Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at .firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am from Malaysia and we live in a country with mixed races. Islam is the main religion and whoever embraces Islam cannot be converted to other religion. However, if you are from other religion you are allowed to convert to Islam. If you are to marry a Muslim girl, you first need to convert and then you are allowed to marry her.
My son was brought up the Christian way and was baptized and confirm in the Methodist Church. The problem is that he decided to marry a Muslim girl and he needs to convert to Islam before he can marry this girl. We have advised him many, many times not to get involved. Now he is converted and we have disowned him for he has disgraced the family and God.
What is your advice?
I know how much you are hurting about your son's conversion to Islam. Unfortunately, this was his choice and you cannot undo what has occurred.
What you do now is really important in whether he remains a Muslim and whether or not your daughter-in-law finds Jesus as her personal Savior and becomes a Christian. I know that it is against the law for her to convert and that her family ties demand that she stay with her family in Islam. Nevertheless, don't give up hope. The love of Jesus Christ is powerful in drawing people from many religions and backgrounds to His heart. There is hope that your son can return to Christianity and that she chooses to follow Christ as well.
I think that it is best if you stop disowning your son and receive him back into your family in welcome and love. Your relationship with him is most important.
Who knows, if you receive him and welcome him back into the family, then he might be so impressed by your love that he might even one day come back to Jesus.
The same thing goes for your new daughter-in-law. Wouldn’t it be thrilling if she converted to Christianity!
The best way for her to become a Christian is to know and see Christians in loving relationships with each other. Love attracts.
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
The best chance for her to experience the love of Christ is in your presence--to see love abounding in your family. Who wants to believe in a Savior who causes Christian parents to throw their son out of their family? She needs to experience your love and acceptance. When she sees how much you love her and your son, she may decide that love is more attractive than Islam.
I know you are praying for his soul. I will join you in praying for him. Pray for your daughter-in-law, also.
I hope this helps.
Dr. Roger Barrier recently retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his thirty-five-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care. His popular book, Listening to the Voice of God, published by Bethany House, is in its second printing and is available in Thai and Portuguese. His latest work is, Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, from Xulon Press. Roger can be found blogging at Preach It, Teach It, the pastoral teaching site founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Barrier.