PRETTY GOOD COMMISSION

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 | Uncategorized

Rick Warren drinks the Kool-Aid:

The Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest and one of America’s most influential Christian leaders, has embarked on an effort to heal divisions between evangelical Christians and Muslims by partnering with Southern California mosques and proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

The effort, informally dubbed King’s Way, caps years of outreach between Warren and Muslims. Warren has broken Ramadan fasts at a Mission Viejo mosque, met Muslim leaders abroad and addressed 8,000 Muslims at a national convention in Washington D.C.

The effort by a prominent Christian leader to bridge what polls show is a deep rift between Muslims and evangelical Christians culminated in December at a dinner at Saddleback attended by 300 Muslims and members of Saddleback’s congregation.

At the dinner, Abraham Meulenberg, a Saddleback pastor in charge of interfaith outreach, and Jihad Turk, director of religious affairs at a mosque in Los Angeles, introduced King’s Way as “a path to end the 1,400 years of misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians.”

The men presented a document they co-authored outlining points of agreement between Islam and Christianity. The document affirms that Christians and Muslims believe in “one God” and share two central commandments: “love of God” and “love of neighbor.” The document also commits both faiths to three goals: Making friends with one another, building peace and working on shared social service projects. The document quotes side-by-side verses from the Bible and the Koran to illustrate its claims.

“We agreed we wouldn’t try to evangelize each other,” said Turk. “We’d witness to each other but it would be out of ‘Love Thy Neighbor,’ not focused on conversion.”

Not that Warren’s going latitudinarian or anything.  No, no, no, no. 

Warren has faced criticism from some evangelicals for his outreach to Muslims. Late last year, he issued a statement flatly denying rumors that he promulgates what critics term “Chrislam,” a merging of Islam and Christianity.

The “rumor is 100 percent false,” Warren wrote at Pastors.com, a website he founded that provides practical advice to church leaders. “My life and ministry are built on the truth that Jesus is the only way, and our inerrant Bible is our only true authority.”

Insert “but” here.  All that you really need to know about this initiative is that the Episcopalians are down with it.

Gwynne Guibord, an ordained Episcopal priest and co-founder of a Los Angeles outreach group that fosters relationships between churches and mosques nationwide, said Saddleback’s effort is unprecedented. “I’m not aware of any other evangelical church reaching out to the Muslim community,” she said.

Guibord said that when she and Jihad Turk co-founded the Christian-Muslim Consultative Group in 2006, they sent invitations to mosques, the Catholic archdiocese and a variety of mainline Protestant denominations throughout Southern California, but not to evangelical churches.

“I think that many evangelicals feel a mandate to convert people to Christianity,” Guibord said. Because the Consultative Group was founded to respond to increasing antagonism between the two faiths, “we would not have made headway” if one side was trying to convert the other, she said. Now, she said, it might be possible to include evangelicals in her group’s work.

Somebody help me out here.  Rick Warren says he believes in that way-truth-life-no-man-comes-to-the-Father-except-through-me stuff.  He also says that Christians and Muslims worship the same god.  But the holy book provided by the Muslim god vigorously denies that way-truth-life-no-man-comes-to-the-Father-except-through-me stuff. 

I sure hope you can negotiate your way through all that because I can’t.

Here’s the deal.  Should Christians treat members of other religions honorably and respectfully?  Absolutely.  Should Christians endeavor to learn all they can about other religions?  Certainly.  If I was involved in some political effort, a petition against Barack Obama’s religious tyranny, say, would I refuse the assistance and the signatures of Jews, Muslims, Mormons and others?  Absolutely not.

Given all that, am I going to refrain from trying to convert members of other religions to Christianity?  No way in hell.  And the reason for that, of course, is the Cross.

See, Jesus died for my sins on that thing.  Slowly and agonizingly.  Then God raised His Son from the dead.  All of which suggests, to me anyway, that as far as the Father is concerned, faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life is not an option.

But if I declare that I’m not going to try to get other people to believe that, an optional Cross is exactly what I’m communicating. My friend, Jesus died on the Cross for your sins. However, if that particular metaphor doesn’t work for you, try Islam or any other path to God that you find particularly appealing.

If I call myself a Christian but piously declare that I’m not going to try to convert you to Christianity, then I’m either a hypocrite or a liar.  And the fact of the matter is that any Muslim who says he doesn’t want to see me converted to Islam doesn’t understand his own religion.

We are commanded by Our Lord to treat all men with honor and respect.  And if you want a model for how a Christian should deal with non-Christians and their beliefs, you will not find a better one than the Apostle Paul at the Areopagus

But don’t tell me that for the sake of “getting along,” I shouldn’t want non-Christians to be Christians and must refrain from trying to convince them to convert.  Considering Who died on the Cross and why, I prefer to believe that I don’t have the ability to be that dishonest.  Or that cruel.

33 Comments to PRETTY GOOD COMMISSION

midwestnorwegian
February 29, 2012

Hoodwinked.

Lulled into accepting the parasite until parasite kills the host.

Smurf Breath
February 29, 2012

“pretty good commission” – no better summary possible.

I love how, once again, the Episcopalians distinguishing themselves here, making a showing in the person of “Gwynne Guibord”, popping up like some kind of inane Where’s Waldo in the fantasy land of heretical, dumbed down American Christian stunts.

If you squint hard enough at any of these types of stories, there’s probably a Pisky or two nearby, except for ones involving Charismatics.

Katherine
February 29, 2012

I don’t have a problem with making friends, building peace, and sharing social service projects (up to a point; it depends on the project). If hanging around with Christians convinces Muslims that “love of neighbor” is one of Islam’s fundamental directives, that’s good. (It isn’t, but if that value can be injected into Muslim belief systems, so much the better.)

Like you, Chris, I think the commitment not to try to convert the Muslims given the right circumstances is a wrong commitment. The Rev. Mr. Warren is kidding himself if he thinks those Muslims aren’t angling to convert him and his. They know that really is a prime directive of Islam.

Miss Sippi
February 29, 2012

Compare verses side by side? Uh, yeah, you’ll see some similarities. Guess why.

gppp
February 29, 2012

But the good Mr Warren also knows that real Christians building relationships with Muslims will lead to conversions, I believe especially among Muslim women. Christianity really is that good, and because of that Warren doesn’t need to admit to any underlying notions because it will happen.

There will be conversions the other way, to be sure, but in open, inviting environments Christianity spreads much more rapidly and surely than any other faith precisely because it is the One True Way to the Father.

Bill2
February 29, 2012

Sounds very Piskie if you ask me. Give lip service to Christianity while actively subverting it. He’s a fast learner.

bob
February 29, 2012

“At the dinner, Abraham Meulenberg, a Saddleback pastor in charge of interfaith outreach, and Jihad Turk, director of religious affairs at a mosque in Los Angeles, introduced King’s Way as “a path to end the 1,400 years of misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians.”

Well, yes, there is a path. Any muslim will tell you it’s “convert, die or be a dhimmi”. Ask a muslim if there’s a 4th alternative. I’m OK you’re OK isn’t in the koran. What a dork. Is this guy dating Ann Redding?

Ad Orientem
March 1, 2012

“proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.”

Stopped reading there. The man is a heretic. Of course that was known before hand (he is a Protestant). But there is heresy and then there is HERESY. He just moved up the ladder.

LaVallette
March 1, 2012

“proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.”

No they do not!!!! Christians believe in a Triune God, and the Muslims refer to such believers as Polytheists in the same way as Hindus are Polytheists. Their very belief wounds Allah himself who will only be assuaged by “reversion and submission to Allah only” or their elimination from the face of the earth through Jihad.

Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Triune God. The Muslims believe he is merely a Prophet and subordinate to the the last Prophet, Muhammad.

“Share two central commandments: “love of God” and “love of neighbor.”

No they don’t!

Christians live according to the priniciples of a loving relationship between a Loving God and his beloved children. In his love, He goes out of his way to search out and call for his wayward children to Come back to Him. Muslims believe in demanding God who expects complete submission (which is what Islam means) to him by his creatures and demands vengeance in this life against those who do not live according to the minutae of his directives governing every aspect of the daily life of each individual, be they Muslims or Infidels.

Love of neighbour: Under the directives of Chrsit Himself, Christians believe in the Brotherhood of Men on the basis of all human beings being the children of God, which includes those who are not even Christians. Even more powerfully, Christianity demands that this Brotherhood and love is to be extended even to one’s enemies. Muslims only believe in the Brotherhood of Muslims or the Ummah. Everyone outside the Ummah is, by his/her refusl to submit to Allah, an abomination in the sight of God and must be treated as a Dhimmi, an outcast, something to be despised, an untermenschen,: so he/she is to be under maximum pressure to convert (revert) to Islam,through the deprivation of the most basic civil liberties and the imposition of deliberately oppressive living conditions and rules and subjection to Sharia, or Muslim law, even where it conflicts with personal civil/religious principles, the payment of an oppressive tax called the Jizyeh for the privilige of living under the “protection” of Muslim Authority and finally his/her life is forfeit to any Muslim who considers that the Dhimmi has offened Muslim sensibility. The term “Neighbour” for a Muslim only means another Muslim.

Allen Lewis
March 1, 2012

What the previous commenters have said.

Rick Warren has jumped the shark.

Poor man, I will have to pray for him.

Dale Matson
March 1, 2012

“a path to end the 1,400 years of misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians.” This is not a misunderstanding. Why doesn’t pastor Rick focus on better relationships between Christian denominations and Christians and Jews? having an orthodox Christology is the linchpin of the Christian faith. There is no wiggle room. Anything else is another gospel.

AnglicanXn
March 1, 2012

Our parish did “Forty Days of Purpose” in Lent of 2006 – a very good program, and I thought that Warren’s theology was decent.

Then.

Now he seems to have either equivocated or to have engaged in a Muslim deception about his real purpose in talking with them. Muslim teaching is that it is fine to lie to infidels as part of overcoming them.

While there are many Muslims who are fine, decent, and honest people, the religion itself is straight from Mordor. Lies, deception, treachery, and, above all, domination. They claim to revere Jesus as the second greatest prophet, but in making him a prophet (which sounds honorable) they deny most emphatically that he is who he is: God the Son, Incarnate, crucified for the sins of his people, and coming again to reign supreme over the entire universe.

Allen Lewis
March 1, 2012

As Katherine has pointed out, cooperation with Muslims and learning about their religion is fine, but it can only work in this country where there are restraints on the more “quaint” Islamic behaviors, such as honor killings, etc.

This would never work in, say, Saudi Arabia, where you would be instantly beheaded for trying to convert a Muslim.

Either Warren is trying to pull a fast one on them or it is the other way around. I suspect it is actually both. But this foolishness about “we worship the same God” is sheer and utter nonsense and, as someone pointed out earlier a black heresy.

Katherine
March 1, 2012

gppp points out correctly that when Muslims hang around with Christians, the sheer goodness of Christianity shines through, and there are conversions. This is precisely why Christians in Muslim lands run hospitals and social service clinics which serve Muslims. They are not allowed to specifically evangelize, but they do evangelize by example. If this is what Warren has in mind, good. He should lay off the joint theological statements and the no-conversion statements, though.

Truth Unites... and Divides
March 1, 2012

I’m going to try and go watch “Acts of Valor” this weekend.

mary raitt
March 1, 2012

After changing in every political way and now changing theologically and morally, TEC is ready
to become Moslem when that religion holds the majority of citizens.

Scott W.
March 1, 2012

Rick Warren was asked by news cutie Ann Curry if he would change his mind if it were proven that homosexuality was biological. He said, “Nature inclines me to have sex with every beautiful woman, but that doesn’t make it right”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TCxj_6yYbyc

It would be nice if that Rick showed up again.

Bill (not IB)
March 1, 2012

If this were to be taking place in Saudi Arabia, I’d be impressed.

In Southern California, it has no more significance than Madonna announcing that she’s converted to _________ (fill in the blank with *any* religion, sect, cult, or sexual orientation)

The Little Myrmidon
March 1, 2012

“…a path to end the 1,400 years of misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians.”

This means they will kill Rick Warren last.

Michael D
March 1, 2012

mary raitt: TEC will also wait until Islam accepts the GLBT agenda. Which may be a long wait.

However in the meantime, TEC will embrace polygamy on the off-chance that this will encourage Muslims to become Episcopalian. It won’t. But a number of TEC bishops will have a lot of fun exploring this.

Alexander Scott
March 1, 2012

Frankly, I’m astonished. Is it possible that what Warren actually agreed to is different from what this Turk guy is spinning? I can see nuance, such as Saddleback not “targeting” muslims but still believing they need to be converted… Otherwise, Pastor Warren is going to need a brotherly rebuking

Patrick
March 1, 2012

Love the bit from Turk about “1,400 years of misunderstanding.” What’s to misunderstand about the business edge of a scimitar? Like Jan Sobieski might not have held the Gates of Vienna against Muslim warriors if he and his troops hadn’t insisted on confusing “religion of peace” with “religion of submission.” Oh, and Francis of Assisi must have been a dummy, too.

Rick Warren is in danger of becoming Oprah for the “emerging church” set. Maybe he thinks singing “kumbaya” with people who are deeply suspicious of music is a ticket to what Mr. Osteen calls “your best life now.” Has no one thought to ask how many records Yusef Islam sold after he stopped calling himself Cat Stevens?

While I’m at it, do the people striving for concordance know that later verses in the Koran carry more weight with Muslims than earlier verses do? That wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, except that the “peaceful” verses are the early ones, before Mohammed essentially cowed everybody in Medina into paying protection money.

Rick Warren has never read Robert Spencer. Or Bruce Bawer. Or Serge Trifkovic. But maybe he read Karen Armstrong. Oy vey!

Smurf Breath
March 1, 2012

I’m starting to think that maybe “Rick Warren” is Arabic for “useful idiot”. The issue is that supposedly an underling of Warren’s (Meulenberg) is responsible for this. But it is Warren’s organization. All Warren has done so far is to point a few critics to previous statements of his that say that he believes Islam and Christianity are different religions.

But given all the misunderstanding this latest incident has caused, Warren has the responsibility to do something: call a press conference and publicly clarify where he and his church stands. He’s a management guru, friend and student of the late Peter Drucker. He knows the buck stops with him, and he needs to do more than hope this will go away.

Here’s an excellent podcast that lays all this out in detail:
http://standupforthetruth.com/2012/02/chrislam-when-common-ground-becomes-shaky-ground/

Smurf Breath
March 1, 2012

Like Jan Sobieski might not have held the Gates of Vienna against Muslim warriors if he and his troops hadn’t insisted on confusing “religion of peace” with “religion of submission.” Oh, and Francis of Assisi must have been a dummy, too.

Not to mention Charles Martel. Funny how we never hear about any of these guys, but we hear an awful lot about how evil the response (ie. the Crusades) was. Rapacious warfare is the norm for Islam. It is given warrant in the Quran, whereas the exact opposite is true in the Bible.

Whitestone
March 1, 2012

Sounds like you all might be willing to reconsider your stringent response to my objections to CCC#841 in the Roman Catholic Church Catechism.

Certainly the fruit of Islam globally does not seem to be inspired by The Holy Spirit and the GOD of Love, Truth and Life.

247 deaths, 568 critically injured by terrorists the week of Feb.18-24.

783 killed, 1329 critically injured in terrorist attacks in February.

18,508 Terrorist Attacks since 9/11/01.

Clown Celebrant
March 2, 2012

Mooslims seek to kill Christians when they can. Somebody please jerk the palantir out of Warren’s hands. He’s been gazing into Sauron’s eye far too long. Mooslims are laughing behind his back… as they prepare to plunge the scimitar into his liver.

LaVallette
March 2, 2012

Jean Sobieski, Charles Martel and include Jean Parisot de La Vallette, his Knights Hospitallers of St.John of Jerusalem and Rhodes and later of Malta, and the people of Malta for the defeat of the Ottoman Empire’s Sulieman the Great’s attempted invasion of the island in 1565. This began the push back against Turkish/Muslim naval power in the Mediterranean subsequently consolidated at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. under Don Juan of Austraia, where the fleet of Malta was a participant. This is celebrated in the Catholic Church as the feast of Our Lady of Victories, and the National Day of Malta since that time, to honor the two events. (incidentally: The surrender of Italy in World War II and practically the end of the war for Malta took place on…. 8 September 1943, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Victories)

Katherine
March 2, 2012

Whitestone, as Rick Warren is not Catholic, your comment has no connection to this thread.

William Tighe
March 2, 2012

“Whitestone, as Rick Warren is not Catholic, your comment has no connection to this thread.”

Par for the course, Katherine.

Dale Matson
March 3, 2012

I do not think Rick Warren drank the Kool Aid according to this followup interview.http://www.edstetzer.com/2012/03/rick-warren-interview-on-musli.html

Katherine
March 3, 2012

Yes, I know, William Tighe, but I don’t think people should get away with that kind of thing without comment.

Dale Matson, I came here to post the same thing. Warren says it was a reporter who go the story wrong, one who didn’t even contact him for the article.

CarolynP
March 5, 2012

Let’s back off Rick Warren on this one. He has been seriously misrepresented.

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