I may have touched on the this subject before but it is one that makes me angry because people (especially Christians) are supposed to be better than what I am going to describe.
In one of my first blogs (I don’t recall which one) I commented on the behaviour of people in social media misrepresenting others by way of omission. By omission I mean leaving out relevant details of people speaking publicly and only supplying excerpts or snippets of what they have said. It makes one wonder about the character of these people when the bible they claim to believe in and practice says the following: Pro_6:19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
Pro_12:17 He who speaks truth tells what is right, But a false witness, deceit.
Pro_14:5 A trustworthy witness will not lie, But a false witness utters lies. Mat_15:19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication’s, thefts, false witness, slanders. I think the verse from Matthew nails it where it says for out of the heart come evil thoughts. Matthew has even more to say on the subject: Mat 18:15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.
Mat 18:16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. Now there’s a thought provide witnesses so every fact may be confirmed.
So what am I alluding to? About six months ago James White and a Muslim Scholar named Yasir Qadhi held two dialogues where they presented their respective beliefs to contrast the differences between Christianity and Islam. I watched both presentations where neither side compromised their beliefs and made it clear that Christianity and Islam have very little in common except both are clearly monotheistic. Both were uncompromising on their stance that their respective religions and scriptures were true and inspired while their counterpart was not. What has transpired since then isn’t so surprising although it is very disappointing.
James White had come under enormous attack by both some former friends and then others who from my perspective are trying to get a name for themselves by misleading their own followers and as many others as possible by taking James White out of context but also by hijacking the Christian gospel implying that the Gospel Of Christ should only be preached to certain people in a certain way that excludes others because they are just plain too evil. The accusation against James White however is that he neither presented the gospel and is too friendly with the Muslim folk.
James White has been debating with and witnessing to Muslims for a long period of time that means he needs to have a good understanding of their beliefs and writings. James would look really silly if he knew nothing about Islam and went about knocking on their doors and told them they were wrong but couldn’t tell them why they are wrong? It would be like the postman stopping off at the local building site and telling the engineer that he/she didn’t know what they were doing.
Well in the case of James White it seems that he has overstepped his mark; according to fellow named Brannon Howse James has sold out to be a Muslim sympathiser while others are saying James White is an undercover Jesuit who has infiltrated the church to eventually bring us all back under the control of Rome…. Most of those making the accusations have never read or heard a word in context that James White has written or spoken; nor does it appear they want to.
The sad part is that our own scriptures point out that false witnesses spread lies and deceit and that this behaviour is a condition called sin that comes from the heart. Once upon a time before the internet and social media if some one behaved this way they would be accused of gossiping and a good church would have pulled them up and asked what evidence they had that their accusations were true. If they couldn’t prove their case they would have been told to shut up and disciplined.
Not today apparently! Even though we now have the technology at our fingertips to research almost any information we need or want people pay very little attention to accuracy or truth. We suffer from a syndrome called research bias or confirmation bias, we put blinkers on whenever we come across information that challenges our beliefs and ideas. We can then filter that information so that it fits our perceptions; very often at the expense of truth.
So Brannon Howse does a hatchet job on James White in the worst way possible editing James white so that James appears to be supporting Islam. Any one who wants to can search James White and Yasir Qadhi on You Tube and get the full picture.
What is disturbing in all this is the total lack of critical research carried about by James White’s accusers. If they had done their research they would know that Yasir Qadhi and his followers haven’t claimed any kind of victory that the great debater James White has defected to Islam; he hasn’t. They would know that during their dialogue both White and Qadhi defended their positions. Dr Qadhi was at pains to point out that the discussion was not a debate and that he was not a debater.
Brannon Howse was insistent that Dr White didn’t present a Gospel message and should not have even entertained Dr Qadhi nor gone to a Mosque the next night to continue the dialogue. Nope! If Howse and his ilk had their way it would have been only to scream damnation at the infidel Muslims. Some of the other stuff that has gone on is simply too infantile to repeat but sadly seems to be representative of fundamentalist sects that are out there. Seems our fundies are a more moderate toned down version of extremists in other religions although in saying that there isn’t a whole lot of difference except our guys aren’t killing others or blowing themselves up in public places… they do a pretty good job of emulating extremism through their character assassination of anyone and everyone who is not like them though!