I am sharing the gospel with a Muslim friend who is being talked to by some Evangelicals. Now he is not sure whether he should be Catholic or Protestant. What should I do?
This is a common situation in this country since there are so many Protestants here. Fortunately, the solution is simple: Tell your Muslim friend that he should follow the truth as he sees it. If he thinks that Protestantism is true, then he should become a Protestant. If he thinks that Catholicism is true then he should become a Catholic.
Tell him that you yourself are convinced that the Catholic Church is true, that it is the Church Jesus founded, and that if he wishes you will be happy to share with him the evidence for this.
Taking this approach not only corresponds with proper evangelism and faith in God, it also is likely to be more attractive to your friend than what his Evangelical friends are doing. Many of them will try to put pressure on him to become Evangelical, and it is likely that he will not appreciate it.
There are also other things that you may find attract your friend to Catholicism. For one, Islam recognizes the human need for ritual and has ritual prayers in addition to spontaneous ones. Catholicism recognizes that too, but Protestantism tends not to. As a result, many Muslims becoming Christian are attracted to Catholicism because it has a strong sense of ritual prayer that corresponds to the need of the human heart.
Catholicism recognizes that people in other religions may be in good conscience with respect to God, who will honor that fact. As a result, it acknowledges that a convert’s still-Muslim relatives may be saved even if they do not become Christians. Many Evangelicals do not recognize this fact and will tell converts from Islam that all of their Muslim friends and loved ones will be damned unless they convert.
This is hard to accept for many converts from Islam, who recognize many of their loved ones as sincere, pious people who are trying to follow God according to what they think is right. The converts’ hearts tell them that it would be unjust for God to damn such people. Catholicism, by recognizing God’s mercy on all who sincerely try to follow him, corresponds to the intuition of the converts’ hearts, whereas the teaching of Protestant Evangelicalism does not.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Catholic Gospel for the Muslim
In light of the combox discussions in my last post, I thought I would share this excerpt from the Catholic Answers article entitled Sharing the Gospel with Muslims: