Just reading the second article you posted... It is very interesting, Id like to comment on it.
She talks about if she were jewish and a follower of Jesus, she'd be lauded by christians for maintaining her jewish customs... that is probably true, but she would undoubtedly be completely ousted and ostricised by her jewish community and family.
I wonder if this is more to do with culture then religion.
I agree with these statements.
|I long for the day when we can err on the side of preferring and respecting one another, resisting the temptation to search out heresy every time someone disagrees with us or challenges the status quo.
I say to my Christian brothers and sisters as they consider the idea of Muslim followers of Jesus, "Show me that you love Muslims! Show me that your attitude is like that of our Lord! Show me that you are acting out of love and not out of the emotions that surface when two civilizations collide!"
She talks about being born a muslim, or being born jewish, or christian. Now, I dont know how you guys feel about this but one cannot be born a christian, this is something I firmly believe. One has to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior as an act of their own personal self will in order to be a christian. I guess one can be born a catholic, in the same way this woman describes herself as being born a muslim, in a cultural sense, but to be a follower of Jesus Christ
, one has to choose
to do so. It becomes a life, not a lifestyle, not cultural, bc Jesus Christ and His gospel message of salvation crosses cultures. Embraces them, I believe. I do believe that when ANY one comes to Christ, there are inevitably things we must let go of, leave behind, BUT, God alone will instruct an individual in what areas to do so...
I didnt come from any kind of religious background. Ok, my mom was an irish catholic, in the sense that she sent her children to good catholic schools and went to church when the priest gave her a nasty look in the car park when she picked us up. I was confirmed, did the first communion, had catholic religious classes, but none of it stuck. I never considered myself a catholic, I never was. None of the religious stuff stuck. I was simply culturally american, probably lower middle class. I came to Christ as a young adult, very young, 21. I was into the local drug scene. This was my culture and I obviously had to leave all of it behind. My family didnt understand my sudden change, so they were rather hostile towards me for YEARS! I left my home country to follow where I believe God was leading me, marriage, kids. Im almost convinced that anyone coming to really know Christ, will inevitably be forced to leave something behind. Some may disagree, I believe this is what Jesus teaches. I didnt make these choices after reading those verses, I was led by God into the life I have now, then I came upon the verses about forsaking your family for Him, just an example. I didnt read those verses and say 'Right I need to ditch my family and friends', it just happened that way, then I study and walk with God for some years and see that scripturally speaking, Im not alone! This is how God has done things with those people in the bible! Its a pattern for Him to take us and remove us from our old lives and make us new for His use and purposes. Thats how it works for me. God leads me, then he confirms what He's done, often with scripture. Im sure there are some christians who can relate to what Im trying to say. Most nonbelievers dont understand, tho.
I didnt mean to make this ALL about leaving one's culture. I just think it can play a major part in one's faith in Christ. However, Ive heard it said that when a muslim accepts Christ, that He died for their sins and all that, that they are not at all accepted within the muslim community. Ive only heard of muslim converts to christianity being severely persecuted by their family and muslim community. Im wondering if some muslim families are more moderate, or more liberal and dont have a problem when other muslims convert to christianity. Then again, maybe the more extreme end is the only one really written about in biographies.
Has anyone ever heard of Sundar Singh? I hope Im spelling it right. He was a sikh believer in Christ and a missionary in the early 20th century. He was a Sadhu. Oh I hope Im getting this right.
Found a wiki link... Im not sure if all the info's correct (you know how wiki is, and if Im honest with you, they do get it wrong a lot of times when it comes to christians, seems biased against them sometimes... so, yk, just saying)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadhu_Sundar_Singh
He was a follower of Christ, but he kept his sikh identity and travelled, preached and such in the same way a sikh sadhu would have.