You & Me
"We really should cooperate with each other," says the Muslim. "You know, on pressing global concerns. The realities and challenges within and between our communities demand it."
"But I must keep my distance, so to speak," says the Christian. "I mean, yes, of course, love thy neighbor. The command of Jesus. There is that—especially as a means to witness. But in terms of working together, you and I have to respect the differences, right? They're exclusive. For the sake of Truth."
"What else is there?" says the Christian.
"That's right. Of course. Truth," says the Muslim. "I cannot be defiled by unbelief. The Truth has made things very clear. And the truth is, I am supposed to call you to Islam, but there are necessary boundaries to our practical relationship. In fact, these boundaries are part of God's exclusive social order; they are ordained by God to keep the believer pure and righteous."
"What else is there?" says the Muslim.
Truth matters and differences are undeniable. This, however, cannot be the final word in matters of multifaith engagement. While theological categories might be exclusive, relational or missiological, priorities should always be inclusive in a way that mirrors God's vast heart embracing love for all creation.
Those who feel that God has told them not to interact with others should be asked to explain how such a polarizing and insular position gives glory to the God of all the earth.
Those [Christians and Muslims] who reject social justice partnerships on theological grounds have failed to root their faith in the concrete facts of relationships. What is probably happening is that such individuals are afraid of others who are different, hold differing views, and look at the world in a dramatically different way.