Introduction: Sara!

(Billie Corbett) #21

Yes, I have with my one son in law.
He did engage in a small discussion with me…but got stuck in the usual places …Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus being the Lamb or God … taking away the sin of the world.
Ishmael being the son whom Abraham took up on the mountain…
And many others. It was a civil, caring discussion.

The other son in law has not been too available to speak with. Although, his English is getting much better. My daughter who is married to him converted to Islam after they married. It has been a challenging experience for me as a believing parent. At first, there was a fair amount of her attempting to convert me to Islam…or at least to proclaim the glories of Islam, (with what I have come to understand over time to be standard Islamic rhetoric). (Which is very similar in nature and approach to the evangelical rhetoric of some Christians. A learning observation for me in many ways.)
My daughter has settled into her life as a Muslim and is more open to meaningful communication. (One very good thing about Muslims is they honour their parents. I have to confess, this has been an enjoyable experience.)
My daughter has not dug deep into the Muslin faith the way Nabeel Queshi, eventually did. Since there is little opportunity or openness…I have committed myself to prayer for the Sovereign Lord to work in the inner recesses of their hearts in ways, that I cannot reach.
Bottom line, I believe God bought these young men into my life …
I have often thought about God directing the one son in law to my home, through my daughter who was dating him. (She was a full grown adult.)
God seemed to bring this lonely, young Arab refugee, who attached himself, to a family where the parents were firm believers in the gospel of Jesus and the Word of God.
I continue to pray for the salvation of these young men…
With man it is impossible…but, with God all things are possible.

(Billie Corbett) #22

Thank you, Sara, for your communication.

I really appreciate getting a sense of what life is like for you in Egypt. I will lift up, specifically in prayer, the areas you have mentioned.

You are so right, the West with it’s “freedoms” has descended into the worse kinds of bondage. (I work with adolescent girls and I see the suffering and denigration on a regular basis.)

The contrasts often seem to add to the polarization between modern and traditional culturals. It’s a big topic and a long conversation. Though I am tempted to embark on it, I have restrained myself. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

(Sara Isaac) #23

It is a bit surprising to know how you feel about your daughter. When that happens here, the girl/boy would be completely rejected by his parents and it developed into national crisis at many times. I am sure that God brought him for a reason and I am sure that the love you are offering to him and your daughter comes straight from God’s heart. I pray that you can offer them truth and grace equally and abundantely. It definitely takes time, effort and a lot of studying to be prepared to give a response but more importantly that God breathes in this direction.

(Billie Corbett) #24

Hello Sara,

Yes, I understand crisis’ within the families.
Generally, it is different in our culture, although, some families reject their children, here too…(for abandoning parental faith and traditions.)

I have had many crisis’ with my children while they were growing up in an anti Christian, atheistic culture. I can honestly say, my faith and trust in God was tested (over many years), because of my children’s antithetical world views.
I think by the time this challenge came (two daughters marrying Muslim men)…I had learned…”not by the flesh, or the will of man…but, by the Spirit.”
I love my daughters and I love their spouses.
This is my role and calling, to love them, seek their good and to pray for their salvation.
I take comfort in the story of John Newton’s mother. (The English slave trader…whose mother prayed faithfully for him all her life.) She never saw that prayer answered while she lived. Yet, after she died, God answered her prayer…John Newton became a child of God. He became a pastor and his testimony was mightily used by God. He was a strong advocate for the abolition of slavery in his native country (and in other parts of the world.) God used his personal experience and knowledge of slave trading…to inform his fellow countrymen of its unspeakable evils. Thank God, (in answer to the Abolitionists prayers), slave trading was abolished and lost it’s protection under English law.
I trust God to hear my prayers…for the salvation of my unbelieving children and their spouses. If God grants His mercy…marvellous grace will be bestowed.

(Nii Amarfio) #25

I feel like i just attended a full Seminar. I’ve been really. Honestly… I was just curious about how an introduction had 22 replies but I’ve learnt a lot from @Billie and @saraisaac. It’s so great to be in a community where our faith takes primacy and in the face of our liberal and often lukewarm culture, I’m very glad to know there are other people who love and are eagerly waiting for the coming of our Lord. I really need some tips on sharing the message with muslims though @saraisaac

(Reyner Berliarang) #26

Hi there…Welcome Sara

(Sara Isaac) #27

Hey @Niiokai! Thank you for your participation. I wonder what part of the world are you from?
Well, to answer your question, I have to say that whether you are talking to a Jewish, an atheist, a Muslim, an Agnostic or a Buddhist, they are not ‘bad’ people or of less value than a Christian. They all have encountered a revelation of God in a certain form. Maybe, they have called it something else. Maybe they have accepted a part and left the other or maybe they have received it in a blurry version. I could almost be sure that every human being has had at least one divine disclosure in their life time.

"In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
(Acts 14:16‭-‬17 NIV)

In this light, here are some few humble observations:
1-You have to develop a true and genuine interest in this person. I believe that public evangelistic movements have a wide effect but one on one conversations between two people who share a friendship bond have a deeper and more vertical effect. This might be the only occasion where “taking it personally” is the thing that is going to take you somewhere. We are not just dealing with floating philosophies, ideologies or beliefs, we are dealing with humans with doubts, fears, aspirations and disppointments. So put a face on it and you will feel compassion towards them and will authentically move towards them.

2- Know what the other person’s standpoint is. For example you don’t need to present the cosmological or the fine tuning argument with a Muslim as you would with an atheist. They already believe that Allah (God) is the Creator. But rather understand what the Quran says about the attributes of Allah, His relstionship with people, what makes a person good or bad…etc. And also you have to understand the Quran says about the Christain belief. It says explicitly about Jesus, that " And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them."
And that it is a blasphemy to say that Christ is God. So diety, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ are all important grounds to establish. It’s important to bear in mind what William Lane Craig says in his book ‘On Guard’ that our job as apologists is to present our faith in a way that it becomes a ‘valid option’ for people.

3-Find a commom ground to begin with. I love how Paul in Acts 17 talks about the “unknown God” that they worshipped in Athens trying to point to Yahweh. He even goes the extra mile of quoting their poets “For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”

4-An easier scenario would be if someone asks you about your faith directly but if they don’t maybe you should do the asking.

5- Don’t be scared if they say something you can’t reply to. Tell them to give you a day or two to organize your thoughts to give them the proper answer they deserve.

6-Struggle with the obstacles sincerely. Because we have grown up in churches, we take many things for granted. The Christian doctrine is no piece of cake. Put yourself in their shoes. Assure them that it’s not easy to comprehend it at first.

7-Share your journey of doubt to faith. Being authentic is much more attractive than acting as if we were flawless. What makes us Christians is not that we are morally or intellectually superior to others, but that we are greatly and deeply accepted by grace despite of our shortcomings.

(Sara Isaac) #28

Hi there Reyner! I am glad you are a part of Connect. Did u get to take any electives?

(Sara Isaac) #29

Amen to that! I will definitely pray for them and for you Billie. They are really blessed to have you as their father! I am sure God is listening and He is definitely capable.

(Billie Corbett) #30

Great response, Sara. You covered quite a few bases beautifully.

(Billie Corbett) #31

Thank you, Sara. Just a wee correction in your perception…I am a mother. Historically, my name has been associated with the masculine…”Billy”. But, the spelling “Billie” is the feminine form. (My unisex name was WAY ahead of the modern trend! :joy:)
I am still waiting for Proverbs, 31: 28 “Her children rise up and call her blessed;”
But, more importantly, I am waiting for 5 out of 6 daughters to bless the Lord…That they would bow the knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!


(Sara Isaac) #32

Whoa! Well, I didn’t see that coming :joy: I am greatly sorry for this. I actually went back and read your comments to see them in the eyes of a mother instead. I realize now how hard this must be for you. But it’s good to know that you have one daughter who is a believer. I speak those verses too over your life: “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”
Be blessed dear Billie.

(Billie Corbett) #33

Too funny!
Yup, totally got thrown a curve ball from day one with my name. I hated it as a kid…It was definitely seen as a boys name when I was young. :tired_face:

Thank you, for your kind blessing. You are sweet.

How did you come to faith, Sara? Do you have freedom to express your faith outside your faith community? It there respect for the Christian faith?

(Stephen Wuest) #34

Athanasios was from Egypt! There is a long tradition of Christianity, in Egypt! Welcome.

(Kathleen) #35

@Billie! My grandmother’s name was Johnnie, so I for one have a very dear place in my heart for the feminised versions of usually masculine names. In fact, I remember being young and seeing my friends’ surprise when I told them her name. It actually made me feel more proud because no one else’s Grandma had such a unique name! :smiley:

(Billie Corbett) #36

Thank you, Kathleen.
It’s cool to hear how your grandmother’s unique name made you feel.
Age and maturity have settle me into acceptance of my name. There were years when I really would have like to change it. It is a short form of an even “worse” formal name, which is pretty unique, as well! :joy:
(Thankfully, I only have to use it for formal legal documents.)

What’s in a name, hey?
I look forward to my new name… the one Jesus will give me. Rev. 2:17
The one known only to me!

(Sara Isaac) #37

Noooo, it’s such a beautiful name. My parents are Christians, so I grew up in church. There has not been any dramatic event in my life that led me to God. But I can say that around the age of 12, I felt that God was calling me to be more serious about Him. I could never have been the person I am today without His protecting, loving and nurturing hands.
I guess so. I think the problem is that people are not giving themselves the option of having other options concerning their faith. That’s why it’s harder to find someone from a different world view seeking more understanding of the Christian faith voluntarily.

(Billie Corbett) #38

How wonderful that God in His infinite goodness and grace…has in fact guided, protected and drew you irresistibly to Himself, from a young age. (What a blessing to your parents, too.)

Here in Canada there is much resistence and animosity toward the Christian faith. It is both overt and covert. Relativistic values, and extreme leftist ideology are making Canada less and less open to hearing from those who know Jesus Christ. Thankfully, there are those whom God is giving opportunity to speak wisely and intelligently into this anti christian atmosphere. (RZIM is one.) Christians here are having to learn to “gird up their loins” (in the faith, so to speak). We are being exercised to stand firm, knowing that our message is not likely to be received warmly, but, in fact, more likely to be heard with distain and contempt. Nonetheless, we cannot but testify to the hope we have in the good news of Jesus Christ…as revealed in the gospel of God.

I am always curious to hear and understand what believers in other countries experience. Particularly, what the social, political climate is like for them as they walk with God.

Each culture and society has it’s innate strengths and weaknesses…but, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation…regardless of the cultural contexts.

(Sara Isaac) #39

I remembered Paul’s announcement to the Romans when I read your reply, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentiles.”
You too got me curious to know more about Canada. I guess what made it more prominent is that I discovered that Jordan Peterson recently and he just posts every single article written against him, which is quite unusual. But I understand that he attacks the leftist ideologies and had many incidents concerning the LGBT community. I really hoped that someone there would explain the Jordan-Peterson-Phenomenon to me. He believes in God but I think that he views the crucifixion and resurrection way too symbolic. I wonder if you have watched his last debate with Sam Harris. I watched both the Vancouver and the Dublin debates. I loved the dublins more actually. Let me know what do you think about him.

(Billie Corbett) #40

Hello Sara,

I am glad you are curious about Dr. Jordan Peterson. Yes, he has been catapulted onto the world stage, so to speak, through his adamant resistence to our government ensconing in Canadain law the use gender prefered pronouns. He, rightly so, has called out the extreme leftist neo marxist ideology behind such an infringement on Canadians constitutional right to freedom of speech.
He is an unbelievably intelligent, articulate man. Totally transparent, deeply integral and honest with himself, with others and with reality. I really love and appreciate the man. He is a voice of reason in the unbelievable chaotic Canadian social / political landscape, right now. Many young people are resonating with his clarity, straightforwardness, sincerity and genuine care… It is unreal that young people will attentively listen to a man speak for on average 1 to 1 1/2 hours of conversation…and feel benefited by it. When many, feel little value for any other speaking venues. (Like preaching) I believe God has raised him up for this time…in Canada…maybe in the world …to be a resistant, intelligent voice against social, political relativism, and extreme leftist idealogies.
Personally, I do not think he is a born again Christian. Which is where he is a bit dangerous …because rather than, turn people to the saving power of Christ in the cross…he turns them in to themselves to pull themselves together and be responsible. (Socially there is value in people being personally responsible, because it does translate into social stability…even political stability. But, it is not salvation from the power of sin and self!)
My strong conviction is to appreciate the good he is doing, (humanly speaking, which is significant…) and to pray for his salvation. I do believe he is a seeker in his heart…seeking after truth…that is what has led him to where he is…I just pray he comes to see Jesus … as the way, the truth and the life.
Please pray for him to come to Jesus…
I do see him as being possibly the last little vouchsafe of strong social, political resistence…in Canada…
Our religious freedoms as believers are linked to being able to have freedom of speech, belief and worship.