The mosque next door
September 3, 2020
Do you have a mosque in your neighborhood? Do you drive by one on your regular outings or occasionally in a week or a month? Is it tucked away in the neighborhood or sited strategically on a hill or highway? Is there an Islamic reading room or community center in a local strip mall nearby? Perhaps it’s just a dedicated room in an apartment complex where lots of Muslims live.
If so, what do you know about it? Google it to see if it has a website or is listed on a group site. Is it a Sunni mosque? Shi’a? Sufi? Ahmadiyya? Or perhaps it’s an Ismaili jamatkhana. Knowing what kind of mosque it is might tell you something about the people who congregate there. Have you met any people who go to that mosque? If you’re a pastor, have you introduced yourself to the imam?
What days is it busy? Do you see women entering? Do they use the same entrance as the men? Do youth programs happen there? Are any sermons posted online? If so, what is the preaching about? Is there an emphasis on outreach?
What does the website (or other sources) tell you about how and when it was built? Did locals cooperate to build a place where their community could come together to continue treasured traditions and worship together? Was foreign funding involved as a missionary initiative?
It may be that you already know the answers to all these questions; alternatively, there might not be a mosque in your vicinity yet, or you’re just not aware of it. No matter. Rest assured that in each mosque there are some folks who
- Really want to be good and please God
- Are confused by contradictions in their faith and life but are resisting doubt, or are in denial
- Have similar concerns to yours and mine about the economy, COVID, job security, their marriages, raising children of faith in a secular culture, getting it all right
- Are convinced they are on the right path
- Want to see the world submit, as they do, to Islam
All of them believe they worship the God of Abraham.
But there’s a problem with that. By covenant, Yahweh declared Himself the God of Abraham and then confirmed that covenant with a line of chosen successors: Isaac, Jacob, David and Jesus the Jewish Messiah (Mt 1:1-17). He identified Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Ex 3:6, 25-26, 4:5; Mt 22:32, Mk 12:26; Lk 20:37-38; Ac 3:13). Jesus is the door to the blessing of Abraham (Jn 10:7-9). Just as God counted Abraham’s faith as righteousness, you and I are counted as His righteous offspring through faith in Christ (Ro 4:13, 16, 20-25).
Here is a suggestion: The next time you think of, see or drive by the “mosque next door”, think of the people inside, worshipping a deception designed to keep them from the blessing of Abraham whom they believe was a Muslim and the father of today’s Muslims.
- Proclaim the goodness of God’s intention to bless them according to the way He Himself chose – through the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
- Extol the true mercy of the true God of Abraham. Ask Him, in accordance with His compassion, to show them “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Co 4:6).
Jesus told the Jews, who claimed Abraham as their father but didn’t acknowledge Him as God’s Son, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see My day; He saw it and was glad” (Jn 8:56).
- Ask our faithful God for another day of rejoicing for Abraham when the people in the “mosque next door” receive the blessing of Abraham by blessing the people of Abraham’s physical line, the Jews, instead of dishonoring them (Ge 12:2-3 ESV, AMP).
- Pray for an opportunity to meet and get to know someone from this mosque and have productive conversations with them about the God who is King and has shown us clearly where His blessing comes from. May your blessing fall on them like dew.
Image by Farfay Rabby Photography