Is it Wrong for Christians to Fast for Ramadan?

Here is a link to an article about Christians who have chosen to participate in Ramadan with Muslim friends as part of an interfaith conversation.

As a proponent of this kind of conversation and action, I am a little bummed I missed the beginning of this conversation and of Ramadan this year. I would have loved to have found a group for conversation and shared ritual in Atlanta. Maybe next year!

Though it seems like on the whole this move to create conversation between Christians and Muslims has been generally well received, it has not been without controversy and critique. Some have even called it apostate and accused Brian McLaren (one of the leaders in America fasting with Muslim friends) as being a “wolf in wolf’s clothing.” Ridiculous!

What confuses me, is that while people like Ben (article) and Brian are doing this as Christians in conversation with Muslims, this is not nearly as radical as it may seem. I mean, it is a whole lot less consumptive of another religion than the earliest Christians were in their reinterpretation of the symbols, rituals, and texts of Judaism and Hellenistic culture. Christianity has always been a religion that was open to the localized and contextual reinterpretation of symbols and rituals. Yes, some of the ancient symbols have been preserved, particularly in many mainline churches, but couldn’t someone accuse people of leading contemporary services that play “secular” music as being just as “apostate” as those who would join in sharing religious practices with others?

There is much more to be said on this; however, I do find the critique of Ben and others as bit hypocritic when they are participating in a religious discipline.

What do you think? Is it wrong? Does it seem hypocritical to critique, especially from those who tend to be from churches which have borrowed practices from “secular culture”?

ASalaam ‘Alaykum-

Joshua

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