This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Understanding Muslims from a Protestant point of view

Like most of the people that I've known in a longish life spent in the United States, my point of view is Protestant. Speaking for myself, I was raised Presbyterian, which is the Protestant side of Christianity (the other side being Catholic). So mostly I learned about Jesus Christ. I learned a little bit about Judaism, but only from my study of the Old Testament.

But unlike the majority of people I've known, I have been unafraid to learn about other religions. I started doing this when I was about 13, after I was confirmed as an Elder at Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For me, it started with a trip my parents took us on to Salt Lake City, Utah. When I got home, a neighbor of ours lent me their Book of Mormon. Of course, this horrified the people around me, as this knowledge might "infect" me - and I have very rarely seen anyone of any religion, or even atheists, want to even take a look at a different religion, a different point of view. But I figured that I was a smart kid, and I wanted to make my own decisions. And I still have so much more to learn.

If you're like me, a Protestant, you may be wondering if learning more about Muslims is "approved by the church". Since Protestantism by its nature encourages individual learning, there really is no "church" to approve or disapprove, there is just the Bible. Yes, a lot of people get this wrong, including people who claim to speak for the church. But there is only one person who speaks for the Christian Church, and He is Jesus Christ.

So, start there. If someone criticizes you, or tries to stop you from learning about any religion in the world, tell them that you answer to a higher authority, and go in peace.
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