Tuesday, November 28, 2006

More on Rick's Syria flap

Ergun Caner, president of Liberty Theological Seminary in Virginia, a former Muslim who surrendered his life to Jesus, has some very, very interesting insights into the comments of a certain Saddleback Church's senior pastor during a recent trip to the Islamic republic of Syria:

"What Rick Warren saw was 'religious toleration.' Not only is it a common mistake, it is the media norm to confuse the two," said Ergun Mehmet Caner, the president of the Liberty Theological Seminary at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

"He was shown open churches, and worshiping people. He was not shown a single Muslim who converted to Christianity, he was shown people who are 'grandfathered in," Caner continued. "If he would have seen a Muslim convert, the scene would be different, and tragic. He would have seen one of my kinsmen … buried up to his waist in his burial cloth … and then stoned to death. Killed for the sole crime of finding faith in Jesus Christ.

"That is not religious freedom, and that is not tolerance. That is religious genocide," said Caner, who has authored 14 books on Christian apologetics and world religions, including "Unveiling Islam."

The entire article can be found here.

You know, I find it nothing short of very fascinating and very instructive to note that many of our good and wise social/theological/political commentators here in the West are so much more better informed about Islam and Islamic regimes than those who have lived and suffered under them. While those who have paid the price to follow Jesus in Muslim countries warn us of the totalitarian nature of Islamic culture, those who know far better because they are celebrities rush to the rescue and helps us to see how things really are.


Anyway, Dr. Caner brings up a very incredibly important point: Many Muslim nations tolerate other religions (and Christianity), but toleration is not the same thing as freedom. We often do confuse the two, since here in America, where we have a society heavily influenced by Christianity (yes, even still in the "post-modern," "post-Christian" era - our social morality still borrows epistemological capital from a Biblical mindset, as Cornelius Van Til very ably pointed out earlier last century) we actually have religious freedom - as a direct consequence, by the way, of that very underpinning of Christianity.

...but be that as it may, read the article. Lends the lie to the Good Reverend's recent comments regarding Syria and all that.

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