Last Friday, in the name of “religious unity,” several hundred Muslims gathered in the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. to pray. The Muslim call to prayer echoed off walls built in the name of Christ. There in God’s house, they spread prayer rugs on the floor and invoked the name of Allah.
The more I contemplate this, the more heartsick I become. Today as I looked at photos and read articles I felt as though I’d been punched in the gut. Think about this for just a moment:
Devoted followers of Mohammed recited Muslim prayers in the same sanctuary where a Cross hangs. And they were invited to do so.
This event is nothing short of sacrilege. By definition it’s idolatry – the worship of a false god. Franklin Graham put it like this:
It’s sad to see a church open its doors to the worship of anything other than the One True God of the Bible who sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to earth to save us from our sins,” said Graham. “Jesus was clear when He said, ‘I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’ (John 14:6).
I believe that in our communities, in our nation, and around the world we must work together with people of all faiths, races, and creeds. We must show love, respect, and kindness to all. But Christians cannot compromise on the Truth revealed in Jesus Christ. Especially in His Church.
There is but one Lord (1 Corinthians 8:6). And His name is Jesus. There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Salvation is found in no one else. Jesus Christ is God Himself revealed to mankind (John 1:14).
To allow prayers to a false god in a Christian church is an act of idolatry. The event last Friday was an affront to our living God. And the leaders of the National Cathedral sanctioned it. Don’t think for a minute that the Muslims who prayed in the Cathedral are tolerant of our Christian belief that Jesus is Lord. They hold fast to this creed: “There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.” On this they will not compromise.
If you think I’m making too much of this, maybe you should consider if you’re taking it too lightly. I feel strongly that Christians in America should take a stronger stand for Christ. The tide has turned in our country and we have a choice. We can drift with the current or we can hold fast to our Savior.
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Kathy, just a quick comment after reading your thoughts. First of all, The National Cathedral symbolizes religious freedom in America. It is but an edifice built by man of stone, brick and wood, and maybe some plastic parts too! The “church” is the believers assembled there. As far as tolerating Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or even Atheists and Agnostics to participate as they feel so inspired presents a real opportunity. Rather the Christian keeping a wary eye on the prayers of the others, what that Christian bearing the idea that the others are keeping a wary eye on them. Luke 6 presents an interesting perspective from Jesus about our relationships with others based upon compassion and not judging, and in return the same may flow back to us from others. We will never have an effective life-altering relationship with others until we are comfortable with each other and the walls of fear and anger are dropped. Those kind of walls placed Jesus on the Cross. Did God say oops when the others were born? Or when we rejected others as worthy of our relationship? The National Cathedral is not the Holy of Holies of the Temple, and thankfully so because it exists no more except in our hearts. How open and confident is your heart towards others created by God?
Please accept my comments as one who has traveled and seen both sides of the walls. Outreach infers we must learn how to reach out with compassion to all.
God bless all your efforts…
Hi Mike, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I do understand what you’re saying. I completely agree that we must develop open, caring relationships with all kinds of people so that we can be the light of Christ. And you are so right about the church being God’s people not a building. Jesus loves all people and offers salvation to all, yet there are truths on which He will not compromise. Jesus is the only way, there is but one God and Savior. And He also threw the money changers out of the Temple because they were dishonoring God. We can reach out to all with compassion without compromising the truth of Christ. There are simply lines we cannot cross. Sanctioning a Muslim prayer service in a building dedicated to the worship of Christ goes beyond embracing and loving all people. It’s an action that says “we accept and condone these prayers as appropriate worship.” In my opinion, it’s a stamp of approval that shows these leaders are putting this prayer on the same level as the worship of our holy God. “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Christians would never be allowed to conduct a prayer service in a mosque because Muslims would consider it an abomination.
I so appreciate your heart! I can hear your love for others and your desire to share Christ. And thank you again for sharing your thoughts. I do think the dialogue from multiple directions is helpful!
My first thought when I heard this news story was Jesus’ comment that if He be lifted up, all men will be drawn to Him. These Muslim men, and those of other non-Christian faiths, prayed in the shadow of the cross that was on the wall. My prayer is that the power of the Cross was able to reach into their hearts.
Sherry, that’s a great prayer for these circumstances!
Thanks for putting into words what so many are feeling. Especially liked your last paragraph. I just would like to add one more point that comes to my mind concerning the event that took place at the cathedral. One of the problems in reaching Muslim people for Christ, here in this country, is the fact that they often view American Christians as not serious about the Christian faith. So events like this just add to the difficulties of reaching them with the gospel. In my experience, I’ve found that when I have been able to begin to make any progress in reaching a Muslim there was first their realization that I was different than their view of Christian. The difference being mostly the fact that I am sincere and sure of what I claim to believe. The one thing that is not needed is more wish-washy, tolerant, cater to man style of Christianity. Let us be strong and bold in the faith. So thankful there are people like you who are able to put things into words so well. God has certainly gifted you.
Lynn, thank you for adding your thoughts. I think you’ve touched on something important. I have had similar thoughts about Christianity in the US in general, but have not ever connected it with our witness to people of other faiths as well as you just did. Thanks again!
Kathy, thank you for your insight. I agree that lines were crossed and we must be diligent by not crossing the line. By no means do I think there is an opportunity for other religions to come into a Christian church and offer up prayers to a false God. Obviously we must have compassion and do everything we can to leverage relationships to reach them with the Gospel.
I am grateful for you and your ministry friend!!!