Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Israel - Oh, My!

from Shane's Muslim Connect

I suppose I’ll never forget an evening long ago, walking the bustling, late-night streets of Irbid, Jordan where I was spending the summer. The temperature was perfect, shawarma smoke hung in the air and the combination of exotic and genial nearly burst my Hoosier heart. 

“You’re from the United States,” a new friend asked as we conversed on the street. 

“Yep.”

“How many states in America?”

“Fifty,” I replied, pretty sure I was right but wondering where this was going.

My friend laughed, cuffed me on the shoulder and said, “And Israel is fifty-one?” 

With that comment a fresh brick was shimmied down into the mortar of my mind, starting a whole new structure of thought: “These guys think this about us. Do we really act the way they think we act? Do we believe what they believe we do? Do I? What do I believe about these things, and, really, why do I believe that way?” 

A powerful little quip, eh?

Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Israel. There must be a bigger can of worms to open, but none comes to mind right now!

How do we think about the laundry list of issues bound up in this? And how does current Christian thinking affect our relationship with individual Muslim friends?

I think the assumption, at least in broader, American evangelical culture right now is this:
As a Christian, I must support Israel in an absolute, condition-free way. This is what the Bible teaches. Since Muslims are the enemy of Israel, I must be opposed to Muslims. I can’t pray for the peace of Jerusalem and support Muslims at the same time. 

If accurate, this is gravely troubling and I would love to hear your thoughts. What are the salient points in this debate? How are we to think and act? What does the Bible really say? What do Muslims really think? What should we read to help us navigate this? 

Got some thoughts to share? Please do so here