USA: Richardson (Texas) minister stands by church flier that warns Judaism, Islamism ‘dangerous’ | Dallas News

One is sorely tempted to add “Christianism” to the list given the minister’s lack of awareness:

A minister of a Richardson church that included Judaism and Islamism among “dangerous isms” on a flier distributed in area neighborhoods is standing behind the message and the events it advertised.

Pulpit minister Shelton Gibbs III said Greenville Avenue Church of Christ could have better handled the wording of the advertisement, which included the faiths with pessimism, materialism and alcoholism.

He said the church’s leadership was meeting Sunday night to discuss the social media backlash that followed the church’s distribution of the fliers on the doors of homes in the area.

Gibbs said the church will go ahead with the series, despite objections to categorizing the other religions, along with atheism and liberalism, as dangerous.

“We’re not here to criticize or be antagonistic toward people and to beat them down,” he said. “There’s no threat. The people in the community should not feel a threat.”

The church plans to conduct the summer series on 10 Wednesdays, starting June 13. Islamism will be covered June 27.

Judaism is scheduled for discussion Aug. 22, according to the flier, which included a Star of David alongside icons that appear to symbolize pessimism, materialism and alcoholism.

Gibbs said that though “dangerous” probably wasn’t the best word to use, the other faiths run counter to his church’s belief that God wants all people to follow Jesus Christ.

He said the series will aim to explain God’s message for each of the “isms.”

“What is his message to those who espouse Islam? What is his message to those who are caught up in materialism? Those who are pessimistic?” Gibbs said.

When asked why the list didn’t include other “isms,” such as racism or sexism, Gibbs said there are only so many Wednesdays in a summer.

In the future, he said, the church will work on its phrasing.

“We’re living in an age where every word means something, and you have to be very careful about the words that you use,” Gibbs said.

“And I think going forward, I’m sure we’ll be able to phrase it where people are drawn in, and not that we have somehow marginalized them and caused them to fear. That’s not Jesus.”

The predominantly African-American church was formed as Hamilton Park Church of Christ in 1959 and occupied several different sites before it moved in 1990 to its home on Greenville Avenue, near Centennial Boulevard, and changed its name to reflect the new location.

The church, formed with 20 members, has grown under Gibbs’ decades of leadership and provides three Sunday services. The church has made community outreach one of its main focuses.

via Richardson minister stands by church flier that warns Judaism, Islamism ‘dangerous’ | Richardson | Dallas News

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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