Approach to Mohammedans

The Great Commission in Operation.

By J. F. HUENERSARDT, Editor, Christlicher Hausfreund, Brookfield, Illinois

The missionary to the Moslems, by carefully studying the Koran and comparing it with the Bible, will soon discover that many passages in it are similar to passages of Scripture. There are many places in the Koran which refer to the Scriptures. This affords ample opportunity for the mission­ary worker to prepare his studies on topics familiar to the Moslem mind, and to use pas­sages which are contained in both the Koran and the Bible. The faithful and patient pre­sentation of these in the spirit of kindness and love will not fail to win the heart of the Moslem and arouse his desire for further knowledge.

For many years, Christian missionaries have spoken rudely and unkindly about Mohammed and have slandered him. Whatever our opin­ion may be regarding him, we will have little success in leading his followers into the light of truth if we resort to slander and criti­cism of Mohammedanism. In fact, this at­titude is neither Christian nor honorable. Furthermore, it is a serious error to stress the fact that Mohammedanism has spread its cause by the sword, although there is much truth in this. It affords the opponent an op­portunity to counter with devastating facts from secular and religious history showing that Judaism, and Christianity so called, have likewise used the sword to further their self­ish ends.

Today, in controversy with the modern Moslem concerning the Trinity, the person of Jesus Christ, the existence of God, the veracity of the gospel, the virgin birth, science and morals, etc., you will meet with almost the same arguments as those advanced by Modern­ists and atheists, and you would give about the same answer. But it would be impossible to win a Moslem by arguing and debating religion with him. Heated discussions make very little impression on even a Christian mind, much less a Mohammedan. Religion appeals not only to the mind, but particularly to the emotions.

Do not attempt to meet all the objections and criticisms flung at Christianity by cul­tured Moslems, of whom there are many today. It will be more profitable to lead them into the positive and practical truths of the gospel, as many of them have not the faintest idea or understanding of the exalted truths of Chris­tianity and the true spirit of the teachings of Jesus.

The Mohammedan does not stop to notice that Christianity teaches a monotheism. But what a different monotheism—the revelation of the Father-Creator; and what a different ethic—the spiritual law of love; and what a different morality—the spiritual ideals of the sermon on the mount!

It is the duty of the Christian teacher to convince followers of Islam that the cruci­fixion and death of Jesus Christ are of the greatest importance in the salvation of hu­manity, that Christianity is infinitely more than simply the teaching of monotheism, morals, and ethics, and that the life and death of Christ is all-important, all-significant, cen­tral, and essential.

In the past history of the human race, al­most all religious systems have had much to say about God, morals, and ideals. Monothe­ism, morals, and ethics existed for centuries as the inspired program of the Jewish religion. If merely these were God's program, there would never have been a Christianity. The life and death of Jesus created and made available a spiritual power that gave to monotheism a new significance, and trans­formed morality and ethics from a teaching or theory, into life.

It is well to obtain all the information possible regarding the person in whose behalf you are laboring, concerning his character, disposition, and mental and physical capacity, to enable you to reach him most advanta­geously. Try to understand his viewpoint by putting yourself in his place and condition.

We must not forget that our daily life and conduct is the best argument in favor of our religion. The upright and Christlike life of a child of God will soon convince the Moslem that something is lacking in his own life—something which his religion has utterly failed to supply him. The best way to win the Moslem is to live the life of Jesus, the Saviour of men, before him. All thought of racial supremacy must be banned from the heart and mind of the missionary, and the Christian must be, as was Paul, a Jew to the Jew, a Roman to the Roman, and to every one everything, in order to win them for the gospel.

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By J. F. HUENERSARDT, Editor, Christlicher Hausfreund, Brookfield, Illinois

December 1937

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