March 19, 2006

Who is Christian?

Detail from the cover of Thomas Asbridge's book, The First CrusadeI found this little gem on a Baptist website, Ethics Daily, through the political blog Crooks & Liars. It makes me wonder, who is really a Christian? Men like Parham who appear to follow the majority of Jesus' (pbuh) teachings as presented in the New Testament ... or men like Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham, who appear to be "cafeteria Christians," picking and choosing what teachings they want to follow and what they want to ignore.

Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics said neither Robertson nor Graham "show much familiarity with the largest bulk of Jesus' moral teachings which are found in the Sermon on the Mount."

"If they would hear and follow Jesus' teachings, then they would halt their anti-Islamic diatribes," Parham said. "The Sermon on the Mount is crystal clear about peacemaking, loving enemies, doing good to others, striving after God’s kingdom and practicing discernment. Regrettably, fundamentalist Christians ignore the Sermon on the Mount, because it is not a manual for war-making, which is at the heart of Christian crusades."


The Nashville, Tennessee-based BCE [Baptist Center for Ethics], Parham said, has a clear record of "stepping up often to speak against demonizing Muslims and to speak for following the Sermon on the Mount."

Parham said the Christian community "needs to hear the deep concern and perception within the Islamic and Arab communities about American Christianity" not doing enough to counter inflammatory comments that degrade people of other faiths.

"Perhaps American Christian clergy should speak this Sunday about another way, away from Robertson and Graham toward the Sermon on the Mount," Parham suggested. "Perhaps clergy should include in their pastoral prayer a reminder of the kind of talk about which the Apostle James wrote—civil, controlled, constructive speech."

1 comment:

DrMaxtor said...

I'd say your best bet is the oldest Christian community in the world : The Palestinians.