It never fails to suprise me how odd we act as SBC members, especially when it comes to Islam. Kelly Boggs, of the Louisiana Baptist Messanger wrote such oddity this week. Below is a letter I sent him and editors that ran this piece, I feel it is important for all of us in SBC leadership to consider; be sure to read Boggs’ article first.
I searched every corner of the internet trying to find your email-to no avail. Therefore, I am left to protest here.
According to WorldNet Daily Kavakci was invited by “Sen. Florence Shapiro, the Senate’s senior Jewish member and sponsor of Kavakci’s invocation.” It is poor journalism for you not to know this fact as it is a “strong jab” in your article. The question of appropriateness is mute. There is enough to attack Kavakci’s politics, if you wish to be political. You view of the First Amendment means very very long multifaith prayers on the National Day of Prayer, President’s Prayer Breakfast and every government meeting that still prays.
Further you spelled nonsectarian wrong, and used it out of context. For a “professing Muslim” (Sufi, Shi’a, Sunni) to use the Quran is very nonsectarian. As is a “professing Christian” (Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Mormon, JW) to us the Bible. Sectarian use would be the Apocrypha, or Book of Mormon for the Christian; for the Muslim it could be Shari’a Law (Iran vs. Turkey).
Regarding the name of Allah, What should Arab Christians call the Most High? God (English)? We call Him by what we know Him as according to Scripture. Yet Scripture has been translated so we understand. So for the Arab, to use the Arab word for God, what word is there? Only “Allah”, is the concept of the One, True, High, and Holy God. Dios-Spanish, God-English, Gott-German, Dei-Latin… Allah-Arab.
True, The God of Mohammed is not the God of Paul. But when the Muslim says, “I follow the God of Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, and Jesus.” Should we say, “No you don’t!”? I submit rather we should strive to help to Muslim know the God he desires. Perhaps, we should seek to correct misconceptions of the One True God, as opposed to calling Muslims everything from idolaters to “demon possessed”. What has happened to being gentle as a dove? Let us win the soul not the debate.
My Bible states that Jesus is the (one) way, (one) truth, and (one) life (John 14:6) . It also states God hates sinners (Psalm 5:5). That the “evil” store up wrath (Rom 2:5-9).
Would you not say of the unbeliever (as you allege Kavakci did) that he is “at best, misguided and, at worst, condemned.”? You open yourself to the same accusations to lay.
As a SBC pastor, of the Criswell College/SEBTS variety; I say that I serve a King who calls the world at best misguided, at worst condemned. Whether the mark is missed by an mm or a mile, it is still missed. To the world, The King commands the narrow gate. If you are at the gate sitting, or in the field without a Shepherd-clueless; the undershepherds of the King are to help the misguided and condemned.
And to the SBC undershepherds, The King calls us to be wise and yet gentle. Insults of “demon possessed pedophile” and others, are unfit for ambassadors of Christ. The Gospel stands on the chief Cornerstone, mudslinging not required. Let us be Kingdom Citizens first, Americans last. Give Islam a prayer pass…so what? That means there are still 364 days we can exalt Christ in government prayer.
p.s. If you feel compelled to reply, please read my blog matthewstevens.wordpress.com, this will clear up my views on Islam (mislead at best) and the Quran (not Scripture, not authoritative).