Special Event, With Lee Strobel For A Webcast ‘Unpacking Islam’ at Westwood Church In St. Cloud

By: Curtis Ophoven 0 Comments   9/5/2011

The event will be at 6:00-8pm Sunday Night, September 11th on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.

Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg will give a balanced and accurate assessment of Islam through their interviews with Muslim experts and the riveting stories of Muslims-turned-Christians that will inspire and give a fresh understanding of how to communicate and reach out to this growing community.

Understanding Muslims is a growing need in our nation and around the world. Muslims are remarkable people and share many of the same questions about God that we have.

Expect this event to be very informative, Lee Strobel was a famous atheists-turned-Christian when he tried to disprove the life of Christ and ended up overwhelmed by the evidence and the reality of Christ. Lee is the author of many books including, "The Case For Christ"

Here is the promotional video for the Webcast;

Westwood Church is located at; 5719 Walnut Drive, St. Cloud

What is most surprising to me is that the number of Muslims in America since 9/11 has actually been increasing at a faster rate. 

In the book, “The Islamic AntiChrist”, author Joel Richardson says "Islam is absolutely sweeping through the inner cities, a very sad commentary on the discontinuity and the disunity of the American church". 

Joel goes on to give an example letter from a typical former Christian;

"When I was a Christian, I never understood why Jesus had to die for my sins, I mean, they're my sins.".  Before becoming a Muslim, she visited a Christian minister and asked him several questions, in which his answers didn't satisfy her.  Based on Joel's finding, Christian ministers, as least in inner cities, are not doing a good job defending their faith and explaining the message of Christ. 

Works vs. Grace

Joel goes on to explain that the reason people are turning to Islam rather than Christianity is because it is based on works rather than grace, which people apparently have an easier time identifying with.  Like most other religions, salvation in Islam is found by doing more good things ‘works’ to make up for the bad things we have done. 

Christianity on the other hand, teaches that salvation is not found by works because no amount of good things can pay for the wages of sin that we have committed, which is why Christ had to die for our sins.  The wages of sin is death, and therefore God send his only Son to die for us so that whoever believes on Him would be justified and receive salvation – John 3:16.

The idea that working for our salvation is easier or simpler to understand then being saved by the grace of God is beyond me.  Perhaps it gives people something to put their faith in other than the Word of God that says we will be saved if we believe in Christ.

I don’t buy the idea that ‘works’ is easier to understand then ‘grace’, but rather ‘grace’ is too easy for people to believe it.  They say to themselves, “Why would God make it that easy to be saved?”, “Surely He would demand something more from me”.

But what this reasoning overlooks is that they are unwilling to do what they claim is so easy, that is to believe in Christ.  And once you believe, Jesus asks you to give up your entire life for his sake.  What could be harder than that?

Softening The Gospel

To follow after Christ is impossible without living every moment by faith.  Praying five times a day does not compare to a life devoted to Christ, which at times requires constant communication with Christ.  If Islam is more attractive then Christianity, then perhaps this is the result of softening the gospel message.

Most religions are based on helping bad people feel like they are good people, while Christianity is about bringing dead people back to life.  Scripture says we are born condemned to spiritual death and Jesus is the only way to spiritual life. 

The gospel is not an invitation to follow a set of rules, but an invitation to a relationship with the creator of heaven and earth.  Believing in Christ is just the beginning of a relationship that continues into eternal life, gaining more and more revelation of who Christ is every day.

The adventure never ends, which is why Jesus said he is living water and those they drink of him will never go thirsty. 

Trying to balance good works against our sins is a never ending and restless battle to prove ourselves worthy to God and man, in which one puts there faith in believing that what appears good enough for man, is good enough for God.

Putting our faith in works is putting our faith in man, which is not secure and ever changing.  Putting our faith in what Christ has already done is secure and never going to change.   These are the things I have used to share with fellow Muslims. 

Lee Strobel is a very excellent speaker and this event is sure to be interesting.  Once against, this event will be held at Westwood Church, 5719 Walnut Drive, St. Cloud, 6:00-8pm Sunday Night, September 11th on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.


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