In an emailed daily Christian devotional I receive, this week the writer quotes a Muslim poet, Rumi. I guess he is expecting his readers to be impressed by his creative thinking and inclusive philosophy. The quote is not a biblical teaching – but rather, an Islamic teaching!
A human being is essentially a spirit-eye.
Whatever you really see,
you are that.
(Oops: www.ask.com/wiki/Rumi link no longer active)
Why would you put forth a teaching from Islam – in a devotional for Christians? Christ was not, is not… inclusive. He is quite exclusive. But the church wants so much to appeal to the world, and include them – to the point where now many ARE inclusive, and actually teach that we are all accepted by our all-loving God – no matter whom we worship and obey!
What a Muslim meant in the context of his worldview, such as this Rumi mystic in this quote, is quite different from what an ignorant American may “read into” his words. But you cannot separate a poet’s words from his context – and expect readers to think what you want the words to say. Your audience, hopefully, is much smarter than that! This Rumi Muslim poet is teaching mystic religion, not biblical thought. Why would you entangle believers into a mystic teaching?!
Rumi’s teaching here is from Islam, and it has nothing to do with what the Bible teaches us. Christian pastors and teachers and authors need to do a little more research on Islamic thought. The teachings of a Muslim mystic are loaded with their Muslim worldview. Their words have to be interpreted within the context of their philosophy – not ours. The allure of mystic writings is admittedly quite strong. It can sound so exotic and somehow… right. But it contradicts Christ´s teachings!
I would never “push” Christians towards a Muslim poet as devotional material! Why would you use Muslim writings in a biblical devotional? Everything they write — comes with their worldview interpretation. Would you quote a heretic´s teaching on a passage – to make your point?
This is just wrong. You put forth false teaching when you use Muslim mysticism as truth. Very disappointing – to see a Christian missionary agency expounding on the Word in this manner. Makes you kind of wonder….