“He’s not here. He’s not here. He’s not here.” I was chatting this week with a former Muslim in his mid 20s. He recounted a dream that had changed his life while a college student in the Middle East.
“I saw a man rise from the grave and three woman repeating ‘He’s not here’.” Then, responding to a newspaper ad for free New Testaments, my acquaintance received his own copy of the Word. After reading the accounts of the resurrection, he dropped the New Testament and kicked it onto the floor. “What? Is this the same as my dream? How could that be?” Picking it up again, he read the entire New Testament through in one sitting.
He dropped out of college because he just had to grapple with classic Muslim objection that the Bible had been corrupted. Spending time in the local library reading as many early Church sources as possible such as Tacitus, Clement, Augustine, and others, he came to the conviction that Jesus Christ had in fact risen from the dead. Months passed and he came to pray to Jesus, “I may be blaspheming right now, but I want you to show me you are real”.
Long story short, he became an Anglican. Why? I asked. “In my country, there are Catholics and Orthodox but they’re too rigid. And there are Independent Charismatics, but they’re too free. There are Reformed pastors, but they can sometimes ultra-reformed. Anglicans have order, but there’s freedom, too. Anglicans don’t behave like a cult and they can recite ‘One, holy, Catholic church’ from the Creed and actually believe it.”
Had I just met my first ex-Muslim now Anglican?
I don’t know, but what I had just experienced was a witness to Jesus Christ from a Muslim context. I had heard from his lips that Anglicanism offers a viable resource for new believers from Muslim backgrounds.
We’re entering Holy Week, Easter, and Easter Week and this conversation makes me realize that Jesus can and does reveal Himself today in dreams. And He also calls Muslims to count the cost of believing in the Resurrection, the Bible, the Creeds. And though there are many ways to be a follower of Christ, living as an Anglican can certainly be an authentic one whether you’re from a Muslim background or not. Perhaps this Easter-time is a good season to pray for the Risen Lord to reveal Himself in dreams to Muslims the world over?