MUSLIMS IN CHURCHES
The Central Issue
The central issue in the article “Muslims in Evangelical Churches” by Jason B. Hood is whether or not we should allow Muslims the opportunity to worship in churches if they need to. It’s like offering an olive branch of peace that says, “You can worship here if you want. Jesus told us to love, so here we are showing you His love.” That is the immediate issue of the article however, there are underlying deeper themes.
The Peripheral Issues
The peripheral issues are of tolerance and brotherly love. Are we properly and correctly demonstrating the love of Jesus in our daily lives particularly with regards to how we interact with opposing religious ideologies? Aren’t we commanded to love everyone regardless if they persecute us? Are we bound by this commandment of love to accept any and all beliefs without voicing our concern or making a righteous stand? I’m afraid it’s a spiritual Catch-22 in a sense. The world may exploit our tolerance if we show them love and it may condemn us as bigoted if we don’t allow them to do whatever pleases them.
My position on the issue is probably not going to be a popular one considering today’s politically correct climate. Here is my question: Would we be tolerant of a Wicca ritual performed in a church? Do you think Elijah should have cozied up to the 450 priests of Baal at Mount Carmel and allowed them to worship alongside the Israelites in 1 Kings 18? One may say: “Wait, that’s not the same thing!” But, isn’t it really? Any belief that is not based on Jesus Christ as the Son of God, who was crucified and raised from the dead is false: that goes for Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Ideas From My Investigation
Some ideas from my investigation include the contradiction of Jesus saying anyone “who is not for Me is against Me” (Matt. 12:30) and “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). One is either for Jesus or against Him. However, we are to pray for and love those who are against Him. Is this love demonstrated in allowing said people to worship false gods in our church? Absolutely not.
How can we demonstrate the Greatest Commandment (Matt. 22:36-40) to those who do not know Jesus if we are never around them? Is allowing them access to our church “a way in” to start a conversation? Or is more likely: won’t Muslims just worship and then leave without any change of heart? The answer is: We go to them, not them to us. Luring Muslims into our church so they can worship their idols with the intent of hoping to convert them is bound for failure. A more direct approach seems more appropriate.
Support For My Position
My position is supported by scripture. In John 14:6, Jesus said that He is “the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” There are many other verses that verify and proclaim that only through Jesus can any be saved. John 10:9, Romans 5:2, Eph. 2:18, 1 John 5:20, and Matthew 11:27 just to name a few. I do not want to share my wife with anyone else and Jesus would not appreciate sharing His bride with Islam (Eph 5:25-27). God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14, Deut. 4:24, and Josh 24:19). He has made it abundantly clear to not have any other god before Him (Exd. 20:3). Allowing a group who so obviously disagrees with Christianity access to worship falsely in our church is dangerous territory indeed.
Postscript: This article is from Christianity Today which not a peer-reviewed journal and therefore not a scholarly resource.
Hood, Jason B. “Muslims in Evangelical Churches.” Christianity Today, (January 2011). Accessed April 27, 2015. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/januaryweb-only/muslimsevangelical.html.
Submitted to Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the completion of the course LEAD 635: Pastoral Ministry.