“But, add feelings to the list of those things that are now subject to scrutiny by the Islamist lobby in this country. First actions (South Park). Then words (Franklin Graham). Now feelings (Juan Williams). But, where will it end, especially in regards to Islam? Your guess is as good as mine. If CAIR and NPR keep getting their way, most Americans — both conservatives and even a few liberals — may no longer be able to recognize the First Amendment. Remember, the slippery slope always starts somewhere!” (From “Slippery Slopes: Speech, Islam & NPR“)
We can now add common-sense, reasonable opinion to that which is no longer worthy of First Amendment protection, at least if CAIR (Council for American Islamic Relations), the Daily Kos, and other left-wing, anti-Christian groups get their way. The latest example of the slippery slope and the frontal assault on Free Speech and American values involves the host of Fox News’ “Huckabee.”
Mike Huckabee, a former (and perhaps future) Presidential candidate, is an ordained Southern Baptist pastor from Arkansas who has pastored churches in that state and was even elected President of the Arkansas Baptist Convention (SBCVoices readers get brownie points if they can name the candidate Huckabee defeated in that 1989 contest — answers based on internet searches do not count). Huckabee, a conservative both theologically and politically (despite what the aforementioned defeated candidate’s Wikipedia page states – you can click on this link if you’re just dying to know), dared to offer an opinion regarding two Protestant churches who have opened up their facilities for local Muslim groups to use.
The two churches, Heartsong Church in Cordova, Tennessee and Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, have both received criticism for their decision to allow Muslim groups to meet in the churches’ facilities. Last week, in an interview on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” Gov. Huckabee was asked his opinion:
“As much as I respect the autonomy of each local church, you just wonder, what are they thinking? If the purpose of a church is to push forward the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then you have a Muslim group that says that Jesus Christ and all the people who follow him are a bunch of infidels who should be essentially obliterated, I have a hard time understanding that. I mean if a church is nothing more than a facility and a meeting place free for any and all viewpoints, without regard to what it is, then should the church be rented out to show adult movies on the weekend? I mean where does this end? How far does it go? I think the church facility, dedicated and paid for by people for the purpose of the gospel and the mission of the gospel ought to somehow be given at least a semblance of consistency with its intention.” (as quoted in Associated Baptist Press, see here)
As a fellow Southern Baptist, I would likewise affirm with Gov. Huckabee that the autonomy of the local church is a vital principle that should be respected. But, respect (and tolerance for that matter) does not equal acceptance or silence, no matter how much the intolerant left keep trying to make it so. I’m quite sure that leftists have a different definition of respect and tolerance when it comes to those who dare to disagree with their politically correct way of thinking. And, don’t look for the lunatic left in this country to stand up for Westboro “Baptist Church” or other fringe groups anytime soon.
What Mike Huckabee said, particularly regarding the purpose and mission of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is not only Biblical, but entirely reasonable — that is, unless you are so intolerant and radicalized in your thinking that you cannot see plain truth if it was standing right in front of you. Oh, that’s right — Truth is standing right in front of them, but many still reject Him! While I am always concerned about the witness of any church that holds itself out as a “Christian” church, my main concern is not necessarily with the two churches in Tennessee or Virginia that allowed non-Biblical religions to worship non-Biblical gods in their facilities. Quite frankly, they have every right to use their property as they see fit, even if those rights are completely and utterly foolish. Sadly in our nation today, what is legal ain’t always right.
However, supposedly Christian churches, in defending such foolishness, cannot escape scrutiny by twisting Scripture. Arguing that allowing Muslims to use church facilities is nothing more than a straightforward application of the Biblical principle, “love your enemies,” shows not only a simple misapplication of Scripture, but a gross distortion of God’s Word (Joel Osteen would be proud). I don’t think God was so tolerant as to like Baal worship in the Temple. Gov. Huckabee, in calling these churches to task, should be applauded, not condemned.
But, condemned is just about what has happened since Gov. Huckabee spoke truth to the powers-that-be in our politically correct culture. From the usual suspects at CAIR to the unhinged left at the Daily Kos, the drumbeat continues to grow louder for Mike Huckabee to not only retract his statements but to grovel and apologize to the Islamist lobby in the United States of America.
I, for one, hope that Gov. Huckabee does issue an apology. In fact, I have one that he could use. It is fresh in my mind because I just used it this past Sunday during the messages that I preached at my church. Using Psalm 2 as the text, I shared about the One, True God — God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit — eternally co-existing, three persons of the Trinitarian Godhead (no modalism here). I talked about this One, True God — Yahweh, the God of Israel — and His Anointed One, Jesus Christ. I shared with the congregation how all other gods are false gods and how all other so-called prophets of these false gods are themselves false prophets. I named names (just for Dave, a sly Seinfeld reference)!
I knew what I was saying could be offensive, so I offered a simple apology that went something like this:
“I am sorry if the truth offends you, but the truth is sometimes offensive and the Gospel is always offensive to those who set themselves against the One, True God and His Anointed One, Jesus Christ. However, I will continue to preach the truth in the United States as long as I am able.”
I would fully support Gov. Huckabee if he made such an apology. However, I would strongly encourage him to stand firm against the attacks being waged against him by CAIR and others on the intolerant left. When it comes to the Gospel and Person of Jesus Christ — who is fully God and fully man — the Second Person of the Trinity, the One who was crucified, buried, and Resurrected, ascended into heaven, and who is returning one day, as the conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah – there can be no apologies or compromise.
Even as the slope gets more slippery, I would encourage Gov. Huckabee and others to stand firm and not cede one inch of ground when it comes to the truth of the Gospel and Person of Jesus Christ, regardless of what CAIR thinks!