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    Should churches rent their space to Muslims for worship?

    Should churches rent their space to Muslims for worship?

    Steve Stone from Heartsong Church in Cordova, TN is under fire.  You see, he recently invited a local muslim congregation to use their sanctuary as a makeshift mosque during Ramadan while their new Islamic Center was under construction.

    Seems that Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Arlington, VA is doing kind of the same thing... inviting a local muslim congregation to use church space for their Friday prayers.

    According to Cathy Lynn Grossman, the religion editor for USA today, both pastors say that this is a way of 'living out the way of life Jesus calls Christians to live.'

    Not everyone thinks this is a good idea, including Pat Robertson (who publicly spoke out against it) or Jason Hood, who wrote a column condemning this over at Christianity Today.

    Here's a bit from the Christianity Today piece:

    Both of the pastors allowing Muslim worship on their property appeal to the love required of Christians as an authoritative guide for their decision-making.

    The theological issues at play come down to whether Jesus' love command also requires leaders to avoid causing undue stumbling; or, as Wesley put it, the command to do good works includes avoiding causing or leading others to harm, whether they are believers or unbelievers. Does facilitation of false worship violate the love command?

    What do YOU think?  Is this stepping over the line?

    Does your church allow outside groups to use your facilities?

    Non-Christian groups?  (like boy scouts, AA, weight watchers, community groups)

    What would your reasons TO ALLOW or NOT TO ALLOW a group of muslims or jehovah witnesses from using your church?  Or a meeting of the Benny Hinn fan club?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts...





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    1. Peter Hamm on Fri, January 07, 2011

      I can’t speak for Brian, Kim, but I can speak for me.

      There is only one reason I would not support our church being used for worship by a local mosque.

      Because their faith and the practice of it is diametrically opposed to the Gospel of Christ, and the Gospel of Christ is what we are trying to reach people with. It shows us, therefore, to be people with no real strong conviction about our faith, if we think theirs might be worthwhile, too. Islam and Christianity can not both be right.

    2. Jan on Fri, January 07, 2011

      I agree with you Peter.  It’s heresy and by giving them meeting space we are supporting it.

      I would say this about any other group that does not promote the gospel of Jesus Christ as in the Bible and exist to promote truth and the way to salvation.. be they Buddhists, Mormons, etc.

      We have many groups use our building and we do not charge them.  We see it as a connecting bridge building moment to our community… the library, census training, etc.

      But if they claimed and preached another gospel, and that was there reason for existence, they would not be there.

    3. simon on Fri, January 07, 2011

      It’s not about what we think and what our reasons are!
      But more importantly, what God expects of us. God did not want Israel to live among and dwell with the Canaanites,Hittites,Hivites,Perizzites etc (Joshua 3 v10). To do so would be to invite trouble. They were instructed to keep themselves Holy. Would God have welcomed them inside HIS TABERNACLE?

    4. Brian L. on Fri, January 07, 2011


      I’m not sure I said most of what you think my last post said, so let me try again, using your comments:

      This is what I�m understanding from your last comment - we shouldn�t allow Muslims to use our sanctuary while their building is under construction because:
      1) the majority of other churches wouldn�t, so we shouldn�t either. 

      Where did I say that?  The issue isn’t what most churches WOULD do, but what all churches SHOULD do because of the absolute contradiction between Christianity and Islam.

      2) They wouldn�t let us use their mosque if the tables were turned.

      I didn’t mean that this is a reason to not open our churches to them.  It was meant to illustrate that the “openness” you think we should offer would not be returned (nor would I expect it to because of my answer to number one above).

      3) it would compromise our worship space (how? would they leave behind bad juju or something?)

      It would compromise our worship space because of the fact that we worship the God of the Bible and they worship the God of the Quran.  They are NOT the same God, and therefore God equates that to idolatry and false religions.  That is the compromise.  You actually think God’s okay with worshiping other gods?

      4) we�d be embracing Islamic worship (how is it embracing Islamic worship just by being neighborly?)

      We are embracing when we say it’s equal to Christian worship.  In our “tolerant” culture (which, btw, seems to be extremely intolerant of biblical perspectives - hypocritical, no?), condoning means acceptance and yes, embracing.  This is much more that being neighborly - it’s condoning worship of a false god.

      5) we�re afraid of a)what others might think

      Where did I say that?

      and b)appearing weak.

      To those who we’re trying to reach, yes.  If they see people with weak convictions regarding Christianity, then why should they seriously consider it?  Why should ANYONE seriously consider it if they see people who have such weak faith that they can throw it out for the sake of political correctness and false notions of tolerance?

      Correct me if I�m wrong, but Jesus didn�t seem to care much what others thought.

      True - but He never threw away His convictions for the sake of PC, either.  He died for His convictions and when the religious establishment told Him to be quiet, He refused.  It got Him killed, remember?

      Bottom line: when we allow falsehood to come alongside of truth, truth gets compromised.  In this case, it’s the truth of Jesus being the only way.  To allow Muslim worship is to say that Islam is as valid as Christianity in the eyes of God (not just the eyes of those around us), and that is not compatible with the Bible.

      If a person doesn’t believe that the Bible is God’s authoritative Word, then it’s easy to believe Islam is equal to Christianity in terms of truth.

      I hope that clarified what I was trying to say.

    5. Kim Aliczi on Sat, January 08, 2011

      >>>>If they see people with weak
      convictions regarding Christianity, then why should they seriously consider
      it? Why should ANYONE seriously consider it if they see people who have such
      weak faith that they can throw it out for the sake of political correctness
      and false notions of tolerance?<<<<

      I appreciate your response, Brian, and yes, it did clarify things a bit, thanks so much for taking the time.  I think your quote above might be the main point we disagree on.  You see opening up your sanctuary to another religious group as politically correct and false tolerance.  I don’t.  I also don’t agree that truth will inevitably be compromised by associating with falsehood.  I associate with falsehood every day, and so do you.  We have to associate with people drowning (unknowingly) in falsehood in order for the truth to be revealed to them, hopefully sooner rather than later.

      I don’t know what the “right” answer is, and Todd always seems to ask these crazy questions that don’t have easy answers - it must be entertaining, or something, LOL.  There are clearly so many different layers here, and I find it challenging, as do you, I’m sure, to sort through what is really important and what is simply our own prejudice.

    6. Justin Phillips on Sat, January 08, 2011

      I think that it is a show of love and respect to let them use the facilities. Muslims in Egypt are rallying to protect Christians, should we not do the same? If we are showing them a calloused, uncaring attitude of “o no, you can use our building made of WOOD and METAL for your worship”, how is that a good witness to them?

      The building is a place for worship to happen. It is not the holiest of holies. God is in a Mosque as much as in a church, and desires for us to reach Muslims with the Gospel. I think that letting them use a facility is a testimony to tolerance and hopefully a light of love that we can shine into their lives.

      For Egyptian Muslim story:

    7. jerry krewson on Sat, January 08, 2011

      Maybe what I wrote in an above post was silly and simplistic, but those in agreement with loaning their church facilities to the Muslims seem to be basing their opinions on the issue simply from an emotional point. Feel good, tolerance are the buzz of the day in our society.

      I have cited a couple of biblical arguements against the loaning of the church facilities to the Muslims, but so far no responce. So let me ask my questions to those who are in the affirmative for allowing Muslims to use the church build.

      As you read Rev. 2:12-17, do you think, taking into account what John wrote and warns about the teaching of Balaam and the teaching of the Nicolaitans, that if the Pergamum church had opened its doors for those groups to use whatever place the church met at, John would have deamed it ok and proper? Please explain to me how John can rail against the teachings of those false religious groups, but might possibly encourage the church to allow them the use of facilities?

      Also, I would ask the same questions in reference to Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. No doubt, she has been teaching falsely in the church. But there is no repentance in her, and she is going to pay dearly. Do you really believe that John would sanction the loaning of their worship place to Jezebel to teach her false religious beliefs that have been so condemned by John?

      Again, I have not seen a biblical arguement
      FOR opening the building up to the Muslims, just philosophical arguements. I have placed forth a biblical arguement against an open door policy, and I look forward to you who are for open doors to show me my wrong reasoning, based on the Bible.

    8. Brian L. on Sat, January 08, 2011


      Thanks for that response.  I do see your point about truth not be automatically compromised.  My point is that in matters of eternity, it is very important that it be seen that these two are not compatible at all.


      Your point about Muslims protecting Christians has been dealt with in an earlier post - the difference is that the Muslims in the Christian church setting is not an issue of physical violence, but an issue of convenience for the Muslims and what it communicates to people: that Islam and Christianity are compatible.

      As to your point about God being in the mosque as much as in a church, that is only true in the sense that God is omni-present.  It is not true in the sense that God views Islam as a valid faith, because it contradicts what the Bible says about God, Jesus, and truth.  They both cannot be true because they contradict one another.  Therefore, God is not looking favorably on Islam (if the Bible is true) and is not “in” the mosque as He is in a Christian church.

      However, let me also be quick to say that there are plenty of “Christian” churches that He is not “in” as well!

      Blessings on the both of you!

    9. Kim Aliczi on Sat, January 08, 2011


      Not going there, my friend, because you and I both know that pretty much anyone (even fellow conservative Christians!) can find biblical support for pretty much anything (Westboro Baptist comes to mind).

      The question to followers of Christ is simple - what would Jesus do today in this situation?  The answer, however, is not so simple, at least not to me.  I can only do what I believe in my heart, in accordance with Jesus’ life and teachings, to be the most God honoring course of action.

      You can call it an “emotional, feel good tolerance buzz” all you want.  That’s not what compels people who truly seek out the lost for Christ.  This is not an “I’m ok, you’re ok” deal any of us are talking about.  From what I can tell, we all take our faith in Christ and the Word of God pretty seriously here.

    10. jerry krewson on Sat, January 08, 2011

      Please know that if I come off snarky, I don’t not mean what I say that way.

      You said: Not going there, my friend, because you and I both know that pretty much anyone (even fellow conservative Christians!) can find biblical support for pretty much anything (Westboro Baptist comes to mind).
      ——Are you saying that you do NOT use anything biblical to support any of your positions? And yes, folks like the Westboro’s use bogus scriptural arguements to justify their postion. But we can not throw out the baby with the dirty water. The teaching in the Bible are still relevant and profitable for correction, teaching…. It is too simplistic to say, not going there because of the abuses of others.

          So if I was arguing for Jesus as the only way to heaven, and cited John 14:6, would you not go there because as you say: “Not going there, my friend, because you and I both know that pretty much anyone (even fellow conservative Christians!) can find biblical support for pretty much anything….”? I ask you then, what issue would you use scripture as a defense for an issue? Or is using scripture out of bounds for the reason you cite?

      You also say: The question to followers of Christ is simple - what would Jesus do today in this situation?  The answer, however, is not so simple, at least not to me.
      ——The only real way we know what Jesus would do comes from the Bible. All else is pure speculation. And for me, the issue at hand is simple because of the scriptures I cited.
      MAKE IT a great day.

    11. Pastor/Evangelist Mark A Jones on Sat, January 08, 2011

      Folks, folks, I came on this site for ‘news and information’ not conflict and heated discussions. Did I miss what this site is about?

      Everyone has difficult situations to pray about.  Muslims cannot be accommodated without them over taking Christians.  We must as Christians unit, take a stand for Christ, and move forward.

      As with any other religions, Muslims, Islam and all other non-Christian religions must have us reach out to them to bring them to Christ.  Not justify their beliefs.

      If I misunderstood the reason for this site, please let me know.  Further, please forgive if I have offended anyone.

      God Bless.

    12. Brian L. on Sat, January 08, 2011


      This site is for discussion (often passionate) as well as news.  One of the great benefits of the site is that we can present divergent views, and be forced to consider those divergent viewpoints, even if we disagree with them.

      Generally the conversation is civil (as it should be between Christians), even in the heat of debate.

    13. Rev Eric on Sat, January 08, 2011

      I believe that a church needs to protect its beliefs and values. When I am out of town on vacation, I make it my business to know who is preaching because I want to make sure he/she does not not speak contrary to our beliefs. Therefore I would (as my church board) not allow a religion of opposing beliefs worship in our church as it would for us be a form of blasphemy.

      Though it may sound cliche, I would support that group’s right to worship and come to their defense if I believed their rights were being violated by not being allowed to build. I believe those are separate issues.

      I also believe that not all Christian churches share the same values. So while some may open their doors to other religions, others will not.

    14. Pastor/Evangelist Mark A Jones on Sun, January 09, 2011

      Thanks Brian.  I appreciate clearing up my confusion.

      God Bless.

    15. Kim Aliczi on Sun, January 09, 2011

      Hi Jerry,

      I appreciate your frustration, but I’m just not interested in getting into a biblical argument with you. smile  Maybe someone else has the time and energy, but to me, it’s just not worth it, because I’m still exploring the implications of this whole issue.  As I mentioned earlier - I don’t know what the “right” answer is.

      If you want to believe I have no scriptural basis (because I’m not interested in arguing with you) for wanting to consider loaning a church sanctuary to a group of muslims as a possible outreach tool, go right ahead.  The words and teachings of Jesus are generally good enough for me when it comes to loving God and loving my neighbor as myself.

      Just a final thought - don’t assume someone disagrees with you just because they question your position. smile


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