Great idea, Richard. Maybe also Muslim clergymen could start wearing crosses to reach out to Christians. But of course that will never happen. The “outreach” always and in every case goes one way, and one way only. Richard Chartres here quotes St. Paul: “I become all things to all men that by all possible means I might save some.” But he doesn’t really want to save Muslims, i.e., challenge them with the truth, much less call them to Christianity. He just wants to welcome and “affirm” them, to show what a diverse, multiculti fellow he is.
Christian clergymen in the West are generally confusing appeasement and fear with charity and respect, and instead of recognizing the grave threat to Judeo-Christian Western civilization, they are welcoming in those who would destroy it and shaming and ostracizing those who are trying to sound the alarm. They preach “respect” (which is really just naked fear in clerical robes) in the face of radical, violent supremacism and intolerance, thereby enabling and encouraging that supremacism and intolerance, having completely forgotten that they’re supposed to be playing a prophetic role and calling injustice and evil what they are. They are betting the future of the Church on the success of a chimerical “dialogue” with Muslims that has never accomplished a single thing other than to make the participants feel good about themselves: “dialogue” has not prevented one Christian from being persecuted or one church from being ransacked. They are standing by complacently and abetting the destruction of the West and the Church in the West. They are blind guides.
“Vicars should grow BEARDS to reach out to Muslims in their areas, says Bishop of London,” by Katie Louise Davies, Jenny Stanton, and Steve Doughty, Daily Mail, January 22, 2016 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
Clergymen should grow beards to emphasise their holiness to Muslims, the Bishop of London has suggested.
Rt Reverend Richard Chartres said the modern fashion for facial hair should not be the preserve of hispters, but would also be likely to impress those from Eastern cultures where wearing a beard could mark a man out as holy.
He singled out two priests in Tower Hamlets – the Rev. Adam Atkinson, Vicar of St Peter’s church in Bethnal Green, and Rev. Cris Rogers of All Hallows Bow – who have grown bushy beards.
Writing in the Church Times, Rev. Chartres, who himself sports a ‘modest’ beard, said: ‘The discovery that two of the most energetic priests in east London had recently grown beards of an opulence that would not have disgraced a Victorian sage prompted me to look again at the barbate debate throughout Church history.
‘The two priests work in parishes in Tower Hamlets. Most of the residents are Bangladeshi-Sylheti, for whom the wearing of a beard is one of the marks of a holy man.’
He said the desire of the clergy of Tower Hamlets to ‘reach out to the culture of the majority of their parishioners can only be applauded’.
He went on to say that David Beckham – who he describes as the ‘nearest thing to a secular saint’ – has ‘stimulated countless imitators’.
One of the priests praised by the Bishop of London, the Rev. Atkinson told The Telegraph he found having a beard had helped provide a connection with many people in his parish, around 85 per cent of whom are Muslim.
He said he was persuaded to grow a beard by the staff at his local pub, the Hound Dog Barbers on Hackney Road.
He said he had forged new links with people after growing his facial hair.
He explained: ‘It is an icebreaker – St Paul said “I become all things to all men that by all possible means I might save some”.
‘In our area there are three main groups, the poor, the “cool” and the Muslims and beards cover at least two groups reasonably well.’
The second vicar – the Rev Rogers – told the newspaper he was approached by a man who told him he respected him because he had a beard.
The man went on to tell him his beard showed dedication and commitment to something and it showed wisdom….