Michael Gryboski with The CHRISTIAN POST reports:
During a Senate Budget Committee nomination hearing on Wednesday (6/7/17), Sen. Sanders critically questioned Russell Vought, Trump's nominee for deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
At issue was a blog post that Vought wrote in defense of his alma mater, Wheaton College, in which he said that Muslims "stand condemned" for not believing in Jesus Christ.
"In the piece that I referred to that you wrote for the publication called Resurgent. You wrote, 'Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned.' Do you believe that that statement is Islamophobic?" asked Sanders.
Vought responded that he did not consider the statement bigoted in nature, noting that he is a Christian and was stating his belief in "the centrality of Jesus Christ for salvation."
"As a Christian, I believe that all individuals are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect regardless of their religious beliefs," replied Vought.
Sanders was unimpressed with the response, stating that the blog post was "indefensible, it is hateful and Islamophobic, and an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world."
... Sanders maintained that ... he was going to vote against the nominee.
The Christian Gospel isn't Islamophobic, but rather it expresses God's unconditional love, through the sacrifice of His Son, for people of every race, creed, and nationality.
So how do we respond to a senator, indeed, to a world that views the Good News as bad news?
First, we must not allow ourselves to be placed on the defensive. I believe the best way to combat this cultural phenomenon is to respond to such negative accusations of intolerance by reframing the question. When the world criticizes Christianity for endorsing only one way to heaven, we need to turn to them and ask, “Yes, but aren’t you glad there is at least one way?”
Shouldn't we all be grateful that God has made it possible for there to be a way at all? Who are we to demand that one way is not good enough? If you were in a burning building, would you refuse to flee because there was only one exit?
Furthermore, isn't it a wonderful way God has chosen? He has not left salvation to depend upon our weak, imperfect efforts. Rather He has secured salvation for us through the perfect effort of Jesus Christ! The perfect life of God Himself was given in exchange for our imperfect lives, so that He might offer salvation to us as a free gift.
Finally, this Good News gets even better! He has extended this offer to everyone; black, white, male, female, homosexual, heterosexual, rich, poor, Jew, Gentile, and Muslim alike! Does that sound narrow-minded or intolerant? Indeed, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son ...” (John 3:16). In fact, it would be fair to ask if anyone in Islam has ever loved the Muslim people as much as Jesus. Who else has willingly offered up their life for them the way He did on the cross?
So, don’t be apologetic that you know the only way to heaven. Instead, ask those who take issue with your faith, “Shouldn’t you, shouldn't all of us, be glad that there is a way at all?”