verbal terrorism
3/22/2006 04:01:00 AM

Pat Robertson remarked that the outpouring of rage elicited by cartoons:

...just shows the kind of people we're dealing with. These people are crazed fanatics, and I want to say it now: I believe it's motivated by demonic power. It is satanic, and it's time we recognize what we're dealing with...the goal of Islam, ladies and gentlemen, whether you like it or not, is world domination.

Not to long after this, Franklin Graham said:

(Islam) is a very evil and wicked religion,...Do they want to indoctrinate me? Yes. I know about Islam. I don't need an education from Islam. If people think Islam is such a wonderful religion, just go to Saudi Arabia and make it your home. Just live there. If you think Islam is such a wonderful religion, I mean, go and live under the Taliban somewhere. I mean, you're free to do that.

Sometimes I wonder if we as Christians really do any sort of justice for the faith by making statements such as these. Two of the most prominent figures in American Christianity making stinging remarks against Islam seems to me that it does more damage than good. If I was a Muslim, and somebody made those remarks about my faith, I think I would take great offense against the person who said it and against the faith that he is a part of. I know of many Christians who get upset because somebody says their faith is wrong. What happened to the commandment, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7:12)?"

One thing that I do like about Franklin Graham is that he cares for people's needs. He is the president of Samaritans Purse that delivers thousands of items to some of the most needy places in the world.

In an essay Graham wrote on Islam he says,

But Jesus also taught his followers to love others. It is this central teaching of Christianity that motivates my life and work, as a relief worker as well as a minister. While as Christians we disagree with Islamic teachings, if we obey the teachings of Jesus we will love all Muslims.

He says this of Muslim people:

I do not believe Muslims are evil people because of their faith. I personally have many Muslim friends. But I decry the evil that has been done in the name of Islam, or any other faith--including Christianity.

Like any religion, taken to an extreme people can do some harmful things with it. As Christians, I'm not sure that we are doing anything different if we continue to use rhetoric like Pat Robertson and Graham though to critique Islam. Rather than that methodology, we could use show Muslims the truth of Christianity at a grassroots level through fulfilling the great commandments and great commission, as Graham does. We should also decry those who publicaly degrade Islam in the way that is being done on national television or in other media. Certainly, Muslims have to be confronted with the gospel sometime, but I don't think that this is ever going to happen on Dateline, 20/20, Good Morning America, or the O'Riley Factor. Loving people would defuse any accusations against Christians Muslims may have and allow them to see Christ in us, the hope of glory.

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