June 4, 2016

Muhammad Ali: What Christians Should Understand


By now you’ve heard of the passing of Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay). 

Upon the announcement of his passing, it began trending high on facebook. 

Even now, fans are remembering and praising him. Including Christians. Even though he was a Muslim.

Then I saw a post on facebook that brought out the,… not so good side of those in our faith. Sure they mean well. Their just emulating what they have been taught. Zeal disguised as righteousness. But, Zeal without wisdom is ignorance. Ask Peter and the apostle Paul.

The apostle Paul told the Church in Rome, "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Romans 14:5

So I am persuaded that most of us have said things when we were young, naive and immature, we wish we could take back. 

Look, Mr. Ali will have to give an account for his life, just like you and me. 

What concerns me, is the same Christians who had nothing to say about his life or even admired him when he was alive, can only now criticize the fact that he was a Muslim, or in their opinion, "a racist". 

How many of these people tried to convert or "persuade" him to come to Jesus, when he was alive? How many prayed for his salvation, when he was alive? 

These are some of the same people that you couldn’t get to go and evangelize or do any Christian outreach in their own communities, not to mention the work place. 

These are some of the same people who hide from what they believe in, just to keep a pay check. Some even do as Peter did but, on a regular basis, denying Jesus, knowingly and unknowingly.

On the other hand, Mr. Ali was willing to give up what he had, to stand for what he believed.

I wrote this post, not in defense or support of Mr. Ali, but to influence and encourage Christians to do as Paul said, “understand what really matters” Philippians 1:9-10 NLT 

We are examples so that others can see Jesus in us. 

Even with our words, spoken or posted on social media, should be sprinkled with wisdom in our delivery. 

We should remember that unbelievers and other faiths are watching, and reading what we do and say. 

We can’t be effective in sharing our faith with others if they don’t respect us. 

We have to be a positive force, so we must learn to, "Be as wise as serpents and yet as harmless as a dove." Matthew 10:16

"For everything there is a time and season." Ecclesiastes 3:1 Publicly picking apart a dead man on the day of his death? Where is the wisdom in that? 

This is the time for us to be like the King we say we serve, and show some love, grace and some spiritual maturity. Even Jesus and the apostle Paul had respect for the unbeliever.

As Christians, we have too many problems and issues of our own, both personally and as a body, to be concerned about what a dead man said, when he was a young man. Not to mention it was in a time in history when he and others who looked like him, were despised. 

"I said I was 'The Greatest,' I never said I was the smartest!" - Muhammad Ali  

Christians, let’s sweep in front of our own front door before we attempt to sweep in front of someone else's. 

"Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye." Matthew 7:5 NLT. 

Hey! Mr. Ali had a lot of Christian friends who loved him, not because he was perfect but because he was willing to give up everything to fight for what he believed in.

Maybe if we had more Christian leaders who are willing to lose everything in defense of what they believe, then Christians wouldn't hold so much admiration for non-believers like Mr. Ali.

At this point, only The Lord can work out Mr. Ali’s salvation. In the mean time, let’s work out our own. Philippians 2:12.

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