John Tant is confused. He recently joined a Lutheran Church and has now learned that when an Islamic Association asked the church to use its facilities for Islamic prayer meetings, the church committee was evenly divided about the request, voting 6-6 on whether to allow it.
This bothers him.
I know as Christians we're supposed to do unto others, turn the other cheek, and all that rot. But how far does that go? I mean, it isn't like we're talking about another sect of Christianity...we're talking Islam here. It's a religion that, frankly, does not recognize the divinity of Jesus Christ. Now that's all fine, their choice, blah blah. But does my duty as a Christian extend to providing them facilities to exercise their choices which run in direct opposition to the very principles of the facility itself? I don't think so. I know I'm running a little close to hyperbole here, but suppose there was a group of people who worshipped goats. Wouldn't it run counter to my faith to provide them a place to teach and/or indulge in goat worship?
I think it would. And I think the principle of having an Islamist group using a Christian church for their services in incompatible with the existence of the church. It's not like it's a non-denominational building...it's unabashedly Christian. So it seems like one of those basic things to me, and yet six members of the committee voted to approve the request. And that's disturbing to me. The thing is, if you toe the Lefty line, it's nice and "inclusive" to grant it, but I think it cheapens the entire reason for the church's existence. In other words, I think the committee is coming close to sacrificing faith for a PR move.
Plus, I'd assume the Islamic group would take issue with the large crosses in the church, along with the stained glass pieces depicting various Bible passages. What, would they be covered up and/or taken down? And what does it say about us that we'd allow such a thing to happen in our church?
Hey, I am nowhere near as offended by this as he is. But what can I say, I am an Episcopalian. But the reason I don't mind the request being granted is because I would see it as an opportunity to convert these lost souls.
If they want to use the Church, fine. But their use of the Church should come with the understanding that all the Christians who belong at the Church can use the opportunity to sway the godless Muslims from their path of sin to one of redemption. Pass Bibles out to them, read Bible verses, engage them in biblical discussions, compare the peace and transquility that Christ brings to the murder and mayhem that Islam stands for. Baptize them.
Heck, even serve them little pork sandwhiches.