Crucify Them!

November 01, 2006

At the annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention, David Clippard, the Convention’s Executive Director, aggressively and inaccurately attacked Islam. Ethics Daily reported today that he claimed Muslims were trying to take over our nation. He argued, “The real threat we are facing today is that Islam has a strategic plan to conquer and occupy America. ... They are after our sons and daughters, our students. ... They have a plan to take over.” He added, “The first city is Detroit, which has 600,000 people. Three hundred thousand are Muslims today.”

According to an Associated Baptist Press article, Clippard was incorrect about the number of Muslims in Detroit. And the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Clippard was wrong when he claimed that the Saudi Arabian government was paying for university teaching positions and student organizations in Missouri and elsewhere.

The Post-Dispatch article also provides another line from Clippard. It was likely a misstatement on his part, but it sounds really bad. He said about Muslims: “We need to crucify them with Christ.” What?! Maybe he meant we need to preach Christ crucified. But instead it sounds like he is threatening to kill them all. This whole issue demonstrates the importance of being careful what we say and that sometimes the best thing we can do is keep our mouths shut.

In the same speech, Clippard urged Christians to focus more on missions, which would have been good advice for him to follow. Here was my comment in the Ethics Daily article about the situation:

“Instead of preaching missions, he aggressively attacked Islam to ignite fear and anger. Instead of preaching missions, the MBC will kick churches out that give to other missions efforts. Instead of preaching missions, the MBC will report on its lawsuit against Christian ministries, which has resulted in the convention wasting millions of dollars and hurting the image of Christians. Instead of preaching missions, the MBC will likely consider a resolution that inaccurately condemns public schools. Instead of preaching missions, the MBC will play politics by allowing Senator Jim Talent, who is in a tough reelection race, to bring greetings.”