Dr. Robert Jeffress Responding to Dallas Morning News Columnist about Islam

Thoughts?

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  1. #1 by adrian on March 12, 2011 - 6:51 pm

    I feel bad for the guy, honestly. I’m sure it would be tough to feel so taken out of context and misrepresented, and even though it’s sort of strange to use that platform to defend himself, I understand.

    What I don’t understand is why they feel the need to either disqualify or discredit Islam by saying things like ‘it incites violence’ or ‘it is used by some to excuse ____.’ Isn’t that the nature of ANY religion based on an ancient text, that it can (and does) become anything to anyone? It certainly doesn’t seem like a good argument for or against any religion. All of the major religions have used their respective texts to defend actions that at times most have seen as deplorable.

    Why does it seem like evangelicals have to discredit or defame other faiths in order to legitimize theirs? As far as I can tell, no one has ever come to faith or Christ because someone successfully proved every other deity to be a fraud.

    • #2 by rexhowe on March 13, 2011 - 10:56 pm

      Adrian,

      Very well said. Here was my response to some others who brought it up:
      Dr. Jeffress is an interesting man. My initial thought is this: Is making folks aware of the evils of Islam and attacking the evils of Islam more American of Christian? Any religious system can be picked on because of manifestations of evil within it (e.g., Catholic priests, celibacy and homosexual acts with boys or Ted Haggard, etc.). I don’t hear Dr. Jeffress denouncing the Roman Catholics or Evangelicals for their sexual immorality. I may be wrong but I feel like Dr. Jeffress is responding here as a Conservative American rather than as a Redeemed Christian. The problem with Islam is that it is not Christianity—that is, they do not worship the one true God nor do they have salvation found in the exclusive person and work of Jesus Christ. Reform of Islam is not our message—it may be America’s message—but it is not the Christian message. We want converts from Islam to Christianity.

      I thought my response was good, and then a friend had this to say:
      On the one hand, Snow’s article seems pretty stupid and careless. Poor journalism on his part. On the other hand, Jeffress could perhaps be a little more generous and complex in his thought about these issues. One could just as easily point to the Amish and Jesus’ injunction to only have one set of clothes as evidence that Christianity encourages people to live completely removed from modern cultural life, or to Joshua/Revelation and the Crusades as evidence that Christianity is essentially violent in nature. Thankfully the RCC isn’t currently dominating the world with nuclear arms, but what does this accusation “Islam is a violent religion” even mean? Our Holy Book describes God commanding Israel to slaughter the entire Canaanite population down to the babies and puppies, and when Jesus comes back in Revelation he’s unleashing a whole lot of nasty stuff on a whole lot of humans, most of whom will live out eternity in torture. So violence is not really the issue; divine authority is the issue. In any case, the small minority of the Islamic population who are terrorists are motivated by politics as much as religion. Religion has always been a powerful ideological force for political leaders to wield as they please. (Religion-flavored politics is the opium of the people.)

      On the third hand, Jeffress is right to point out some of these issues in Islamic societies. To brush child marriage under the rug of tolerance toward Muslims is to fail in prophetic responsibility. As Christians we shouldn’t be too shocked at marriage directly post-puberty – this was common in biblical history too – but Yemen and Co need to get with the times and the great advances in conceptions of personal freedom and responsibility that Christianity has brought to the world. Here’s an interesting article on child marriage in Sharia law by a Muslim law professor in the US.

      You can’t argue with the main point of Muhammad being a false prophet. In Dallas some pastor in some big church gave 3D glasses to his congregation in the Christmas Eve service so they could watch his home video of the kids opening the presents in three dimensions. As I said to Jeff when he told me this story, stuff like that almost makes me want to convert to Islam. At least they take their prophet seriously.

  2. #3 by zazu on March 30, 2011 - 7:21 pm

    The problem with Jeffers is (and in clear contradistinction with the former pastor) that he confuses political conservatism with Christianity. I some times wonder whether he is a politician who happens to be a pastor rather than the other way around. he is very oblivious to his form of syncretistic Christianity.

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