Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In The News: The Muslims are Here

inthenewsA couple of weeks ago I was handed a copy of an email that has been making the rounds on the internet. The email was written by an elder at the institutional Green Lawn church of Christ in Lubbock, TX, and mentioned a rather scary situation that had occurred at a prison in Snyder, TX.

I have since received at least 3 copies (forwarded) in my email box, the latest of which was titled, “The Muslims are here!”

The email was definitely disturbing. The post noted that shortly before three members of the Green Lawn congregation began worshiping with some Christian prisoners, they were asked by about 15 other inmates for permission to join the group. They readily agreed, but it turned out the men were antagonistic, continually interrupted the service, and threatened violence. The elder wrote in the post that the men were Muslim.

The email, as these things do, went viral. That means, like a virus, it has spread quickly. Unfortunately, people forward these messages without checking them out.

It took me about two minutes to do a web search and find the web site of the Green Lawn congregation. There on the front page was a “clarification” statement regarding the email. The statement made the following clarifications:

  • The email was not intended to be forwarded outside of the leadership of that congregation.
  • The event happened on July 19, 2009 at the prison in Snyder, TX.
  • The members of the Green Lawn congregation were initially told that the instigator of the interruptions was a Muslim. This was not accurate. He is described in the clarification statement as the member of a religious cult.
  • There is no direct confirmation in the clarification statement that any of the inmates who disrupted the assembly were Muslims.
  • Finally, the email was not “meant to be incendiary or a rallying point for some Holy War against Muslims.”
  • _

When I originally got the email, I thought it would serve as fodder for an important article on this “In the News” page. I am aware of the dangers that militant Islam presents to our faith and our nation. There is sufficient evidence, starting with the events of 9/11 that happened almost exactly 8 years ago, to show that lovers and liberty and righteousness have reason to be concerned about that religion.

However, it is wrong to spread lies and gossip to make the point! Brethren, way too often I receive emails like this that are either inaccurate, portrayed in a prejudiced and dishonest way, or are simply complete fabrications. And, brethren forward the lies to others, without discernment. Gossip is gossip (cf. 1 Peter 3:10) whether it is spoken in person, over the phone, in a letter, or forwarded in hyperspace. And I have found that preachers are among the greatest offenders in this area.

Please be careful before forwarding an email. Don’t do it unless you have completely verified its content. If you forward a lie, you can rest assured that someone you sent it to will keep the lie going, thinking that they can trust you. “If Stan sent it, it must be true.” If you don’t know how to verify the post, don’t send it, and don’t believe it. Most of these types of messages are either inaccurate or false. In the end they do more harm than good in the defense of Truth.

Endnote:  Click Here for the Green Lawn clarification Statement