Should churches loan worship space to Muslims?

Some Christian churches recently have gained attention for lending their space for Muslim worship.

Nice brotherhood move, right? Not so fast, says a writer in Christianity Today, Jason B. Hood, the scholar-in-residence at Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis.

He points to Heartsong Church in Cordova, Tennessee, where Steve Stone invited his church's Muslim neighbors "to use their sanctuary as a makeshift mosque throughout Ramadan while the Islamic Center was under construction."

And Hood gives a similar example at Aldersgate United Methodist church in Arlington, Va., where an Islamic congregation was welcomed to use the church's space for Friday prayers for several months.

Both pastors cited the open door to worship space as a way of living out the way of life Jesus calls Christians to live.

But Hood takes a different spin, saying,

It is not self-evident that this duty requires us to provide property for false worship.

Hood has no truck with "absurd" attacks on Islam or the Quran or violent protests over new mosque construction. He just raises question after question over whether evangelicals who are supposed to be sharing the exclusive claims of Christ are undercutting this call by turning sacred space over to non-Christians for worship that, by his standards, cannot be "true" worship.

Love means leading people to Jesus, not aiding and abetting a different religion. And there are different ways to show brotherhood, Hood suggests:

Many intermediate steps to take short of facilitating worship: sharing recreational space and recreational activities, dining together, evangelism, clarity on the exclusive claims of Christ, and -- in our American context -- supporting the right of others to publicly assemble for worship are all important facets of the love command.

How would you mix the call to brotherhood and the call to evangelize? Should churches -- or synagogues or mosques -- share their spaces? Source

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