Islamic terrorism is a huge problem. But that doesn’t mean all Muslims are terrorists. Those who aren’t are useful allies in the war against extremism. It’s important to work with them to make the world a safer place. However, some Christians seem to have taken this idea too far.
According to reports, a church in North Carolina was recently converted to a Mosque by a group of Christians. They did so in an attempt to respect the local Muslims in the community. Although many in the community praised the act, some were concerned.
In an effort to show respect, several Christian pastors in North Carolina agreed to sell them a local church sitting on four acres for $230,000. They then worked with them to help convert the church into a mosque. Instead of destroying the crosses they removed from the building during the conversion, the mosque leader, Ali Muhammad, decided to give them back to the pastors as a sign of good faith.
Rev. Jim Melnyk, a pastor of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Smithfield, North Carolina, praised the mosque leader for doing so. “What they were attempting to do is honor our tradition and so they wanted to turn the crosses over to us,” he explained.
The local Muslim community had originally reached out to the pastors through an interfaith group. Melnyk confirmed this, telling reporters, “they were reaching out to us, and we were reaching out to them.” They hope that the mosque will help establish a “warm and respectful” relationship between the two faiths, which Melnyk pointed out “share common origins and scriptures,” in order to show that not all Muslims are dangerous extremists.
To further prove this, the pastors agreed to participate in the mosque’s opening ceremony. Melnyk reasoned that doing so was appropriate because they all worship the same god. “Christians, Jews, and Muslims are all people of the book, and we all claim what the Hebrew Scriptures call the Abrahamic faith,” he explained, noting, “we call it the Old Testament, and Muslims also claim the Bible.”
Despite what Melnyk said, some are opposed to the idea of working with the Muslim community, even if they aren’t extremists. They claim that some of Islam’s teachings are inconsistent with democracy, teach hatred against others, and spread lies about Jesus. They also don’t believe that Muslims worship the same god as Christians…