Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nicole Queen vs. Nabeel Qureshi

Please watch both stories in their entirety.


I watched quite a few video testimonies of conversions to either Christianity or Islam. I selected these two people because they related the most thoughtfulness in their stories. Observations:

1) Nicole Queen's decision to become a Muslim came from a desire to find meaning and dignity in life and leave a lifestyle that she found shallow and unfulfilling. As sincere as I believe Ms. Queen is about her belief in Allah, she never talked about how she resolved in her mind the problematic aspects about Islam, such as the mandate to fight and kill Jews and Christians, not to make friends with Jews and Christians, to kill people who leave Islam, to support Sharia, and so forth. I'd also like to know more of her thoughts about her Baptist upbringing early in life.

It is nice to showcase that Islam has an attractive side to it--of course it has (if it were completely noxious, then no one would believe it). However, Ms. Queen's story of her conversion sounds like many, many other conversion stories that I have heard--conversion to Mormonism, conversion to the Jehovah's Witnesses, conversion to Buddhism. What I found missing was an appeal to objective truth and the search for God's actual character. Ms. Queen has found her moral compass, which is laudable.

2) Nabeel Qureshi is a man that I am so glad to call a brother in Christ. His story is particularly interesting to me, because he had no reason to leave Islam. As a devout Muslim in a devout Muslim family that loved him, and all things being equal, why would he convert to Christianity if all his spiritual cards were lined up correctly? He recounts that initial encounter with truth through his good friend David was when it began. The first nugget of truth that fell into his life was the dispelling of the told and retold myth that the Bible is corrupt. From then on, the myths about Jesus and the Christian faith began to fall, and one day, God revealed Himself in a personal way to Nabeel*.

For me, it is remarkable how it is both easy and difficult it is to wrestle with Christianity, and I have to put myself into other people's shoes, like Nabeel's. Sometimes I think the history just speaks for itself and the truth stares at us plainly. Other times, I see that we need to be led out of the maze of our own making by the divine hand of God. And that is what the Gospel is all about--God forgiving and overcoming the sin in our very nature to bring us to life through Jesus Christ.

A final thought: I wonder how many Christians sitting in church every Sunday (or on Christmas and Easter) could easily be someone like Nicole Queen. Christians are provided with lessons about Jesus' sacrificial love and forgiveness, mercy and spiritual rebirth. We are given Bibles that tell of God's purposes for our lives. We are constantly invited to consider God and see Him for who He is. Yet, many don't even crack open the Bible between church attendances. We cannot remember what was spoken about immediately after leaving the service, and worst of all, we hardly give God a thought in our day-to-day activities. We haven't encountered God at all; He is not in us even though He is around us constantly. No wonder that when certain people reach a level of maturity, they cannot see the presence of God in so-called Christian people. They don't see Him, because He's not there. So they look elsewhere.

*Today, Nabeel and David both operate Acts 17 Apologetics, a Christian ministry with a special focus on Islam.

1 comment:

Nicky said...

Amen! I've been enjoying watching debates--very enlightening. Jews for Jesus is another great source. God Bless You