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Issue Of Muslim Prayer In Christian Churches Heats Up

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Two Protestant U.S. churches are creating a stir by opening their church buildings to Muslims for worship, as reported on Fox News. In the latest response, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Founder and President of BOND called this a dangerous and foolish trend being promoted by weak Christians.

BOND (the Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny) describes itself as “a national, nonprofit religious organization dedicated to ‘Rebuilding the Family By Rebuilding the Man’.” For its part, the Right Wing Watch website has reported in the past that “Jesse Lee Peterson of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny has carved out a unique niche for himself as the far-right’s arbiter of who/what is racist and who/what is not racist in today’s political environment.”

Jesse Lee Peterson
Jesse Lee Peterson

According to Peterson, “This is an example of tolerance gone wild. I see many so-called ‘Christians’ misrepresenting Christianity as a timid and passive faith. The Bible says love thy neighbor, but it doesn’t say anything about turning Christian sanctuaries over to Muslims.”

“This is a dangerous and foolish trend,” he continued.

According to the Fox News report, Heartsong Church in Cordova, Tenn., let members of the Memphis Islamic Center hold Ramadan prayers there. And the Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Va., allows the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) to hold regular Friday prayers in their building.

Appearing in a “Fox and Friends” interview US presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee regarding the issue, referred to Islam as the “antithesis of the gospel of Christ.” That brought the ire of the US Muslim group CAIR, which called on Huckabee “to apologize for ‘inaccurate and offensive’ comments about Islam and to meet with Muslim leaders to discuss growing Islamophobia in American society.”

In turn, Huckabee, as reported by the Examiner, “while speaking to an Evangelical Christian publication implicitly endorsed a scheduled Congressional hearing on the alleged threat of Shari’a (Islamic law) and attacked what he called ‘special treatment’ for Muslims as ‘un-American’.”

In the same vein, Peterson insisted that, “ICNA, one of the groups using church buildings for worship, describes themselves as ‘a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through the promotion of Islamic values.’ What ‘Islamic values’ are they referring to?”

He added, “Are they promoting Sharia? Is this group affiliated with the extremist Muslim Brotherhood? These are legitimate questions.”

In Peterson’s opinion, “These churches don’t understand their own faith, and they’re ignorant about Islam. The Quran tells Muslims that Christians and Jews are infidels and worthy of death. If Christians allow Muslims groups to take over their churches — it’s just a matter time before they will overrun these communities.”

Outside of the US, in Belgium last year a Catholic church allowed worshipers from the Gilly mosque in Charleroi to use their sanctuary after they were left without a place of worship. On the other hand in Spain, there have been various attempts – and arrests – as Muslims have tried to pray inside the Cordoba Cathedral, which used to be a mosque. As an AP report noted in a April 2010 article, “The mosque was transformed into a cathedral in 1236 when King Ferdinand III captured the city from the Moors. Since then, except for rare exceptions, Muslim prayer rites have been forbidden inside.”

“Unless Christians in America wake up and recognize this domestic threat, it’s only a matter of time before America, like Europe, will be forced to make concessions to radical Muslims,” claimed Peterson. “I can assure you that Muslims would not allow Christians to worship in their mosques.”

Despite Peterson’s affirmation, in May 2001, Pope John Paul II was the first pontiff in history to enter a Muslim place of worship when he visited the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, Syria. While in the mosque Pope John Paul II prayed at a memorial to St. John the Baptist inside the mosque.

Likewise, in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI prayed in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, and later said the prayers was “not initially planned but it turned out to be very meaningful”. It was a prayer to the “one Lord of heaven and earth, merciful father of all mankind,” Pope Benedict said.

6 thoughts on “Issue Of Muslim Prayer In Christian Churches Heats Up

  • February 26, 2011 at 9:11 am
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    Jesus called pharisees sons of the devil for not accepting Him. What do you think He’d call Muslims whos’ god has no son.
    Those people need Gospel, not affirmation in their idolatry.

    Reply
    • March 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm
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      I think he would treat a Muslim with charity and mercy, exactly like he treated the Canaanite woman mentioned in Matthew 15 and Mark 7. Under the Jewish commandments (mitzvot), all Caananites, except for one community, were to be killed. Matthew tells the story this way:

      “21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

      “23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

      “24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

      “25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

      “26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

      “27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

      “28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.”

      Except for hypocrites, liars and the like, Jesus did NOT turn people away and even cited those despised by the Jews as examples of virtuous living (e.g., the Good Samaritan).

      Reply
  • February 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm
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    The rise of ISLAM, will be the One World Relgion, and the next pope will be the False Prophet!
    Unbelievable that “Christians” have watered down their faith to a standard of Doctrines of Demons?
    Our local United Methodist Church has a “Sunday school” teacher who teaches Buddisism???
    End Times are at the door – The great decption is at hand! Wake up church – JESUS is the Standard of reference only! He would not condone false doctrine, as the Anti-Christ is just that “anti – christ”

    Reply
  • February 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm
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    The Bible clearly states that Abraham took Isaac up the mountain to sacrifice him and God provided a lamb at the last minute. The Koran clearly states that Abraham took Ishmael up the mountain to sacrifice him and God provided a lamb at the last minute. One of these accounts is a lie.
    I have heard it said, “What’s the difference the point is a father was willing to sacrifice his son for God and God spared him”. The implication is enormous and Muslims know it. If it was not Isaac that was taken to be sacrificed then the rest of the story is a lie and the Jewish people and Christianity do not exist.
    The Biblical account was written about 3500 years ago by Moses. The Koran was written about 4100 years later around 630 AD by Mohammad’s followers. Today, we have over 24,000 different pieces of biblical text, some dating back before the first century. In all of our study, archeology and research we have never found any information that suggest that the Biblical text has fundamental changes over time. We are talking about changes in the fundamental teachings, not variations of word meanings an punctuation.
    So now you want me to believe that suddenly in 630 AD one man was given a revelation that the information passed down over the past 4000 plus years is wrong! I’m sorry the evidence doesn’t support that claim.

    Reply
    • February 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm
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      Sorry, you’re wrong on both counts. The Qur’an does not say that the son of sacrifice was Ishmael (although many if not most Muslims believe that he was).

      Furthermore, a careful examination of the Biblical record shows that although Isaac seems the most likely to be the son of sacrifice, a case can (and has been made) that it was Ishmael.

      Michel Hayek, a Lebanese Christian priest wrote and entire book on the subject in 1964: Le Mystère d’Ismaël (The Mystery of Ishmael)

      The story of Abraham and sacrifice is not a guessing game about which son was to be sacrificed. It is about the willingness of Abraham to submit totally and without question to Almighty God’s command and the willingness of his son (whichever one it was) to also accept God’s command and go willingly with Abraham to the altar of sacrifice.

      It is also about God’s substitution of a ram for the boy, thus signifying that God did not desire and would not except human sacrifice on his altars.

      Reply
  • March 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm
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    There’s a big problem with the Pope referring to God as the “merciful father of all mankind”. Christianity teaches plainly that God is GOD to all mankind, but He is only FATHER to those that believe on his SON. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father but by me.” If you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then how can you call God your Father?

    Reply

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