Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why is Islam growing so rapidly?

Someone asked me,  "Why is Islam growing so fast in the world, given the comparison to Christianity?  I just don't understand the appeal when you compare/contrast the doctrines of the two religions and compare/contrast Jesus/Muhammad.  I am sure the Muslim religion must be presented differently to those inquiring or considering but I just am not seeing the appeal of the religion in modern times around the world."

Well, one reason may have to do with the different cultures around the world. The Middle East is a much different culture than our own. They have a completely different mindset than we do. That’s true of Europe also. People look at life and view the world differently. The Middle East has been dominated by a very intense religious mindset for centuries. 

Another reason may be the fact that to them commitment really means something. It is easy to be a Christian in America. There are a number of Christians who take their faith as an inclusion in some kind of a spiritual club; almost as kind of a luxury or amenity of sorts. Islam is a completely different mindset. When you make a commitment to Islam, you are making a life-altering commitment. It is a serious deal. A lot of American Christianity is void of that kind of serious commitment. I’m not at all talking about a “radical” kind of commitment with violence; I’m simply referring to an absolute commitment of one’s life. 

In reality, Jesus calls us to an absolute commitment to him (Luke 14:25-35). I'm not sure how so many of us in America have managed to avoid this kind of total commitment to following Christ. We tend to enjoy following Jesus as long as it takes to where we want to be. The version of Christianity so common in America is that God is here to serve us and our needs. While it is true that God is interested in meeting our needs (Philippians 4:19), it is a significant misunderstanding of the Creator and the creation. We exist to serve God and his purposes, not the other way around (Luke 4:8).  

Anyway, the call of total commitment seems to be appealing to the kind of mindset that is found in other parts of the world. In America it seems that we are reluctant to make a commitment to much of anything that doesn’t serve our own purposes. That’s not a slam on America, it is just an observation.

1 comment:

Summer Jones said...

Wow. People change their own lives to follow their god. Americans DEFINITELY don't do that, and I'm one of them. I wonder why we think that everything must benifit us before we do anything. The world is a strange place. Amy Snyder