Ministry and Western Muslims in the 21st Century Term Paper

The word ministry is from a which means to serve. In the New Testament, ministry implies service to God and to people in the name of God. The New Testament further declares that the Lord came to this world to serve and not to be served. Christians are therefore encouraged to serve other people with love and humility just as Christ did. They should minister to Gods people with dedication and it does not matter whether the people believe in the ministry or not. They should minister for the sake of other people and the ministry should be served unconditionally. (Freedman)

Today the ministry is using more of a professional meaning in the sense that pastors are referred to as ministers this means full time service to God. The pastors devote their lives to serve others in the ministry but they are not the only ones who are concerned with the ministry. In the New Testament and even in todays world, every Christian is given the opportunity to help others in the service of God. The ministry does not deal with practical issues only but it concerns itself with spiritual matters. The ministry should make great efforts to help people accept Christ in their lives as well as sharing the word of God with everyone. Christians are brought together by the fact that they are universally devoted to Christ. They are dedicated to the work of Christ by helping others find their way to Christ. The church is supposed to help Christians to express their gratitude and love to God. (Samuel)

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The work of the ministry is through the free will of an individual and no one can force a person to take up an office in the ministry. The work should be taken seriously and no one person is greater than the other. In many Christian societies there are different positions in the ministerial office for people to be appointed. This however, does not mean that the people are different when accepting the work of priesthood to serve Gods people. It is important to realize that when an individual accepts the work of Christ, one does not get away from the duties he is meant to fulfill even if he was not meant for the work of God. One has to the work with devotion to the work of God who appointed him to do so. When one is a minister in a certain religion he or she does not become superior or inferior Christian to the rest but rather he is there to serve God. A person has to accept and realize their purpose in life in order to achieve fulfillment in life. (Freedman)

Those who are called to spread the word of God are given the spiritual calling that they feel in their life. Others feel that the society demands that they give their life to the service of God as a follower of Christ. This is largely supported by the need to maintain order in the society by these individuals. In the early days, people set aside time for worship thus creating the need to have someone elected so as to lead the others. This led to the realization that some people should be selected to help others in the contribution and engagement in religious matters but they were not superior to other people. The need to spread the work of God, helping the poor in the society, healing and comforting the sick has led to the creation of the ministry. Through all these issues that affect the society the word of God has been able to spread throughout the world. (Day)

The ministry is closely related with the field of the learned professionals. This can be illustrated in the case where the medical field is mostly related with the work in the of the sick and disadvantaged in the society. There are situations where the head of a school is seen as the minister of the word to the school. It is important that the ministry is not perceived as a profession which an individual must choose but rather as a calling which one follows. In order to be able to spread the word, the Church must be in close relationship with the pastors and scholars so that it is much easier to reach more people. This is because religion has been in existence for a long time with many books being written in foreign languages thus one needs to strike a balance between the two. (Gregory 1)

The society as a whole is changing drastically with the role of the ministry also changing. Western civilization played a great role in the changes in the ministry in the way it has led to high rate of specialization in various fields. In the past, priests had the responsibility to protect and care for the community. Priests played the roles of physicians, scholars to enlighten people as well as the authority to lead the community. Today so much information both religious and secular needs to be mastered within a short period of time. This has led to a division between the religious leaders and the secular professionals. The church ministry has many obligations that need to be fulfilled thus it should not be abandoned. (Charles)The church leaders are responsible for helping people do their work effectively thus it should not be taken for granted.

Religion needs the educated people in the society and they in turn need religion and thus various intellectuals should not feel that education is more important than religion. The church is isolating itself from the ministry work. This is mostly due to the pressure from professionalism that seems to be embraced in the society by even the church leaders. The ministry is bound to collapse without the word of God which forms the cornerstone of religion. When the right principles for the minister of the church are neglected, the ministry deteriorates. The pastor is left without any form of work to do thus this change the role of the ministry in the society. (Freedman)

Today, many Christians have misunderstood the meaning of the ministry. The pastors and the clergy in the contemporary society have the illusion that they are at a better position than the rest of the Christians. They are more concerned about managing the church resources and its culture rather than putting the word of God as the priority. In some situations, the religious leaders are given special attention and executive names within the domination. They are perceived as high people in the society instead of having the simple role of working for the service of God. A wide range of video tapes and other forms of entertainments have taken a centre stage in the church. The people are forgetting that Gods work and practicing discipleship is more important. (Charles)

The pastors crave for the moments when they are not referred to as reverend or preachers. Their families also do not like the moments when they are being referred to as the preachers children or family. They yearn for situations where they would be free of these obligations even if for a short while. In other situations, many people do not want to take any public office especially when associated with religious or holy matters. Christians today feel they can be able to have their work done even when one is in the middle of personal issues like divorce. The church ministers also feel that there some matters that are more important than others thus they put more emphasis on such and neglect others. A church leader may step in and out of his duties just as simply as entering the church premises. The church ministers feel that they are the role models when it comes to matters of worship and that they are selected by God to characterize the work of the worshipers. The church requires true followers not just better performances. (Braestrup)

The work of the minister who once was the most powerful person in the community is now affected by lack of confidence. In the early days in a country like New England, the minister had the power to make religious laws and also directed on the way of life for the community. The church was highly respected and its policies were adapted in the society thus the ministers office was very powerful. This however is not the case in the modern society as the ministers do not have any authority in the community making them look inadequate. This is because they minister to highly learned individuals in the society who have crucial positions in the community and they are used to being their own bosses. The ministry is also affected by serious competition from other leaders who seem to give the congregation what a normal preacher cant. They present their message in a way that leaves the minister looking rough in comparison. (Freedman)

The Muslim community is faced with the challenge of maintaining the Islamic identity as well as the changes in the social and political field according to the policies of the Quran. Muslims are faced with problems that affect them both socially and personally like any other families in the West. These problems include high rate of divorce cases, domestic violence, child abuse as well as teenage pregnancies. In the Muslim culture, people try to seek solutions through negotiations and also through preventing any form of violence in the family. Many Muslims practice intermarriages with other communities in the West. Young Muslims experience problems while looking for a partner in marriage due to the intense problems of ethnicity and Islamic culture. The Islamic culture tends to divide the people rather than unite them as stated in the Quran. (Palmer)

Marriage couples are faced with economic problems and thus both parents have to leave their children in . This deprives the children of the parental guidance that molds them both emotionally and spiritually. This thus leaves the children with no conviction to build a strong social standing in the community. The Muslim families have the obligation to build stable society and . A family that is not able to provide stable religious and social standings for the development of the children means that the society also suffers. Parents should not ignore their roles in educating their children as well as serving as role models to them. (Palmer)

The other major challenge in the Muslim society is the oppression of women. The Muslim community values men as they are considered more important than women in the community. The Muslim society is faced with the issue of equality among the people and it generates opposition in their culture. The Quran seems to imply that a man is entitled to polygamy and that fairness between men and women cannot be possible. Women have no freedom to marry the man of their choice and cannot terminate a marriage that is not fulfilling. The women rights are virtually not included in the religion and culture of Islam. It is important that women rights are protected in order to create a conducive environment for all. (Palmer)

The Muslim society is seen as advocating for terrorism especially in the Western World. This is controversial because ordinary Muslims who do not have anything to do with terrorism feel that it not appropriate since they are given a label just because they believe in Islamic faith. These issues have created great friction with other religion and culture who view Muslims as dangerous people. (Samuel)

In the Western society they believe that prayer is something that should be done in private while for Muslims religion is out in the open, on the streets and is done five times a day. The Westerners believe that democracy and human rights should be at the fore front in any society. This for instance can be illustrated by the fact that when an individual comes out in the open about any personal or cultural problems they are experiencing they are warmly embraced by the society. Muslims however feel that private or personal matters of an individual should not be put in the open. When a Muslim comes out and narrates the problems with the taboos in their culture that are cruel and oppressive they are shunned from the community and as they are believed to bring shame to the Muslim religion. The Muslim culture is based on protecting the honor and modesty of their society and religion. The Westerners feel that the Muslim veils are unnecessary in the contemporary society. (Charles)

Muslims are facing a lot of discrimination in the world especially in the West. In Europe, religious discrimination toward Muslims has been on the rise over the years. The young Muslims are treated unfairly because of the stereotypes they perceive about the Islamic religion. Students in schools are also facing discrimination issues both from their fellow colleagues and the teachers. The teachers do not feel that Muslim students can perform well in class and in most cases they fail them their exams even when they have performed well. These students are also faced with the problem of unemployment once they complete school. Most organizations do not employ the Muslims in their companies leading to a large number of Muslims unemployed in the West. These people are forced to live isolated lives in Muslim slams on very poor conditions of living. (Palmer)

The media analysis of the Muslim issues has created a lot of stereotype and unfairness in many European countries. The media and especially the movie industry has in many cases been accused of bringing about negative opinions towards Islam by putting the idea that Muslims are evil, violence and dangerous to the society. This has led to the Muslim community isolating themselves from the rest of the community. The media do not even report on challenges and issues that are affecting the Muslim community. They publish negative information about Islam creating more problems. (Thompson)

The government should make policies that allow for equality in the society without discrimination. This equality should be portrayed in religion, cultural practices and peoples freedom of choice. The government should ensure that all communities have equal opportunities in sharing the resources available in the country. The housing sector should ensure that all people including Muslims have good housing facilities that are secure. There should be programs to help all people in the society to respect each others culture and way of life. Cultural differences should not be used to divide people but rather to unite people to work together in building the society. The resources available should be shared equality among all communities. Services should be provided to all citizens despite their race and skin color. (Samuel)

The ministry should be preserved and those who have been called to the service of God should ensure they protect the ministry. Christians should not forget the role of the ministry in the society and everyone should work for the good of the community. Every society should be able to respect other religions with their cultural practices for the common good of the society. Both Christians and Muslims have the duty to lead their congregation based on the moral values they believe in. It is also important that all communities and individuals live and preach peace in the world.


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