Last week, I was one of many bloggers who posted a story about the apparent acceptance of a new false religion called “Chrislam” – which takes the beliefs of Christianity and mixes it with the Muslim religion - by the Purpose Driven Pastor, Rick Warren. This week, Warren responded to the accusation on his website, Pastors.com.
Personally, I was unimpressed with the “interview.” Clearly, the questions were set-up questions meant to allow Warren to answer the way he wanted. There was nothing “journalistic” about the questions or the response. I’ll leave it up to you if you want to believe it, but I still have questions after reading it.
- Pastor, while you claim that the “same God” issue was misunderstood, how do you explain your use of Islamic references to God in your “Christian” prayers?
In the prayer Warren offered at the Obama inauguration, he closed with “I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus. . . .” Despite what many believe, Isa is NOT just another name for Jesus.
Islamic scholar Ahmad Deedat, states that the name Isa (pronounced Ee-saw) is a cognate of the patriarch Esau (Ahmad Deedat, “Christ in Islam, Islamic Propagation Centre International” p. 7-8). This is blasphemous in that God reveals in His word, the Bible, that Esau was a fornicator and “sold his birthright” for a pot of stew (Hebrews 12:15-17). Lest anyone be deceived into believing that Isa is simply another name for the biblical Jesus, it should be understood that Isa is in no way an Arabic transliteration of the Hebrew Yeshua, nor is it another name for the Son of God! In fact, Muslims do not believe that Isa is the Son of God or that he died for the sins of the world. (emphasis mine)
- You state that you never said that you wouldn’t evangelize your Muslim friends and blame the reporter for saying that you did. However, the article didn’t claim that you said it, it mentioned that Jihad Turk (Director of Religious Affairs at a mosque in Los Angeles and co-author of the King’s Way document) did. “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.” (emphasis mine)
Where does this “misunderstanding” come from, if not from the joint document created by Turk and Abraham Meulenberg, a Saddleback pastor in charge of interfaith outreach?
- Did you mean to imply that anyone who has a problem with your “evangelization” of the Muslim community is full of hate and therefore, not Christian?
Concerning the “same God” issue, Brandon Cox, your “interviewer,” posted his own explanation on the topic:
Theologically, there are two points that surface repeatedly among questioners. One surrounds the verbiage that Christians and Muslims worship the “same God.” This is a rather poor choice in terminology, but the misunderstanding is understandable.
What Saddleback really affirms is that both Christians and Muslims are monotheists – that we both worship one God, and that the deities of which we both speak share many similarities. Neither the Christian leaders, nor the Muslim leaders involved in the discussion have ever affirmed that Jehovah and Allah are the “same God.”
If your ministry doesn’t believe them to be one and the same, how do you explain your Islamic reference to God in a speech you gave to Muslims? Or your Islamic mention of God in your prayer on Inauguration Day?
“Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.” – Rick Warren (emphasis mine)
“The compassionate and merciful one” – taken from your Inauguration Day prayer and used multiple times.
This is a distinct and precise Koranic formulation reserved for Allah alone. If you are praying to Allah, aren’t you accepting the “same God” position that you claim to reject?
The article also mentions – and you don’t address it in your “interview” - the use of the Quran and the Bible as proof texts. How do you justify putting the Islamic scriptures on the same level as the Bible? Jesus is “the Word made flesh,” not the “Quran made flesh.” (John 1:14)
By the way, pastor….
There’s a new “Bible” supported by the likes of Wycliffe Bible Translators, the Summer Institute of Linguistics and Frontiers. It’s a new “Muslim-friendly” version—no, I’m not kidding—that will remove or modify terms which they have deemed offensive to Muslims.
Included in the controversial development is the removal of any references to God as “Father,” to Jesus as the “Son” or “the Son of God.” One example of such a change can be seen in an Arabic version of the Gospel of Matthew produced and promoted by Frontiers and SIL. It changes Matthew 28:19 from “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” to “cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit.”
I think they should call it the NCV—the New Chrislam Version. It would be the perfect text for the Chrislamity you have embraced.
What others had to say:
- Rick Warren Embraces “Chrislamity” – Strident Conservative
- Rick Warren on Muslims, Evangelism, and Missions – Pastors.com
- Rick Warren Is a Bridge-Builder, Even with Muslims – Pastors.com
- Chrislam Starts To Spread In America – NowTheEndBegins.com
- Did Rick Warren Pray to Allah in the Name of a Muslim Prophet? – Cup of Joe
- Muslim-Friendly Bibles – Conservative.org