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Chrislam: A Blending of Religions, A Loss of Faith

Chrislam: A Blending of Religion, A Loss of Faith

You may remember Rick Warren.  He is the author of Purpose Driven….stuff.  He has a slew of Purpose Driven materials that hit churches and homes full force in the early part of the decade.  It seemed every church on every corner was offering small groups that focused on this premise.  I admit.  I was cautious.  Any time one man’s work gets a vast number of groupies, I’m usually skeptical.

As a person of faith, a follower of Christ, it is vital that I maintain the proper perspective of man and God.  Man is given to failure, pride, and manipulation.  God is perfect.  Throughout history, especially in the church, people’s hopes in men are dashed to pieces, based upon the fact that they thought their “hero” could do no wrong.  They forget that man is easily deceived.  They forget the humanity of humanity.  Thus, placing such high hopes on the ideals of a man is a dangerous business.  When people come face-to-face with the harsh reality that their “idol” isn’t Superman, but wrought with frailties, given to the temptations of this world, they often give up hope.  Hope in people. Hope in institutions.  Hope and faith, altogether. Gone.  At the same time, people who are so strongly led by men, who forsake thinking on their own accord, who don’t take time to look into “facts”, and research what they have been taught are often seriously misled.  There are many great thinkers, writers, and philanthropists, but ultimately, it is necessary to come back to a source of truth and check in.  Men are easily swayed, manipulated, and deceived.

I come, now, to Mr. Warren.

Pastor of a mega church in California, New York Times bestselling author, philanthropist, Rick Warren has obtained tremendous influence and power in the last 15 years.  His most recent endeavor has been the bridging between world faiths.  While many would see this as a laudable, even admirable, action, many are now deeply concerned.  The last few years, in particular, Mr. Warren has been called upon to serve on world faith councils.  He is consulted upon in unifying and bringing “peace” among the great religions.  Actually, his main focus has been Christianity and Islam.  Though men and women around the world have a heart to find like-mindedness in issues of morality and respect, Mr. Warren has sought to take relations among the faiths to a whole new level.  Last year, he brought the Qu’ran to be placed side by side the holy book for Christians, the Bible, in the auditorium during what were typically Christian services.  Most recently, he was a primary participant to “A Common Word Between Us and You”, the “Christian response” to a letter written by King Abdullah of Jordan and over 100 Muslim clerics.  In this document, those who proclaim Christianity have proclaimed that the God of Islam and the God of Christianity are one in the same. Here is an excerpt:

The Task Before Us
“Let this common ground” – the dual common ground of love of God and of neighbor – “be the basis of all future interfaith dialogue between us,” your courageous letter urges. Indeed, in the generosity with which the letter is written you embody what you call for. We most heartily agree. Abandoning all “hatred and strife,” we must engage in interfaith dialogue as those who seek each other’s good, for the one God unceasingly seeks our good. Indeed, together with you we believe that we need to move beyond “a polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders” and work diligently together to reshape relations between our communities and our nations so that they genuinely reflect our common love for God and for one another.  Given the deep fissures in the relations between Christians and Muslims today, the task before us is daunting. And the stakes are great. The future of the world depends on our ability as Christians and Muslims to live together in peace. If we fail to make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony you correctly remind us that “our eternal souls” are at stake as well.  We are persuaded that our next step should be for our leaders at every level to meet together and begin the earnest work of determining how God would have us fulfill the requirement that we love God and one another. It is with humility and hope that we receive your generous letter, and we commit ourselves to labor together in heart, soul, mind and strength for the objectives you so appropriately propose.

There is one (among many) problem with this:  Muslims do not believe in the Trinity. The Qu’ran forbids the belief.  Why is that a problem?  Because Christianity proclaims that Jesus Christ is God, the son.  (Hence, the name of the faith/religion?  Christianity?)  Muslims do not believe that Jesus Christ was the Savior.  They believe he was a prophet, a good guy. But, for Christians, the Bible, from cover to cover is about the Messiah.  The focus of the book is not about a good guy, but about the Savior for all of mankind.

(Kind of a big deal to us Christians.  The true followers of Jesus Christ, that is.)

The two faiths are incompatible. It is impossible to believe that Allah is the same is the Judeo-Christian God, when their book and our book define two different Gods.

One is a big ‘G’ God, the other is a little ‘g’ god.  And both sides claim to serve THE God. 

You may ask why this is really such a big deal.  Many of you have genuine concern and a heart for the Muslim community.  Let me be clear that I believe that there should be mutual respect and kindness toward all people, people of other faiths, people who have different lifestyles, and those who do not believe as I do.

HOWEVER, as a follower of Christ, our hope is to reach out in love, as only modeled in the mind and spirit of Jesus. Yet, Jesus never compromised who He was!  He never forsook his purpose and always maintained truth and honesty.  He was gracious, kindhearted, and stood upon truth. 

Without the full grace of the Holy Spirit, we WILL most certainly forsake a merciful attitude and come across in an unloving, un-Christlike manner. So our ONLY hope is full reliance on and constant prayer in the Lord.

It is easy to want to see good intent of these men and women, both the Muslim, and those who define themselves as Christians, in “reaching out” to each other.  But, I also see a power play with people who are very influential as primary proponents.  A person can be loving, kind, and respectful, and still maintain their integrity, belief system, and commitment to truth.  I DO believe that there are some who are genuinely ignorant of what they have signed onto.  It is possible that they did not fully read or understand, pick up on all of the seemingly small, albeit powerful statements with wild implications laced throughout.

The following video clip explains the inconsistencies of Islam and Christianity and the complications that Rick Warren, Robert Shuler, Bill Hybels, and others have created.  Essentially, they have renounced Christianity, as the Bible sets forth, for a new faith.

 

Essentially, as this video so effectively states, this document renounces any higher allegiance to Christ and places common ground – “A Common Word” (which as the creator of the video points out is a direct reference from the Qu’ran). If we don’t have Jesus, we have nothing. Jesus and his sacrifice are what make our faith transcendent and unique from all others.

Without this essential person, being Jesus Christ, the namesake of our “religion”, Christianity, one could argue that Allah were the same as the God we serve!

Alas, our Book, our entire reason for being is woven in the person hood of God the father, Christ, his son, and the Spirit that gives us power. This key element – the Trinity, is blasphemy to Muslims. This is what the Common Word has renounced.

Having said all of that, our task, as unwavering, uncompromising believers is enormous. The Bible foretells of the climax of this battle in the last days, when apostasy will be rampant and the muddling and mixing of faiths will occur.

It is absolutely essential, (I am talking to myself and praying to Christ, as I type) that I remain in Him – HIS word, HIS truth, begging and asking for the mind of Christ moment by moment, and throwing off anything that entangles, so that I can recognize the wolf in sheep’s clothing and then know how to properly respond. I can ONLY know that if I am in Him and He abides in me.

Further, I completely agree that there could be dialogue between the faiths. I started to say “should”, but changed it.  If there is not a mutual respect, as there is NOT many times from the Muslim community, particularly internationally, (relations within America are different, largely) then, communication is not possible.

A response from the Christian community would be appropriate and even a gesture of good will.  But I believe that we would have to respectfully, yet clearly disagree. We can agree on issues of morality, ethical and cultural values, but this in no way demands commonality in pledging the same God and matters of faith.

This letter is not kindness and peace, but weakness, a lack of principle, a lack of biblical knowledge, and a wavering spirit.

Finally, we must pray for Rick Warren and the men who have unified themselves with these precepts, along with the Muslim community. It is undeniable that many of these men and women have tremendous influence and that is a VERY scary prospect. Those who are not careful, guarded in Christ, and saturated in Scripture will be easily swayed. Again, while I believe that there may have been some well-meaning, albeit, ignorant people who signed this document, there are absolutely people who have an agenda.

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  1. Mark
    April 8, 2012 at 4:56 am

    Hello Jennifer, I would suggest that you do more research into Islam before posting about it. Theologists are not in disagreement about the relationship between judaism, christianity, and islam. There is no question the three are based on the same God, but veer off into different direction concerning interpretations of biblical events, prophets, afterlife, and messiah. Just as you have written “Judeo-Christian”, merging Judaism and Christianity (which is very much the new trend in today’s conservative Christianity, largely based on political reasons), you are contradicting yourself as the Jewish faith doesn’t reflect the criteria you stated above either: They do not believe Jesus was the Messiah, similar to Islam, they see him as a ‘good guy’, a wise prophet. Judaism does not discuss the idea of afterlife or heaven and hell much either, instead, it focuses more on life on earth, and this is in contrast to Christianity whose primary focus is preparation for the afterlife. Many conservative Christian sects today are blending Judaism with Christianity to focus on the commonalities rather than the differences, and I believe this is a good thing. People should always focus on a similarities first, and often in doing this, the difference resolve themselves or prove inconsequential. You could do the same with Islam, focusing on its many similarities with Christianity, and that is what the pastor stated above is doing, its just not the Politically Correct, cool thing to do, so of course, he is taking heat for it.

    • Order in the Quart!
      April 9, 2012 at 3:00 am

      Hi Mark! I thought your points were very thought-provoking and worthy of full view on the main page, so I have posted my response there. Thank you for posting your thoughts! It was a blessing to read, reflect, and have great dialogue. I hope you will visit again!

  2. servantwith2talents
    April 13, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Here’s the problems I see… (Most) Christians are so wanting, and eager for people to accept them in this life that they tolerate changes made to accomodate everyone else. “We don’t want them to feel left out” Well… Who will shield everyone when the judgement comes. We cannot plead to The Almighty to spare everyone because we don’t want to hurt their feelings. As far as I know (which, admittedly is not a whole lot) Muslims are about one compromise, and one compromise alone. Accept or die. I think it would be naive to believe that they would be making ANY concessions in their beliefs. I mean first we cut out the diety and the sacrifice of Christ.. What next?
    I have found that as much as people say “be yourself”, and “Honesty is the best policy”, they do not want honesty. They want a feel good type of Christianity, the kind that Joel Olsteen offers. I do not agree with this type of thinking, or the type listed above. People are going to hell. It is an unpleasant, if not unpopular fact. Only through Jesus Christ, Son of THE Living God, and His Blood can we be saved. We cannot be saved by accepting all religions, we cannot be saved by donating money to a certain ministers hokey ministry. Neither can we be saved by killing our enemies, in an attack on their innocent civilians. The early disciples did not give their lives with unwaivering conviction for a good man, or a decent rabbi, or even a prophet. They gave their lives, they looked their killers in the eye and refused to deny their Lord, Their Master, Jesus Christ. I too hope that when the time comes He gives me strength, and resolve to do the same. I refuse to believe that the same man who forgave a prostitute, and a thief (On his death “bed” none the less) authorized a cowardiced attack on innocent people.
    People want to get rid of the concept of Hell and punishment. It is all rainbows and unicorns for us from this point on. I beg to differ, and I know you feel the same way Jen, even the Bible says “For He is faithful and Just…” We know what that means, the word “just” that everyone gets what he or she has earned in this life due to either sins, or actions/deeds/ thoughts that Glorified Him and His Kingdom.
    How long until The Bride of Christ completes the Apostasy? God help us Lord, come quickly!

  3. Order in the Quart!
    April 14, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Absolutely, Chris!! Well said, indeed! And YES, Lord, come quickly!!

  4. SWL
    August 6, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I had my concerns about Rick Warren 10 years ago. Just a “feeling”, but sometimes that’s the Holy Spirit alerting us to be careful. Everyone lauded “The Purpose Driven Life”, but as a man at my church pointed out, most of his points were just a reworking of Baptist teachings that have been around almost longer than Warren has been alive.

    In Bible Study today we were talking about the temptations that come with fame, and I think that may have been how Rick Warren and other came to be seduced into this interfaith stuff.

    • Order in the Quart!
      August 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      SWL, absolutely. I agree with you, so many who come into fame are enticed and tempted in direct, overt ways. I think that Rick Warren’s original intentions were pure in wanting to reach out to others, (as I do – per our previous discussion) but got caught up in the “love” side of the debate forsaking the truth, which really is not true love at all. This is the failing of the church. When love and truth are not in perfect balance you either get sugar-coated apostasy or you get legalistic hypocrisy! Great thoughts! Thanks!

  5. Jen
    April 2, 2013 at 2:15 am

    First off I am Jewish and a born again Christian So what that guy Mark said isn’t 100% correct on Jews believing that Jesus is not the Messiah. I do believe Jesus is the Messiah and always have !! I didn’t do it for political reasons either. I came to a saving knowledge of Jesus on my own.

    • Order in the Quart!
      June 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      Praise the Lord! Thanks so much for commenting and you are most certainly correct, there are many Jews who have come to knowledge of Christ. I pray that many more do soon. Time is very short!

  1. April 9, 2012 at 2:57 am

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