Bill Keller, center-stage

If interested you can read the article,

Televangelist Counters Ground Zero Mosque with Christian Center

But what interested me was a comment left by a reader, in response to the article,

And then maybe we can do a remake of “West Side Story” and have the Christians in one gang and the Muslims in the other. Or, here’s another radical thought…maybe we can actually show the love of Jesus to these Muslims and share the good news of Jesus with them with our lives and our lips. These Muslims are not the enemy, they are victims of the enemy who need the message of Jesus Christ every bit as much as we do. If Christians in and around New York embrace Muslims with open arms, listen to them deeply, love them unconditionally and share the message of Christ in a compelling and uncompromising way, then maybe the rest of the NYC community will see what the heart of Jesus is all about…and believe. But if we just tit for tat with this and that then we are using earthly devices instead of the heavenly “weapons of righteousness”…truth and love


2 comments on “Bill Keller, center-stage

  1. Amen indeed.

    Yeah, after 9/11 I heard very little talk of this sort. How about praying for these people and seeking peace with them?

    Instead we heard…They’re evil…kill them.

    While I certainly expect a government to respond to something like 9/11, as Christians our understanding of the world should be……The USA is evil, Al Qaeda is evil, the Taliban is evil, Britain is evil, etc…… We live in a fallen world. That affects how we look at things. I’m not saying everyone is exactly the same in the evil they commit, but let’s not fool ourselves.

    To posit that the USA if good and they’re evil……is not reflecting the Christian worldview as we were so often told during the last presidential election. We do believe in good and evil but we should never be fooled into thinking a nation-state represents the good. The only good Kingdom is Christ’s.

    It affects how we view the world. I’m sorry if I offend anyone by referring to the USA as evil…but if you insist we’re the ‘good guys’ I have to ask what Biblical evidence can you provide to show nations in the New Covenant age are good?…that’s a moral/theological category implying they have the mandate of Heaven as did OT Israel. Or else, what do you mean by good?


    John A.

  2. Bill Keller is a “culture war conservative” type. It is this strange type of dispensationalism that absorbs covenant theology (see Francis Schaeffer) when it is convenient. Basically, religious right dominionism, where Keller sees America as a “Christian nation” that needs defending from outside religions.

    It is curious: in order to maintain that theology, one has to concede that the role of a Christian (both individually and acting in concert with other Christians) in a nation that is majority and traditionally Christian is entirely different from that of a Christian in a majority non-Christian country. So, a Christian in America has a totally different job from a Christian in, say, Indonesia or India. In other places, Christians must remain separate from the world. To them, the teachings of the New Testament on being separate from the world and part of the spiritual kingdom of God actually applies; you are in the world but not of it. But to “Christendom”, in “Christian nations” like America and in Europe (before Europe became secular and post-Christian), you are in the world AND of the world. Thus, Christendom gives added responsibilities, but also added privileges. Of course, most people who adhere to this mindset are more concerned about protecting the additional privileges than carrying out the extra responsibilities. That’s why at any given time you can listen to any Christian (political) conservative talk radio show and hear caller after caller frantically referring to how they are losing their rights and freedoms, and not how they are going to go door to door in a Muslim/immigrant community and evangelize, let alone do good works for the poor, oppressed and marginalized, and especially not plant a church designed to reach them.

    Of course, the Bible does not support the idea that Christians in some nations have completely different missions and roles than Christians in others. Of course, we have different callings and gifts in the Body of Christ, but this is not by virtue of where you were born! (Only a hyper-hyper Calvinist would assert such a thing, and I say this as a hyper-Calvinist.) But again, only if you accept the idea that spreading another religion in a country where most people CLAIM to be Christian is an attack on Jesus Christ does stuff like this make sense. Unfortunately, this idea is precisely what the religious right is built upon.

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