Not Loving It: 9/11 Christian Center Near Ground Zero

“I love New York, but I hate the idea of a mosque at Ground Zero.”  Those were (and still are) my sentiments regarding the proposed mosque in lower Manhattan two blocks from the World Trade Center.  After reading today that a Florida pastor, Bill Keller, plans to open what he calls the “9/11 Christian Center” near Ground Zero, I simply need to say, “I love New York, but hate the idea of the 9/11 Christian Center near Ground Zero!”

According to the official website for this new “Christian Center” near Ground Zero, initial worship services will be held on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. in a nearby hotel (the NY Marriott on 85th West St. or the Embassy Suites at 102 North End Ave.) starting on Sunday, September 5.  In January 2011, the center and its 7-day-a-week worship services will move to a permanent facility somewhere near Ground Zero.

For those like me who were blessedly unfamiliar with Keller, you can go to LivePrayer, his one-stop website for his internet and television ministry.  Started by Keller in 1999 as a daily devotional website, his LivePrayer ministry has grown by leaps and bounds.  With appearances on the Howard Stern Show to his credit, Keller has been an outspoken and harsh critic of Mitt Romney, Oprah Winfrey, and others.  He has even resorted to comparing President Obama with Adolf Hitler. 

Having perused his website, one can come to the rather quick conclusion that Bill Keller, while he fashions himself a Christian pastor and evangelist, is perhaps neither.  At least from my viewpoint of what Biblical Christianity is supposed to embody.  His brand of Christianity, which speaks loudly about the TRUTH and LOVE, sure has a funny way of showing the love of Jesus to those Christ commanded us to love, including Muslims and homosexuals (two of Keller’s main punching bags).

What I thought at first must be some type of “fake” article about the 9/11 “Christian Center” appears to be all too real.  In less than two weeks, Keller and his followers (who may or may not be followers of Christ — there is a difference) will begin to proclaim some type of gospel to the heathens in NYC.  Fashioning himself a modern-day DL Moody or Billy Sunday, Keller has no interest in being seeker friendly.  From the looks of it, he has no interest in proclaiming the “evangel,” — the Good News of Jesus Christ.  But what he does have an interest in is promoting himself.  Of course, promotion takes money and you are encouraged to support his “ministry” through your donations.  PayPal gladly accepted! 

Make no mistake, but the Bill Kellers of the world pervert the true Gospel of Jesus Christ into something so sick and twisted that it’s hard to know whether or not they truly believe what they’re selling or are so deluded that they think they are serving the Living Lord.  However, one need only “follow the money” to see the real altar that many of these “evangelists” worship at.

While Bill Keller may have every legal and constitutional right to start his 9/11 “Christian Center,” just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right.  Justin Elliott, writing in Salon, says:

If mosque opponents’ concerns are truly about sensitivity to the neighborhood around ground zero — and not about Muslims — we’ll hear them denounce Keller loudly in the coming days.

For the record, I denounce what Keller seems to stand for and for the proposed 9/11 “Christian Center.”  Keller’s brand of “Christianity” has no business near Ground Zero and, in fact, should be put out of business entirely.  Not by the government.  But, by discerning Christians who will oppose Keller (and others’) perversion of the Gospel Message.  I don’t look for too many leaders of America’s political gospel movement — Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, etc. — to vocally oppose Keller.  That will probably happen at the same time the Ground Zero mosque supporters — Mayor Bloomberg, President Obama, etc. — publicly endorse Keller’s constitutional right to freely exercise his religion.  I’ll be sure and let you know when I see the first pig in the air!

 

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About Howell Scott

I have been a Southern Baptist pastor for the last fourteen years. Before entering the ministry, I was a practicing attorney in my homestate of Florida. I have been married to my wife, Brenda, for 18 years and we have three sons, Stephen, Jacob, and Andrew.
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7 Responses to Not Loving It: 9/11 Christian Center Near Ground Zero

    • Howell Scott says:

      I cannot personally vouch for this website, although I did go to it to take a look at the information on Bill Keller. I appreciate the interest in this story and I believe we will hear more about this in the days to come.

  1. Tikatu says:

    I’ll denounce it, too. We don’t need any “Christian” hucksters (and this guy sounds like a huckster) trying to set up shop near Ground Zero. IMO, the only religious building that should be near Ground Zero is St. Nicholas Hellenic Orthodox Church, which is part of Ground Zero itself.

    • Howell Scott says:

      I will be curious to see if any of the Ground Zero mosque defenders will come out in defense of Keller’s right to practice his “religion?” I don’t expect that to happen. This man does indeed give all Christians a bad name. We need to disassociate ourselves from this perversion of the Gospel and present the true Gospel to all people, regardless of their background. Thanks for stopping by again and commenting. God bless,

      Howell

  2. Stephen Fox says:

    Howell: Please get word out to SBCVoices with a link, toBobby Welch and to whomever this provocative series coming 6 hours in two weeks , three nights in a row to PBS

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/

    Watch the trailer for God In America and explore the website.

    I have already gotten word to Charles Marsh’s Uncle. Trusting you through SBC Voices and other avenues to get word to Mohler and Russ Moore, Paige Patterson and all cyberspace. I just saw the trailer and it is a phenom.

    Counting on you also today to order a DVD of http://www.differentbookscommonword.com for even more substance as your views on the Park 51 Mosque evolve.
    More later

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