Finally, an evangelical Christian is advocating for Muslim immigrants to come to America…
… so they have a better chance of converting to Christianity.
In an article for Christianity Today, Richard Kronk, an “author of several books on the topic of Muslim conversion,” writes about the impact that Christians can have on their Muslim friends:
The Christian friend as a significant factor in conversion also makes sense. God is a relational being who has orchestrated the conversion process to be one of human agency carried along by divine initiative and effect. Though as evangelicals we would agree that our efforts alone do not save, we are equally aware that God has ordained both the means and the ends with regard to salvation. And the means, at least in part, includes relationship between those who follow Christ, who have the opportunity to show the love of Christ and explain the good news, and those not yet converted. It is in the context of these believer/non-believer relationships that truth is explored and a lived-out faith is observed.
Though God may use all manner of the miraculous to bring someone to saving faith, his normal means involves relational witness.
That’s a long way of saying God wants Christians to befriend non-Christians to help them accept Jesus. (Did you think there was another reason?)
I’ve always enjoyed interfaith dialogue and learning about others’ beliefs. But having grown up outside the church, I developed a sixth sense to discern the difference between genuine curiosity about my Jewish background and attempts to convert me.
Too often, especially in the case of immigrants, the promise of salvation is used like a dangling carrot stick in exchange for resources, which can include tangible necessities as well as community. Those are hard to reject when you’re new to a country and don’t know anyone.
In short, Muslim migration to the West provides an unparalleled context for the exploration and experience of religious options by the Muslim immigrant, which are in many, if not most, cases denied in Muslim-majority countries. This should cause us to take a fresh look at the current state of global migration, which, in many cases, includes Muslims attempting to move to the West.
Even a casual reading of the Bible reveals that both the Old and New Testaments relate story after story of migration, from Adam and Eve to Abraham and Moses to the nation of Israel and, ultimately, to Jesus and his own family. The story of the Bible is the story of people on the move. To understand the Bible, we need to understand what the Bible has to say about migration.
There are parallels and crossovers in Muslim and Christian scriptures (such as the story of Abraham), but how many Christians are aware of the Muslim context and interpretation of their shared stories? Does that matter to them? That can make all the difference in building a meaningful interfaith relationship — the difference between “Yes, tell me more” and “Please stop proselytizing.” Which makes me wonder: What would Kronk have to say about Muslims who want to move out West because they can convert Christians? Would he be as welcoming if the shoe were on the other foot? Proselytizing isn’t solely a Christian practice, after all.
Ultimately, it would be nice if he cared more about helping immigrants for their own sake, as many of them come to the United States seeking asylum from danger, than seeing them as targets who need to be fixed. That’s something Jesus would probably encourage.
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