Posts by: Staff Writer

What Does Messiah Mean?

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A point of confusion between religions is that they often use the same words, but with different meanings. Misunderstandings can result. In this video Luke Price and Dr. C discuss the different meanings of the word “messiah” between the Jews, Muslims, and Christians.

In the Bible, the word “messiah” in general refers to someone who is anointed, as with oil, for a special purpose. So there is not only one messiah. But beyond that, there are many prophecies of a specific, special Messiah. It is this Messiah that Jews, Christians, and Muslims understand differently.

The Jewish understanding of the Messiah is primarily a political savior who will deliver the Jewish people from suppression everywhere. He will make them the most honored on earth. Since Jesus did not do this, current Jewish leaders do not consider that he can be the promised Messiah.

Christians accept that the Messiah will one day be a political ruler. However, they recognize that the prophecies of the suffering messiah to point to Jesus. They also understand from Jesus’ teaching that he came primarily as a spiritual messiah, to save people from their sins, and to teach the world how to live in harmony and love.

Muslims consider the Messiah to be Jesus Christ, as the Christians do. However, it is not clear exactly what the Quran, or they, mean by that. The closest is probably the idea when they say that “Jesus was sent only to the Jews.” They add to that, “Mohammed came for the whole world!” We disagree with both these claims.

The Micah and Matthew Controversy

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Study Guide for The Micah and Matthew Controversy

By Dr. Cynthia and Luke, December 2021

The Micah and Matthew Controversy is important in the context of Muslim evangelism because when attacking Christian beliefs, more and more Muslims are quoting Jewish apologists.

In this video and study guide, Dr. Cynthia and Luke Price discuss the controversy, and explain why the Christian interpretation is correct.

Traditionally, Christians consider the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem to be a fulfillment of the messianic prophecy in Micah chapter 5 verse 2. Because this association is so strong, to deny that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah, Jewish apologists not only deny the association, but accuse Matthew of corruption and even treachery.

Micah 5:2 says:

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

Luke points out that the straightforward reading of the passage sounds like a special ruler will be born in Bethlehem. However, Jewish apologists claim that even though David is not mentioned, since David was born in Bethlehem the passage is indirectly referring to him. It means only that the Messiah will be a descendant of David. This downplays the significance of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, and opens the way for them to claim that any future leader is the Messiah, regardless of where he is born.

Luke points out that if the Jews are correct that the Messiah only descends from David, and need not be born in Bethlehem, that fits with Jesus too: one of his titles is “Son of David.” So Christians are OK with either interpretation, although we believe and prefer that Bethlehem is the designated birthplace.

Luke tells us that in the picturesque wording of the Hebrew, the origin of the Messiah is depicted as if a spring from the ancient times is flowing into the Messiah ( from the word Mowtsah).

The expression, “from ancient times” would seem indicate very far in the past. David was only 300 years before Micah, so he does not seem as likely a candidate for the origin of the Messiah as “the Ancient of Days,” as God himself is referred to in the Bible, such as in Daniel chapter 7.

Matthew chapter 2, verses 1-6 explain how the Micah prophecy is fulfilled:

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

When King Herod heard this, he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.

“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah,
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of My people Israel.’”

Here is Micah 5:4:

“He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.”

If you compare the Micah passage to the Matthew quotation, you will see that they are not identical. The quotation combines verses 2 and 4 together, skipping over the end of verse 2 and all of verse 3. Why is that? The accusers ascribe sinister motives to it; that Matthew tries to “rewrite” the Bible and take out parts he does not like.

Dr. Cynthia has an easy explanation. She is a writer and speaker. Often for the sake of clarity and brevity she will shorten someone’s quotation, or a story. Certainly you will have seen that or done it yourself when relating something that happened.

In this case, the portion quoted is what directly answers the question of the wise men: where was the Messiah to be born? The quote mentions the location, and the function of the Messiah, in verse 4. It does not, nor does it need to quote the entire passage. Matthew includes the portion of the passage that was most pertinent to the Wise Men.

Dr. C says that from the passage there is no reason to assume that the entire passage was not read to Herod and the Wise Men. Matthew was not under any obligation to quote it all.

The second important point is that at the time, the chief priests and scribes had no problem with accepting that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Their traditional interpretation fits with the Christian understanding. Most of the early Christian believers were Jews. We are told in the book of Acts that many priests became Christians. The fulfillment of this passage could have been part of it.

Much later, unwilling to accept Jesus as the Messiah, some Jews deny that Bethlehem was to be the Messiah’s birthplace.

The third point on Matthew is a defense against the accusation that Matthew intentionally cut out the words that say, “whose origins are from of old, from ancient times,” because they did not fit with Jesus.

On the contrary, we strongly feel that this had nothing to do with the quote. Matthew does present Jesus as God, and this phrase supports that. However, the point in chapter 2 is to answer the question of where the Messiah was to be born. Matthew might not have wanted to divert the topic to Jesus being God at that point.

Another reason for Matthew’s condensing the verses is that he could be quoting something 5th hand. The quote was passed from: the scroll, to the priests and scribes, to Herod, to the Wise Men, to Mary and Joseph, and then to Matthew.

There are two other accusations against Matthew chapter 2 that we did not discuss, but which are good to know about and be prepared to defend:

  1. Not Born in BethlehemThis claim is that there is no record outside of the Bible that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, so it did not happen. They say that Matthew simply invented Jesus’ birth there in order to have a fulfilled prophecy.

This accusation is called “an argument from silence,” meaning to records speaking to it. But we must remember that “an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

Bethlehem is mentioned in two independent sources, Matthew and Luke. Bethlehem fits with the prophecy of the Messiah’s birthplace.

The gospels tell us that Jesus himself is the one who told his disciples which prophecies he fulfilled. Matthew was his disciple. This interpretation would have come to Matthew from Jesus. (Luke 24:27)

  1. Written to Insult the JewsWe were surprised to hear a Jewish apologist claims that the entire story about Wise Men coming from the east was included by Matthew to insult the Jews. They say that he maliciously included it to show that the rest of the world recognized Jesus as the Messiah, but not the Jews.

This interpretation of the passage never occurred to us, or any other Christian we know of. It is unjustifiably reading an unkind motive to not only smear Matthew, but to keep people from taking the passage seriously.

But in fact, it is incredibly easy to disprove that Matthew is claiming that Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah.

Around the time of Jesus’ birth, Jews already accepted him as the Messiah. For example, we find in Luke chapter 2:

    • the shepherds who adored Jesus in the stable
    • and Anna and Simeon, temple workers at his dedication

And in Matthew’s very next chapter, chapter 3, he has the Jewish prophet John the Baptist (Yahia in Islam), proclaiming that the grown Jesus is the Messiah.

In summary, we hope that this discussion will not only bring you into deeper understanding of these two passages, but also enable you to defend them, and possibly inspire in you an even greater sense of wonder into the miracles surrounding Jesus Messiah’s birth.

Bible References:

  • Micah 5:2,4
  • Matthew 2,3
  • Daniel 7:13
  • Luke 2:1-38 & 24:27

STUDY QUESTIONS:

  1. Read Micah 5:2 in your Bible. To whom does it sound to you that the passage refers?
  2. How are Micah 5:2 and Matthew chapter 2 traditionally related?
  3. What is the Christian interpretation of these two passages?
  4. How do Jewish apologists try to deny that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem?
  5. How did the chief priests and the scribes at the time of Jesus’ birth interpret the Bethlehem prophecy?
  6. Do you find it acceptable that Matthew shortens the Micah passage, putting verses 2 and 4 together?
    • Why might Matthew have done that?
    • What common practice does Dr. C say Matthew could be doing?
    • Have you ever done anything like that?
  1. What qualities does Micah 5:2,4 claim that the Messiah will have?
  2. How did Jesus’ disciples know which prophecies referred to him?
  3. What unkind and untrue things do some Jewish apologists say about Matthew?
  4. It is good when we have outside documentation for something that the Bible claims, like the way the Cyrus Cylinder confirms that King Cyrus let Jews return to Jerusalem and worship their God.
    • What about passages that do not have outside historical documentation. Is it needed to be sure that something that the Bible says happened?
  1. EXTRA CREDIT: Dr. C uses the debate term “genetic fallacy” to describe doubting the truth of someone’s point because it supports what they believe. This is a helpful thing to know about and look for in apologetics. We can’t assume someone is wrong simply because they believe it; but sometimes a person’s motivation can help us understand why they would make unsupported claims.
    • What does Dr. C say about Jewish apologists now wanting the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem that might be “genetic fallacy?”
    • How do the Jewish apologists accusations against Matthew fit with a genetic fallacy against him?

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The Place of Culture

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Whether we realize it or not, all of us are influenced by culture. That means that everything around us – our countries, schools and families – become part of who we are. Culture influences what we believe and the way we practice it. Even Christianity has a different flavor in Middle Eastern and America. And because some cultures are so strongly identified with religion, changing religion can seem unthinkable… or even fatal.

Every culture has strengths and weaknesses: some aspects fit with the Bible’s teachings and please God, but some don’t. So, what place should culture have in our lives?

CHRISTIANS: aim to live more in tune with God, his word, and his kingdom, than with the culture that surrounds us.

MUSLIMS, Buddhists, Sikhs and others: look for what is true and follow it. Don’t let fear or cultural pride keep you from seeking God’s light and finding his salvation.

Apologetics – Short Answers and Turnarounds

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Questions Muslims Ask: In this video Dr. Cynthia encourages Christians to take some of the questions and accusations we get as Christians from Muslims and learn to turn them by giving a short answer that is very succinct and to the point. Short answers and turnarounds are powerful apologetical tools to share the Gospel while encouraging Muslims to look at their questions from a different point of view.

Apologetics: Muslim Misuse of the Bible

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Apologetics and Polemics: What do we do when Muslims misuse the Scriptures? More and more now we find them trying to convince Christians that the foundational teachings of their faith are not even in the Bible. What is the Christian’s response to that? Dr. Cynthia encourages Christians to be patient with their Muslim friends while helping them to correctly extract and interpret what a biblical text says and means.

Apologetics: Context is Key

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Apologetics and Polemics: What do we do when Muslims quote to us Bible verses out of context? Context is key to understanding what the Bible teaches. Dr. Cynthia has found that if we encourage our Muslim friends to read the Gospels for themselves before they draw conclusions, this helps them accept the truth of the Bible and its gospel message.

Apologetics: Object Lessons

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Examples, stories, and object lessons help simplify difficult concepts. Muslims have been taught that Christians are wrong about aspects of God, Jesus, and the trinity. Dr. Cynthia has found that if we explain these concepts simply, sometimes using object lessons, Muslims can come to understand them. This helps them accept the truth of the Bible and its gospel message.

Street Apologetics: Short Answers to Hard Questions

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Christian from Muslim Livestream Event with CIRA International

Join Al Fadi and Dr. Cynthia as they discuss some techniques in using short answers to address tough apologetic questions by Muslims!

CIRA International – Introducing Muslims to the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Al Fadi, former Wahabbi Muslim from Saudi Arabia and the founder of CIRA International: The Center for Islamic Research and Awareness. He is the researcher, editor, writer, and translator for numerous ministries, including “Answering Islam” and runs an outreach ministry designed for non-Muslim and Christians.

Confusing Muslim Marriages | Livestream | Part One

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Christian from Muslim Livestream Event with DCCI Ministries

DCCI Ministries seek to preach the Gospel to Muslims using apologetics and polemics. Like the Apostle Paul, “we do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God” (2 Cor 4:2). Rather “we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” Our motivation is love for Muslims to bring them to repentance and faith in Christ for eternal life.

Video Time Stamps

00:00:00 Song
00:04:32 Intro.
00:06:30 Favourite bible verse.
00:07:30 Intro to Dr Cynthia.
00:13:08 Start of discussion.
00:15:58 The topics discussed.
00:17:08 Married or not.
00:19:56 Sacrament vs contract.
00:26:25 Breach of contract.
00:29:30 Questions from the chat.
00:33:56 Marriage vows and the ceremony.
00:41:46 Muslim Christian ceremony. Love jihad – forced marriage.
00:52:18 Marriage validity.
00:59:00 Arranged marriages, child marriages, incestuous marriages.
01:21:25 Why get married.
01:28:38 Questions.

Confusing Muslim Marriages | Livestream | Part Two

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Christian from Muslim Livestream Event with DCCI Ministries

DCCI Ministries seek to preach the Gospel to Muslims using apologetics and polemics. Like the Apostle Paul, “we do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God” (2 Cor 4:2). Rather “we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” Our motivation is love for Muslims to bring them to repentance and faith in Christ for eternal life.

Time Stamps

00:00:00 Song.
00:04:30 Intro.
00:07:26 Hello Dr Cynthia.
00:10:16 Dr Cynthia explains her ministry.
00:21:05 Temporary Marriage/secret marriage – prostitution.
00:49:10 Polygamy.
01:11:46 Financial reasons. Putting a value on people – 1000 camels.
01:19:13 We have to keep our marriage secret.
01:25:04 Divorce muslim style.
01:46:43 till death do us part.
01:51:32 Questions.

Felicity’s Testimony of Becoming Christian from Muslim

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I was born as a Muslim in a Muslim country. All I ever knew about Christianity is that Christianity was a corrupted religion. So I didn’t bother learning about Christianity.

At age 14, in school they taught me about women’s rights in Islam. As I read I found out that we don’t have rights in Islam. I was really sad. I stopped believing in Islam because I didn’t think that was right. But I didn’t tell anybody.

After I graduated from college in the Middle East I worked with some Christians. From them I learned some good things about Christianity. I wanted to learn more.

Later I had the opportunity to come to the United States to continue my studies. Besides continuing my studies in college, I thought it would also be a good thing to learn more about Christianity.

Only 10 days after I moved here I met Bible teacher Dr. Cynthia. It was then I heard the gospel from her for the first time. For nearly a year I studied the Bible with her, and I asked very many questions. After this I was convinced that Christianity was the true religion. But before I would take the big step of becoming a Christian I thought I need a miracle or a sign before doing anything.

Two years later a man in white came into my dream. He said, “Look up these words, ‘I put my trust in you.’” In the morning when I woke up I googled these words. It was a verse from Psalm 143:8. Then I decided to put my trust in Jesus. On May 1, 2016, I became a Christian.

It’s not really easy for a Muslim to change their religion, but I did it. It’s worth it to be loved by Jesus and walk with him.

CFM 2021

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Path of the Prophets Bracelet Instructions

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Path of the Prophets Bracelet

Developed by Dr. C of American Ethnic Ministries

 

Introduction

   “It’s beautiful!  It’s beautiful!  I believe it is the way to God,” said a Muslim woman wanting to receive Christ after an evangelist shared the “Path of the Prophets” bracelet with her.  Because of her enthusiasm she was given a bracelet of her own which she promised to use to share the story with her Muslim friends.

   This bracelet is being used on four continents to express the beauty of the gospel in a clear way.  Although originally made for use with Muslim women, it has been used successfully with many ethnic groups and faiths, and with both sexes, adults and children.

   The charms and/or colorful beads in this special bracelet each represent an important fact in the true story of the Bible we call, “The Path of the Prophets”.   (Not every bracelet may have all of these beads or colors, but the story is the same, and in this order.)  In settings where charms are not appropriate or available, the colors alone will serve to tell the story.

   If you are using the bracelet to share this life-giving story, be sure to do so with expression, conviction, and passion, so those listening will see that you believe it is true, and that it is important to you!  Especially emphasize God’s justice in needing to send Jesus for us – since Muslims believe we can all pay for our own sins and do not need a Savior, and his love for us in being willing to make a world that would go wrong and cost him so high a price to redeem!

(Note 1: We suggest you make your own bracelet according to your desire and wrist size. A limited number of custom made bracelets are occasionally available.  Note 2: Christians differ on whether or not to use the term “Allah” or “God” with Muslims. We accept either, in that we know and explain in this method how his character differs from the way Muslims see it, and why it matters.) 

The beads/charms and their meaning

CRYSTAL BEAD ( or SILVER triangular bead) – represents GOD.  He is pure, perfect and holy; the all-powerful Creator God who is present everywhere and knows everything.  He is merciful, compassionate and just.

HEART  – God is love.  He loves you wants a relationship with you!  And he gave you a heart so you could love him and others too. 

GIFT – all good things in your life, and everything you love are gifts from God!  They are a taste of God’s goodness and love for you.  He also gave us all the gift of choice.   

LESSON of God’s character: he wants us to choose to love him, learn about him, and follow his way, because of his goodness to us.

GREEN beads –  because God is love, he made people to have a relationship with. He made ADAM & EVE and put them in the GARDEN of EDEN.

TREE, LEAF or FLOWER    Adam and Eve chose not to obey God and were sent out of the garden.  This was the beginning of the miseries in the world.  We can not be perfectly happy on earth, because we were made for paradise and life in the presence of God.  

LESSON of Prophet Adam: if God judged and punished his first humans, he will judge and punish us.

BLUE Bead –  By the time of PROPHET NOAH people had chosen wrong so often that the world became violent and evil. God judged the world and punished it with a flood.

ARK, Raindrop or Dove charm –  Prophet Noah and his family and some animals were saved on a boat called an ark, because Noah listened to God’s voice and went his way.  

LESSON of Prophet Noah:  God punished evil, but saves those who follow his way.  WE must all  find his way!

WHITE  bead or  1st LAMB (with or without rocks like an altar)  – represents PROPHET ABRAHAM, who was the friend of God, and was so submitted to the will of God that he was willing to sacrifice his son.  

But God sent a substitute – a perfect sheep, called el Korbany (by the Muslims), and celebrated at Eid el Adha.  

LESSON of Prophet Abraham:  God asks for a sacrifice, but accepts a substitute.

BLACK beads – these represent sins.  COMMANDMENT, SCROLL, or BOOK charm – represents the law brought by PROPHET MOSES to the Israelites.  No one could perfectly keep this law, so God told Prophet Moses to have them offer blood sacrifices as payment for their sins.

The beads are different shapes and sizes because although some people sin more than others, in God’s eyes we are all sinners.  

Prophet Moses and others prophesied that if Israel was unfaithful to God and worshipped idols, it would be attacked by other nations and its people taken captive.  The Israelites did worship idols, and so the prophecy came true.  

LESSON of Prophet Moses: we are all sinners and need sacrifice to cover our sins.

PURPLE or PINK  bead – represents the Prophets of Promiser that came between Moses and Jesus, like Isaiah.  They prophesied that one day the final sacrifice would come, which would cover all sin (for example, Isaiah 53).  LESSON of the Later Prophets: we should look for the final sacrifice.

RED BEADS and 2nd LAMB charm – these represent Jesus and his blood.  Known as Isa in Islam, Jesus was the promised LAMB of GOD, as Prophet John the Baptist (Prophet Yahia) testified of him.  

Back at the beginning of creation God knew when he gave us a choice that it would cost him deeply.  His perfect character would be hurt by the evil done on earth in the midst of his lovely universe, and he would have to do something to make it right.  His perfect character and need for justice demanded it!  

SCALES charm – reminds us of God’s justice. In God’s eyes, good deeds and sins are separate things, like apples and oranges, and do NOT balance each other out.  Just as if you stole a million dollars from one neighbor, but built a hospital which saved the life of another.  The fact that you did something good for one does not change the fact that you owe money to the other. A just judge would still make you pay back or go to prison.

God knows that we are all sinners because he made us; we can’t fool him!  We do not meet his standard.  Since only God is perfect, only he can pay for sins.  As the Creator, and our heavenly Father, he takes that responsibility, in a way similar to the way your father took responsibility for you and paid for something you broke when you were little.  

Because of his great love he came to earth once to die as a sacrifice in our place and rise again.   Jesus satisfied the demands of perfect character of God, which is both just and merciful.  Only in him does God’s justice balance his mercy.  

LESSON of Jesus:  He is the expected lamb of God.  He is the only one who covers sin and saves!

GOLD bead (or sky blue) – Jesus is the only way to God in heaven where the streets are gold!     

PRAYING HANDS – if we pray to God, confess our sins, and choose to accept Jesus as the sacrifice in our place; he will forgive us and send his Holy Spirit to live in us. Then we live daily to please him: praying, worshipping, reading the Bible, fellowshipping with other believers, and sharing the good news of forgiveness through him.

LESSON of the praying hands:  we must all personally decide what we believe, and if we will accept Jesus sacrifice in our place and be saved.

May the Lord bless and anoint you as you proclaim his Good News through the Path of the Prophets bracelet!

Edition of 2021

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Sahar’s Testimony, No Fear in Love

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I was born and raised in a Muslim home in Saudi Arabia and speak both English and Arabic. The Arabic language is very fascinating, and Arab people are very proud of the tongue of the Arabs. Muslims also believe it’s a heavenly language, for Allah speaks in Arabic, that’s why it’s sacred to them. Also, it’s written from right to left. There is a famous Arabic saying: “The beauty of man lies in the eloquence of his tongue.”

I have three sisters and two brothers. I am the youngest among my sisters, and I was daddy’s little girl. We used to spend a lot of time together as a family, playing games, going to the beach, reading books. Being privileged to grow up in a loving family, I had a wonderful childhood until my father passed away when I was seven. The death of my dad was so hard on me; I didn’t understand what “death” meant. When I asked my mom, “Where did my father go?” she replied, “He went on a long journey to God.”

I was angry with God not just because he took my dad away, but I believed he destroyed our loving family and took my joy away. After my father’s death, we moved to my maternal grandfather’s house. I thought a lot about God and wondered why God would take my dad away? I remember doubting whether God really existed, and one night I asked him, “If you are there somewhere, help me wake up at 9:00 AM”. And I did! For the first time I though God might truly be real.

My mom’s family are very strict Muslims, while my father wasn’t at all. Let me give you a few examples: I was fully covered at the age of seven, I had a curfew to leave the house, I couldn’t even order food by phone. My father was a sweet loving man, who valued women. It was very hard to adjust to this new environment, the loss of my father and the harsh teachings of Islam were also very hard to tolerate.

I worked so hard in school and when I was nine, I came home excited that I got very good grades. My mom was so happy and proud of me. I went to one of my uncles to show him my certificate, how great my grades were, and he told me, “That’s not what matters, you will get married someday and you will stay home at your husband’s house. Being a good woman to your husband is what matters”. He, too, broke my heart and shattered my joy! I took it as a confrontational situation and became angry and aggressive.

I worked hard to prove myself and be someone. My dream was to leave Saudi and find the freedom I deserved as a woman, I wanted a better education, the educational system in Saudi is so bad for women. Men has better teachers and better schools. I even wished if that I weren’t a woman.

Finally, that day came in 2006. I took the opportunity to come to the United States as a part of a Saudi Government scholarship program to leave behind the obvious challenges and narrow perspectives that women face in Saudi, and to obtain a higher quality of education.

Leaving Saudi, was like a dream to me. I felt like a prisoner leaving a jail and life had just begun. I was desperate for freedom from depression and the hopeless life I had! Culturally, I struggled to find Halal meat (which is similar to kosher where animals are killed the Islamic way) . But the most moving cultural transformation I underwent was finally deciding to take off my headscarf in 2009 and to dress in the American style. The transformation was very tough. In Islam, the point of wearing the headscarf is to be “modest”, and the way I dressed after I took my headscarf off was considered very modest in American culture.

I still didn’t feel free though. I knew there was something missing in my life; but I didn’t know what it was and how to fulfill that need, I was afraid of God, afraid of death, afraid of hell. I read many books: “self- improvement” books, books about wisdom and famous sayings about successful and powerful people.

I also dated all kinds of crazy controlling Muslim men. Well, that didn’t last for a long time! I knew they didn’t value me as a woman, and they would never let me be the successful woman I wanted to be. I was longing for a wise man who knew my worth and would encourage me to accomplish something in life.

A few years earlier I had met a Christian lady named Cynthia on campus. She was like a glimmer of light in my life, pointing me to the truth. We became very close friends. We tutored each other in Arabic and English. Soon she started sharing her faith in Christ with me. I went to church with her many times, but I didn’t really understand the idea of salvation since in Islam, Jesus is a prophet not God.

I graduated in 2011 from CSU, Chico with my degree in (MIS), Management and Information systems. and I began looking for a job in the US. After tasting the freedom in America, I didn’t want to go back to my old life in Saudi. Cynthia offered me an internship at her father’s company in Boulder, CO. She also arranged for me to live at Horizons International, an international student center, which is also a ministry to Muslims. I moved there in October of 2011, where I met Christian believers from a Muslim background, and they actually believed Jesus is God.

It was shocking for me to see people from different Arab countries leaving Islam and becoming Christians. They shared their testimonies with me, and I was amazed about God’s work in their lives. This made me more openminded to ask questions and learn more about Christianity. One time I was invited to a Bible study at one of the Muslim convert‘s homes, and I loved that day. It was like heaven to me. They started their meeting with prayer requests, and then they prayed for each other genuinely. The love I experienced there touched my heart. We don’t have love like that in Islam.

Out of curiosity I opened a Bible, and I began reading about the resurrection. The Bible said: “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:23-33). This description of heaven was lovely and holy to me.

The Islamic concept of heaven was totally different. It is totally unholy. Heaven in Islam is basically just for men; supposedly there will be 72 virgin women that the men can enjoy, and rivers of wine. If a woman made it to heaven, she will be one of the 72 virgins he has, and Islam teaches most women are going to hell because women are evil and make men sin!

The heaven I wanted to go to, is the one TRUE heaven. My spirit was happy with the eternity Christians looked forward to; but even so, my mind was telling me “You are Muslim, and it is better to die a Muslim.” The three months I spent at Horizons International passed by very fast, and I moved back to California. I realized I missed my time with those “crazy” Christians, they were very nice people, but I believed they were worshiping a man.

Everything they shared with me started coming back in my mind. I started questioning my faith in Islam and I watched a lot of testimonies of people leaving Islam and becoming Christians through dreams, visions, and from reading the Bible. I was thinking to myself, “This God is really alive, the God I worship is far, distant and never talked to me!”

I left Islam and started looking for the One and Only living God. I felt empty and purposeless; life was meaningless, I didn’t know God and why I was here on this Earth. I remember Christians kept telling me “Jesus loves you”, I didn’t know what that meant and why would He love me? I decided to figure out more about this Jesus who loves me. I started going to two services, Arabic and English churches every week. I started reading the Bible to see who Jesus really is, and what he said about himself. Then I came to a conclusion that Jesus was just a human like me, he wasn’t God!

However, soon after, I called my friend Cynthia to share with her that I left Islam and I was reading the Bible to learn more about Christianity. She introduced me to one of her friends, and I asked him; “Why do you worship Jesus as God?”

It appeared to me at the time, that Jesus was just a human being like you and me. If you tell me he is only a prophet, I will be a Christian right now, because I loved Jesus’ teaching. He explained to me that Jesus has two natures, a Godly nature and a human nature. If Jesus wasn’t God, there is no point in Christianity. No man can save us, only God. We are all sinners and need a Savior, Jesus saves us from our sin by dying on the cross and raising again. Sin is something we are born with, because sin entered the world through one man, Adam. Sin leads to death; and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned and fall short of a perfect and Holy God.

I told him, “OK! If God wants to save you he can saves us just like that! Why would God be a baby? And then people killed God? That makes no sense to me!”

Then he, Nabeel Qureshi, gave me an example. He said: “Just imagine yourself dressing up to go to a very important meeting, and you see your kid is falling in a hole. Would you go help him?” I replied, “Of course!” He asked me, “Why?” I said, “Because I love the child!” He asked me, “Would you send somebody to help him since you are already dressed up?” I said, “No, I would go myself.” He told me, “That’s what Jesus did!”

I loved his analogy; I couldn’t say anything after that. He also told me, If you are a sinner and you are willing to do that for your child, how much more God will do for you?

I went home, and started reading the Bible again. This time I was looking for God’s love. I was desperate for His love for me. I lifted my eyes up and prayed to Jesus for the first time. I said, “Jesus, if you are God, please show me something.”

I went back to my Bible and I read, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” I John 4:18. As soon as I read this verse, all the fear I had melted away. The Presence of God was so powerful in the room, I even though he was there with me. I thought he was behind me. I turned back , I didn’t see Him physically, but I knew He answered me. After a six-year journey, I gave my heart and life to the Lord Jesus in July of 2012.

I finally realized that Jesus is God. The love of the Lord Jesus captivates my heart, and I am no longer who I was. In Islam, God was distant, but in Christianity, He is loving, always with me and His spirit now lives in me. Jesus’ love came to me, and I felt His power, which gave me joy and peace. I had never experienced this before! Jesus died in my place for my sin, was buried, and rose again the 3rd day! He conquered the grave and gave me a new life through The Holy Spirit who dwells in me and gives me a new heart and a new Identity. The Bible says: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

I didn’t know that the God I was angry with (for a long time ) was my Heavenly Father and every good gift I have comes from His hand. It was Jesus I was searching for. The Lord Jesus is everything I need. He gives me HOPE in life and continues to transform me. I no longer need to work hard to prove myself. Jesus already died in my place to redeem me. He paid it all!

I know now I am a daughter of God the most high! I have more joy than I have ever thought possible, and I know my future is safe in His hands. Even though I had strong Islamic values, and Islam was deeply ingrained in me and my thinking, now by the grace of God, I am set free from my past.

I am no longer afraid of, God, dying or hell. I know I am going to go to heaven. I am not one of the women Islam said are going to hell. I am a “new creation” in Christ. The Bible says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is (or she is) a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. I am entering a new dimension of experience and understanding, with new horizons to explore. The Lord is leading in a totally new direction. I AM FREE!

Sahar, 2014

Note: For security, some names and some images have been changed.

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Encouragement from Glass Beach

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Glass beach in Northern California used to be a dump. For about a hundred years, trash from the neighboring city was dropped over the cliff into the sea at this spot. Unwanted. But decades of waves beat the broken glass here. Slowly, slowly, it became smooth and beautiful. Now there is no sand there because the shore is covered with multicolored glass pieces which shine in the water and in the light.

Many people feel that because of wrong they have done or abuses they have suffered, they are of little value. They feel like trash thrown over a cliff. But God can change that. He loves all of us. If we let him, he will turn our hurts and mistakes into something beautiful. We will sparkle and shine!

Lesson on Confusing Muslim Marriages

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People from Western culture tend to think of marriage in a binary way: either you are married or not. But in Islam it is not always so clear. In this video lesson, Dr. C and George S discuss the varieties of Muslim marriages which are unexpected, and so are confusing to people from the West. They also give examples to show that all these forms of marriage are still going on today.

Slavery in Islam

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Is Islam really the religion of racial equality? What is its teaching on slavery? George from Sudan has studied the Islamic documents in Arabic, his native language. In this video he shares with us the principles of Islam on slavery and race, with examples of practices extending into the present day.

Former Muslim Learns Christmas Symbols

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Christian from Muslim creates videos for Muslims learning about the Christian faith, and Christians who love them: short answers, testimonies, full lessons with study guides, and reality scenes from the life of a formerly Muslim new Christian.

The Meaning of Christmas Lights and Trees

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Christian from Muslim creates videos for Muslims learning about the Christian faith, and Christians who love them: short answers, testimonies, full lessons with study guides, and reality scenes from the life of a formerly Muslim new Christian.