St Mary’s in Walthamstow are going to be hosting an MBU on Sunday 19th September; that’s a Meeting for Better Understanding between Christians and Muslims. It will involve two speakers, one Muslim and one Christian, each speaking on the subject of Jesus in the Quran and Jesus in the Bible respectively. It will be followed by refreshments and chat afterwards.
This strikes me as an eminently sensible and excellent idea; Walthamstow has sizable populations of both Muslims and Christians, and anything that fosters understanding and greater community friendship and unity can only be a good thing that will bring benefits to Walthamstow as a whole. I am certainly personally highly in favour of it and think perhaps this idea could be reciproated and echoed in local mosques and churches.
However, I was disconcerted to receive an invitation to a couple of prayer meetings being held beforehand with the aim of, and I quote: “God’s grace in Christ to break through into the lives of local muslim (sic) people”. This sounds less like an attempt to better understand our Muslim neighbours and find common ground with them, and more like one to convert them from their own faith. Doesn’t that rather undermine the idea of a “Meeting for Better Understanding”?