My sister Lindsay gave me a book for Christmas called Into the Den of Infidels. It's a few stories about Muslims who became Christians. It's been really great for me to read, giving me fresh perspective on my faith and reminding me simultaneously of the need and hope for the Muslim world. One guy wrote this and I've been thinking about it a lot lately:
One day, many questions arose in my mind and totally changed my life from an ordinary one to a life full of surprises and changes. This day was the day I started high school. That period is very important to everyone, in my opinion, for in that period one starts to search for one's identity, to scrutinize things taken for granted.
Each of us has inherited our religion, language, race, and gender. No one has chosen any of these factors, important as they are and very effective in forming us. We deal with this compulsory inheritance with ourselves, with God, and with others. For example, we as Muslims are born and raised to hate Jews and Christians, and to believe that Muslims are the best people in the whole world. No one could ever imagine that the others (Jews, Christians, etc.) could be right at all. This idea of others being right never even existed, not once in a blue moon.
Very few people would think of examining the things we inherited, or of questioning how right this inheritance was. If we ask others (Jews and Christians) to examine their inheritance and correct it, it means we are very sure that they are wrong, and we consider them blind because they accept their inheritance without examination. It would be appropriate if we would to what we asked of others. (It's logical that you treat people the same way you would have them treat you.) I think that examining our inheritance and trying to discover the truth would make us deeply rooted in the good areas and more flexible to change the areas of ignorance and vanity. Surely the true God loves people who search for the truth, the light, the good, and the better life.
This has been what I've tried to do for a long time, starting even before this man says, way back in middle school. After a lot of questions and tears and confusion for many years, I finally decided to really give my life to Christ when I was 19. However, I still examine these things all of the time. It's a bit of a different process since I have decided to be a Christian and since I've grown to trust God and the Bible, but nonetheless I'm always asking questions about what exactly [this] means or if [that] really is compatible with God's word or if I can really believe the implications of [that]. It's not easy. But it's good.
I especially find myself examining my faith when I'm studying with others, even more especially when they have an inheritance completely and utterly different than mine, like my friend Momoko from Japan. She asks questions that I would have never even thought to ask. And it's not easy to find the answers together, but it's good, because like that man says, "Surely the true God loves people who search for the truth, the light, the good, and the better life." Or like the Bible says, "And without faith it is impossible to please him [God], because whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).
Have you examined your inheritance? Have you changed your faith over the years, pruning and growing? What have you found? What would you have me find too?
Hello out there!
3 months ago