoid believing what we have been told about Islam that may not be accurate.  For example, did you know that “jihad” does not only refer to war?  It literally means “exerting force for God” and could refer to sharing their faith to bring others to Islam. 

Two, we can understand the similarities between Islam and Christianity.  We do NOT worship the same God, but Muslims do have stories about Noah, Abraham, and Jesus with some commonalities to the Bible stories we are familiar with (Abraham sacrificing his son, for instance). Yes, there are massive differences too, but the similarities would be a good place to begin a conversation with a Muslim in a non-threatening way. 

Three, when we understand Islam, we can understand why Christianity is superior and how we can show that Jesus is greater than Muhammed when we do share the gospel.  For instance, a Muslim never has assurance of salvation, and any salvation they do have is works based, not by grace through faith. Make sure not to read biased information about Islam either.  Reading the Qu’ran is a good first step, but it’s not a light easy read. 

Be kind and friendly when you meet Muslim women in the community.  Although not all women who practice Islam are recognizable by sight, many are due to their dress.  When you see them out and about, treat them as you would anyone else. Make eye contact. Smile.  Chat with them about the weather, or tell them how cute their kids are.  They are people too, lost people whom God loves. Show his love in your interactions.  In my research, I did run across an admonition not to be too friendly with the husband of a Muslim woman, as she might see that as a sign that you are romantically interested in him (  Which leads me to my next point.

Try to learn what you can about Muslim culture.  Just like American Christianity has a culture that has little to do with our doctrine (potlucks anyone?), there is a Muslim culture you won’t read about in the Qu’ran.  If you were preparing to share the gospel in a foreign country, you would learn everything you could about the culture to avoid appearing rude, right?  The same applies here.  Keep in mind that the stereotypes are not always what you’ll find. For example, not all Muslim women wear dark colors.  In some countries, many wear very colorful garb, although still very modest.  

Make an extra effort to meet Muslims.  If you are serious about sharing the gospel with the Muslim community, and you want to learn more about them, there are some ways to make it more likely to meet them  and easier to get to know them.  You could volunteer with a local refugee program, become an English as a second language teacher, or ask former missionaries in your town to introduce you to Muslims that they know.  

As much as I hated reading some of the horrible responses Christians have had to Muslims, I am happy to say that there are just as many Christians reaching out to the Islamic community with the love of Christ. Helene knows missionaries who have worked with Muslim populations for much of their lives, and there are ministries dedicated to equipping Christians to share the gospel with adherents of Islam. (For a list of these ministries, check out the left sidebar at 

I’d rather not be associated with the group of Christians who spews forth vitriol and hate, but the one who reaches out to the Muslim community.  Those who love rather than fear, and share the gospel with people who may make them uncomfortable.  I hope you would too.



  1. well, i am a muslim
    thank you for this do not have to be afraid to talk to a muslim....
    we are lovers of prophet Isa (Jesus) too.

  2. Melissa, thank you for sharing this article with us at Grace & Truth. I have several Muslim neighbors who love a couple of streets away from us, and I often see them walking around the neighborhood. God has impressed on my heart to reach out to them, and I appreciate this encouragement to do so.

  3. As a person who's heart is specifically for Muslims, I applaud this post!! This is fantastic. I would add under #1 the suggestion to read the Quran, that can be loosely included in "making an effort to understand Islam" but it'd be a direct benefit and I find that so many Christians fear even picking up another religion's holy book. It's essential in understanding how they interpret written authority and also how they have certain assumptions about us (Christians, and also westerners). Thank you so much for linking this up with us at Grace & Truth!! I saw in your Link-ups page that we are listed there with a link so I will be featuring your post tomorrow for the next round of the link-up! Thanks!!

  4. I do see that you recommend people read the Quran, I don't know how I missed that before! Excellent post!

  5. Thank you for sharing this- this is exactly what Christians need to be doing. Living lives of love not lives of hatred. So glad you wrote this!