Put down the bean pies and scream to the eastern sky! Here comes the mega-mosque! Thanks to this story from the Pew Forum, we learn that more of religion – be it Christian or any other – is solely about the bottom line.
Many of these “mosque chains” brand themselves as progressive, and sometimes feature gymnasiums and mixed-gender prayer areas for men and women. Some groups even host weekly services at churches or synagogues with the expressed goal of fostering interfaith goodwill.
“If they weren’t Muslim, they’d look like one of the biggest Catholic churches you’d ever seen, from an organizational standpoint,” said Marshall Medaf, president of the Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation in Ashburn, Va., which last month agreed to rent prayer space to the All-Dulles Area Muslim Society.
Don’t hate on Imams for doing to their religion what the “seeker-sensitive” movement has seemed to do to Christianity. Muslims gotta eat too, you know?
This doesn’t take a MBA sophisticate to understand what is going on here – the ubiquitous bottom line. The answer to some prayers are regretfully not “A-men” but rather “Ka-ching.” It seems that is a universal absolute now as well.
The high level of organization reflects a shift among U.S. Muslims from the “immigrant uncles” who once held sway in American mosques to younger native-born Muslims, said Muqtedar Khan, associate professor of political science and international relations at the University of Delaware. “A certain kind of sophisticated thinking is now beginning to emerge because people who were born in the U.S. are taking over,” said Khan. “There are lawyers in the Muslim community — they weren’t there before. The management is learning how to work things out.”
Now if that doesn’t sound like the introductory proposal to a comprehensive business plan, I don’t know what does. But, can you blame them? It’s a trend like Starbucks coffee in the oughts, Hammer pants in the 90s, glam metal bands in the 80s and uh, hot-tubbing in the 70s. And like most trends, this too shall pass.
There are many… MANY… armchair religious pundits that believe what Ed Young, Bill Hybels and Rick Warren are tools of the enemy liquidizing the Gospel in a self-aggrandizing effort to populate their own city on a hill.
Consider Acts 2:41-47, specifically verse 42:
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
THIS is the Church, and if any of the aforementioned churches are falsifying the Bible, fellowship, communion and advocating prayers, then they are truly unbiblical. If these mollycoddled sanctuaries are less than faithful to these adherent sacraments, then they got larger issues than having you calling them out.
However, if you truly have an issue with them, consider this: the reason they are “in business” is because they understand other so-called sanctimonious churches put them “out of business”.
By leaving the light on, propping a door open and removing all notions of “business as usual,” people that were scorched by hypocrites, sycophants, parvenus and backbiters in the pews are giving God one more chance.
Oh sure, the pablum is like God-lite, but dare to ask yourself what’s worse? The homogenization of God’s word to remove all conviction, sin and judgment from the ears of those in attendance almost assuring decisions for Jesus but no real walks with Jesus? Or the fact they are there because of so-called Bible-totin’, Jesus-lovin’, God-fearin’ folk – some they considered their “brothers and sisters” – whose sore mouths and bad attitudes put them in that pew in the first place.
Either way, folks… the Church needs to wake up, stand up and speak up. Jesus is alive and well and known for having a good time. We should notify our faces about that… or shut up at the very least.