This evening I ran across a story that in all honesty, irritated the tar out of me. It comes from the Detroit Free Press and it is a story about those that I call “God’s problem children”. They are my brothers and sisters, but dang it, sometimes they sure are hard to love. In Dearborn Michigan there is an annual conference of Muslims that gathers and with that gathering comes a crowd of what I hope are well meaning Christians that picket and hold up signs that really do not help our cause of seeing Muslims come to Christ. I will let you read some of the excerpts from the story and then I will comment more below.
Christian Picketers Purposefully Being Offensive To Muslims
By Niraj Warikoo Detroit Free Press Staff Writer
Tensions flared Friday evening at the annual Arab International Festival in Dearborn as members of some Christian missionary groups — including one called the Bible Believers — taunted Arab Americans with a pig’s head and signs that promoted hatred of Islam. “You’re gonna burn in hell,” one missionary shouted at a group of young Arab-American boys listening to him speak on Warren Avenue, where the festival takes place.
The three-day festival is the largest public gathering of Arab-Americans in the U.S.; it has drawn Christian missionaries for years, but in 2009, some become more aggressive, leading to arrests and legal feuds. Dearborn has the highest concentration of Arab-Americans in the U.S., many of them Muslim, making it a magnet for some Christian missionaries.
About a dozen with the group stood facing the festival on Friday with signs that made bigoted remarks about Islam and its prophet, Mohammed. One of the missionaries had a pig’s head mounted on a pole that he displayed in front of his group. Muslims don’t eat pigs because their faith teaches that the animal is unclean. Some of the signs the missionaries held read: “Islam is a religion of blood and murder” and “Muhammad (Islam’s prophet) is a … liar, false prophet, murderer, child molesting pervert.”
Other missionaries at the festival were less confrontational, handing out fliers telling Muslims to convert and handing out free Christian books. One wore a T-shirt that read ”I (heart symbol) Muslims” while handing out fliers that urged Muslims to ”accept the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Is picketing and using inflammatory speech and props really the way to reach the hearts of Muslims?
As most of you know, I am a strong opponent of radical Islam and Muslim fundamentalists. I believe that the Muslim religion is a false religion. So do not get the idea that I am soft on false teachings or doctrine. What my beef is with this method is that it will absolutely have the wrong effect and will communicate the wrong message to Muslims. Muslims already live and perform under a religion that demands that they appease their god with works. That is what is driving them to do things like suicide bombings. If they do a radical enough work, then they will be rewarded. These Christians are operating under and communicating the same belief.
It is time for the Christians of this nation to confront these “problem children” and their tactics and start showing the world, including Muslims, Hindu’s, and even Atheists that the Christian religions is not one where we set out the table to try to appease our God, but instead our God prepared for us a banqueting table to bless His children and He wants Muslims, Hindus, and all others to come dine at that table. It is our responsibility to love these people. To be the ministers of reconciliation between God and Muslims, Hindus, Atheists, and all others. We are to be Ambassadors for Christ and an ambassador does not purposefully offend those that he is trying to convert. Jesus said that all men would know that we are His disciples by our love. He also said that if we want to be great in His kingdom then we would be a servant of all.
What do you think would have happened if those people who thought they were accomplishing something for God put down their signs, put the pig’s head in the dumpster and their pig’s backside attitude as well and went and gave a cup of water in the name of the Lord? Do you think just possibly those people would have been open to hearing about the God of the universe who sent His son for them because He loved them and was preparing a table for them because He loves them and wants to bless them? Can you actually see Jesus holding a picket sign saying “your going to hell”? But heck, it is too much work to be a servant, let’s picket!
The only thing that was accomplished by these so called missionary picketers was that they went home, patted themselves on the back about how spiritual they were and how they stood up for “Jesus”, and scratched off another notch on their Bible, keeping track of all their exploits. I highly doubt God was impressed. Let’s hope that the two sentences in the story about other missionaries that were not using these tactics, hides a greater story of people actually laying down their lives for the ones that Jesus died for.