Are Church Houses to be Open to Other Faiths?

Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church at B...
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I’m just not sure I could go this far – if I was the one in charge – but is their a chance here to witness to the Christian faith?

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.

Heartsong Church in Cordova, Tenn., let members of the Memphis Islamic Center hold Ramadan prayers there last September. And Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Va., allows the Islamic Circle of North America to hold regular Friday prayers in their building while their new mosque is being built.

Diane Bechtol of Aldersgate says this is something Christians are called to do: Be neighborly and develop relationships – even those who don’t share your beliefs.

via Churches Open Doors to Muslim Worship –

Churches should be reserved for the cause of Christ, but can you see that happening here?

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6 Replies to “Are Church Houses to be Open to Other Faiths?”

  1. Chapels and prayer rooms in some hospitals and airports are multi-faith, with a crucifix and an arrow pointing towards Mecca. You would object to this too?

    1. No I don’t think it’s quite the same, as there are issues of practicality and finance etc in hospitals and the like, which I appreciate.

      Churches are dedicated soley (or should be) to the worship of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

    2. No – those chapels are meant to be interfaith and ecumenical. I’m not saying I’m completely against it, but it would be difficult for me to do. I think that Ken raised good points, however.

  2. I think it depends on how you look at the building.

    For my own part, I see our church building as a building owned and used by our church. It’s also used for a lot of other things other than worship.

    Now and then, someone will use our very large projector as if in a movie theater. While “The Princess Bride” and “Spider Man 2” are really good movies, I don’t think that watching either (as I have done) counts as Christian worship.

    I’ve attended weddings and funerals held in our worship center for non-Christians.

    Our building is the main polling place for the town come election time.

    I don’t think that I really object to this, because we’re not talking about the Old Testament sanctuary. It’s a place, but the only thing sacred about it is what happens there. And that is no more or less sacred for what happens there the rest of the week.

    I can’t imagine my church actually doing this, and I’m not sure how I’d talk about it were I facing this decision in real life, but I think that there is something to be said here about being open and loving to our neighbors, even of other faiths.

    If you want to reach out to Muslims, then you have to start somewhere. Maybe a sort-of radical act is that place.

  3. I think this question raises some deeper concerns about what and how it is we consider Church. I am of the opinion that church is the body of people and has nothing to do with the buildings. After all the early church met in the catacombs as well as in peoples houses.

    There is nothing sacred about the building in any way; as it only becomes a sacred place through the body meeting there with God.

    Though I wonder if those local churches would allow the church of satan to meet there for the same reasons they are allowing the Muslims to do so.

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