Samaritan’s Purse: Lebanese Muslims “Softened” to Gospel

Of all the comment and analysis about the Israeli attack on Lebanon, Agape provides the unlikeliest quote, from Ken Isaacs of Samaritan’s Purse:

He says this crisis has softened the hearts of many Muslims in Lebanon to the spiritual truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Samaritan’s Purse, as is well-known, has been controversial for several years, ever since its President Franklin Graham famously called Islam “a very evil and wicked religion”. Isaacs has wisely avoided this kind of rhetoric, and the organisation’s humanitarian efforts do appear to have been appreciated in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the proselytising agenda remains central:

…in the midst of what is being called a humanitarian crisis of major proportions, Samaritan’s Purse has continued to reach out through its partners to the war-devastated people of southern Lebanon. “Right now,” Isaacs notes, “we’re supporting a network of six pastors and over 20 volunteers who are working out through the schools.”

…Also, Isaacs observes, a number of Muslim families have asked for Bibles. “So, where people are asking us for it, we’re making that available — that’s up to them,” he asserts. “As I said, it’s a very difficult situation, and resources are tight right now.”

But Samaritan’s Purse is not just focused on converting Muslims; its website adds that it is “helping provide food parcels to hungry Israelis living in the shelters”, and it suggests that we should pray for “Muslim and Jewish people to receive the Lord Jesus Christ and experience His peace in their hearts and homes”.

UPDATE: Jesus General offers some free advertising advice.

9 Responses

  1. Did you see this Franklin Graham quote on why he and Samaritan’s Purse were welcome in North Korea?

    One of our goals is we want the government of North Korea to know and to understand that as Christians we’re not enemy my [sic] and that Christians are good citizens. We’re commanded by the scriptures to obey those that are in authority over us whoever they may be. We want the North Koreans to know that.

    Sorry I don’t have a link to it. I had to get it off Nexis when I posted about it. Graham said it in an interview with Miles O’Brien on CNN’s American Morning on July 12th. CNN might have the transcript up now.

  2. This is astonishing. I’ve never been more ashamed to share the same atmosphere with these people- and I’m an atheist! Sorry I don’t have much more to add, this kind of thing never ceases to fascinate me. Love the site, -Mark L

  3. Since Lebanon has pretty substantial Christian population, is it possible that it was Lebanese Christian families asking for Bibles and Samaritan’s Purse workers who assume Arab=Muslim just didn’t grasp that?

    Of course, whether guys like Graham would consider Maronites real Christians is an open question.

  4. I’m surprised their god hasn’t sent them to play in traffic.

  5. Why is this big news? Since 1982 Samaritan’s Purse has been an evangelism organization that provides relief and shares about Christianity as appropriate providing that portion of their work is not being funded by government funds (i.e., they don’t use government funds for evangelism). That has always been their publicly stated purpose on their website, in their literature, in their financial statements. Why are you just catching on to this now?

  6. “As appropriate” being the somewhat contested term. I know about SP’s past (and I included a link to a favourable assessment of its humanitarian work); I just thought these particular quotes in this particular situation were striking and of interest.

  7. […] aid with proselytisation. As well as Graham’s notorious 2001 remarks on Islam, I noted in July that Ken Isaacs of SPI had tactfully declared that Israeli bombing of Lebanon had “softened […]

  8. i read the bible, i read the torah, i read the talmuds, i even read paul’s messages, all those books just make my faith stronger, the true fatith, the faith of God, Islam :)

  9. […] refugees are a particular target for evangelism just now; back in July I blogged on how an official for Samaritan’s Purse had claimed that the Israeli bombardment had […]

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