Coptic Christians Not Christians, Evangelical Leaders Need Reminded
Posted by addisethiopia on February 20, 2015
Twenty-one Egyptian Christians who were being held by Islamic extremists were executed yesterday. They were decapitated. They were killed because they were not Muslims and because that’s what the extremists do…they kill people, savagely, brutally, horribly, sinfully.
Regardless of the religion of those twenty-one people, the world should be outraged. The western world should be horrified. Americans should be disgusted. American evangelicals should be saddened and brought to our knees in sorrow and prayer. We should be brought to our knees in sorrow and prayer not because the Coptic Christians – as they’ve come to be known – are Christians who share our saving faith in Jesus. Coptic Christians (by their confession) do not share our saving faith in Jesus. That should make no difference to the sadness of this tragedy…except, perhaps, make it sadder and even more tragic.
Southern Baptist and evangelical leaders were stumbling over themselves yesterday in a race to demonstrate who was the most sympathetic to our fellow Christians and these brave martyrs for the faith.
Do Southern Baptist leaders and other evangelicals really not know what a Christian is or how you become one? Is it being born into an ethnic group that denies the dual-nature of Christ in his full deity and humanity? Is it embracing a meritorious, works-based salvation nearly identical to that of the Roman Catholic church? Is it in aggressively denying salvation by a personal, saving relationship with Jesus Christ? We ask because that’s what Coptic ‘Christians’ believe. This really isn’t new, and we have to wonder why our leaders don’t know what Coptics believe and if they do, what on Earth makes them think they should be categorized as Christians.
Now, sure. In the broadest possible (and most inaccurate) sense possible, the term Christian is applied to the Coptics for the same reason it is applied to Roman Catholics by major media. To secularists, all one has to be to be considered Christian is to call themselves one. In this same sense, the press refers to cultists like the LDS and Jehovah’s Witnesses as Christians as well. There should be no outrage that the press calls them such, or even their outrage representative to evangelicals, Todd Starnes. We get it; they don’t get it. But why again do our Southern Baptist leaders not grasp that?
Maybe it’s one of those “Today we are all Republicans” type things – the expression used by Ronald Reagan’s surgeon the day he was shot – and often used to express solidarity to those suffering. A few weeks ago we are all Charlie Hebdo. So maybe what they mean is, “Today, we are all Coptics.” I think we’re fine with that, in a way. But that’s a far cry from saying, “Today, Coptics are Christians.”
Now is not the time to discuss doctrinal differences! We can hear that echoed now. How dare you, in a time of tragedy! Frankly, now is not the time to confuse for the entire blooming world what it means to be a Christian. We cannot consider the Coptics an unreached people group by the IMB one day and then call them Christian martyrs the next. Why anyone should have to point this out to our SBC president is beyond me.
What’s at stake, you see, is the Gospel. May God forbid our (good and honorable) desire to show sympathy for temporal suffering lead us to say careless words that might lead to eternal suffering. The Coptics, by their confession, believe in salvation-by-works. They need to be evangelized, and they need to come to Christ. Please love the group known as ‘Coptic Christians.’
Please pray for them.
Continue reading the UPDATE
Ed Henry Challenge WH Spokesman on Islamic State: ‘Why Did You Not Say 21 Christians Were Killed?’
White House press secretary Josh Earnest was pressed on Wednesday as to why he did not identify the 21 victims of an Islamic State beheading as Coptic Christians, as opposed to just Egyptian citizens.
At one point, Earnest said, “I can’t account for that specific line of the statement.” However, he asserted the Egyptians were killed because they were Christians.
“You talked about the murder of 21 citizens. I’m just curious, why didn’t you mention it was 21 Christians killed by Muslims? Is that relevant?” Fox News reporter Ed Henry asked.
Earnest answered, “It sure is.”
“The ISIL extremists that carried out this attack indicated the reason they were killing them is not just because they were Egyptian but because they were Christian,” Earnest said. “I think the president has been very clear. The president talked about this in his prayer breakfast speech earlier this month. There is a responsibility for people of all faiths to stand up and speak out when individuals try to use faith and distort faith to try to justify an act of violence.”
On Wednesday during the press briefing, Henry followed, “Why did you not say 21 Christians were killed?”
Earnest responded, “I can’t account for that specific line of the statement.”
“But we’ve been clear that we condemn this murder. The president was clear in the op-ed that was publish today and on a variety of occasions I think I’ve been pretty clear here,” Earnest said. “We’ve been pretty clear here that we condemn this outrageous killing of these Egyptian citizens because of their Christian faith.”
Henry went on to question Earnest about why the White House “invoked faith” when three Muslim students were killed in North Carolina, but not when Islamic State terrorists beheaded 21 Coptic Christians. Local authorities in the North Carolina slayings believe that the deadly incident was the result of a long-running parking dispute, not religion.
US Official: ISIS Will Not Join Boko Haram Due to Racism
A U.S. intelligence officer told NBC News the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) will not likely team up with Nigerian radical Islamic group Boko Haram in any official capacity due to the group’s racism against black Africans.
“The Arab world is incredibly racist,” the officer explained. “They don’t see black Africans as equivalent to them.”
Boko Haram has repeatedly praised the Islamic State and showcases its flag in many videos, but the Islamic State has not shown any brotherly love towards their comrades in Africa, other than reports indicating that the groups are in communication. The officer also said there is no evidence that the two groups will merge soon.