A lot of development has taken place over the past few weeks in the Acts 17/Dearborn situation, but with my traveling and the debates I have coming up, I haven’t had time to try to keep up here on the blog. But I knew that eventually the video of the “encounter” that was the original foundation of the action of the police (which they refused to examine on the cameras to begin with, their first error in a long, long line of errors that, if justice prevails, should result in a massive judicial correction) would be posted, and it has. First, David Wood has posted a full article here. Next, here’s the video:
Who is Roger Williams? I have no earthly idea, but one thing is for certain: he gave false testimony to the police, as the video clearly shows. The man claims to be a Christian. What church is he part of? Jason Smathers interviewed Williams and was told he came to the festival with a group from Trinity Baptist Church. If that is the case, I suggest the elders of that church need to speak with Williams and call him to repentance. He needs to contact the Dearborn Police Department and confess to his actions. The Dearborn Police need to apologize for their actions, and the City of Dearborn needs to drop their charges, with public apologies from the chief of police, the mayor, and all the officers involved. The officers need to be disciplined for ignoring standard protocol and legal guidelines (like, uh, watching the video offered to them?). And, of course, there are other legal avenues open to those arrested that should be pursued to the fullest. The Apostle Paul did not hesitate to assert his civil rights, nor should those falsely arrested by the Dearborn Police.
Further, those Christians who have jumped on the “attack Acts 17” bandwagon should be lining up to offer their profound apologies for the incredible things that have been said and asserted over the past few weeks. I was somewhat encouraged to see Hussein Wario apologizing (once he became aware of the Roger Williams dishonesty), though, I don’t think I was included in that mea culpa.
Lessons to be learned from this situation are many, of course. David suggests this is a form of dhimmi witnessing, where Christians “buy” the “chance” to “share” the gospel with Muslims through abandoning their rights and attacking Christians who are boldly proclaiming the gospel. As I have had little conversation with those who have been attacking David and Nabeel, I can only hope that is not the case, but, I can certainly see why one would conclude that this kind of activity has been going on. But one thing is for sure: when venturing into situations like that, video coverage is an absolute necessity. In fact, in the future, may I suggest live streaming to the Internet? If the police knew the video was already available for all to see, I think things might have been different.