by Al Benson Jr.
My last couple articles have dealt with problems in the Southern Baptist Convention, specifically with their Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and its position as a non-governmental entity in the United Nations, which position means that it has to agree with the objectives of the United Nations as expressed in the UN Charter. Suffice it to say that such objectives are at war with the Christian faith.
However, in all honesty, there are other churches that have similar problems. Lest anyone think I enjoy picking on the Southern Baptists ( I don’t) I will note an article recently read that deals with the Presbyterians (of which I am one, but not, thank Heaven, in the denomination noted here).
In an article on http://www.layman.org the headline for June 22nd read “Prayers to Allah offered at PCUSA’s General Assembly plenary session” The article started out with “Allah bless us and bless our families and bless our Lord. Lead us on the straight path–the path of all the prophets: Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.”
There was more but that’s enough for you to get the idea. The prayer was offered by a Wajidi Said from the Portland Muslim Community, as part of the “first order of business” during the opening plenary session of the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The article noted that: “At the conclusion of the afternoon plenary session on Wednesday, June 22, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Rev. Gradye Parsons, offered an apology. He said that he had become aware that some had found the prayer of Saturday offensive. Parsons said that sometimes mistakes can be made in ecumenical relationships and stated it was not intentional.” I’m glad someone was offended! My question is–Why do you have a Muslim even praying at the beginning of a Presbyterian General Assembly to begin with??? Whose brainchild was that? Did someone sit up all night thinking that one up so the local Muslims wouldn’t be “offended” that a Presbyterian meeting was being conducted in their area?
Does it even begin to occur to anyone that when you entertain people of different religions as part of your program you are surrendering a little bit of your Christian truth so they can give you a little bit of their pagan error? Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to reach people of other religious persuasions with the Gospel. You should. But inviting them to come in as unbelievers and pray in your official meetings shouldn’t be one of the ways you do it. That just doesn’t cut the mustard!
More and more in our day we seem to be seeing a brand of evangelicalism that has a soft underbelly that is open to all manner of compromise with anyone and because we seem to have gotten to the point where we don’t stand for much of anything anymore, the world runs over us and we let them. I’m sorry, but this is not Christian love. It is abject surrender and we should not be doing it.
I wonder of the PCUSA ever took any position on taking down Confederate flags? If they did, I almost shudder to think what it was.