Contend Earnestly: Liberal Christians Are Far Superior to Us in Loving Muslims

Monday, June 21, 2010

Liberal Christians Are Far Superior to Us in Loving Muslims

One of the hardest things I have to deal with, along with my close friends who have Muslim friends, is the backlash we receive from the conservative Christian community. You would not believe what sorts of emails we receive, lies that are spread and just plain ignorance that is put forth in Christian circles about our Muslim friends and our friendships and dialogues that we have with them. What saddens me is that there are almost no voices from the conservative Christian (speaking conservative in theological terms) crowd who are seeking to establish relationships with Muslim communities. What we DO see is many relationships being formed between Muslims and liberal Christianity, whether it be from someone like Brian McLaren, or local Unitarian churches in our area. But, when you think of it, how can our Muslim friends have any idea what the Bible really teaches about Jesus if those they are able to interact with and befriend have very little faith in the words that are spoken in the Bible? What we do see is that because we are conservative in our theology and "run in those circles" we get smashed for even thinking of walking in a Mosque to make friendships with our Muslim neighbors.
People, speaking local leaders/pastors love to throw stones at us from their ivory towers but won't even think about actually meeting with Muslims themselves to reach out in the name of loving our neighbors for the sake of Christ. Why? I really don't understand this. I don't understand why people don't want to reach out to seek reconciliation with those many conceive to be our enemies (which I do not believe...every Muslim I have met has turned into a friend). These same people preach week in and week out, yet show nothing but hatred for their enemies/neighbors. Now, what they do like to say is they are speaking the truth in love. But, just because you say that is what you are doing, doesn't make it true. How does drawing up straw men and spreading fear and lies about another count as love?
What is even more amazing is that if you talk to Muslims, they desire to speak to those who love and follow Jesus and have hard lines about their faiths. They are growing tired of just meeting up with those who don't believe in the virgin birth, the atonement of Jesus and the word of God. They want to meet with people who actually believe that they are correct, but are willing to discuss. I'm getting tired of this kind of Christianity. The attacking of another's belief system for the sake of word play and headlines. One of my favorite pastors recently called Muhammad a "pedophile" just for the sake of saying it. Honestly, what the hell was that for? How does this help? Especially when it isn't true both historically and culturally. Why don't these pastors actually get off their asses and start engaging those they "speak the truth in love about" instead of reaching for local headlines? What if I were to call their next door neighbor out by name a whore, just for the headlines, because I heard something from someone else about them? That would be unloving and unnecessary, but when you say it about Muhammad you are a hero and "standing for the faith." Give me a break.
Let me give you some food for thought: Sometimes, pagans don't hate you because of your holiness, they hate you because you hate them and you have only shown hatred. This post came about because of watching this video below and realizing, again, that most of the time Muslims can only quote liberal Christians, because frankly, those are the only ones who are actually following Jesus in understanding how to love your neighbor. Sad. Those of us who are conservative in theology and trying to live out this understanding only get yelled at from our brothers for doing so. Again, sad.


Jonspach said...

"But, when you think of it, how can our Muslim friends have any idea what the Bible really teaches about Jesus if those they are able to interact with and befriend have very little faith in the words that are spoken in the Bible?"m

I declare this to be the money quote & the point of the article where I gave a hearty "that's right!"

Jake Meador said...

Excellent. I wish someone would've told this to my church growing up: "People don't hate you b/c you're holy. They hate you because you're a jerk, knock it off."

SnatchedFromTheFire said...

Seth -
gotta say, my favorite/most horrifying line of the video had to be "you know what we need to do? we need to follow Brian McLaren's advice ..." I think beer almost came out my nose when i heard those words come out of someone's mouth.
I dunno bro - it's true there needs to be action to our faith and not just defending and i believe we can work with people of all faiths in humanitarian aid or the like, whatever our motivations may be behind those actions. But i disagree (and tell me if i'm hearing something you're not saying) with the idea that Liberal Christians are the ONLY ones reaching out to Muslims or people of other faiths. I know there are lots of conservative Christians reaching out to people of all faiths including Muslims, and then i wonder if they (Muslims) aren;t gravitating towards the Liberal message b/c - as we all know - it's just plain simpler to swallow? That too is a generalization and i'm sure there is much viloence done to the cause of Christ by those who would SAY they are fighting for Him but are really fighting for themselves. Also, i too wondered at why Driscoll had to drop the "P" bomb on Mohhammed during that sermon (he has elsewhere spoken of Muslims as worhiping a demon God outside the temple there in Jerusalem) - i chalk it up to a passion for the revenrence of God's name in the same way that Jesus tore up the temple - i'm sure some might have said he wasn;t healing many "interfaith boundaries" with that burst of righteous anger either.
Still, as always, there's a piece missing for me in what you;re saying and i can't figure out if it's you or me that's decieved - i guess i don;t have that discerment gift ;) All the same, love you bro and pray God bless your ministering to all the lost sheep out there in need of the Shepherd.

Seth McBee said...


I largely agree with you on this...that's why I got so "worked up" over hearing yet another quote from a liberal.

I am not sure if they like to meet with them because it is "easier to swallow" as I know that from what I have seen and actually talked to the CAIR President in Seattle (he is a friend of mine) the liberal churches are the only ones who will meet with them. It's actually embarrassing to hear his interactions, or lack thereof, with conservative theological churches. He reaches out, they turn him down or don't even return his calls and letters, over and over again.

I also know many that are conservative doing the same type of "work" that we're doing up here in Seattle and they say the same thing as we do. So, it is quite barren out there.

But we would agree fully on McLaren and what he stands for...for the most part ;)

Peace brother.

Protoprotestant said...

Thank you for these comments. I agree and my wife and I have been saying this for years. For many Christians, they're not being persecuted...they're being jerks.

Why is Islam a threat to Christianity? Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, and Pat Robertson are the Osama Bin Laden's of the church.

Pardon my hyperbole, but if Islam takes over what?

Those who think Islam is the enemy are thinking in Constantinian- Christian America categories.

A misunderstanding of Christ's Kingdom.

Great post.


Jeremiah Weeping said...

I think the writer has some good points and I certainly agree with the spirit of the post, but I do think he does make a mistaken overstatement by nonchalantly stating that liberal Christians "have very little faith" in the words of Scripture. I come from an evangelical background (not sure what I am now), but I have found far more devotion and serious understanding - and most importantly - implementation of Scripture by liberal or progressive Chirtians than I have by conservatives, at least in my experience.

Both liberals and conservatives have their blind spots to be sure, but perhaps one of those blind spots by conservatives is the belief that liberals do not really understand or take serious the words of holy Scripture, and that that responsibility is best taken care of by conservatives.

I for one rejoice when members of other religions come into contact with my liberals sisters and brothers.

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