Coercion and Community

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was an outstanding collegiate and professional basketball player many moons ago and well-known convert to Islam. In a Time article this week he wrote about his reaction to the Paris bombings as a Muslim: 

“Ironically, terrorism is an act against the very religion the perpetrators believe in.  It’s is an acknowledgement that the religion and its teachings aren’t enough to persuade people to follow it. Any religion that requires coercion is not about community but leaders who want power.” 

So true!    

And it is also true of evangelical pastors who berate followers of Jesus with fear and obligation.  If your faith is not engaging enough to invite others to embrace it on for its joy and reality, maybe you need to find a richer faith.