reply to post by slymattb
Hi. Thanks for raising some important issues.
Yes we do need to be aware of what others are going through as a result of their Christian faith, and yes, I am as guilty as the next man of not doing
enough. Doing something to help and encourage those who need help is never wasted, though: every little effort makes a differences. Consequently I
don't let the littleness of my contribution send me on a guilt trip.
I'd just like to address one specific issue:
All over the world Christians are being punished for their beliefs. Muslims wanting to rap christians (search Christian News or check out
worthynews.com) Christians getting thrown out and more.
We really do need to beware giving the impression that all Muslims treat Christians in such ways, or that they are our enemies. In certain parts of
the world there are religious zealots who think harming the interests of Christians or even trying to destroy their faith or their very lives is a way
of serving God. Some even have political power and are guilty of using their position to whip up hatred.
Vast masses of Muslims across the world are not like this, however. This is the reality. It is pseudo-Christian governments who would like us to think
otherwise, as it is convenient for them to portray Muslim nations in general as hostile to Western nations - it makes some of their policies much
easier to get away with. 'A clash of civilizations' is an idea they tacitly encourage.
The Christian church - people who are disciples of Christ's teaching - needs to stand up and say loud and clear: Muslims are not our enemies. Some
political and religious extremists within the Muslim religion, though, regard Christian people and nations as their enemies, and would very much like
us to think of them in the same way. It is just as convenient for their agenda and for whipping up hatred in general - which they can then manipulate
- as it is for Western governments.
We, as Christians, need to make sure we don't get caught up in the manipulation, in the same way as masses of Muslims manage to avoid it. People who
seek to worship God from both religions and have respect, rather than hatred for adherents of the other faith, have something which can UNITE them
against bigotry, hatred, and the desire for control.
I have written about this previously, as I believe this is a hugely important issue:
slymattb: I don't believe you wanted to give the wrong impression - I just thought it necessary to point out that we need to be acutely aware of the
dangers of using the word 'Muslims' in a way that appears to tar hundreds of millions of people across the world with the same brush.