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Church's Sign Against Islam Sparks Controversy

Posted May 11, 2007

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— Words like "bomb" and "die" draw attention to the small sign in front of Good News Independent Baptist Church.

Rev. Gary Murrell put up the sign, which on one side claims the message of Islam is "submit, convert or die."

The other side reads: "When is the last time you heard of a Jew or Christian with a bomb strapped to their body?"

Despite some in the Islamic community who claim the sign is offensive, Murrell says it is not a hate sign.

"It was not put up there with the purpose of showing that we hate those people," he said. "It's not the people, it's the religion."

Murrell says it is a violent religion compared to Christianity. But not everyone agrees.

"I would really say that the actions of one individual really do not represent the Islamic faith," said Debbie Jaunich, with the Islamic Center of Raleigh. "The Islamic faith really calls for peace."

"It's sad to see that we still have this kind of ignorance in the community about the Islamic faith," she added.

Murrell says he is trying to make people think but Jaunich said she thinks it breeds discrimination and bigotry.

"The point is that their salvation is in Jesus Christ, not in the Islamic faith," Murrell said. "I am not trying to be a bigot. I'm not. I don't hate those people."

Murrell says the sign has been up for about a week and that he plans to change it this weekend.

But discussion about the message will likely continue. The Islamic Center of Raleigh is inviting Murrell and his congregation for a visit to learn more about Islam.

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  • susanabel May 13, 6:04 p.m.

    There isn't any way that anyone who firmly believes in the N.T. could not understand that Jesus is the way the truth and the life, NO one comes to the Father but through him. Also, it's a huge fallacy that God is love..He is also Justice, and not on our plane, His thoughts are not our thoughts.

  • mvnull May 13, 4:19 p.m.

    Signs along the vein of this one helped when I moved to a new community some years ago. I was able to cross off (no pun intended) several churches in my search for a spiritual community, making the process that much shorter.

  • mac55 May 13, 4:08 p.m.

    Iconoclast:
    The inquisition, largely exaggerated in the numbers killed by anti-Christians, was perpetrated by a few corrupt and evil prelates. It was confined to Christians whom were deemed heretics. There will always be corruption and evil within any religion, because of the fallen nature of man. However, the difference is: No where in Christian teaching, including Scripture is there justification for this evil. It was solely the act of fallen, self-serving men. It was never an expansionist ideology. One must come to Christ of his free will...that is the only way. Not so Islam. The Qur'an is replete with instructions to Forcably convert, subjugate or kill infidels. The actions of radical Muslims around the globe speak for themselves.

  • mac55 May 13, 3:50 p.m.

    Moderate Muslims need to understand that the religion will be suspect considering what is written in the Qur'an that can be percieved(and is by radicals)as a call to jihad against non-believers. Considering that Radical Islam is at the core of the worlds violence, 911, Suicide bombings, beheadings, riots in Europe, Killing Priests and Nuns in Turkey...
    The answer is for moderates to vociferously condemn and correct those whom create the perception. That has not been done but with few exceptions. Fear may be the reason, but then that only makes the point.

  • Vincep1974 May 13, 3:29 p.m.

    Wolfman: We were warned about those who would come and deny that Christ is the Father.

    1 Jn 2:22 Who is the liar but the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the person who denies the Father and the Son.

    Qur'an 5:73 "They are surely disbelievers who blaspheme and say: ‘God is one of three in the Trinity for there is no Ilah (God) except One, Allah. If they desist not from saying this (blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall them - the disbelievers will suffer a painful doom."
    Qur'an 4.171 "O people of the Book (Christians), do not be fanatical in your faith, and say nothing but the truth about Allah. The Messiah who is Isa (Jesus), son of Mariam, was only a messenger of Allah, nothing more. He bestowed His Word on Mariam and His Spirit. So believe in Allah and say not Trinity for Allah is one Ilah (God)...far be it from His Glory to beget a son."

  • SShaw May 13, 3:22 p.m.

    The answer to the billboard question is September 11, 2006 David McMenemy in Davenport, Iowa.

  • The Professor May 13, 2:45 p.m.

    Profiling of muslims, surveiling mosques, stopping all but the most essential influx from Muslim countries is neccessary to prevent catastrophe in this country. However common sense measures such as this will never happen due to the luncacy that is the ACLU who will cause the death of many. Doubt this post will ever see the light of day.

  • One flew over Randy_s nest May 13, 2:02 p.m.

    "That is very subjective. Is the glass half full or half empty. If I say full you say empty. LOL The Bible also tells me that there are people who will see and never perceive and people who will hear and never understand. I realize that too is true! It is ok for me though because I know Him who has sustained me and it is ok for me if you don't believe."

    All we are asking for is undeniable scientific proof that God exists and that Jesus is his son. And please don't use any quotes from the bible as your proof, because the current bible is full of misinterpretations and erroneous translations from the book written hundreds of years after Jesus allegedly lived. If you deny the mistakes in a book you apparently consider to the full truth, you clearly fit into the "people who will see and never perceive and people who will hear and never understand" group.
    Since the bible was written so long after Jesus allegedly died, how can you even trust the original bible text if you understood it

  • atozca May 13, 1:11 p.m.

    "And I remain unconvinced. Not everyone reaps what he or she sows. Some crooks make it all the way to the end without ever paying for their crimes. Similarly, good people (those who have sown well) sometimes reap nothing but heartache and misery ("why bad things happen to good people") - so the example you've provided is false."

    That is very subjective. Is the glass half full or half empty. If I say full you say empty. LOL The Bible also tells me that there are people who will see and never perceive and people who will hear and never understand. I realize that too is true! It is ok for me though because I know Him who has sustained me and it is ok for me if you don't believe.

  • Matthew 19_21 May 13, 10:49 a.m.

    Actually many "truths" attributed to the Bible are just common sense teachings that would exist with or without Christianity.

    And I remain unconvinced. Not everyone reaps what he or she sows. Some crooks make it all the way to the end without ever paying for their crimes. Similarly, good people (those who have sown well) sometimes reap nothing but heartache and misery ("why bad things happen to good people") - so the example you've provided is false.

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