Churches must not give the impression that The Faith is just another religion.
An important update on the event that prompted this podcast. Bishop Clark Lowenfield has commented to clarify the situation:
"As the Bishop Ordinary of the Anglican Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast, let me give a clarification on a circumstance which occurred last Saturday at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church here in Houston regarding an Iman who spoke there as part of an inter-faith dialogue and which has had much attention on social media.
"This Diocese has a vibrant and robust campus ministry to the internationally diverse University of Houston. This ministry is led by our Diocesan Evangelist, The Rev’d Nazir Masih who immigrated to the United States several years ago from Pakistan. All ministries within this Diocese, including this campus ministry, have the spiritual DNA of being Biblically Orthodox, Evangelical, and Disciple forming. One element of this campus ministry is an inter-faith dialogue ministry which is committed to introducing Jesus and the Gospel to people from diverse backgrounds and fostering an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued. The ministry seeks to make relationships by nurturing understanding and acceptance among individuals, attempting to live out that truth that “others won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”
"Most events that occur around this inter-faith dialogue are held in the academic or college campus setting. This past Saturday, a dialogue scheduled to discuss the subject of Forgiveness had to be scheduled in St. Timothy’s parish hall. Unfortunately, when the participants arrived, they discovered that there had been a scheduling conflict with a group in the parish. Graciously, but perhaps naively, Fr. Nazir chose to not displace the other group meeting and moved the dialogue to the nave of the church. Obviously, in retrospect, Fr. Nazir recognizes that it was not appropriate to have such an event in the chancel of sacred space, as it is certainly more suited for the academic spaces it usually is held in. And as the Apostolic Overseer of this Diocese, and of this campus ministry, I can assure any and all that I do not consider this one, perhaps naïve decision, any reason to question our overall goals to reach international students at the University of Houston with the life-giving Gospel of our Lord Jesus, the hope which a discipled life in the Christian Faith brings, nor our common convictions concerning the use of sacred space.
"If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com)"
In His peace,
Bishop Clark WP Lowenfield"