Members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church and the Islamic Center on Route 1 held a dialogue amid criticism of Christians allowing Muslims to use their churches as a place of worship.
In 2010, the Rev. Dr. Dennis Perry, lead pastor at Aldersgate, and church leaders agreed to allow members of the Islamic Center, which is under construction, to worship at Aldersgate. That drew criticism from inside and outside the church concerning the appropriateness of the decision.
Criticism from outside the church began when the magazine Christianity Today ran an article concerning the church’s decision. The magazine learned about the decision from a post on the Jesus Creed blog. The blog post included a sermon by Jason Micheli, a pastor at Aldersgate, which helped explain the reasoning behind allowing Muslims to worship in the church. Jason B. Hood, the author of the Christianity Today article, argued that Aldersgate appealed “to the love required of Christians as an authoritative guide for their decision-making.” Hood questioned, “Does the facilitation of false worship violate the love command?”
According to Perry, criticism from inside the church dealt with two primary concerns. The first concern questioned whether the church was surrendering the faith in an effort to be popular or politically correct. The second concern questioned whether Islam condones abuse towards women, and if so, wouldn’t that make the church complicit in the behavior. Perry did say that although some members have voiced concerns, many members do agree with the decision.
Sheik Yusuf Estes may have alleviated some of the concerns of those in attendance when he explained the Koran does not condone abuse towards women. Estes explained the Koran teaches that men are required to protect women and those who find a license for abuse in the Koran are misguided and do not understand it. (Read more.)
"Those who find a license for abuse in the Koran" would include Muhammad himself, Abu Bakr, Umar, and many other Muslims down through the ages. Surah 4:34 is quite clear:
Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
I suppose that any church gullible enough to let Taqiyya-Extraordinaire Yusuf Estes explain Islam was asking to be deceived. This sounds like the same nonsense ABC News has been feeding Americans.
(Click here for a careful treatment of women in Islam.)