Here's a long rant about the mathematics of religious outrage. First of all, when talking about the tragic events in Libya, one has to acknowledge a diversity of opinion within Islam about how to respond to the outrageous film about Islam. Everyone is aware by now of how some of the protests turned violent, protests across the globe.
The most interesting detail to me was in a story (not the one below) where some Egyptians pleaded with the U.S. Embassy to press charges back in the states against the film. Many zealous Muslims weren't going to rest: some would kill innocents over it, some would plea for "use of the courts" as a nonviolent, civilized remedy.
Christians, too, have a view where one is not to rest until someone is converted, and/or some sinner brought to repentance, whether that person is next door or in a jungle across the globe. We have sociologically good examples like Dr. Livingstone and Mother Teresa-- Paul!
, and sociologically despicable examples like the Spanish Inquisition. Someone perishing: you go rescue the person.
In Christianity, there is a doctrine of hell, and one thing that Scripture teaches is that a finite number of people (one rich man already there? [Luke 16]) headed there. There's also parable of the sower [Matthew 13], where the preacher (God?) casts seeds, and some of the seeds don't grow because, for example, they are choked out by cares of the world. The New Testament teaches that there will be some who reject the message.
Now bring math, or statistical thinking, into the equation. Let's say that everyone can be measured not only in a degree of Christian apostasy but also a degree of Muslim blasphemy. To the Christian, that there are extremely lost or wicked people is part of the teaching-- in fact Theologians of the Cross would stress that the Christian faith walk is one of coming to greater and greater grips with YOUR OWN wickedness. "The Lord wills the entire life of a believer to be one of repentance," said Luther's first of 95 Theses. The Christian would always be repenting, praying, and preaching God's love on the cross and our associate's need to repent, whether that associate is bishop or infidel. It's not so much that the world is divided into black hats and white hats but a realization that we are all wearing black hats. (This is at least the Christian understanding I see in Luther's Theology of the Cross and numerous evangelical circles, such as Tullian Tchvidian).
I can appreciate the zeal of a Muslim who feels a need to confront an act of blasphemy. What I'm trying to get a grip on is the statistics of blasphemy. There's always, always going to be blasphemy, and perhaps it's going to be geographically concentrated in areas that are where there aren't too many of "those crowds." With 7 billion people on this planet, the statistics suggest there will be blasphemies, from intentional pranksters (an overly generous term to describe the producers of current film), to sermons taught by people that completely disagree with you about your prophet. Whatchagonnado?
I am ticked at the producer of the film and every #tcot
who thinks biblical Christianity is advanced by this process. Those who say it only shows how evil Islam is. We cannot tie the furor against this film to the persecution preachers of the gospel are promised to face (Hebrews 11). If you want authentic martyrdom, take the images of the film onto a placard and walk into the crowd. At the same time, the person zealous for Islam cannot bring anyone to "true faith" or "repentance" by using a brick in their own home town, when the blasphemer is across the world.