If Not Muslim then Christian?

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by MikeinGhana, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. MikeinGhana

    MikeinGhana
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just read an old thread that was closed down because of its inflammatory edge. I read with interest because it had to do with activity in West Africa, my neighborhood. The poster told of some "Christians" who killed Some muslims in Nigeria. This was in retaliation to Muslims killing Christians over the cartoon controversy.

    Here is my question for discussion. Do other places in the world have the problem of anyone who is not a Muslim being called a Christian? Here in Africa if one has not either been born into a Muslim family or converted to Islam then he is considered to be a "Christian" and takes a "Christian" name.
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    Thanks for the information, Mike. I read that thread and wondered, and you have filled in the blank.

    I have a fascinating book entitled, Popski's Private Army, about the WW2 exploits of Vladimir "Popski" Peniakoff and his men, fighting behind German lines in North Africa. At one point, Popski is scouting an enemy truck convoy with a Muslim ally who says something like, "We could kill all those Christians." Popski objects and says, "Hey, I'm a Christian!" The Muslim says, "Oh, no offense. 'Christian' is just our word for enemy!"

    In Japan, everyone is considered a Buddhist until clear proof is shown otherwise. Then, when a Japanese becomes a Christian, they are told, "You are not a Buddhist. So you are not a Japanese." :(
     
  3. Su Wei

    Su Wei
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    0
    hello,

    Here in Singapore, to say you are Malay (that's the indigenous race here) is to say you are Muslim and vice versa. Islam acts very much as a community marker, like to distinguish who's in the community and who's out.

    There are those from other races who convert to Islam, mostly through marriage. There are those Malays who have converted from Islam to Christianity but they're very underground and are persecuted (like getting beat up and ostracised from the community).

    (But i have to add that the Islamism practised here is very "moderate". The Malay community, despite coming under the banner of Islam, has the most problematic rates of drug abuse, teen pregnancy and marriage (since there's no abortion), and the subsequent divorce. :( )

    Chinese people here like to adopt "English" names, not necessarily anything to do with religion. We have an English name followed by the full chinese name. My son, for instance is Asher Ong Yue Sheng.(But we named him Asher because it means happiness...)

    But no, over here, if you're not a muslim, it definately doesn't mean you're a christian. We are very multi-ethnic, -cultural and -religious here.
     
  4. MikeinGhana

    MikeinGhana
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    The liberal news agencies are wicked when it comes to coloring the news. To listen to them the Christians of the world are just as bad as the fanatic Muslims! They call all of us fundamentalists. I am sick to death of only having CNN to listen to and get world news. My brethren, believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see!
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    No kidding, Mike. All we can get are ABC and CNN, and the Japanese news programs feed off the American liberal media. Can any good thing come out of CNN?
     
  6. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    I see no reason to put quotes around Christian for the Nigerian story. It is very evident that Muslims in the region targeted Christians as a reaction to the cartoons. It is natural for Christians to retaliate. That doesn't make it right and it doesn't change the fact that they are Christian. I'm sure in some places, anyone "not-Muslim" may be labelled as Christian. But this does not seem to be the case here.

    I've never been to a Muslim dominated country before. But in China, non-Buddhists are not automatically considered Christian. There may be a tendency towards mislabelling in countries that are strongly dominated by two different groups where the small minority of exceptions automatically gets labelled as one of the two dominants.
     
  7. MikeinGhana

    MikeinGhana
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gold Dragon

    How would you know that "this does not seem to be the case here?" Believe me, in West Africa it is very much the case that anyone not a Muslim takes the name Christian. The news media would love to see a Holy War start up world wide. That would sell their product. I have seen these so called "Christian" groups in action with my own eyes. There is not much "Christian" about them. The question I originally posed was, Do other people see the labeling of Christian groups as I do see in West Africa. I believe this is a very valid question.
     
  8. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    Muslims there were angry at Danish cartoons they found insulting. They naturally want to vent their anger on someone. With no Danes around, the association Muslims in the region have with Danish Europe is Christian. They do have Christians around so they take out their frustration on Christians. The Christian Nigerians obviously don't like that and retaliate. This is all very normal human sinful behaviour that Christians are not immune from.

    Now, Christian may purely be a demographic label for the Nigerian Christians under discussion. They may not know Christ and may not be saved. But I cannot judge the eternal destination of the person sitting in the seat beside me, not to mention someone sitting in a Christian church half-way around the world that I read about in a news story. And just because they act in violence and unChrist-like manner, doesn't mean they are not saved.

    There are many baptists in North America and some on these forums that consistently seem to act in non-Christlike and sometimes violent manners. Some may be saved and some may not. Either way, it is still appropriate for the news media to label them with the demographic label of Christian since that is what they self identify as.

    There may be other long-standing animosities between the regions in conflict. But the instigator does appear to be a religious one.

    [ February 28, 2006, 02:21 PM: Message edited by: Gold Dragon ]
     
  9. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2000
    Messages:
    9,648
    Likes Received:
    311
    Golden Dragon, please consider Mike's location. Being in Ghana makes him the closest thing we have to an eye-wittness. So, I would accept his discription of the situation; unless there are other good and sufficent reasons to set it aside.
     
  10. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    I don't discard Mike's witness that some self identifying Christians in Nigeria don't act Christ-like.

    I simply disagree that this means they aren't Christians or that the media is being dishonest.

    Many self-identifying Christians all over the world act in sinful and un-Christlike manners. That doesn't make them unsaved (something we cannot determine) and it definitely doesn't change their demographic status of being Christian.

    It does mean that they need some teaching and rebuking from Christians who know better. And also those Christians who know better have an uphill battle at being Christ's witnesses in a region that already has incorrect preconceptions of what Christian means.
     
  11. rbell

    rbell
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    11,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think that what is meant here is that "Christian" is simply a default label. In many countries (particularly in Africa), it means "non-muslim." It does not refer to the faith they practice as much as it does to the faith they don't.
     
  12. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2000
    Messages:
    9,648
    Likes Received:
    311
    I concur with rbell. Further, just because the pagan, unsaved, press incorrectly uses a term or label, that doesn't mean we as Christians have to uncritically follow their lead.
     
  13. MikeinGhana

    MikeinGhana
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is demographic Christianity anyway? Do you equate that to RCC? What was underlying my post was the fact that I believe the pagan press media would love to see a religious war, that would sell papers and advertisment time.
     

Share This Page

Loading...