In what can only be described as an act of defiance against Christianity and a naively dangerous move, the National Cathedral in Washington, DC this past Friday hosted its first EVER Muslim prayer gathering. Organizers for the event included CAIR (Counsel on American-Islamic Relations), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the National Mosque.
Since 1907, the National Cathedral, a Neo-Gothic Episcopal Church, has been the location of state funerals for three presidents, as well as the site of numerous prayer gatherings. The stunningly beautiful facility is most remembered for being the location of the globally televised prayer service following the 9-11 tragedy. In 1977, I had the opportunity to visit this remarkable building for the first time. That short visit is still etched indelibly in my mind.
Yesterday’s event was not without protest. In fact, a Michigan woman was able to get past the tight security and into the invitation only gathering. The unnamed woman shouted the following statements before being forcibly removed from the building. “Jesus Christ is on that cross over there. Get out of our church! Leave our church alone!” Though not arrested, the woman was kept outside the church for the duration of the service. Following the conclusion of the prayer event, the protester did explain why she interrupted. “I didn’t do it for myself. I did it for the Lord!”
Very interesting to me is the fact that this lone protester was from Michigan, the location of the largest Muslim community in the nation in Dearborn. Her protest may have been additionally motivated by what is happening to that formerly prosperous area. During the hay day of the automotive industry, Detroit and the greater Dearborn area was the home of 1.8 million people. Today, amid bankruptcy and complete economic collapse, the greater Detroit area houses only 700,000, the vast majority of whom are Muslim.
This Muslim gathering occurred under the typical banner of tolerance and “worship of the same God!” Unequivocally, I say, “Allah and Jehovah are NOT the same Deity!” Muslims and Christians do NOT worship the same God, but just call Him a different name! Where is the tolerance of other belief in predominantly Muslim countries? There is NONE! Where is the allowance of worship of Jesus in majority Muslim nations? There is NONE! This attempt to express tolerance is nothing but a ruse, cleverly disguised to advance the false ideology of Islam. The very fact that it was allowed in the National Cathedral underscores the dramatic advances Islam has made during Barack Obama’s tenure! Fortunately, Franklin Graham took to social media to squarely communicate his disapproval and the truth relative to this disgraceful occurrence.
In addition to the ideological blindness that has engulfed our nation, there is a growing theological deception as well. The disturbing number of religious leaders who are departing from traditional orthodoxy is stunning! From the denial of Penal Substitutionary Atonement (PSA) and the accompanying belief in Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT), both of which are fundamental doctrines of our faith, to the apparent reversal of belief on aspects of homosexuality, the trend is beyond disconcerting. Thankfully, there is a significant kick back against these unfortunate shifts by individuals and organizations who are committed to the authority of the Scriptures on these, and all, issues.
Perhaps THE issue that will define the 21st century church is homosexuality and the church’s response to it. Years ago, I used to wonder how Jesus could say, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Needless to say, I no longer wonder! The departure from deeply held truth is staggering to behold! Paul’s words in 2 Thessalonians 2, ring clear. “That day shall not come except there come a falling away (apostasy-a falling away from a prior held position of truth) first.” Surely we are experiencing that departure from the truth NOW!
A couple of evenings ago, over dinner, my wife and I were discussing God’s giving of the 10 Commandments. While Moses was in the holy Mount receiving God’s law, the people of Israel quickly corrupted themselves to the point of erecting a Golden Calf. Once that idol was in place, the Scriptures state that the people, “sat down to eat and drink and rose up to PLAY.” The “play” was a sexual play–a pagan revelry that give full vent to the passions of their flesh. What is intriguing is that Aaron calls this false worship “a feast unto the LORD.” This is not labeled a feast to the Golden Calf (a practice copied from the pagan Egyptians), but one dedicated to the LORD. In other words, Aaron was directing worship to the LORD through means of pagan practices adopted from Egypt!
Is not this the parallel practice today? Some within the “church” are attempting to “worship God” via the world and its pagan, Biblically denounced practices. There is absolutely NO way God will accept homosexuality as legitimate, much less a lifestyle that can be practiced in worship to Him!!! NO! A thousand times NO!!! Yet, twisted, distorted, perverted minds insist on attempting to do EXACTLY what Israel tried to do–make acceptable to God that which He has already condemned!
If unchecked, the slide toward acceptance of that which God calls evil, will continue! My dad used to say, “That which we tolerate we eventually accommodate. And, that which we accommodate, we eventually embrace!” May the church of Jesus Christ resist with all she has the toleration of evil–be that evil the rejection of critical elements of soteriology or the embracing of homosexuality! And, may the preachers of this land be guardians of truth and protectors of the pulpit when it comes to both!
President, HOPE Ministries International
President, North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN)