Can you be a Muslim follower of Jesus?
This is the question Georges Houssney explores in his recent post, “Muslim follower of Jesus, is this possible?”
After defining what he means by a “Muslim follower of Jesus” Georges Houssney looks at Jesus’ teaching in the Gospels. Based on Jesus’ teaching about discipleship Georges Houssney gives an emphatic “no” to the above question,
These verses alone are enough to convince us that following Christ includes leaving everything for his sake. Everyone invited to follow Christ needs to be told about the cost that is part and parcel of the call to follow him. Following Christ is not a meaningless action. You cannot follow Christ in your heart and openly dissociate yourself from him.
I am aware that at least in India and the Middle East, Muslims who come to Christ, are asked if they would be ready to give up everything for Christ. They need to count the cost early on. They must be able to withstand the hardships they will most assuredly face down the road. If they are fearful or hesitant, I encourage them to wait until they are ready. Of course I do not leave them alone at this stage. I work with them and study the word with them and explain the cost of following Christ. The results are usually much better than just extracting a sinner’s prayer from them without an understanding of the cost. Those who come to Christ knowing the cost are usually more passionate and understanding of the spiritual battle. They make a choice between the world and God’s kingdom, between their lives in the flesh and their lives in Christ. Jesus pointed this out to his disciples: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it” (Luke 9:24).
While I am not especially knowledgeable about the C1-C6 spectrum Georges Houssney describes in his article,1 I found his argument convincing.
What are your thoughts? Does a Muslim need to leave his or her former religion of Islam in order to be a follower of Jesus?
Read: Georges Houssney, “Muslim follower of Jesus, is this possible?“
- Georges Houssney explains, “C5 believers identify themselves as “Muslim followers of Jesus”— much like Messianic Jews, who call themselves “Jewish followers of Jesus.” Islamic theology incompatible with the Bible is rejected. Some C5 believers remain in the Muslim community for as long as they can to “win Muslims as a Muslim” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). In time, however, their deviance from mainstream Islamic theology may lead to their banishment from the Muslim community. But where whole communities of Muslims begin to follow Jesus, the local mosque may be transformed into a messianic mosque for Jesus. Other C5 believers desire to distance themselves from the mosque and Islam, still preferring to maintain their identity as a Muslim follower of Jesus. In contrast to C4, Muslims view C5 believers as Muslim, though perhaps a “strange kind of Muslim.” Most Muslims have not met Muslims who follow Jesus, so the curiosity that results from their identification often opens doors to share their faith in Christ.” [↩]