It was with interest that I watched an interview between a Pastor and a Muslim leader in Melbourne today on Sunrise (17/9/2013). The Muslims want to build a Mosque next door to a church and the pastor was making a case as to why they shouldn’t be allowed to do that. I was asked on Facebook what would my reaction be. Good question.
In Australia as a Pastor and as a Christian, I enjoy the freedom of religion that we have in this country. I can go to whatever church I want and worship in the way that I want. I can tell people about Jesus in the streets if I want to:- without fear of arrest. My children can go to a State school or a Christian school. Now the fundamental issue of freedom of religion is that other religions enjoy the same freedoms otherwise its not freedom of religion at all. So if a Mosque wants to build next door to Nowra City Church, then I would see that as a statement on the freedoms we have as a nation. I would not protest against it.
The other aspect of this is that I believe that all people need faith in Jesus Christ and so if a Mosque was built next door to Nowra City Church, I would look for opportunities to tell these people about Jesus.
Having said all that, if the Mosque leaders then were offended by the Carols that happen in Nowra at Christmas time or the nativity scene in Nowra Stocklands, and wanted them stopped, then I would be vocal about that. I think there needs to be an understanding that we are a nation founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic and as such we celebrate Christmas and Easter as a culture.
For the record, the Nowra City Church Canberra Campus, Impact Church in Monash, is over the road from a Mosque and they, with our permission, use our car park from time to time when they have a big event on.
Categories: Australian, Current Affairs, Nowra City Church
Thank you, Peter, for posting this piece. It’s a welcome change from the “grab your torches and pitchforks” approach that’s too often taken in Christendom.
Straight forward, basic and logical.
We are called to preach freedom to the oppressed – not to oppress them further!
and I am glad that you mentioned the other side as well in that we ought to be vocal about other religions wanting to take away our “freedom”.
Totally agree. Having worked in Islamic countries as a missionary I am always amazed when certain Christian groups protest about Muslims coming into Australia. From my point of view, we have spent years and a lot of money sending missionaries to Islamic countries at the risk of their own lives. – Now all we have to do is walk next door and invite them to our BBQ… (be it an alcohol free halal one).
AMEN Pastor Peter
Hey, what a gracious & balanced approach – I was a bit uncomfortable watching that interview – For we wrestle not against flesh & blood but principalities & powers – spiritual wickedness in high places – the dark rulers of this age
Well said Peter,
Currently, we have people living in Australia who come from over 200+ other countries and cultures. As I believed for some time, prophetically, that Australia is to become a ‘sending Nation’ for the Gospel! These people are all candidates for Christian Salvation! Once saved, with training they could return back to their homelands as ‘instant missionaries’! They probably had family and friends living there. They would never suffer from culture shock as there what to expect; they would know how to avoid the local taboos; they would have no language problems; and they would love the food! I believe this is the way the Church can turn a negative into a positive for Jesus Christ’s sake!