Witches in black encircling a cauldron. Druid-type figures gazing with glowing eyes at passersby. Skeletons hanging like primates from tree branches. This could be a scene from the Dark Ages, or perhaps it’s just the average front yard in the Ozarks during the month of October (or anywhere in the United States for that matter). With October 31st fast approaching (and we’re not talking about Protestant Reformation Day), there is no shortage of scary sights to send little ones shivering.
Why this fascination with fearful things? Perhaps some find it cool or trendy; others may just want to go along with a culture that is ever-increasingly smitten with the diabolical. But the root of it just may be this: in a world that seems to be spinning out of control, we just want to know there is something behind it—that there is an unseen realm that can help us make sense of what we’re experiencing in the natural. And maybe, we hope we can even exert some control over this realm.
Many Muslims face similar circumstances. About 85 percent of Muslims engage in folk practices, seeking to exercise self-determination over a life that has already been pre-determined by Allah. If only they could visit the right shrine, seek out the right shaman, or include the right Quranic verses in their amulets, maybe their natural circumstances could improve. Maybe they could face tomorrow without fear.
The Christian faith is not just universally true, it is existentially satisfying. The greatest question in the universe is why does everyone and everything die? The Bible answers this succinctly: “Just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people because all sinned…so also one righteous act resulted in
justification and life for all people” (Romans 5:12, 18). This act of righteousness refers to the finished work of Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection whereby this fiercest of our foes, death, will be defeated for all time (1 Corinthians 15:26). Because of what Jesus has done for us, we will one day taste the reality that death has no more sting (1 Corinthians 15:55) as we experience the blessed hope of eternal life with Jesus in Heaven.
This is incredibly good news for folk Muslims, the average American, or anyone. While fear lingers in the shadow of death, the light of the Son dispels the darkness. With no dread of death, we are free to live a life without fear.