Letter to FREDERICKSBURG.COM:
Was it the spirit of Christ or antichrist that descended upon St. George's Episcopal Church on Nov. 14?
"Salaam on Islam: Waging Peace on Muslims in the Spirit of Christ--A Fresh Approach to Looking at Islam for Christians," was a lecture given by the Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler, an Episcopal priest, before an audience of Christians and Muslims.
Building bridges and creating friendships between us was the reverend's praiseworthy intent, but at what cost?
The Rev. Chandler began by inviting us all to pray with him The Exordium, a prayer to Allah taken from the first verse of the Quran. As Christians, should we pray to Allah, and should a Christian priest lead such a prayer? Is Allah of the Quran the same trinitarian God of the Bible?
Ironically, the reverend brushed aside the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed by referring to the New Testament's creedal statement that "Jesus is Lord."
He insinuated that the church was creating doctrine (adding to Scripture) instead of interpreting Scripture in fighting heresy.
To emphasize his point, he said that Christ was not a Christian. The Rev. Chandler even went so far as to say that we should rethink the Christ figure. Think of the Lord Jesus Christ this way: He is the eternal Son of God, who became man. He was and continues to be God and man in two distinct natures and one person forever.
Read the Bible and see how the creeds flow from it revealing the true and living God, and the person and work of Christ.
Gandhi--a Hindu who rejected Christianity but admired its ethics--was respectfully mentioned several times. And we were taught the five pillars of Islam, but, the cross of Christ and His resurrection were never once mentioned. Moralism carried the night. We ended with a Muslim prayer.
"Silence" is paramount to denial when the person and work of Christ are not openly confessed in dialogue with Muslims. Therefore, the spirit of antichrist did indeed descend upon St. George Episcopal Church.
The writer is a student at Reformed Theological Seminary.