The Reverse Jonah Effect

I just returned from a meeting that brought together dozens of ministries that have a desire to see Muslims come to faith in Jesus Christ as well as a good number of Muslim-background Believers (MBB's). Great work is being done in inner cities among Black Muslims, immigrants from places like Turkey, Yemen, Iran, and Bosnia. There are some vibrant student ministries that are thinking creatively about witnessing to students who come here to study from places like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

One of the speakers called it "The Reverse Jonah Effect." Jonah, you will recall, heard the Lord and ran away. The Reverse Jonah Effect stipulates that there are people who have not heard the Gospel and come to us. And it is happening.

I don't want to sound triumphalistic though: every year about 50,000 people in the USA convert to Islam. Every year in the USA about 20,000 Muslims convert to Christ. (Note that I do not say they convert to Christianity because there is a debate among those who evangelize Muslims as to whether deciding to follow Christ necessitates adopting the title 'Christian', but that's a topic for another day.) So the balance is not exactly in our favor, and if one factors in demographics, Islam is growing quite well in the USA and even more so in Canada.

Many denominations were represented at this meeting--even the Orthodox! (One person, a priest no less.) Except for the Catholics. Are there NO ministries in all the USA/Canada run by Roman Catholics that have the desire to share the Gospel with Muslims, and if they receive it to baptize them and teach them all our Lord has commanded us?

For shame. I would love to see the emergence of an RC ministry that serves the Muslim community, being ready in and out of season to give an answer for their faith. You start with a love for Muslims, with the conviction that the Gospel is in a very real GOOD NEWS, about peace with God, forgiveness of sin, inclusion into a community of life and rebirth (the Church), and you serve. You serve with the conviction that Jesus knew what he was talking about when he said that men would see our righteous deeds and glorify our Father in heaven.

So, there is the challenge, my dear Roman Catholic brothers. Post it on your blogs and forward it to your friends. Pray and fast and ask how you can reach Muslims in your city with the Gospel. Pray without ceasing.

And then, I hope, in two years when this convocation comes together again, we will see Catholic laity and clergy in attendance with sundry evangelicals sharing ideas, strategies, and experiences regarding how they have, by God's mercy, brought Muslims into the Kingdom of God.

I am pretty sure that Blessed Raymond Lully is somewhere up there praying for you Catholics, that you would get with it and like my old pastor used to say, "Read the Bible and do what it says."

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