Prasch’s Lash-Out On Rick Warren

this one is a tough message from J. Jacob Prasch

IS RICK WARREN THE MEDIA FRIENDLY VOICE FOR THE REGENERATE CHURCH OR FOR THE DEGENERATE CHURCH ?

Rick Warren, whose efforts to turn Evangelical Christianity into a psychologized religion based on marketing with his ‘Purpose Driven’ agenda stunned many who claim to be regenerated bible believing Christians when he appeared on Larry King Live globally offering an apology to the homosexual & lesbian community for his ‘apparent’ opposition to California’s Proposition 8 outlawing legal recognition of same sex marriage. He did this after creating the unambiguous impression he did oppose it. Warren’s hypocrisy or Christ-less treachery appear to know no limits. Yesterday’s theological liberal is today’s supposed ‘Evangelical’.

From his butchering of scripture out of context, to his reliance on Eugene Peterson’s ‘The Message’ which to any biblical Evangelical schooled in New Testament Greek can only be described as an utter bastardization of Holy Writ , Warren has set mew limits to spiritual seduction.

On the basis of scripture, Warren’s translocational hermeneutics in which he literally ‘cuts and pastes’ verses from one book or passage into another to completely change the original meaning demonstrates categorically that Rick Warren is clearly of the devil – an agent of hell dispatched by Satan to destroy what con artist tele-evangelists and ecumenists have not already destroyed of biblical Christianity.

Warren’s perversion of the Gospel where he replaces the biblical centrality of repentance with a consumer friendly instruction not to preach repentance at one time would have left any biblically grounded Christian, and certainly pastor warning others against this deceiver.

His exhortation to avoid end time prophecy, directly contradicting the opposite exhortation of Jesus (Achieved by deleting Acts 1: 6 and replacing it with a cut and pasted insertion of Matthew 24:3) means that he places his instructions above those of God. This is indeed the spirit of anti Christ. Like the Lucifer who whom he is employed and from he takes his orders, Warren likewise in character of Satan in Matthew 4 perverts texts out of context in isolation from co-text to create a distorted pretext. This is the devil, and this is Rick Warren.

Warren joined with Brian Maclaren (who demands a moratorium on debating the morality of homosexuality and lesbianism until the church decides if it is right or wrong) in forwarding Dan Kimbell’s book ; ‘The Emerging Church’, a post modern metaphysical philosophy of mysticism drawing on early medieval monastic spirituality with everything from icons to labyrinths to the ‘lectio divina’. Indeed, a return to the dark ages with no objective biblical compass to determine direction. Maclaren is a by theological definition a Gnostic who says then parables of Jesus should rather be interpreted on the basis of ‘our imagination’. It is Warren’s Purpose Driven lie that is the door into Maclaren’s emergence. What is astounding however is that these sons of Lucifer are portrayed as ‘Evangelicals’, despite they cannot justly claim any subscription to an exegetically biblical Evangelicism.

What is more perverse than this however is that even after Warren’s apologetic backtrack to the homosexual & lesbian community who demand legal recognition of what is biblically an unholy matrimony now claiming he is not against such same sex marriages the backlash from Christians has remained mooted. Christian bookshops continue to sell his Purpose Driven Lie.

Warren spoke at a synagogue but made no proclamation of Jesus as The Messiah as St. Paul and Jesus did when they were invited to synagogues and as others such as David Hocking have done today. Rather he lectured on his Purpose Driven programmatic approach will work to grow synagogues as well as churches. One would ask why anybody would want to help a false Judaism rejecting its own messiah to put more Jews on the path to hell? Yet Warren extends his agenda to other religions as well. Now , and most notably Islam.

Truly Born again Arab believers normally address Jesus as ‘Yesua Hamesa’, but after praying in the name of “Issa’ , (the Islamic name for Jesus who is not the Jesus of The Gospels because Issa is not God’s Son) at Obama’s inaugeration, Warren has gone once more gone further. He has now addressed an Islamic convention organized by Islamic organizations funded by oil money from Saudi Arabia which executes people for becoming Christians. Like Obama, Rick Warren said not a word about human rights abuses , the persecution of Christians throughout the Islamic world, or the rife hatred of Jews even taught to children in moslem schools and madrasses. Persecuted Christians are not on Obama’s agenda, and neither are they on Rick Warren’s. Neither of course did Warren in any sense present the Gospel to these lost souls. It is obvious that we have wicked men like George Bush and Barack Hussein Obamas in The House House because we have wicked men like Rick Warren in the pulpit.

Backslidden nations get the leaders they deserve. So do backslidden churches.

Moslems, unbelieving Jews, and homosexuals & lesbians are not the cardinal problem. These are unsaved people doomed to a Christ-less eternity unless the true church by God’s grace and with God’s help can reach them with the gospel. But what is left of the true church?

For too long it has been sandwiched between one lunatic fringe of ultra Pentecostals and hyper charismatics not knowing the difference between charismata and charismania on one extreme and another lunatic fringe of hyper Calvinistic kooks and cessationists not knowing knowing the difference between reconstructionism and The true Kingdom of God on the opposite pole of the ecclesiastical spectrum. Now the center is being satanically subverted.

If Jesus were not coming, I would become very despondent. But Praise God He is Coming. Now as the faithful remnant strengthens the things that remain the question becomes what our strategy should consist of in the meanwhile. The Lord will indeed show us if we ask Him and He has in a greater sense already showed us doctrinally in broad terms in His Word.

How can The Body of Christ not remove this demonic and highly metastatic cancer from itself but instead watch not only the lost perish but the church progressively rot to death with this auto tolerated malignancy? That demonic cancer is indeed the agenda of Rick Warren & Co.

J.Jacob Prasch/ Moriel

That’s a bit of an eye opener … thoughts?

Bull

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67 thoughts on “Prasch’s Lash-Out On Rick Warren

  1. Pretty strong stuff.

    The guy raises some interesting questions which deserve real answers, but he’s too right for me – as in I got this down boys.

    Not sure there is much humility here, just another camp being set up, which is where it loses me.

  2. He’s been around for years.

    Lectures in a UK Bible College. Check out Moriel Ministries.

    He is a Messianic Jew so he knows his Torah from his Pauline Epistles.

    Still, he is pentecostal as well as wanting to be biblical. If he is a bit “in your face” … well, maybe we aren’t used to that. Paul was certainly in Peter’s face.

    Anyway, look at his other articles before coming to a conclusion. He is very aggressive in the above article though.

    Shalom

  3. Wow – he really is very strong. I agree with MN – the certainty of his own rightness and the lack of humility does detract from his message. It makes him look a bit like the ‘hyper Calvinists’ whom he criticises.

    I do agree with his criticism of ‘Purpose Driven’. While it claims to be a way of discipling people and spreading the gospel, the mere fact that its suited to synagogues and other places shows that its more about a system for big organisations than it is about discipleship. There seems to be more love for the systemic approach than for individuals within the system. Anyway… there’s more to it than that.

    I agree that Rick Warren takes scripture out of context; reading the ‘Purpose Driven’ books gave plenty of examples of that kind of thing.

    I do not agree that ‘Rick Warren is clearly of the devil’. There are too many lines of that nature thrown around about various people – gosh, I’ve possibly been the subject of them myself. All you have to do to get that label is be one step out of line with someone’s definition of rightness.

    Of course a lot of what Rick Warren puts forward seems motivated more by a desire to control and grow in influence and power (not so much money) – perhaps he is power and status oriented, both of which he is achieving.

    Plus he doesn’t preach repentance – but just as its surely wrong to avoid the subject of repentance at all costs, its just as wrong to wave repentance around at people like some big humiliation that you must go through in order for God to accept you.

    Repentance is a natural and ongoing part of continuing to turn to God, and will be part of our lives. To set it up as some kind of gate pass isn’t how God works – I believe repentance is a result of knowing God, not the criteria that must always be achieved prior to knowing Him. Some people no doubt repent first; others will repent after a revelation of who He is and how much He loves them. As for me – I certainly didn’t know what repentance was when I met Christ as a 9 year old kid, but Jesus was real to me, and repentance has been an ongoing part of my walk in different areas over time.

    So I am very wary of preachers who both ignore repentance completely (and have guidelines about not mentioning it which smacks of a potentially manipulative approach), and also of those who emphasise it to the point where their version of faith becomes the New Law, replacing the God-driven heart transformation where repentance naturally springs from.

    I thought this bit was funny:
    “Warren joined with Brian Maclaren (who demands a moratorium on debating the morality of homosexuality and lesbianism until the church decides if it is right or wrong)”

    If that’s true, then they’ll never ever debate it; plus it assumes a unity of attitude amongst whoever they define the church to be – is the ‘true church’ only those who agree that homosexuality is wrong??

    But you know, I think its important that Rick Warren is challenged. He really has come up with an effective system, much loved by some pretty influential churches, and I do not think this system sets people free. So to me, it is not from Jesus. There may be some wonderful things done in Jesus name in ‘purpose-driven’ churches but I think there are inherent risks with the approach and that Rick Warren’s approach to scripture is dodgy.

    What we need is intelligent people countering Warren in an intelligent fashion, that is not so driven by emotion that Warren (who comes across as a person who uses a lot of reasoning) can write them off easily as whackos. I’d like to see that somewhere.

    As for Warren aligning himself with every other faith or lifestyle – if his aim is to extend understanding and co-operation, then fine. However, I’d like to see those other faiths and lifestyles understanding that Christians do follow Jesus; that its about love, that we don’t condemn (despite the way some Christians obviously DO condemn), and that we also willingly live in the Way we believe God has called us to, which will not align with those other faiths and lifestyles in many cases.

    If we could all accept and understand that about one another without trying to change one another (leave that bit to God), then perhaps harmonious relationships could occur without people compromising their faith in order to have them.

  4. Again … excellent Post RP!

    When looking at the ‘discernment’ websites … their is a slight justification to the pejorative “heresy-hunters” about them.

    It’s because they are so an angry. I understand the anger and frequently share the anger. However, for true discernment to be effective, we need to be much calmer when confronting it.

    I have no qualms in saying that Todd Bentley serves his father the Devil. I say it with great sadness. There is something in the eyes that projects insincerity. There was something about the broadcasts from Lakeland that made me want to bring up my dinner. Seriously, every time I watched it, I felt physically sick. The sensation went away when I switched the sound off.

    Without the sound on, the people looked like they were under mass-hypnosis or satanic attack. It was really bizarre. Frightening.

    After that, I call GodTV by the name HellTV.

    These observations are of course subjective. They are not objective critiques of the theology presented. In large part, there was no theology presented. What was presented was Todd Bentleys’ experiences of the supernatural.

    [just testing out my new skills of highlighting text with bold and italics ... nice]

  5. Porpoise driven is much easier to critique scripturally, as Rick Warren likes to think of himself as an evangelical.

    Jacob is clearly very angry about Warren’s pragmatic approach. Unfortunately, that’s an aspect of his personality. But we are all flawed creatures and we need grace to be in our lives to make us better people.

    I think we can all agree that the tone of the content detracts slightly from the critique of Warren his approach to evangelism and discipleship.

    Practically every western church has been influenced by Warren … so a critique of Warren is quite timely.

    Shalom

  6. I think your statement is interesting. I pose this response from Saddleback…The main question you ask is why Rick is speaking at the ISNA conference? While I do not wish to offer an apologia for ISNA, I would refer you to multiple articles that describe the organization’s goals in reaching out to other faiths, including Judaism, and denouncing terrorism (Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the leader of the largest branch of American Judaism, addressed the convention two years ago; also see the AP story on July 1 by Zoll, and stories in the Christian Post, Church Solutions and even the Washington Times in the past week).
    What I would like to clarify is Rick’s message and motive. You claim that Rick probably doesn’t have an agenda, but I would like to assert that it is his lifelong agenda that led him to accept the invitation to speak at ISNA. You may have noticed that outside of Saddleback Church, and Rick’s 30 year Purpose Driven Ministry to pastors, he does very little speaking to Christian groups of believers. Instead, he invests his time speaking to groups of unbelievers that most pastors never get the opportunity to share with. He carefully considers the opportunities that God has given him to address these audiences. These are folks that Jesus died for, but would never enter a church to hear the Good News. Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Luke 5:31 (NIV) Rick believes strongly that if you want to actively demonstrate the love of Christ to others as He commands us to, then you have to reach out to a variety of audiences. No one is ever convinced of God’s love by labeling, condemnation, or anger. Rick strongly believes that if we want to behave in a Christ-like example, we must not waste any time judging others (Jesus didn’t), but instead, do everything we can to build relationships of love and respect and trust with others.
    In our secular culture, there are about a dozen different groups of influencers that we at Saddleback seek to serve and reach out to including those in academics, business, military, sports, health care, media, prisoners, entertainment, other faiths, and government. If we are to fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission in the world, we must build bridges to all of these, and more. Just know the goal of every speaking engagement Rick accepts is always the same: The global glory of God. We seek to build bridges of love – from our hearts to hearts of even those we may disagree with – so that Jesus can walk across!
    The theme of the session at which Rick will speak is “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” a theme most appropriate for a message on perhaps our country’s most sacred day, Independence Day. Rick will bring a message appropriate to the values of the meaning of this day on what America and all Americans, not just Muslims or Christians, need to maintain our independence. Freedom and independence were at the core of our country’s founders and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect this country across its history. As a pastor, Rick intimately understands these values, particularly the value of religious freedom, and will fiercely advocate for them unashamedly in front of any audience. But religious freedom means the right to practice the religion of one’s choice regardless of whether or not others agree with a particular religion’s tenets, and the freedom to associate for the common good of all Americans and for those less fortunate than us around the world. That is a value that is not only part of our heritage as Americans, but also a commandment of Jesus Christ.
    I appreciate the opportunity to clarify Rick’s appearance before ISNA and would refer you to a recent issue of Rick’s “News and Views” in which he thoroughly discusses why he speaks to a variety of audiences.
    http://www.saddlebackfamily.com/blogs/newsandviews/index.html

  7. Hmm… the above comment seems to be from a bot, there is an identical one on this blog :
    http://www.jewishjournal.com/thegodblog/item/rick_warren_speaks_to_islamic_society_of_north_america_20090706/

    Very interesting how much time is spent on managing image in the online world. This is not the only ministry to use these kinds of techniques. Saddleback are obviously worried about criticism they may get about Warren speaking at the ISNA event, and have tried to head it off.

  8. Yes, it is very interesting to see such a response! It’s pretty clear that its an automatic one since it doesn’t address the context of this blog.

    I certainly don’t disagree with all the values Rick pushes, such as religious freedom. But the Purpose Driven approach doesn’t seem particularly freeing to me as a driver of church congregations. Still, there are probably people perfectly happy in that set up, and who am I to tell them they have a problem if they don’t think there is one?

    As image management there is a certain irony here. The response talks about building bridges and forming relationships – but there is nothing genuinely relational about an auto response.

    Its a bit like when your church (or your accountant) sends you a generic birthday card once a year – you know its not personal and that it doesn’t carry the same meaning as it would from someone who knows you well. Yet the churches seem to think its evidence of love towards the congregation, or helpful somehow in building the community. Really, its value is in marketing the organisation or in making the organisers feel they can really claim to care for people in a meaningful way.

    To me, a meaningful way is when there is a genuine dialogue between people; not a generic birthday card, Christmas card, Mothers Day gift or auto-bot response.

    At least its not a rude response! Rick Warren would not do that. Unless its rude to pose an auto response as a real response and expect people to be taken in by it.
    :)

  9. wow. Who’d have thought we’d get an auto-response … or at least someone posting a set text response.

    The real problem with Rick speaking to Muslims is not that he is there but what he will say and what he won’t say.

    It looks ecumenical and suggests to Porpoise Driven adherents that Islam and Christianity are compatible, even though none of the Muslims in the audience would think so. In fact the auto-text suggests that it’s a moderate group but Prasch has already asserted that it funds terrorism.

    At this point, I would think that unless we get a real person responding we can safely ignore the propaganda. Let’s face it … Prasch ain’t making any money out of being a ‘heresy-hunter’ but Warren is making millions of dollars out of Porpoise Driven.

  10. Bull

    I’m not sure that that isn’t a trifle unfair.

    That being taken at face value having a Christian being able to speak to a group of people that are of a different persuasion:

    remaining faithful to Christ in that process, and not give away the family farm to impress; and

    avoid being condescending, paternalistic, and telling them they’re all going to hell etc.

    I think there is an art to that, and without knowing what he was there to speak to and what was actually said I don’t know that I could pass judgement.

    If you don’t like Purpose Driven Life as many of us don’t, well it’s open season there.

  11. My only point is that it would be completely pointless from a Christ-centered point of view.

    Warren will probably publish an Islamic Purpose Driven guide. This may be the reason behind him jumping at the chance to get known amongst America’s Muslims.

    Why do you think he catered for them in his prayer at Obama’s Inauguration?

  12. In fact, all you need is a contemporary american slang version of the Koran to quote from and then all Warren has to do is replace Jesus with Mohammed and God with Allah and he can flog another 500,000 copies of his best-seller.

    The bottom-line is, the apostate church is really keen to join itself to Islam.

    Islam won’t compromise though, so the church will have to abandon the Jesus of the Bible who was fully Man and fully God. The Jesus who died a substitutionary death on a Cross.

    In Islam, Jesus was only a prophet. In Islam, Jesus did not die on a cross.

    Word of Faith ministers already say that Jesus completely left His divinity behind in Heaven and only a Man on earth, while Steve Chalk (UK minister), among others, has said that the substitutionary atonement is cosmic child abuse.

    If it has no meaning, it then is no trouble theologically to drop it completely.

    Can you see how part of the church is already moving in the direction of Islam. There is no reciprocal movement towards the historic theology of the Christian church by Islam.

    Of course, the result is the loss of God’s Grace. There is then no forgiveness. The other side of this is that all the letters of Paul will be lost. The Gospels would be altered. No letters from Peter or John or James or Jude.

    The Old Testament would have to be butchered too.

    No forgiveness. Only legalism which leads to Martyrdom in Jihad in order to be certain of salvation.

    That’s what we are fighting for. Anything that gives legitimacy to another faith undermines our own.

    Shalom.

  13. Valid point Bull. Different faith’s can’t be reconciled, but they should at least attempt to accept each-others differences. (Which, by the way, it’s either you do or you don’t). So I don’t personally understand why Warren is so keen on this.

    Apologies for past Christian or Muslim atrocities would be beautiful but it doesn’t seem to be about reconciling past history abuses.

    The dangerous thing to me is this; what on earth IS Rick Warren?
    If he’s a pastor, then he is to defend and feed the flock/church.
    If he is an evangelist, He needs to preach the word of God.

    If he’s neither, then he is a Christian who is out their living in the glory of God by changing the world for the greater good, differences respecting difference. I can accept that. However, the serious problem lies with the fact that the lines are blurred. He aint really ‘evangelising’ as they seem to claim he’s doing if he’s teaching things like “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. Will Jesus be mentioned, or will be this another self-help book?

    Also. This statement in the auto-response disturbed me:
    “Just know the goal of every speaking engagement Rick accepts is always the same: The global glory of God.”

    We can bring the “global glory of God”? Just a litle sprinkle of Latter Rain salt with that is fine!
    Another post coming up!

  14. Bull: “Anything that gives legitimacy to another faith undermines our own.”

    I flatly disagree with that. I acknowledge the God given right – yes right and privilege – to believe anything they want to.

    Just because another believes something different to what I do, or I acknowledge another’s God given existential right to make their own decision, does not in and of itself undermine my faith.

    This right to choose is the gift that God gave to us in the Garden and is a critical component of being an image bearer.

    We all make our choices.

    Which brings us back to another issue you’ve raised occasionally.

    I’ve lived through a church that has been shattered by the Arminian/Calvinist dichotomy.

    My view after several years and decades of trying to unravel that Gordina knot is that both are right.

    As humans we cannot get our tiny minds around that concept and naturally tend to polarise.

    For every scripture that emphasises the sovereignty of God in all things (which I wholly and unconditionally agree with), I find quotes that indicates men and women make their own choices and suffer the consequences.

    “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’

    The simple truth is cannot wrap our heads around how God works things out.

    Him Almighty Creator of the Universe, me clay pot even though an image bearer.

    I am content that we both have free choice and that God is sovereign and works things out exactly as He sees fit.

    As you pointed out in another post….. God is always right.

    Which brings me back to the comment that you made…….nothing undermines God.

    We all make our choices and hope and pray they are the right ones. The trick is how to get along with one another without killing one another….. a trick that so far far we have failed to avoid historically.

    And I am under no illusion about the mind sets of both Muslims and so-called Christians who will only be happy with getting what they want at the barrel of a gun if required.

    To that extent I agree with you that we must be prepared to contend for our faith, although being an inherent chicken I hope it doesn’t come to the barrel of a gun, for may sake, my children and their children. But I ain’t holding my breath…..

    S&P

    Good comments I think about Warren and asking exactly who is he and what does he stand for. Good question for us all I think.

    Bit wary of the global glory of God.

    Hair splitting I know, but I think the best anyone can to in that sense is to glorify God through what they do and how they live. We might be able to herald it but I question if we can “bring it”, and happy to let God take care of the global thing.

    Someone smarter than I might have a view on that.

  15. “The theme of the session at which Rick will speak is “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” a theme most appropriate for a message on perhaps our country’s most sacred day, Independence Day. Rick will bring a message appropriate to the values of the meaning of this day on what America and all Americans, not just Muslims or Christians, need to maintain our independence. Freedom and independence were at the core of our country’s founders and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect this country across its history. As a pastor, Rick intimately understands these values, particularly the value of religious freedom, and will fiercely advocate for them unashamedly in front of any audience. But religious freedom means the right to practice the religion of one’s choice regardless of whether or not others agree with a particular religion’s tenets, and the freedom to associate for the common good of all Americans and for those less fortunate than us around the world. That is a value that is not only part of our heritage as Americans, but also a commandment of Jesus Christ.”

    One. I hope that is one of America’s least sacred days. (Good Friday, Resurrection Sunday anyone?)

    Ok. So Independence Day and Rick Warren. What’s wrong with this dialogue and picture? Who’s God did America put their trust in as they became an established nation? Which God built America and what is happening now that the church and the nation are abandoning God? Which God bought slavery to an end in America? Which God rose up people like Martin Luther King to fight for black equality in white society? Which God gave rights for women to be equal with men? Does Freedom even have a name anymore?

    Two. The above said: “As a pastor, Rick intimately understands these values, particularly the value of religious freedom“. Does Rick ‘value’ the saying of Christ, “I am the way, the truth and the life, none chall come to the Father except through me”? I know Christ dealt with Samritan’s and gentiles, but I would be very curious knowing how Christ would have dealt with a strong practicing Muslim or someone who practiced witch-craft. Would he have associated with them or healed them? Would he have included preaching to them? I honestly don’t know.

    Jesus didn’t say “I am the way, the truth and the life, none chall come to the Father except through me, except those who practice Islam, religion or don’t believe in me, (because I am respector of peoples values)”.

    He probably would have talked to them, and loved them I guess…

    I have to say, I am strongly against Islam. If the Koran is read through thoroughly, (which I have done-so), hatred is their bread, the sword is the future, deception is truth (the Koran does contradict itself), and heaven is but an orgy fest. Love is not their God and those who are not Muslim must die, we are infidel; disgusting in their presence and a bad smell to Allah.

    You don’t need me to tell you this, a number of aethiests are pretty against Islam spreading. This really isn’t an issue of faith, but an issue of ‘values’ and consience. If a woman is raped in a muslim country, by the readings of the Koran, she has the right to be stoned without trial- married or not. Just watch some SBS documentaries to see how twisted the ‘social life’ is in some of those places. I would never want to live their for my own life’s sake or for my virginity’s sake!

    So after all my rambling, I still winder if Rick really wants these American Muslim ‘values’ encouraged?

  16. It didn’t fit but I want to add this. While what I wrote above seems fiery, I do have Muslim friends. I love ALL people. But I hate lies and deceiving spirits. Allah is one of them. And whatever that angel was that deceived Muhammad, I do not like.

    I can honestly say that if my God loves middle-eastern men and women, so can I and I do. They are beautiful people.

  17. MN,

    let me clarify.

    I’ll rephrase what I said to bring out what I meant.

    Anything that legitimises another belief system undermines the appeal of my own belief system to other people.

    That’s what I meant. Of course, acknowledging others right to believe what they like doesn’t affect your or my own beliefs. However, for those sitting on the fence or looking in at what goes on, it has an impact when a prominent Christian is essentially saying all roads lead to God and for Muslims in particular, they will say “no need to consider Christianity … islam is sufficient”.

    I was only trying to say, that instead of a clear message to those outside the Kingdom of God, Rick has sent the wrong message. Clearly, Warren thinks Allah is the Father of Jesus … he’s wrong. Allah is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Allah is Not the father of Jesus … the name represents a very different deity. It is not a loving act for Warren to affirm Islam and condemn so many people to a Christ-less eternity.

    Shalom

  18. Whatever happened to a good argument?

    Oh, sorry….that’s the second door on the right.

    Back to the point….yes Bull I acknowledge the broader point that you’re making but in the context of Warren I still don’t know what he actually said.

    S&P said it best when he quoted Jesus”….except through me”.

    Either a person believes that in a real sense or they don’t – there is no where to go with that statement – a person either believes and embraces it – Jesus and what He has done for them – or they don’t – simple.

    For myself I simply am not interested in a God that makes mistakes.

    Jesus is the way…oh 600 years later, no sorry Allah has got it all together…., ah, excuse me sorry about that folks…correction go with what Joseph Smith has to say…

    I am soooooo confused!!!

    That may sound trite but that is how I think having gone through the worlds philosophies and religions when I was a bit younger. The God of the Bible is the only God that makes sense to me – much of it I don’t understand and don’t expect to, but my life experience and the historicity of Jesus is enough to convince me.

    I don’t going along with Hinduism/Buddhism – I do not disappear into the great cosmic all – I have a unique identity which God gave me and I retain that thank you very much – I am not giving it to some other amorphous unknown (or is he) disembodied entity.

    The very nature of these religions is we make choices about what we believe to be true with the consequences and trappings that go along with that.

    In the end some people will be right and some will be wrong.

    To that extent religious liberalism is the ultimate cop out, and perhaps ecumenism.

    And at that point it would be interesting to hear what Warren did actually say to that Islamic convention.

    I know that missionaries who have worked with Muslims say it is terribly difficult to be open and direct with them because they will lose them straight away for a variety of reasons.

    The age old issue of how do you open the communication lines without sending the wrong messages and compromising the God we profess to serve

  19. I personally know missionaries who have been to Muslim countries and who say that they are respected when they talk of God and Jesus.

    The thing is, in Muslim countries under Sharia Law, they don’t mind if locals read their Bibles, meet other Christians etc, but as soon as a Muslim convert to Jesus is Baptised, they are assassinated or executed.

    Until that moment, they are safe … very interesting.

    Salvation:
    To the Muslim, Allah can forgive without a sacrifice … his power is his greatest attribute.

    The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob … being the Father of Jesus is different. His greatest attribute, His most important attribute, is His righteousness.
    That is why God cannot forgive anyone …

    Until it’s been paid for.

    Jesus had to die the death of a criminal … so that God could have mercy on us all. God is so righteous that it must be satisfied. A substitute for me has been provided through the crucifixion of Jesus. Indeed, every act of Pardon is written in Jesus’ blood.

    Of course, God is love. But that is not God’s primary attribute. In the crucifixion, the wrath and mercy of God meets. Jesus Himself is vindicated by the resurrection and that is what ultimately gives us hope for our eternal future.

    “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. First for the Jew and then for the Gentile. For in the Gospel, a righteousness from God is revealed. A righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written ‘the righteous shall live by keeping faith’ ”

    Paul’s Gospel was a Gospel of righteousness. Not a Gospel of Love.

    In John’s letter we see that while John is interested in love (agape), he is also interested in truth and righteousness too.

    well now … I think that’s enough to chew on for now.

    Shalom

  20. I disagree now – the Gospel is a Gospel of love, and that in no way excluded righteousness. I’ve heard some good teaching on how God’s wrath is an expression of His love. It’s an area of teaching that I’m gradually exploring at the moment. All that God does is in the context that He is Love, that He created a divine pattern that is the best way for us to live, even though we have the freedom to choose something different, and that He created us for relationship with Him. In this relationship, love will take us further in Him than fear ever can. Fearing God is not bad, but loving God and knowing His love is vastly better and more empowering.

    Hope that’s not too airy fairy – I haven’t even tried to set up the theological backing for this, just shared the conclusions of the view.

    But to reassure everyone – love doesn’t mean that doing whatever we please is OK; doesn’t mean endorsing ways that are not from God in order to keep people happy (doesn’t compromise truth), and love does not detract from God’s righteousness, but is an integral part of it.

  21. “But to reassure everyone ” – that came out wrong. I just mean to clarify what I believe about love…

  22. BTW – I understand that Islam means ‘submission’. I think the ‘submission’ theology taught by some in the Pente scene (and other places) is the kind of thing that we see fulfilled to an extreme in Islam. As Bull said, all law, losing grace and forgiveness. This is one reason to really hear the alarm bells when coming across teachings from people like John Bevere. They may think they are poles apart from Islam, but in their approach, if not their execution, I’m not so sure.

    Haw anyone else read ‘Infidel’ by Ayaan Hirsi Ali? It is hard to read this book without taking a hard line against Islam as a result. However, it is knowledge of God’s love which I think can hold us back from a vile reaction to these things, while still supporting positive actions to work towards freedoms in the Islamic world (such as women’s rights etc).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayaan_Hirsi_Ali

  23. Teddy

    had a glance at that article and will read it later – looks very interesting.

    To recap in a different way….

    Once upon a time God created the world (and who knows what else).

    The pinnacle as far as we know (hope no overstating) was humanity who God created to have a joyous everlasting relationship with, and in the the image of the themselves.

    As part of the that creation God gave humanity the ability to choose. That ability in itself is not bad, but some of the choices may be.

    That ability was given primarily to allow full relationship and the capacity to willingly and wilfully love, and although inherent in that is the capacity to choose otherwise.

    There others in God’s larger creation who had already exercise this choice and desperately desired to show they were better than their Creator.

    So God knew when He created us that the capacity for “sin” was there, but we are told (and I accept) that He is not the author of sin.

    Well humanity made its choice.

    Could God simply overlook it because of his righteousness – that is He created the world in His image and us to function and relate in a particular way – which was not not happening?

    Why if righteousness the main deal the rest of history about God arranging to sacrifice his only begotten son to restore that relationship?

    Its a vital necessary inescapable component but I could not argue in good conscience that its the critical issue.

    I agree with Bull’s comments and analysis, but not to the point where I agree righteousness is the primary attribute – and I’m not sure that that was what Bull was saying – more perhaps that there isn’t a primary attribute?

    Think of the story above and make up your own minds.

    I think these are issues where we naturally tend to polarise again.

    Hang on a minute.

    Let me rummage around in my cyber store room for that box I have especially put aside to put God in again.

  24. I like the way you put that MN, and especially:

    “Once upon a time God created the world (and who knows what else).”

    (For those of us who enjoy sci-fi etc, that is quite pleasing.)

    I’m not sure that Bull was saying righteousness is the primary attribute either, but if we love God then righteousness is attributed to us through Christ. So the relational component is actually crucial to righteousness, and without love it becomes religion or law.

    I do struggle to come to grips with these things and probably always will due to my limited nature. I remember debates about predestination, foreknowledge etc with a Presbyterian Calvinist friend of mine, years ago, which were never resolved, but were very interesting.

    The spectrum of our faith is wide. What I really enjoy about what we have here is that we know we are all united in Christ, and can explore these issues in a respectful and friendly way, without condemning eachother for having different views. It’s great.

    One of the problems understanding things, I think, is that its very difficult to step out of the mindset most of us have grown up with, which is at odds with God’s approach revealed in the NT. A mindset where we are seeking to earn (to deserve via work, or forfeit via bad work or no work) is the typical way life is approached in the West. Not that it always works that neatly. To then view what God has done for us as an act of love, and to approach one another in that way, is contrary to everything the world teaches. No wonder so many people try to earn God’s favour through works. No wonder the NT is turned into the New Law, and some churches love throwing around the promises from the OT like some kind of formula. How do we approach scripture without viewing it through those eyes in some way? I don’t know how much of my understanding is distorted by this influence.

  25. Check out Larry Norman’s “Unidentified flying object” just for you RP:

    esp his refernce…and if there’s life on other planets

    The trick I think RP is to inhabit a number of worlds – the one we live in, the worlds of others, and the real one which God is calling us see and live in

    I certainly don’t manage it

  26. ok … thank you for the comments.

    I look at it this way. God’s Love (Agape) is made perfect in His Righteousness.

    God will not compromise on His Righteousness. Therefore, for His Righteousness to be satisfied while also being merciful to all, He demonstrated His love through a single loving act.

    Jesus speaking to Nicodemus “As the snake was lifted up in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” [Johns' comment follows ... paraphrased to bring out the greek tenses] In just the same way, God Agape’d the Human Race by giving His only natural son, so that anyone who goes on believing will never perish but go on having everlasting and abundant life.

    That’s John 3:14,15 and 16 if you want to look it up.

    If Jesus spoke John 3:16 to Nicodemus, then it would mean that the it’s the only recorded time He called Himself the “only begotten son”. Everywhere else He calls Himself “Son of Man”. (Here I have used ‘only natural son’ as begotten can imply a product of a sexual union … which it was not)

    If John 3:16 is the beginning of John’s commentary on the private conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, then the rest of the passage starts to make a lot of sense. John can do this, of course, because he was the closest disciple and was the only one left alive, probably, by the time he wrote his gospel.

    John is the one who tells us God is Love. I think this is really unique in world religions. He can only be love because He is a trinity.

    Allah is not love. It is not really one of Allah’s attributes.

    Lets get to the distinctions between Allah and Yahweh. I am really comparing and contrasting these deities.

    1. Allah is all powerful, and whatever he decides to do, he does … nothing we can do about it … “Insh’Allah” (God’s will). Allah can condemn or save someone on a whim. No guarantees.

    With Yahweh, it’s different. He is righteous. He can never do anything wrong. Everything he does is absolutely right. He will never lie. He will never break a promise. We can trust Him totally.

    2. Salvation. The only guarantee of salvation in Islam is to die in Jihad. If you die a martyrs death, you also guarantee heaven to 70 named friends and relatives. See the appeal of blowing yourself up in a crowded commuter train now?
    With Yahweh, all you need do is believe. He’s done all the work … He’s thrown you a lifeline, all you have to do is hold on, until He pulls you to safety on the shore.

    I know which God I want to serve. The point is, Allah is not Yahweh.

    Regarding my earlier comments, I am not trying to contrast a God of Love and a God of righteousness. I am trying to point out the God’s Love only makes sense when we start to understand His righteousness.

    It’s good to think about these things, isn’t it? In church we almost never do.

    oh, BTW, thanks for disagreeing with what you think I said while giving me the benefit of the doubt regarding the meaning as well. :)

    Shalom.

  27. The above is a link to the Rick Warren thing BTW.

    Lots of links from the article too. It goes into the Terrorist links that exist between ISNA and Hamas among others.

  28. ‘He can only be love because He is a trinity.’ – Yes – a very important point. Plus, I agree that we can’t understand God’s Love until we also understand His righteousness – the two cannot really be separated.

    That was a nice summation of contrasts, Bull. Really does make the point that we are not talking about the same Person at all, when looking at the character.

  29. Also. Yahweh did not create sin in man. In the Koran, it states that Allah does.

    Boy did I receive back-lash for quoting their own scripture back to some Muslim’s once!

    If you go to youtube and look up testimonies of Muslim’s who gave their lives to Jesus, there is one thing that they all say in common; Yahweh is Love. They are shocked to discover Allah isn’t.

    A friend of mine also became Christian and left the Muslim religion. He loved being a Muslim because of it’s focus on scripture and holiness practices.

    He changed faiths after He found that Yahweh is greater than Allah. This was to do with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob vs. the God of Abraham, Ishmael and Etc.

    Muslim’s claim that Allah is Allah Almighty, yet my friend started to see a contradiction. If He was Allah Almighty, why was he then bound by Islam’s understanding that he ALWAYS has to honor the firstborn. If the true God is Allah, then why can’t he choose to honor the second seventh son, or anyone he wants too?

    He saw that the nature and character of God is not, can not, will not and SHOULD NOT be limited by our understanding and the commands he placed upon us.

    If Allah truly is God, why is he bound to the rule’s he placed upon man, when he is not man?

    Armed with this insight, my friend automatically started liking the outrageous things that Yahweh did outside of the rules and commands he placed upon man. When Yahweh took on flesh and revealed himself through the person of Jesus Christ, my friend was amazed. He chose to BE man and as man, live under the written Law until the cross – his death fulfilling the Law and then doing away with it.

    He said something to me like “Jesus was not only the author of the Law, he wrote off the Law so that we can enter into a covenant relationship with Him. The unlimited One chose to limit himself as man and subject himself to the Perfect Law to reveal to the world He is perfect as both God and man.”

    He then said something like, Muslim’s would not like to think that their God would ever come in the flesh.
    (So why do they worship Muhammad?)

    That is why my friend came to know Jesus. He loved Yahweh because of His ability to do the outrageous and do things more amazing then Allah.

    My friend has given me great insight into the Muslim faith.

  30. S&P: “If you go to youtube and look up testimonies of Muslim’s who gave their lives to Jesus, there is one thing that they all say in common; Yahweh is Love.”

    Another part of that is my understanding that the concept of “Father” is foreign as well.

    This conversation reminds me that there is power in the Word – the sort of power that there is value and merit in glorifying – as opposed to the use of power by others that is often discussed here.

    I like hearing about God at work, as opposed to all the bells and whistles “look at me” stuff often the topic here.

  31. By the way Teddy I read the testimony you posted the link to above and found it very interesting and encouraging.

    A hard road….

    No matter what you hold to, it is much easier to hold a position and be comfortable rather than expose oneself to possible radical change.

    That applies to everyone I think.

  32. very true MN.

    My Wife is a former Muslim. So, there are Muslim relatives etc … this means that I end up paying more attention to what’s going on than others do.

    If you have friends who used to be Muslims but have since become Christians, you can gain so much insight into the differences between Allah and Yahweh. The ecumenical approach is essentially a dead end.

    The problem is that to meet Muslims half-way involves losing the Son of God, Forgiveness, The Cross. Going back to Warren, the obvious truth is that Warren can only get Muslims, as Muslims, to join his P.E.A.C.E. plan. Ends justify means, even if the people you use go to Hell because you didn’t have the courage to tell those people that they needed to change.

    Warren has wasted his time.

    Shalom

  33. I acknowledge what you’ve said in regard to your own situation which must have its very own and special issues.

    But in relation to Warren I suppose it depends what the intention is.

    Here is a link to one of the P.E.A.C.E projects working with Muslims in Southern Romania:

    http://thepeaceplan.com/projects/Details.aspx?id=306

    To be honest I don’t see anything than Christians at this point trying to influence the world in a positive way.

    I’ve looked for a record of what Warren actually said at the ISNA conference, but can only find third party commentary which quite clearly has its own pre-suppositions.

    Bluntly I’m not impressed – I have yet to find a simple record of what Warren said other than hearsay (otherwise known as inadmissible evidence)

    I’ve also listened to evangelical Christians slag off everything Catholic as being totally and uncompromisingly of the devil.

    I don’t disagree with the general tenor of the differences between Islam and Christianity and what that means in terms of evangelising – i.e there is a need to proclaim the Gospel.

    But this incessant pillorying of Warren on this matter (and remember I’m not necessarily a fan)has so far produced nothing of substance.

  34. The reference to Catholicism was a reference to the fact this is what we – that is Christians – do – just as much as anyone else – in terms of making poor arguments and cases.

  35. MN,

    understood. There is a question mark about what Warren said … it would be very easy for Warren’s organisation to put out a copy of his address. Why hasn’t he?

    If you were a well known Church leader and were getting unjustifiable bad press that you could refute easily, you would put out a statement of what you actually said, on your own website … just to reassure your own fellowship if nothing else.

    The flipside, of course, is why would others lie?

    What is to be gained?

    The ISNA is a terrorist backing organisation that just managed to avoid being prosecuted. The only real ecumenism that they want is for Christians to convert to Islam. Warren chose to give them legitimacy by speaking at their conference.

    His theology is not really the question at that point, his judgment is.

    Anyway, to consider the theology of the emerging church we need to take a closer look at “The Message”

    link here …
    http://www.crossroad.to/Bible_studies/Message.html

    Shocked and dismayed doesn’t really describe my reaction. I already knew it was dodgy. I didn’t realise how “New Age” it actually is.

    Shalom

  36. I’m familiar with how dodgy The Message Bible is. Didn’t surprise me at the least!

  37. There’s a tension between the calling of Christians to be peacemakers and evangelism. What ‘should’ Warren be doing? Some believe everything is ‘peaceful’ (including a controversial message) as long as it involves no physical violence. Others look upon dissent as a form of potential violence. If Warren’s talk was particularly controversial, then he wouldn’t be able to speak in that setting, so we can be pretty sure he hasn’t said anything that would ruffle any feathers. So it would be more an act of diplomacy than evangelism.

    Why hasn’t he published his message? It does make you wonder if he compromised the gospel to talk to that audience without offence, and kept the details quiet to avoid offending Christians. But that’s pure speculation. It would be interesting to read the speech as his agenda would be clearer.

    The reason it matters is that he is a person of influence these days. Influence seems to be what he seeks,’For the glory of God’. Can it be for the ‘Glory of God’ if the gospel is not preached, or can it be for the ‘Glory of God’ if a more peaceful path is established between those of different faiths. You could argue a case for each.

    That is interesting to hear about your wife, Bull – I guess you must follow these issues quite well as a result.

    I am interested partly since I studied Australia’s relationship with South East Asia at University years ago, and became aware of the funding for education in South East Asia that came from Saudi Arabia. Over the years, that has resulted in a change in composition of Indonesian society to a much more Muslim environment. I’m no expert, but it looks like the Saudi’s had a successful long term view. However, in many places, Muslims and Christians live together peacefully, as one of my Christian Malaysian friends has reminded me over time. It’s hard to know from here how big the influence of extremists is over a more moderate majority who probably just want to raise their families in peace.

  38. RP said: “However, in many places, Muslims and Christians live together peacefully, as one of my Christian Malaysian friends has reminded me over time.”

    And as you probably wrote that this morning, headlines from today’s Sydney Morning Herald scream:

    “Envoy Attacked as Iraq Christians Targeted”
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/envoy-attacked-as-iraqi-christians-targeted-20090713-divt.html

    July 14, 2009
    “At least four people have been killed and 32 wounded in a wave of bomb attacks targeting churches in Baghdad.

    The four dead, all Christians, died when a car bomb exploded near the Notre Dame church in Palestine Street in the east of the capital at around 7pm on Sunday, a security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    The blast targeting the Chaldean house of worship also wounded 21 people, 15 of them Christians.

    At least 11 people were wounded in other explosions at churches during the day, the official added. Three were injured in the southern Iraqi district of Dora, while the remaining eight were wounded in the other blasts.

    The bombings occurred less than two weeks after US forces withdrew from Iraq’s urban centres on June 30 under a security pact signed by Baghdad and Washington last November.

    Violence has dropped markedly throughout the country in recent months, but attacks remain common, especially in Baghdad and Mosul in the north.”

    the paper also said:
    “The terrorists don’t distinguish if they were Muslim or Christians… They are killing Iraqis. The blood of Christians and Muslims were mixed today.” -(Khodor Mohammed)

  39. Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying:
    “Blessed are the poor in spirit,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are those who mourn,for they will be comforted.
    Blessed are the meek,for they will inherit the earth.
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,for they will be filled.
    Blessed are the merciful,for they will be shown mercy.
    Blessed are the pure in heart,for they will see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers,for they will be called sons of God.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

    “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

  40. There is a difference between the everyday Muslim that my Malaysian friend is used to living peacefully with and the extremists who are hyped up by political maestros and powerbrokers who want to use them and do not value their lives, let alone our lives.

    We must be merciful even to those who are our enemies – that doesn’t mean putting ourselves in harms way. These are difficult times.

    It might be worth remembering that suicide bombers hark back to the Hashishan’s (Arab Shiites) who responded to the Crusades, which were started by the Catholic church for the sake of power. The Hashishans assassinated people knowing they would not escape punishment (death) Prior to those times, you found Muslims and Christians and Jews living together in Jerusalem without war, apparently. Talk about reaping what was sown a very long time ago.

  41. Additionally, according to the Hirsi Ali book I read, many of the Islamic extremists come from tribal backgrounds, and have a way of thinking that is centuries behind the West. In any case, there will be others who are more educated but still kill for the sake of their religion.

    How much different are they from those who would kill for the sake of their Christian faith – some of the extreme Right would consider that some circumstances would justify that.

  42. “How much different are they from those who would kill for the sake of their Christian faith – some of the extreme Right would consider that some circumstances would justify that.”

    As I was just going about my business today, I further thought about this.

    A good analogy about this would be like adoption. If parents adopted a child who’s values who got them onto the street to begin with, you’d expect either 1. that child would change some of their values so they could be accepted by the family or 2. the family would put some guidelines on the child so that all can function perfectly well as a family unit.

    They had already accepted the child for who they were, but changes still needed to take place so that all could function appropriately as a family unit.

    If the child refused to change it’s values and continued to misbehave and damage the other children and bring the family into division, the sensible thing would be to dis-own the child or live to regret respecting that child’s values and not doing anything about changing the child’s code.

    I am not trying to say that Muslim’s value’s are child-like. I want to emphasize that their will be a clash of values. And if those values don’t add to the families but take away, then dysfunctionality will have it’s course; harmony is absent.

    I am the same with this on Christian’s and non-believers as well. If their values are about gaining selfishly for themselves, orhurting and exploiting others, why should they be invited in? It is good to hope that they are willing to change and work with them outside the household or community, in hopes that all can benefit for what they can offer communally.

  43. “And if those values don’t add to the families but take away, then dysfunctionality will have it’s course; harmony is absent.”

    Sounds like the human race to me. :)

  44. true. any family can have it’s discord at times, but they will essentially function together as a unit.

    a father/elders/council/government would punish those who abuse others in the household/community, hoping that person would be restored to function properly in community, and hopefully, help the community.

    We are talking about a people brutal and unchanging that are driven by hate to spread their values that do more damage than good to society. (look at Teddy’s links from ‘Warren Is As Cheap As His Words’ – https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2009/07/14/warren-is-as-cheap-as-his-words/#comment-4372 .)

    Islam is a threat and do their best do hide and deny it. Those who truly follow are those that operate with seared consciences (just look at the second video of Teddy’s to see how that man refuses to see what the other man is saying!) This is very similar to the famous Bill O-Reilly from CNN who was always right, never lies and took on extreme Western values.

    What I write sounds like I hate Muslims. I don’t. I highly love my friends who are aethiest, agnostic, New Age, Budhhist, Hindu and Muslim. I like learning about their faiths. But I am at war with the spiritual and pray that none are taught by deceptive spirits. I pray for God to bless them financially in these times and that God can be with them when they face hardships. My God loves them and my God blesses them.

    The Muslim God will NEVER do this. And those seriously dedicated to the Muslim faith are taking advantage of the West’s integrated Christian values by fully knowing that we will turn the other cheek (as those on Teddy’s posts say).

    If we say nothing, it’s war and they see us as a threat. If we defend ourselves from this purpose driven invasion (Ah! So Rick and Muslim’s do share the same values!), they will be more open about this being a war.

    Even if I wasn’t speaking from a Christian’s point of view, it is becoming aparent to a lot of people in general that Islam will spread or otherwise those who resist will be an enemy and therefore pursued by the sword.

    If it can’t invade silently, respectfully and peacefully, it will invade loud and violently.

    I wish Islam wasn’t militant, hate-filled and violent. I don’t like seeing death on any side if it can be prevented. I love seeing people set free from religion, free from shame and guilt and living lives in peace, joy, love and unity. To see Snow White accept the delicious apple from the stranger, without questioning the motives of the stranger is a tragedy. I am sad about the West embracing Islam without questioning it’s motives.

    Islam is never about unity, peace and the most important attribute: love.

    I thank God that many Islam are ignorant of their scriptures. I have read the Koran and it preaches contradiction, deception, hate and war.

    This is only further proof in the bible that the end is sooo near. … ‘There will be wars and rumours of war…’

  45. The sooner the better I think, but my own view is that we have a while to run yet.

    It is for my kids and their kids that I have any concern about this…

  46. I’m not sure what the arguments are for saying that Muslims worship a different God to the Christian God, but I think it is an uncharitable position.

    Islam is an Abrahamic religion, they have a (broadly) similar concept of one God and a common heritage of ideas and understandings about Him.

    Rick Warren seems to tailor his message for whatever group he happens to be speaking to, and I dont support his comments at all. I think both Christians and Muslims would ultimately respect him more if he stood up for his own faith and not just say whatever works in the situation he finds himself in. Purpose-driven ultimately becomes pragmatism and chucks truth out the window.

    I’m as concerned as anyone about radical Islam and its possible effect on our societies. However I cant judge a religion by its followers, and while I have met a few Muslims who were scary, I have worked with quite a few others who seem to have a love and reverence for God that I find enviable.

    I think the parable of the Good Samaritan might be talking about this same issue. The Samaritans were thought by the Jews as having all the wrong concepts about God, not really knowing Him. Yes the Samaritan was a better friend than the Priests who walked past.

  47. Yes – Purpose Driven = Pragmatism eventually. RW is too pragmatic for me.

    Agreed about the good Samaritan parable. You could probably replace ‘good Samaritan’ with ‘good Muslim’ helping an injured Jew or Christian, and you’d get the effect that Jesus would have had with the original story. The actions of each passer by in the parable revealed their hearts, and we can’t tell just by a person’s stated religion what their heart is.

    I don’t think any of us support Islam. Also, I don’t think any of us hate Muslim people. I do think many of us are scared of what could happen if Islam gains too much influence in our society, based on what we see in some Islamic societies.

  48. And speaking of Good Samaritans, I was helped out by a kind stranger today, whose quick witted help saved my daughter’s life. It all happened very fast; she got into trouble and I couldn’t rescue her by myself.

    Truly I am thanking God, who must have been watching over us.

    Thank God for people who don’t just walk past.

    (She is fine, without a scratch.)

  49. Allah can lie and encourages Muslims to lie to infidels.

    All religions in the world can be wrong but only one of them can be right. Islam and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Either Allah in the Koran is the true God or Yahweh in the Bible is the true God and Jesus is His son. (Jesus is only a man in the Koran.)

    It’s not about being charitable or uncharitable. It’s about truth. Did God reveal Himself to Mohammed … yes or no? If He did, then Yeshua did not die on a cross. Yeshua is not God’s son. Yeshua was a liar or the Bible is not God’s word.

    The old testament was corrupted, the Gospels were embellished and book of Acts, and all the subsequent letters were Paul and others hijacking the new faith.

    And I am being uncharitable?

  50. No Bull.

    It cannot be any other way.

    There are only two questions:

    1. Is there a God?

    If yes go to 2

    2. What or who is that God and what are the implications for us?

    If a person gets to (2) then they have to make a decision about whether there is one God or many, and which version is correct, and then how they choose to live in response to that.

    As you say it is all about THE truth.

  51. So is the God of the Jews the same as the God of the Christians?

    Some orthodox Jews might say no, because their view of the trinity would seem to be in contradiction to the understanding that there is only one God. To them we appear to be worshipping multiple gods. Would it be uncharitable for them to say we dont worship the true God?

    Allah just means “The God”. It is the same word that Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians use for God.

    Jews, Christians and Muslims have very similar views on the nature and character of God in many respects, and several important differences too.

    We all have greater or lesser error in our view of God. I might think WOF preachers worship a god that is little more than a genie-in-a-bottle, let out or in by incantations. Do they worship the same God as other Christians? Maybe some of them do, some of them dont.

  52. And as you say Wazza, “Maybe some of them do, some of them dont.”

    Not for me to decide as to whether they do or don’t, just make my own decisions and get on with it.

  53. But what I decide for myself and what I think the truth is does – like it or not – have implications for how regard the decisions of others, and maybe how I respond to others as well.

    I don’t live in a vacuum, or on an island.

    To your original quesions: “So is the God of the Jews the same as the God of the Christians?”

    As someone commented elsewhere on this thread I think:

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

  54. “Allah can lie and encourages Muslims to lie to infidels. All religions in the world can be wrong but only one of them can be right. Islam and Christianity are mutually exclusive.

    … (Jesus is only a man in the Koran.)

    It’s not about being charitable or uncharitable. It’s about truth.”

    Like I said. I don’t judge the followers of the religion, I judge their sources:

    Surah 3:42-55 This is news from the past that we reveal to you. You were not there when they drew their raffles to select Mary’s guardian. You were not present when they argued with one another.
    The angels said, “O Mary, GOD gives you good news: a Word from Him whose name is `The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He will be prominent in this life and in the Hereafter, and one of those closest to Me.’
    “He (Allah) will teach him the scripture, wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel.”
    As a messenger (Jesus) to the Children of Israel: “I come to you with a sign from your Lord – I create for you from clay the shape of a bird, then I blow into it, and it becomes a live bird by GOD’s leave. I restore vision to the blind, heal the leprous, and I revive the dead by GOD’s leave. I can tell you what you eat, and what you store in your homes. This should be a proof for you, if you are believers.
    “I confirm previous scripture – the Torah – and I revoke certain prohibitions imposed upon you. I come to you with sufficient proof from your Lord. Therefore, you shall observe GOD, and obey me.
    “GOD is my Lord and your Lord; you shall worship Him alone. This is the right path.”
    When Jesus sensed their disbelief, he said, “Who are my supporters towards GOD?” The disciples said, “We are GOD’s supporters; we believe in GOD, and bear witness that we are submitters.”
    “Our Lord, we have believed in what You have sent down, and we have followed the messenger; count us among the witnesses.”
    They plotted and schemed, but so did GOD, and GOD is the best schemer.
    Thus, GOD said, “O Jesus, I am terminating your life, raising you to Me, and ridding you of the disbelievers. I will exalt those who follow you above those who disbelieve, till the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is the ultimate destiny of all of you, then I will judge among you regarding your disputes.

  55. Surah 19:19-21 He said, “I am the messenger of your Lord, to grant you a pure son.” She said, “How can I have a son, when no man has touched me; I have never been unchaste.” He said, “Thus said your Lord, `It is easy for Me. We will render him a sign for the people, and mercy from us. This is a predestined matter.’”

    Surah 21:90-1
    We responded to him and granted him John; we fixed his wife for him. That is because they used to hasten to work righteousness, and implored us in situations of joy, as well as fear. To us, they were reverent. As for the one who maintained her virginity, we blew into her from our spirit, and thus, we made her and her son a portent for the whole world.

  56. Bentley and Joiner have gone all quiet again haven’t they …

    I wonder if he’s already been caught with his trousers down with another ‘intern’.

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