He countered: That’s not what my preacher says. And he sent a link to the Aug. 24 sermon in a large Bible church in Dallas.
To my dismay, a preacher I have known and admired spent about five minutes running down all of Islam. He began: “One of the biggest lies in the world today, that’s being told over and over again, to where you are almost uninvited to social events if you don’t parrot this lie, and the lie is that Islam is a peaceful religion.”
He went on: “It’s getting harder and harder to defend that statement as Islamist militants around the world are crucifying Christians, beheading their children, burying people alive.”
He talked about the beheading of journalist James Foley and relayed what he said was the message of the Islamic State: “We will not stop until we quench our thirst for your blood.”
“Let me ask you this,” he said. “If Islam is such a peaceful religion, why is there no outcry from any Muslim leaders over the beheading of this journalist?”
I took the sermon to another local pastor who is a respected authority on Islam. Robert Hunt is a professor at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology and author of numerous books on both Christianity and Islam.
I’m not naming the other pastor because Hunt wasn’t interested in a personal smackdown. But he was eager to take on the blatant distortion in equating the atrocities of the Islamic State with all of Islam.
He had two quick points to start: “One, this isn’t happening with Muslims all over the world,” he said. “And, two, what actually is happening with Muslims all over the world is universal condemnation of ISIS.”