“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear is tormenting. He who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
by Mark Siljander, Staff Writer
Over the last few years I have received probably hundreds of books, articles, emails and videos from my Christian friends. There is a common theme. They are usually highly critical of Islam, their book, their prophet, the Muslim persecution of Christians, women et al. We are “warned” that radical Islam is intent on dominating the world, destroying Israel and our Western way of life, etc.
Most often, these materials present real challenges, but:
- It is usually presented as a crisis, inciting more fear than hope.
- Practical solutions for help or understanding are rare.
I can’t blame them too hard; because I was there as well until I experienced the strategic paradigm shift detailed in A Deadly Misunderstanding. I was once a doomsayer about Islam.
Wednesday June 10, Reception for Mark Siljander, McLean, VA
To raise support for Mark’s legal defense fund and the revolutionary message of his book. Please pray that this time will be a success!
Fri-Sun June 12-14, Book Tour in Minneapolis, MN
Watch the itinerary page for further details and new events! If you would like to schedule Mark as a speaker for your event, please contact Amber Butler, [email protected]
FROM THE BLOG:
May 14th, 2009
Gold Star Mom Reviews ADM
Mark was glad to recently meet Amy Branham through a mutual friend. Through a few initial discussions and after reading A Deadly Misunderstanding, she published this review on her blog, Amy’s Head:
“This book took me on an emotional journey that I really had to struggle with…
Mark was recently appointed with Amy to the Veteran’s Today website editorial board, focusing on politics and Middle East affairs.
May 4th, 2009
“A Deadly Misunderstanding” wins the 2009 Silver Nautilus Award!
We’re happy to announce that A Deadly Misunderstanding won the 2009 Silver Nautilus Award, an award that recognizes books that “Promote Spiritual Growth, Conscious Living, and Positive Social Change.” Past winners include titles from Deepak Chopra M.D., Barbara Kingsolver, Thich Nnat Hanh, Jean Houston, Ph.D., Eckhart Tolle and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
April 22nd, 2009
Yielding Fruit of the Spirit
We received this encouraging letter from Mark’s friend, Betsy Brown, and wanted to share with you a story where this kind of new understanding and journey allowed for real spiritual fruit!
Mark, I just returned from Turkey and N. Iraq. I have to tell you something that happened on the plane …
Continuing Mark’s letter from above…
“What would Jesus do?”
WWJD has become a cute slogan, almost a platitude, but is there a strategy drawn from the life, teachings and behavior of Jesus that we can use to address these frequently expressed fears? As followers of the straight path we are to be all about "good news." So why the focus on “bad news” and fear? Three hundred times the Scripture says not to “fear.” What more powerful force on earth do we need to overcome evil than His name and the Gospel/good news? Jesus’ teaching profoundly impacted the human heart, and ultimately, entire cultures. Although he was rough on “religious” leaders who missed the spirit of the law, his tactic with refuse of the world was all about compassion and hope. As I am learning to engage Jesus’ “good news” approach I urge this spirit in you as well.
Tim Timmons, my mega church pastor friend in California, points out, “how unattractive and off-message the present-day negativity is. This negative spirit is filled with condemnation, exclusivity and a certain amount of pride that we (whoever the “we” who happens to be talking at the time) are right and those who are not with us are wrong. It’s summed up with the phrase ‘ain’t it awful.’”
With this perspective, I wonder how Jesus would ask Muslims and Christians to relate to each other. There is much less resistance by going with the prevalent fear flow. But there are times when we need to take the risk of challenging the status quo and do our best to follow Jesus’ example of love.
My friends who send the hopeless critiques of Islam focus on the power of fanatics. While their assessment may be correct, their recommendation for change is limited to passing on an article or video that instills more fear. As if getting more people to be afraid and hopeless will solve the problem! Many Christians and Muslims are unaware of the beliefs and hopes they share in common and persist with the unsuccessful strategy of converting others to a different religion. This does little to stem the flow of fear and radicalization simmering in the world, perhaps even adding fuel to the fire!
The secularist tries even harder to control the outcome with a more powerful military, surveillance, intelligence, etc., even if it undermines civil liberties. Is this huge challenge really beyond the reach of Jesus?
Through the grand example of the Messiah Jesus, who inspired an unprecedented people movement loving one’s neighbor, and through his power (the very Spirit of God), we can persevere in forging a people movement to undermine ignorance and radicalism with the “good news.”
Luke 21:9 “when you hear of wars and revolutions do not be afraid…”
In the meantime, an interesting thing happened yesterday. I was blown away when my path crossed with someone who renewed my hope, right in the midst of everyday life.
The UPS man was delivering a package and he spoke to me in Arabic, he says, “Kun faya kun” which means, “Be and it is” in Arabic, it’s in the Qu’ran. And I said, “How do you know how to say that?” because he was a blond-haired guy and it seemed unusual for him to be speaking Arabic.
It turns out that a local priest here in Key Largo gave him a copy of ADM to read and he read it and got so excited he bought three of them.
He gave one to his son, a priest; another one to his daughter, who is married to a Muslim and the third to his son who is in Iraq, he’s a high level Navy person in Baghdad.
So, I thought this is really exciting, here’s someone I don’t know at all, the UPS guy, (who happened to be delivering copies of ADM)—telling me how excited he is and giving the book as a response to the needs to all three of his children; the message was relevant to each of them, but for completely different reasons. God’s work in this man and his family was a joy to observe and an example of all the unexpected connections and fruit that God is preparing for us as we move forward, trusting him to bring hope in our “intractable” situations.
The Siljander Scoop is written by the team supporting the release of Mark Siljander’s book, A Deadly Misunderstanding. Reply to this email by clicking here. You are always free to unsubscribe by clicking the "Manage Your Subscription" link below. Visit us at www.adeadlymisunderstanding.com