Our connection group just completed a six week study of the "i am n" program (created by Voice of the Martyrs). Wow...what an amazing piece of work. I believe it accurately portrayed the challenges, faithfulness, and depth of the persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
You would expect a study like this to make Muslims appear evil. While it does place blame at the feet of ISIS (where I believe it most certainly should). One thing I greatly appreciated was that the average Muslim was not portrayed as a villain. I have grown so tired of America's deep polarization, the idea that if you don't agree with me then not only are you wrong but a bad person as well.
As a sincere Christian I believe that the Muslim believer is sincerely wrong about their faith. I also recognize that the Muslim believer feels that same way about me. I struggle to understand why it is that even though our culture cries out peace and tolerance it really pushes for division and enmity.
I believe the most powerful tool isn't rhetoric and scrutinizing the "bad guys", but instead looking at the victims and humanizing the situation by trying to appreciate both sides. I think of things like the "i am n" material or the Holocaust Museum I visited in Washington D.C. Here I built a connection to the victims but also gained a clearer understanding of those who opposed them.
When I slow down and stop people as victims but as a persecuted group I can better respect their plight. When I stop seeing the perpetrators as "bad guys" and start understanding how their beliefs are driving them, it can help me evaluate my poor thinking. I never want to be the one to be in a position to hurt others. If I am to be an effective Christian I must be building bridges into individual lives. Obviously I won't agree with everyone and embrace their beliefs, I can still learn to respect and even love them.
I believe that no matter what worldview we espouse we should understand what we believe any why. I hope to show others that the Christian worldview is not only accurate but true. If not, I hope they will be clear on why they reject it.