Islamic Services In National Cathedral: Episcopal Church Irrelevancy Increases
Today the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. will host its first Islamic service.
This service should come as little surprise as the progressive movement of the Episcopal Church, of which the National Cathedral belongs to, enters an ever downward and deeper stage. The Episcopal Church once meant something of seemingly eternal significance in the United States. The leadership of the Episcopal Church, the descendants of our almost former national religion, the Church of England, gets more progressive every year yet wonders why more and more people leave their church.
The Episcopal Church is the spiritual home of leftist guilt. Feeling bad over how much they have been blessed with, they naively seek to give their wealth and doctrine away and while ignoring clear Biblical stances on issues such as marriage.
These stances, or lack thereof, have caused many congregations to vote to leave the Episcopal Church. Episcopal Congregations with storied histories such as The Falls Church Anglican (the church where George Washington was a vestryman and of which the City of Falls Church, Virginia is named after) have broken away from the Episcopal Church in recent years due to issues of Biblical inerrancy.
Despite this exodus the Episcopal Church has not reevaluated its stance, except to get more progressive in teaching and angrier towards those who leave. The leadership is not the hippie Jesus they paint themselves to be.
In Binghamton, New York the Church of the Good Shepherd broke away from the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York over the issues of Biblical inerrancy. The Church of the Good Shepherd continued to thrive despite not being able to keep the church property they had once worshiped on. After some time the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York put the church property in question up for sale. The Church of the Good Shepherd was interested in buying their old property and offered the Diocese of New York $150,000 dollars for the property. The Episcopal Church refused to sell the property to the Church of the Good Shepherd. Instead they sold it to a Muslim group. The Muslim group offered only $50,000 dollars for the property; $100,000 less than the Church of the Good Shepherd offered. The Episcopal Church was not done; a clause was added that the property could not be sold to the Church of the Good Shepherd in the future.
Apparently the Bible believing Church of the Good Shepherd is more offensive to the Episcopal Church than Islam. Congregations that choose to remain with the Episcopal Church, often tied to our national soul, tend to shun the whole Bible yet have a particular fondness for accommodating Islam.
In 1789, George Washington effectively consecrated St. Paul’s Chapel, an Episcopal chapel in New York City, as one of the spiritual homes of the United States. After his inauguration on the steps of Federal Hall in New York City (across the street from the current New York Stock Exchange), Washington led a parade of Congressional officials up Wall Street and Broadway to St. Paul’s Chapel, an Episcopal church, for a prayer service. Washington worshiped at St. Paul’s for the rest of the time New York City was our national capitol.
St Paul’s Chapel is the oldest church building in continual use in the City of New York and is located across the street from the World Trade Center. It survived the Great New York Fire of 1776 and also the events of September 11, 2001 when not a single window pane of the church was broken, despite massive damage throughout the rest of the neighborhood after the collapse of the World Trade Center. The chapel became a hub for rescue workers to pray, eat, sleep, cry, and be counseled in. Rescue workers slept in the pews, including Washington’s personal pew.
After even that event St. Paul’s Chapel, the Episcopal Diocese of New York allowed Islamic prayers to be said in the chapel. The pews of St. Paul’s Chapel, scarred by the equipment and sleeping bodies of firefighters, soldiers, police officers and other rescue workers are now gone and replaced by a new age style of chairs that offers no privacy, no focus on the Cross in front of the church, and has many fewer reminders of that special time.
The National Cathedral, home to the funerals of Presidents and the stirring National Prayer Service after the events of September 11, 2001, is seeing fit to allow an Islamic service today. Islamic prayers have been said as a part of interfaith services at the Cathedral but today’s event goes beyond that as a full fledged Islamic service. Many Christians find the service troubling as ignoring the First Commandment of not having other Gods.
Troubling for religious and non religious citizens is that the service is co-sponsored by several Muslim groups including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Both groups have been identified by the Justice Department as “belonging to the Hamas wing of the radical (Muslim) Brotherhood” and were named as unindicted co conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terror case.
In 2007, California Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer pulled an award she was giving to a CAIR official after researching the organization. The same Newsweek article that told of Boxer’s pulling of the award also said that the Executive Director of CAIR refused to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization.
In 2003, New York Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer said powerful members of CAIR, specifically Omar Ahmed and Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmed, had “intimate links with Hamas.” Schumer also said “we know [CAIR] has ties to terrorism.”
In the same 2003 hearing Illinois Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin said “from what I have read [CAIR] is unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its association with groups that are suspect.”
The Episcopal Church will seemingly try any accommodation with almost any group except accommodation with those who actually came from its ranks and believe in an eternal, and compassionately unchanging, view of Scripture.
From Binghamton, to New York City, to Washington, D.C., to our national sites, to places less famous, the Episcopal Church is dying. Almost as clear as the law of physics, as the church leadership embraces leftism, the people leave. The Episcopal Church seeks to be relevant to society instead of shaping the culture and being the enemy of the world that Jesus commanded.
It remains to be seen if the guests of the Episcopal Church will speak out at the National Cathedral, directly and by name, against genital mutilations, forced marriage, polygamy, non Western judicial standards (more witnesses needed for women accused of crimes), beheadings, death by stoning, forced clothing ensembles, women not being able to drive, and other acts.
The likelihood of this is about as likely as evangelical Christians being invited to preach in Mecca and increasingly, in the Episcopal Church.