WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 18, 2015Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, “commented”:http://www.russellmoore.com/2015/02/18/should-we-pray-for-the-defeat-of-isis-or-their-conversion/ on the slaughter of Egyptian Christians by ISIS, and how Christians should think through religious persecution.
These are my brothers, faithful to Christ even unto death, Moore said. We ought, indeed, to pray for the gospel to go forward, and that there might be a new Saul of Tarsus turned away from murdering to gospel witness. At the same time, we ought to pray, with the martyrs in heaven, for justice against those who do such wickedness.
Praying for the military defeat of our enemies, and that they might turn to Christ, these are not contradictory prayers because salvation doesnt mean turning an eye away from justice. We can pray for gospel rootedness in the Middle East, and we can pray to light up their world like the Fourth of July, at the same time.
Additionally, Moore announced that the upcoming “ERLC Leadership Summit”:https://erlc.com/summit2015 on racial reconciliation, March 26-27, will include a conversation about engaging Muslims. At the event, Afshin Ziafat, pastor of Providence Church in Frisco, Texas, will discuss his experiences as a boy growing up in a family of Iranian immigrants in Texas during the Iran hostage crisis.
In a time when the world is on fire with the threat of Islamic jihadist extremism and religious persecution, we must be the people who know how to engage our neighbors with the gospel that reconciles, Moore said. Afshin Ziafat is the best person I know to help guide us, having been on both sides of the churchs walls, as a Muslim child and as a Christian evangelist.
At the Summit, Ziafat will speak on “The Cost of Following Christ: One Man’s Journey from Islam to Christianity.” Ziafat is a former Muslim who frequently speaks on Christianity and Islam. This session will specifically address the question of how churches can lovingly engage those in Muslim communities around them.
Ziafat will also address “Behind the Veil: Islam, ISIS and the Hope of the Gospel,” at a Summit breakout session to help attendees better understand Muslims and how to reach them for Christ in the current cultural context.
The Southern Baptist Convention is Americas largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBCs ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.
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