The PJ Tatler

If You Want to Know Why People Distrust Protestant Fundamentalists...

… look no further than right here. It’s hard to follow the semi-literate argument, but if I understand the author’s point, he’s saying that, yeah, shame about those executed Coptic Christians but hey — they weren’t really Christians in the first place:

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.”

Apparently this has to do with some Protestant wrangle over being saved by faith alone or by faith and good works.

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 [the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board] 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.

To this Catholic, such an attitude is about as far from Christian as I can imagine — but then, I’m not a Southern Baptist who believes I need a personal relationship with Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Southern Baptists apparently don’t consider Catholics to be Christians, either, which was news to me, especially since we started this whole “Christian” thing in the first place.

Help me out here, people. Be sure to read the whole thing, including the author’s answer to the blowback he got near the end of the post.