Pamphlet defense

| 29 Sep 2011 | 10:48

    MILFORD - The Milford Bible Church still stands firmly behind a pamphlet that was the source of controversy when it was characterized by a local daily paper, claiming the flyer took aim at Islam. According to Pastor Brian Garber, the pamphlet, which is currently out of stock, was picked up by the reporter for the Middletown, N.Y. Times Herald-Record, who was on her way out the church, following a funeral service. The pamphlet described the differences between Christianity and Islam, and, according to Garber, was intended to be a purely “informational tool.” “We don’t look to inflame problems,” he said. Garber described the process that is in place for literature to be set out for the church’s members, which includes a review by the Pastoral staff before literature is made available. He said that the pamphlet in question was theologically accurate and passed that internal review several months ago. Garber said the church had no complaints, and even following the Dec. 11 article, the church received phone calls of support from both local citizens and other churches. The church also received national attention. According to its secretary, both CNN and FOX News covered the story, along with Pike’s own TV-13. Kevin DeVizia, a 15-year member of the Milford Bible Church, commented that, “It is silly that a media outlet, particularly at this time of year, would go out of its way to try to sensationalize a piece of literature taken completely out of context just to stir up unnecessary strife.” He continued, “I wouldn’t expect a mosque to publish literature promoting Christianity, and I think any reasonable person wouldn’t expect a Christian church to promote Islam. But there is nothing in the pamphlet that was intended as a slam to Muslim people,” DeVizia said. Still, he disagreed with the pamphlet’s assertion that, “Christians are in danger from the spread of the doctrines of Islam.” “My faith is strong enough to believe that Islam is not a threat,” DeVizia said. Pastor Garber declined comment on the validity of the danger assertion in the pamphlet. He did say that the pamphlet “is part of the stand we, as Christians, have to take against things that are wrong.” The pamphlet simply outlined the irreconcilable theological differences, he added. Garber said that although the pamphlet is no longer available, the church has plans to reorder more copies.