Team Muslim, Team Christian, Or Team Jesus?

What “team” are you on?

You know, spiritually speaking.

What religious “team” are you part of?

Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Sikh, Bahai, atheist, agnostic?

My Muslim friends: are you on the Sunni team?
What school of thought or jurisprudence do you follow? Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, Hanbali, Ẓahiri?
What school of theology do you believe in? Athari, Kalam, Ash’ari, Maturidi, Murji’ah, Mu’tazili?
Are you part of any of the movements? The Salafi (Wahhabi) movement, The Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimun (Muslim Brotherhood), or Jamaat-e-Islami of the Indian subcontinent?

Are you on the Shia team?
Which branch? Twelver, Ismaili, or Zaidi?
Which sub-division of Twelver? Usulism, Akhbarism, or Shaykhism?
Which branch of Ismaili? Nizari, Mustaali, Dawoodi Bohra, Sulaimani Bohra, etc.?
Are you Alawi?

Are you part of the Suffi team? Singing, dancing, the mystical. Attempting to experience God. Is that your “team?”

What about the Druze team?

And you, my Christian readers: are you Catholic or Protestant or Orthodox?
Are you Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Assembly of God, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of God in Christ?
Christians, are you non-denominational, fundamentalist, independent, evangelical, charismatic, pentecostal, reformed, arminian?
Are you pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib rapture? Premillennial, postmillennial, or amillennial? Paedobaptism or believer’s baptism? Infralapsarianism or supralapsarianism or neither? Transubstantiation or consubstantiation or neither?

There are so many religious “teams” out there! I won’t speak for or criticize anyone else, but for me as someone who grew up in the Christian tradition, it’s kind of. . .well. . .it seems kind of ridiculous, doesn’t it?

But maybe there is something more ridiculous.

Have you ever had someone try to get you on their religious “team”? To get you to change teams? For example, has someone pressured you to take off your Muslim “jersey” and put on a Christian “jersey”? Has someone pressured you to take off your Christian “jersey” and put on a Muslim “jersey” (or some other switch?)

How did it make you feel? Uncomfortable? Nervous? Insecure? Frustrated? Defensive? Angry?

Did they preach at you, never letting you answer or express yourself or ask questions of your own?

It doesn’t feel good, does it?

So I wonder. I wonder if all this effort so many of us make in trying to get people onto our religious “team” is what God wants.

I mean really, what does God want?

What if God just wants everyone on His team? Maybe we could call His team what author Carl Medearis calls it: “Team Jesus.”

I have an old Denver Bronco football jersey – a nice authentic one, and rather expensive at the time. I actually bought it in about 1980. It is bright orange with white lettering and numbers. I remember that I wanted to wear it to let people know what “team” I was on. On the back of the jersey above the number is a name – actually, a very special name. The name I chose to put on that old jersey over 30 years ago was. . .Jesus.

I could have chosen another word for my religious “team” like Christian or Protestant or Presbyterian or reformed or charismatic.

But that’s not who I ultimately wanted to be identified with.

No, I wanted then – and I want now – to be known as a lover and follower of Jesus.

I don’t know what “team” you are on but I can tell you this:

I am not trying to get you to put on a jersey which says “Team Christian.”

No, I want for you exactly what I want for me:

I just want to be on “Team Jesus.”

Because on the Judgment Day, that is the only “jersey” I want to be wearing in front of Almighty God.

Team Jesus.

“Behold! the angels said: ‘O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah. . .'” (The Qur’an, Âl ‘Imrân – The Family Of ‘Imran, 3:45)

“Behold! Allah said: ‘O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection. . .'” (The Qur’an, Âl ‘Imrân – The Family Of ‘Imran, 3:55)

“. . .Jesus. . .There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (The Bible, Acts 4:10, 12)

7 thoughts on “Team Muslim, Team Christian, Or Team Jesus?

  1. Team Jesus might appear to have suffered a setback on the cross, but He definitely scored the winning goal: the resurrection. Now He is just winning the hearts of the spectators. I want to run with Jesus!

    • Mert, speaking of running with Jesus:

      “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

    • Ameen! Yes. “Team God” all the way! Alhamdulillah!

      But what I am trying to say is that to be on “Team God,” I believe it is imperative to be on “Team Jesus.”

      It is essentially one and the same team.

      • We Muslims have a direct relationship with God—we do not need to belong to any other team besides God’s. There are no intermediaries between God and Human.

        • I can somewhat understand your Muslim belief in no intermediaries. You believe you can go directly to God for forgiveness, duas, etc. But I have a question about that.

          Recently I shared a wonderful Iftar meal with a Muslim friend at his home and we had a great conversation. We got to talking about his desire to go on the next Hajj to Mecca. He said he wanted to actually go on four more Hajjs before he gets too old: one for his father, one for his mother, one for his wife, and one for his brother. His wife is still living but his other three loved ones have passed away. I asked him what he meant about going “for them.” He said they would get the credit with Allah as if they had gone themselves.

          That sure sounds like he is acting as an “intermediary” in some sense. Am I right? Isn’t he acting as a substitute? Isn’t he taking their place?

          This is the whole point of the Injil. That Jesus took our place when he died. Because of God’s great love for us, he was our substitute.

          If my friend can take the place for his loved ones in the Hajj to gain something for them – either greater reward in Paradise or less time in the hellfire – why can’t Jesus do the same for all of us?

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