KATY, Texas ? A Southern Baptist pastor in the Houston area has resigned from his city’s ministerial alliance, charging that it is “soft selling” the differences between Christianity and Islam.
Randy White, pastor of First Baptist Church of Katy, said the Katy Ministerial Alliance “has always posed itself as a Christian group” and that he has withdrawn his membership because “it was communicated that Allah and God were the same, just a different name.”
“Everything so far has been an advertisement for the soft side of Islam along the lines of ‘the more we get together the happier we’ll all be. If we as Christians and Americans understood the true heart of Islam, we wouldn’t have any concerns at all,'” said White, paraphrasing what he deems the misguided sentiment of the Katy ministers’ group.
A planned mosque near Katy has drawn opposition from some area residents, including one man who protested by holding pig races on his property adjoining the proposed mosque site on Fridays, the Muslim holy day. Muslims view swine as unclean.
White wrote in his resignation letter that “there is no place for prejudice and intolerance in America,” though “I must say I find no compatibility between Christianity and Islam.”
White told the Southern Baptist Texan: “I took a religious stance, not so much on the right of the church to gather to build a place of worship?we have a freedom of religion that Baptists fought for. But the Islamic faith is not compatible with Christianity and in many ways is not compatible with democracy.”
The ministerial alliance’s position “has been that we have more theological agreement than we have differences,” White complained. “And I don’t see any theological agreement [between Islam and Christianity].”
White’s resignation letter drew coverage in the Houston Chronicle and from the local Katy Times, which published several letters from readers on the subject.
Yousef Allam of the Katy Islamic Association told the Chronicle his group must obey the laws of the land “as long as it does not prohibit us from worship.”