KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri woman whose husband works as a youth pastor recently decided to wear a hijab each Monday to show solidarity with Muslims, and states that it is not her “job to judge them or determine their salvation.”
Martha DeVries, 47, serves as a high school counselor and attends Chandler Baptist in Liberty. Her husband, Mike, serves part time as a youth pastor.
She says that part of her motivation to wear the hijab is what she perceives as anti-Islamic rhetoric during the 2016 presidential election.
“I’ve just gotten very tired of hearing so many negative things, like Donald Trump’s ‘let’s not let Muslim immigrants into the United States’ and the scare on Syrian refugees,” DeVries told Baptist News last month.
The other factor was a sermon that she heard at her church, which according to reports, “challenged Christians to push themselves beyond the limits of everyday, easy faith.”
DeVries also pointed to Christ’s admonition to love one’s neighbor and said, “I think of Muslims in my community as my neighbors and it’s not my job to judge them or determine their salvation. My job is to love them.”
She began wearing the hijab in December after first consulting with several Muslim women to ensure that it would not offend those of the Islamic faith.
At first, some around her asked why she was wearing the headscarf.
“I said I’m trying to walk in someone else’s shoes,” DeVries said. “And I said I’m tired of people saying persecutory things about Muslims.”
Her husband supports the effort.
“I thought it was kind of cool actually,” he told reporters. “Christians need to take a step back and evaluate their actions. Are we really making a difference, in what our purpose is, by bashing people?”
As previously reported, also in December, former Wheaton professor Larycia Hawkins posted to Facebook two photos of herself wearing a hijab, and stated that she planned to wear it everywhere she went during the Advent—including at the college and to church.
“I stand in human solidarity with my Muslim neighbor because we are formed of the same primordial clay, descendants of the same cradle of humankind—a cave in Sterkfontein, South Africa that I had the privilege to descend into to plumb the depths of our common humanity in 2014,” Hawkins wrote.
She said that not only does she have a common ancestry with Muslims, but that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” Hawkins asserted. “And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”
Hawkins eventually left the college after controversy erupted, not about her hijab, but her assertion that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
Some used the opportunity to outline why the concept is flawed in light of Scripture.
“Muslims hold that ‘God is one.’ Allah has no partners and assigning partners to him is shirk, the highest blasphemy,” explained Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor of Anacostia River Church in Washington, D.C., in a blog post for the Gospel Coalition. “Christians believe ‘God is one in three Persons.’ Each Person in the Trinity is fully and eternally God. Yet there is one God.”
He noted that as Muslims do not worship Jesus, who is God, Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God.
“No one knows God who does not know the Son, who is the only mediator between God and man,” Anyabwile said. “The goal of Christianity is the salvation of sinners through the righteousness, substitutionary atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”