Evangelicals and Moslems Together?

It would be good if a relationship would flourish between evangelical Christians and moderate Arabs, something that would seem unlikely in the current atmosphere. A remarkable meeting occurred at the Egyptian embassy in Washington last month, with a number of evangelical leaders and the ambassadors from several Arab nations.

Jonathan Falwell wrote in WorldNetDaily

On Monday, July 2, I attended what I can only pray may become a historic meeting. Several weeks ago, I received a call about attending a meeting at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C. I was told this meeting would be hosted by the ambassador from Egypt and might be attended by representatives of other Arab nations, as well as by 10-15 pastors, evangelists and Christian media representatives.

My interest stirred, I agreed to attend the meeting even though I was not quite sure of its purpose. I asked Dr. Ron Godwin, Liberty University’s executive vice president, to attend with me. When we arrived at the Embassy, we were greeted by Evangelist Benny Hinn and introduced to several other pastors, evangelists, Christian TV producers and representatives of Christian organizations. Among them were Gordon Robertson of the 700 Club, Paul Crouch Jr. of Trinity Broadcasting Network, Christian lobbyist Ralph Reed, Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals, Vernon Brewer of WorldHelp and several others.

Within a period of no more than 10 minutes, the ambassadors from Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Kuwait, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain and the ambassador from the Arab League of Nations all arrived. I now realized that this meeting was far more than a social gathering. Soon thereafter, we sat down at a large table – evangelicals all on one side and Arab representatives on the other, about 24 of us – for lunch.

And I received this in personal correspondence from Richard Cizik at NAE:

The most interesting person there? None other than Hinn, who I found to be extremely gracious. He was born in Egypt, and is part Jordanian, etc., and helped organize the event. He wanted to know if we’d help him organize successive events. No harm, as I see it, and could do a lot of good, that is, if they could get general agreement by certain leaders who have exclaimed, for example, “50 million Muslims want to kill us,” that this language endangers evangelical missionaries and relief workers around the world. It also fosters the impression that evangelical Christians want to provoke a religious war with Muslims, something everyone at the luncheon disputed.

It was a positive event, with real potential for good. I spoke of the need to make sure Samuel Huntington’s “Conflict of Civilizations” doesn’t occur, and that the NAE had issued a call to “respect” and “dialogue” a number of years ago, followed up by our “Islam Initiative” calling for humanitarian missions in the name of Jesus, as well as dialogue here and abroad. I lauded our friendship with Amb. Aziz Mekouar and the Moroccans, and said that we all need some “moral imagination” to see our way through the current difficulties, saying it “could well be the most important thing we set our minds to at this time in history.”

–Jim Jewell

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About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group (www.valcort.com). Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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