Archive for August 11th, 2010

August 11th, 2010

Acts 17 Apologetics: Mea Culpa and More

Thank you to Jason: I received an email from Jason Smathers of Witnesses Unto Me on Monday afternoon. Acts 17 Apologetics had allowed him “access to the raw, unedited, hours of video from all three of their cameras” from Arab Festival in Dearborn. He watched the videos in their entirety, talked with the complainant, Roger Williams, on the phone for “over an hour” and also exchanged several emails with him. Then he wrote a post about his findings. May God to continue to bless Jason’s unique ministry. You can read his entry HERE. Excerpts:

The incident Williams reported to the police sounds quite long. The police recount Williams testimony “He added that he felt extremely uncomfortable and thought he could not leave although he attempted to several times.” In reality, the situation captured on video matches David Wood’s testimony in a previous interview with Witnesses Unto Me. In fact, Williams had radioed security only thirty seconds after the interaction began. Acts 17 was walking down the street and saw Luke speaking with Roger Williams. Luke previously told Nabeel Qureshi of Acts 17 that he was taken to the police by Williams for handing someone a Gospel tract, Nabeel says “You good?” to Luke, who confirms they are “having a friendly conversation.” Nabeel says “I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t messing with you or anything” then walks away. As Acts 17 begins to walk away, Williams stops them and says “You don’t have to worry about me messing with him, you need to worry about me messing with you, alright?” Williams only accusation against Acts 17 to their face is that they were complaining, but he never clarifies what that means. Williams says he would explain if the microphone is turned off, but never does even after it is turned off. The entire interaction takes about 2 minutes. Amal Alslami, a Muslim and employee of the American Arab Chamber Of Commerce told the police she witnessed this event and affirmed Williams statement. However, the videos do not show Alslami anywhere in sight during the encounter, but she drives up on a golf cart approximately five minutes later, takes pictures of Acts 17, then leaves. Alslami later tells police that she did not witness the incident.

Mea Culpa: Having read Jason’s account from all the three cameras, I have concluded that the four missionaries were framed. Not a Muslim, any Dearborn resident or guest but a Christian volunteer from Jacksonville, Florida, lied about them to the police and that led to their arrest. I apologize for heartaches and or headaches I have caused these missionaries, their families, friends and fans. I hope they forgive me.

There are still issues Acts 17 Apologetics needs to address. It would be helpful to Christian outreach to Muslims if Acts 17 Apologetics would address them soon.

Scripture Misuse: The missionaries were wrongly arrested. However, how some of them and their fans have reacted is another story. At issue is the taking of Scripture out of its context to defend their reaction. The following post responds to the attacks on me because I merely objected to their Muslim evangelism efforts, tactics and reaction to arrests and also a sampling of some of their supporters, especially one of them who Mr. David Wood identified to “thoroughly expose” me. You will see if Fat Man’s responses to Mr. David Wood’s call stand the test of Scripture. That would give you a rare glimpse into Acts 17 Apologetics celebrated supporter.

Mr. Wood claims that:

He [Hussein Wario] has also condemned the Apostle Paul stood up for his civil rights. (Hussein can’t pretend he’s ignorant of Paul’s stand, since I’ve already posted the proof.)

It is quite sad how Mr. Wood takes the Scripture out of its context in order to provide defense for Acts 17 Apologetics outreach to Muslims and their reaction to the arrest. A friend once told me the difference between dealing with a Christian and a non-Christian during a conflict. He said, “If the non-Christian doesn’t like what you are doing, he or she comes up to you and slits your throat, but in the case of a Christian, he or she comes up to you and slits your throat while he or she quotes the Scripture.” What a statement. Mr. Wood quotes the Scripture out of its context at least twice to make excuses for his behavior while he attacks my character. Lets deal with two of his “favorite” passages of Scripture. The Apostle Paul asked:

“Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?” (Acts 22:25).

One thing Mr. Wood has not told his readers, the Apostle was already in custody—wrongly arrested—and was about to be flogged, which is in violation of his rights, when he asked that question. Mr. Wood further bolstered his outrage quoting some states’ (North Carolina and Maine) laws that give citizen the right to challenge an illegal arrest to the point of inflicting injuries or even killing the arresting officer. I was dumbfounded. There is no place in the Scripture where Jesus, his disciples or other believers challenged their legal or illegal arrest before the arrest or afterward, calling their oppressors liars and taunting them publicly. In fact Jesus rebuked a follower who attempted to intervene before his arrest:

And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. (Luke 22:49—51)

Another Scripture that Mr. Wood likes to quote, the Apostle Paul when he appeared before Caesar, while still in custody:

I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also very well know. If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar. (Acts 25:10-11)

This Scripture passage supports none of Mr. Wood’s behavior. Paul was calmly challenging his rights while he was still in custody. He wasn’t belligerent and did not call his accusers liars or Christians who did not stand with him less Christian. Later in Acts 26:32 we learn that had Paul not appealed to Caesar, he would have been a free man. So much for Paul’s awareness of his civil rights, he remained behind bars on false charges!

Jesus said in Matthew 10:16-20:

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

This is the blueprint of how a Christian should behave when he or she is faced with persecution, especially one involving harassment and arrest. What kind of an attitude has Mr. Wood depicted?

Mr. Wood continues:

Desperate Attacks: This is why it’s so shocking that Hussein is siding with the police. Perhaps Hussein’s Muslim background leads him to believe that it’s okay to assault a woman who doesn’t immediately obey a man. Hussein’s thinking may be so clouded that he can’t even fathom a girl telling a man to get his hands off her.

Does Mr. Wood have to attack me for simply raising questions about his misleading statements and his tendency to make excuses? There is no proof in Scripture for his behavior for someone who was wrongly arrested.

Even the Apostle Paul apologized for his behavior toward the High Priest in Acts 23:3—5. Mr. Wood needs to apologize for his attitude toward the police. He also needs to apologize to Christians in Dearborn he has called Dhimmis.

He has no clue what my stance is on issues. You have probably heard of Ohio runway Muslim convert Rifqa Bary. She run away to Florida and reported that her father was going to kill for apostacy. Her case was in court for several months. I was in touch with one of Rifqa’s lawyers. Here is my position, which appeared in an article, Wishful Thinking Biased Reporting Endanger Rifqa Bary, in the newsmagazine American Thinker, Saturday, December 5, 2009:

I am very concerned for Rifqa. If the judge reunites her with her family, you know that she will either be severely persecuted or killed here in the United States or elsewhere. An ardent Muslim father would rather kill his child in order to preserve his family from ridicule (from fellow Muslims) than see him or her alive. Mr. Mohamed Bary would be hailed as a hero to Muslims if he were to carry out — God forbid — Islamic judgment on Rifqa because she refuses to revert to Islam.

Has my Muslim background “clouded” my stance on Rifqa’s plight? Is it even close to Mr. Wood’s assessment? Judge for yourself. A Muslim or someone whose thinking “may be so clouded” would have said the judge should have reunited Rifqa with her family.

Hypocrisy?: Mr. Wood continues:

Sadly, some Christians think that, by attacking other ministries, they will make a name for themselves. But Hussein is simply embarrassing himself. No Western Christian is going to tolerate

Mr. Wood should stop dividing Christians in order to justify his misleading statements. Someone is either a Christian or he or she is not. There is no such a thing as “Western Christian.” Secondly, he needs to take the plank out of his eye before he assesses me or other Christian ministries. Here are samplings of Acts 17 Apologetics attacks on other ministries:

The goal of Chief Haddad and the Dearborn Police Department is to reduce Christians to dhimmitude. Christians who accept that they are second-class citizens are welcome. Christians who insist that they have Constitutional rights are harassed, and even arrested.

There are three general reactions to the rights violations at the Arab Festival. First, some accept the oppression, praise the Muslims at the festival, praise the mayor, and praise the police department, regardless of how Christians are being harassed. The goal is to get into position to distribute something to the Muslims despite the obstacles. This was the approach of certain ministries.

I suspect that if Jesus, or Paul, or Peter were to preach in Dearborn today, they would be utterly condemned by some of the churches in Dearborn.

Not all Christian ran into trouble, Only those who were vocal in the presentation of the gospel

Acts 17 Apologetics claims that other ministries in Dearborn are not “vocal in the presentation of the gospel.” In other words, these missionaries were the only ones who preached at the festival, which is false.

What’s Next: Acts 17 Apologetics need to prayerfully consider how it should be involved in next year’s festival, assess its strategies and perhaps partnering with a church or organization in Dearborn. A Dearborn native and former Muslim, Ali El Hajj, has suggested for Acts 17 “to seek some means of dialog we Dearborn’s community. Perhaps an unrecorded forum where the community would be invited in to mend bridges- first with the Christian leaders in Dearborn, then with city officials, and finally the community.”

Acts 17 still Misleading the Public: I pointed out to Mr. Wood about his Fox News’ Fox & Friends interview. The public was misled into believing that he was arrested for distributing the Gospel of John. He did not correct the TV host when he was on-air. Fox & Friends—the number one rated according to Nelson TV ratings—averages more that one million viewers. Those who watched the footage were misled. Mr. Wood shared the video on Acts 17 blog with a few sentences describing how the video was partially inaccurate. The inaccurate video is still available on YouTube and Acts 17 Apologetics website. Fox News has removed it from its website.

Tens of thousands have since watched this misleading video. Even a popular newsmagazine, Townhall, also reports on the same version of the story:

According to a variety of reports, four men were arrested during Dearborn’s recent Arab International Festival–which takes place annually and on public streets–for distributing copies of the Gospel of John written in English and Arabic.

Millions of people still believe that story. Even former Speaker of the House Mr. Newt Gingrich was misled by the same version of story into writing an op-ed in support of Mr. Wood and his colleagues on July 28. Surprisingly, Acts 17 is not ashamed that Mr. Gingrich was wrong. His support has been posted on the website but with a disclaimer. I highly doubt had Fox News set the record straight Mr. Gingrich would have included the missionaries’ arrest in his op-ed, which was in opposition to the mosque near Ground Zero.

“Threats” and Insults at Mr. Wood’s Behest: I mentioned before how Mr. Wood threatened a few people with “exposure?” He gave another charge to his fans to expose me:

I again invite our readers to thoroughly expose Hussein Wario (leaving comments on his blog would be a good place to start). There is no place in Christian ministry for someone who thinks it’s his job to lie about fellow Christians.

Acts 17 Apologetics fans did not hesitate to answer one of their leaders’ call. The first call, “I hereby invite our readers (especially you, Fat Man!) to thoroughly expose Hussein Wario, and to continue drawing attention to his deceptions, until he repents of this profound wickedness.” And Fat Man strikes twice…

The Fat Man said…

What a ASS, can I say that on this blog?
No let me take that back what a GIGANTIC ASS?

Yes, you can! Of course, Fat Man could leave such an embarrassing comment on a Christian ministry’s blog. By the way, it is still on Acts 17 Apologetics website.

He continues…

The Fat Man said…

On a previous post regarding this situation someone who claims to know Huesein Warrior commented.

Chad Groenhout said…
I’ve know him for around 15 years. He is a true Christian. I just don’t know what is going on with him lately. Instead of calling him a wolf in sheep’s clothing, lift him up in prayer.

I think I have a explanation. Chad your friend is suffering from a medical condition known as “Cranium Rectumes

He has his head shoved so far up his own butt he is suffering from oxygen deprivation.

How this comment is fitting for a Christian ministry’s blog, only Acts 17 Apologetics can explain it. I bet Mr. Wood can argue Fat Man’s “free speech” like he has justified the presence of Muhammad cartoons on his ministry’s website. These cartoons are still there. Perhaps someone is confusing the “offense” in the Gospel with his  “free speech.” How the Gospel message being offensive to Muslims compares with Muhammad cartoons being offensive to Muslims only “free speech” can justify, thus playing politics with Christian ministry to Muslims.

Bartimaeus said…

David & Nabeel

It would seem that Hussein has some series emotional issues. His vendetta against Acts 17…
The one who is misleading people and behaving un-Christlike is Hussein.
[Deleted after a few days I confronted him publicly.]

He continues and please pay close attention to his stance on integrity:

Now lying in order to enhance your ministry is a issue of integrity… And the next time you address me or refer to any comments I make please keep my real name out it I chose to use Bartimaeus for a reason.

Yes, he wants to continue insulting people. This person claims to have known me with his claims that I have “some series emotional issues” and lack integrity, yet he cannot stand the test of integrity. We have never met. Our encounter has been exchanging a few emails over a network. Apparently that qualifies him to make this assessment of my character. His name is Stephen Atkins. I know why he does not want his name to be made public. He insults people publicly and can hide his identity. This marks the end of your “anonymity,” a fellow who goes after character assassination while hiding under an assumed name. Keep it up, Mr. Atkins.

More Insults: Mr. Wood said, “Hussein should be miles away from ministry, studying the Scripture and learning what it means to be a Christian.” He doesn’t know me and for him to say I need to learn “what it means to be a Christian” is an insult. He gives me charge to study the Scripture and “stay away ministry.” What does that say about him when he quotes Scripture out of its context to justify his reaction to his illegal arrest? The only thing so far that he has quoted in context is his constitutional rights and some states’ laws. The latter has no jurisdiction on his arrest in Michigan.

I am Exposed: Fat Man insulted me. Mr. Atkins took a nasty jab at me and I have exposed his identity. There were many fans who responded from far and wide to Mr. Wood’s call. One of them claimed to be a missionary of a reputable mission organization in Kenya. According to Mr. Wood, this “missionary” could “disprove” claims about my past. He went as far as claiming that I blocked some comments from the “missionary.” Mr. Wood, in his own words:

Hussein’s constant lies also call his past into question. I was contacted by someone who says that he can disprove Hussein’s claims about his past, but that Hussein keeps blocking the comments.

Someone who claims to be an African Inland Mission missionary posted a few comments on my blog. None of his comments were deleted. Since he was using a fake email address, one attributed to some AIM “missionary,” I flagged his first comment, removed the fake email address and posted his comments. Every time he used this fake email address, his comments were automatically held for moderation.

Those who read the comments can corroborate my account that this “missionary” was very confused about Kenya. Even someone who does Google search would have a better idea. In the initial comment, he claimed to know my people group but in the same comment claimed I was either “Oromo or Borana.” Oromo are from Ethiopia and Borana are from Kenya and Ethiopia. Borana are not native to the Province I hail from. I challenged him on his mix up. He came back three days later, avoided the issue and still was mixed up. To save you some time, this person has stated that he has been in Kenya for “over 10 years” and the only reasons he gives that my background is suspicious are “no one knows me” and my life is not “threatened” in Kenya. That says a lot from the same missionary who got basic facts about Kenya mixed and couldn’t even get it after three days and just because no one knows me out of his “bubble” qualifies me as being with a fake background. Even the United States Justice Department judge presiding over my asylum case found my persecution story credible. How can this missionary who went to Kenya after I had already been in the United States discredit my background? I wish him luck. Lord willing, our paths might cross if he actually does ministry among Muslims. If you want to find more information to verify my background, please check the following:

The Call of Africa, a 1998 book (Google Books), starting on page 479.

Grand Rapids Press article quoting news article from my interview in 1996

Holland Sentinel, quoting people who have known me longer than this person has been in Kenya

Read the first four chapters (upbringing, conversion and some persecution) of my autobiography, Cracks in the Crescent (Google Books, US only). Those who have doubts about my background can verify it in Kenya.

Conclusion: This is my final entry on the missionaries’ illegal arrest. I hope they accept my apology for any conclusion I made and not initially believing their version of what led to their arrest. Keep on praying for them, the city of Dearborn and all those who were involved directly and indirectly in this saga. The Lord’s Will will prevail

On another note, the Muslim fast during the month of Ramadhan has started already in some countries and starts tomorrow in the United States and the rest of the world. Apparently, the new is sighted differently in some countries. I am writing posts throughout the fast, debunking the fast. Please stop by if you would like to learn some CRACKS in the fast. The initial post will be posted, DV, next week.