My Muslim Problem

I’ve wrestled with what to say (if anything) the last few weeks as the rhetorical temperature about Muslims has risen.

I want to tell a story that does more than getting the folks who already agree to click “like” and the folks who disagree to un-follow. 

The best I could come up with was to revise and update a piece I wrote in July for Seedbed.

I hope it tells an alternate story.

Mosque of Omar

During a trip to Jerusalem in 2007, I stumbled upon this place next to the site where tradition says Jesus was crucified and resurrected.

I have a Muslim problem.

I am a Christian pastor in North Texas. I am also the proud son of a Muslim immigrant from the Middle East, and I have a very wonderful—and large—Muslim family.

This is a problem, because when I hear about San Bernardino, or Paris, or any other terror event, my first prayer is to hold my breath and hope the killers do not have names like mine.

This is a problem because down the highway from me some men with guns protested outside a mosque, then posted the names and home addresses of local Muslims online.

This is a problem because a brother in Christ, and president of a large Christian university, received thunderous applause when he told his student body to get guns and help end Muslims before they kill us.

This is a problem because a leading presidential candidate, along with the son of an iconic preacher, called for Muslims in our country to be tracked, databased, and banned from coming into the country, with both looking to the U.S. treatment of Japanese during WWII as inspiration.

These stories frighten me, but they do not cause shock and awe. I’ve heard this kind of rhetoric spoken beneath the public surface most of my life. Like the one time, somewhere between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, when I received an email from a friend in ministry. It was a joke that read something like this:

A cowboy, an Indian, and a Muslim walk into a bar. The Indian said, “My people used to be very great in number, but now are very small.” The Muslim replied, “My people used to be very small in number, but now are very big in number. Why do you think this is?” The cowboy responded, “Because we ain’t played cowboys and Muslims yet.”

I reminded him of my family’s background, and told him I found the joke theologically tasteless and unfunny. My friend said he understood, but “we’re at war,” and as a Christian I should be more concerned with being on “God’s winning side.”

This is a problem.

In seminary, after I gave a talk in chapel about this, another pastor came up to me and said, “I’ve always hated Muslims. I’ve never led my congregation to pray for them as humans.” So goes the trend in some churches and politics of creating Muslims as the other: A less than human without a face or a story… or only a story veiled in hate and violence.

But a trip through my family’s reunions, Skype calls, and Facebook feeds tells more common Muslim stories: my retired uncle who lives with his kids and grandkids near the beach; my cousin who just graduated college and started her first job; her mom who also went back to school and finished her degree; one has a new girlfriend; another can’t stop posting about his favorite football team tanking their season; many came together this fall from around the world to celebrate a wedding… some had not seen each other in years, while others met for the first time.

They are Muslims who are falling in love and having a first kiss; trying to get an education and looking for jobs; wanting to have families and buying homes; celebrating the birth of a child and suffering the loss of loved one; playing video games and going on vacations…

In other words: common human stories.

***

Christmas reminds us God is redeeming all our little human stories into his great divine story through Jesus Christ. This is the good news of the Gospel. The nature of Jesus’s incarnation—God becoming human to be in relationship with each of us—puts us face to face with real people with real stories. When we choose to distort, ignore, or not enter into another’s story, we deny the incarnation and change what is happening.

I get the fear of terrorism. Part of my family’s story includes those living as refugees in foreign countries, mourning the memory of a loved one shot to death because of religious and ethnic extremism.

And I have fears, too. I fear what the rhetoric of “track and ban” could lead to, because history’s darkest ethnic atrocities started with this kind of talk. And I’m afraid, because of our current climate, that someone will hurt my wife or my girls because our name sounds like those terrorist names.

Yes, there are Muslims who commit horrible acts of violence. But violence is not unique to Islam. It is common to all humanity. In our fallen depravity, all of us are radicalized by sin.

This is not a Muslim problem.

This is a human problem.

We need to get our stories straight, because  the Gospel of Christ does not discount anyone from grace and salvation… even terrorists. Take Paul, who started out as a religious militant, overseeing the execution of Christians he saw as infidels because he thought that put him on God’s winning side.

He went on to become the author of most of the New Testament.

If I believe in prevenient grace—that Jesus is pursuing every person—I can only know what He’s up to by entering into another’s story through His holy love. How can I join in if I am running in fear from, discounting, and demonizing those made in the image of God?

This is a problem for me, because it means I cannot dehumanize the politicians, preachers, and even friends who dehumanize my Muslim family.

I cannot become a monster to defeat a monster.

Because dehumanization may be a casualty of war, but it should never be a casualty of the Gospel.

 

  • Travis Mielonen

    Thanks for the reminder of how one of the most known apostles began and how the great commission doesn’t exclude anyone, and how forgiveness and mercy have no limits… The American (and quite possibly the Church as a whole) needs to buckle down and remember what making new disciples means.

  • douglaswiebe

    Thanks for sharing your story. I pray for peace and safety for you and your family. I hope your story gets read widely. You have spoken good truth.

  • XCellKen

    Didn’t Jesus dehumanize the Non Jewish woman when he referred to her as a “dog” ?

    • Debbie Chang

      No, a closer reading of Matthew 15:21-28 shows that Jesus was testing his disciples more than the Canaanite woman. She had put her faith in Him, and cried out to him knowing He could help her daughter. Her answer that, “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table,” earned her high praise from Jesus (what faith!), and He granted her request to heal her daughter.

      • XCellKen

        I guess that is how a Christian would try and sell it

        Christian Apologetics ™

        • Debbie Chang

          I guess you have me pegged. How do you read Jesus’ statement in context?

          • XCellKen

            Jesus never existed. He was a fictional character used in numerous stories. So what he had to say was dependent upon the views of the author of the particular work of fiction in which he appeared

          • Debbie Chang

            What do you think were the views of the author in this particular passage?

          • XCellKen

            Yes, you Non Jews may become Xians, but don’t even forget your place

          • Havalynii

            Well, Galatians would be good additional reading for you if that’s what you think the message of the Gospel is.

          • XCellKen

            You mean the part where Paul said that he received everything he knows about Jesus from “revelations” ???. IE, he hallucinated? No Disciples, no oral tradition, etc

          • http://marksteggles.com/ Mark Steggles

            Yes Paul received his gospel directly from the risen Christ. Peter confirmed Paul’s apostleship in his letters. Also, you could read Acts chapter 15. Hope this helps mate.

          • Kintillius

            Parts of 1 Corinthians 11, in which the Apostle Paul relates teachings about the Lord’s Supper, show clear marks of having come from an oral tradition – an oral tradition that many scholars believe originated less than 5 years after Jesus was crucified and resurrected.

          • Mitch Rapp

            What do you mean “Know your place?”

          • eruaran

            That’s quite a work of fiction then since historians still consider Jesus to be the most significant and influential person to have ever lived, and he’s the most gracious and beautiful thing I have ever seen.

          • XCellKen

            There is NO evidence outside of the Bible that Jesus ever existed. So much for your “significant and influential person” having any impact whatsoever LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

          • eruaran

            Unfortunately for you there is no reputable historian who agrees with you.

          • XCellKen

            Richard Carrier, Robert Price, David Fitzgerald, Earl Doherty. Four off the top of my head

          • eruaran

            I said reputable historian, not your favourite crackpot Jesus mythicists and atheist activists. Try again.

          • G Pomeroy

            Those are all modern historians. Try looking at one closer to that time period. Josephus is closer to that time period. http://www.josephus.org/

          • XCellKen

            The passage in Josephus is a RANK FORGERY.

            Also, Philo of Alexandria lived during the time in question, unlike Josephus, and he would have been very interested in this Jesus character, AND his works survive, AND he was in Palestine during the time in question.

            Here is everything Philo had to say about Jesus of Nazareth:

          • mark nine

            The “bible” is a collection of books

          • Havalynii

            A good rebuttal from someone that I disagree with on almost everything can be found here: http://armariummagnus.blogspot.fr/2013/12/the-jesus-myth-theory-reponse-to-david.html

            You’ll find your faulty Philo argument addressed under the point “The “Failed Messiahs” Who Weren’t There”. Hope that it’s helpful.

          • XCellKen

            Except that all of the lesser failed messiahs actually made the history books. Unlike the Great and Powerful Miracle Worker. Strange.

          • Havalynii

            Well, considering that most history books measure dates by the approximate date of his birth, I’d say your point is a little bizarre.

          • XCellKen

            Sorry, tried to read it, but after several paragraphs of vitriol and ad hominems, I gave up

          • Havalynii

            Well, there’s a certain amount of irony in that, I suppose.

          • G Pomeroy

            There are no surviving Roman records of the First Century that refer to, nor are there any Jewish records that support the accounts in the Christian gospels — except one.

            In Rome, in the year 93, Josephus published his lengthy history of the Jews. While discussing the period in which the Jews of Judaea were governed by the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate, Josephus included the following account:

            About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.

            – Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63
            (Based on the translation of Louis H. Feldman, The Loeb Classical Library.)

          • XCellKen

            Dude, everybody that is NOT a Fundy nutjob thinks that the passage you mentioned is a forgery. Some think there is some truth contained in it, but others say it is 100% inauthentic. I could list the reasons why I believe it is totally inauthentic, but since another Xian just accused me of being s troll…

          • mark nine

            you are that !

          • David

            Why is someone who doesn’t exist such a threat to you ExCellKen? Yet you are positive you came from a rock billions of years ago. See a slight contradiction in your so called reasoning?

          • JabbaWocky

            It’s pretty simple. Nonbelievers are worried because believers are using their beliefs to guide secular laws/policy, in many cases depriving non-believers of their rights.

          • Nocamo

            Everything so easily explained away by you.

          • Tom Griffiths

            These are not professional historians, e.g. employed by a college or University as historians, or as archaeologists, or likewise. They are atheist agitators in the main.

          • XCellKen

            Geez, you must’ve got that from some Apologist Website. So, the fact they have PHDs in relevant subjects doesn’t matter ? The EVIDENCE doesn’t matter. Way to keep moving the goalposts

          • James Church

            Relevant subjects? Richard Carrier’s PhD is in ‘Attitudes to the natural philosopher in the early Roman Empire’ apart from giving him, I would expect, a grounding in ancient Greek and Latin it couldn’t be considered particularly relevant to the question of Jesus’ existence (See Tim O’Neil’s argument regarding Carrier’s ideological bias above). David Fitzgerald seems to have no postgraduate degree (and I cant find evidence for a relevant undergrad degree). Earl Doherty has a BA in ancient history and classical languages, but no postgraduate degree to speak of. Agnostic/atheist scholar Maurice Casey, a retired professor from the University of Nottingham, even calls into question Doherty’s BA in this article that makes it quite clear that his reading of the ancient sources (https://rjosephhoffmann.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/the-jesus-process-maurice-casey/) is littered with errors. So you are left with Robert Price in the world of historical scholarship he may be considered the exception that proves the rule.

          • Mar Komus

            Real impressive. Like watching the grass grow

          • XCellKen

            Why don’t you go listen to proven liars like William Lane Craig then ???

          • Mar Komus

            ad hominem, ad YAWNinem

          • James Church

            The creepy Richard Carrier a reputable historian you are
            kidding me right? This is what Tim O’Neil and atheist and mediaevalist writes about Carrier’s paper on ‘Origen, Eusibius and Josephus’. After taking Carrier’s argument apart piece by piece, he summarizes writing, ‘Carrier’s paper seems to have had zero impact on the scholarship in relation to this text and has effectively sunk without trace. It’s a typical example of what happens when someone with an ideological bias allows their prejudices to warp their analysis’ (you can read the whole thing here: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-criticisms-of-Richard-Carriers-article-Origen-Eusebius-and-the-Accidental-Interpolation-in-Josephus).

            On the topic of the article above I agree with others and hope that Omar Rikabi’s piece is widely read.

          • G Pomeroy

            You need to read The Works of Josephus. He was a historian from A.D. 37-100. This would have been closer to that time period. It is a hard read for most people but it does talk of Jesus.

          • XCellKen

            One rank forgery, and one scribal error which called Jesus, brother of James “The Christ”. Problem is these two guys were sons of a guy named Damneus, and the story took place in the early 60s AD.

            So neither mention of Jesus in Josephus holds up under scrutiny

          • Havalynii

            Many modern amateur scientists are taught to ignore primary source documentation. The logic goes that the analysis of those documents in secondary and tertiary sources bring all of our subsequent knowledge to bear and allows us to hopefully negate the biases of the original source. Of course, the idiotic contre sense of this ends up being that we categorically refuse to listen to the people who were ACTUALLY THERE during the events in question or who interviewed eyewitnesses..

          • mark nine

            A moron will always be a moron – and YOU are not bright enough to comment

          • David Cramer

            Two thousand years from now there will no evidence that you existed. But I hope that you agree that you do.

          • Tom Griffiths

            That’s a flawed argument. The followers of Jesus did a careful job of collecting all the eyewitness material they could lay their hands on and verify, and put it together in one set of books for their handy reference. This was important to them. As a result it is all together in one place. QED there is very little elsewhere apart from a couple of ‘reportage’ references in people such as the very Romanised “Josephus” (see, he changed his name to a roman form). Josephus was allied to the empire which destroyed his people’s temple and eventually razed Jerusalem completely and scattered the Jews around the world. His is not a dispassionate view either.

          • XCellKen

            Even Biblical scholars who WORK AT UNIVERSITIES admit that the Gospels were NOT written by eyewitnesses

          • XCellKen

            Sorry, even Christian Scholars who work AT UNIVERSITIES say that the passage in Josephus is a forgery

          • MadMax86

            Besides Jesus mentioned many times in the Quran, for reference just look to a calendar. Why is this year known as 2015?

          • XCellKen

            So you have actually SEEN Jesus ? Either you are an exceptional person, or you are hallucinating LOL

          • eruaran

            You can see him in the gospels.

          • XCellKen

            You can see Spiderman in Spiderman Comic Books

          • eruaran

            Shall we add Stan Lee to your list of reputable historians?

          • XCellKen

            Funny, not a single solitary person alive at the time ever recorded seeing him. For instance, Philo of Alexandria, who wrote extensively about the comings and goings of Judea at the time

          • eruaran

            Yes, because Matthew, Mark, John, Peter et cetera, they aren’t people, right? I suppose if you’re going to take such an incredibly biased and narrow view, and actually be consistent, you don’t believe in Julius Caesar either, right?

          • Kristen

            Hey! If you are actually looking for some information, I thought this was an interesting article: https://www.probe.org/ancient-evidence-for-jesus-from-non-christian-sources-2/. Certainly, there is some bias, but I thought it did a good job explaining the historical references, even their imperfections. Blessings to you!

          • Mary Lou SHookhoff

            Josephus did. And if Jesus never existed, then why did the roman Emperors persecute Christians? You need a lot of prayers, my friend.

          • backekuchen

            Have done your own investigation of this? I heard that argument as well. I doubt its veracity. How trustworthy was the study that brought about this conclusion? How many sources support this theory? How might this study be replicated? Would each replication lead to the same conclusion?

          • XCellKen

            Numerous sources

          • Mitch Rapp

            I was supernaturally healed by Jesus… He is Lord afterall.

          • medicBrad

            There are non-Christian historical references to his life and influence. I’ve read a couple different from Roman sources, and I know Josephus also referenced him.

          • Randy Wilcox

            Josephus does not verify the historical Jesus, that is a common misconception. He does not reference Jesus Christ.

          • Chad Blood

            He absolutely does…in antiquities book 18 section 3.3 Jesus is very clearly referred to…it’s obvious that your study is lacking.

          • Mar Komus

            You haven’t seen Abraham Lincoln

          • XCellKen

            No, but these people called HISTORIANS had a thing or three to say about him DURING HIS LIFETIME !!!

          • Mar Komus

            You have no proof it wasn’t a conspiracy and they didn’t make stuff up. YOU call them HISTORIANS. I call them linconlists without capitalizing the l and thus contributing to the ignorance of other abe lincolnists

          • I believe in Jesus

            I don’t have to see him . He’s in my heart and soul Have heard of faith. You must believe in the grave . Jesus ended death and the grave

          • XCellKen

            Faith = Belief in things ABSENT EVIDENCE

          • MadMax86

            Beyond your day you have only faith in anything. Athiest
            is filled with only belief the entire universe emerged from a tiny
            speck and they name this event Big Bang.
            The religion of Athiesm is wrapping all of your capacity of faith
            into a belief system that will place you in cold, dark and infinite sorrow.

          • lostdutchman

            And NONE of them have an answer for : where did that tiny speck come from?

          • agape

            Finish the verse!!!

          • lostdutchman

            Absent irrefutable evidence. Anyone can believe in a tangible thing. But faith, by its nature, requires that you, individually, believe, if only through the experience of others. Your choice…believe or not. “The last boat leaves in one hour. Be on it or…. not”.
            Except that was not a threat. If you change your mind, you can always swim for it…water is cold, but it isn’t far. Get lost? Just ‘ask for directions’.

          • XCellKen

            I believe in a flying tea kettle that orbits Pluto.

            You believe in an invisible sky daddy who created people as flawed, then punished them for being flawed, then killed everybody on the planet, except one family, then wanted to forgive everybody for being imperfect, ie, they way he created them, but instead of just forgiving them, he impregnated a teenage girl (without her permission, I might ad) with himself, so he could then sacrifice himself to himself.

            Yes, both of our beliefs are irrefutable

          • XCellKen

            There is no such thing as”irrefutable” evidence. that’s what is great about the scientific method. It cam CHANGE when the evidence changes. Unlike Faith, where nothing EVER changes

          • lostdutchman

            The rock in your hand is irrefutably there, by evidence of its presence?

          • XCellKen

            I believe Halle Berry is coming over my house tonite. I have FAITH that it’ll happen

          • David Bane

            ExCellKen help me understand why a person like you, who doesn’t belive in the existence of God or Jesus would spend so much of their time, (which is limited at best, seeing this life is it for them) arguing against a diety they belive doesn’t exist or the followers of the diety? Does this sound like reasonable to you?

          • Nocamo

            He won’t answer you because he’s a professional troll.

          • Bryan

            It would be seen as reasonable in the context that a huge number of humans are allowing religious ideas push them towards war. Meanwhile the atheists look on in horror at the destruction to come and keep shouting out that it does not have to be like this. . .

            Faith has its uses in making people act moral lives, but it is clear in times like this that faith can often be a source of misunderstanding and hatred to others.

          • lostdutchman

            Well, if their stated purpose is your extermination, yes, it would seem a mutual hatred. But, which came first, Muslim Wahhabism, or ANY other profession of a faith?
            As for the atheists, agnostics, etc who believe their lack of faith will immunize them from destruction or servitude to ‘the others’, is bound to have a rude, terminal demonstration of their error in ‘belief’.

          • Pete Peters

            Have you seen AIR? Have you seen ELECTRONS? According to your theory none of these exist. Going a step further…I have never seen you so does according to your theory..YOU don’t exist?

          • XCellKen

            I can see the EFFECTS of air and electrons, duh.

            You can see my profile pic. You can contact others who have seen me. Once again, duh

            Your EVIDENCE of this Jesus are no different that delusions, or random chance. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Your evidence is not only not extraordinary, its non existent

          • backekuchen

            I haven’t seen George Washington, Martin Luther, or Mother Theresa either. Are they fictional characters in a clever set of stories? Muslims consider Jesus Christ a great prophet and have high regard for his mother. Unfortunately people use and abuse great leaders for their own purposes. They twist what have said and done to support their own ideology. In Luther’s Small Catechism there is a recurring question: What does this mean? The fact that he provided possible answers to that question is twisted by some as THE only acceptable answer. Bart Ehrman is not the final word. Conspiracy theories are used to support ideologies and points of view that are shaky.

          • XCellKen

            Yes, but they are all long dead. Your Jesus is still alive, remember ???

          • backekuchen

            The discussion was about the historical Jesus–the human Jesus. I was responding to the question, “Have you seen him?”

          • XCellKen

            Apparently, NOBODY saw him during his lifetime. He never made the history books, no written records about him DURING HIS LIFETIME, etc

          • Bryan

            Try asking the same question outside of christendom. You might find the answers on most influential person change. . .

            There is a whole planet out there :)

          • Havalynii

            The most vehemently anti-Christian scholars that I’m aware of don’t deny the existence of Jesus of Nazareth.

          • XCellKen

            Then you haven’t been looking very hard

          • Havalynii

            Care to name some?

          • http://judyrules.wordpress.com JudySteve Seefeld

            If you believe Jesus never existed, then why do you waste your time commenting on stories about Jesus?

          • Colleen Bennett

            Amen!!

          • mark nine

            How do you know this ? Unless your a troll and trying to instigate …

          • Mar Komus

            Definitely a troll

          • Kay Weir

            If you truly believe that,then you are to be pitied. Jesus does exist,& he died for all of us,even people who don’t believe. Jesus wants all God’s children to come to him & believe. Hopefully,some day you will find him. He knows where you are.

          • Tim Ahlen

            Nice try, but there is sufficient objective evidence that Jesus was a real person. More evidence, in fact, than there is for your own existence.

          • Liz Aple McCall

            True, Tim Ahlen. There are more prophecies about Jesus than anyone that was ever born and they all came true. Yeah. He’s the Lord of Glory. And soon EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ IS Lord!

          • Scott Lewis

            “Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth” by Bart D. Ehrman is a great read for someone like you. He’s a Biblical scholar, former Christian, present atheist, and provides compelling proof that God or not God, Jesus certainly was not a fictional construct.

          • Tom Griffiths

            There isn’t a single professional historian among the ranks of scholars who are backers of Bart Ehrman’s “Jesus myth” movement. I have checked this during long debates with its supporters. They are in the main atheist agitators and campaigners. Despite the many hundreds of history professors at universities and colleges, the myth movement doesn’t contain or reference even one of them in support of their movement. It is in fact very faith-based and religious in nature. They believe it in the absence of any modern scientific, rigorous and peer-reviewed material.

          • XCellKen

            Another great read is Richard Carriers complete takedown of Bart Erman’s book on the historicity of Jesus

          • Antiliar

            The poverty of Richard Carrier’s arguments are surpassed by his arrogance. I have several of his books and watched him debate and the only thing that comes through is that he’s an atheist extremist. His weak arguments have been debunked repeatedly.

          • Robert Griffing

            Bart Ehrman is outside of orthodoxy, and, in my opinion, his historical work isn’t very good either.

          • lostdutchman

            Do you know it is a logical and physical impossibility to prove that anything did NOT exist, except by proving it did? Denying evidence is not conclusive. Confining your theory to non believers will be more productive for you.

          • Anand Abraham

            So Pharaohs, Alexander, the great, Julius Caesar, Nero would also have been fictional characters used in numerous stories. So what they had to say was dependent upon the views of the author of the particular work of fiction in which they appeared… 😀

          • XCellKen

            History as we know it would NOT have unfolded as it did if those gentlemen never existed

          • Martin Hunter

            So affecting the course of subsequent history is proof of an individual’s existence? By that standard Jesus is amply attested to by the movement he founded that has persevered 2000 years and shaped the course of human events globally.

          • XCellKen

            HE founded ???

          • XCellKen

            There are more Muslims than Christians, so Mohammed is more important than Jesus

          • XCellKen

            England once ruled the world, so Robin Hood and King Arthur were very important historical figures

          • Anand Abraham

            Jesus lived much later in history than Alexander, the Great, Julius Caesar. If history about Jesus is questionable, then the history about everyone who existed before Jesus too becomes questionable.

          • XCellKen

            Actually, Richard Carrier gave a speech about the difference between Jesus and Julius Caesar, and how one actually existed as a real life human, and the other most likely didn’t. Its the EVIDENCE, not the time that they lived

          • Jim

            The historical FACT of Jesus life fills volumes. There has been more documented about Him than any other. To try deny His existence is without basis and a lie of Satan

          • Nocamo

            Your calendar is proof he existed.

          • Mar Komus

            Prove it

          • XCellKen

            Logic dictates that you can’t prove a negative

          • Mar Komus

            Convenient

          • Dwight Yoder

            In other words, you can’t back up what you’re saying. Though God provides ample proof of His existence, it comes down to faith. People will believe what they choose. God didn’t make us robots. He gave us free will. You will be responsible for your decision. Your decision will determine how you spend eternity. How boastful you in denying God’s existence on a message thread will mean nothing.

          • XCellKen

            More insightful comments from a typical Xian

          • Mar Komus

            I could say the same about you. So that makes us even. And still no progress

          • Christine Eleby

            Ask any historian and they will tell you that Jesus existed. Not all or even most will agree that he was the son of God but all will agree he was a man who walked the earth.

          • XCellKen

            Actually, no. And those that do say he existed will say he is so different than how he was portrayed in the Gospels, that he might as well be two different people

          • Dwight Yoder

            You sound so sure of yourself, not having lived at the time to ask Mary or Joseph about the whole “birth in a stable” rumor

          • XCellKen

            I wasn’t in New York in the 30s either, but I’m fairly certain King Kong never really climbed up the Empire State Building

          • Dwight Yoder

            No historical evidence backs up that King Kong ever lived in NY, so that’s not a stretch. Historical evidence exists about Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, in Jewish and Roman records, as well as the apostles that preached of Jesus life in the years that followed and refused to deny it in the face of death. You’re just in denial. I hope you figure out the truth before you stand before God. If you’re wrong, you’ll suffer for eternity and that’s a long time.

          • XCellKen

            Actually, those two characters are also fictional

          • XCellKen

            When was Jesus born ? According to Matthew, 4BC. According to Luke, 6AD. That is a TEN YEAR DIFFERENCE. Funny, real people are usually only born ONCE

          • Gradivus

            The overwhelming consensus of historical scholars is that Jesus certainly did exist as an historical person (although his name was most likely Yesua, “Jesus” being a Latinized version) and was almost certainly crucified by the Romans, but most historical scholars do not believe the Gospels are accurate history and believe that much, if not most of the Gospel quotations attributed to Jesus are either paraphrases or entirely made up to suit the beliefs of those who wrote about him decades or centuries later.

          • Rick Williams

            XCell you’re beyond help. Jesus is one of the most well attested figures in human history.

            So you may debate about the authenticity of the Gospel accounts, the rest of the New Testament, or even apocryphal literature. You may malign the non-biblical sources as well. However no one will give any credence to this rubbish. Jesus existed, and if you want to know the truth, he still exists.

          • XCellKen

            Geez, “Most well attested figure in human history” Where did I hear that before? Oh yes, some lame ass apologetic website. William Lane Craig perhaps??? You copied it WORD FOR WORD !!!

            Here are quotes from every historian alive during the alleged lifetime of Jesus of Nazareth concerning the said savior ”

          • Rick Williams

            Obviously reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit. I didn’t say he was the most well attested, simply ONE of the most well attested. And I haven’t read anything by Craig since I was in college so you’re also wrong there. At least you’re used to that.

          • Lawrence Little

            There are more secular records of Jesus history and Crucifixion than there are religious records. The problem is that people like yourself who refuse to seek the truth, are easily satisfied with lies.

          • Diane

            There were 238 prophecies of Christ in the OldTestament.
            They all tell the story of how Jesus would come right down to the town of his birth. in the book of Micah…..”Out of Bethlehem will come a ruler over all of Israel whose kingdom will never come to an end”. Without the Old Testament prophecies the New Testament would read like a nice story. It’s when it all fits together that it makes an amazing story of God’s redemption for the fallen people of the world. He showed us himself in the flesh after he rose from the dead. Then he ascended once again to Heaven and promises he will make a place for us to be with him. I look forward to heaven. You can too if you believe.

          • Antimaster

            You, sir, are what we refer to as a troll.

          • Lisa

            Wouldn’t you rather live your life as if there is a God and die only to find there isn’t, than to live life as though God doesn’t exist and die to find out that He does?

          • XCellKen

            Pascal’s Wager. debunked many years ago

          • XCellKen

            “Wouldn’t you rather live your life as if there is a Thor and die only to find there isn’t, than to live life as though Thor doesn’t exist and die to find out that He does?

            Fixed it for you

          • Lisa

            Okay, I totally deserved the ridiculous response…funny, but ridiculous none the less. Point taken. But you see I am a Christian, and believe with all my heart. I guess I am just trying to understand why you reject God and the gospel? What is it that you believe in?

          • XCellKen

            I reject God and the Gospel because they are both fairy tales. There is NO credible evidence that God actually exists. The Gospels read like FICTION> There is also no credible evidence that a person named Jesus of Nazareth ever lived

          • XCellKen

            I believe in reality

          • XCellKen

            Why do you reject Thor? And every other God EXCEPT the Christian God ??? Once you answer that question honestly, you will know why I reject your God

          • XCellKen

            You mean the God that demands that I constantly kiss his butt, er praise him for all Eternity? Naw, I’d rather burn in Hell with all of the cool people

          • Lisa

            That really makes me sad. I wish I knew what to say to you. You honestly don’t believe in God? At all?

          • XCellKen

            Honestly, you don’t believe in Thor ?

          • Nocamo

            That sounds like cover your hide Christianity. “I will believe just in case.” That’s not the radical faith Christ called us to.

          • Lisa

            You’re absolutely right. I shouldn’t have said that, cause I definitely believe with unshakable faith, and live my life for Him. I guess I was just trying to reason with an unbeliever in a way I thought might make them pause and think. It was a pretty dumb statement, looking back at it now. And it definitely didn’t cultivate any thoughts about God and their eternal life, from their point of view anyway, as seeing the response from them was in reference to a superhero.

      • http://platytera.blogspot.com/ kkollwitz

        “Dog” is a terrible translation of ‘kunarion.’ http://platytera.blogspot.com/2012/01/snips-snails-kunarion-tails.html

      • Mary Lou SHookhoff

        Thanks for correcting me. My point was that he didn’t leave the woman without healing her child.

    • Jeanne Warner

      While that is true, it is also not. You will note that by the end of the story, Jesus repents (that is another way of saying that he had a change of heart and turned a different way) and provides the healing that the woman came seeking. In the end, Jesus lifts this woman up as being tenacious in the face of a stereotype and commends her for her faith.

      This is not a whitewash “Christian Apologetics ™” answer. Please read it. It is a difficult passage that begs for discussion!

      • XCellKen

        An all knowing all perfect being “changed his mind” ?

        • Mitch Rapp

          Yes… Classical Theology would say otherwise, but yes.. God has emotions and He was moved by her faith. He didn’t sin in what He did, and He didn’t dehumanize her in the first place. He rewards those who diligently seek Him. Bless you.

      • XCellKen

        Only AFTER she grovelled at his feet. Sounds like Jesus had an ego issue

        • Mitch Rapp

          Sounds like you are upset about something…

        • christoph

          Your”Jesus” is not the Jesus as described in the Gospels

          • XCellKen

            You mean the Jesus who demands that you constantly praise him, and if you don’t , he will burn you in Hell for all Eternity? THAT Jesus ?

          • XCellKen

            You HAVE left your family, haven’t you? I mean, “Your” Jesus commands you to do as much

          • XCellKen

            Hope you aren’t divorced and remarried. If so, we’ll be hanging out together in Hell

        • Richard Benavides

          You are a busy little troll, aren’t you? You are also taking just about every verse completely out of context. Its funny, how people who are trying to use the Scriptures for their own benefit will take little snippets and bang on them like a drum. It’s funny because you are just one of the many types of people who does this. Then again, perhaps you are just one part of the spectrum of prideful humanistic responses to the Word of God, among the most obvious but certainly not the most dangerous.

      • Havalynii

        I would say that “repents” is a very poor choice of word there. Jesus was testing the woman. It’s not the case that he was planning on not blessing her and then decided to; rather, he wanted her to understand the purpose of the Messiah’s coming in regards to the Jews and the Gentiles, and she obviously did, which was a miracle in itself.

    • Admiral Nissan

      Actually Mohammit, if you read the entire passage to which you are referring, you know the full context of the story. But as that wouldn’t further your smarmy agenda, you wouldn’t want to do that.

      • XCellKen

        Mohammit? I am an ATHEIST, NOT a Muslim. But thank you for playing along

        • Big19red53

          Dear Xcellken, I am a christian and you are an atheist. So what.. I don’t hate Muslims, but I do hate when people try and stop my freedom of religion. I don’t try to stop you from not believing in God- so don’t try to make me believe that there isn’t a God. I am going to tell you a little verse that I try to live by and have taught my children and grandchildren. To believe what you want and never infringe on any one else’s believes. ” I would rather live my life believing that there is a God and die and find out that there wasn’t…. Then to of lived my life believing that there isn’t a God and die and find out that there is.” I don’t put you down for not believing and never really even think about your non belief, so why does it take so much of your energy to worry about those who do believe. God Bless you

          • XCellKen

            How am I, or anybody else, trying to stop your “religious freedom” ???

            Christian Persecution Complex ™

          • jbro17

            Xcellken, There is a book by Reza Aslan called “Zealot, The life and times of Jesus of Nazareth” Check it out. The author (who isn’t Christian) doesn’t believe in “magic Jesus” or that Jesus was the true son of God, but he is an excellent scholar and writer and attempts to sort out the historical Jesus…the real man who walked the Earth. He admits what a tough task that is right up front but his work is compelling. At the very least you may learn some new things about the time period.

          • Scott Lewis

            While obviously I disagree with much of his views, it was a great book. Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth by Bart D. Ehrman is another excellent non-Christian scholar who believes there was without question a man named Jesus.

          • XCellKen

            Gees, Pascal’s Wager ??? Like that wasn’t debunked 500 years ago

          • seanmom

            No, it wasn’t.

          • XCellKen

            Don’t you know that every time you pray to Jesus, you are just making Thor madder and madder ?

          • XCellKen

            If what I said has you questioning your beliefs, then your beliefs are not really set on solid ground, are they ?

      • XCellKen

        MY agenda? The entire agenda of the Gospel of Matthew, which was written by some anonymous dude, the name Mathhew wasn’t attached to it well into the 2nd Century, was that Xianity was ONLY for the Jews.

        • Admiral Nissan

          Actually not, Ramalama! You would do well to actually read the Bible — but then again, you prefer the writings of the Prophet Cockroachiphate.

          • XCellKen

            You do realize the irony of your statement? I can show you EVIDENCE from a highly respected polling institute that shows that most Xians NEVER read the Bible.

            Who has the most knowledge about religion? Atheists, followed by Mormons and Jews.

            Who has the least? Evangelicals, and Catholics.

            Sorry, Epic Fail

          • Havalynii

            Very few of my Muslim acquaintances are even capable of reading the Quran in Arabic, which is the only Quran-approved way of reading it.

          • XCellKen

            Some of your best friends are Black…

          • Havalynii

            Would that be a problem for you?

          • Scott Lewis

            That’s a very blanket statement. And quite confusing, as I was raised as a conservative Jew yet presently am an evangelical Pastor. So am I third in knowledge (Jew) or fourth (Evangelical)? Or 3.5?

          • XCellKen

            Admiral Nissan ? Are YOU the reason the Japanese lost WW II ???

          • XCellKen

            Matthew was written in response to, as a critique of, Mark. Luke was written to reconcile the two. John was written for God only knows why. Mark was written AFTER 70 AD. Most eyewitnesses to the alleged Jesus would by dying or dead. There is evidence it was written as an extended allegory (No eyewitnesses, no oral tradition) The other three Canonical Gospels all copied from Mark. Once again, no oral tradition. Luke alludes to events mentioned in Josephus’ “Antiquities of the Jews”, written in 93 AD. All of the eyewitnesses are long dead. The evidence is that the Gospels were written as literature, NOT history. Now deal with THAT

          • Havalynii

            John tells us over 90 times why he wrote the Gospel of John. There’s another problem with your theory (besides its lack of evidence): we have the writings of Paul, which do not contradict the Gospels, and there is certainly no theological argument between the Synoptic Gospels.

          • XCellKen

            Gawd you are misinformed. BTW, Paul famously said that he did NOT receive anything he knows from man. he received it all from “revelations’, ie, he hallucinated it. So much for disciples, oral tradition, etc

          • Havalynii

            Which is why it’s foundationally essential that his message was confirmed by the twelve disciples and the Church. He also does not say that the Gospel was only communicated to HIM; it was communicated to thousands of others, but when he RECEIVED (ie accepted) the gospel, it was through a divine revelation to him-a man who had previously been a church persecutor. With respect, it does not appear that you are informed about proper Biblical exegesis, nor open to asking God (since you believe He’s a fiction, apparently) to reveal Himself to you through the Bible. You then become a self-fulfilling prophecy of unbelief yielding more unbelief. What’s a bit confusing to me is why your unbelief is communicated through mockery and sarcasm; while it’s certainly your right to be insolent and aggressive, it doesn’t appear to be convincing anyone or promoting rational discourse (although some are striving for the latter despite your lack of mutual respect). Why is it so important for you to prove Christianity false?

          • Anand Abraham

            Anything that does not suit your story is “hallucination”,”rank forgery”, “scribal error”. What are your “scholarly” roofs of these things being scribal error, or forgery or hallucination?
            BTW, what records have your got that your great-great-grandfather ever existed? Any document proof?

          • XCellKen

            Hey DUMBASS. My Great Great Great Great Grandfather founded the city of New Philadelphia, Ohio in the year 1804. Even had the same last name as me. So stick THAT where the sun don’t shine: http://www.newphilaoh.com/html/history%202.htm

          • XCellKen

            And anything that fits your story is literal truth. I could show you the EXACXT quote where Paul said he did not receive any of his info from men, but from revelations. Sorry, but people who receive revelations, ie, hear voices, are HALLUCINATING

          • XCellKen

            I could list my sources, but since you Xians wouldn’t bother to take the time to read them, I would just be wasting my limited time here on Earth

          • XCellKen

            I could supply the evidence, but I’;m sure somebody so invested in Xianty would not consider it

          • Havalynii

            Go for it!

          • Admiral Nissan

            Actually the Gospels were not written as literature, but history — just not history as narrowly defined by 21st century atheism. And as to your mention of evidence, I think that all of your evidence may be one day expelled from your person in the form of fragrant flatulence. But as a self-title atheist, your intellect is greatly limited and therefore, is worthy of no further response from your betters.

            Respectfully,
            A. N.

          • Yommy

            XCellken, You are obviously a professional Internet troll with way too much time on your hands. Your Disqus profile says you have over 3500 comments out there. Consider finding something productive to do rather than spending your time tossing insults at others. If Christianity is truly on the level of believing in flying unicorns, why are you getting so lathered up over it? Why not just ignore it? Reading your posts, I think you are trying to convince yourself rather than others. Don’t bother responding. I have better things to do than to read your response.

          • XCellKen

            If Xians would just mind their own business, and stop getting into everyone else’s business, then maybe I wouldn’t have to be so worried about it, huh?

          • XCellKen

            Kettle, meet pot

          • XCellKen

            I am rubber, and you are glue

          • lostdutchman

            If what you say is true, why do you get so upset reading or hearing about it?

    • Leanne Zeck

      I’ve often wondered if Jesus called the woman a “dog” so the disciples would hear how awful that sounded as the woman was pleading for her child. Like the Archie Bunker series did for us back in the 60’s and 70’s–when spoken out loud–it became shameful.

      • XCellKen

        But Carroll OConnor was playing a part. Jesus wasn’t

        • Leanne Zeck

          ?? Perhaps you have never experienced it but I have had teachers and mentors who have repeated a wrong I had said so I could hear it repeated to me. The fact that Carroll O Connor was acting does not mean a thing. The writers and producers wanted us to hear how sick we were with racism and how bad it sounded so through an actor they repeated it.
          My teacher/mentor wanted me to hear how foolish my answer was, so they repeated it to me–because when we hear it, it is revealed to us how sad we sound. Whether its an actor, a teacher, etc….doesn’t matter–the technique is the same.

          • XCellKen

            I guess we are at an impass. Typical of Xians, you have employed an “Unfalsefiable Hypothesis” Jesus says something loving and caring, Jesus is all that. Jesus says something terrible, and Jesus is using it a s a teaching moment, etc. So, by definition, Jesus is always right. Even when he contradicts himself

          • Leanne Zeck

            ???
            I am sorry. I didn’t realize that we were debating to see if Jesus was right. My point was trying to defend Jesus. I personally like to wrestle with Scripture and hear other people’s views. I just thought that was what was happening here. People were sharing ways they looked at this particular scripture. I guess I didn’t understand your purpose in this thread.
            Yes, Jesus doesn’t spell everything out. Not everything Jesus says is nice and sweet. I wrestle with all that Jesus said. Sorry if you thought I was defending Jesus.

          • XCellKen

            That’s ONE way to look at it. Or you can look at it as it is written

          • Leanne Zeck

            I was taught in English literature classes that every piece of writing has multiple context–the time period, the language, the cultural context. I wouldn’t treat Shakespeare or Mark Twain or Tolkien or Lewis, etc with casual arrogance to say the words they have written and what they mean to me is enough. It is written is far too casual to look at the artistry and the message of the piece. I look to understand their time period, their culture, etc. so I can hear what they are trying to tell me through their works. I will not treat the Bible, the Quran, the works of any other religious writers as if the words written down meant nothing to those who first read them, and all that matters is my understanding of those words.

          • Anand Abraham

            If, according to you, Jesus never existed, how do you say that Jesus said a terrible thing? Are you not contradicting yourself?
            And if Jesus was an man-made invention, the creators would have put only the “nice and good” things on the lips of Jesus, not the “terrible” things. This proves Gospels authenticity.

          • XCellKen

            The CHARACTER said a terrible thing. I have Law and Order on TV at the moment. Elliot Stabler just said a terrible thing. But much like Jesus, he isn’t real either

      • XCellKen

        Of Course, since Xiantiy was most likely a Jewish version of a “Mystery Religion” (All the rage in the 1st Century Roman World), perhaps Jesus explained this to the Disciples in private, but we’ll never know that for sure

        • eruaran

          A mystery religion that doesn’t keep any secrets but writes everything down, warts and all, and then circulates everything throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. Great mystery religion that. We’re you reading Spiderman when you had this bright idea?

    • JudgeandJury

      You’re a troll. Go troll somewhere else. You are not going to convince anyone here so stop wasting your time.

      • XCellKen

        Yes, I am afraid you are correct. Xians are famous for their “open minds”

        LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    • christoph

      Bad Hermeneutics or just clueless?

    • Mary Lou SHookhoff

      But he healed her son.

    • lou

      They were involved in a lively political debate. I believe he enjoyed bantering with the woman. And he granted her a blessing.

    • joey

      XCellKen,
      This story is about Jesus making things right for even the outcasts; the nobodies. “If he would do this for me, he’d do it for anybody,” the Canaanite woman would say, fictional, or not.
      Would you LIKE for there to be a day when all things are made right for the countless millions who have lived their lives in poverty and oppression? I’m not asking if you think Jesus existed. I’m not asking if you think Christianity is true. I’m asking if you would LIKE for there to be a day when the sick are healed and the captives are set free? Would you LIKE for that to be true? Or, would you simply prefer that there never be a day like that?

    • jseguin

      I believe that is called a metaphor

    • Colleen Bennett

      Well even if he did compare her to an animal GOD spelled backwards is Dog and we all know they are mans best FRIEND and I know that GOD incarnate and Jesus are my Best Friends along with my 4 legged ones!!!!

    • Kathy Bramley

      This was a time Jesus speech was comparable to a drag act – he somewhat fruitily acknowledged the way things were between Jews and others at the time – but they had been different in that particular interaction.

  • Randy Bradley

    Thanks for posting your story. I too am concerned about many of the things you expressed. I think it is crucial that people understand that there are Many Many Muslims coming to Christ at this time. Many are seeing what truly following the Koran looks like. And this is helping them to see why they need Christ. Lets pray for this to continue and for many more to come to Christ.. And for those that wish to live by violence to fail.

    • Frank

      Amen!

      • Mathematicaster

        It’s crucial to make a distinction between a religion and a political movement wrapped up in the pages of some holy book. Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus- the bulk of them live their lives and live within the strictures of their faiths. Radical rightist and nationalists, usually fascists, who pretend that they are somehow involved in a religious movement are liars and demagogues. The bombers of children are not “Muslims”. The murderers of doctors are not “Christians”. The bulldozers of homes are not “Jews”. The fire-bombers of trains are not “Hindus”. They are evil sick mostly men who are trying to use a religion to justify their evil.
        So try not to say “Most Muslims” or “Most Christians” or Most Jews” or “Most Hindus” because there aren’t ANY Muslims, Christians, Jews or Hindus who do that crap. There are only political movements who do.

        • Paul Hutchinson

          I disagree. People do twist religion to their own evil ends (murder, bombing children etc), but their motivations are religious as well as political. It would be wrong to say that all Christians are basically the same as David Koresh. It would also be wrong to say that David Koresh was not motivated by religion.

          • RN Nutrition

            Being motivated by “religion” does not make him a Christian. And that is what the above comment stated. Profession of faith is not necessarily possession of faith.

          • Paul Hutchinson

            Indeed, but the line between “a religion” and “a political movement wrapped up in the pages of some holy book” is one that can really only be judged honestly and objectively by the relevant deity.

            To understand David Koresh, one must understand the teachings of the Branch Davidians, and his interpretation of Old Testament scriptures. (Whilst understanding them to be obnoxious to most Christians, Adventists and possibly even Branch Davidians in the world today).

            To understand ISIS, one must understand their interpretation of the Koran’s teachings. (Whilst understanding them to be obnoxious to most Muslims in the world today).

        • William R. Crisp

          You lump all into a too simplistic world-view. There is a distinction to be made between religion and a political movement. AND, Islam has ALWAYS historically done so:
          making their political agenda a do or be killed religious agenda.

        • Jay

          Just wanted to correct the fire bombers who bombed the train were muslim.

        • Kevin Kelly

          There are more killings and mass murders in the name of Allah and Islam, than any other so-called Religion in the History of the world. It’s a fact that Islam is a Political Movement and not a Religion of Peace, as professed by a few.

    • Carol Smith

      That’s fine if some Muslims “come to Christ,” and that’s fine if they do not. We, as a country, are forbidden by law from favoring one religion in our laws over another. Contrary to what some believe, we are governed not by the Bible or Christianity, but by the laws of the land. We would do well to remember this.

      • Randy Bradley

        I am not speaking as the government.. I am speaking as a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If by Chance the Bible is right, and Christ is the only way to the Father (John 14:6) then it is not fine if they do not (at least for them it is not) This is not about governance, I agree America needs to be governed with no bias for any faith, this is about eternal destiny.. which in the end is a much bigger deal.

      • JOKER

        Thank you Carol!

    • JenellYB

      That we should understand that many Muslims are coming to Christ, and, many are seeing what truly following the Koran looks like (I take that to mean, see the evil they are, by being Muslim) doesn’t seem to me to be what Jesus instructed us, that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Even more discordant is to make ‘more to come to Christ’ the intent and focus of your prayers, and setting coming to Christ as leaving their life of violence. Perhaps reconsider this writer’s story. Most of his family are Muslims, and he describes them as ordinary loving, caring people living as a peaceful family. He is pointing out the error you make here, that people cannot be assumed to be violent and evil just for being Muslim. As far as ‘what truly following the Koran looks like,’ to imply that is the violent way of the terrorists, is an unfair smear against most Muslims. I am Christian, I have read the Qur’an, taken to learn something about Islam and Muslims, and to get to know some personally and as friends. The Lord has also instructed us against bearing false witness against our neighbor. That is exactly what we do when we assume evil in others, by applying a vile stereotype to others.

      • Randy Bradley

        There is a fundamental question underlying this discussion. Is the Jesus Christ the only way to God. John 14:16 “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.” If this is true, and I believe it is, then it becomes crucial that we inform others of this information. I agree there are very nice Muslims, I have interacted with many of them, I have interacted with many very nice atheists as well. Being “nice” and not “evil” is not the point here. The point is have they accepted Christ as savior. Do they trust in what He did on the cross for their eternal destiny. You very much misunderstand an important element of this concept. We are not called to “make” more come to Christ, we are to present the good news (Gospel) and to pray for them to receive it.. but we are not to manipulate, coerce, trick, guilt, pressure them to… “make” them. If Christ is God… the only way to God.. Then to not desire they understand this is just plain rude. If you are a Christian.. you need to understand this “only way”.. He himself said he was the only way. I in no way “assume” evil.. I do take note of where they place their faith..

        • I believe in Jesus

          I agreee

        • https://amazon.com/author/brentmassey Brent Massey

          “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done–by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” Romans 15:18

          Jesus, Paul, and the disciples ‘led people to obey God’ by what they had ‘said and DONE’ ‘through the power of the Holy Spirit’: a prophetic sign, stupendous miracles, a tongue in another language, interpretation of a dream, healing, deliverance from demon possession, raising the dead, miraculous provision, etc.

          • Randy Bradley

            Awesome post Brent, thanks for posting it. Have a blessed day.

      • NAN SCHENK

        I have other sheep who are not of this fold.

    • JOKER

      I don’t think you understood Omar’s point at all.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/prayergardens/ Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB

    I’ll pray for you and all your loved ones’ safety. May St. Michael guard and protect, and may peace enfold you…somehow.

  • https://amazon.com/author/brentmassey Brent Massey

    “Yes, there are Muslims who commit horrible acts of violence. But violence is not unique to Islam…This is not Muslim problem.”

    You are in a unique position to speak the truth about Islam into the Muslim community but instead you propagate the false perception of Islam that the enemy uses to deceive believers and non-believers alike.

    Muslims believe that Muhammad was a descendant of Ishmael. The Bible tells us about Ishmael: “He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers” (Genesis 16:12, Genesis 25:18). Muhammad was the very picture of this. The Koran teaches Muslims to kill non-believers:

    http://www.answering-islam.org/Bailey/jihad.html

    http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Themes/jihad_passages.html

    • Steven M. Smith

      The Bible teaches Jews and Christians to kill non-believers.

      • eruaran

        Would you care to enlighten me as to where the Bible teaches me as a Christian to kill people for non-belief?

        • Steven M. Smith

          Deuteronomy 13

          • eruaran

            What makes you think Deuteronomy 13 applies to anyone today?

          • Steven M. Smith

            What makes you think it doesn’t?

          • Geoff Martineau

            These reasons are obvious to anyone not just trolling the Bible to take verses out of context. As the writer of the comment, please provide even a single instance where a Christian used Deuteronomy 13 as a justification for killing a non-believer. 2000 years, billions of Christians — there should be thousands of examples.

          • Steven M. Smith

            What reasons, Geoff Martineau? Are you referencing eruaran’s question? I did not claim that any Christian ever used Deuteronomy 13 as justification for killing a non-believer, so there is no reason for me to defend a position I did not take.

          • Geoff Martineau

            You’re claiming the Bible teaches Jews and Christians to kill non-believers. So, either the billions of Jews and Christians who have read that have purposefully disobeyed it, or that’s not what it actually teaches. So, yes, you do need to defend your position.

          • Peter Andrew Westall

            Colonisation is a great example, millions killed in the name of christianity!

          • Geoff Martineau

            Thanks for answering, but that’s wrong for at least 2 reasons: it’s irrelevant to his (erroneous) point that the Bible commands Jews and Christians to kill non-believers, and whatever people were killed during colonization, werr killed in the name of colonization.

          • Anhioyo

            What about the Inquisition or the Crusades? Or the bloodshed in the wake of Martin Luther’s Reformation movement?

          • Geoff Martineau

            Hi Anhioyo — the original point is that the Bible, specifically Deuteronomy 13, commands Jews and Christians to kill non-believers. This is obviously false. You bring up a different question — has there ever been bloodshed carried out by Christians, or at least those who called themselves that? Unfortunately yes.

          • Anhioyo

            I thought the original point was whether any Christians believed that this verse could justify violence in the name of Christ. The events I mentioned were justified with Scripture at the time. The Inquisition specifically was a time when Church authorities encouraged people to “rat out” anyone, even family and neighbors, who might be holding non-Christian sentiments or sensibilities.

            Also reminds me of the witch hunts in the US (Salem).

            To be honest, Deuteronomy 13 sounds like almost a historical description of the Inquisition.

          • Geoff Martineau

            I would be interested in hearing of any Christian in history specifically using Deuteronomy 13 to justify violence. I have never heard of any.

      • https://amazon.com/author/brentmassey Brent Massey

        You might get that impression from the Old Testament, but we are under a new covenant through Jesus’ sacrifice in which Jesus said we are to love our enemies.

        • Steven M. Smith

          Likewise, one can pick and choose statements from the Quran that both reject and promote tolerance for non-Muslims.

          • https://amazon.com/author/brentmassey Brent Massey

            If you look that website link on Jihad you will see a transition in the Koran from coexistence to domination through, as others put it, “kill, steal, lie and destroy to defeat the infidels”

            There is no redemption, there is no love. It is a satanic death cult that is the polar opposite of what Christianity represents. It is the Anti-Christ.

    • Gregory Scott Muhs

      Sounds like we had similar comments:

      I have a huge problem with this article. While I agree we should love on people, regardless, the Bible does not teach us to be foolish. To say that “This is not a Muslim problem. This is a human problem.” is to deny that Islam has violent teachings, and that the Qur’an teaches it’s followers to kill unbelievers. All major schools of both Sunni and Shiite thought teach that those who leave Islam should be killed. They only disagree on the details.

      By not talking about the violence that is core to the teachings of Islam, the author is being extremely dishonest. Perhaps he doesn’t know about these teachings, and that is fine, no mere human knows everything, but we don’t have to stick our heads in the sand to be loving.

      http://www.greenslugg.com/islam-page-2.php

  • Byron Motley

    As we wring hands…and worry about who we may offend…Islamic extremists are preparing fr their next attack…9/11/2001 started out as a “plan.” We CANNOT place our heads in the sand as an ostrich does and hope our good will will change the hearts of extremist Muslims…when leprosy was KILLING folks in Biblical times, and even today, Lepers are SEPARATED from the general population…we don’t wish to be mean…but sickness of one person can HURT others.

    • Shannon

      Jesus hugged the lepers.

  • Roy Eddie Smith

    Your biggest fear should not be Christians, but your Muslim friends and family that you are supposedly fearful for. The radicals muslims hate Christians. You are now an infidel. Some member of your own family is more likely to come after you, than a Christian. Even in Texas. You should be more concerned about the Christians from the Middle East, who obama has made it very clear that he doesn’t want them here. He only want islamics.
    When Carter band immigrants from Iran, I know some who were allowed to stay, and some allowed to come into the U. S. I met them at the University of Alabama. They had to prove that they had no desire to be a part of what was going on in Iran. Now get off your pitty potty, and understand, we Americans are afraid, we are mad, and we are tired of putting up with these radical islamics. Trump is RIGHT. Your friends and family can what ever it takes, and earn their right to become, and be Americans.

    • Havalynii

      No, we shouldn’t have fear. It’s un-Biblical.

    • christoph

      Good that police called a physical attack on a mosque yesterday as an act of terrorism. I’m Swiss-Canadian. So happy not to listen to the most racist pres candidate you ever had, D.Trump.

  • Rebecca Lorraine Combs-Kinwort

    I get what you’re saying, but there is one thing that you did not deal with squarely…that is that the Q’aran plainly states that adherents should kill, steal, lie and destroy to defeat the infidels. What of that? That is a Muslim problem isn’t it? If you are a professed Christian than I assume that no one will take issue with you – but if you are a practicing Muslim than there is a reason to reasonably pay attention to your comings and goings. It’s not hate – it’s common sense. I am a Christian and I would not withhold the love of Christ from anyone, but I am also not willing to be stupid – and God has never asked me to… Again, you spoke eloquently but didn’t deal with the whole truth. Let’s do that.

    • Steven M. Smith

      Numbers 31

      • Havalynii

        The difference is in the exegesis of the Bible versus that of the Quran. Muhammed’s last recorded passage encouraged Muslims to wage physical holy war (as opposed to metaphorical or allegorical holy war) against Jews and Christians. This has never been abrogated and stands as the last-communicated message of the prophet. The punishment of the Canaanites, while incompletely carried out, is no longer a standing order to be carried on by the church. I don’t know if Mr. Steven Smith is a Christian, but if he is, he should be cautious (I say this respectfully) about drawing a false equivalence between the punishment of the Canaanites/establishment of Israel in the land of Palestine and the jihad waged by Muhammed and the caliphs that followed him, which is still faithfully carried out by groups like Al Qaeda, Boka Haram, IS, etc.

        The former punishment of the inhabitants of Canaan came about not so much because of their beliefs, but because of their PRACTICES (human sacrifice, sexual immorality and sexual violence, demonism, etc.) while the latter is doled out simply because someone does not share a BELIEF in Allah.

    • christoph

      Missed the point, or are you so deep into an Anti-Muslim mind set like Franklin Graham? By the way I met many Muslims on 3 continents. Some showed me as a “Western Christian” hospitality I NEVER experienced before. Well being “stupid” or not is NOT part of the discipleship package. I know what you mean with this

      • https://amazon.com/author/brentmassey Brent Massey

        We can see middle eastern hospitality in the Bible when Abraham welcomed the strange travelers and had Sarah cook them a meal while he washed their feet (Gen. 18). Hospitality is part of many cultures and is no reason to justify Islam.

        I do believe Franklin Graham has been misguided in his fight against homosexuality. Taking on a culture battle isn’t consistent with the Bible.

        On the other hand, it’s obvious that Franklin Graham has been anointed for the work of exposing Islam. It started in 2001, when shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 2001, Graham called Islam a “very evil and wicked religion.” Graham does not believe Muslims are evil because of their faith. He loves the Muslim people and he is called to speak the truth about Islam.

    • Gregory Scott Muhs

      Sounds like we had very similar comments. Here’s mine:

      I have a huge problem with this article. While I agree we should love on people, regardless, the Bible does not teach us to be foolish. To say that “This is not a Muslim problem. This is a human problem.” is to deny that Islam has violent teachings, and that the Qur’an teaches it’s followers to kill unbelievers. All major schools of both Sunni and Shiite thought teach that those who leave Islam should be killed. They only disagree on the details.

      By not talking about the violence that is core to the teachings of Islam, the author is being extremely dishonest. Perhaps he doesn’t know about these teachings, and that is fine, no mere human knows everything, but we don’t have to stick our heads in the sand to be loving.

      http://www.greenslugg.com/islam-page-2.php

      • Havalynii

        I agree with what you’re saying, but I’d like to comment based on my experience with many loving and peaceful Muslims:

        There is no clear teaching of exegesis regarding the Quran and Hadith, and this leads to a bewildering variety of practices and interpretations (I would say re-interpretations) of both bodies of texts, especially in regards to violent jihad.

        For me, the fundamental thing that gets lost by Christians in this discussion is that, according to the Bible, we are all, at some point both offenders against God’s holiness, but also PRISONERS and SLAVES of our sin. We must understand that Muslims, peaceful or violent, are in that same boat that we have all been in and need love, prayer, and Christians willing to take big risks to reach out to them. I thank God for every Ananias (Acts 9) who takes their life in their hands to reach out to a fellow citizen in a Muslim Christian in a foreign land and share Jesus with them. Those Christians deserve our affirmation of their Christlikeness, but they also deserve (or more to the point, JESUS deserves) our joining them in the effort.

        While Christians have the right to protect themselves and the responsibility to protect the defenseless, we have to remember that we servants are not greater than our Master. The model of Jesus was to wade into the life-threatening situation to preach the gospel to the damned. He died in that fight and in raising from the dead has equipped the Church to, if necessary, also die in that fight. Not to die merely protecting themselves or their loved ones or their nation (although there can be a place for that sacrifice, as well!) but to die seeking the blessing of those who hate them and hate Jesus.

        We need to be crafty as the serpent, but as innocent as the dove.

        • Gregory Scott Muhs

          It says in the Qur’an not to take non-Muslims as friends. It also says that it is okay to lie to further the course of Islam. Sure, Muslims can be nice people, and not every Muslim is aware of what’s in the Qur’an, but that does not change the fact that the Qur’an and the Haddith teach violence against non-Muslims, simply for not accepting Islam. It also does nto change the fact that killing Apostates is mainstream Islamic theology.

          • Havalynii

            I’m not arguing those points. Keep in mind that most Muslims can’t and don’t read Classical Arabic, thus they can’t read the Quran in the only approved way, and thus they rely on professional interpretation by imams, who become the throttle for how much of the violent ideology seeps through. Most Muslims are not aware of Al Takkaya. Regardless, my point is that Jesus wants Christians to give their lives on the altar for him, not live in fear, even if from a simply human perspective the fear is justified.

          • Anhioyo

            Actually that word is often translated as “protectors” depending on whose translation you’re reading.

            Executing apostates isn’t theology, that’s law, and there are different flavors of law among different Islamic denominations.

            The last real Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, suspended the apostasy punishment in the 19th century. Around the same time as the process of religious conversion was transformed in Europe in general. But after the Ottoman Empire collapsed, all that progress was limited to Turkey and the rest of the Muslim world became colonies or mandates of European countries who felt like teaching anything at all about Islam was dangerous and suppressed the natives’ own religious discourse. After colonialism ended, the people woke up with a religion that’s lagging 1 to 2 centuries behind everyone else. When Muslims in India or Arabia learn their religion, they are learning about it from texts written before the age of colonialism. They have no idea what happened in Turkey.

            Worse, all the money and power went to the Wahhabis in Arabia, who helped the Allies defeat the Ottomans. So they spent billions sending missionaries everywhere pushing their brand of Islam… even back into Turkey.

      • Anhioyo

        I genuinely don’t understand how religious Christians who know Christian history can be this freaked out. Christian nations punished apostasy with death for the longest time. It’s only after Europe abandoned many Christian principles in embrace of secularism that things began to change (after the peace of westphalia and the beginning of the modern nation-state based world order… a process which skipped the Middle East).

        Do you think you’re a truer Christian now than all your ancestors for the past 2000 years?

        • Gregory Scott Muhs

          The Bible does not teach Chrsitians to kill unbelievers. The Qur’an, however, does teach Muslims to kill non-Muslims. It’s in the 9th surah, and plain as day, and the most respected of the Hadith plainly record that Mohammed killed people simply for not accepting him as a prophet. Jesus never did any of that.

          From what I have read online, the Apostasy laws are drawn more from the Hadith than from the Qur’an, but death for apostates specifically does draw from the Qur’an. Since the hadith is still a valid primary theological source for the Islamic faith, we cannot dismiss the Hadith.

          Yes, people have done evil things in the name of Christianity. (Most of these historical events are grossly misrepresented in popular culture, however.) That said, the primary source texts for the Christian faith do not teach Christians to kill non-Christians.

          Your praise for secularism is also misplaced:
          http://creation.com/evolution-and-social-evil

          I know that people generally do not read links in threads like this, but this one is very importatn, and I highly recommend you to this article.

  • Bill Hale

    This is truth! Thank you for saying what being a Christian and being a human is truly about.

  • eruaran

    Thank you Omar for re-posting and sharing this. I’ve been listening to Dr James White who debates Muslims all over the world also voicing his concerns. Would you mind if I repost this on my blog also? I think its important that people hear this message.

  • Lawrence Little

    Interesting perspective, but when it all comes down to it Muslims are no different than anyone else who deny the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and reject the Salvation of God. That being said, there is the issue of Jihad, sharia law and the general objective of global domination shared by most Muslims; these are teachings of Islam. So, I have no real empathy for this point of view. The bottom line is that Muhammad was deceived by a satanic imposture and Muslims follow the teachings of the spirit of anti-christ. Moderate or extreme, it’s all the same and Islam is contrary to the documents that define this Nation and the law of the land. Anyone who disapproves of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights…you simply don’t belong in this Country.

  • Donna G

    What’s the explanation for Islam that they wish to kill all non-believers? How can we trust the supposedly peaceful Muslims if they believe the Qur’an. What’s your justification to that??

  • stefoodie

    Praying for you!! <3 Thanks so much for writing this.

  • John Rohan

    That’s blatantly dishonest. That is NOT what Trump or Franklin Graham said regarding banning Muslims, here were their exact words:

    Trump: *“total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”*

    Graham: *”For some time I have been saying that Muslim immigration into the United States should be stopped until we can properly vet them or until the war with Islam is over”*

    They were asking for a **temporary** measure, and neither of them advocated interning people like the Japanese during WWII!!

    • seanmom

      This is another reason we cannot reject Muslim people as a blanket category:

      http://clashdaily.com/2015/12/trump-wants-to-bring-america-back-to-before-there-was-an-america/

    • Gregory Scott Muhs

      Thank you for posting this, and for reminding people of the errors.

      This was my post. I hope you don’t mind me sharing it:

      I have a huge problem with this article. While I agree we should love on people, regardless, the Bible does not teach us to be foolish. To say that “This is not a Muslim problem. This is a human problem.” is to deny that Islam has violent teachings, and that the Qur’an teaches it’s followers to kill unbelievers. All major schools of both Sunni and Shiite thought teach that those who leave Islam should be killed. They only disagree on the details.

      By not talking about the violence that is core to the teachings of Islam, the author is being extremely dishonest. Perhaps he doesn’t know about these teachings, and that is fine, no mere human knows everything, but we don’t have to stick our heads in the sand to be loving.

      http://www.greenslugg.com/islam-page-2.php

  • christoph

    This is an amazing description. Before I’m told how WRONG I am I ask all you out there who call themselves “Christians” : Do you pray for Muslims during Ramadan?

  • Yaabisa

    Thank you for writing this article. People like you, brother, keeps me hoping that people around me will see the mistake they are making. I am from the Middle East too and serving our risen Lord.

  • Cobrarog

    Very nice story, but I would hate to be in your boots. Being a Christian, trying to ‘save’ your family and being an infidel in their eyes, would be a hard row to hoe.

  • Ruthanna

    Personally, I appreciate the point you made that we should not clump every middle Easterner and ever Muslim into one group. Not every Muslim is a radical jihadist.

    However, the truth is that Islam is a religion of violence and teaches for the faithful to kill the infidels. As Christians, Christ taught us to “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves”. He also taught, ” It hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:43-45

    For myself as a follow of Jesus Christ, I don’t feel that it’s necessarily right to just let any and every Muslim into America knowing that many want to do much harm. But I also do not believe that it is right to ban anyone just because of their religion or nationality. Nor is it right to fear nor is it right to hate or suspect someone because of their religion or nationality.

    When we follow the path of life even if we must face death we can be victors through Christ because love overcomes hate and good overcomes evil. Even if we die, if we are walking on the light and in the love of God we are overcomes and victors even in death.

    If we follow the path of life then we can know we are safe in the Hands of God Almighty. “When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
    “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked when it cometh.
    ” For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” Proverbs 3:24-26

    • Gregory Scott Muhs

      Thank you for posting this scripture. It sounds like our comments were similar, but mine could have drawn A LOT more from the Bible.

      Here is my comment:

      I have a huge problem with this article. While I agree we should love on people, regardless, the Bible does not teach us to be foolish. To say that “This is not a Muslim problem. This is a human problem.” is to deny that Islam has violent teachings, and that the Qur’an teaches it’s followers to kill unbelievers. All major schools of both Sunni and Shiite thought teach that those who leave Islam should be killed. They only disagree on the details.

      By not talking about the violence that is core to the teachings of Islam, the author is being extremely dishonest. Perhaps he doesn’t know about these teachings, and that is fine, no mere human knows everything, but we don’t have to stick our heads in the sand to be loving.

      http://www.greenslugg.com/islam-page-2.php

  • Mary Lou SHookhoff

    How quickly we forget Oklahoma City! Anyone know what I’m talking about? The first terrorist act in my lifetime was committed by young white non-Muslim men who blew up a building with a fertilzer bomb, killing I believe, 69 people which included small children in a daycare center. And as fr as I’m concerned, firebombing a Mosque is as Christian as shooting up an abortion clinic. Killing except in defense of self or others is wrong. Living in the Metro DC area, I have met people from almost everywhere. Most of them want the same thing: to love and be loved, to have a job which is fulfilling to them, to live a good life, and do some good in this world. The Muslims I know condemn the works of organizations like Al Qaeda, ISIS, and the NRA. I managed to raise three children without even purchasing a realistic squirt gun or any war toys. And none of my children feel deprived by that. And as for the holier than thou act some Americans, particularly some politicians, like to put on, we bear some of the responsibility for the situation in the Middle east due to the last Gulf war which has put this country trillions of dollars in debt. My great-grandchildren will be paying for that war and I am still angry about that. But I am doing something about the ISIS situation and I hope some of you will join me. Each Sunday when I attend Mass, during the intentions which follow the sermon, I ask God to come into the hearts of the members of ISIS and show them that the way to heaven is not through rape, violence, and murder but rather through the Love who, when asked how much He loves us opened His arms wide on His cross, said “This much!” and died for us. For ALL of us – Gentile, Jew, woman , man, EVERYONE. If you don’t believe me, go to your Bible and find the passage where Jesus speaks of leaving the 99 sheep to find the 1 which was lost because it followed the wrong path. Meditate upon that passage and then think of those who hate as those lost sheep that need to come into the fold. Read the following and meditate on it, too. It can change your life by helping you to do as Christ said in the Lord’s prayer : “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

    I will close with the following:

    Judge Gently by I. H. Plemmons

    Pray, don’t find fault with the man that limps
    Or stumbles along the road.
    Unless you have worn the shoes he wears
    Or struggled beneath his load

    There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt
    Though hidden away from view
    Or the burden he bears placed on your back
    Might cause you to stumble too

    Don’t sneer at the man who’s down today
    Unless you have felt the blow
    That caused his fall or felt the shame
    That only the fallen know

    You may be strong but still the blows
    That was his if dealt to you
    In the selfsame way, at the selfsame time
    Might cause you to stagger too

    Don’t be too harsh with the man that sins
    Or pelt him with word or stone
    Unless you are sure – yea, doubly sure –
    That you have no sins of your own

    For you know if the tempter’s voice
    Should whisper as soft to you
    As it did to him when he went astray
    It might cause you to falter too

  • riceski

    If you’re the proud son of Muslims I find it hard to believe you’re a follower of the Son of man called Jesus of Nazareth. Your story is all fine and dandy and everyone I know that is a Christian in my view knows it’s also a human problem. We all know Islam is a pagan religion and they are dead set to kill all of those they perceive to be Jewish or Christian or for that matter anyone muslims believe are enemies of Islam which is every single human that doesn’t claim mohammad is a prophet and allah is God. You’re welcome to believe as you like but I think leading with the word proud is telling. Pride comes before the fall – pride comes before the fall and once again pride comes before the fall. I pray you do not fall if you haven’t already.

  • Jerry Kelley

    How many of your Muslim family have you converted to Christ?

  • David Cramer

    Three religions, One God. And all created by the one creator. As children of the One God we should learn to love one another as brothers and sisters, and realize that what we have in common is worth much more than our differences.

    • Gregory Scott Muhs

      No, the Koran comes from Satan. The Qur’an teaches it’s followers to kill unbeleivers, deny that Jesus is God, and deny that Jesus is the Son of God. It also teaches that Jews and Christians are the descendants of apes and pigs.

      Do you believe that God created a book that teaches it’s followers to kill unbelievers?

      http://www.greenslugg.com/islam-page-2.php

      • David Cramer

        The Old Testament directs the Jews to fight and slaughter various of their neighbors, but we don’t hate the Jews (I don’t, perhaps I shouldn’t speak for you.)

        And you believe that because the Koran is wrong and not inspired by God, that means that Muslims don’t worship one God just as we do, that because the Koran is wrong that we and Muslims aren’t created by the same creator, and that we aren’t all children of the same God? I’ve always assumed that because we are all human even though we may disagree on religion or politics we are still mostly the same. Perhaps you believe that their belief in the Koran means Muslims are no longer human?

        I still believe that we should love one another despite our differences. But feel free to hate if you choose.

  • Rich Shockey
  • Gregory Scott Muhs

    I have a huge problem with this article. While I agree we should love on people, regardless, the Bible does not teach us to be foolish. To say that “This is not a Muslim problem. This is a human problem.” is to deny that Islam has violent teachings, and that the Qur’an teaches it’s followers to kill unbelievers. All major schools of both Sunni and Shiite thought teach that those who leave Islam should be killed. They only disagree on the details.

    By not talking about the violence that is core to the teachings of Islam, the author is being extremely dishonest. Perhaps he doesn’t know about these teachings, and that is fine, no mere human knows everything, but we don’t have to stick our heads in the sand to be loving.

    http://www.greenslugg.com/islam-page-2.php

  • Gregory Scott Muhs

    I have a huge problem with this article. While I agree we should love on people, regardless, the Bible does not teach us to be foolish. To say that “This is not a Muslim problem. This is a human problem.” is to deny that Islam has violent teachings, and that the Qur’an teaches it’s followers to kill unbelievers. All major schools of both Sunni and Shiite thought teach that those who leave Islam should be killed. They only disagree on the details.

    By not talking about the violence that is core to the teachings of Islam, the author is being extremely dishonest. Perhaps he doesn’t know about these teachings, and that is fine, no mere human knows everything, but we don’t have to stick our heads in the sand to be loving.

    http://www.greenslugg.com/islam-page-2.php

    • Havalynii

      Gregory, I agree with your post…but I think posting it once on an article is enough. :)

  • TONYA

    I believe once we receive Yeshua our Messiah we take on his name and our identity is now as an Israelite. Our family is those who also take His identity. We can no longer see ourselves as Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Catholic, etc. We are one in Messiah and have grafted into Israel. It is the Enemy that wants us to hold on to family identities and religions that causes us to take offense. We are His bride and when we marry our Bridegroom we will take on His name, His identity and we will be His. We are Israel.

  • https://amazon.com/author/brentmassey Brent Massey

    Equating Paul with terrorists is like Obama mentioning the Crusades—both rationalize the atrocities.

  • Cliff

    I don’t want to avoid the issue of this excellent essay, but Luke wrote the largest part of the New Testament, not Paul.

  • Rick Knox

    Thanks, brother, for speaking the truth so clearly. May God use your voice to clear away the hatred and darkness veiling the minds and hearts of us who call Jesus “Lord,” but refuse to do what He says. God bless and protect you and your family. Merry Christmas!

  • http://www.fpcnorthportfl.net/ Arnold Brevick

    I think it is important too, for Muslims and Muslim sympathizers like the writer to realize that Muslims themselves have a role in their own dehumanization. When we see videos of Christians having their heads chopped off and hear regularly of Muslims murdering others, everywhere around the world. I would beg to argue, the dehumanization is largely the doing of the Muslims themselves. I have never disrespected a Muslim, I certainly have not killed anyone but I noticed if I simply point out what Muslims have done, I become the bad guy to some. The Bible speaks of ungodly nations as beasts, I know the Bible is not in error when it does that. We make ourselves beasts when we act like beasts. Muslims have acted like beasts. The writer would have got a lot further with me if he would have not blamed the dehumanization of Muslims on Christians and people who are not chopping off other people’s heads. Did he even think THEY (the head choppers) might be the reason others have a bad opinion of Muslims in general? The writer is correct, we are all sinners. To the extent we sin we become monsters and beasts. If we are connected to a group known for great sins because of a wicked ideology, we should not be defending that ideology. The Gospel teaches that Jesus died for sinners, including Muslims if they repent. Yet, you have to realize you are a sinner before you can become a saint. That means Muslims need to realize they are monsters when they act like monsters.

  • BrESmith

    I see this thread has turned into a debate on theology. To that end, I want to bring in this point: to all the Christians who fervently defend their faith, had you been born in Afghanistan, Iraq, Tunisia or any other Muslim majority country, you would (as the people in those countries do) be defending the Muslim faith with the same earnest rigor. As you would also be defending Hinduism, had you been born in India. This point alone brings into question the authenticity of any religious doctrine. They are all man made. Would there be sectarian violence in the Middle East, if not for religion? Would the violent Crusades in Europe have happened if not for religion? Would Christian vs. Muslim vs. Jewish rhetoric exist if not for religion? We need to be honest here and come together as human beings. Religion has poisoned the world against itself and it’s always resulted in dire consequences for humanity..

  • http://www.daviddrury.com/ David Drury

    Thank you for sharing this, Pastor Rikabi. I am praying that your message contributes to the dynamic conversion of many like Paul, who not only came to faith in Christ, but also was converted from a pattern of persecuting a religious minority to Christ’s Way of treating “the other.” Thank you for your witness of the redemption of Christ, and for being a “witness” for people you know better than I.

  • KWood

    We are to love our enemies. We are to pray for our enemies. We also need to understand our enemies. This does not mean we accept their actions. Our sins weigh just as heavily on God’s heart as does those who commit murder in the name of allah, cleansing the world of “infidels”. Without the saving grace God gave us through His Son Jesus Christ, we are all equally lost, and equally deserving of eternal damnation. One of our prayers should be for those who abhor the evil actions of the extremists to seek the courage to speak out against that evil, and that those who see the truth about islam, seek Jesus with all their heart.

  • Sharon

    What is the top 10 things that would get a muslim to want to come to Christ?
    I’ve been concerned that we need to convert Muslims to Christ, but since our thought processes are so different, it is difficult to understand what would draw a Muslim and what would push them away.
    Americans have a separation of church and state, which h Muslims do not, so that presents as a problem imediately. What is the best way to get past that?
    Thank you for your work for Christ, and thank you for the article.

  • pkauzi

    There is a problem with this thinking. This Pastor is totally skewing this for the sake of embracing Islam into our culture.
    First off, the majority of Americans agree with Donald Trump, that there should be a moratorium on Muslim immigration. Many law professors agree with Trump and say Trump’s plan is in keeping with over a hundred years of legal precedent. “No kind of immigration restriction is unconstitutional,” Says Jan C. Ting of Temple University and Eric Posner of the University of Chicago.

    “The statutes are clear: immigration is different from all other aspects of the
    law,” Ting said. “The Supreme Court has ruled we can enact laws against foreign
    nationals that would not be permissible to apply to citizens. The courts
    historically have no role in these decisions.”

    If a President Trump was able to enact his Muslim moratorium, Ting said that “it’s unlikely for the [Supreme] Court to reverse 100 years of legal history and overturn it. It would be giving foreign nationals civil and constitutional rights to do so.”

    He said that the courts have upheld President Jimmy Carter’s ban on Iranian immigrants in 1980 — have hewed to the viewpoint that Congress and the president can exclude foreigners on any possible basis from America.

    The Temple professor specifically cited the ability for the government to discriminate on the basis of race and ethnicity when it comes to immigration — pointing out that it happens “everyday.”

    Secondly, “the son of an iconic preacher” he is referring to is Franklin Graham, who said this: “For some time I have been saying that Muslim immigration into the United States should be stopped until we can properly vet them or until the war with Islam is over,” “Politicians in Washington seem to be totally disconnected with reality.” “Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalized — and they do their killing to honor their religion and Muhammad,” “During World War 2, we didn’t allow Japanese to immigrate to America, nor did we allow Germans. Why are we allowing Muslims now?”

    Graham has clearly stated that Islam “is a false religion” and “it is impossible for a false religion to be a true religion of peace.”

    A “peaceful religion” does not practice “female circumcision,” hijacking, kidnapping, “honor” killings, and decapitation.

    “For Muslims, peace comes only through submission to Islam. When they speak of peace, they mean submission to their religion. Worldwide, tens of thousands of men, women and children
    have been slaughtered in the name of Allah, under the bloody flag of Islam.”

    Example; Pastor Saeed Abedeni, an Iranian American who is in prison in Iran “simply because of his Christian faith, beaten and tortured for the sake of Christ by the hostile Islamic regime. Followers of a peaceful religion do not cut off the heads of innocent people in barbaric fashion and broadcast so the world can watch.

    Believers in a peaceful religion do not kidnap 300 young schoolgirls as Boko Haram did in northeastern Nigeria in April and reportedly [sell] them to men to be sex slaves. No peaceful religion would tolerate, let alone practice, female circumcision, require a woman to have her husband’s permission to leave her home and take up employment, and restrict her ability to receive justice in the case of sex crimes.”

    A peaceful religion would not condone and allow a father to drown a daughter in a swimming pool in front of the family in the name of family honor because she might have stayed out late in the evening with her boyfriend. Why haven’t the 3.5 million Muslims in North America rejected this gross, barbaric and despicable behavior by their fellow Muslims on American soil?

    The “terrible acts” had not been carried out by “peaceful
    Muslims, but by radical extremists,” but why many, “if not most” of the 1.6
    billion Muslims in the world have not condemned these violent acts. If a
    so-called Christian commits an act of terrorism, mainstream Christians “quickly
    and unanimously rise together to condemn it,” he said.

    President Obama said radicals such as Al Qaida and Boko Haram were guided by an “ideology” that will wither and die when exposed to the public“That simply is not the case. Islam is not a simple ideology or philosophy. It is a false religion. While it may contain some elements of human moralism, it is nonetheless guided and
    characterized by treacherous deceit.”

    “The blinding lies of Satan himself are the dark and sinister force ultimately behind any false religion. … It is impossible for a false religion to be a true religion of peace, since it can never reconcile a holy God and sinful man, and it can never bring lasting peace between men or nations.”

    • Lydian DeVere Yard

      You’re wrong about the “majority of Americans” agreeing with Donald Trump. Where did you get that idea? What’s your evidence to back that up? Did you take a poll? Trump’s comments have been widely criticized here in America and around the world.

      Jimmy Carter did not do what Trump is proposing. Trump is talking about 1.6 billion people in the world at large based on their religion. Carter was putting pressure on the Iranian government at a time when Iranian students held Americans hostage. They deported people who’s Visas had expired. It was based nationality not religion. Not the same.

      Also, Islam does NOT condone honor killings. The Q’uran codemns such an action. Honor killings have more to do with cultural attitudes towards women that have existed and been embedded in the cultural and societal psyche and PREDATE Islam. Just like Christians can get things wrong, so can Muslims. It is NOT permitted by Sharia Law.

      • McCathren Jim

        Of course it condemns killing. Like 9:5 which commands them to slay me. Or 8:12 which commands them to behead me. Or 4:89, slay me again. Or 3:151 to terrorize me. Or 5:33 to murder me. Read the book before you pretend to know how peaceful Islam is. Islam doesn’t even recognize “moderate” Muslims. You must obey the Quran to the letter or you are subject to the same death as other infidels. The book IS the problem, not the people. Also check out 4:74, 9:29, 2:191-193, 8:39, 8:57, 8:67, 2:244, 2:216, 9:14, and several dozen others. Also learn the Islamic doctrine of abrogation. Then tell me how Islam does not condone honor killings.

      • pkauzi

        I’m not a Trump supporter, so I don’t have a dog in this race, but don’t you read the news? Why do you think his poll #s are going up? Here’s some articles in the last week.

        Trump Takes Nation By Storm: More Americans Agree With Muslim Ban Than Reject It
        http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-10/trump-takes-nation-storm-more-americans-agree-muslim-ban-reject-it

        Rasmussen Reports survey, 53 percent of likely U.S. voters think illegal immigration raises the level of serious crime in the country, with just 5 percent saying it decreases the level.
        That breaks down to 76 percent of Republicans who agree with Trump’s comments about illegal immigrants from Mexico, who he said are bringing crime across the border. Thirty-three percent of Democrats said the same, while 52 percent of voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties said so.

        Voters Like Trump’s Proposed Muslim Ban – Rasmussen …
        http://www.rasmussenreports.com

    • Tangela Linn Cameron

      You have reiterated a very shallow understanding of Islam. If you plan to comment on the whole of a religion, I recommend you do some more thorough study.

      • pkauzi

        I read the news every day. Islam is the cause of more wars, fighting, beheadings, rapes, murders, genocide, abuses of women, young girls, female circumcision, hijacking, kidnapping, “honor” killings, and decapitation in almost every Country in the world. What other religion comes close? Not Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Protestantism or any other religion. Go to Voice of the Martyrs and see what religion is killing Christians across the Globe. What religion’s mission wants to make the whole world Muslim and will force them to do so? The San Bernadino Terrorists were thought to be on the peaceful side of Islam, the so called “religion of peace”. They fooled everyone who knew them.
        Just let the “Religion of peace” take a month off and see how the troubles and hostilities of the world die down and go away.
        Have a good day Tangela!

  • SB

    wow, I stand with you in courage, and so we pray for their salvation, just as we do all <

  • William R. Crisp

    To compare the apostle Paul as Saul of Tarsus prior to conversion being a “militant” “radical” with a Muslim whose very basis according to the Quran is to make converts by violence is like trying to say apples are the same as oranges because they are both fruits. Unregenerate man is violent and ferocity Is the common ground with the beasts of prey. However, Christianity grew out of Judaism. Both have common-ground teachings of LOVE toward God and toward one’s neighbor.
    Mohammedism, or Islam, has at its very core the teachings of a violent man who was a sectarian, sadistic, pedophile, who did NOT tolerate any other religion worth existing to the point of violent OPPRESSION, not defensive actions voiced by citizens of the USA.

  • True Imdi

    Wow. This is very powerful. Thank you.

  • bjc

    God bless you and your family. This is such a horrible time…I am so heartsick about the way things are going….God help us all.

  • Jean Corson

    What would Jesus say and do? I am a practicing Buddhist but I also honor Jesus Christ as a great spiritual leader. His intent has been so corrupted– this is very sad.

  • a believer in Jesus

    God sees through our clothes our hair our bodies and the way we were raised and what faith we were raised. God sees our hearts and souls we can hide nothing from God.

    • a believer in Jesus

      do you believe in Jesus and the holy trinity or Mohamed and forgive me if I spelled it wrong

  • zigthenzag

    First, thank you for sharing. May God bless you and your entire family. I pray that no

    harm comes to them in these tense times.

    Christians are called to love their neighbors as themselves, and to love their enemies. Period. This is non-negotiable. Muslim-Americans deserve every protection and right afforded to them under the constitution of the US, and every human right that inheres in being made in the Image of God. What you say is true, that sin is a human problem. I consider Trump to be a clown and would never vote for him.

    *But.* in my opinion violent extremism is endemic to Islam in a way that it’s not in Christianity and other religions. I feel that the radicalization of young muslims is a huge problem that is not being sufficiently addressed. It’s happening overseas, and I believe it’s happening in the US, too. I think it’s worse in some communites than others. I think people are right to be concerned.

    According to a 2011 Pew Poll, for which I’ll provide a link at the bottom, 8% of respondents of a poll of muslim-americans said that “violence against civilians is sometimes justified to defend Islam against its enemies.” Franklin Graham recently pointed out that 8% is not a small number. (I’m not a F. Graham fan; I think he’s almost as big a clown as Trump, yet I think he’s right on this).

    The same poll said that “nearly half (48%) of respondents say that Muslim leaders in the United States have not done enough to speak out against Islamic extremists; only about a third (34%) say Muslim leaders have done enough in challenging extremists.” Just a reminder, that’s 48% of muslims who say their own leaders are not speaking out enough.

    I agree wholeheartedly with these Muslim poll respondents. I just do not see a culture of full-throated, vehement renunciation of violence among Muslim leaders in America.
    I would like to say one more thing. I believe American foreign policy has a huge part in radicalizing Muslims. Our covert drone program has killed hundreds of innocent people. So, I do not think our govt is blameless in this. We have blood on our hands. God have mercy on us all.

    (link to poll: http://www.people-press.org/2011/08/30/muslim-americans-no-signs-of-growth-in-alienation-or-support-for-extremism/)

  • Simone Twibell

    Excellent reflection. Thanks so much for posting! God have mercy on us all.

  • Tangela Linn Cameron

    What a beautiful story. All I can say is thank you for sharing. And, thank you for standing strong in your faith even as hate rears its ugly head.

  • Channa Lee

    So very well said. Thank you.

  • Templeton Peck

    The only reason Muslims have a problem is because most do NOT speak out against radical Islam and their leaders. When Westboro Baptist is out picketing, it is other churches that are counter-protesting. When a militant left-wing our right-wing white American cons mass murder, it is left out right leaning Americans condemning those actions en masse. If Muslims were condemning the murder and rape of Christian school children and the mass murder of Americans instead of celebrating it in the streets and having country leaders shooting “death to America”, etc. Until that changes, one has to consider the Muslim world a threat. Of course there are non-Muslim Arabs who are not a threat. Of course there are Muslims who are not a threat. But it sure seems like most Mosques are STILL not willing to eat out those they suspect ARE a threat. Because of that, they are complicit.

  • Peter Andrew Westall

    One of the most violent movements of all time was motivated by Christian Religion, Colonisation. The whole Civilise & Christianise ideology spawned the slaughter of millions and millions of Indigenous peoples, started a slave trade dispossessed people of their homelands, not to mention mass sexual violence.

  • cakewalkqueen

    Amen!! God has really laid Muslims on my heart so the past few weeks has made me quite angry and heartbroken. Hopefully the God’s love and the message of the Gospel will speak louder than those speaking untruths. The Gospel is for everyone and no one is beyond the reach of God’s grace. We need to remember that.

  • Michelle

    Very heartfelt words. Religion creates war….. if only everyone saw each other as one of the same…. all aiming for the same…. Peace and Acceptance of who we are, respect for each other and our planet. That IS Heaven and the ironic and sad thing is…. its easily achieveble.

  • https://amazon.com/author/brentmassey Brent Massey

    True History of America’s First War With Islamic Terrorists

    http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=146671

  • toni

    Omar, what if read on face book should be entered in smashwords.com and if you go to a printer and have 100 books made to circulate more people will read and just maybe have a better understanding of Muslims. I have special friends to me who are Muslims. I was invited to one’s wedding, my husband would not consider going to Sudan. This was one friend I met on internet playing chess for several years, we communicated while he struggled to be noticed of his education in Pakistan and certified being a Dentist. He loves USA he is intelligent. witty and funny. He is a caring person who strongly believes in God; I was accepted into this Muslim’s family, taken care of like I was a queen while in Sudan and not once did I fear anyone, but felt as one of the family members even as being white I had no problems because they treated me no different. Here in USA I know people stereo type everything from color, diseases, crimes, foods, diets, accents and worse of all people. If only people would learn that one bad apple in a group can spoil the rest. One bad product does not spoil the rest as one bad disease is not necessarily giving the same results of all people. It is like one black man robbed a store and another place one white person robbed a store. That does not mean all blacks and all whites are crooks. Same thing with nationalities . They may have different ways, speeches, customs that are different, but they all bleed red blood, they all have feelings and pain and they are all made in God’s images. The problem is people stereo type one is the same as 100. Not so, each person is in individual responsible for their own separate actions, Do not blame the rest of us for the sins committed by this individual. Stop stereo typing and when you learn not to do this or play judge ( God is the Judge of us all ), then we will have a better world.

  • Patricia Anne Elford

    VERY well expressed. May you be protected and guided as you continue to faithfully seek God’s will.

  • Rose

    Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your bold honest truth! I am disheartened to hear about all the crap comments and thoughtless words people have said to you. I support you and agree with everything you’ve written.

  • Andrew of MO

    Well said, and thank you.

  • calhou

    Yet having read the Koran and hadith……the problem of Islam remains. World domination and death to the non believer. Fundamentally Islam is not compatible with any other religion. No country has survived its Muslim immigrants. Problematic indeed.

  • Aysha

    Thank you for writing this. This is me too!

  • Nedal Al Rekabi

    Dear Omar Islamic religion is love, peace, freedom and the biggest proof is you are a Christian and you have in your family Muslims gather them good relations. You are worried because of your name and I like to asking you a question What do you call people who are afraid of them because of your name?
    What is the difference between them and the terrorists in Paris and San Bernardino or anywhere else they use religion to achieve their evil goals. Terrorism has no homeland and has no religion, and terrorists not real Muslims,use Islam as a cover to achieve their evil goals,Muslims are fighting terrorism in Iraq,Syria and other countries. Muslims,Christians,Jews,live together for hundreds of years in peace in our country. We pray for peace and safety for you and your family.

  • Steve Buckley

    Thank you for posting this.
    I recently began praying for Muslims, simply out of obedience, but also because I’m at a loss, as a follower of Jesus, on how to deal with this– problem. Each of your points are correct, and biblically, I agree.

    I’m bothered to live in a country where those on the left are welcoming a people who are “theologically” commanded to kill anyone who disagrees with their views, while viliffying those who seek to live safely, and are prepared to use an equal and opposite force to that which radicalized ideologies are promoting. It’s more than just disconcerting to come to the realization that my sister was just 5 miles away from the shooting in SB, and her children were all trying to get her to buy a gun for protection (i’m encouraging it too).

    I would really like an easy solution to this, but I know there isn’t one. Simple, yes. Easy– no.

    On one hand, I’m hoping that the body of Christ as a whole can stand, the way we’d failed to, 800-1200 years ago, and through the power of God, in prayer, can defeat such hatred. Especially when I hear so much about radicalized peoples turning to Jesus, as well as muslims turning to Jesus. On the other hand, I’m hearing the same rhetoric that must’ve been used by Rome, some 800-1000 years ago. Not by the church, but by political elements.

    We who follow Jesus are far more today than ever was then, and as such, have an opportunity to pray in ways that will topple the evil we see growing today. The question is— will we?

    I’m learning to do my part, and it’s not easy. The intensity of the rage and hatred is screaming in my ears, and while I’ve turned off the tv news, the rest is still there.
    I was recently reminded of the Christians at Plymouth Rock, in the 1600’s who prayed America into existence, refusing to use man’s methods to accomplish something so powerful. I’m thinking we can do the same today……

    Follow Jesus.

  • Jim Deal

    Omar. Fear is a big issue on both sides. Seems to be a lot of that going on of late. And of course that is the objective, is it not…i.e. terror/fear. I think there is definitely a lot of knee jerk reactions going on in the conservative world and I totally appreciate the fear you speak of being in America with a name some might assume belongs to a “terrorist.” I am curious on any thoughts you have on how to address the fears of the typical America. Are their fears totally unfounded in your view. If not, what do you suggest is the best way to handle them. (I have my own thoughts but am interested in yours). Thanks for taking time to address these matters. This is a weird time we are living in. And like you I don’t think it’s because we are in the “last days.”

  • Ruthitchka

    Such a good story, thank you. Keep raising awareness! Whenever I see post on Facebook about not wanting America to be “one nation under Allah”, I remind them that Arabic Christians also call our Creator Allah. (I’m a member of an Antiochian Orthodox Church, where the Liturgy is in English and Arabic. )

  • Anthony

    I appreciate your thoughts, but I disagree with your statement “This is not a Muslim problem”, insofar as it may imply that there is no problem with Islam. I feel Nabeel Qureshi hit it on the head when he said “My response to the Paris Attacks: we need love and truth. Love for Muslims, but the truth about Islam.”

  • epcollins

    You are wrong about your comments when you stated that the President of a Christian college told his student body to get guns to “help end muslims before they kill us”. That is not what he said and you know it. He said they needed to get a gun for protection. You are also wrong when you stated a leading presidential candidate wants to track, database and ban muslims from coming into this country. He wants a temporary ban, just as President Carter did, until we can figure who is wrongfully coming in. I’m glad someone’s making an effort to ensure our safety. I am very disappointed with your article. I thought it was going to be enlightening but instead it was the same liberal biased exaggeration I hear everyday.

  • Michael

    I read the article. I am an atheist…and besides the dogma induced into the writing, the author makes the point that this is a human problem. Humans have this habit of lumping groups of people together when it suits them (extreme Muslims are terrorists ergo, all Muslims at heart are terrorists…or…extreme Christians who kill abortion doctors, witches, the crusades, etc are murderers ergo all Christians are murders at heart, certain white cops shoot unarmed black people ergo all white cops shoot black people).

    Jehovah, Allah, God, Jesus etc…cannot fix this. It is the belief in them that started much of this particular situation. It’s been two Abrahamic faiths that have been at war with each other for millennia. These gods can’t be part of the solution if they are the problem.

    I see the comments below (or above, depending on if newest are first or oldest are first), and things seem to get off track. Those that argue that Jesus didn’t exist might be wrong. I will say that that the BIBLICAL Jesus (the miraculous one) didn’t exist, but the “historical” one, (philosopher, hippy guy, rogue teacher) might have. Just because that Jesus might have existed doesn’t mean the Biblical one did. As we know, the bible contains many tall tales. A snake that can speak perfect diction without teeth and a clef chin, to a woman made from a man’s rib, who he was made from dirt, tempted them to eat fruit from the only tree they weren’t allowed to eat from in the fairy garden that was created for them. 8 uneducated people built a boat out of wood that housed 16,000 animals for a year. An exodus that didn’t happen. A man who took a 3 day journey in a big fish without oxygen and getting digested by the fish’s stomach acids. With all this impossible crap in the bible, it is easy to discard the biblical Jesus myth.

    What this pastor wrote (minus the God stuff) is what every law abiding Middle Eastern deals with now on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter what religion affiliation (or non affiliation they have), they will be viewed as guilty by association. And that, my fellow humans, is a major problem.

  • Luke

    James 3:9-10 sums up how followers of Christ should speak. Peace

  • kenville

    The most beautiful thing I will read today, no doubt.

  • ChuckA

    You crack me up XcellKen.. My 3 year old daughter believes in unicorns. but I do not get all wound up like you. I know unicorns are not real but I do not care if she thinks so. So if you are so sure Jesus is not real let it go my friend. But see there lies the problem you are not %100 sure so you have to through your garbage out so you can feel better. If your so sure just relax buddy…

  • Ramin

    I was a Muslim like you but I disagree with you, we are not against Muslims, we are against Islam, in your article you never mention that Islam is the problem, I have relatives that are Muslims and very nice people but they are not real Muslims, they never read the Quran in their own language, in fact we don’t help Muslims to know Jesus when we tend to say that Islam is ok, then we help them to believe a lie that Islam is essentially ok only some people abuse it, this way they have no reason to convert but to remain Muslims, I believe every mosque and very Islamic center should shut down, majority of Muslims in America believe and want Sharia law, that’s a disaster, we as ex-Muslims should enlight them and the westerns to wake up to the reality of Islam, if we don’t ban Islam, soon police has to kill them because sooner or later they commit terrorism, Islam is evil and Muslims who want to be proud of Islam like you who are proud of being son of a Muslim immigrant, which I don’t see any reason to be proud of, its like Paul say I’m proud son of a Pharisee, they should be banned. Islam should be exposed, please don’t try to justify Islam, just because there some good Muslims. Those Muslims are victims of Islam.

  • Marko Tesla

    We don’t have a Muslim problem, we have a mustard seed problem.

  • Terry Steiden

    “Yes, there are Muslims who commit horrible acts of violence. But violence is not unique to Islam. It is common to all humanity. In our fallen depravity, all of us are radicalized by sin.

    This is not a Muslim problem. This is a human problem.”

    This sophomoric and simplistic. Of course we know this is true. You are trying to sound sanctimonious and empathetic when in fact what is needed is a proactive solution to the problem.

    First of all, you and I both know that if tomorrow the Methodists started a reign of terror against Muslims; killing, beheading and taking sex slaves in the name of Christ, our government wouldn’t have to do one damn thing about it because every Baptist, Catholic, Episcopalian, and even the Mormons would turn them all in, set up guard perimeters to protect every Mosque and shoot down every attempt to wreck such havoc in the name of our Lord. We wouldn’t stand for Jesus’ name to be defiled this way. And can you imagine ANY “Christian country” on the face of the earth helping to finance this Methodist terror? Of course not.

    Not so the Muslims. I don’t know why. Not only will they not stop it, many Muslim majority countries finance and sponsor terror.

    So yes, we all know every human is capable of this kind of behavior, but realistically we all know there is a particular Muslim tolerance for it and unless peaceful Muslims will stand against it how will this ideology ever be discredited?

    (Please don’t show me 3 mosques within the 2 billion adherents that are anti-terror. It’s great, but it is nothing)

  • Chris

    Blessings on everyone here even the pastor with the predicament because of his lineage. I don’t feel it is all a human problem, to a certain extent as our soul’s/spirit resides within our body. It is a spiritual battle.

  • Glen En Barb Thiessen

    Being a born-again Christian and having as you say a very wonderful and large Muslim family is quite interesting. They must then be apostates to their religion of Islam, because the teachings within the Qur’an don’t allow for them to take their own family members as “friends” if those family members are not believers in Islam. What makes the religion of Islam different from all others is that Muslims are commanded to engage in war against the infidels until Islam remains as the only religion. It is violent, it is hateful and not peaceful! However, Jesus Christ died for all mankind and we are to preach the gospel to everyone; including Muslims!

  • James C. Higgs

    I understand your plight, but the muslim problem is not primarily a religious problem. It is primarily a political problem. A certain (not insignificant) portion of Muslim believers believe that Sharia and violence are warranted because a theocracy called a Caliphate is the only authorized form of government. Polls show this, even in the United States to be 1/4 of all Muslims. The government needs to determine how to deal with this issue, and all options need to be on the table to deal with it. I applaud your family for being peace loving and showing allegiance to the U.S. as a great place to live. They are in the majority, but the significant minority are clearly a risk that our government is warranted in dealing with. Of course as Christians we follow Christ, but our government is not Christian, and one of its main purposes is protection of its citizens.

  • Jo Ellen Johnston Fuller

    God bless you and God bless all of your relatives: Muslim and Christian. The current climate is a very discouraging, embarrassing un American movement that has no place in a nation founded on democratic values. People are reacting on fear fueled by some GOP candidates and the media. Ignorance and racism is preventing some in the US from seeing the commonalities we share with others. We have experienced so much warm hospitality in the Muslim countries we lived in for 16 years. .

  • F. SmithMurphy

    Logical, honest people know Jerry Falwell Jr. isn’t calling for violence, he’s responding to our current president’s lack of discernment,wisdom, and leadership about Islamic extremism. Franklin Graham knows all about Muslim atrocities from his decades working with Samaritan’s Purse in the Mid East. FYI, gun owners, and concealed carry permit holders aren’t monsters. Why paint them with such a broad brush when your whole article is about hoping people will give your Muslim relatives the benefit of the doubt?! As for the men outside the mosque in Texas…well, that’s what Texans do. And did you hear about what France has been finding in the French mosques since their terrorist attack? Hundreds of guns and weapons of WAR! But wait, they keep saying they’re all so peaceful!

    The real problem with “moderate” Muslims in the USA is that almost none of them speak out against radical Islam! For example, why aren’t their leaders doing something like a Million Muslim March Against Terror in Washington, DC? Did they do that after 9/11? Nope. Or after the Boston bombing? Nope.Or after the San Bernadino attack? Nope. If so many AREN’T radical but are peaceful, where are they?! Where’s their leadership? Why let some group (that the UAE has called a terrorist group) like CAIR, do all the talking? The imam who recently did speak out, and agreed with the idea of temporarily restricting Muslim immigration, has received death threats! Muslims in America need to put their money where their mouth is!

    Of course Christians should pray for the conversion of all unbelievers. But you can do that and have common sense. The Bible also says this is Ezekiel 33:6, “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.” And this in 1 Timothy 5:8, ” But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” You can risk you life and your family, but I’m taking care of mine like I’m instructed to in the Bible.

  • benandestherluna

    Thank you, Brother Omar. Thank you so much. I am in distress about this issue every day, trying to defend dear friends who have the label “Muslim” and are normal people. Yes, people like me! Tell me why we so consistently fail to learn from history!!

  • Miriam

    Beautifully said – thank you for humanising the story. So good.

  • olafva

    Perhaps a good place for you to start to solve your “Muslim Problem” is to focus on the Koran itself and encourage Muslims to denounce the following verse from the Koran which inspire Islamic terrorists ugly beheadingsSaudi-funded Sunni/Wahhabi madrassas and web sites teaching a “radical” interpretation of Quran 8:12: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=8&verse=12 PBS (Frontline): http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/watch and page 160 explains their interpretation they consider “true Islam”: https://books.google.com/books?id=3gLhIpc-p-wC&pg=PA160&lpg=PA160&dq=smite+above+the+necks&source=bl&ots=AIzpaFn4g9&sig=0n6WKk7__WI25XXZdee0zqbCBus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_5Myp8dHJAhUBF2MKHZ87AsQQ6AEIQTAG#v=onepage&q=smite%20above%20the%20necks&f=false Tom Friedman (NYTimes) has interesting info:
    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/opinion/sunday/thomas-l-friedman-how-isis-drives-muslims-from-islam.html?_r=0&referer=http://r.search.yahoo.com/RV=1/RE=1449969390/RB=/RO=8/RU=http%3a%2f%2fwww.nytimes.com%2f2014%2f12%2f07%2fopinion%2fsunday%2fthomas-l-friedman-how-isis-drives-muslims-from-islam.html/RS=%5EADA2DV5tZvwjDPaNgXFxf5WB5i3Vpc-

  • olafva
  • Greg

    I cannot hear a handful of negative comments countered by a handful of normal life comments and use them to ignore the barbaric violence that permeates Islam wherever it exists.

    It is impossible to equate that behavior with any other religion or belief system present today, and yet the author implies it does. That is a lie.

    The problem is not a human problem, it is a belief system problem that threatens the liberty of the world. I don’t hate Muslim people, I hate what they believe as a lie from Satan.

  • http://alshaw.blogspot.com alshaw

    Thank you so much for sharing this story. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

  • Kevin Kelly

    If it’s not a Muslim problem, why aren’t more Muslims speaking out against Islamic Extremism? Why are they finding out that there are Mosques are spreading hate and violence? To deny it, is irresponsible. The Koran (Quran) is full of hate and preaches death to Infidels. The Jihad is happening, now and needs to be stopped. I applaud all the Muslims who have been able to convert to Christianity, without being killed.

  • Scott

    Tacitus book 15 (Roman Historian)

    Such indeed were the precautions of human wisdom. The next thing was to seek means of propitiating the gods, and recourse was had to the Sibylline books, by the direction of which prayers were offered to Vulcanus, Ceres, and Proserpina. Juno, too, was entreated by the matrons, first, in the Capitol, then on the nearest part of the coast, whence water was procured to sprinkle the fane and image of the goddess. And there were sacred banquets and nightly vigils celebrated by married women. But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man’s cruelty, that they were being destroyed.
    45[edit]

  • CHH

    Thank you! So well put and points out what Christian faith should be about!

  • Jack Brooks

    I sympathise with your sentiments, and oppose the blanket comndemnation of all Muslim people. But I also feel I need to point out that the problem lies in the Qu’ran itself. It isn’t just that fallen human nature is violent, though that’s true. But the Qu’ran teaches world conquest by force, and the enslavement and killing of infidels.

  • jdskansas

    After the first two comments by douglaswiebe and Travis Mielonen I got lost in the jumble started by someone who doesn’t apparently agree with the author of this essay. Thanks to Diane Nunneley for passing this on. It seems to me that there’s hope the balance might begin to tip toward loving each other, you know, our neighbors.

  • Deana

    Thank you for sharing your story. You stated so well what we all need to learn. I will be praying for you and your family. I pray the day will come when we will all be one in heart and mind. May God bless and watch over you and your family.

  • Janee

    Of course we should look at all people as God’s creations. This preacher’s family is not very strict Muslim, though. Strict Muslims don’t have girlfriends (“questioning the whole fall in love and share a first kiss”, as well). There is a difference in those who were just raised in Islam and those who join terrorist/jihadist groups. Those are the groups we do have to protect ourselves from.

  • https://amazon.com/author/brentmassey Brent Massey

    We can see Jesus going out to the people everywhere and preaching the gospel while healing, feeding, and caring for the sick and lost. We don’t see him joining people to his disciples that worship other gods or haven’t repented of their obvious sin (e.g. homosexuality). The problem here is that modern churches don’t step outside the church to reach the lost, they instead try to bring them in before they are broken, repentant and have an understanding of the basic gospel message. The result is we have churches that allow unrepentant homosexuals in the congregation and the use of church buildings by Muslims to worship of their false god.

    In regards to refugees, we are to love and pray for our neighbor and our enemy. Jesus tells us to care for the widows and orphans. We put ourselves at risk when we allow Muslims into our country, but we have to look at the example of the Good Samaritan. He did not bring the injured man into his home or his church. He took care of him by taking him to a place of shelter and paying for his needs. That place of shelter could be in our country but wisdom tells us that it would be better to shelter them in their own country. In the case of war and persecution, we can support a church in a neighboring country that is reaching out to and helping the refugees. This is how we love the lost while being clever as serpents and gentle as doves.

    Here is one church (desperately in need of support) that is helping Syrian refugees in the neighboring country of Lebanon:

    http://www.premierchristianity.com/Past-Issues/2015/December-2015/Conversion-miracles-and-hope-at-the-church-for-refugees

  • Diane

    I hope that you will be instrumental in bringing your Muslim family to Christ. Point out the absolute violence written in the pages of the Koran and the leader who did horrible things to women and children all in the name of Allah. Be strong and call for them to turn from this murderous man they follow in their holy book and embrace the gentleness and love of Christ. If they will not turn from Evil and Vile teachings you should have nothing more to do with them. Knock the dirt off your feet and leave that town or that group of people who support this theology. But if you did this they would kill you so you won’t. Jesus does not teach that killing will get you to heaven. He said Do not Kill.

  • majedama

    amen …Christ loves ALL of us.

  • http://anniewald.com/ Annie Wald

    Thank you for sharing this and getting the story out.

  • CatholicKath

    It is terrible when anyone’s story has fear or pain or loss threaded in unjustly. Just like all Muslims are not monsters, all white Christians are not hate mongers. Peace to you and all your loved ones wherever they may be. Do not lose sight of the goodness there is in this world.

  • Stephon Lunn

    Thank you for sharing, we hear so much about guns being the best protection; being British we see things differently anyway but not often as you do.
    I have been praying for some time that the Lord would intervene in the atrocities’, the Lord can indeed save any of us!
    Gun’s are not the answer, Jesus is.

  • David Walker

    this is not the typical story of an ex-Muslim who converted to Christ. Most Christians who have lived in the Middle East or are ex-Muslims are honest and forthright about calling it what it really is: pure evil and strongly anti-Christian and anti-Semitic. If you are truly a Christian pastor, how could you see it any other way? I’m sure you are aware, Omar, of the Muslim Brotherhood. There is nothing to defend, only to expose and be honest about. Is Christ the Supreme Lord in your life? then you will be completely honest about Islam. You should not be defending it in the least. You should be helping other Christians and doing your part to expose the truth about Islam. That’s what other Christian ex-Muslims are doing. They’re not fishing for sympathy and understanding towards Islam and Muslims. Nabeel Qureshi, Brigitte Gabriel, Walid Shoebat, etc. They speak plainly and do not defend Islam. Muslims are a danger to our society. As long as they remain few in number, less than 2%, it is probably ok. But as you know, their birth rate is higher than average, so they will quickly outnumber and outvote us. Stand for Christ if you are really a Christian.

  • Carla

    There is a saying that we’ve all heard, know thy enemy. A book titled More Than a Prophet by Emir Caner and Ergun Caner explains how Muslims view Christianity and Judaism. If you want to know how a Quran taught Muslim thinks it’s a great read. When you see how the Quran misinterprets the Bible you will have a better understanding how futile reasoning with them will be and how needful and powerful prayer is in reaching them. They are told the only acceptable way of reading the Quran is in the original language which very few of them can do. So they are vulnerable to receiving only what their teachers tell them. This is very similar to the Old Catholic school of teaching for the masses which were held in Latin only which few understood. There are Muslim who do not live according to the true teachings because they don’t know them, and Christians who don’t live according to Biblical teachings. Let us not be ignorant of either.

  • lostdutchman

    How would you think the designation, a self applied one, of a ‘Muslim Christian’ or even a ‘Muslim Jew’ be received in Syria, or Iran?
    It would appear to be a dichotomous pairing….it’s a beginning, but chose one or the other?
    Most Americans are content to be just “American”, not some blend suggesting we have yet to decide where our allegiance lies.

  • James Campbell

    That was a very lovely story to share, thanks. I think we in the UK, US and certain other apparently powerful countries in the world have a long way to go before we are able to feel solidarity with Muslim brothers and sisters. This is at least in part because our countries have taken bad decisions to bomb many areas of the Middle East, and inevitably have killed lots of innocent people in the process.

  • Vony

    But “Muslim” is a religion, not a nationality. And their religion teaches them that anyone who is not Muslim should be killed. That is not something that we CAN live peacefully with. It has nothing to do with hating anyone, because as Christians we certainly should not.

  • Alice Powell Ali Haefke

    Is Islam a religion? Is it an ideology? Or is it a religion that is so violent it must be treated as a terrorist threat. ALL, and I repeat ALL people who claim to be Muslim are accepting the Koran. Is that not correct? As a Christian, I pray for Muslims, I ask God to help me really love them and all people, even if they are being cruel or deceptive. But we are to be truthful, in love. So WHY in the world is anyone becoming a Muslim knowing what the Koran says?? And clearly it is NOT a religion of peace no matter what anyone says. My concern is that hundreds of thousands of people who have aligned themselves with the Koran are being brought into our country. What are we being set up for? WHY shouldn’t they be tracked or even refused given their belief system? I’m sorry if this upsets the author of the piece. But I would like YOU to care about my children. http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/023-violence.htm I do not agree with posting names to incite violence. I truly do pray for salvations in the Muslim community. But it is WRONG to act as though there isn’t a big problem with Muslims coming into the U.S.. Not only is rape committed against non-Muslims permitted according to the Koran, but so are many other terrible behaviors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoiCYwoJKrE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0KmEaWsSQw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0KmEaWsSQw

  • Gerard Flanagan

    What is being said about Muslims follows the same pattern used by the USA against the Japanese in the weeks leading up to the dropping of the first atomic bomb. It us called “demonising”. Terrible verb/adjective. Turning a nation of fellow human beings into non-human, incarnations of medieval evil. Having turned them into “not us”, it was then quite acceptable to unleash nuclear war upon a defenceless population, not once, but twice.
    This is the direction of the hate-speech in the GOP and across certain “God-fearing, White, Christian folks” who believe that they, and they alone, speak for what makes America great and what should be done to those “others” before they commit those “unspeakable atrocities” upon us and our children.
    Thankfully, the age of 24/7 social media means that whatever they say or do can be challenged, and, thankfully, is.

    • Tom

      Gerard if liberals had a King I’d vote for you?? I worked five years in Saudi Arabia I am a fluent Arabic speaker and I will tell you with first hand knowledge they are not us nor will they ever be!!? They are for the most part living in the 10 th century our religion as you must know did many atrocities 1000 years ago. The difference being our religion has modernized and theirs has not if you don’t think that a good number of them aren’t savages you are sorely lacking in knowledge of Muslims and Islam!! Did you see what’s happening in Germany last week and many other European countries in my opinion Europe is done it’s only a matter of time before they are Iraqi or Syria ,do you want that here?? The contradictory thing is that the Saudis are much more educated as a whole and a lot more moderate than our news media leads people to believe,they treated me well and where very kind to especially my children three of which where born in Saudi the Saudis couldn’t get enough of those curly blond locks!!? Islam and a free democratic society cannot coexists not because of us but because they will not allow it?!

  • DebVeilleux

    Thank you for sharing your story. I can’t hate the Muslim people, anyone I don’t think I hate them. I know I cry out to God, that for EVERY DROP of Christian blood spilled by a Muslim terrorist, He will save a Muslim soul.

  • Erin Johnson

    God led me to write this message of prayer for Isis. I know they aren’t representing all Muslims in any way, but we need to recognize that God’s grace extends to EVERYONE, not just to whom we deem worthy. http://www.thenodramamama.com/#!A-Prayer-for-Isis/c1a1n/565f32400cf203d325e6d496

  • Shan

    Thank you, I keep trying to share this perspective with the people in my own congregation but as I have no first hand/ blood connection to the Muslim community my words do not have the same weight.

  • Peace Monger

    well said that the current situation is a human problem which we (society as a whole), are responsible for creating. it is up to us to overcome the hate mongering, replacing it with respect, tolerance, & love. peace be upon us all! namaste

  • Rico Adamo

    Bless your heart, you spend all of the article telling us that your “Muslim Problem” is your fear of people who dislike Muslims, but not once do you say that you have a “problem” with any of the radical Muslims who hate non-Muslims enough to kill them in mass shootings. Are you blind to the fact that radical Muslims are the heart of the real problem, and that if it weren’t for radical Muslims killing “non-believers”, your “Muslim Problem” would be virtually non-existent? Please consider speaking out against Muslim-on-Non-Muslim violence. It would be amazing if at least one Muslim in the world did so.

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  • Dan

    Bless you brother. We progressive evangelicals must pray God will use us to defeat the satanic kingdoms of this world, including the churches themselves that aid and abet the neo-crusades here in our own nation.

  • Jefferson W. Slinkard

    We cannot even “scapegoat” the scapegoaters.

  • Pete Beglar

    TAKE YOUR FAMILY THAT MOST LIKELY WONT SPEAK UP AND DO ANYTHING ABOUT THE RADICAL MUSLIMS..THE ONES THAT PRAY TO A BOOK THAT SAYS TO LIE AND KILL INFIDELS PACK THEIR SHIT UP AND SEND THEM BACK TO THE SHIT HOLE THEY CREATED…

  • Terri

    Just saw your post on Christian Outreach. Maybe we should teach Luke 10:25-37 replacing “Samaritan” with “Muslim.”