Any Christian can share their faith

At the 2017 Ministry to Muslims conference, guest speaker Rev. Dr John Azumah shared his wisdom on charting a course between naivety and hostility in responding to Muslims. Naivety would mean giving up on any challenge to Islam and accepting that “Islam is the religion of peace.” But perhaps a greater threat to the church is the instinctive hostility that springs up when we think of “Islam”, a hostility which may keep us from engaging lovingly and sharing Christ.

Dr Azumah identifies five faces of Islam, to mirror Islam’s five pillars. The five faces are the missional face (the face that seeks to convert the world to Islam), the mystical face (the face that focuses more on spiritual things), the ideological or political face (the face that seeks to occupy the public sphere by implementing sharia or Islamic law), the militant face (this is the face of Islam that seeks to achieve its ends by the use of violence), and the progressive face (this face is usually self-critical and seek to reread the Qur’an in light of present realities).

Often Christians view Islam and Muslims on the basis of just one of these faces, when in fact, Islam is made up of many cultures, languages and theologies. To these five faces he also adds a sixth: the human face. Ultimately, all Muslim people are created in the image of God and need redemption in Christ like anyone else. According to Dr Azumah, Muslims need to hear the gospel in ways they can grasp, and, “Ministry to Muslim people ought to be the business of the whole church.”

“Christians need to realise that you don’t need any training to be a witness,” he says, using the metaphor of a courtroom. To be an advocate for Christianity (in the sense of a lawyer) requires training. Being a judge of Islam also requires specific training. “But witnesses are simply called to come and give their testimony,” and any Christian can share their faith with Muslims. Above all else, this is what God wants his people to do prayerfully with Muslim people.

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07 Jul 2017

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