We had as our guest last night on BlogTalkRadio a man who is doing design for someone who is creating a version of the Koran that will reference, in the Koran, statements and concepts that Jesus taught and are recorded in the gospels. So you could be reading in the Koran and come across something that can also be found in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John so you can look up those passages in the Bible and find more.
Now to some people, such a project would be considered unthinkable. Heresy. Apostasy. We should be burning the Koran, not cross referencing it.
That kind of thinking comes from the worldview that insists on being 100% right making everyone else is 100% wrong. It’s either our way or the highway. Such thinking creates hopeless situations — the kind of situations as we have between Arabs and Jews where each side wishes the other’s non-existence, and we all can see where that is going.
If some of the teachings of Jesus are in the Koran, and we can lead someone who might be reading the Koran to the rest of the teachings of Jesus, might we just be creating an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to lead them to an understanding of who Jesus is? Certainly the possibility is there. But if we burn his book — if we call him 100% wrong — we have created, at best, an insurmountable chasm; at worst, an enemy.
And why create an enemy of someone who might be seeking the truth? And if someone is truly seeking the truth, and they encounter the truth about Christ, won’t something burn inside them? Won’t they just have to find out more? Isn’t that what happened to you? Have you that quickly forgotten your own search for truth and how God drew you to Him? Won’t their longing be rewarded? Did not God say that if we seek Him with all our heart we will surely find Him? If someone can start in the Koran and end up in the Gospel of John — well, may the Lord be praised!
But if our book is 100% right and we say theirs is 100% wrong, their hope of ever finding the truth will be slim.
Wait a minute, John; are you saying the Bible isn’t infallible? No. I’m saying my understanding and interpretation of it isn’t infallible. I’m always finding more in the scriptures than I thought was there, and that my interpretation of a passage is not always the correct one. In fact, if I believe my interpretation of the Bible is 100% right, I won’t be able to even be on the same page with other Christians, much less those of other faiths or no faith.
Why am I spending time on this? Why do I care? Because we are the purveyors of the Gospel of Welcome. We respect everyone’s search. We welcome all to the discussion. We will dialogue with anyone — people of all religions and none. We are so secure in the love of God that our beliefs are not threatened by others’. And we so long for others to know the truth we have found in Christ that we welcome whatever path they may be on. Didn’t someone once sing, “Jesus is the only way, but there’s more than one way to Jesus”?
If you want to look further into this, I highly recommend you listen to our interview last night with Tim Gilman; as well, our interview a few months ago with Os Guinness. Both of these, besides being highly entertaining, will help you become a better representative of the Gospel of Welcome.