were do we find common ground?

before i start, i want to explain that i believe Jesus is my Lord and Savior - while i have never had an issue with that, i have to say i am very uncomfortable thinking i need to say that before i go on - and why is that? because i am going to write about "common grounds" between christianity and islam - and i know, if i did not "qualify my words" some would take them out of context - and that is the scary part. there are some who would refuse to dialog, and i pray for them all.

recently i came upon a site called "a common word" where some 250 islamic leaders [originaly 139 signed and more were added] signed an open letter to the christian church seeking dialog between us and them - and that is very cool. they sought to open the dialog with what we hold in common - our belief in one God and our love for others. this excited me because i saw it as a way of being able to stand and talk - to come to the table with two core, common realities and start a dialog of peace - peace between the two major religious groups of the world - because if we are not at peace with each other, the world will never be at peace. but i wonder if it is really possible? not on the islamic end, but on the christain end.

as i read through the site i was impressed with the words of many of our "christian leaders" - but not overly impressed; there was subtance but very little "let's have a cup of coffee and talk" stuff happening. we can do more - how? easy. as local church leaders we can open dialog and friendships with local islamic leaders; we can go and have a cup of coffee - we can start this at a grass roots level, where our voices are not heard on a national stage, but in the hearts of local people, where it counts. while i am encouraged over the voices of the "leaders" i am reminded that for us, Jesus is the head of the church [the true leader] and we are representatives of Jesus on earth - so we, the local church people [pastors and all], should be taking the actions to speak to the hearts and minds of islamic followers in our communities - not to convert, but to have an open, honest and meaningful dialog on what we hold in common -

let's be honest, it is too easy to find the differences, and to be honest i think it is cheap to find them - what costs more, what drives our hearts, should be the desire to find a common ground - a common word - where we can stand and stop the killing in the name of religion - if not, if we are unwilling to take that step we will soon find the world at war, based on the misconceptions we hold about each other and that would be very sad.

1 comment:

John Thomas said...

You might check in with Father Dave Smith at http://www.fatherdave.org/ and http://www.fatherdave.org/friends/

The second link is a page about his dialog with a local Muslim leader in his area.

I think a lot of Dave. Might be worth checking out.

- John