In Islam, religion and culture and the political systems are a closely intertwined triad. There is scarcely a nation that has successfully separated the three. Commonly they are called “Islamic Republics.” Therefore, it is natural for Muslims to assume that that is the relationship between every culture, religion, and political system.
In the West however, this close triad is not the case. Yes, Christianity has influenced Western couture, usually for the better, but it lacks the kind of strong association of Islam on politics and culture. The West allows personal freedom in choice of religion and behavior. Islam provides a system of Sharia Law which creates the culture and limits personal choice.
For those coming from a Muslim culture, where everyone is considered to be Muslim, it is an easy jump to consider everyone in the West to be Christian. This leads to significant misunderstandings. For example, Christians frequently find themselves blamed for the sins promoted by Hollywood, and often need to employ apologetics to defend mistakes of American and European civilizations of the past.
And so, we have found that new believers from Muslim and other backgrounds often do not use the best discernment in deciding who is a Christian to use as an example, or make a good friend. Sometimes, merely wearing a cross seems to confirm to a Muslim that someone is a true Christian. Dr. Cynthia shares with us that this is because, as the Bible tells us, people look at the outside, but the Lord looks on the heart (I Samuel 16:7).
So what is a real question? Dr Cynthia then explains with us what it takes to become a Christian. We must make a personal decision. We must admit that we are not perfect; no one is, so this shouldn’t be difficult. We are all sinners! Then, we must believe and accept that God our Creator is just and punishes wrongdoing; but in his compassion, he became human and took that punishment himself.
Believing this saves us and makes us part of God’s family. Then, we should find out God’s way and live it day by day. (See our videos on various disciplines of the Christian life, and our summary video on the topic by Mike Licona. Also, to see an explanation of the gospel that makes sense to people from Muslim background, see the Path of the Prophets videos and tract.)