By Aaron Blumer Jun 16 2016 IslamReligious LibertyRussell MooreMoore at SBC convention Q & A. "At some point, we need to remember we are Baptists. We are FOR, not AGAINST, religious liberty." 8096 reads There are 29 Comments Moore - Religious Liberty Fred Moritz - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:33pm Moore is right. In 1644 Roger Williams wrote his Bloudy Tenent of Persecution. It is hard reading but worth the work. Williams argued back then that Muslims (he used "Mohammedins") should be welcome in the colonies as long as they obeyed the laws. If they broke the law then they should be subject to the penalties the same as others. How many commit crimes? Aaron Blumer - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 8:41pm The guy in the video (that Moore answers) makes the classic part-whole error. We do not want "all Christians" or even "Christians in general" to be ascribed with all the traits of everybody who claims the term Christian (or even all the traits of everybody who is one). Admittedly, it's hard to find parallel examples of "Christians" engaged in that sort of violence but violent criminal "Christians" do exist. So forbidding Muslims from worshipping freely is like reasoning that all dogs should be kenneled because some are rabid. (Yes, I know there is the long-raging debate over whether "real" Islam teaches the killing of infidels. But it's a silly debate because we all know that there are many Muslims who do not believe or practice that. The authenticity debate is irrelevant. In my dog analogy it's like insisting that all dogs are rabid and the nonrabid ones are not "real" dogs, but what difference does it make? ... and for the metaphorically challenged, no, I am not saying Muslims are like dogs.) Where I think there is a kernel of truth in the anti-religious liberty position is that it's plausible that a religion that is inherently violent would be appropriate to suppress. But there is really no need to do that at this point. We already have laws against inciting violence and subversive activity and the like. So it's a matter of dealing with crimes when they occur not suppressing a whole religion. (Plus, think about what oppressing Muslims would actually result in... it would accomplish absolutely nothing good.) Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me. Islam not a religion jimcarwest - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 1:25pm If you are a student of Islam, you know that, though it began as a "religion," that is, postulating ideas about God and His commandments, from the outset it did not function as a religion that we would tolerate today in any country. Mohammed was a serial adulterer, a pedophile, intolerant of other religions, a militant warrior, a terrorist, a man set on world conquest. In short, what we find by studying Islam is that, couched in religious rhetoric is a political ideology that is hell-bent on supremacy and denial of individual freedom. By erroneously calling it a religion, we are duty bound to recognize its rights of religious freedom. By accurately labeling it a political ideology that is determined to take over all other peoples and governments and subject them to Islam, we should be no more obligated to recognize its right to co-existence with freedom loving peoples and their religion than we are to accommodate Soviet Marxism. Sadly, our weak leaders in the past have ceded legality to Islam, especially the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia, and our country is filled with an increasing number of mosques in all the major cities. At the same time, not one Christian Church is allowed to exist in Saudi Arabia. Our government is led by fools, while Saudi Arabia is lef by astute opportunists. It is said that, while millions of Muslims bow with their faces in the dust every Friday to "practice their religion," the political leaders of Islam never pray or show any religious propensities. Baptist TylerR - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 2:05pm The Pastor who asked the question (see video embedded in the above link) did not believe Muslims should be allowed to construct mosque's in the USA. If you're a Baptist and you advocate completely silencing a religious group and denying them the right to assemble and worship, then you don't understand your heritage. More than that, you're an intellectually and morally shallow person. Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist? Not against worship, but permitting a religious tyranny jimcarwest - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 3:24pm Tyler: You are missing the point. I don't think any one of us wishes to stop a person from his practicing his religion. But when his religion believes in the prevention of others from practicing theirs, that is a tyranny. I presented the premise that Islam is not a religion per se. It is a tyrannical belief system like marxism, fascism, nazism. It seeks to control the conscience of everybody, even those who do not accept it. I think you should become more informed about Islam before you accuse others of not believing in religious freedom. And, being a pastor, you need to do so for your congregation's sake. This is not a battle between Roger Williams and a State Church. This is a conflict involving the true and living God who is worshipped in many different manners and Satan's religion. Wise up, my brother. You are leading others. Dr. Moritz, don't you think... jimcarwest - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 12:19pm it is inconsistent to grant religious freedom to a religion that does not believe in religious freedom. What Roger Williams advocated was religious freedom for those who were not being given freedom of conscience. You stated that "Williams argued ...that Muslims should be welcome in the colonies as long as they obeyed the laws. If they broke the laws, they should be subject to penalties..." Williams himself placed a limit on a religious practice that breaks the law. A religious belief system that by virtue of its foundational principles holds that those who refuse to submit to that system must eventually become a slave to that system, pay a tax to that system, and be denied basic human rights by propagating against that system should not be allowed to operate freely. This violates the First Amendment. It is often said that most Muslims in America are peaceful and non-violent. How does one know? When the religion they profess is by nature a violent belief system that strives to make all other people "submit" (that's what the word "Islam" means), one doesn't know how sincere they are in that pacifism. All the radical terrorists that have acted within our country have lived peacefully until they suddenly expressed their violent tendencies, killing and injuring their fellow citizens. It is inconceivable that our politicians continue to stress the peaceful nature of Islam. They deny history. They reveal woeful ignorance of the basic and well-publicized tenets of Islam. In doing so, they fail in their duties to guard our nation from enemies both foreign and domestic. Islam -- especially the Wahhabism branch that drives the violence -- is an export of Saudi Arabia, which holds the reins of Islam by virtue of the fact that Mecca is located in its territory. One of the Five Pillars of Islam is "Pilgrimage." Another is "Jihad." A pilgrimage to Mecca strengthens the commitment to "Jihad." A good understanding of how Saudi Arabia views the subject of religious freedom is gained by viewing the number of Christian Churches that exist in that country -- zero. It is Saudi Arabia and the Wahhabi branch of Islam that has built thousands of mosques in the U.S., with the approval of our politicians. We should no more grant Wahhabism the right to operate in this country than we would allow the Soviet Union to officially establish Marxist colonies whose intention is to operate as a Fifth Column for the overthrow of the U.S. government. The intention of Islam is world conquest. America is the biggest stumbling-block in the fulfillment of that objective. It is often said that most Joel Shaffer - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 1:26pm It is often said that most Muslims in America are peaceful and non-violent. How does one know? You actually connect with Muslims and build relationships with them. Every single Muslim that I have met here in America and become friends with has been peaceful and non-violent. They abhor the violence and terrorism that has been committed in the name of Islam. Have you taken the time to meet and get to know your Muslim neighbors? Do you realize that more Muslims have converted to Christianity throughout the world in the past 15 years (with all the violence, terror, migration of Muslims/refugees) than the first 1400 years of Islam's existence? Throughout the middle east, Africa, Asia, Europe and even America, there have been large numbers of Muslims turning to Jesus. Some of them have dreams of Jesus, some are tired of the violence and bloodshed that happens between the two main factions of Islam (Sunnis and Shiites), and some have become Christians because they are repulsed by the brutal behavior that the radical Islam factions such as ISIS has shown in their persecution of the Christian Church. It is because they desire peace, non-violence, and reconciliation (which can only be found in Jesus) and they have not found it in Islam. Churches in Germany and England have quadrupaled in size as Muslims have converted to Jesus and followed it with a public testimony in Baptism. As much as I value self-interests and safety in the US, I value even more the Great Commission with people coming to Jesus and I will welcome Muslims into our country. Which Kingdom Do We Serve? TylerR - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 1:37pm I think the problem with this issue is that there are really two separate issues: America's national security Christ's future kingdom These two issues are often conflated together. They shouldn't be. Our view of Christ's future kingdom, and our role in evangelism and discipleship as citizens of that future kingdom who anxiously await the inauguration of that kingdom, should take priority over any national security issues. Therefore, religious liberty should never be sacrificed on the altar of national security. What basis will we have to protest if the local or state government decides that madman KJVO Baptist Steven Anderson needs to be "silenced?" Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist? Be ready to witness, but don't be naive. jimcarwest - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 2:11pm Yes, I rejoice in the thousands of Muslims that are coming to Christ worldwide. Strangely, it seems Iran takes the lead in statistics. This fact should not lead to lowering our guard against those who are enemies of freedom and threats to the safety of those we are responsible to protect. Just because a sizable number have become Christians, we must not lose perspective. It is said that Islam represents 1.6 billion people. It is also said that perhaps 10% of that number (160 million) are radical and adhere to jihadist philosophy. We know that these enemies of State believe in our extinction. They are killing Christians in many countries. Their goal is the destruction of the U.S. These statistics should give pause to those who are zealous to bring many from Muslim countries into the U.S. There is a passage in the Acts which alludes to God's having established the boundaries of nations. I cannot say I understand all the reasons for this. I don't believe it necessarily excludes people of different nations practicing immigration. I would suggest that one reason for having boundaries is to set up opposing forces that keep a check and balance on many things -- greater peace and security for those who live in a country. If there are no boundaries, utter confusion and pandemonium may exist. Just note what is happening in Europe with the open borders policies of the European Union. Chaos has occurred as immigrants have invaded the West from Muslim lands. Embedded with those immigrants are many jihadists -- emmisaries of ISIS. So what is our Commision as Christians. It seems some might suggest the opening of borders to bring the mission field to us. I would simply note that the Great Commission commands us to "go into all the world," to take the gospel from us to them and not the reverse. Carry the gospel to people in their natural habitat where, as converted and changed individuals, they can be salt and light in their cultures. For some, it is more comfortable to remain at home and import the lost into our culturally diverse communities. Of course, when immigrants come to live in our country, Christians should do all they can to share the gospel, but this approach should be consequential, not intentional. It appears that some people ignore their patriotic duty to secure the liberty that our unique Constitution provides for us -- a liberty that has exacted a high price in blood and devotion. Do we have no responsibility to guard against those forces that would undermine and destroy the liberties that have been won at such great cost? BOTH KINGDOMS ARE GOD-ORDAINED, Tyler jimcarwest - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 2:47pm If America's national security is of little consequence, then all the wars we have fought against tyranny are naught. Why did we fight in these wars? We could just as easily and at lesser cost have allowed ourselves to be over-run by our enemies. Just think how many opportunities we might have gained to witness to our German, Japanese, and Russian neighbors. From an historical standpoint, who can doubt that war is sometimes necessary and even God-ordained. The protection of one's national borders against foreign invaders is as divinely approved as the protection of one's own home and property from break-ins. One of the sworn duties of those who hold office, especially the highest office in the land, is to protect the nation "against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Christ's future kingdom is indeed of supreme importance to His followers. It is fought with different weapons and pursues different goals. It is subservient to civil law in everything except when we are commanded to obey man over God. This clearly establishes that God has ordained government for legitimate civic duties. One of those duties is to guard our borders against invasive forces (we have discovered that immigrants sometimes fit this definition) that threaten the peace and security of the nation. There is no conflict between government and theology in this respect. Yes, make disciples of all those who are within reach in one's own country as opportunity permits. And, yes, guard your nation's borders from those enemies who would destroy the peace we enjoy -- a peace won at great cost. The Church's duty is to "preach the gospel in all nations," not invite all nations to come to America so we can reach them here. In fact, modern technology has made it possible to preach the gospel by radio and satellite TV to every corner of the earth. Religious liberty has to be mutually agreed to survive. One cannot recognize liberty for someone who wants to kill you. The proper course of action in such a case is personal, legal, and moral resistance. As a religion Islam wants to enslave or kill us. Shall we invite them into our country? Is that a rational approach? I think not! 4 Observations Aaron Blumer - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 5:36pm Responding generally to some points made a good bit earlier in the discussion... 1. There is no inconsistency in granting religious freedom to individuals who's religion does not hold to religious freedom. Look at the history of religious freedom on this continent (and pretty much anywhere) and you'll find that religious liberty has only spread at all when people who believed in it extended it to people who did not. 2. How do we know that most Muslims are nonviolent? Joel's answer is a good one but there is an even quicker way--do the math: number of total Muslims in the country divided by number of Muslims who have attacked and/or killed people. Multiply by 100 to get a %. (Even if we were to expand the number of "violent" ones to include those heard advocating but not actually committing it... the % is not high.) 3. Religious liberty is a constitutional liberty, and denying it to Muslims is anti-constitutional. Beginning to travel down the road of "liberty only for religions we think are good or safe" is a greater threat to the civil liberties of all than letting any group believe, teach, and worship as their conscience dictates. (Within the bounds of existing laws.) Construing the situation as a choice between removing the religious liberties of a particular group vs. losing our constitutional rights is 180 degrees off. Exactly the reverse of the real choice. The real choice is between defending religious liberty for all vs. losing (eventually) our constitutional rights. 4. I don't really think the kingdoms question has much to do with it either way. God has ordained government and has ordained His church and certainly the former should punish evil and the latter should spread the gospel (among other things it is tasked with doing). Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me. Other observations in response to Aaron jimcarwest - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 6:40pm 1. Freedom of religion is on the one hand a mindset, and secondarily it may become a law. To believe that everyone may have the right to believe as he/she wishes does not, however, grant to that person the right to violate my religious freedom if his belief finds my belief to be contrary or offensive to his own. That is, I may acknowledge to him the freedom to believe what he wants, but I am not required to permit his violation of my freedom. I can deny him that freedom by appealing to other parts of the Constitution. 2. As we try to determine the number of dangerous and potentially violent Muslims in the U.S., it would seem we might be handicapping our efforts by looking backwards as is suggested. It may be true that not many violent attacks have occurred here at the hands of Muslims compared to other countries, but it is a growing number in recent times -- NYC (9/11), Boston, San Bernadino, Dallas, Orlando, Ft. Hood, Little Rock, Brooklyn (2) , Tuscon, Langley, NY State (5), and sixty five other cities since the 1970s, with 3,144 killed -- all Muslim-caused shootings/stabbings etc. This is considerable death caused by those we want to glibbly grant freedom of religion so they can kill us. We should consider how the number is increasing due to the efforts of international Muslim groups that consider America to be the "Great Satan," the major opponent to the return of the Mahdi (Islam's Messiah). 3. Aaron, you have already undermined your argument by adding "within the bounds of existing laws." In other words, there is a limitation to "religious liberty" just like there are limitations of "freedom of speech." One cannot yell "fire" and claim freedom of speech. And one cannot claim religious liberty as a Constitutional right and at the same time kill someone for religious reasons just because your religion believes you shouldn't have the right to live. Religious liberty can only flourish when people of ALL religions voluntarily grant that freedom to others. Constitutionally the Bill of Rights stands or falls together. So what is our Commision as Joel Shaffer - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 6:46pm So what is our Commision as Christians. It seems some might suggest the opening of borders to bring the mission field to us. I would simply note that the Great Commission commands us to "go into all the world," to take the gospel from us to them and not the reverse. Carry the gospel to people in their natural habitat where, as converted and changed individuals, they can be salt and light in their cultures. For some, it is more comfortable to remain at home and import the lost into our culturally diverse communities. Of course, when immigrants come to live in our country, Christians should do all they can to share the gospel, but this approach should be consequential, not intentional. Here's the problem with what you are saying. Many of these Muslim countries have closed their borders to missionaries to preach the gospel in their countries. They are now even limiting NGO's from the West from entering. Because God will have people from every tribe and every nation worshipping him, he sovereignly moves people into countries such as ours. People who migrate from one culture to another are the most open to hearing the gospel. One of my missionary friends who was doing Bible studies with Muslims in NYC led several to Christ and shared how open Muslims are to Jesus when transitioning into a different culture. And even more open to the gospel than when he was doing mission work in North Africa. To Jim Aaron Blumer - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 7:55pm Jim, I don't think anybody is disagreeing that ... Religious liberty has limits (always has been illegal to engage in child sacrifice for example) The liberties of one party don't get to infringe on the liberties of another (though this is not always avoidable, it's the goal) There are Muslims who want to kill everybody who disagrees with them But telling a religious group that they can't build places of worship or can't enter the country, etc., is not in the same category as the "existing laws" I referred to. It would be a huge expansion of government limitation of religious liberty. As for the number of potentially violent Muslims in the country, I don't think there is any policy that can prevent the few who want to do this from doing it. Our principle as a nation is that we punish crime after it happens or stop it when it's in progress. We do not oppress people we think might commit a crime. ... sadly, though, we are moving in that direction. But conservatives and Christians should be the last people to encourage that trend. Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me. Re-focus TylerR - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 8:08pm I want to make a few things clearer than they perhaps were: The point at issue was a Pastor who pondered why the SBC wasn't against Muslims already in America building mosques. He never asked about immigration policy. I still believe it is completely foolish to prevent or deliberately hinder a religious group from gathering for worship. Lurking behind the Pastor's question is a hint of Americana-Christian nationalism that needs to hurry up and die. Many Christians paint with a broad brush and are convinced that every single Muslim is a psychopathic killer. I doubt these same Christians would be happy if the secular media tarred all Christians and all Baptists with the same brush as Steven Anderson or the Westboro Baptist Church. I believe there is a wide theological diversity among different Muslims, just as there is among Christians. To paint every single Muslim as a killer-in-waiting is simplistic and foolish. To deny Muslims right of worship is to open the door to wholesale persecution of any religious group at the whim of the state. James I believed that religious liberty and freedom of conscience posed a very real threat to the realm; he believed it might lead to civil anarchy. Therefore, he viewed it as a matter of national security to suppress all "non-conformists." English Baptist separatist identity was forged in the midst of this controversy. It is historically naive for a Baptists to suggest a deliberate and wholesale suppression of another religion on the basis of national security. If you wish to persecute Muslims because some of them kill Americans on American soil, thus ending their temporal lives, why shouldn't we also persecute Jehovah's Witnesses, seeing as how they destroy people's souls on American soil for all eternity? This is more an issue of perspective. Do I view this issue as a patriotic American first, or as a Christian first? To sum up - there is a continental divide between many Christian on this issue. There are so many different presuppositions governing our different arguments that it is perhaps even pointless continuing the discussion: Is an "Americana-Christian" worldview even appropriate? I despise this viewpoint. Is every Muslim a killer in waiting? Are all Muslims part of an overarching conspiracy to destroy the good 'ole US of A? I couldn't agree less. Etc., etc. Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist? Well, Tyler... jimcarwest - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 8:32pm I think in many ways we are talking past each other. I agree with much you have said, but I wonder if you even understand the concerns people have today who feel threatened by militant Islam and worry about the way President Obama and his administration have compromised our country. Of course, not every Muslim, in fact perhaps few Muslims are radical and fascist. But many of their imams who lead the mosques are anti-American. and they take shelter in freedom of religion to promote anti-Americanism to their congregants. Why else has the FBI done surveillance in them? You might just google to find out about the now thousands who have been killed in this country in the name of Allah. Do you have no concern at all about this disparity in Christian beliefs and Muslim practices? If we are going to try to offset Westboro Baptist against militant Muslims in order to even the score, even that's not fair. There is no record of any Baptist or evangelical, or even Christian in the broadest sense killing Muslims in the name of their religion. is there?. A little balance is needed. Tyler and Arron In For The Goal Joeb - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 8:41pm One of the fathers of our country Thomas Jefferson who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the first amendment constitution that clearly supports Arron. No if and buts. Also Jefferson wrote a peace treaty in are first war with Muslim nations i.e. Barbary States. In this treaty he said the US is NOT A CHRISTIAN nation in that it wants to do war with ISLAM. Clearly setting the stage that they have the same right to freedom of whorship that Christians do. The great commandment brought up by TYLER and Tyler and Arron's point about not all Muslims in America are cold blooded killers should be pretty much be taken as correct. Yes Jimcarwest we should be viligant you are very correct but that must be about Christian Right groups too. The Identity Movement Skin Heads Militias etc. Remember Chatleston a white Supremecist did this and said he was inspired by a group of white supremacists that Ted Cruz accepted money from. The extreme Christian Right in this Country should be considered dangerous to. Elements have killed Abortion Doctors and bombed abortion clinics. The shooting in Orlando was hailed as those gays got what they deserved by the Luet Gov of Texas who I'm sure he is a Gothatdite Tea Partier. You know like the head of the Freedom Cacus Daniel Webster 30 year Gothardite Veteran. So there are a number of groups we have to watch. Remember who blew up the Fed Building in Oaklahoma he was a Christian cult member. Remember Gothatdites are a cult so they need to be watched too. So Jimcarwest your right to be viligant but not be oppressive to our American Islamic brothers. If your going to go after Muslims we should go after the Gothardites Tea Partiers exposing that gays should be hanged And Antiabortion groups exposing violence. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Also to include any churches heavily involved with Gothardism especially if they expose violence against gays. So when a pastors say all gays should be hung he should be the subject of a FBI Terrorist investigation and prosecuted for a hate crime Jim Carwest just as an Imam exposing violence against gays. Don't you think. Same same. Aaron: jimcarwest - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 8:41pm Do you suppose it might just be a little bit fair to make it reciprocal for our government to demand that Saudi Arabia permit Christian presence and proselyting in that country by our adherents to our Christian religion in compensation for their operations in our country. The exchange of ambassadors and government is reciprocal. Are you aware that during the Gulf Wars, the Saudi Kingdom did not allow Bibles to be brought or any public expressions of worship by U.S. troops who were there to protect them from Sadaam? Let's get real instead of keeping everything in the realm of the ethereal. Some views on religious liberty are just plain wrong! jimcarwest - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 4:44am What does the Tea Party and reference to Gothardites have to do with this subject, Joeb? Apart from some extremist who spouts off nonsense, Tea Partiers are sane, patriotic Constitutionalists, who believe in religious freedom and freedom of speech. As a movement, the Tea Party does not adhere to nor tolerate such nonsense. Of course, no individual represents the movement, and there is usually self-correcting that takes place in the kinds of instances that Joeb presents. Blowing up buildings in the name of religion, killing people for being gays, killing of anti-abortion doctors, white supremacism -- these are obviously violations of human rights and other laws, and they exactly illustrate that one can't violate other laws in the name of religion. I don't think anyone on this thread would argue that a person may claim the right to follow unlawful practices under the First Amendment that violate other laws, A belief system may not violate the laws that protect others from harm done in the name of religion. I don't think there is a person on this thread who would accept religious freedom to include the practice of Islam's Sharia Law with its barbaric penalties. Muslims do NOT have the freedom to practice this belief system in the U.S., despite the First Amendment. I do suppose, Joeb, that some pastor who makes an off-the-wall statement about "gays should be hung" may represent his own "belief system," and be protected under the "freedom of speech" clause of the First Amendment, but carrying out that speech will not be protected, thankfully, and the First Amendment will not give him cover for such stupidity. A person has the Constitutional right so far to say things that he doesn't have the right to carry out. Even this traditional right of free speech is now being contested in the courts as "hate speech" in many instances. An Imam who teaches his followers to stone an adulterer may be cited for "hate speech" and even held accountable for inciting a criminal act. And no, it is not the "same same," as you say, Joeb. Let me get this right... jimcarwest - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 5:07am Are some of you saying (Tyler, Aaron) that religious freedom gives anyone the right to act on his beliefs? You certainly would not cede this right to Islamists who seek to institute Sharia Law in America. I am assuming you do not believe that Christian charity extends to allowing immigrants to flood our society who submit to the idea of Sharia Law How is that working out in Europe? Terrorist shootings in Paris and Brussels, rapes in the streets of Germany, whole communities being taken over by Muslim immigrants? Should illegal immigrations, that are being justified by poverty and human rights violations in other countries, be tolerated in the name of Christian compassion? Should welcoming persons with inadequate back-ground checks, as the Obama Administration confesses to doing, be tolerated because this brings people who need the gospel to our shores when it might be difficult or even impossible to send missionaries to those closed countries. Does our belief in freedom of religion require us to show it by putting our citizens into possible danger? Was it a violation of the religious freedom of Mormons to forbid them from practicing polygamy? It was their religious belief, wasn't it? Should they have been able to follow the dictates of their own conscience? Are these all accepted practices because our belief in freedom of religion over-rides common sense and places no restrictions on those whose religion is anti-thetical to our system of government? Does freedom of religion have any check and balance under our Constitution? Take It Easy Jimcarwest. Joeb - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 11:33am Jim all I'm saying is they should not be treated any different then anyone else. It's obvious are government has been hands off on groups like GOTHARD'S ATI and ABWE and pretty much AMON BUNDY and his gang until they forced the governments hand. Remember the white supremacist who went into the Sik church and shot it up. Got the wrong church. How many did he kill. Remember the antiabortion nut that killed others at the clinic including a Police Officer who was also a Pastor. If I remember the left accused the right of stirring the pot to cause that. Lets see Tea Party Gothardite activist created false videos which Ted Cruz and Gothardite Daniel Webster were going to shut the whole government down. They ranted and raved to defund Planned Parenthood and made real Godly statements of condemnation Then low and behold the videos were blantantly false so false that a Tea Party DA in Texas turned around and arrested them. Then the Tea Party Gothardite Luet Gov says the gays got what they deserved in Orlando. Well if that and other stuff said by these Gothardites doesn't qualify as stoking the fires for someone to do violence I don't know what is so Jim Carwest the Muslims immigration should not be restricted nor should their churches be scrutinized anymore than any others. Yes incoming should have tough screening. If Muslims specifically restricted GRABC better clean house because GOTHARD had his claws in the GRABC big time. Gothard ran rehab that abused young teens so if GRABC churches are involved they should suffer the consequences. Why not what's good for the goose is good for the gander. I recall Rob Fall - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 5:04pm the same type of debate about Roman Catholics back when the papacy had an actual army. Back, then it had to do with Irish RCC immigrants. Hoping to shed more light than heat.. angel of light dreams JohnBrian - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 11:06pm Joel Shaffer wrote: Some of them have dreams of Jesus, this fails the Romans 10:14-15 test I blogged on this CanJAmerican - my blogCanJAmerican - my twitter whitejumaycan - my youtube John Do You Not Believe Our God Can Work Miricles Joeb - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 8:41am John one of the stories related about the dreams dealt with ISIS Soldier about to blow the head off a Syrian Eastern Orthodox for not denying Christ. The man gave the ISIS man his bible and prayed for the ISIS guy to find the Lord and then Boom. Now some and I repeat some in Fundamental circles believe these Syrian Orthodox Christians are apostates/non believers in their narrow minds which could indicate the Lord cant work miracles In this day. Yet the biggest group loosing their heads for our Lord are these Christian Brothers of ours so let's not be to narrow minded here especially since are brothers and sisters in Christ are loosing their heads. My question to all of us would we deny our Lord in the same circumstances. Even as this is going on the Syrian Christians have open arms to the Islamic refugees coming into the US. The largest Syrian population is in the US is in Allentown Pa and a major business leader and head of the Eastern Orthodox Church in Allentown said let them come on TV. The Eastern Orthodox Priest said they can't wait to minister to them. These are the people whose brothers sisters and cousins literally loosing their heads to ISIS and they can't wait to have the Muslim refugees come to the us. So to Jimcawest how many ABWE missionaries and GARB Pastors are loosing their heads yet if they hold your position don't you think the people who have suffered the most should have the biggest say. You know those people some in your circles consider apostates i.e. Eastern Orthodox. Actually it doesn't fail the Joel Shaffer - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 12:42pm Actually it doesn't fail the Romans 10:14-15 test. The ones that I'm talking about had a dream about Jesus, went and found a Christian and asked them about it, the gospel was clearly presented to them by the Christian, and they responded with repentance and faith in Christ. No angel of light in the situations that I am talking about. In fact, I was first exposed to hearing about dreams through one of my Bible professors in Seminary that spent 10 years in Thailand, Manila, and Singapore with the Asia Biblical Theological Seminary (Baptist/Fundamentalist historical roots) Several of his students from Muslim backgrounds had dreams about Jesus and they eventually connected with Christians, who in turn shared the gospel with them and they responded with repentance and faith in Christ. Joel You Better Pull Back on Them Reins Joeb - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 1:01pm Joel watch out you may be marked as heretic even though I'm in 100% agreement. My church supports a missionary called the Independent Church of India. Started by a 16 year old Pastor just trying to reach desperate Hindu people for Christ. He works with tribes in Central India and leepors. This guy is unbelievable. Same dreams and outright miracles are getting whole tribes saved. Not bait and switch I'll give you medical care then once you except Christ I'll put guys in white shirts and girls in long skirts and preach about the evil of the Internet. This guy and his fellow missionaries are meeting the people where they are and helping them with their needs. Only a narrow Christian puts our Lord in a box. That's why let the Muslims come. B Know your Bible on how God uses dreams... jimcarwest - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 1:22pm I recommend that everyone go back and consider Acts 9 and the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. He saw Christ on the Damascus road, which led him to Ananias, who further instructed him on what the vision meant. Those who say that God is giving dreams of Christ to people today, especially in territories controlled by Islam where the gospel is hard to come by, should acknowledge that God may use any means He chooses to make Christ known, yet it is an understanding of the gospel that converts the soul. I have no problem biblically in accepting that, especially in areas where the gospel is not preached openly, God may use radio, satellite TV, the reception of printed messages that are clandestinely circulated by hand and by mail, to bring the person to a fuller understanding of the gospel. If God did it once in the case of Saul of Tarsus, can anyone show from Scripture why God might not point others to Christ by instructing them in a dream where they might hear the gospel? I heartily recommend the books by Mid-East Southern Baptist missionary Tom Doyle -- there are several books -- cataloging many actual and authenticated cases of conversion that grew out of dreams/visions. Before anyone trumps up some reason why this is somehow unbiblical, do a little more research. Don't miss the point, John jimcarwest - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 1:32pm The dream is simply a medium God uses to bring people under the sound of the gospel. A subjective dream is not in itself the foundation of faith. It is a tool that guides to faith. Let God be God, John. He is not bound by only one method of pointing man to Christ, who Alone can saved. The person's faith does not rest upon a dream. In cases that are reported, the individual does not hear or see the gospel presented in dream. He gets instructions on where to go to hear the gospel. Biblical example: Acts 10, where an angel instructed Cornelius to bring Peter to tell him what he must do to be saved. How God gives this instruction or guidance, and whether the individual receives specific instruction or simply is led, unbeknown of the method or circumstance, is immaterial. Again, the Author of our salvation controls the circumstances that guide us to the Gospel. Still only Christ saved through the Gospel. Joeb; jimcarwest - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 1:42pm You're really mixed up and un-informed on many things you comment about. It's like you have snippets of information that get introduced into the subject at hand. Gothard was never a leading Tea Party adherent or proponent, if at all. I have been involved in the Tea Party from the beginning, and his name was never mentioned. And, another thing, it's GARBC, not GRABC. Do you know what the acronym stands for? There is absolutely no "Tea Party spokesman." Each TP is an independently operated and organized entity. It does not belong organically to any national organization. The only thing that ties them together is a group of core beliefs, something like independent Baptist churches. I think everyone who blogs here believes "what's good for the goose is good for the gander." Please research these ideas, and speak with more knowledge about them. I appreciate your zeal, so keep blogging.