Reflections on Ground-Zero Mosque Controversy

There isn’t a whole lot I
can say on this subject that hasn’t been said. However, it’s interesting to me
that most of the preeminent Christian blogs have been silent on this subject. Perhaps
that’s a good thing. In many ways, it’s far too big a subject to address in a
blog. Some great articles have been written (like Dan Senor’s in the Wall
Street Journal) in the wake of this development. So, I won’t try to top them.
I’ll just state my positions briefly, with an understanding that good
Christians can see this one differently:

  • The Mosque is
    completely legal to build. No argument here in that regard. However, I’d like
    to see the government be more consistent here. Try to build a church building in California today.
  • To build a Mosque near
    the Ground-Zero site is a colossal
    mistake in judgment. Anyone who wonders why it would bother people or writes
    critics of the build off as bigots needs a reality check. I’m sure there are
    some bigots among the detractors, but there are terrorists among the
    supporters. The broad brush can’t be used to paint that way. Polls say both political
    parties and a massive majority of Americans oppose the build. Bigotry isn’t the
    culprit here. Not even close. Common sense and decency is the reason most
    people the building of the mosque.
  • I’m thoroughly
    disappointed in the President for his unwillingness to comment on the “wisdom”
    of building the mosque, while affirming it’s building under the banner of our
    “highest ideals.” Building a mosque on such a site is in no way an exhibition
    of our highest ideals. It is an abuse of our highest ideals. If the President
    wanted to support the Mosque’s building, I would have liked to see him, at the same dinner, condemn terrorism
    and the persecution of Christians around the world. While the mosque building
    would still be wrong-headed, he would have been more ethically and spiritually
    consistent.
  • Those truly committed
    to goodwill and reconciliation between the faiths would never consider such a
    build. At the very least, I would like to see the build come with some a full
    and public renouncement of 9-11 by Muslim leaders, and other cases where terrorists
    continue to murder Americans…and Muslims persecute and kill Christians. That again
    would at least be ethically consistent.
  • Other than another
    terrorist attack, I can’t imagine what could do more damage to American-Islamic
    relations from America’s standpoint than this build. Regardless of what is said
    about the intent of the Mosque building, it will not serve (at least within the
    next 50 years) as a source of religious understanding. Unfortunately, it will have the
    opposite effect (look at all the good it's doing us right now!). That’s not really what we need in America or around the world
    right now. We need things that actually make for peace. This isn’t one of them.
  • Christians need
    to practice peace no matter what. We need to continue to model Christ-likeness
    in our dialogue, and in our conduct toward those of different faiths. This also means that as we object, we honor Christ in how we do so.

I have more thoughts on
this, but will stop here. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, but let’s
keep them above the belt 🙂

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.