Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

To The Guy Who Threw Rocks And A Bible Through The Mosque Window

This morning I woke up with the above headline in my newsfeed– which is shocking since we supposedly live in a country where we’re told that Christians are the ones on the receiving end of anti-religious persecution.

As reported by KKTV, an unidentified man vandalized the mosque at the Fort Collins Islamic Center around 4:00am on Sunday, breaking windows and throwing a Bible into the mosque.

While the individual who did this is just one person, and even though at this point we can only make assumptions about his potential motive, he certainly represents, on a symbolic level, so many Christians I know who are filled with fear and misinformation regarding our Muslim neighbors.

And so, if I could sit down with the man who threw the Bible, or any number of Franklin Graham follower types who get their information on Islam from a Chick Tract, here’s what I’d say to them:

So, you decided to get up in the middle of the night and throw rocks through the window at your local Mosque—classy. I mean, nothing says, “I love American freedom, because I’m a true patriot” like vandalizing a house of worship, right?

With the growing hatred and distrust toward our Muslim brothers and sisters I’m honestly not surprised at the act of vandalism, but I’ll admit, you surprised me when you threw the Bible in for good measure.

And that’s actually what I want to talk about with you today—because without even knowing you, I can already tell that you’re missing some information on both Christianity and Islam.

First, let’s get to the obvious:

You threw rocks at your neighbors.

Like, you literally did that. It’s not even a metaphor.

You do realize, that while there’s a lot the Bible doesn’t discuss, it actually does cover the whole throwing rocks at others thing?

Funny story: it says you can do it as long as you’re without sin.

Somehow I don’t think that’s you.

And then there’s the central tenant of Christianity: love God and love others—can you help me understand how throwing rocks through someone’s windows is “loving”?

For real—if I threw rocks through your window in the middle of the night, would you experience that as the nicest Valentines gift you’ve ever received?

Probably not.

I’ve got $10 that says you probably have more than one gun in your home and that you’d shoot me if I did that.

Again, I don’t know you, but I have to assume you’re smart enough to know that if I throw a rock at you it’s not because I love you and am just sending you a token of my affection.

And what about that Great Commission Jesus gave—the part where he says we are to go to all people and make disciples. Can you help me understand how throwing rocks through someone’s windows is a compelling invitation to join your group? What about that feels inviting?

While you’ve clearly misunderstood the contents of the Bible you threw through their window, I can’t help but miss the irony of you throwing it at Muslims.

I mean, I’m assuming you’ve taken a World Religion 101 course in your life (ok, let’s be honest, you haven’t), so let me help you out:

A big part of the Bible is Holy Scripture in Islam.

In fact, I know of no two different world religions that are as close as Islam and Christianity.

You see, Islam’s Scriptures encompass more than just the Koran. They also hold the books of Moses (Torah), the Psalms (Zabur), and the Gospel of Jesus[1] (Injil) to be inspired Scripture.

Like us, Muslims are people of the book—and in many cases, we’re talking about the same freakin’ book.

You know, the one you tossed through the window after you smashed it, as if they’d never heard of it.

Let me rock your world a little bit more:

You can’t be a good Muslim if you don’t love Jesus. While Christians and Muslims have some disagreements on Jesus (differences that are not insignificant), what we hold in common actually is significant:

Jesus is one of the most revered people in Islam—it would be impossible to be a faithful Muslim and not love him. Islam teaches that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, that he never sinned, that he was full of the Holy Spirit, that he performed miracles including healing the sick and raising the dead, that he was a word of God, that the true Gospel was given to him, that he was miraculously taken up to heaven, that he is coming back one day to rule in peace and justice after slaying the antichrist, and that those who follow Jesus will be raised to Allah at the resurrection.

Hmmm… a little too similar for your own comfort, no?

Let’s be honest: with over 40,000 different versions of Christianity, there are probably some Christian traditions that affirm less than that. I actually know professing Christians who affirm less than that.

So, here’s the score as I see it, Mr. Rock n’ Bible Thrower:

You smashed the window of a mosque with rocks, tossing in a Bible for good measure—you did it because of your profound misunderstanding of Islam, but in the process, you demonstrated that you don’t understand Christianity, either.

I’d say you’re 0 for 2 at this point, and might want to give it a rest.

[1] Some will claim the Gospel of Jesus was a lost book given to Jesus, others will affirm Injil can/does refer to the NT Gospels. It is also a common belief that the Injil has been corrupted, though the Koran never actually claims this.

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Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is a cultural anthropologist, public theologian, writer, speaker, global traveler, and tattoo collector. He is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell with graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies, and went on to receive his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus. In addition to his blog, Formerly Fundie, his work has been regularly featured by a wide array of media outlets such as TIME magazine and CNN, among others.

BLC

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is a cultural anthropologist, public theologian, writer, speaker, global traveler, and tattoo collector. He is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell with graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies, and went on to receive his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus. In addition to his blog, Formerly Fundie, his work has been regularly featured by a wide array of media outlets such as TIME magazine and CNN, among others.

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