Friday, March 28, 2008

How to Change the World... Muslim at a time. ...some six million Muslims convert to Christianity annually? I'm impressed.

Paul Cella sent me this wonderful article from National Review detailing the work of Coptic priest Zakaria Botros. He's doing great work. From the article:

Botros’s motive is not to incite the West against Islam, promote 'Israeli interests,' or 'demonize' Muslims, but to draw Muslims away from the dead legalism of sharia to the spirituality of Christianity. Many Western critics fail to appreciate that, to disempower radical Islam, something theocentric and spiritually satisfying — not secularism, democracy, capitalism, materialism, feminism, etc. — must be offered in its place. The truths of one religion can only be challenged and supplanted by the truths of another. And so Father Zakaria Botros has been fighting fire with fire.

Saith Paul, "That cannot be repeated often enough." Amen.

My progress was slowed, however, by a particular paragraph in which we learn that "Botros spent three years bringing to broad public attention a scandalous — and authentic — hadith stating that women should 'breastfeed' strange men with whom they must spend any amount of time...the logic being that, by being 'breastfed,' the men become like 'sons' to the women and therefore can no longer have sexual designs on them."

Finally, a Muslim tenet I might be able to embrace. With minimal enthusiasm, of course.


Lydia McGrew said...

I read that the Iranians are getting all hot and bothered about the number of conversions to Christianity there. Brave people, those converts.

William Luse said...

Yes they are. God keep'em safe.

What would you think about our government assisting in this? Say, a radio station that broadcasts throughout the Middle East teaching not the joys of democracy, capitalism, women's lib, etc., but the truth of Christianity?

Kevin Jones said...

One wag has said if the U.S. government funded moderate Muslims we'd end up funding the Islamic equivalent of John Shelby Spong.

Much the same might happen with Christianity. We could end up funding some John Hagee type who concentrates on converting the remaining ancient Christian populations.

There's also the problem of making Christian missionaries look like agents of the US government. Not that your average Muslim much distinguishes Christians from the U.S. government now, but official funding would certainly make independent missionaries look compromised.

Apparently there were rumors/reports in Latin America that the U.S. government was funding the Protestant sects there, because they were more reliable opponents of Communism, among other reasons. I don't know how true, or how damaging, such reports were, but they could indicate precedent-setting policy.

William Luse said...

Yes, probably too many problems to deal with, and this - Not that your average Muslim much distinguishes Christians from the U.S. government now - is likely the biggest.

We could end up funding some John Hagee type...

No doubt, that's another problem - who gets to preach. Botros' Coptics are monophysites (aren't they?) but at least he's from the area, which gives him legitimacy.

I'm kind of surprised at the exposure this Botros is getting over there. I don't know where that "Live TV" originates, and even al-Jazeera seems to be reporting on him. This line really surprised me: "Islamic cleric Ahmad al-Qatani stated on al-Jazeera TV a while back that some six million Muslims convert to Christianity annually, many of them persuaded by Botros’s public ministry." You'd think this is the kind of thing an Islamic cleric would try to hide, not broadcast.

Anyway, I wish there was something we could do, but the well's so poisoned we'll probably do best to stay out of it. Unless someone's got the imagination to envision a scenario that I can't.

Lydia McGrew said...

I say, fund private radio stations via satellite and the INternet ('cause you can listen to radio on the Internet). Fund your favorite one--Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant. Let a thousand Christian flowers bloom, so long as they speak out clearly that Jesus is God and Islam is wrong. Which is not to say everyone's right within Christianity about everything, but to say that any of these, embraced with understanding and clarity, is an improvement over Islam.

William Luse said...

Government funding, or private donations?

Lydia McGrew said...

I meant private donations.

William Luse said...

Yeah, I was thinking if any word leaked out our government was funding something, it would all go for naught