Bob Roberts, Jr. may come closest to the apostle Paul’s missionary zeal as anyone is likely to see in our country today. Dissection of his DNA would likely reveal he is descended from both David Brainerd and Adoniram Judson. There is no doubt Bob Roberts is a direct spiritual descendant of both.
The man exemplifies the zeal of God for those outside of Christ, unwilling to allow any cultural, religious, political or geographic boundary to remain between his telling of the gospel and those who need to hear it.
Roberts calls Hanoi his second home, and the Vietnamese people “the most noble of all.”
He is especially a friend to Muslims. If you follow Roberts’ Twitter feed you will often find him retweeting an imam he knows or an Islamic student.
On August 21 I noticed a series of tweets like the one below from Bob Roberts regarding what it means to be a good Muslim.
#1 You can’t be a good Muslim without believing in Jesus - why? http://t.co/PTk2aQTL— Bob Roberts Jr. ن (@bobrobertsjr) August 21, 2012
The were from this post on his blog, “5 Things Evangelicals Need to Know About American Muslims.” I found it fascinating, informative and challenging. In other words, I found it vintage Bob Roberts, Jr.
#1 You can’t be a good Muslim without believing in Jesus. They believe in his virgin birth – but not from the Father of God. They believe in his miracles. They believe in his perfection. They believe in his unique place. They do not believe as I do that he was God in flesh or the Trinity. The Muslims I know, love to talk about Jesus if you open up the conversation.
#2 Most Muslims in the US are here because they want the freedoms we have. If they wanted Islamic law and culture – they would be in Islamic nations globally. If you asked them, they’d tell you that. Like Christians who came here wanting freedom of religion and separation of church and state – those concepts are deeply on the mind of Muslims globally and many want their children raised in a place where it’s practiced. Most in the US see the value in that and most that I know, would fear the US becoming an Islamic nation. Money was not the only reason and/or primary reason many came.
#3 Most Muslims are afraid of Islamic terrorists as much as Anglo Christians are – that’s why some are here. The majority of violence perpetrated in the name of God in the world is Muslim on Muslim. Yes, some Muslims commit terrorist acts against non-Muslims – but they by far kill their own people more than others. The is one reason the majority of Muslims came here. THEY WANT PEACE.
#4 Most Muslims want a relationship with Christians and others – but they are afraid to reach out. They are the minority. It’s up to the majority to reach out and build relationships. A couple of weeks ago, there were 14 acts of violence against Muslims and mosques in the US. Our church has many ways of reaching out to others across lines of different faiths. Some of the kindest and closest friends we have are people of other faiths. Many who come to America value relationship and friendship far more than Americans do. Those friendships have the potential of going very, very deeply for those who are not afraid.
#5 God has a special plan for Muslims. How can I say that? There are 1.3 or 1.5 billion of them in the world. He loves them. They matter to God. God always moves in the masses. You cannot ignore that many people. God created all people. He has a plan for them just as he has for other nations and peoples. In the Old Testament, there were times that God moved among the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Syrians, the Egyptians, and, yes, the Jews. I pray daily that God be glorified and Jesus exalted among all peoples and nations – Muslims included.
What do you think? Is Roberts naive? Have too many Americans bought into the “American Jihadist” narrative of an Islamic takeover? Do American Christians love American Muslims more than fearing them? Are American Christians, on the whole, more concerned with the possible imposition of Sharia law than the eternal souls of American Muslims?