By Mateen Elass, on his personal blog.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) has hammered one more nail into its own coffin — one wonders whether there is space for any further nails. Last Saturday, at the opening business session of its 222nd General Assembly in Portland, OR, the denominational leadership orchestrated an event which denied the gospel and lordship of Jesus Christ. Here’s what happened.
The Stated Clerk had asked the staff of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Ministries of the PCUSA to create a liturgy of repentance/remembrance for the recent victims of gun violence in Orlando (and last year in Charleston, SC) as the first order of business for the GA. It was predictably leftist in its political emphases, with no wrestling over the impact of radical Islam, which was to be expected. Indeed, as a token sign of its expansive tolerance, a Muslim was invited to participate in leading this liturgy. His name is Wajdi Said, president of the Muslim Educational Trust in the Portland area.
When it was his turn to lead, Mr. Said began by chanting in Arabic, most but not all of which was translated into English on the screen for the ignorant participants. Hardly anyone there, I’m guessing, had any idea where the words Mr. Said chanted came from. The first sentence was not translated — apparently, Wajdi threw that in on his own. This is what he said: “I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the accursed.” Within the Muslim world this is a common interjection when one fears the presence and power of evil spirits. Since Islam teaches that Christians and Jews who reject the claims of Muhammad are the vilest of creatures, under the sway of Satan, it is not surprising he would begin with this intercessory prayer for himself. Apparently, he need not have worried.
The remainder of his Arabic chanting was the most well-known chapter of the Qur’an, the Fatiha, which observant Muslims recite a minimum of seventeen times a day. Often called “the Mother of the Qur’an,” this chapter composed of seven verses, is a prayer to Allah. Its main request is that the petitioner be led on “the straight path,” that is, the path revealed through Muhammad, and not be misled on the paths either of those who have incurred Allah’s wrath (popularly understood to refer to the Jews), or of those who have gone astray (popularly understood to mean the Christians). So here at the start of the business of the PCUSA General Assembly is a Muslim man praying to the Allah of the Qur’an that the gathered delegates be led to Islam and away from the cursed Jews and the wayward Christians. What an uplifting way to begin the national meeting of a denomination once faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ….
Related article: Prayers to Allah offered at PCUSA’s General Assembly