When an Episcopalian priest in Seattle announced that she considered herself both a Muslim and a Christian and worshiped at a Mosque, all the while remaining with her congregation, conservative Christians expressed outrage and disgust at the Reverend Ann Holmes Redding, pointing out that the beliefs are incompatible and that you can't be a member of two religions.
Of course you can't.
"The idea that a person can become a Muslim while remaining an Episcopal priest in good standing trivializes both faiths", Ralph Webb, Director of the IRD's Anglican Action program said.
Yes it does. But here's the problem. Many Evangelical Christian and particularly Baptist Churches have been insisting that you can.
For decades they funded and promoted Christian Ministers who called themselves Rabbis and set up Churches which they called Synagogues and pushed a brand of Christianity called "Messianic Judaism".
Ralph Webb is right. Insisting that a person can be one religion and yet serve as a religious leader in another trivializes both. You can't be a member of two religions. Not Christianity and Islam or Christianity and Judaism. And you can't claim otherwise when it suits you. The same Christian Churches that promoted the belief that you can be Jewish and Christian have opened the door for this.
Defenders of such policies will claim that Christianity succeeded Judaism and it's fair game to claim to be both. Guess what. According to Muslims, they succeeded Christianity. You don't accept that? Well neither do we. And now you know how we feel.
At the end of May I wrote on a Jewish and Christian alliance and put forward this theoretical scenario.
How would Christians feel if Muslims set up a group of mock Christian churches and a mock Christianity called Prophetic Christianity targeting authentic Christians and attempted to convert Christians to Islam by telling them that only by accepting Mohammed as the final prophet, would they become Completed Christians.
These "Churches" would be overseen by Imams who would call themselves Ministers and would be specifically selected from Christian converts to Islam to preach a form of Islam thinly disguised as Christianity. These "Churches" would feature celebrations of Islamicised Christmas' and Easter's centering on Mohammed.
Christians should ask themselves how they would feel about such Mosques disguised as Churches and Imams disguised as Ministers. Yet Christian groups have invested billions of dollars over the years in doing precisely this very thing to Jews. How do you think we feel about it?
Now there actually is a priest whose own loyalty is to Islam and functions within a Church. Muslims already routinely use Jesus to try and blur the line with Christianity insisting that since they accept Jesus, you should accept Mohammed. How long before Muslims catch on and begin following the entire handbook that was used to create Messianic Judaism, only this time aimed at Christians? There already is a Jews for Allah. A Christians for the Prophet can't and won't be too far off.
Arguing that you can't be Christian and Muslim only has credibility when the people arguing it apply that across the board to all religions, not just when it suits them. But doing evil only brings more evil and deceit brings more deceit. The same false Rabbis and Synagogues that have been set up have not converted a generation of Jews but sucked hundreds of thousands of Christians into giving away their money to con artists like "Rabbi Ari Crockett" because after all once a con job gets started, there's no reason to think it will stop at Jews.
In a Forward article titled, Messianic Jews Find Fertile Ground in the Bible Belt, we have the following quote.
Whatever the politics over the future direction of messianic Judaism may be, movement leaders say that the American South is particularly fertile ground for expansion.There's half a truth in there. The Messianic movement isn't expanding in the South because that's where the Jews are. They are expanding there because it's where the Christians are and those Christians are pulled out of mainstream Churches into cult centers that were originally meant for Jews but when those Jews failed to show up, are increasingly targeted at non-Jews. "Messianic Judaism" is better than 80 percent Non-Jewish. Guess where those numbers are coming from?
“In the Bible belt, you have many Christians who love Israel, so we attract more gentiles [to our services], plus there are a lot more intermarried couples down here than there would be in the Northeast,” said Derek Leman, religious leader of Atlanta’s Tikvat David Messianic Synagogue.
By expanding into the South, the Messianic movement is headed deeper into the heartland of American Christianity because it learned long ago that it could never capture more than a handful of Jewish followers. There are after all only a few million Jews in America and hundreds of millions of Christians. In the end, you are a better target for them than we are.
Meanwhile the same Churches continue to fund them and maintain the facade. And when it boomerangs and Muslims pick up the same trick, what happens then?