Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mark Siljander

I don’t have much time this morning…because….well, because, I’ve spent too much time clicking links and reading snippets…a web journey instigated by the very first email I read (out of the 604 emails that are cramming my aol mailbox to bursting!!!) Dena posted the conversation from an interview with Mark Siljander, a friend of hers…congressman…former fundamentalist, who because of a series of events was challenged to take a closer look at the "arch enemies" of the United States and Christianity. Muslims.

After looking into it...reading the Quran, praying about it and thinking it through, he came to a different conclusion entirely. The following excerpt from the interview was my favorite part. I’ve read it before via a Dena post….but it is rather eye opening.

MARK: Before I read the Quran, I was told that it talks about Jesus. Here’s how much I knew: I said, “Oh, that’s BS. The Quran doesn’t mention Jesus.”

Then, I went and bought an edition of the Quran and I was blown away. It talks about Jesus more than 100 times..

DAVID: In the book, you’ve got a terrific chapter about how you’ve now taken this message back to evangelical Christians. It’s late in the book and you describe addressing an audience of 150 pastors and missionaries “gathered for a conference in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, all waiting to hear what I had to say about Islam. It was no mystery to me what they were expecting me to say: Islam is of the devil, a pernicious corruption of faith that is bent on destruction of everything we believe in.”
MARK: That’s right. And I said to them: “Do you mind if I open with some passages from the holy book?

And they called out, “Oh, yes!”
I began saying, “Jesus is the Messiah.”
They said: “Amen!”
I said, “Jesus is sinless, supernaturally conceived through a virgin named Mary by the spirit of God. He is the word of God. He heals the sick and the blind. He can even raise the dead.”
They got all wound up. They were shouting: “Hallelujah!”
And I said: “Jesus was taken up by God and he’s coming back on Judgment Day.”
They were going: “Amen! Amen!”
Then, I said, “These are all words from the Quran.”
DAVID: What happened?
MARK: The place went from a holy ruckus to a silence so complete that you could have heard a pin drop.

If you would like to read the entire interview, I found it, via google on a site called Read the Spirit. Really cool site…and the links I found there are the links I’ve been clicking. There you will find not only the interview but links to Mark Siljander info…to his book, A Deadly Misunderstanding, to a page about him on Wikipedia, his consulting firm and even a link to his very conservative evangelical church. Plus there is a lot of other stuff on the site about interfaith dialouge and associated topics. But I don’t have time for a lengthier discourse. I’ve got to hit the shower (twenty minutes later than I should) and get ready for work!!!

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