Why Do You Fear Me?
On Thursday, January 28 I joined others at the U.S. Center for World Mission in watching “Why Do You Fear Me?”, a 90-minute “live Web event” reportedly witnessed by Muslims and Christians in 57 countries. Co-hosted by former South Carolina Governor David Beasley, noted author Ted Dekker, and author and roving peacemaker Carl Medearis, “Why Do You Fear Me?” was partially a promotion for Dekker’s and Medearis’ new book, Tea With Hezbollah, but primarily a platform from which the three co-hosts could answer audience questions and promote their appeal for greater empathy and mutual understanding between Muslims and Christians. The evening’s spotlight was on the capacity of average people to affirm one another’s humanity and to consider anew the person and radical teaching of Jesus.
Here are a few quotes to give Mission Frontiers readers some glimpses of this event:
- Medearis: “Prejudice goes both ways, which levels out the playing field.”
- Dekker: “My fear doesn’t change the nature of Jesus’ command to love our enemies.”
- Beasley: “Many Muslim leaders did speak out against 9/11, but I didn’t hear about it.”
- Dekker: “What does it mean to love your neighbor, or your enemy? What is your heart response to them? Love is meaningless without affection. Examine ourselves: it’s important for me to develop affections for those different than me. Form a crack in your heart and a window in your mind, and get to know your neighbors so that you might love them.”
- Beasley: “For the sake of humanity, follow Jesus’ words about your enemies.”
- Dekker: “To humanize is not to endorse.”
- Medearis: “Which religion saves you? None. The issue is not religious affiliation, but what you do with Christ.”
The video from this event is now available to registrants through the Website.
Sponsors of this event plan to continue the conversation through Facebook, Twitter, the “Why Do You Fear Me?” blog, and utilization of www.iwillbeafriend.com as a mechanism to grow the movement of people around the world who are committing to befriend someone from another culture in 2010.