We Should Take Advantage Of Our Religious Freedom And Reach Out To Our Neighbors

By: Amanda Mattingly 0 Comments   11/8/2011

When a civil Muslim man makes a plan to build a mosque in the middle of a city, some negative talk and uproar can arise from other religious leaders in the same area.

Yet when a mega-church is built right in the center of that same city, it is seen to be normal and acceptable.

It seems as if we are frequently quick to question against another religion making the decision to build their place of worship or even expand their place to congregate. However, it is prudent to consider if this is acceptable.

Religious freedom was a right that Americans shed blood for. The reason it is in our constitution is because it comes from Christian doctrine. 

Is America still living by the standards set forth in the Constitution about religious freedom? Maybe so, from a political standpoint.

However, others' idea of religious freedom have gradually been moving toward the opinion that it is “only present for churches and Christians” instead of for every religion and religious dwelling.

“Respect for religious freedom and tolerance of the practices and beliefs of people of all faiths lie at the heart of the American identity and constitute some of the main principles on which this country was founded,” according to the United States Department of State.

Not only is the negative reaction to the presence of other religions' structures going against the idea of religious freedom set forth by our Founding Fathers, but it also goes against what God commands of his people.

Yes, Christians should stand up for their faith, and they should not be complacent when it comes to other religions that are not preaching the truth--that truth being the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, religious freedom is a concept and a principle that was established for all religions, not just some.

Sharing The Gospel

It is because the United States has the freedom of religion that we can even openly share the Gospel with others in the first place. There are numerous other countries where missionaries are thrown in jail or even murdered for speaking about God.

This does not mean that Christians should become complacent. After all, it is as Christian's calling and responsibility to reach every person and every nation with the truth and love that is laid out in the Gospel of Christ. The Bible states to “love your neighbor as yourself” and to “go and make disciples of all nations.”

So what should the Christian reaction be to other religious affiliations? 

Instead of becoming frustrated when another religion such as Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism decides to build a mosque or a temple, our hearts should become burdened for the lost people inside of them. It should never be about the building itself; it should always be about the people and the lost souls inside of them.

New York Mosque

A recent example of a negative reaction was with the controversy of the mosque in New York and Pastor Terry Jones.

Politically speaking, the Muslim community there in New York had just as much right to build a place of worship as any Christian church would have (whether or not the location of that mosque was controversial is a completely separate question).

Jones proved he was not living out a loving Christian perspective toward another religion by his proclamation and response toward the Muslim community. Instead of being concerned about the Muslim people and trying to reach them for Christ, he took a detrimental dive when he requested others to join him in turning the pages of the Muslim holy book, the Qur'an, to ashes. Jones was the Florida pastor that hosted a Qur'an burning event.

In a Muslim culture, Islam, the Qur’an and Mohammed are more than just a religion; they define the very being of who a Muslim is within their culture.

Pastor Jones example does not serve in the goal of reaching the Muslims with the gospel.  In this case, it hinders the outreach with the Muslim community (which consists of about 600,000 people in New York), as reaching Muslims is very much built upon relationships.

Although Islam is not based upon salvation through Jesus Christ, the Qur'an can still serve as a bridge for a Christian to begin a conversation of witnessing to a Muslim friend.

Islam believes that the bible is useful for understanding the life of Jesus Christ. But does not believe that Jesus died on the cross or that He is God or that he was resurrected from the dead, because Islam does not think the bible is accurate and therefore cannot be trusted because it was translated into many languages before it's English version today. 

Revealing the evidence that shows that the bible has been translated accurately is the key to understanding that the entire story of Jesus is true

God is passionate for all people. As Christians we need to strive to live His passion, in which we should be broken hearted and burdened for the lost just as God's is.

We, as Christ-followers, should be praying for the unsaved and defending our Constitution freedom of religion, so that we will never lose our ability to openly share our faith with Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists alike.

When they come to America, we have an opportunity that no Christian has in a Muslims nation, to tell them about the God of peace that came to show us how to have an abundant life. 

Be blessed and tell someone about Jesus today!


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