4.) How do I know I won’t follow this dude’s lead? Everyone who looks to the Son will be saved (John 6:40). Never stop looking at the Son and we have nothing to fear. For the over-analytical folk like myself, how do I know I won’t stop looking at the Son? Fortunately the Son has a longer attention span for us than we do for him.
I’m always fascinated to hear stories where devout Muslims become Christians. I would imagine most Christians feel the same way. But sometimes we think that the door only swings one way, when in fact there are devout Christians who become devout Muslims. Here is one instance.
While it is sad to listen to this young man’s testimony, particularly since he admittedly had such a strong church background, it shouldn’t shake your faith (provided you are reading this as a Christian).
Here are some takes on this lad’s conversion to Islam.
1.) Personal relationship. One thing this lad cherishes is a close personal connection to God. In fact, even the Arabic dude in charge of the mosque (not sure what you call those guys) emphasizes this “relationship.” I think this is important to realize because Christians like to talk about Christianity as a “relationship” with God, as though that distinguishes them from other religions (or at least the claims of other religions). But that claim of such a personal “relationship” is NOT what distinguishes Christianity from other religions. It is (among a host of other things) what this personal relationship actually cost God:Himself through Jesus’ perfect life, death, and resurrection. No prayer or assent to facts about a deity, or your personal desire to follow it, can suffice without this perfect atonement. Christianity admits God had to purchase us with His own flesh and blood for the relationship option “to be on the table.” Because of this truth, other religions and Christianity, by default, diverge and take you on different paths in regards to a personal relationship.
2.) Wild, Wild, West. Just as the West has culturally influenced Christianity at times for good and at times for bad, it is very clear that Islam has likewise been influenced by it. What you hear in this mosque is not what you would hear in a mosque in the Middle East. Many American muslims don’t believe you need to help God out by killing people who blaspheme Muhammad, Allah, or the Quran. That’s a good thing. God doesn’t need to be protected or avenged; He can do fine by himself. If only the Middle Eastern Muslims would believe that…..
3.) Perseverance. Folks who do seem to act and talk like true believers DO walk away from the faith, as Paul shares his experience of a co-laborer deserting him for “love of the world (II Tim 4:10). Sometimes we assume folks are true believers because they prayed a prayer when they were age 6, regardless of what faith their actual lives belie. But the reality is that saving faith will display itself by fruit and persevere until the end (Luke 8:4-15). The message of the book of Hebrews finds summary in my favorite Journey song. The writer employs the metaphor of traversing through the wilderness, and having not yet arrived in the promised land; therefore, cue the music, “Don’t stop believing!”
Whether people desert for love of the world, or love of Allah, the aforementioned parable of the Seed and Sower reminds us that people may profess faith one day, but not another.
That shouldn’t cause parents to lose hope for their wayward children as the WCF 17.3 reminds us that even true believers, whose faith is ultimately sustained by God (WCF 17.2), may stray for a season and fall into deep sin and continue “for a time.” But all true believers will eventually return to rest upon Jesus alone. Jesus doesn’t lose those who are truly His (John 10:27) so that should give us hope in praying for the straying.