Why Christians can extend the same benefit of the doubt to Muslims after a violent attack
A few years ago, a co-worker asked me a question about my evangelical faith that I’ll never forget: “Are you one of those Christians who supports people who bomb abortion clinics?”
I was floored — and it wasn’t just because the woman didn’t know me well enough to ask something so offensive. I couldn’t believe someone actually thought abortion clinic bombers would receive support from a friendly, mainstream evangelical like me.
A couple of years later, I was talking with a friend who cited, in part, the teachings of TV preachers for his inability to believe in Christian theology. I tried to draw a distinction between name-it-and-claim-it theology and authentic Christianity, but it didn’t go anywhere. He had already made up his mind.
It’s hard representing Christ to people who are jaded and convinced that the outliers are the norm in Christianity. I don’t blame them entirely, though.
People are understandably distracted by the lifestyles of televangelists such as Creflo Dollar, who has successfully bamboozled donors into giving him enough money to purchase a $65 million jet. Then there’s the irresistible catnip in the news about those rotten funeral crashers over at Westboro Baptist Church, who must seem like such a huge deal with all the attention they get (never mind the fact that their cult has only a handful of members). And let’s not get started with all the abortion clinic attackers, philandering preachers and false prophets of doom.
To read the rest of this op-ed, click here, where you can find it at the Washington Post. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.