In Alexandria, Va., a local Islamic center decided to build its own mosque. In the meantime, it asked the Aldersgate Methodist Church if it could use its building for Friday prayers.
“I feel like we are embodying Christianity by being welcoming,” said Diane Bechtol, a member of Aldersgate Methodist. Bechtol, also a member of the church’s newly founded Muslim dialogue committee, said the church was surprised when the request was made. She said the church wants to get better acquainted with its Muslim neighbors.
“It’s very easy to categorize a group, to demonize a group, to suspect or just not know a group,” she said. Bechtol said she does not think sharing worship space compromises her faith.
“Jesus called us to give hospitality to strangers. To feed the poor and help the sick and this is walking the walk,” she added.
But, would God the Israelites to share a temple with those wanting to worship the Baals or Astoreths? Would Jesus allow the money changers to sell in the temple?