Question:

I am 17 years old and I have OCD. I have been struggling with thoughts that are really affecting my life.

This might sound weird but I have thoughts about the religion of Islam and things that are associated with it, including the way they look and words such as Muslim, Allah, Muhammad, etc. Whenever I see a Muslim or think about their religion or anything like that I have great anxiety and fear. I try to resist the thoughts and feelings that come with it. I sometimes try to reassure myself that I do not believe or agree with these thoughts and often try to replace them with thoughts of Jesus or even other religions that I feel are of a lesser threat. I fear that that these thoughts are me and that I am going to start agreeing with or believing the thoughts.

I am a Christian and I love Jesus with all of my heart. These thoughts are strongly against my faith. They are worrying me. I also fear that I am drifting away from God, and it is sometimes hard to pray because every time I do I associate Jesus and God with pictures of Islamic people and their God. I have felt the need to compare the different faiths with each other in the hope that Christianity will prevail as true just to prove it to myself.

I do have faith in Jesus and I am a Christian. It's just hard to understand these thoughts about Islam that keep coming in. They are causing me great anxiety. Help!

Thank you.


Answer:

I understand that you have fears revolving around Islam, but I'm unclear as to why you have this fear. Are you afraid that Islam might be correct? A study of the religion should demonstrate its flaws. See A Study of Islam.

It appears to me that you based your faith in Christ upon feelings instead of reason. Because feelings come and go, changing with the wind, you find yourself without a solid foundation.

"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ -- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love" (Ephesians 4:11-16).

Faith isn't a feeling. It comes from learning and applying God's Word in your life. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). If I were to recommend anything, it is that you should study more deeply the religion you say you follow. There is not a problem checking out the facts of Christianity. God invites scrutiny. ""Present your case," says the LORD. "Bring forth your strong reasons," says the King of Jacob. "Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; Let them show the former things, what they were, That we may consider them, And know the latter end of them; Or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, That we may know that you are gods; Yes, do good or do evil, That we may be dismayed and see it together. Indeed you are nothing, And your work is nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination" (Isaiah 41:21-24).

For instance, the Bible does not tell us what the Father or the Son look like; therefore, the idea of praying with some image in mind doesn't make sense. God is spirit (John 4:24), so to describe Him in physical terms would be difficult at best.

Confidence comes from knowing whom you follow.