Recently, Fox News published an article entitled, Churches Open Doors to Muslim Worship. The article starts out with these words:
They see it as their Christian duty. But others disagree, saying it extends the hand of fellowship where it was never intended to go.
Two Protestant churches are taking some heat from critics for opening their church buildings to Muslims needing places to worship because their own facilities were either too small, or under construction.
One of these two churches, Heartsong, happens to be from my hometown of Memphis-Cordova, TN. Steve Stone, Heartsong’s senior pastor, wrote in Christianity Today that:
“No thought at all was given to the political ramifications … The decision was firmly based only on our understanding of the mission and nature of the church.” He also pointed out that “there was no trading of theologies. They are Muslims; we are Jesus followers; both of us are clear about that.”
As a counter to this response, Dr. Alex McFarland, theologian and radio talk show, claims:
“We as the church are called to show love, we’re called to help. But to let a building simultaneously be used for the activities of a mosque and also the activities of Jesus Christ, it’s just incompatible. And I think it’s one more example of political correctness and hyper-tolerance gone awry.”
This will increasingly become a sensitive issue to address amongst the church. We will still discuss and debate such important current issues as gender roles in leadership and homosexuality. But how Christians interact with those of other religions and faiths shall come to the forefront more and more.
What are you thoughts? Should Christian churches allow or not allow Muslims (or those of other religions) to utilise their building for worship gatherings and other activities?