Let’s Proclaim the Unknown God

September 11, 2010


To Terry Jones (Dove World Outreach, Gainesville, Florida), Bob Old (Springfield, Tennessee),  and Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, Kansas):

I am a devoted follower of Jesus Christ.  And I believe that everyone must accept His sacrifice in order to obtain God’s forgiveness.  I am also an ardent Christian apologist.  So I understand that even the most pacific of Muslims will not enter into heaven.  That’s not because they are MORE evil (in man’s eyes) than Christians are.  Their fate is the same as our fate: it is totally dependent upon whether or not they accept the unmerited gift of forgiveness offered through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The only real difference between Muslims and Christians is where we are on our walk towards God.

  • Authentic Christians have accepted the fact that they have sinned.
  • Authentic Christians realize that those sins have separated them from God.
  • Authentic Christians recognize that there is nothing that they can do to bridge that separation.
  • Finally, authentic Christians have accepted the simple fact that God offered Himself to become the bridge between our fallen nature and God’s perfect nature.

A child raised in a “Muslim” nation is no different than a child raised in a “Christian” nation: both need to take the same path through the same four basic steps if they want to know God.  On these facts, Ithink we are in agreement.

But I cannot comprehend why you believe that antagonism and hatred are a means of drawing people into the loving and compassionate arms of Christ.  When Paul visited Athens (in Acts 17), I don’t see any evidence of the kind of exhortation that you are practicing.

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”

If you want to draw people to Christ, act as Paul acted.  Find common ground and exploit that common ground as a means of demonstrating our unity as God’s creations – and our unfortunate unity as fallen creatures.  Don’t let your anger, frustration and zeal be your weapons.  These are weapons forged by your own hands.  Instead, let the Word of God be your two-edged sword.  God is just.  And God will judge both the righteous and the unrighteous (including ourselves).  Let that be God’s job.  Your job is to proclaim the unfailing love of Jesus Christ.

May the peace of our Lord and Savior be with you.  And may God open the ears of all men so that we can proclaim His Word with His Spirit.


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