Question:

Dear Sir,

I'm convinced that Christianity is the true religion. Your web site was really helpful and informative. I would like to convert to Christianity, but I'm just 15 year old and raised a Muslim. As you might know, if a Muslim converts to another religion he has to face a lot of criticism from society and in some countries even death. Fortunately I live in in a place where there isn't a death penalty for apostasy. I'm not worried about the criticism, but about how it would affect my family members. I have a relative, a born Muslim, who embraced the Baha'i faith a few years back. Because he lived in town and was quite unsocial, he did not have to face too many problems. But my grandmother, who lived in a village, had to undergo a lot of insults and difficulties when the village authorities came to know about it. No one would sell anything to her in the markets, no one would talk to her, or come to visit her, although she herself was a devout Muslim. My parents in the end figured out a solution and the villagers have forgotten about it now. However, I think it would happen all over again if I converted to Christianity. Also, my parents, who are very social people, would undoubtedly be greatly insulted by people. I might even have to do it against my mother's will. So, my question is that is it OK if I don't convert until I'm old enough to support myself, and I move to a better and more understanding society? I'll probably apply for a scholarship in some other country. After all that my parents have done for me, I feel like it is my duty not to make them social outcasts.

Thank you,


Answer:

Just as I can't make the decision to be a Christian for you, I also can't give you permission to delay that decision either. It isn't my place to tell God what He will or will not accept. I'm limited to only teaching what God has said. "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 4:11).

You are correct that you are in an awkward position since you wish to make an independent decision about your faith but you are in a situation where others will assume that the decision was not your own to make. You are also correct that once you make this decision, you'll be on your own. Those who I know of in similar situations to yours left home when they became a Christian and a Christian family took them in as one of their own. However you work this out, there will be repercussion that you won't be able to avoid no matter when or where you make your decision. As hard as it might seem at the moment, understand that in the long run God will make it work out for the good of all. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

You'll be in my thoughts and my prayers.