Once upon a time, Christians fought to the death against Muslims to keep them from taking their churches. It is a sign of the times that today the Muslims do not even have to fight because Christians are giving their churches away to the Muslim, such as in this case as one of the oldest and historic Christian Churches in Bridgeport, CT is giving away its Church to a Muslim group:
One of the oldest Christian congregations in this community said it would sell its historic church to a regional Islamic center.
The United Congregational Church said Monday it plans to sell its brick Georgian-Revival style church, built in the 1920s, to the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center for $1 million.
The two groups will also form a partnership to provide community programs including soup kitchen and a homeless shelter from the site of the current church.
In recent years, more Muslim communities across the U.S. have begun to engage in the types of fundraisers and social-service projects that Christian congregations and Jewish synagogues often host or organize, said David Grafton, professor of Islamic studies and Christian-Muslim relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn.
“As the national landscape has become much more suspicious of Muslims, and as Islamophobia has become more common, Muslim communities have consciously engaged in the process to normalize—or become part of the religious landscape of organizing into voluntary associations that form the bedrock of American civil and religious life,” he said.
The lineage of the United Congregational Church dates back to colonial days. It was first established in 1695 and called the Ecclesiastical Society of Stratfield. It later merged in 1916 with another congregation to form the United Congregational Church. Rev. Sara Smith said the Bridgeport church had 3,000 members when the main structure was built, but the numbers have now dwindled to 300. She said it made financial sense for the congregation to look for a new home.
The United Congregational Church will be renting space in another part of Bridgeport till they find a new space to buy, Rev. Smith said. “We are not dying, we are just moving,” she said.
It has been a challenge for Muslim organizations to find real estate for mosques or other religious uses since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that challenge has become more difficult in recent years, said Reza Mansoor, president of the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford.
“The Muslim community has had to reach out to places of worship” to buy their properties in Connecticut towns and cities like East Hartford, Avon and New London,” Dr. Mansoor said.
Ahmed Ebrahim, the leader of the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center, said his organization bought the church because it had the space needed for prayers and was zoned for religious use. About 1,000 families in the greater Bridgeport region are expected to use the mosque. “It’s a perfect fit for our needs,” Dr. Ebrahim said.
The main sanctuary will be used as a prayer space, Dr. Ebrahim said. The congregation from the United Congregational Church will help prepare the space by removing a cross from the altar and modifying the stained-glass windows in the church.
Ellen Carter from Fairfield, Conn., says her family has been a member of the church for 11 generations.
“It’s sad” we are moving locations, Ms. Carter said. “On the other hand, it’s necessary, and we are happy it’s again going to be used as a house of worship.”
The closing of the sale is scheduled for May 1. The church was designed by Allen & Collens, the architectural firm that also designed the Cloisters Museum in Manhattan and the Central Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. (source)
No surprise to me.
The Congregational Church, whose buildings are iconic to New England as they are spiritual descendants of the Puritans who came to Massachusetts in the 17th century, is dying. After years of heresy and reducing themselves to little more than an elevated platform for extreme leftist politics, like all heresies, they are running out of people to replace, and they will disappear.
But sell the church building to the Muslims?
Actually, I expected this to happen, and I expect to see this with more congregationalist churches. All of the Church denominations have done this in our times to some extent, but the congregationalists will do more.
Why do I say this?
Notice how I highlighted a place called Hartford Seminary.
I went to Hartford Seminary. I received my M.A. in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim relations from them in 2010. Hartford Seminary used to be a seminary for training Congregational (United Church of Christ) ministers. In 1893, the Scotch Calvinist professor of Oriental Studies and missionary, Duncan Black Macdonald, came to Hartford and convinced the seminary to set up a school devoted to missionary work to Muslims in the Middle East. His vision quickly grew into what at the time was the largest Protestant school for missions to the Muslim world in the USA. Their graduates became leading experts in Islamic studies such as the Rev. Samuel Marinus Zwemer, and their works are still available to read today. Many students went to the Middle East and preached to Muslims. Some of the students were even martyred and the plaques commemorating their martyrdoms dot the walls of the Hartford Seminary library (although they are now tarnished and handing on the walls in the basement).
Rev. Samuel M. Zwemer. Although a Calvinist, Rev. Zwemer had an open and great respect for all Christians, especially the Catholics and the Orthodox, and he envisioned Christians working together to defeat Islam and Christianize the Muslims.
A major change happened around 1950, and this was a group of missionaries returned from the Middle East and they concluded that Muslims already “knew God” and therefore did not need to become Christians. Such a view is patently ridiculous as it is a declaration of apostasy, for as St. Paul notes, if Christ did not die for our sins, then our faith is pointless. That said, I saw that many of the “Christians” among my classmates had a highly intellecutalized and secularized “faith” that was as arrogant towards the cross and sterile as a hospital room. Their Christianity is more of Arianism, for Jesus is a superman without acknowledging His divinity or kingship, Christianity is a social faith made to do social good for others, and the cardinal sin was not disobedience to God but offending a Muslim’s personal feelings.
You might ask yourself how men can allow themselves to descend into intellectual darkness, but St. Paul discusses this in Romans 1. It happens, and if left unchecked, it will lead to apostasy and a return to the evils that Christ came to clear away.
I actually met one of the last living people from that group while I was a student. He was very, very old, and it is strange that looking into his face was to see one of those who began leading what was once a great institution down a path to perdition.
Given the cultural zeitgeist and the changes that would take place in the 1960s, Hartford Seminary began disbanding their missionary program until around 1975 when the seminary fully secularized. They still retained their Congregational affiliations and still trained ministers for their congregations, but the focus of Islamic Studies became one of “interfaith” relations. They sold off their beautiful old buildings to the University of Connecticut (now part of UCONN Law School) and build a hideous “cube” for their new campus, got rid of a large part of their collections from their missionaries, and completely re-made their image.
Hartford Seminary main campus, or “The Cube”
During my time at Hartford Seminary, I witnessed yet another transition, and that was Hartford Seminary slowly moving from “interfaith” to “Islamic.”
I enjoyed those years because I learned a lot, and I had some very interesting teachers. I experienced my first death threats from Muslim students from the Sunni Al-Fatah Islamic Institute of Syria while there. I had the experience of classes with several leading Muslim figures in contemporary Islam and experienced the unique distinction of, many times, being the only Christian in a class of all Muslims and (unspoken) intended for only Muslims. I could go on and on about my experiences.
One of those experiences, and one which I have never written about before, was about the “interfaith prayer room” at the Seminary:
First, notice how sterile the room is, and how a tiny and flimsy excuse for a cross is stuffed into a corner of the room, as thought it were a mere “thing” off to the side and in a corner.
Second, notice how the cross does not appear in the first photo but it does in the second. This is because that cross is moveable- it can be removed from its location and, as I remember from my experiences, dumped onto the floor in a corner or under a pile of Muslim prayer rugs. Tell me, if you believe that the cross is the symbol of salvation, would you put it under a doormat that not just other people but Muslims who hate the cross use to worship the false god Allah on?
Third, as I mentioned above, and you cannot see it from the angle here but if you were to turn around in the first photo 180 degrees you would find yourself veritably leaning (as I imagine the photographer was) against a pile– no exaggeration- of Moslem prayer rugs. That is because the “chapels” primary uses is as a mosque. Yes, they call it “interfaith”, but really the only ones who actually use it for worship of any kind and five times a day are the Muslims.
I watch the news of my alma mater, and each year it takes a step closer to full Islamization. The Muslim World Journal, started by Rev. Zwemer to convert Muslims to Christ, is now little more than a rag for Muslim sophistry run by the virulently anti-Christian convert to Islam Jean Michot (see bel0w). The Duncan Black MacDonald Center for Islamic Studies is basically controlled by the Islamic Chaplaincy Program. More Muslim scholars and students are brought in each year, and the understanding is that Hartford Seminary will become by its own conscious choice a Muslim majority school in only a matter of time. One can only wonder what they will do to the personal papers of Duncan Black MacDonald or his fellow students, which I had the pleasure of being able to study during my time at the Seminary.
The Islamization of Hartford Seminary must not be viewed as an isolated case, but as a future omen of Islamic Studies in American and really, global education, at least as far as the West is concerned. Hartford Seminary is a small school, but because of its historical presence in Islamic Studies its roots run deep in the academic system and are connected to many other schools including but not limited to Cambridge (UK), Emory, Exeter (UK), Georgetown, Harvard, and Yale Divinity School. Well-established and up-and-coming minds in Islamic Studies associate themselves with Islamic Studies, and many major Islamic groups and figures also have strong connections such as ICNA, ISNA, the IIIT, and the MSA.
Hartford Seminary is a leader in its field. However, once upon a time its goal was to lead men on the path of salvation through Christ. Now the Seminary is committed to lead men away from Christ and on the literal road to hell through promoting and ultimately, converting to Islam.
Jean, a.k.a. “Yahya” Michot, one of my former professors at Hartford Seminary and an emblem for what the Seminary has become. A brilliant man and one of, if not the top living expert on Ibn Taymiyya, he was kicked out of the university of Louvain in Belgium and later the university of Oxford for writing under the pen name “Nasreddin Lebatlier” in support of the 1996 massacre of seven Trappist Catholic monks in Algeria that served as the basis for the 2010 award winning film Of Gods And Men (see the trailer clip at the end of the article). Given his record (not to mention my experiences in his class, which are among the memorable ones from my time as a graduate student), it tells one something about the views that the Seminary is presenting to their students about Islam.
The great Catholic saints commented that Islam was the culmination of all Christian heresy, and heretical fits the Congregational Church at large, for Christ to them is little more than a social justice warrior for all of their own “ultra-liberal” causes they forcibly define to fit their own image and not God of the Bible. It really does not surprise me that the Congregational Church is selling one of its buildings to the Muslims to become a mosque, because from my experiences they are already well on the way to completing their heresy that began several centuries ago in England through formally converting to Islam.
Outside a Congregational Church (UCC) in Hillsborough, NC. Indeed, heresy of the Puritans has finally come full circle, rejecting the Catholic Faith in favor of ultrapietism, then to outright paganism, and as it may be now, Islamization.
For most of Christian history, the Church building is as much a place of worship as it is a gift from the people to God. This is why among the Catholics and Orthodox no expense was spared on the Church buildings- because since God is all that we have, then God deserves the best that we have, all of the time and without exception. This important practice was blasphemed by the Protestant Revolutionaries, beginning in particular with Luther and then following with those of his ilk.
Giving- not losing in the course of conflict and striving to get it back, but giving by choice- a Church to the Muslims is like making the altar into a toilet bowl and using pages of the Bible as toilet paper. I do not say this in a figurative, but in a literal way, for the entire Muslim religion is based upon the blasphemy of Christ’s divinity. To give a sacred building used for such a sacred and holy place, where the priest would enter into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to a religion so reprobate is to commit apostasy. That is why Christians fought so hard to win their Churches back from the Muslims, and why the Muslims were so intent on claiming possession very the church buildings to begin with.
This is a sign of the times that we live in. The apostasy will cross all Christian denominations and having began at the top is and will continue to trickle down to the laity. But as Christ Himself said, those who are faithful to the end will be saved, for we are living in a time of apostasy, where being a Christian becomes a choice and not an association.