Relationships and Missions

It is amazing to see the difference between the worldviews of the Islamic world and the Western world. In fact, this is one of the reasons why some people in the Islamic world hate the West so much. All the “junk” in the media (T.V. shows, pornography, Hollywood, etc) epitomizes the wanton and licentious lifestyle of this generation. All these things are repulsive to a devout Muslim who willingly consecrates themselves in complete submission to Allah.

How about a Christ-follower?

The Apostle Paul speaks to the believers in Ephesus and clearly states, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” (Eph 5:3-4).

I am wondering if a Muslim came into the church and saw how we deal with issues of purity and opposite sex relationships, what they would say.

Today, I came across an article about how a 37-year-old American businesswoman was jailed in Saudi Arabia. Do you know what for?

This married woman who is a mother of three children was jailed because she was sitting with a male co-worker at a Starbucks.

My first reaction was, “What the…?! This is a little too much.” But then I caught myself looking through the lens of my Western worldview. In the Islamic world (depending on where you are), it is frowned upon if a man and woman are caught interacting alone, even though it is a public place. For many of us, this kind mindset is a bit “archaic” and “old-fashioned” and even a bit “legalistic” or “oppressive.” But to the Islamic world this is the norm.

This is when I realized how many Western Christ-followers would not fair very well in the Islamic world. In our cry for “independence” and wanting to do whatever we want to do or feel like doing, we would do more damage in our witness than anything else.

In Saudi Arabia, they have a police force called, “The Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice” in which they enforce dress codes, sex segregation and the observance of prayers. HA! Try having something like this in the States. People would be up in arms.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying we need something like this in the States or in the church. But I want to challenge some of us who have a passion or a burden for the Islamic world. In order for us to even get a hearing from Muslims or even have them respect us, there is some major worldview alteration that needs to happen.

In my humble opinion, if we are serious about doing missions in the Islamic world, then we have to do some serious examination of our lives and our views towards the opposite sex relationships. I have been a believer that if we want to do something in the future, then we have to start preparing ourselves now. When I was younger, I was amazed at how many of my views on opposite sex relationships had been shaped by the media and the society’s norms rather than the Word of God.

It is my prayer that God would raise up a new generation of people who will keep themselves holy and pure in the area of opposite sex relationships so that they will be able to say what Apostle Paul said to reach people with the Gospel – “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” (1 Co 9:22-23).

You can read the news story here