I am back from the most intense week in my life. As most of you know
by now, I have been participating in a feature length documentary film
called "Holy Wars" and am one of the main characters in the film. The
film examines the twin worlds of Christian fundamentalism and Islamic
fundamentalism and what that means for the world today.
Earlier this year, the director came to St. Louis and did extensive
interviews with me and also filmed me at home and at church. During
these interviews I outlined very clearly the claims of the gospel, in
particular the idea that there is no middle ground when it comes to
examining the claims of Jesus-either He is God or He is not. One
comment I made that I know will be in the film is that to neglect to
examine the claims of Jesus is to play Russian roulette with your
eternal soul. The other three Christian characters are an Iranian
convert that has a TV satellite ministry in Iran, a messianic Jew in
Israel, and Teg Haggard, the former president of National Association
of Evangelicals who has recently been ousted from his position due to
a sex and drugs scandal.
The film also follows me going to Pakistan and preaching the gospel.
I know they have some excellent footage of me preaching. I took the
director through the Christian villages and showed the poverty and
oppression that the Christians face due to an oppressive Muslim
majority. I have also been told that they will cover this in the
Last week, I went to London and engaged in a debate/dialogue with a
radical jihadist for the purpose of the film-which will most likely be
the film's climax. Without giving too much away, it was very intense.
One interesting aspect of the conversation is when he tells me that
America is to blame for the current Jihad against the West and when I
asked him what would happen if we made a treaty with the Muslim world,
he admitted that the treaty would only last for a few months and then
they would come after us again. Quite an admission!
In the end, when I realized that there was no possible way of
reasoning with him to change his mind, I knew that my only sane
objective would be to build common ground and perhaps win the
audience. I believe I took the moral high ground in "removing the
plank from my own eye" on behalf of Evangelical Christians in the
West. I made some positive statements about Islam as well as the
cultural left in America and delivered a loud and clear message that
we Christians have to learn to realize that goodness can be found in
other people and other faiths besides our own. I then talked about
how fundamentalism is not a religious problem, but a human nature
problem. It is a tendency to see the world as "us" verses "them."
In all of this, I believe that I maintained my integrity as a
Christian and to the essentials of the Christian faith. When Khalid
invited me to the mosque, I accepted the invitation and observed a
Muslim prayer service. This will probably play a prominent role in
the film-perhaps even end the film. I do not offer what I did as a
suggestion for every day Christians, but I think that what I showed is
a willingness to engage the other side-something I think that those of
us who have devoted our lives to teaching and propogating the
Christian faith should consider. I am hoping that what I did will
also cause some reflection on the part of Muslim leaders to perhaps
attend some Christian churches and see what they can learn from us-or
even come over to our side. I think that a willingness from leaders
on both sides to learn from each other is the only way out of this
global mess that we are in today. If this does not work, then we in
the West will have to defend ourselves and not let Islamic extremists
destroy our civilization. I hope that people from all sides of the
debate, whether secular humanists, Islamic jihadists, or
fundamentalist Christians will hear my message loud and clear. All of
us have to learn to see goodness in people that are different than us.
Thank you for your prayers. Please pray that the Lord Jesus Christ
will be glorified through this film.