Welcome to the Gospel of Welcome

th-86There are some people who have dropped in on this discussion about Christians and Muslims via social media who think I’m off my rocker; I’ve lost my marbles, and become a heretic. If I had a dollar for every person who has quoted John 14:6 to me, I could take my wife out to dinner on it. If you think I am saying all religions are the same, and there are many paths to God, you have not been very considerate or thoughtful about what I have written. And if I’m splitting hairs, it’s because there are hairs that need to be split. This issue is a lot more complicated than some are making it out to be, while in other ways, it is a lot more simple.

It’s just that I’ve tapped into a fear, and I’ve tapped into an anger, neither of which are befitting true followers of Christ. Most Muslims, except for the crazy ones (and we have some crazy Christians, too) will make good neighbors and friends. And instead of assuming they are wrong (which automatically makes us right, of course), let’s listen first, and build a relationship, and find out what we have in common, which I will summarize here. That is all I have asked.

1. They are human beings, created in God’s image. We have that in common (and that’s a lot right there).
2. They are seeking God by whatever name (just as the Greeks Paul addressed in Acts 17, who were idol worshipers of an unknown god, were seeking God, too).
3. They are very familiar with the teachings of Jesus; many of them base their lives on the things He taught. So we have that in common, too.
4. There is a possibility that they will eventually discover that the Jesus in the Qur’an is the Jesus they can come to know more fully in the Bible, thus encountering His claims to be the Son of God, the savior of the world and the only way to the one true God, which He is.

And so I will conclude the week with the lyrics to a song Marti found that I forgot I wrote. It’s about what we call here at the Catch “the Gospel of Welcome.” It’s all about God’s invitation to all to come to Him through Christ.

The Gospel of Welcome
by John Fischer

Welcome, welcome
Arms are open wide
Welcome, welcome
There’s a warming fire inside

Everything’s been done to make a place for you
The war’s already won, there’s nothing else for you to do
But to come on in where we can know you
Let the Father’s arms enfold you
Sit down here among your friends
Where we all can warm our hands
On the Gospel …
The Gospel of Welcome

Welcome, welcome
You can come from anywhere
Just turn around
And you’re already there

It makes no difference who you are or what you might have done
All our sins weigh just the same when placed upon the Son
And anyone who wants to judge
Can stay outside and hold a grudge
We’re all here among our friends
Where we all can warm our hands
On the Gospel …
The Gospel of Welcome

Welcome, welcome
Don’t just come alone
The field is waiting patiently
The seed’s already sown

Once you’ve been accepted here there’s no one you can’t love
No reason you can’t welcome that one you’re thinking of
And bring them in to find
The love they left behind
In this circle among our friends
Where we all can warm our hands
On the Gospel …
The Gospel of Welcome

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12 Responses to Welcome to the Gospel of Welcome

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Luv your song: The Gospel of Welcome 🙂

  2. Dean says:

    Here we would say “Good on ya!”

  3. Awesome! The Welcome you have made clear that we are to give out. Thank you for the love you have extended, thru our LORD Jesus Christ, constant without fear in the midst of all the confusion that grows daily in our world. John and Marti, you have taught me so much by your own live, showing us much truth. I am thankful for the prayer support and stand with you in this endeavor to reach out to so many who are hurting, suffering, alone, showing and providing comfort from the Father as you have received it. Keep on going, Love Cynthia

  4. Bare Plowman says:

    John. You better settle down. Next you’ll be telling us it is ok for Christians to, dance!! And we all know…. Real Christians Don’t Dance. ( Just using another opportunity to mention of of my favorite books ever!! ) : )

  5. Tim says:

    The last three catches have been amazing.

  6. I appreciate your summary. I reiterate that my fear is that since most Christians don’t share they faith (one report said less than 2% and some go their entire life without telling one sinner the good news), I fear that “friendship evangelism” is nothing more than a way to not share their faith. I’ve heard people say, “I’m praying for the Lord to give me an opportunity to share Christ with my friend.” All the while, Jesus commands us to go (to quote Keith Green). Jesus commands us to speak (Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21). We have the only message that can save sinners (Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; 2:3-6). My prayer is that we won’t just love sinners but love them enough to share the gospel with them (Romans 10:14-17).

  7. Terri Main says:

    I knew where you were going with this. I didn’t see it as all roads lead to God, but all people on many roads are trying to get to God and we need to honor the search if not the road. But I knew you were going to get flack. We have been conditioned in the past 30 years since the fall of communism to substitute Islamic Arabs (and of course all arabs are muslims) as THE ENEMY in the same way Russians were for my generation. Not even fully human. They are more like Cylons if you remember Battlestar Galactica. Because if we accept them as human then we have to love them and how can we love them if they fly planes into towers. The fact that only a few of them fly planes into towers like only a few Christians bomb women’s clincs that perform abortions, is irrelevant.

    Once we realize they are seeking the same God we are, are on a different road (albeit one much closer to ours than that of the secular moralist) than will help them find God, then we can stop hating, start loving and start bringing them respectfully to Christ.

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