Recently, my friend Brian McLaren wrote a letter of to Franklin Graham appealing to him as a Christian minister to rethink his position on deporting Muslims and no longer permitting them to immigrate to the U.S. I confess I agree with Brian. If this grand vision of Franklin’s comes to pass then we are not far from putting Muslims in detention camps like we did the Japanese in WWII, trampling on the Bill of Rights, and escalating greater hatred and violence around the world between Muslims and Christians.
Fear offers no solutions, but love helps us find our way and clear our heads. The apostle John, the youngest disciple of Jesus once said, “Fear has torments, but perfect love casts out all fear.” The apostle Paul said, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” Love is the only option for those could claim to follow Jesus of Nazareth. It is not always the easy path, but it is the path that leads us to the way, the truth and the life.
I am a full-time peacemaker in the way of Christ. For the past ten years I have traveled across the U.S. and overseas teaching Muslims and Christians how to follow Christ. What do I tell them? What does it mean to follow Christ? What do I attempt to show them? Jesus taught that on a foundational level to follow him means that we love God with all our being, love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves (even if they are Muslims:)), treat other people the way you want to be treated and if you run into enemies along the way pray for them, do good to them and try to turn them into friends. We either believe the message of Jesus or we don’t. It would be better an atheist than to claim to follow him and show contempt for any group of people.
Brian asked if he could post the video recording of how God used the little Muslim boy Omar in my life to turn me from hating Muslims to loving them. This is the longer version of the story that I share in churches, mosques and synagogues. It gives a lot more detail than my written blog post. If you would like to watch that video go to Brian’s blog and watch it. CLICK HERE: http://brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/dear-franklin-graham.html
Also, Brian gives a challenge to evangelical pastors on how they can respond to Franklin Graham’s campaign to keep Muslims from immigrating to U.S. It is definitely a Christ-like response. Let’s take the message of Jesus seriously. CLICK HERE: http://brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/yesterday-i-posted-a-letter-to-f.html