1 Corinthians 8:5-6 – For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
The next few weeks I want to discuss something that is pretty interesting, and important. Before I start writing about it, I want to explain this series. First, this is going to be a very polarizing topic. It crosses both political and religious lines, especially among Christians. Next, I am not going to give you my “opinion” until the final post in the series.
This series is going to span 4 posts. The first week I am going to discuss the event that brought about this series. Next week I will discuss the pro side of the argument followed by the con side the third week. In the final week I will discuss what I believe and why.
So, Fred, what is the story?
Back in May 2016 the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention joined an amicus brief to help protect the religious liberties of an Islamic group who was attempting to build a mosque.
An amicus brief is a legal document that is filed in an appellate court by people not associated with the case but who have strong interests in the subject.
The amicus brief was to help the Islamic Society in Basking Ridge NJ get approval to build a mosque. In December 2016, the court ruled in favor of the Islamic Society. The court found that the planning commission of the town violated the law when it required “more than twice as much parking in its site plan for a proposed mosque as it required for local Christian and Jewish houses of worship.”
Along with the ERLC, the International Mission Board (IMB) also joined the amicus brief. Because of that, one of the IMB’s trustees resigned because of the amicus brief.
Because of this, some Southern Baptist churches are withholding financial support of the Convention, including Prestonwood Baptist, a 41,000-member megachurch, who is withholding $1 million in support from the Convention’s state and national initiatives.
So after reading this, I decided to post on Facebook a simple question:
“How would you feel/react if your pastor or leader stood up against religious discrimination and signed a petition to allow a mosque to come into your town after the government intentionally made it extra hard for them to come in?”
I followed it up with asking everyone to give scriptural evidence for their views. There were over 70 comments and replies on the post, the most I have ever had on a post. The comments were by many people I consider strong Christians.
And the comments were all across the spectrum.
These comments were all by people I respect and admire
And they were all different.
I go to church with many of those who commented.
So over the next couple weeks I will look at the varying positions my friends took as well as those taken by others I admire as well. I will look at those who say that supporting the Islamic Society is an example of Christ’s love as well as those who say that we cannot support Christianity and other religions.
So next week I will tackle those who say we can, and should, support the Islamic Society.
Deuteronomy 10:17 – For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.