People are angry. Muslims are angry. Christians are angry. Secularists are angry. Lines are being drawn. Sides are being taken. Hate, fear, aggression, and protests abound.
Muslims are angry because they feel targeted and misrepresented as a homogenized mass. Christians are angry because they’re fearful in a climate of a frenzied media. Secularists are angry because they just want to be left alone to get on with their life.
You don’t have to look very far to find an angry mob. And you don’t have to look too far to find a church in the middle of these angry mobs.
Aleem Ali is a product of multiculturalism and grace. The grandson of an Imam, the son of a Muslim and the cousin, nephew, uncle, and friend to many other Muslims.
I’m also the grandson of an Irish Catholic and a Protestant and my Mum was active in the Methodist Church. As a kid, I would go to the mosque, and I’d also go to Sunday School at the local Baptist church.
Insight in a guest post from Aleem Ali, a Christian pastor in the midst of planting a faith community working with Muslims. He is married to Lorrain, a Dad to seven children, and a borderline coffee addict.
Suffice it to say I grew up amidst cultural diversity and in an interfaith household. This was my reality. A loving and peaceful reality.
It’s possible I was more naive growing up in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s but it seems that our social and political willingness to navigate (let alone embrace) cultural diversity is at an all-time low.
I am dismayed by the voices of fear and division.
How Should The Church And Christians Respond?
There is a danger that we take sides too quickly…
You’re either for me or against me.
This side or that side.
Black or white.
But Jesus says, “Stop!”
Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Peacemakers and Shalom
We are wasting our time and our energy fighting philosophical and ideological battles. Jesus is all about relationship because relationship is everything. This is the heart of peacemaking, the heart of Shalom.
Peace with God, peace with self, peace with others and peace with creation.
May that increasingly be our story.
May that increasingly be the representation of the church to the world – peacemakers working to bring healing and reconciliation amidst division and strife.
APPLICATION: What do you think about Aleem’s perspective? How are you working to bring shalom to your family? Your marriage? Your community? Your church? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.
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This is such a fundamental truth of our personal relationship with Christ. We are to be peacemakers and to love our enemies. Who is my enemy? Is it an extremist? Is it another faith? Another culture? Another ideology? No. My enemy is the one who mocks and insults me because of my faith in Jesus Christ.
So, am I living in a way to make enemies? Not right now. Should I be? Yes. Because that means I’m actually living out my faith and sharing the gospel without hesitation. So what am I afraid of? If they mock me, I get to love them and pray for them anyways.