OPINION

ISLAMIZATION – Dr. Uche Diala

I wrote this piece on 17th October 2017. Sadly it’s still relevant today. I have reproduced it here.
Please read if you didn’t read it then.

CHRISTIANIZATION VS ISLAMIZATION – Deepening the conversation on Bishop Badejo’s submission.

Brethren, I think the dear Bishop was trying to wake up us Christians to our commission of bringing Christ and therefore Christianity to the entire world.

It does seem that many Christians today are more obsessed with lamenting about Islamization than their own commission to Christianize and preach the Gospel.

It does seem to many of us that by merely shouting “they want to Islamize us”, Christianity will spread or Muslims will stop trying to spead their own religion.

Good Christians by our faith are called to Christianize as many people as they can, just as good Muslims are called by their faith to Islamize as many people as they can.

It is part of human nature to bring people to our point of view and make them see that our choices and beliefs are better. We Christians do it even in our various Christian denominations. That’s why some invite others to worship in their own churches.

Now it is important to differentiate between radical Islamism and the call to Islamization. While some Muslims see the former as a way to go, a large majority of Muslims do not accept that. They see acts of kindness and other subtle ways of showing the good side of their faith as better and they are making inroads.

On the contrary many Christians believe our Christianity is a finished work and now it is time for our enjoyment and personal redemption.

That has led to shying away from our greatest commission which is to bring others including Muslims and unbelievers to the light as we believe it.

This in my view is what the Bishop was trying to wake us up to.

It is not always until one carries the Bible to go into a bus or market to preach. That’s part of it but many times our thoughts, words and actions in our work places, on the streets, even here on social media can be greater tools of evangelization and Christianization than any other things.

We need to awake to that consciousness.

A good example to butress my point is the actions, inactions and utterances of CAN which wrongly or rightly is seen as the mouthpiece or representative of Christians in Nigeria.

When Islamic bodies are pushing for SUKUK bonds which promotes the Islamic financial principle of not collecting Interest (riba), CAN is busy shouting that it is a way of Islamizing Nigeria.

When CAN on it’s own cannot even get Christian Churches that have schools to keep their fees within sensible limits or even offer tuition free education to non Christians with a view to making them see the good side of Christianity.

What essence does their cries then serve if not to project us all as hypocrites and further alienate any Muslim or non Christian who has a chance of being converted or Christianized?

Meanwhile many Christians are being drawn to Islamic banking daily because of the zero interest nature of its operation.

It is important that we Christians stop getting ultra emotional about issues, think outside the ‘contraption’ of the Church (apologies to Fela), stop the ‘persecution complex’ and rise to the challenges and expectations of our faith in an increasingly complex world.

It is written, “The kingdom of God suffereth violence …” and it wont stop today.

FootNote: I respect every religion and pray every adherant finds redemption and salvation from whichever path they have chosen.

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