Peace Catalyst International gets asked a lot of the same questions over and over again. The wording may be different, but the concerns remain the same. Because of this, we are writing a number of blogs addressing some of our Frequently Asked Questions.
Frequently asked Question #1:
Is It Really Possible to Have Peace Between Christians and Muslims?
Many Christian s believe it is impossible to have peace with Muslims. After all, they say, Jesus is the Prince of Peace and came to bring peace on earth. So everyone who does not know Jesus as Lord and Savior cannot experience peace.
It’s like the bumper sticker that says, “Know Christ. Know Peace. No Christ. No Peace.”
But is it really that simple? Is this slogan true? Are we at Peace Catalyst making assertions that don’t jibe with reality? We don’t think so.
Yes, to know Christ is to know peace. Peace with God. Peace with others. Peace with creation. That’s the biblical mandate and the comprehensive nature of reconciliation in Scripture. However, we really only experience a measure of this peace if we are honest with ourselves. Many Christians are sincere believers but have broken relationships all around them. All you have to do is look at the divorce rate among Christians and conflicts between believers.
So let’s show some humility here. We don’t think the church itself even models the kind of peace that Scripture affirms and that this bumper sticker declares. So let’s rid ourselves of this adversarial perspective that our Christian club has peace but you don’t.
To know Christ is to experience a measure of peace. A foretaste of heaven. Through Christ, peace has burst into this broken world. In fact, Christ has waged decisive peace through his life, teaching, death, and resurrection. But it is not automatic. We have disciplines to learn, commandments to obey, and healing to experience if we want peace.
And even then, is it really true to say that there is no peace outside of Christ? That people created in God’s image don’t experience a measure of peace in this world? Martin Luther King Jr. believed that peace was possible with the white majority because they were created in God’s image.
Or what about Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, or as my Muslim friends would mention, Abd el-Kader of Algeria, honored for his remarkable courage in preventing thousands of Maronite Christians from being massacred in 1860 in Damascus, Syria? Didn’t they demonstrate peace in the world? We think so.
It is possible to live in peace with those outside of the Christian community, because everyone is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). Even though sin has tarnished and corrupted the image of God, everyone still has a sense of right and wrong and the potential to do what is right (Romans 2:14-15; Luke 6:32-34).
But there is even more biblical evidence for this. The commands to “pursue peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18; Hebrews 12:14) and to “love our enemies” (Matthew 5:44) indicate that there can be peace with those outside of the Christian community. And it’s our duty to help make it happen.
So yes, we believe it really is possible for Christians to live in peace with Muslims!