Sunday, July 18, 2010

Arrested for answering Muslim's Questions!

I have not commented yet on the Dearborn situation; now I feel I should.

Others, including Dr. James White at www.aomin.org, and Turretinfan , have commented and have linked to this video; but it seemed good to me to also link to this video and call for prayer for our brothers and sister in Christ. The video is now out and the evidence seems clear that the Acts 17 Apologists / evangelists did nothing wrong.

These Evangelical Christians were arrested for just sharing their faith and answering real questions that Muslims have; and video taping their interactions with Muslims. arrested for answering questions They have explained why they needed to video tape this time again, as last year they were harassed and treated unjustly.

Some of the questions the Muslim's asked seemed straight out of Ahmad Deedat/Zakir Naik's statements and debates. They were all typical questions that Muslims have and we would like the opportunity to answer these questions and explain what true Christianity is. Nabeel did a good job of answering their questions. If other Muslims complained to the police, why won't those Muslims allow them to answer and explain? What are they afraid of?

One of the biggest problems in history in the Muslim world is that Muslim cultures do not allow Christians to speak and evangelize and explain their faith. They do not allow Muslims to become Christians. The Hadith, Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260 calls for the death penalty for turning from Islam, which is apostasy in Islam. "If anyone turns from Islam, kill him." There are many other Hadith narratives that teach this; search over at www.answering-islam.org

Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260 (Notice the subject of all of book 52)
Narrated Ikrima:
Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.' "


I don't know if Muslims complained to the police; or the police were under orders from their superiors, or that there is a co-ordinated effort by Muslims and the police to shut down the Christian preachers/evangelists, but it seems like one of these options or a mixture of all those choices is in play here. If the police are afraid of "stirring up the Muslims and making them angry", then, doesn't that say something about Muslims' ability to control their emotions? And doesn't that say something about what Islam teaches? The Muslims who complained to the police probably felt threatened by the preaching and possibly don't like their young people being exposed to good answers. It is not a stretch to think that they don't like David Wood and Nabeel Qureshi because of their website/blog because the content of their blog exposes lots of information about Islam that is embarrassing to Muslims; or they believe it is insulting to Islam. That is a problem, there is no freedom of speech in real, doctrinal Islam.

I really admire the courage and boldness of Nabeel Qureshi and David Wood and Negeen Mayel and Paul Rezkalla for sharing their faith and their tenacity and perseverance in challenging this and documenting the evidence. The Mayor and the police, because of the current climate of "political correctness', are probably going overboard to appease the Muslims who are making the complaints to them about the Acts 17 apologists. They seemed to have thought they would just shut down the Christians and that they would give up and this would go away. After all, Christians are not supposed to stand up for their rights, right? (see Acts 22:22-30 and 25:1-12) The security people at Dearborn Arab Festival 2009, last year's event were wrong in their behaviors and, this time, the police were wrong to arrest them. Let's all pray for justice to be done in their upcoming court case.

Hopefully, this will motivate more Christians to share their faith with Muslims here in the USA and be prepared in apologetic issues and evangelism to give answers, as Nabeel did. O Christians, respect Christ more than letting the fear of man rule your hearts. O Christians, crucify your fears and set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil". O Christians, walk in holiness and walk in the Spirit and guard your heart!

If we do engage Muslims, there will always be misunderstandings, and both sides have to deal with their emotions and responses. Muslims many times like to bring up politics and mistakes of the past of western culture/history. We will be tempted to fight back and get angry and judge motives. We must fight hatred, fear, pride, prejudice, and anger in our hearts also. If and when we do respond wrongly, we must also be ready to confess our own anger and frustration and wrong judgments and pride. That will make our witness even more powerful, when we show the fruit of the Spirit when Muslims get angry.

Nabeel, David, Paul, and Negeen did nothing wrong and I cannot understand why some Christians have criticized them. We need both bold public preaching like this, as modeled throughout the book of Acts; and we also need those times of hospitality types of outreaches with Muslims, like Jesus modeled - eating with sinners and tax-collectors. (Matthew 9:10-13/Luke 5:27-32; Luke 15:1-2; Luke 19:1-10; Luke 7:34-50)


I Peter 3:13-18 - English Standard Version:

13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?

14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them,nor be troubled,

15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy,always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

12 comments:

beowulf2k8 said...

"These Evangelical Christians were arrest[ed] for just sharing their faith and answering real questions that Muslims have"

This is probably as fake as Ergun Caner's biography.

beowulf2k8 said...

Its not like you can't buy a police uniform at a costume shop.

Ken said...

Right.

It is obvious you didn't look at the videos.

JustJan said...

I find this whole issue very distressing as I live very close to Dearborn.

I know that there are local churches who do a great deal of work 24/7/365 to minister to muslims in Dearborn. I know Christians who personally do a great deal of ministry to this community. Some have unique opportunities to do on a daily basis what Acts 17 does for the term of the festival. They do it without controversy or legal action.

The video does demonstrate a Christian who is doing a wonderful job of directly answering questions about God. If the video were the only story, I would not be troubled in supporting Acts 17 as a group.

However, I know that this group has avoided working with the local churches that continue to work long after the festival has ended.

That lack of cooperation and accountability is a red flag for me. Why wouldn't Acts 17 want to get to know the people who serve continually in this community? What provision are they making for the discipleship of those souls who repent and need a place to learn and grow?

Getting the answers to these questions isn't easy which is just another red flag that troubles me.

I hope we can find some answers as to how we can work together as the Body of Christ.

Ken said...

JustJan - I think those are fair questions and issues that you bring up.

People who want to reach Muslims need to do so in a long-term discipleship and church -planting context; that had always been my emphasis and experience and I did not do the confrontation style, precisely because of the emotions that Muslims have and "group mentality" and misunderstandings and unfairness (even in one on one or three against one scenarios, ie. three or 10 Muslims against me scenarios) - I realized it did not go very far and also I was not equipped enough in the Hadith and details, nor textual criticism that comes up always.

Recently, because of the internet, there is much more opportunity for a person to get access to things, than 30 years ago, one had to have lots of money to buy all the Hadith books, etc. Since I could not get at that stuff; the slower friendship evangelism model was more effective.

But I also have realized that the preaching model in the book of Acts is right also.

I have nothing but respect for both kinds of ministries; and that is why I mentioned the friendship / hospitality (I should have included your points on discipleship/longer term/ local church model of Jesus also, not only the public preaching in the book of Acts.

We must have both; and both need to have follow-up and discipleship and local church involvement.

But the fact that they come from a different city or state to come and do some evangelism does not take away from their efforts. As it is; the Acts 17 folks were treated unjustly. The other "nicer" ministries need to not accuse them of just "seeking to get emotions going" or "seeking to get videos for their website" and such, as if that is their only motive; or even a motive at all. They seem to have real love and real courage. It is refreshing to me to see both.

Both kinds of Christian methods of evangelism are motivated by the love of God to share Christ with Muslims.

JustJan said...

Ken,

Please let me clarify. I have no qualms against people coming into town to preach. I don't have any qualms about their preaching style.

A lot of the contention could have been avoided if they would work with the local churches. If they would merely be a bit more transparent about who they are and what home church they are accountable to, even that would help. If we knew that we could then sort all of this out via the methods we are given in Matthew 18. This is one of the issues that we have when things are done via a para church group.

Can you think of any good reason why the Acts 17 people would be unwilling to do that?

Can you suggest a way for Acts 17 leaders and local church leaders to have a conversation about what really happened and see if there is an opportunity to build unity instead of strife and distrust?

Ken said...

Certainly it is an added plus if they could find some of the churches in the Dearborn / Detroit area or at least one church that is close to their own ecclesiastical tradition they could work with; that would do some follow-up and longer term type discipleship outreach.

And it is good for them; even incumbent upon them to be sent out by a local church to do full-time ministry - as in Acts 13:1-4.

I would think that they need to realize that they need to be under a local church and prayed for and sent out by a local church and they would seek to connect to at least one of the churches doing Muslim outreach.

Nine Marks ministry can help them think through these kinds of strategies and the Biblical principles of ministry and local church confirmation.

www.9marks.org

JustJan said...

Ken,

And that is where I am having trouble understanding exactly what is going on here.

There are a number of churches, including my own, that would like to see this happen. The lack of communication and cooperation leaves me concerned that the video doesn't paint the whole picture. I know that local churches have attempted to reach out to this group.

Ken said...

The Acts 17 folks need to find a church in the Dearborn /Detroit area that they can work with that is in unity with their doctrinal position. But also, if all the churches that do actually interact with Muslims, do not agree with street preaching/evangelism/getting into the gospel immediately, and have a "Dhimmi" attitude of never pointing out the negative things that Islam really does teach in the Qur'an and Hadith, then they will have a hard time finding a good church that they could work with.

One time I did Muslim outreach in Dearborn in 1986; (It was mostly positive); I did not realize that the guy who organized it was heavily influenced by the "word of faith" (name it/Claim it/Prosperity - health and wealth heresy)movement. (Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, etc.) I found out later after we were already there; and was shocked at the goofy things that one of the "devotional leaders" taught one morning. Overall, though, after that, we were free to visit Muslims and do door to door evangelism.

Now, the Word of Faith movement is one group I could definitely not work with, because I sincerely believe that that teaching is un-Biblical, heretical and much of it is goofy; and much of it seems to be motivated by the greed of the TV preachers who promote it.

About 90 % of the Muslims that we met invited us into their homes /or had long discussions on their front porch; and we had great discussions with the Muslims and we were able to share the gospel many times. About 50 % of those times, they fixed us a meal and we had several more hours of discussion.

Christians also need to learn to do that kind of ministry.

David Wood said...

JustJan,

It seems you've fallen for some of the standard misrepresentations of our ministry.

We work with several ministries and churches in the area. Other ministries constantly attack us, and tell us that we are not welcome in Dearborn. So we have to work around them, but when we do, they go out and say that we're not willing to work with the local ministries. So they tell us that they're not willing to work with us, and we accept this, and then they tell people that we're the ones who aren't willing to work with them. These are the same ministries that are constantly attacking us in the media and have even resorted to outright lying. How can you condemn for not working with them?

I've found a tremendous amount of deception in Dearborn, not only from the Mayor and Police Department, but also from certain local Christian ministries. Please follow our blog. We haven't responded much to the constant attacks of Christians, but we're now being forced to confront other Christians. We'll have some details up soon.

Ken said...

David,
Welcome to Beggar's All and good to see you here - Praise God for your boldness for the truth of God's Word and you and Nabeel's love for Muslims. (and Negeen and Paul)

Thanks for making clear that aspect of local church ministry that some people are asking about.

JustJan said...

@Ken

I agree that one has to use a great deal of discernment in choosing partners in ministry. Pairing up with heretical teachers to preach the gospel is not God honoring. It is unfortunate that the word of faith message has so many hearers in this area.

I do agree that there is a large potential harvest here. I don't have any problem with people coming in from out of town to preach. I am just concerned that those efforts work to glorify God and support unity in the Body of Christ.


@David Wood

Very nice to see you join the discussion. I appreciate your willingness to shed some light on what I have heard.

I haven't fallen for anything at this point. I am still trying to gather information, sort things out and attempt to figure out what is true about the events at the Arab Festival this year.

Would you be willing to elaborate on who it is in the area that you are working with?