The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Baptists Should Support The Gospel, Not Mosques. Period. Full Stop. EOF.

Posted on | May 23, 2017 | Comments Off on Baptists Should Support The Gospel, Not Mosques. Period. Full Stop. EOF.

by Smitty

Another day, another dubious proposition: Why Baptists Should Support Muslims’ Right to Build Mosques.

Had the occasion this morning to overhear people trying to puzzle out what all the fuss surrounding the Wailing Wall, in the news due to President Trump’s visit. The Old Testament is essential to understanding the Middle East, even if it’s more a source of talking points than inspiration for the regional leadership. I offered the group a quick sketch, then felt awkward for having “outed myself as a Bible geek”. But it helps bring home the point: Baptists, as such, are focused on the Word.

Mohammed, Islam, et cetera, are of a tangential, comparative-religion interest (at best) in a Baptist context. When you follow “the Way, the Truth, and the Light”, all other considerations are pure Sweet Brown. Baptists, in the spiritual sense of what it means to follow Christ, shouldn’t spare a moment for any alternatives not captured in the New Testament.

On a less reactionary note, there is the Bill of Rights. Because we really don’t want a theocracy (Jesus having personally given politics the Full Sherman Plus), we expect our leaders to have a confession of some sort, but not preach it on the stump, much less force anyone to toe a line about baptism, the Lord’s Supper, etc. We have an intellectual (i.e. not spiritual) set of restraints on the Federal Government that apply well individually, too. We can evangelize non-verbally through positive acts, and verbally when the time is right.

As an American, I am free to avoid caring about groups of people building on private property, whether or not I join in the activity. If it’s a Mosque, so be it. Just so long as local zoning details are attended to. For a casual study of Islam as a religion, as a Baptist, the whole thing appears incoherent, and I pray that the Holy Spirit touch the hearts of Muslims everywhere and liberate them.

The hypocrisy of those who criticize interfaith alliances for common purposes, like the alliance in the New Jersey mosque case, is that while they accuse such coalitions of putting politics before God, their underlying motive is to use the government to bolster and secure the faith of their choice. In reality, they are dishonoring the Baptist tradition of religious liberty established by those before them.

There is no hypocrisy in supporting the Truth to the exclusion of the alternatives. There is vast concern that these various interfaith coalitions are nothing but a distraction from the Great Commission. Let us all compare our local church to the letters to the seven churches in Asia at the opening of The Revelation, and adjust accordingly. Are we tomcatting around on our first love? I’ll fall short of judging.

Again: make a Bill of Rights argument, not a religious one. I can’t follow Cline, as a Baptist. Faith and politics are orthogonal. Faith is of the Spirit; politics is just a pile of rotting flesh. Cline conflates the two at his peril.


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