I am really going to try to get through this article without hurling lunch. Please bear with me if I need to excuse myself for a few minutes. The reason for my digestive distress? Two words. Rick. Warren.
Apparently, Rev. Warren, pastor of the gargantuan Saddleback Church in Lake Forest California, has been christened by the media to be one of America's 'most influential Christian leaders' (*gag* sorry). In an effort to snuggle ever closer to the Muslim community in Southern California, he is introducing Kings Way, an initiative born from years of outreach between Warren and the Muslim community.
Kings Way seeks to find theological points that evangelical Christians and Muslims can agree on. Uh, Rick? Hold onto that dream, pal. One such little jewel is that Christians and Muslims "worship the same God." (Oh no!! Hang on--I'll be right back!)
Whew! That was gross. Anyway, this effort to attempt to bridge 1400 years of 'misunderstanding' between the two faiths was crowned by a dinner in December 2011, held at Warren's church which was attended by 300 Muslims and the members of the church congregation. A real huggy, kissy love-fest, to be sure.
Abraham Meulenburg, the Saddleback pastor in charge of interfaith outreach and Jihad Turk, director of religious affairs in Los Angeles drafted a document together that lists points of agreement between Christianity and Islam. (*Buuurrrp!* Excuse me.) This agreement affirms that Muslims and Christians believe in "one God" and also share two of the same commandments; love of God and love of your neighbor.
It also commits both faiths to three goals. They are to make friends with each other, build peace and work on shared social service endeavors. And they agree not to try to convert each other. In order to confirm these goals, the document shows side-by-side quotes from the Bible and the Koran that prove both faiths are commanded to pursue these goals. (*GAG*!!! No, it's OK. I'll be alright.)
Rev. Warren has faced some criticism for his romancing of Muslims and flatly denies he is trying to merge the two faiths into one which could be known as Chrislam. He insists, "My life and ministry are built on the truth that Jesus is the only way and our inerrant Bible is our only true authority."
Really, Mr. Warren? Then what excuse could you POSSIBLY have to support the blatant lie that Jehovah and the pagan moon god, Allah are one and the same?? There are only two answers: you are a heretic or you are a blithering idiot. Take your pick.
The good Reverend is aware that evangelicals are overwhelmingly in favor of converting Muslims to Christianity and that they view Islam as promoting violence. (What amazing insight!) However, he points out that Christians are still obliged to treat everyone with love and respect, regardless of their religious views. Not to worry there Rick, I haven't heard of Christians bombing any Muslim community lately.
Gwynne Guibord, an ordained Episcopal priest, is the co-founder of the Christian-Muslim Consulting Group based in Los Angeles. She states that her group's mission is to respond to the growing antagonism between the two faiths. "I think evangelicals feel a mandate to convert people to Christianity" and thinks Warren's outreach is unprecedented. "I am not aware of any other evangelical church reaching out to the Muslim community." (Oh boy, I'm feeling nauseous again.)
You know, I have to weigh in here on a few points. I have no problem whatsoever with Christians being friendly with Muslims. Go oncarpool, have dinner at a nice restaurant or get coffee together. If a Christian sees a Muslim with a need, Christ commanded us to minister to them like the Good Samaritan would. I wouldn't have to think twice.
BUT. I do take issue with the good Reverend's soft-core approach to building bridges. Jesus Christ, (remember Him Rick?) commissioned us to spread the Good News of the Gospel to all people in all places. Have you done that Rick, or is that not politically correct? What's wrong, are you afraid that wouldn't generate enough of a spotlight for you? (My tummy is really upset!)
Ms. Guibord, did you hear that? This should be no surprise, so I cannot understand why you are obviously not in favor of Christians witnessing the truth of Christ to the lost? Isn't that the whole point of Christianity? Isn't it critical we do our best to present the Gospel so these people might not end up roasting in hell for all eternity? Or is it more important to parade around the sanctuary, in your pretty, embroidered robes, sounding pious and wise to the parishioners?
And Rick. Dear, inclusive, non-offensive Ricksurely you're aware by now that the followers of Islam are commanded to convert, enslave or kill infidels? They are to pretend to accept Christians and Jews until they are able to overwhelm them. They are to conquer the world and institute sharia law.
There is no 'misunderstanding.' They hate America and everything we stand for. The only goal of their 'Purpose Driven Life' is world domination! What part of those facts don't you understand? (*blech*, oops!)
Your priorities are completely unbiblical! You are being deceived by the enemy and not only are you failing the great commission, you are trying to cozy up with people totally devoted to a poisonous belief system. Do you really think what you are doing is accomplishing anything useful for the Kingdom of God? And what, pray tell might that be?
Theirs is not a religion of peace. It is a religion of bloodshed, conquest and lies. They're not interested in what you have to say and it is an outrage for you to even suggest Islam and Christianity have anything in common! They are diametrically opposed. Isaac vs. Ishmael. Jacob vs. Esau. Got it?
So, please get a grip on your ego, crack your dusty Bible open and get re-acquainted with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. If you keep insisting on being politically correct, know that you are completely wasting your time, making an idiot of yourself and misleading your congregation. Shame on you! (*sigh* I need a nap)
You can reach the author at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Wasson is all of the following: Married. Mom. Hospice RN. Avid reader. Animal lover. Needing to spread the Gospel while there is still time.
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