Why I Became A Muslim

Why did I become a Muslim? That’s a good question. Because I found the people who call themselves Christians don’t conduct themselves as such.

Courtesy of Creative Commons.

You see, it’s one thing to be a struggling Christian and yet another to be a Christian leader. As a leader, you are not afforded the same liberties as a lay person.

I think the mistake is that many leaders choose what they want to do, even though God didn’t call them. They want God to co-sign whatever they choose, even though He didn’t choose it for them.

This is where I believe things go awry and what causes unnecessary hurts and offenses within the body of Christ. Because they weren’t called to be leaders in the first place.

God allows them to be there because He gives us free will. However, if you are not called into those positions, you will eventually fall on your face and do some major damage in the process.

We see it time and time again amongst leaders; the misuse of power, misuse of money, misuse of position, misuse of authority and a host more.

I just went through something last week that completely threw me for a loop. I had no idea I would get the kind of response I did from someone who is a Christian leader. To make matters worse, they falsely accused me of something I wasn’t even doing.

I can’t tell you how devastated and hurt I was by this Christian’s actions and words. I wasn’t even able to be heard, get a word in edgewise or communicate on any level with this person. I was refused the opportunity, but was cut off and ignored.

The Bible says when we have an issue, we are to take it directly to that person to resolve it. (Matthew 18:15-16). We are also to live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18).

Leaders are supposed to know how to handle and resolve conflict and not treat others as the world does.

Which brings me back to why I became a Muslim… because of instances like the above.

Christians who are cruel, insensitive and basically have no business being in leadership positions at all as they do not exemplify the love of Christ toward others.

If truth be told, I have been treated better by unsaved people more than I have from Christians. True story.

Which is why I fell in love with the Muslim community. I was hurt by the church in more ways than one, you can read about an incident here. When I decided step down from choir and leave the church.

After 9/11, I went to Egypt by myself. I met some Muslims there and spent time with them. I was treated better than I ever was treated by Christians. I was treated so well that I cried when I had to leave.

Is this shocking for you to read? Well, this is the honest truth. Something I’ve kept hidden all this time.

I have only experienced good things amongst the Muslim community. They are kind, loving, generous and will go out of their way to help you in a heartbeat. They really understand what community is all about. I felt like I was accepted and part of a loving family. A family I never had.

I have never experienced that in the church, ever. I see fragments of it here and there, but nothing to the extent or degree that I experienced firsthand in the Muslim community.

Why didn’t I remain a Muslim?  Because I had a supernatural experience with Jesus which I believe resulted from the faithful prayers of a few friends.

This is the simple answer, but there is a whole story behind this which I can’t get into now. Perhaps some other time though.

What about you? Have you ever been hurt by the church, a pastor or another Christian leader? If so, how did you handle it? What was the outcome? I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

 

  • Pilar, my experiences are like this. The deepest pain I have ever experienced has come from church leaders, accusing me of things that just weren’t true. My wife and I were called things that have never been in our character, and that we were actively working against becoming, when we made a decision to leave a church after a decade. It took a long time to want to be in church again.

    The flip side is this. The greatest joy I have ever experienced has come out of the love, care and community of the church. Whenever I’ve fallen into the pit of despair I visit at times (having a depressive personality), it’s always a lover of Jesus who notices and pulls me out. When things are falling apart, it’s always someone in our church who comes to the rescue.

    With the exception of our present pastor, I guess I can say that my experience with Christians overall has been better than my experience with pastors. Sad, right?

    • Yes, it is. I have one friend who is a pastor who has been consistent in being a true example of a leader. But the rest, have been disappointing.

  • Great post. I believe most of us who have been around the church for any length of time have been hurt. Since the church is made up of humans with a sin nature, that’s likely to happen.

    I believe your post shows how much work we as Christians have to do to be salt and light.

    One thing I hope for most people is that their desire to be a follower of Christ is not ultimately determined by any other person’s words or deeds. Every one of us have sinned and none of our blood is able to save, so ultimately the decision should be made based on who He is. Thankfully, you have had a supernatural experience with Jesus.

    • Yes, what you write is true. I am thankful for the love of Jesus. I try to keep my eyes on Him as best I can, because people, including myself, fall short.

  • Lisa Hall-Wilson

    Your faith should never be determined by the actions of another. There are hurting people everywhere. So, you found some
    imperfect people in the Christian church … I’m sure there are some in
    the Muslim faith too if you look. If you’re there because you’re hoping
    no one will ever say something hurtful, have misplaced anger, or be in a
    position they shouldn’t be — then you’re setting them up to fail as
    well.
    “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
    If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
    If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
    If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
    The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
    Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
    For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
    ~Mother Teresa

    • True, but yet and still Lisa, if people are going to be in positions of leadership, then they have to exemplify that. It’s a cop out to just say well we are imperfect or whatever, because the truth is, so many leaders are hurting Christians and they don’t care either. I am a Christian now, and I was a Muslim then, but I don’t regret being one and having that experience, as it taught me a great deal. Leaders should step it up. They have to set the example, if they can’t, then they should step down and not lead.

      • Lisa Hall-Wilson

        I have been deeply hurt by leaders in the church, to the extent that I nearly walked away from my faith. I’ve spent the last few months forgiving, and reading through the book “The Bait Of Satan”. I don’t agree with everything the author had to say, but it helped me put things in perspective and really examine my heart and motives – which is what I’ll be held accountable for.

        • I’m glad to hear that you have been working through that book. I also read that book years ago. The book was very helpful. But there is still truth to what I wrote in my post. Yes, there is our responsibility, how we process and respond to those who hurt us. And then, there is the obvious, in that there is something deeply wrong with leaders hurting their flock. One doesn’t negate the other. As I can appreciate your experiences and opinions, I hope you can respect my experiences and opinions, even if you don’t agree. Thanks.

  • I’m so sorry for what you have experienced and for your pain. I know many who have been hurt by the church. I am grateful that I have been a part of healthy church communities where people were handled with care and love. I pray that you are able to find that as well!

    • Thank you, Jaimie, you are very sweet. I appreciate your comment. I’m learning as I go. God allows me to experience and see things, that other people ignore or don’t want to see. I’m ok, I have a loving family now who has my back and that was a gift from God, which I’m grateful for. I’m so happy to here you are in a healthy church community, that is a blessing.

  • Laura Mc Coy

    Hi Pilar,
    As an innocent child, i took a great pain to church leaders, as i had been taught to do. I was slapped down. “How dare I ever express such a thing? Do i know how i could hurt someone by saying that.”
    The fact an innocent child was in pain was not considered.
    This event significantly shaped my future. My trust level. My choices.
    It is so important to be loving. What we say. What we do affects folks.
    God has provided me with many gifts. One is many friends of many back grounds. There are many good folks.
    And there are wolves in sheep clothing.
    People can not shake my faith in God. As an adult i know to be wary of them.
    Thanks Pilar, Lm

    • I’m sorry you had such a traumatic experience as a child. My heart goes out to you. I’m so glad that today noone and nothing can shake you faith. That is awesome. Thanks for sharing my friend. Hugs.

      • Laura Mc Coy

        Thank you Pilar. I appreciate you. Lmc

  • Heather Goyette

    I’m sorry that you had to go through that! It’s difficult because we often hold leaders, especially Christian leaders, to a higher standard than others. I know I have! But we live in a sinful fallen world where even the people we respect fail. I have definitely learned this the hard way. That’s why it’s so important to remember that it is only God who will never let us down, everyone else will!

    As far as the church community goes, I feel that grace is an often overlooked and misunderstood topic and much more focus is needed on it!

    • I like your thoughtful response and agree. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I appreciate it very much. 🙂

  • Very interesting.

  • What a brave post Pilar. I appreciate writers who share their very souls to help us grow and understand each other. I can see sometimes the draw of non Christian communities, when I lived in a Mormon community they were the nicest, most family oriented group I’d ever experienced. I do see Christian leaders fall, but I remember they are people just like me. I must believe that in other communities, whether it is as visible or not, there are always fallen leaders. Always. People can disappoint. Jesus never will though friend!
    I am sorry you had these experiences, and so glad you didn’t give up on Christ. What a wonderful treasure to make new Muslim friends, wonderful people! And thanks for shedding positive light on other communities!

    • Thank you, Christa. I appreciate your kind words. It’s very true, people will disappoint. But, at the same token, I believe leaders should function as examples. If not, they shouldn’t be leaders. Leaders are humble and servants… most leaders I see today, just want power and control, but that’s not what Jesus said. He said to be humble. Jesus was the true example of a servant leader. I just find too many people in the Church want titles and positions, but they don’t have the wherewithal, integrity or maturity to handle their roles properly and wind up hurting people. Lastly, I love my muslim friends. 🙂

  • annepeterson

    Pilar,

    I’m sorry that you got hurt by Christians. I think we do expect more from those who know God personally. The truth is we all have the capabilities of hurting others. Even with the 12 Jesus chose there were problems.

    While I have been part of fellowships that were wonderful, I too have been hurt by Christians. I love that God put “as much as lies within you.” in that verse you quoted.

    We can try our best to get along with others.

    I read a book not long ago written by a christian who chronicled other experiences Christians had where they got hurt in the church. Really deep hurts. We are not responsible for the behavior of others. But, we are responsible for how we respond to it.

    In our flesh, we can dish it out when we’ve been hurt. And yet, I want to be forgiving. It’s just that some hurts may take me a while longer to work through.

    When God gives us instruction about how to treat our enemies, sometimes it sounds like those who have hurt us. Quite a challenge.

    Thanks for your post. It gives us food for thought and while we try to digest it, God can point out any areas of indigestion.

    • Yes my dear sister Anne, you of all people know what it’s like to hurt and suffer. I so appreciate you and am grateful when you visit here and leave such thoughtful and heartfelt comments. Sending you a hug.

  • This Sunday, Pastor said something that made complete sense to me (cos i use it alot 🙂 ) “human beings are messy!”. 🙂
    I lived amongst the Muslims for many years and i agree – they are warm, kind, caring. I am glad you came to Jesus 🙂

    • Ngina, I just wanted to let you know, how thankful I am for you. You have been so kind to me, even on Godly Writers. I am grateful. Yes sis, your pastor is right.. I’m also broken and messy too. I’m still friends with my muslim sisters… wonderful bunch of women. Love them. 🙂

  • I guess you knew you would get a lot of comments, right? I understand so well what you mean. When someone who doesn’t know Jesus is mean to you, you say to yourself, “Well that’s understandable, that person doesn’t know the Lord.” When a Christian is mean to you, it undermines your confidence in the church, and sends your faith into a tailspin.

    • I wish it weren’t so, Kathleen. I really don’t mean to come off as judgmental of leaders or Christians, but if truth be told, my experiences in the church have been less than favorable. I have not felt love from Christians. I can count on my hand how many have extended grace or love to me. Granted, I understand noone is perfect, I’m noone to judge. I’ll be the first to say, I fall short every day. I’m not saying I’m better or have my stuff together, all I’m saying is, that I definitely saw a difference in how I was treated by the Muslims versus Christians.

    • Oh yes that is what I think too.. “Well that’s understandable, that person doesn’t know the Lord”

  • organic335

    This is the reason why I admire your courage, wisdom and opinions because you are willing to experience for yourself with an open mind and then make a decision on what is right for you. Unlike other people who judge and criticize without experiencing for themselves first hand. Remember, how Meeso greeted you when you? 🙂

    • Yes, I remember. You and Meeso loved me no matter what. Thank you for being a wonderful friend all these years.

  • I have had my own share of experiences within the church, both as a leader and a follower. 🙂

    As a leader, power was conferred to me simply because maybe I was available (not sure) or maybe my pastor saw ‘something’ in me, so I did things the way I knew how. I bet I hurt people :(. I obviously didn’t do things right. Just silly things like being very opinionated and believing the ‘anointing’ was all I needed to do the job. I have since learned…

    One line that struck me here “…even though God didn’t call them”

    I have since learned that if God has not called me, I won’t get his support and I am bound to do things my way and be “messy”. This means I will hurt others whether planned or not.

    Having said that, there is no place for excuses, church leaders should be people who inspire us and if they can’t do just that then they need not be there!

    I’m glad to know you encountered Jesus and you are here with us. You will inspire many of us. Thanks for sharing.

    • Wow! I love your comment. So honest and rich. I am so grateful you came by and joined the conversation. I appreciate it. 🙂

  • Wow. There are so many of us who have experienced these hurts. What you’ve written describes perfectly my reasons for needing to leave an evangelical church for a liturgical one. The years I spent within the evangelical church both increased my desire to have faith and decreased my actual faith. When we left, it was out of the knowledge that our children were being hurt too.

    It’s true that in our humanity, we are likely to hurt others. I know that I certainly have. My problem is not with the actual hurts that occur, but in the dismissal of them as trivial or selfish. It also disturbs me how often, when someone is hurt, that it’s a “natural consequence” of our own behavior. It’s the stubborn refusal to take responsibility that bothers me far more than anything else.

    • Ohhhh, you worded this excellently! I couldn’t agree with it more. “when someone is hurt, that it’s a ‘natural consequence’ of our own behavior. Awesome point! Thanks for taking the time to read my post Amy and for your thoughtful response. I love it. 🙂

  • scs2013

    I too had a crisis of faith when I discovered that my husband of 20 years had been having a relationship with another woman for 15 of our 20 year marriage. It was further tested when he bankrupted us and started the abuse. I have since divorced and several years later am now engaged to a wonderful man who is not Christian; he practices Hinduism. Because I am Catholic, I am not allowed to get married in my church and have been told by my priest that I do not qualify for an annulment of my first marriage. Again, my faith was tested.
    I soon realized, however, that Jesus was and still is beside me during my journey and although my new husband is not be Christian he respects my faith and attends services with me. Jesus was , still is and will always be my strength and my foundation and although I am not happy with the Leaders of my Church, I will always be happy living in the love that Jesus has bestowed on me.

    • Wow, I’m so sorry this happened to you. My heart goes out to you. I truly value you would share this with me, with us… I’m happy you met someone who loves you and I’m sorry for all the red tape one must go through with regards to Church and its legalities. Drives me nuts sometimes I tell you. I hope you come by and visit here again. I loved having you. 🙂

  • I don’t normally discuss religion much online, but I wanted to make a few comments here. 1.) There was a frank, but kind tone that I really appreciate. So much that deals with religion gets… shrill. This was refreshing. 2.) I also found it heartwarming that you spoke to issues with the people, not the religion.

    There’s a 3, but I can’t yet put it into words. Should it find a less nebulous form, I’ll come back and share it.

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment my friend. I really appreciate it. I look forward to hearing number 3. 🙂

      • So this is the best I can do for now:

        This post treats life as a journey, not a destination. It doesn’t dwell on the issue of “who was I in the past,” but shows an attitude of being who you are, when you are that person. It is free of guilt for decisions made that one wouldn’t do the same as now. This is something I struggle with – a lot. I hear it in most people, much of the time. This was, instead, resonating with the joy of life and living – and a love for life (warts and all).

  • I wish Muslims were hypocrites, because if they live by their teachings, we die.

  • Yes i have been hurt by the church and other leaders in the church. I handled it badly i think, I left the church I did try to question the leaders intent on his belief and got a poor excuse. Unreasonable people cannot be reasonable….I have not been back since. I have a relationship with God, just me and him…but after reading this post I think I need to think about it more perhaps I gave up too quickly. I wanted to comment though and thank you for the post.

    • Thank you for sharing your honest reflection. I’m sorry you were hurt by the Church too. It appears there are many of us. Just based on the comments here alone, I say there are a whole bunch of us in the same boat. How sad, right? I have stopped going to church too. I live stream from home.