You're insulting other religions - 11/27/2002
You state that you are being kind, and true enough, your words do come across as kind; this is the problem. You have basically insulted Islam as a religion, calling it wrong. You use the Ford Truck analogy on your front page, stating that you don't consider all Ford cars to be horrible, since that is just opinion. Why then have you taken the time to tear apart a religion based on an attack that seldom had to do with religion on the part of the attackers. Shocking statement, I know. If your Ford truck is banged up, why didn't you take the time to create a website to expose the company? I am just stating your very logic.
They did not attack Christianity, or Judaism; they attacked America for it's horrendous foreign policies and sanctions in the Middle East; it's blind support for Israel's terrorist acts (a seldom stated truth) is a prime example. You actually should ignore that the attackers were all Muslim because they do NOT represent Islam in its purest form. They are extremists, just as the US's current government is. Again, shocking to hear for you. I would gladly respect your opinions if you were fair and criticized your own religion for all the wrong doings and slaughters carried out in the past in the name of God. Funny how you are able to justify Christian actions while condemning Islam when BOTH have committed similar atrocities. If you wish to be taken seriously, then please be consistent and not just convenient.
It is unfortunate that you have the power to convince people of your ideologies since most of your visitors are seeking help; they are more than willing to swallow what they are told. Maybe it is because I am not religious and just with to do good things in my life because everyone deserves a chance as opposed to gaining the praise of God and my chances at getting into Heaven. I do good things because I CHOOSE to, not because I fear Hell. Since this is the case with most faiths, it is actually a very selfish act; sorry, shocking again.
Listen, stating that "Every cult and religious movement [you] profile has set itself apart from the truth [and] it is incumbent upon [you] to take up the sword and contend for the faith" is wrong. You really have no say, and unless God comes down to Earth in his or her form and tells everyone, who is in fact "right" - which is funny since all major religions are fundamentally the EXACT same - you have no place to say you are right. And don't give the argument that Muslims convert others so they can go to Heaven; just because someone jumped off a bridge...you get the idea (I think). And don't speak of the "forceful" manner that Muslims convert people, just look at the history of Christianity.
Do you see how I am not defending anyone in particular? I am being consistent with everything I have stated to you. Your website is not only inflammatory and insulting to someone who wishes to use their own mind, it is very childish as well. I guess you consider me one of those "souls still wandering around the field", who spreads "the lies of Satan". I'll gladly be accepting of all truths, be it from my own culture or others, learning all sides and not being biased in my opinions, than blindly accepting what you have placed on your website. You ask: "Won't you join us? Won't you be contenders?" There is no way in Hell - pun intended" that I would join your cause, because it is righteous in a disgusting manner. I will be a contender, but on my own terms, based on what I learn from being open-minded, and not just another hater of anything you would consider "Unholy"
Thank you for your time,
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Greetings Mr. Shpilt, and thank you for contacting Contender Ministries. We respect everyone's right to their opinion, and welcome all comments. You certainly made a lot of points in your email, and I wish that I had time to respond to each individually. However, I would like to address what I see as the most important.
You said that you try to do good, but because you want to, not out of fear. Well I certainly commend you for wanting to do good. Our ministry, and indeed the gospel of Jesus Christ, is not about "doing good." The Bible tells us that we are all sinful. It's true. I'm sure if you look at your own life, there have been times where you've lied, perhaps stolen, given in to lust. All of us have a sinful nature. The penalty for sin is an eternal separation from God. The good news (and that's what "gospel" means in Greek) is that God loved us so much, that He paid the penalty for our sin. When Jesus hung dying on the cross, He took upon Himself the sins of the world. That's mine and yours. He carried those sins to the grave, and in doing so, became a sacrificial lamb for us all. But the story doesn't end there. Jesus was resurrected from the dead. In doing so, He defeated sin and death, and He lives forever. All we have to do is accept that. We are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, not by doing good deeds. Now, there are physical laws in this universe. The rotation of the earth causes an inertia that could cause everything and everybody to fly off into space. But another physical law, gravity, keeps our feet on the ground. These are two forces that exist, even though we've never seen them. We know they exist because the evidence indicates they do, and we can feel their effects. I can choose to disbelieve in gravity, but I'll still be subject to its effects. So it is with the gospel. There are spiritual laws that govern your life and your future. There is a God. We can't see Him, but we know He exists because the evidence indicates that He does, and when you've accepted His gift, you feel His effect on your soul. You can continue in unbelief, but the laws of sin and death and the good news of the forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ remains. You can read more about this here.
You placed Christianity on the same level as other religions and believe systems, and indicated that you would not believe otherwise unless God came to earth and told you that Christ was the only way. Well, He did. Christ is God the Son who took on a human body and walked among us. Jesus told us, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6). Once again, not believing that does not change its truthfulness.
You made a lot of erroneous statements regarding Islam and other religions, but what's important is this: we do not attack religions, or adherent of those religions. We point out the falsehoods of those religions, in hopes that their adherents would recognize that they're being deceived, and accept the true gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Bible says "There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is destruction." That's where a lot of people are heading, even though it seems right to them. The Bible also says that "Narrow is the gate that leads to salvation, and there are few that find it. Broad is the gate that leads to destruction, and many will follow it." Jesus is the narrow gate. We want to help people find Him.
You mentioned despicable acts committed in the name of many religions, including Christianity. Well, I assume you're referring to the Crusades, and I'm not going to defend that. However, the Crusaders did not follow a biblical mandate to do what they did. They followed their own wisdom, which pales in comparison to God's wisdom. Muslims who wage jihad are following the mandates of the Qur'an and Hadiths. In their case, it IS scriptural. And the Qur'an and Hadiths specifically mention Jews and Christians as targets of jihad. Most Muslims are decent people who have been deceived by a false prophet. We pray for them to see the truth. Just as we pray for you to see the truth. May God touch your heart and mind, and lead you to the truth.
Ben and Jennifer Rast