What Are They Thinking???!!!
I really don’t know what to say about this situation. It is beyond disturbing to me. It is so far beyond disturbing that I honestly cannot think of anything that would be worse at this point.
The complete and total lack of respect for the house of the Lord is overwhelming. The fact that the elders in the church allowed it to happen is astounding. The congregation who sat there and listened while this utter blasphemy was being blasted through the church building should be ashamed. But they are not, and that is the problem.
What am I talking about?
I am referring to the fact that St. Timothy’s Anglican Church in Spring, Texas has hosted an “Interfaith Dialogue” concerning the topic of forgiveness between an Anglican priest and a Muslim Imam. The two shared on the topic from their varied backgrounds and then had a time of questions and answers.
However, during the time given to the Imam, he stood behind the pulpit of St. Timothy’s Anglican Church, the place from which the Word of God is to be preached and declared to the people of God in the power of the Holy Spirit, and quoted from the Qur’an. I say he quoted from the Qur’an, he actually sang the verse, which is how Muslims quote from the Qur’an.
This is problematic for several reasons, other than the utter blasphemy against God by allowing this to happen in a church building in the first place.
First and foremost, Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God. If that is not apparent to people by now, then we have all done a really poor job of teaching and learning the differences between the two.
God is most definitely not Allah. Allah was the name of a minor Arabic deity that Mohammad was deceived into believing he was receiving messages from when he was having his “visions.” However, God the Father is the Almighty Creator of all things. He is revealed to us in God the Son, Jesus Christ. He draws us to Himself through God the Holy Spirit. God is One, yet He is three distinct Persons. How this is, we do not fully understand here on the earth, but we will understand more when we are with Him for eternity.
Secondly, no church should host an “interfaith dialogue” or any interfaith meetings. This goes beyond the realm of the church, or any of the buildings of the other faiths. When people of differing faiths come together, it should be in a neutral building.
How would we feel if the local Satanic Temple decided to invite a Jewish Rabbi, a Roman Catholic priest, a Muslim Imam, an Anglican bishop, and members of the general public to an interfaith meeting to be held inside their building? Would we even consider this a problem?
Sometimes when I look at the condition of Christianity, I don’t think very many people would have a problem with such a meeting. I think most people would consider it an opportunity to “evangelize the unsaved in the community.”
Let me put it this way, if groups want to have interfaith meetings, which I think are a bad idea in the first place, rent out the conference center of a hotel or a library or anywhere besides the church. The pulpit of the church is the epicenter of the church. It is the place from which congregations are taught the Word of God. It is the table from which we eat. If there is anything coming from the pulpit that is contrary to the Word of God, that church has left its mandate and the pastor should resign.
Finally, and certainly just as egregious as the first two issues, is St. Timothy’s Anglican Church itself. Looking through their website, it would appear that they do not even agree on what they believe. At one point they state they believe in the two ordinances of the church being Baptism (infant baptism being their preferred method) and the Lord’s Supper; in another place they state that they hold to all of the same ordinances as the Roman Catholic Church, adding on Confirmation, Confession, Marriage, Unction (AKA Last Rites), and Ordination.
I cringe every time I see a supposed Christian church hanging on to anything that was added to the faith by the Roman Catholic Church. A quick scan of their Facebook page shows that they participate in all of the supposed “Church” holidays: Ash Wednesday, Lent, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Advent, and the like. They even invited their children to come and have breakfast with Santa Claus last year. How ridiculous!
So, I ask the question: What are they thinking?
I am not sure what the answer may be. I do hope that we can all learn from this church’s self-destructive mistake and stop this kind of thing from happening in our own churches.
I will say this for them. Whether it was heart-felt or simply a way to get out of trouble, the pastor (Rector or whatever Anglicans call that position) has come out and said that it was “inappropriate” for the Muslim Imam to sing the verse from the Qur’an in the pulpit.
No sir! What was “inappropriate” was the fact that you allowed this event to happen in your church. What was “inappropriate” was the fact that you did not protect your flock from harm. Even the bad publicity from this event can harm the flock you are meant to guard and shepherd.