Eating food offered to idols: a church celebrates Ramadan

A few years ago, I wouldn’t even be mentioning this because it wouldn’t have happened. A so-called “Christian” church is fixing meals for Muslims in Sacramento, California, to commemorate the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month of fasting during the day, then feasting at night with a meal called iftar.

So why is the church doing this? In the words of the church’s pastor, “We want to teach about the similarities in the Bible and Quran. There is too big a division today between Western society and the Arab world. …I believe that Jesus wants us to share his love.” If I didn’t know what godly unity was or what Jesus’ love was really about or what the Bible teaches, I would think that this endeavor was such a nice, sweet gesture. The pastor is basically pushing Chrislam, a new trend in the “emergent” churches that attempts to marry Christianity with Islam in the same way Constantine the Great married his Roman paganism to Christianity in the 300s AD.

Does the Bible actually address such a situation? Or am I just perturbed for no reason? Glad you asked. The writers of the Bible who ventured to the four corners of the globe to spread the gospel were surrounded by pagan cultures. They preached to pagans to convert them to the truth of God’s word. And with the conversions there were some controversies that arose, which Paul had to address in 1 Corinthians 8:4-13. When I was growing up, preachers usually fast forwarded through this passage since it never really happened because there was never talk of observing non-Christian holidays. But here’s the passage:

As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

The pastor of the First Covenant Church of Sacramento, Mark Shetler, is teaching false doctrine by celebrating iftar. He is teaching Allah = Jehovah, which is false. He is teaching there should be unity between the Lord Jesus Christ and those who do not believe Jesus Christ is Lord. He is teaching that sharing Jesus’ love means compromise to accept similarities with other religions. But God’s word, written by Paul, says the opposite. Shetler and his church are placing a stumblingblock in the path of the converts from Islam to the only spiritual truth there is, that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and no man comes to the Father but by him.

If a believer who was once pagan sees Christians participating in Ramadan’s iftar, and their understanding is that iftar is done to worship Allah, the convert is being told that celebrating Ramadan is fine. Then the convert may participate in Ramadan themselves all the while having in their mind they are honoring the false god Allah because their brothers and sisters in Christ said it’s okay. In doing so, the Christians have caused that convert to stumble and have defiled that convert’s conscience. Paul didn’t say this was sharing Jesus’ love. He said this would cause the weak brother to perish and is sinning against Christ [verses 11-12]. It shows that this church doesn’t care about lost souls or about what God wants, which is in opposition to Jesus’ love.

Source: Uzra Khan. Christian Church Cooks Ritual Ramadan Meal for Muslim Neighbors. July 27, 2012.

Harry A. Gaylord

14 thoughts on “Eating food offered to idols: a church celebrates Ramadan

Add yours

  1. If this church was enacting 1 Corinthians 9:20…without compromise of faith…I might understand this…but this is clearly not the case… scary…and sad.


    1. You are misinformed. Allah is the Muslim name for God. Muslims believe in the God of Abraham, Moses and Jesus. All three are mentioned in the Quran, as is the Bible and the Torah. Mohammed and his followers sought refuge with a Christian King when they fled their homes due to persecution. The King, upon hearing their tale proclaimed that the differences between Christians and Muslims is no wider than a line he drew in the sand with his staff. Why can they see that 1400 years ago, but not today? Perhaps we should open our eyes and learn a little about true Islam and not the false Islam that is spread by terrorists and ignorance.


      1. Sorry, Henry, but if anyone is misinformed, it’s you. You’ve bought into the marketing ploy of one world religionists & ecumenists who wish to market the false god Allah as the God of the Bible. You have not gone back far enough in history to find out who Allah really is. And your claims of some unnamed Christian king who supposedly embraced Mohammed’s teachings is not enough to convince me to change my views when I know facts that refute your claims.

        Mohammed started spreading his teachings about Allah in about 613 AD. But archaeologists in the 19th & 20th centuries found sites dating back to the 5th century (400s AD) that have inscriptions on walls, rocks, reliefs, and bowls that give praise to the Moon-god, Allah, and his three daughters, al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat. The prominent symbol in all these artifacts for Allah was the crescent moon, just as we see today all over the Islamic world. The official name of this Moon-god was Sin. But he was known to Mohammed’s tribe (the Koresh or Quraish tribe) as “al-ilah.” That title was later shortened by the Arabs to “Allah” and Arabs often used Allah in their children’s names before Mohammed. Mohammed simply took the Moon-god he grew up with and falsely claimed Allah was the same as the God in the Bible and that he had new revelations from him that all people should worship Allah. Here are the sources where you can find this information:

        Carleton S. Coon. Southern Arabia. [Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 1944] p. 398.

        Isaac Rabinowitz. “Aramaic Inscriptions of the Fifth Century.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, XV (1956), pp. 1-9.

        Isaac Rabinowitz. “Another Aramaic Record of the North-Arabian goddess Han-‘Llat.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, XVIII (1959), pp. 154-155.

        Edward Linski. “The Goddess Atirat In Ancient Arabia, In Babylon and In Ugarit: Her Relation to the Moon-god and the Sungoddess.” Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica, #3, pp. 101-109.

        H. J. Drijvers. “Iconography and Character of the Arab Goddess Allat.” Etudes Preliminaries Aux Religions Orientales Dans L’Empire Roman. [Leiden: Brill, 1978.] pp. 331-351.

        All of these are cited in:

        Robert A. Morey. The Moon-god Allah: in the Archeology of the Middle East. [Newport, PA : Research and Education Foundation, 1994].

        But aside from all this, Revelation 22:18-19 says “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” The prophet Mohammed clearly violated this mandate, so this tells us neither he nor his religion are of God.


      2. WOOOOOOOW! & thankyou! thats all I can say to Harry A. Gaylord, after reading your comment/reply to Henry…Im a Christian, & Ive been studying Islam for about 2 years because the Muslim Community is growing VERY FAST here in Raleigh North Carolina, & upon my studies, Ive came across the Moon-god stuff & the daughters gate & the idol worship of the original Temple & even pieces of the moon(moon rocks),wife-beating tooth brush & so much more. but when I mention it out of love & friendship to Muslims or even other Christians, they give me a look like Im crazy…lol pray for me & hopefully we can see many Muslim converts coming to the Truth & light (Jesus)!


  2. So … what exactly are you objecting to? Judging by your quote from the pastor, it sounds like he recognizes the high tension between the Christians and the Muslims at this point in history, and he feels that Jesus would rather we get along. To me it seems like he’s simply displaying his respect for the Muslim people, but you make it out to be this ridiculous thing like he wants all the Christians to worship Allah now. I highly doubt the First Covenant would find that acceptable.

    Yes, some people worship false gods, but is that an acceptable reason to treat them as anything but a fellow human and a brother? Jesus tells us many times to love all others as we love ourselves, and that includes non-Christians. How do you think you must reflect on any Muslims who wander by here? What must they think of Christ’s teachings, that it’s apparently blasphemy to even eat with somebody, just because they happen to have different beliefs?

    What’s wrong with celebrating the holidays of others? The celebrations traditional for most Christian holidays have deep roots in paganism, does that also bother you? Most non-Christians celebrate Christian holidays as well, but they don’t do it to celebrate Jesus, they do it for other reasons, like family and friends and fun and feasting. In the same way, can’t a Christian celebrate Ramadan, not to worship Allah, but to celebrate love and kinship and respect and understanding?


    1. Tucker,

      I spelled out clearly what I was objecting to. The pastor was saying that Christianity is similar to Islam when they’re worlds apart in every way, especially when one considers that Allah is not Jehovah. He was saying there was nothing wrong with their form of worship. Anyone who doesn’t believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the Father but by him, including Muslims, will end up one day in hell.

      By celebrating iftar, he was telling them it was okay for them to worship their false god and he was worshiping their false god too by participating and encouraging them in their idolatry. If the pastor was really concerned about lost souls, he could just as easily minister to Muslims in a way that is not celebrating their unholy days. You can respect a person without bowing down to their false god. Respecting a person doesn’t require anyone to participate in their wrongdoings, as you’re implying.

      If I want to share the gospel with a pornographer, does it mean I have to go to his studio while he’s filming his next smutty film? If I want to share the gospel with a witch or wizard, does it mean I need to participate in their next ritual sacrifice when their coven meets? Of course not. But that’s what you seem to advocate. Christians are called to be sanctified, set apart from the world. 2 John 1 clearly tells us, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” This church welcomed the iftar and it’s paganism into their house of worship and bid the Muslims God speed, making them partakers of the Muslims’ evil deeds.

      And to answer your question about holidays, I only celebrate Thanksgiving. I’m not into Easter or Halloween or Christmas since they’re pagan.


  3. I went through of the questions and the responds you give, thanks. If you are among Muslim and you are in good term with them and they bring this end of ramadan food, are you to reject it, would it not be a signal of hate. Please enlighten me. Henry Gaylord. Thanks.


  4. Adekunle,

    I think God’s word that I quoted above in my post was quite clear. Ramadan food is prepared in praise to a false god and you as a Christian living among Muslims have knowledge of it being idol worship, just as Paul said. It’s not hate, but love when such food is rejected. It’s love for God, love for your fellow Christians because you don’t want them to think idolatry is okay, and it’s love for the Muslim because you want them to know the true God. You can decline the food in a respectful and subtle way that the Holy Spirit can show you. However, there are some Muslims who will automatically be offended if a Christian does not bow to their wishes, so it comes down to who will you fear? Man or God?


    1. Ramadan is one month out of the year. If you do not participate in one month of a pagan celebration, does that mean you have no other time during the year to represent Jesus Christ to them? Is it really loving for someone to force participation or food on someone else under an implied threat of some type of rejection or retaliation in response? Is there a conflicted feeling because you’re really afraid of them and the “love” argument is being used to pretend that fear of men isn’t there? This is something you must work out in light of what God’s word says. I don’t have knowledge of the details of your situation. I just know what God’s word says and that he promises to give us wisdom if we ask him for it, even in uncomfortable situations.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: