I’m providing an update on the Bible study with the Muslim kids in our neighborhood. We’ve had a few interesting sessions, but tonight’s was shocking. Let me explain. Instead of our regular Bible study, I invented a game called Who am I? On a piece of paper, I asked each child to answer 9 questions about themselves. Then all the papers were passed to me. I took a paper and read aloud the answers without saying who wrote them down. All the kids tried to guess who wrote down the answers. It was fun and everyone liked the game.
I asked traditional things like favorite food, best friend, and favorite activity. But I asked a couple of other things, and the answers were amazing.
Question: “What are you afraid of?” I thought I would hear about fears of spiders, snakes, that kind of thing. Two wrote “I don’t know”, one wrote “the dark” and another “people with guns.” Not terribly surprising, I guess. But 6 of 11 Muslim kids said they are afraid of “God”
Question: “If I could ask God a question I would ask…” I expected funny things like: Why is the sky blue? Where does everything come from? A few of the answers were: “I don’t know,” “what is my future,” and “I have a lot of questions.” Fair enough, but here is what the other Muslim kids answered:
- Why did you make my life so hard
- Am I going to heaven (three asked this)
- Why do we have to go to hell
- Am I going to hell
- Am I a bad person
- When will I die
Keep in mind these kids are all between the ages of 8 and 15, and the bulleted list above came from the kids 12 and under.
I was just wanting to give the kids a chance to say more about themselves, not realizing how distressing their responses would be. As a result, I realize my wife and I need to make sure we emphasize the loving side of God in our teachings. He is not someone to fear but someone to love and who loves us. He is not someone wanting to roast us alive, but someone wanting to save us and take care of us.
Your continued prayers are REALLY needed for this group. Many thanks!
When I was still a practicing Muslim, we were told first and foremost to fear God. The Arabic term is taqwa which technically means to be conscious of God, but a lot of the Muslims that I know says it means to FEAR God. Also, being a Muslim doesn't guarantee that you are going to heaven. You still have to do everything right, and make sure your good deeds outweigh your bad. Muslims also believe that God sends you tests which might explain why the one child asked why God makes his life so hard.