A Battle for Truth or a Battle for Converts? Church Flyer Sets Off Controversy in Akron, OH

November 6, 2003

Source: The Beacon-Journal


On November 6, 2003 The Beacon-Journal reported that in Akron, Ohio last week The Chapel, a highly regarded nondenominational church, found itself at the center of controversy when they distributed fliers, advertising that a class on Islam would instruct Christians on "'how to be more effective in our spiritual battle for the hearts and souls of our Muslim neighbors.' Practically speaking, nothing ever suggested The Chapel had missionary work in the Muslim community in mind. But that is what the wording implied. And that is how the Akron Area Interfaith Council interpreted it after hearing objections from the Muslim community. The Rev. Knute Larson, pastor of The Chapel, later apologized, saying what was meant was that we're all in a battle for truth.'We teach tolerance all the time,' Larson said. 'We believe in Jesus Christ, but with great tolerance and kindness for others.'"