Is a Muslim your neighbor? How should you treat Muslims?

After the Civil War, critics chastised President Lincoln for not being harsher with the South. He asked, “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” As a Christian and native Oklahoman, I challenge my brothers and sisters in Christ to rethink the way we talk about Muslims. Christianity Today contributor Ed Stetzer offers us some advice:

Understand your Muslim neighbors.

Be friends, not just for a project, but for a relationship.

Have spiritual conversations. Talk about what each of you believes.

Bring them to church. Visit their mosque.

Share resources.

My faith calls me to be the Samaritan. I love the many Muslims (and members of other religions) who’ve befriended me. I am not a Muslim, yet I see evil humans twist any religion to their repulsive ways, as ISIS and al-Qaida have done with Islam, as humans have done forever. I’m an Oklahoman whose civility relies on these principles: “Love mercy. Do justice. Walk humbly.” Also, love each other as God loves us; forgive as we are forgiven.

I challenge us all to seek what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.”

Andy Oden, Edmond