As I look at the world today, many challenges stand in the way of the spread of the gospel. Various belief systems and/or lifestyles are at odds with the good news of Jesus Christ. They are too many to list here. However, when I think about the big picture of missions, two great challenges in particular come to mind: Islam and homosexuality. Both are worldviews. Both are lifestyle choices. Both are directly at odds with the gospel of Christ.
My purpose is not to equate Islam and homosexuality. They have some obvious differences. Islam is a world religion that is hundreds of years old. It has set beliefs and practices. Muslims is general are very much against homosexuality.
Homosexuality is more a lifestyle choice than an organized religion. Its adherents are generally more focused upon embracing specific sexual behaviors than they are on specific beliefs about God. Some homosexuals even claim to be Christians (I'll leave that one for another blog post).
Despite their differences, Islam and homosexuality have one thing in common: they are at odds with Christianity. Specifically, both Muslims and homosexuals have a heart problem - a spiritual heart problem. That problem is the most significant problem anyone can have. Their heart problem is that they do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Thus, their hearts are still far from God.
What are we, therefore, to do?
First, let's avoid the trap of letting politics confuse us. I'm determined to steer clear of any sort of Republican vs. Democrat fighting on these topics. I have no interest in fighting foreign wars in Muslim nations or in fighting culture wars against homosexuals here in the USA.
The important war is in the spiritual realm. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ultimately, the gospel is a war that God has already won over Satan.
Our duty, then, is to endlessly love and pray for both Muslims and homosexuals. Let's develop relationships with them. Let's lovingly and truthfully tell them all about Jesus Christ. Let's treat them with respect as humans made in God's image. Let's love them even if they hate us.
Muslims and homosexuals need Jesus Christ just like everyone else. Only Jesus is powerful enough to break their chains of sin. He did it for us. Let us literally pray that he does it for them as well.