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Discussion Starter: Hospitality

As debates over mosque construction plans continue to make headlines, churches are asking how to reach out as new religions come to town. Heartsong Church in Tennessee and Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Virginia have hosted Muslim worship communities in their church buildings, prompting the question of how much hospitality is too much.

"The community is our parish; letting faith provoke us into creating a more just, peaceful community is another form of worship. I believe concerns about sacred-profane worship space are always in submission to Jesus' command to welcome the stranger and love our enemies."

"The church is a people, not a building. No place in the teaching of Jesus or the New Testament refers to the church as a place. The church is the faithful who spend life with Jesus together under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. There is no space that is more sacred than any other on earth in itself."

"Evangelicals are notoriously vague about what constitutes our sacred spaces. Whatever a congregation actually decides to do, the very question can be an important teaching moment. What does it mean to set apart a specific space for the worship of the true God?"

"While we desire to reach out at a personal level with love, it's not wise to ignore the spiritual realm. Before you do, stop, think, pray, and seek the Lord's discernment, because there are spiritual forces in these divergent theologies aligned against the very truth we preach."

"Other faiths have used our church's coffeehouse for casual meetings, as that is public missional space. But we don't rent our space for formal meetings of other faiths in our sanctuary."

"Christians need to be stalwart advocates for religious freedom while not ...

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March 2011

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