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David Wood and Mary Jo Sharp: Apologetics Assaulted?

By       Message Walter Barton     Permalink
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The Baptist Press put out on 6 July 2009 a release about a group of Christian apologetics who were assaulted at a Muslim festival in Dearborn, Michigan.


David Wood, one of the apologetics participating in this, posted a blog with a 10 minute video presentation which The Baptist Press release is based upon.


In the blog, he pretends innocents as if he were the victim. This seems to be a tactic used by the blogger to attain his sensationalism and reinforce his standing. He disrespected the Muslim people putting on the festival. Granted, the Muslim community is a minority and probably overly sensitive to non-Muslim intrusions and they did not behave appropriately either. But considering the rhetoric in America over the past 8 years it is no wonder why the Islamic population in the U.S. is acutely sensitive. Each of the parties involved in this video is to blame for the bad behavior--David Wood and Mary Jo Sharp for their aggressive, inappropriate and deceitful evangelical attempt to engage non-Christians in the name of being apologetics and the Muslim security guards who mishandled dealing with the malicious intruders to their festival.

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Christian apologetics are those who defend Christian faith. The standard most used to do so lies in 1 Peter 3:15 which reads (English Standard Version) "...but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect..."

These evangelical Christians violated the first rule of being an apologetics. No one asked them about their faith. They went on to violate the second rule. They failed to demonstrate respect. It is evident that their intention was to provoke the scene that occurred. It seems to make good copy, especially with The Baptist Press. The main character in the video is wearing clothing that announces a subtle intent to provoke a non-Christian group. It was an Arab Festival after all.

I, being a Christian, am not particularly good at defending my faith. But if you ask, I will do the best I can even though I am not a religious scholar, and I will do so with respect. One of the apologetics involved in the video should be well versed in the art since she is Mary Jo Sharp of Friendswood, Texas, a certified instructor by the Southern Baptists North American Mission Board. It would be appropriate if the North American Mission Board were to review the video and then address Ms. Sharp's violations with her. If it were left up to me, she would either return for additional training or be de-certified.

It is a shame that fanatical groups do so much damage to the interest of those associated with them. Here we have a few fanatics who violate the tenets for which they proclaim their faith, have a prominent religious news outlet publishing the violation as if they were the victims, and then you have the faithful who accept these as truth on "faith". Where did the moral soundness go with these people?

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After 26 years retiring from the Navy, then another 14 years as a psychotherapist retiring again, I have finally found time to be more active.

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