Baptists Want to Evangelize Sikhs


Always on the lookout for an opportunity to be missionaries, as Christ commanded them to do, the Baptist Press thinks the terrible shootings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin is the perfect time to start proselytizing to members of that religious faith.

In the wake of one of the greatest tragedies to hit the Sikh community in North America, Southern Baptists have an unprecedented opportunity to reach out to their Sikh neighbors with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, says Aslam Masih, North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) national coordinator for Muslim people groups and South Asians…

“We have an opportunity now to turn this very sad situation into a life-changing encounter with the Gospel for Sikhs throughout North America,” Masih said…

Masih said he has already seen ministry opportunities emerge this week. He mentioned one Sikh temple next door to an SBC church in Baltimore. On Monday, Masih talked with the pastor, who told him about his struggles to build a relationship with the neighboring temple.

Masih then, with the pastor still on the phone, called the temple’s priest and, in his own Punjabi language, expressed his sorrow over Sunday’s tragedy. He asked for the opportunity to bring local Southern Baptists — including members of the neighboring church — to visit the temple and to give the Sikh community a tour of an SBC church. He said the temple leadership enthusiastically agreed — and even volunteered to bring the food. Both sides will have an opportunity to share what they believe and Masih plans to share his own testimony. He also plans to leave them with a film on Jesus in their Punjabi language.

Masih noted that believers who feel led to reach out to Sikhs in their community should start by building bridges — much like what happened in Baltimore.

“When we start with us and what we believe, they’re not going to listen,” Masih said. “When you talk about them, they’ll listen. That’s how you build a bridge. Show an interest in their lives, and you’ll build a relational bridge.”

So the Sikhs think the Baptists are just being friendly when they’re really just looking for a way to turn tragedy into conversion.

Comments

  1. raven says

    “Always on the lookout for an opportunity to be missionaries, victims. Fixed.

    They will have to fight their nemesis, those other ambulance chasers. The SBC doesn’t much like the Mormons. They accuse the Mormons of stealing their members while sending missionairies to Utah to convert the LDS.

  2. criticaldragon1177 says

    Ed Brayton,

    Talk about a lack of sensitivity. Gee, reasonable people see a tragedy and they see an opportunity to get people to convert to their religion. This is not what I call building Bridges!

  3. ambassadorfromverdammt says

    “Conform and we won’t shoot you”. How nice. I notice who is bringing the grub, and who is bringing the prosyletising material.

  4. greg1466 says

    You’ve got to admit that they have a pretty good perk to pitch to Muslims (and those they mistake for Muslims) in America, i.e. “you’ll drastically reduce your chances of being targeted for harassment, discrimination, targeting, etc.” For always talking about their high morals and ethics, I love how fundies never miss an opportunity to prey on people when they are at their most vulnerable.

  5. dmcclean says

    grep1466, #9:

    I don’t think they really do have that perk to pitch. After they hypothetically convert to evangelical Christianity they will still “look like” terrorists to the xenophobes.

  6. criticaldragon1177 says

    Dmcclean,

    I don’t see how this will make them want to convert to Christianity.

  7. says

    Sikhism is sort of an ‘odd duck’ when compared to Abrahamic religions, insofar as they do not make exclusive truth claims and don’t have much of an evangelical bent whatsoever. It is fairly common for Sikhs to engage in interfaith dialogue, and I have a feeling that the Christians will walk away largely confused by people who do not share their “one way to heaven” philosophy.

    I think the Sikh communities are going to get the most out of the encounter, to be perfectly honest. The Christians currently know nothing about Sikhism. If they leave the interaction knowing merely next-to-nothing, that will be a major coup.

  8. says

    Also, to be honest, the Sikh religion has way more to offer in terms of consolation and hope than Christianity does. If there is a tragedy in my life and I am forced to deal with some kind of religious consultation, I would choose a gurdwara over a church any day of the week. Theirs is a very quasi-humanistic philosophy.

  9. John Hinkle says

    He also plans to leave them with a film on Jesus in their Punjabi language.

    Baptist: Thanks for the, umm, “food.” And now, here is a film we would love for you to watch. It is about our God, Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    Sikh Thank you, most noble ambassador of your faith. Your request will be honored in the manner most appropriate by those in our humble Sikh community.

  10. busterggi says

    Christianity is clearly six times as effective as Sikhism – six Sikhs died in that incident but only one Christian.

    That’s practically a miracle!

  11. ibelieveindog, the silent beagle says

    Kind of derailing:

    The gurdwara in my neighborhood had a gathering yesterday. The parking lot was packed full of cars but surrounded by sheriff’s deputies.

    Nobody should have to worship surrounded by armed guards.

  12. Didaktylos says

    From what I’ve read about the history of the Sikh religion, they have always made a point of establishing some sort of modus vivendi with other religious groups. Even in the Punjab, they were only ever a regional majority, so Sikhs have always had to deal with neighbours of different religions.

  13. Moggie says

    He also plans to leave them with a film on Jesus in their Punjabi language.

    The Jesus-pushers always seem to believe that their targets just need more information about Jesus, and they’ll fall to their knees, crying “why didn’t I know about this amazing guy?” But in this case we’re not talking about children, or some uncontacted Amazonian tribe. These are adults, in an era of global media, living in a Jesus-saturated society. I’d hazard a guess that they already know plenty.

  14. Randomfactor says

    The Scientologists do this too. They’ve gotten thrown out of disaster zones they snuck into to do “touch assists” and hand out literature. They also have a habit of doing things like stacking just enough sandbags near a flood to make a nice background for the group publicity photo.

  15. brocasbrian says

    Viruses spread. The scientologists are waiting in line i’m sure just like in Haiti.

  16. says

    “Evangelical ambulance chasers” – I love that! Perfectly fitting and makes the right association.

    When I had major emergency surgery a few years ago, a pastor of my acquaintance came to pray over me. I told him I was an atheist and he insisted on praying in Jesus’ name over me. I wanted to bellow for him to get out but I had 6 tubes in me, was hallucinating from sleep deprivation (last-resort antibiotics messed up REM) and all doped up on morphine, and was in no condition for an argument.

  17. says

    These people have no idea what assholes they look like. The funny thing is though, from the internal perspective of their religion, they aren’t doing anything wrong. If you really believe that fundie-Jesus is the only path to salvation, and without it you’re going to hell, then trying to convert others by whatever means available is the only humane thing to do.

  18. paul says

    Southern Baptists have an unprecedented opportunity to reach out to their Sikh neighbors with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, says Aslam Masih, North American Mission Board’s (NAMB)…

    This has got to be a Poe. Next you’ll be telling me that NAMB has a Los Angeles chapter.

  19. whheydt says

    Re: #21

    If you have enough presence of mind… Press call button. When the nurse shows up, point to the objectionable individual. Point to the door as emphatically as you can. The staff should take care of the rest, and if they don’t, as soon as you are fit to do so, ask to speak to a legal representative of the hospital and ask them how much they’re going to pay you for the added “pain and suffering” you had to endure at the pastors hands because the staff wouldn’t honor your request to eject him from your room.

  20. F says

    Moggie

    The Jesus-pushers always seem to believe that their targets just need more information about Jesus, and they’ll fall to their knees, crying “why didn’t I know about this amazing guy?”

    The larger mechanism here is, if you nominally give the non-Christian (or non-SBC) individual or group information on Jesus or the particular Christian brand, and they aren’t convinced or motivated to convert, then the proselytizer now has the moral right to call them evil and practice bigotry against them. Win/win, right?

  21. dan4 says

    The individuals who gave an “amen” to Mashih’s “opportunity” comment (or, at the very least, see nothing wrong with it) are probably some of the same people who have criticized Rahm Emmanuel’s infamous “never let a crisis go to waste” comment.

  22. sc_83020c6545a7be5f12c0e4cf645fd913 says

    Does the North American Mission Board have a Los Angeles chapter? Because that would be kinda funny.

  23. anubisprime says

    Internal consistency…ethical morality…empathy…good taste…understanding…honesty…integrity and intelligence has never been a prerequisite for being a…jeebus drooler !

    In fact it is so much easier if those virtues are not employed ever.
    Best avoided at all costs apparently.
    Simply cos they tend to confuse mission imperatives and distract from jeebus work.

    The thing is had they had the xian misfortune of relenting to any one of them deadly traits…they could not embark on this utter dereliction of humanity, conscience is a pesky critter when it ain’t based in xianity.

  24. says

    “you’ll drastically reduce your chances of being targeted for harassment, discrimination, targeting, etc.”

    But, no, you won’t. Christians are the most persecuted majority, EVER. Did you not get the memo?

  25. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    Opportunistic bastards, aren’t they?

    Wait until a community is bleeding and in shock, leaders dead, then swoop in like vultures to scavenge.

    They did the same thing in Phoenix after the 1991 murders of nine people at Wat Promkunaram.

  26. says

    Re #25: Indeed, that is what I wish I could have done. But the shortcoming was “presence of mind”. I was stunned by his presumption and at the same time not thinking very clearly.

    But that pastor wasn’t hospital staff, so I couldn’t dun the hospital for it. I am good friends with some people who attend that church (and they know I’m an atheist and they’re cool with it).

  27. iangould says

    I wonder how these people would react if Muslims chose to use a Church shooting to try to bring people to Islam?

  28. criticaldragon1177 says

    Iangould,

    I would imagine that people would be upset, including these hypocrites who see this massacre as nothing more than an opportunity to get more people to embrace their particular brand of Christianity. I call them hypocrites because I can guarantee you they wouldn’t like it if any one belonging to any other faith tried to do what they wan to do. However, that’s a good question given all the irrational hatred, and paranoia directed at Muslims, as well as the double standard so many people have towards Muslims vs people of other faiths.

    You might be interested in this website, if you haven’t heard of it already.

    http://whatiftheyweremuslim.com/

  29. Sastra says

    The opportunism here is partly the result of what happens when you deliberately blur the difference between a fact claim and a meaning claim. The Christians are acting as if they’re offering an effective form of therapy. “Here, change your mind about the truthful nature of reality because you need comfort.” That’s how religious faith works to convince.

    Atheists are well able to see the disconnect there.

  30. shoeguy says

    Evangelicals vulture around people who they think may be vulnerable. Hospitals, nursing homes and tragedies are prime pickings. Bastards.

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