Hollywood Mayhem Sends Muddled Message to Muslims

I sat in a Missionary Alliance Church one Sunday morning and watched a video message about the work of missionaries in Iraq. With the mournful and distant sound of eastern chanting in the background the commentator described the work of what was up to recently the largest missionary effort in all of Iraq.

It is hard to say how long such missionary endeavor will be able to survive in that region because as of early in 2006 there has been a mass exodus of Christians. Both death squads and the militia have brazenly targeted and viciously attacked Christian groups with greater frequency than at any time since the Iraq war began. Even many of the Eastern Orthodox which is indigenous to the region are seeking refuge in other countries in the middle east. News agencies are now reporting that up to forty percent of the refugees leaving Iraq are Christians.

On the positive side, the missionaries said that because the Muslim religion centers so much on death that Muslims do respond favorably when they see that the Christians are genuinely loving, and that there is something noticeably different about them.

One Muslim man when interviewed said “When we hear the music of your life and it sounds good, then we might ask about the words to the song.”

On the negative side one unknown Iraqi man said something that would cut anyone to the heart. He said that it wasn’t the news broadcasts that Muslims see that give them their opinions about America. He said it was the regular programming from the west that had the biggest influence on how they see us.

Muslims he said, see America as a “Christian nation” and when they see the sex, violence, and immorality that are presented in the media like a giant circus of slop they turn away in disgust and reaffirm to themselves that if this is what Christianity is they don’t want it.

It is nearly impossible to explain to Muslims who are all guided by the same principles as derived from their Koran that America is a culturally diverse nation and not everyone holds Christian values. They are content to believe that when it comes to America and the west in general that, “what you see is what you get.”

We have all heard the rants of Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and we have watched the Hezbollah indiscriminately lob rockets at our allies in the Middle East, but this unknown, un-named Muslim man laid the most serious indictment upon America that we may ever hear.

He specifically named Hollywood in his statement. While Americans are still debating and calling for studies about the ramifications of sex, violence and materialism on our children from the media, Muslims have already made up their minds. Without lending any credence to the sayings of Christ they are nevertheless using the truth found in them, specifically when Jesus said “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (Mt 7:16)

As good broadcasting codes are sent off to antiquity, movie ratings become meaningless and American parents become mere nannies’ who pick up after the X-Box and Nintendo generation, who can make Hollywood listen? Who can make Hollywood see?

Sadly the answer to the question is understood. Even sadder is the fact that people around the world, enemy and friend see all to well. Hollywood may be having its day as it leads our collective consciousness into the night but they will have as the famous preacher Dr. R. G. Lee said, “a payday someday.”