What’s the matter with a mosque?

Christopher Hopper - What's the matter with a mosque?

Most of my readers know I don’t often delve into politicking here, as this is not a political blog in nature. However, when faith and policy meet, I feel obligated to chime in. How much more so as a Christian Pastor who lives in NY State when being asked about a proposed mosque in lower Manhattan.

While I think there are noteworthy points of interest raised up by both factions (those that think there’s no problem with building a mosque, and those that think it’s an outrage), I do have some very strong opinions.

First off, in defense of the mosque, I think it’s worth noting two simple points:

1.) There is an existing, operating mosque literally just down the street from the site of the proposed build. If you don’t want one, then you’ll have to close the other; that’s just consistent freedom-loving logic.

2.) If we tell someone they can’t build a mosque today, they could be telling us we can’t build a church tomorrow. So you’ll have to do better than just saying, “I don’t like mosques.” And sadly, while I think sensitivity plays a huge factor here, our culture is way beyond sensitivity and tolerance when it comes to anything Christian.

For the record, I live in America. And we have responsibilities long before we have rights. Or at least that’s what our forefathers believed. That includes the responsibility to build a religious place of worship that holds to the same principles that makes our nation great. So in that regard, I am most definitely not against the presence of a mosque in lower Manhattan (including the existing one just down the street).

But I am against Shari’ah Law and the teaching of it. And any mosque erected to proliferate it.

Quite frankly, I’m baffled why so may Liberals are not screaming against this. After all, unlike Conservatives who merely want to keep homosexual marriage from happening, those among the Muslim community who endorse Shari’ah Law also endorse the stoning of homosexuals; husbands divorcing women for any reason (but not the other way around); amputating limbs as penalty for stealing; stoning for the sin of adultery; and not to mention their caustic views toward infidels. (I’m guessing I fall into that category).

Please note, I have close friends and relatives who have committed their lives to reaching the Muslim world for Christ and are seeing amazing results. In fact, I know of a few ministers, who must remain nameless for the moment, who are leading unprecedented numbers of Muslims to Jesus in Pakistan as you read this. They are souls, period, and very important to God. But I’m not talking about evangelizing Muslims right now: I’m talking about the NY State Government allowing a Shari’ah disseminating mosque to be built in Manhattan.

Hold up. What’d you say?

If you haven’t been introduced to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf yet, perhaps you should read up on him here, here, and possibly here. Sure, it’s kinda’ strange that he’s gathering millions of dollars from outside the US to build the highly controversial Ground Zero Mosque; heck, if I wanted to build a church somewhere in Manhattan, I might ask friends in Europe to help invest in the project. But what Imam Feisal says to news networks in English is definitely not what he says to Arabic news agencies. From his views on Hamas as not actually being a terrorist organization, to his promotion and emphatic endorsement of Shari’ah Law within the United States, he is one of the last people on the planet I would trust with educating the young minds of future Muslim leaders in one of the greatest and most influential cities on the earth.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

I suppose I’m also deeply alarmed that NY State has voted against an even more important rebuild (besides the 911 Memorial; it’s been 9 years folks): St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Unlike this “new” place of worship that’s getting all the press, the one that was there in the shadow of the towers and whose congragation has since been displaced has been conveniently forgotten. And in regard to faith, exactly what faith is actually irrelevant: this place of worship has been a keystone in the community with a proven track record of promoting Constitutional albethem Christian virtues. That’s more than I can say for an institution and a leader that promotes Shari’ah Law.

So it’s not the religion, or even the location that bothers me professionally (even though it definitely bothers me personally), it’s what’s going to be preached. And I would think the same of any Christian church that taught that homosexuals should be stoned. Don’t build it, and give the permission and money to someone who’s actually going to value all human life.

Do you think the mosque should be built? Why? Why not? I’d love to hear from you. ch:

EDITOR’S NOTE 08-20-2010 9:57pm EST: I just heard a quote from one of the “unnamed ministers” I mentioned above who is speaking live in Sydney, Australia right now, and as I see it, making it OK to share his name and the quote. This is one man I will not argue with, and just leveled the playing field with one line. I stand speechless. Regarding mosques being built in the US: “…you are not going to them so God is bringing them to you!” -Leif Hetfield

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  • reenie

    Hey Chris really liked your perspective on this. When it comes down to it we must be consistent as Christians. Across the board love the sinner hate the sin……personally I think that 2 Mosques on the same street is a bit much, do they have demoninational differences as we do, then again 2 churches on the same street ……one Lord one united front for Christ -We have had this discussion before – Jesus prayed that we would be ONE just as he and the Father are one…. On another note I am personally having a hard time watching a mosque go up FIRST instead of the rebuild with the Memorial to our fallen countrymen. I am not against Mosques either, but as you pointed out above, it has been 9 YEARS!!!!! I have to ask WHY??? It also saddens me that the Greek Orthodox Church that was there has been forgotten by many (including myself). I am ashamed to say it is true, but given awareness now I find myself wanting to help them. Where are they meeting now ? What has happen to the Priests and the congregation as individuals? Greek culture is based quite heavily on family and community and the basis of both is often Faith. Thank you for making me more aware of this situation, I had no idea. Anyway I am all over the place with my thoughts on this blog….. I guess I want to say I don’t have a problem with the building , but I do have a problem with the teachings of the Koran….and the more I read the more I, like you, don’t understand our Country’s lack of care in requards to our safty both physically and spiritually. Thanks Chris love your guts!

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Thanks for all your thoughts, no matter how jumbled. (I actually stayed right with you!). I really appreciated your thoughts on a proposed order of rebuilding, and I’d like to add, if a potential developer was REALLY concerned about a community, they’d give toward a memorial FIRST, then restoring those buildings that were there previously, and THEN worried about their own interests. And your comments about the disassembled church are quite convicting.

  • Sean

    I don’t see any reason why this Muslim cultural center shouldn’t be built. They have just as much right as anyone to put up a place of worship.

    One thing that has baffled me is the distance it is from Ground Zero. This center is supposed to be built 2-3 blocks away from Ground Zero. Is there a cut off point where it would be ok to build this center? Is four blocks too close? What about ten blocks? Twenty?

    • http://sqlkeys.com Seth Delconte

      Why are you defending the rights of a religion that commands the death of homosexuals and oppression of women?

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      I love your clear and easy endorsement of the new facility. Very cool.

      But one question (as Seth was eluding to): how would the covert (or overt) teaching and dissemination of conduct the degrades value of the human life affect your decision on building any institution, regardless of exact faith? I’m curious.

    • Sean

      While I may disagree with the majority or even all of what is preached in this new mosque, they have the right to do it. That’s what makes the U.S. what it is, freedom of religion and freedom of speech. I don’t agree with churches that may preach that homosexuality is wrong but I respect their right to do it.

      I could easily turn the question around and argue that churches that attempt to smear evolution shouldn’t be built, but once again, it’s their right to do it and I respect that.

    • http://sqlkeys.com Seth Delconte

      Would you also respect the rights of the Ku Klux Klan to build a ‘cultural center’ near a holocaust memorial? Of course they have the RIGHT to do it…does that mean it’s appropriate? Although you are able to put words together intelligently, the content of your post doesn’t seem to make much sense. You do understand the difference between not condoning homosexuality and ordering parishioners to KILL them, don’t you? I guess the question really is the one I asked already: What would motivate someone to approve of a building that will be used to condone death, intolerance, and deception?

    • Sean

      If the KKK wanted to put a cultural center near a holocaust memorial, let them. Once again, they have every legal right to do it. Is it insensitive to do so? Sure.

      Of course there is a difference between condemning homosexuals and actually preaching about killing them. But once again, they have every right to preach what they want to. While I disagree with this, I respect their right to do it.

      I have no respect for the Westboro Baptist Church for protesting soldiers funerals. Do I think that is insensitive, yes. But like I stated several times now, I respect their right to do it. Freedom of speech comes in a variety of ways. You’re not going to like what everyone is going to say.

      I’m going to ask this again because no one has addressed it yet, how far would this cultural center have to be away from Ground Zero for it to be “ok”?

      Another question I have. Why would anyone want a building built that threatens people with hell fire if they don’t believe in their god?

  • Tami

    Great post, Chris. Well said, and I agree with you.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Thanks for stopping by, Tami!

  • http://sqlkeys.com Seth Delconte

    Good thoughts! Check this out…I commented on it…
    http://edsteinink.com/2010/08/18/no-mosque/comment-page-1/#comment-2540

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Thanks Seth. That’s a great article and I love the OKC tie-in. Good way of thinking about it.

  • http://the-narrowing-road.blogspot.com/ Seth

    So you don’t believe in homosexual’s being stoned? Just curious.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      At the risk of sounding ignorant, you were being sarcastic, right?

    • http://the-narrowing-road.blogspot.com/ Seth

      I wasn’t being sarcastic. It’s an interesting thought. On one hand, God wiped a city of homesexual’s with fire. While on the other hand, is it our judgment to make? And is that ‘too’ hard a judgment? I’m not sure, I was just wondering your opinion.

    • Sean

      I’m quite confused here, are you saying it’s ok to stone homosexuals to death? I want to know if you think it is morally permissible or not, not if your god does.

      If you are saying that it’s morally acceptable to stone homosexuals then I’m just at a lost of words really. How could anyone condone an action such as this?

      Let’s assume that your god actually burned homosexuals to death. I’m not sure how anyone wouldn’t label that an immoral action.

    • http://the-narrowing-road.blogspot.com/ Seth

      I don’t believe homosexual people should be stoned. I believed that the entire time, but it didn’t become clear to me until just now when I was making a sandwich. I rather was contemplating if that is what they deserve. But let me put that in context. We all deserve death because we’re all sinners, correct? Only be the grace of God are we allowed life to an extent. I was contemplating if being homosexual deserves stoning.
      That’s all I have to say on the subject, sorry I wasn’t clear.

  • http://www.tsdi.wordpress.com mooney

    Hey man, great post, and very thought provoking.

    I would say they have every legal right to build the mosque. They can fund raise from wherever they like, and place in charge any individual they deem suited. They have those rights.

    As a Christian, I say go ahead and build it. Our battle is not against flesh and blood and He wills that they all be saved.

    One thing I marvel at is the conviction with which Muslims live. What a dedicated people. I wish I had their determination and conviction. It’s always been odd to me that we are appalled that their zealots so willingly lay dawn their lives for their god (literally), yet we Christians are called to the same, not to explode ourselves and kill people, but to lay down our lives for the gospel. They give their very lives, I find it hard to lay down my pride.

    And oh, we are called to be the persecuted ones, so don’t be surprised when it happens. Is the servant above his master?

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Mooney, as always well said. I once told a Mormon who was trying to proselytize me, “If Christians were as dedicated as you are to missions, the whole world would be saved by now,” then added, “it’s too bad you’re involved with a cult.” That was mean. But true.

    • http://www.crmooney.com mooney

      WHOA!! wow.

  • http://www.galacticoverlordinchief.blogspot.com/ Galactic Overlord (Jason)

    I have heard among some commentators that the establishment of a mosque in a place where jihadists have waged a battle is intended to be a sign of conquest. While I doubt many Muslims take this proposed center that way, I think the more radical elements like Al Qaeda or Hamas would propagandize the mosque as a war trophy.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      It wouldn’t surprise me.

  • http://Infuzion.org Jay Trainer

    I think that I have a problem with something, anything already existing or wanting to exist, that does not promote the sanctity of life as one of its core values. I understand the respect for freedom of religion and what not but when those things compromise what our forefathers called and interpreted as our unalienable rights. What Christopher is bringing up here is an organization that completely goes against this in their teachings and practice. And I believe that this is wherein lies the problem.

    This is not a mere stance between Christian and Islamic faith. What we are talking about or what the issue is about is an institution that wants to defile the very core and foundation of what this country was founded on. We are, after all, living in a country where we are allowed “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” provided these don’t compromise our unalienable rights or others as it has been “endowed” to us by our Creator.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Well said; I think you just said what I was trying to communicate in a more concise form (thanks). The issue is not even Muslim or Christian, it’s ethics (which happen to be faith-based). The problem is that I’m sure this Mosque will be just as grey on those issues as their leader is.

    • http://www.crmooney.com mooney

      when a majority of this country does not believe in the Moral Law Giver, it’s hard to sell them on a moral law, and ethics. Without the absolute authority in the equation, its all relative rationalizations.

  • reenie

    Mooney – You Rock – loved your comments – just saying ! There is no greater LOVE than to lay down your life for a friend (or foe…) As Christ laid down his life for the lost, we as well should bare our own at the feet of the cross. Not encouraging the Islamic Jihad’s suicide bombings – but actually laying down our LIVES this means putting someone else’s needs before your own – dying to self, and even for some a physical death if they are called to it…All for the cross- Like you I too wish I had THAT kind of consistency and conviction !!!! And as far as being persecuted – you know we are just getting our feet wet here ! Christopher again thank you for sharing this !

  • Kevin

    Constitutional and legally they have the right to build a mosque where ever they desire. However, just because you can do something, does not mean that you should do that thing.

    Islam has a history of building mosques at a place of conquest. The vast majority of mosques in the middle east are built on top of temples and churches. Many of which where pillaged, desecrated, and destroyed during Muslim conquests. Many in Islam will see this Mosque as a symbol of the conquest of America.

    The name of this Cultural Center, Cordoba House, commemorates one of Islams greatest conquests and the destruction of a Christian Cathedral and the subsequent construction of a Mosque on top of the foundation of the former cathedral. One can not help but see this Mosques as a symbol of Islamic conquest.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Kevin, thanks for the clear thoughts on the subject. History has a way of making the present gray-areas understandable.

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/leila.salim Leila

      Kevin, Christianity has a history of building churches over mosques, Greek and Roman temples, even (pagan) ‘high places’. Sacred sites have historically been replaced over time by different faiths. Ask any archeologist. At a Tel site in Israel you may find a stratigraphy consisting of a church built over a mosque built over a church built over a Roman temple.

      Cordoba is one of those places where churches in fact replaced mosques. So this conquest symbolism can hardly be the aim. Not to mention the fact that they’re not actually building directly on top of, but rather a block or two away from, ground zero (the sacred site).

    • Kevin

      Cordoba was attacked and sacked in AD711 by a Muslim Army (Moors). The St. Vincent Cathedral was desecrated and destroyed by the invading Muslims.

      The Great Mosque of Córdoba, originally called Aljama Mosque, was built on the foundations of the former Christian Visigothic church of St. Vincent. After the Spanish recaptured Cordoba, AD1236, the mosque was eventually replaced with the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption).

      This isn’t the only example of a Mosque being built on the site of a church or temple, as a symbol of conquest. Jerusalem, Damascus and Mecca or just a few places, off the top of my head.

      As different philosophies, and religion is a philosophy, take hold in regions, existing structures are converted to use in ways that are consistent with that philosophy. Judaism and Christianity, and their temples, synagogues, and churches existed long before Muhammad created what is today Islam. The Ottomans, Moors and Arabs invaded Jewish and Christian lands in conquest. Islam has not been spread by the word, it has been spread by the sword, throughout it’s history.

      A mosque built at, on near, ‘Ground Zero’ is a symbol of conquest and the height of insensitivity. The Park51 Cultural Center, Cordoba House, is being built by the Cordoba Initiative. Lead by an Imam that supports terrorists groups, has said that America was complacent is the 911 attack and is a adherent to “Sharia law”. No exactly the face of tolerance.

      Christians and Jews are not the only ones speaking out against this Mosque: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/sports/Mischief+Manhattan/3370303/story.html

    • Kevin

      What I menat to say at teh end:

      A mosque built at, on near, ‘Ground Zero’ is a symbol of conquest and the height of insensitivity. The Park51 Cultural Center, Cordoba House, is being built by the Cordoba Initiative. Lead by an Imam that supports terrorists groups, has said that America was complicit in the 911 attack and is a adherent to “Sharia law”. Not exactly the face of tolerance.

      Christians and Jews are not the only ones speaking out against this Mosque: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/sports/Mischief+Manhattan/3370303/story.html

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/leila.salim Leila

      Interesting that in your words Muslims ‘destroy’ churches but Christians ‘replace’ mosques.

      You also write: ‘The Ottomans, Moors and Arabs invaded Jewish and Christian lands in conquest. Islam has not been spread by the word, it has been spread by the sword, throughout it’s history.’

      Let’s not forget the Crusades. The Crusaders did a bit more than ‘replacing’. Perhaps more than you might like to admit. ‘Conquering’ is no longer an acceptable way to grow a nation or spread a religion or philosophy, but can we really speak of the medieval past without considering that Christians and others did the same? Neither Islam nor Christianity employ this method any longer. Again, your ‘conquest’ symbolism is a big stretch.

  • Jean Benson

    As someone who lost a loved one on 9/11 I think it is disgusting that this man is trying to build this mosque. As you say there is already a mosque there so why do they need another one? Because they can. Because they are saying we are conquering this spot at this time. Because sooner or later they will try to make us all Sharia compliant. As was just said on Hannity- they are still finding bone fragments in this area. And this Imam said that America was compliant in 9/11. I don’t know about you but I don’t think that those 3000 plus people that went to work that day were an accessory to what happened to them. I find it abhorent (sp) that they are building there. The only building that should be built there is the one that was already there. The Greek Orthadox Church. If that makes me unChristlike., Sorry. I have no sympathy for someone who wants to destroy the country my husband spent 30 years of his life defending.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Jean: Thanks for your heartfelt thoughts; your passions are certainly understandable. We could never repay you for what you and your husband have sacrificed for freedom. THANK YOU.

  • Joe

    I can’t agree with Sean more. The freedom of religion is what this country was founded on! Do I LIKE them building a mosque at ground zero? No. However they have every right to do it, AND as an American, I would defend that right!

    • http://Infuzion.org Jay Trainer

      Joe, I hear where you are coming from and understand the pursuit of and the freedom of one’s own faith and religion. But what happens when their own organization and the foundations of it differ from the core and the essence of those same liberties for others that the country is suppose to protect?

      Do we embrace any institution or organization, welcoming them (with open arms even) if they infringe upon the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness endowed by our Creator as the Declaration of Independence states? I guess what I am asking for all is where is that line? While we can welcome any and all organization and faiths and religions to our sue their ways, when it compromises with someone else’s journey in the same pursuit of happiness by killing them because they’re different, then I have a problem with it.

    • http://Infuzion.org Jay Trainer

      What I meant to say at the end:

      While we can welcome any and all organization and faiths and religions to pursue their ways, when it compromises with someone else’s journey in the same pursuit of happiness by killing them because they’re different, then I have a problem with it.

      I think it is an ethical issue, not a religious one that compromises the core DNA or our country.

  • reenie

    Kevin : Love to hear your insight had no idea ! (and if this is Zoll- I love the history lesson Thanks!!!)

  • Jan

    Christopher:

    I always enjoys your perspective. You always bring out points that I hadn’t thought of. Do they have a right to build it? Yes. Is it the right thing to do? Depends on the reason for needing to build it there. If it is a monument of conquest, then no. I would hope that as a Christian I would be sensitive to the situation. My God tells me to love my enemy and to pray for him, to go into all the world and preach the Good News. Their god tells them kill the infidels if they won’t convert or to tax them, or to enslave them. Which one looks like the more peace loving one? Juat saying. Love ya

    • joel

      Just wanted to ask a quick question here.
      I would like to know how many Muslims you know personally who feel that way about you.
      I have traveled a decent amount, through several prominantly Muslim countries, and know many Muslims here in the States. I have never met one who would say that this is the Allah that they desire to follow and serve.
      I’m not saying they don’t exist. I’m just asking if you have ever known any.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Joel: So glad you joined in!

      Great question. The answer is, I’ve NEVER met any who hold to Shari’ah Law personally. So is the potential of that figure increasing worth resisting the building of a mosque by a man that potentially could spread it?

      Even since writing this article, politics aside, I’ve been RIPPED APART by Leif Hetfield’s quote above (that I left as an EDITOR’S NOTE). Now that’s divine perspective I believe.

      PLEASE comment more here: the conversation needs your perspective.

      ch:

    • joel

      The relationship between Islam and Sharia is very complicated and has so many layers withing Islam alone, not to mention the international community’s perspective. An Imam would never separate Sharia and Islam. What he means by Sharia is up for debate. We Americans with our “perfect” logic obviously think this means Saudi Arabia. Also, I have never met a Muslim who didn’t think that Hamas wasn’t a terrorist organization (they are actually much more than that. It’s a full social structure, including schools, hospitals, political structure, and of course rogue rockets).
      Considering his comments about the 9/11 attacks and US
      (policy) being accomplices in the attacks. That is actually a very common belief by many Americans, and is actually detailed in our 9/11 report. The idea that Western Policy in the Middle East has lead to more terrorism here and abroad is a thought that deserves much reflection (this is not saying that Americans are at fault).

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Man, thanks Joel. This is indeed a really strong, objective perspective that takes into account a lot of things we just DON’T know about because we are not as familiar with the culture as we should be. Politically I obviously perceive Sharia Law as being very black and white. But my perspective is biased and limited.

      I also like your first hand experience at never having met a Muslim that didn’t perceive a Hamas as being terrorist. That goes a long way given what you’ve seen and ministered to.

      I’m finding this issue really has to be LESS politics, and certainly less American politics (and Eastern as well), and–as far as being a Christian goes–becoming Kingdom perceived and understood.

      Can’t thank you enough for adding your thoughts. Very Jesus-like. And sobering.

    • joel

      “Also, I have never met a Muslim who didn’t think that Hamas wasn’t a terrorist organization…”
      NOTE:Just so I’m clear. I realized that I may need to rephrase here.
      What I ment to say:
      I cannot recall meeting a Muslim that sees Hamas strictly as a terrorist organization. In my experience, support for Hamas and support for terrorism are in fact 2 different conversations. Hamas is much more than a few suicide bombers and makeshift rockets.

  • joel

    Just wanted to add in a few thoughts here.
    I think we (Christians as a whole) are really focusing on the wrong issue when it comes this mosque. It seems we are more concerned with how we feel about it than we are concerned about how to follow Jesus in this situation. We have judged the “right to build” or the “appropriateness of the location” with hearts that are filled with adoration for the Constitution of the United States, Independence, Freedom of Religion, victims of a horrible attack, etc… Although all are real, serious and should be considered in this discussion, who are we really in allegiance to? Are we Americans first and then citizens of the Kingdom of God? Will we turn the stranger away from us because of our own prejudice? Or will we take this opportunity to welcome our so-called “enemies” with open arms, peace, mercy and grace – the way the prodigal son was embraced by the loving father – the way you and I were embraced by our loving Savior.

    This guy says it better than I.

    http://www.carlmedearis.com/blog/2010/08/a-new-york-city-jesus-mosque/

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Kingdom perspective VS American perspective…

      …that’s the bottom line.

      THOUGHTS ANYONE?

  • Tom

    How Many of you folks have read the Koran? We are to love our neighbor and pray for our enemies, but it would be a great idea to know what they believe before we judge them.Then you can witness to them and usher them into the Kingdom with knowledge. Thanks

    • http://joelhayden.wordpress.com joelhayden

      Couldn’t agree more with you, Tom. It’s interesting how we (myself included) judge so quickly without taking the time to get to know someone.
      I would suggest not only reading the Quran, but actually getting to know a Muslim. One of the churches here in Boston actually serves a Ramadan Iftar (meal to break the fast) to the Muslim population living in their community. How cool is that?

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Tom: Great insight. “Usher[ing] people in” should be our greatest concern. Thanks!

  • BRIAN CORCORAN

    KINGDOM VIEW –

    Let’s go back to the days Jesus walked the earth. I can only imagine 100’s of people hanging on torture stakes due to Roman Capital Punishment, the Roman Government butchering the chosen people for anything they felt opposed Rome.

    Here comes Jesus knowing all this and healed a Centurion’s Servant, a leader in the Roman Government, why?

    THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOT OF THIS WORLD.

    When we walk according to the spirit of this world, “Eye for an Eye”, we will not operate as Jesus does, Love your enemies and do good to those that persecute you. Easy to say, hard to do, the building of the mosque proves this.

    QUESTIONS: (1) Is it right to build a mosque?
    (2) Was is right for Jesus to heal the Centurion’s Servant?

    Political Views are not Kingdom Views….

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Brian: Thanks so much for adding these thoughts. Tremendous. I think this is the beginning of a larger discussion on a Kingdom view of our entire nation’s existence, and our call as representatives of a system “not of this world.” Thinking I’m going to post another article on this shortly.

  • Laurie Petrisin

    There is one perspective that is being completely left out here and that is the perspective of the American soldier and I would go one step further to say the Christian American soldier. It’s pretty easy to debate the merits and dilemmas of loving one’s enemies from the safety of our church pews and armchairs. When I say enemies I am not referring to Moslems in general. I mean specifically the Islamic Jihadists who rationally and systematically strategize to kill Americans. There is a difference between Islam and extreme, radical Islam. This is why the article that CH wrote above is important – because it makes that distinction. Don’t let warm, fuzzy feelings blur the line. You better believe that Osama Bin Laden and his ilk are fighting a religious war. Get a hold of the book “The Faith of the American Soldier” by Stephen Mansfield and read it. Pray for your brothers and sisters who are risking their lives in Afghanistan. You owe then that much.

  • BRIAN CORCORAN

    Sister Laurie –

    Jesus didn’t debate from the Church Pew, He was on the front line. He was in the heart of the enemies camp. The difference is Jesus knew He was going to die.

    That is why He came into the World. Muslims, Jihadists, or even our next door neighbor are not the enemy, Satan is. Satan has blinded the hearts of those that don’t believe. The battle “is not” flesh and blood. We are in “Spiritual Warfare”.

    We are living in the days of prophecy coming to pass, “The Love Of Many” is growing cold. The Church is called to Love with the same Love that God Loved us with, while we were enemies of God, He died for us. This is a supernatural walk, God died for all Nations, not just Americans.

    I retired after 26 years of Active Military Service. God Bless our soldiers, I take nothing from those on the front lines protecting our Country.

    Yet there is coming a time when Christians of America may have to give their lives in service of the Kingdom of God and not just for America. Walking in Agape Love is the only way someone will give that sacrifice.

    The biggest question on my mind is will I endure to the end to be saved, to be a representative of Jesus Christ, to allow God to live through me, to Love with a Love that reaches out to my enemy knowing he hates me? That is God, anything less than that is missing the mark.

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  • Laurie Petrisin

    Dear Brian,
    I thank you for your kind response. I have a brother who is a medic at a hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He’s flown out to the front lines where he tries to keep our guys alive after they have been hit. My son is a Navy pilot soon to be deployed. You were in the military for 26 years? Were you in the fighting? If you were, how did you justify killing the enemy? That is the question that needs to be answered for our soldiers, Sir. If it is self defense, that is one thing. But if it is in defense of some one else or in defense of one’s country, that is something all together different.This is the issue that is raised in the book mentioned above. These kids need clarity. The chaplains are pretty well gagged by the government as far as really preaching the gospel. These soldiers are looking for something real. They don’t want platitudes or armchair theology. They’re fighting spiritual warfare but it’s flesh and blood warfare too. I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

    Yes, we need Him. Nothing less than the Love of Jesus Christ Himself will suffice. God bless.