Does Rick Warren Have Biblical Warrant for His Form of Friendship with Islam?

Originally posted on The Protestant Pulpit:

center-grand-warren-crowd

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/muslims-341669-warren-saddleback.html

What exactly is Rick Warren implying by the idea of “variety” in this article, seeing that it cannot possibly be ethnic since a Muslim and a Christian can be of any race and culture??? In the words from another era, this man speaks with a forked-tongue.

And he wonders why myriads are asking whether or not he is promoting “Chrislam,” a merging of Islam and Christianity. Possibly, his actions are at such a decimal that we cannot possibly hear what his babbling about!

Now, I am thankful that he is being forced to come out very clear about his stand on the difference between the false religion of Islam and the true faith of Christianity. he has said, ‘First, as I’ve already said, Christians have a fundamentally different view of God than Muslims. We worship Jesus as God. Muslims don’t. Our God is Jesus, not Allah. Colossians 2:9…

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God’s Word and Movements of the 20th and 21st Centuries by O. Talmage Spence

“They ignore God’s Word, passively. (Heathen).
“They deny God’s Word, actively. (Infidel).
“They subtract God’s Word, partially. (Modernist).
“They add to God’s Word, extantly. (Neo-Pentecostal).
“They pervert God’s Word, originally. (Neo-Orthodox).
“They practice God’s Word, situationally. (Neo-Evangelical).
“They believe God’s Word, completely. (Fundamentalist).”

Does Rick Warren Have Biblical Warrant for His Form of Friendship with Islam?

center-grand-warren-crowd

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/muslims-341669-warren-saddleback.html

What exactly is Rick Warren implying by the idea of “variety” in this article, seeing that it cannot possibly be ethnic since a Muslim and a Christian can be of any race and culture??? In the words from another era, this man speaks with a forked-tongue.

And he wonders why myriads are asking whether or not he is promoting “Chrislam,” a merging of Islam and Christianity. Possibly, his actions are at such a decimal that we cannot possibly hear what his babbling about!

Now, I am thankful that he is being forced to come out very clear about his stand on the difference between the false religion of Islam and the true faith of Christianity. he has said, ‘First, as I’ve already said, Christians have a fundamentally different view of God than Muslims. We worship Jesus as God. Muslims don’t. Our God is Jesus, not Allah. Colossians 2:9 “For in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Second, while we urge our members to build friendships with everyone in our community, including Muslims and other faiths, (“Love your neighbor as yourself”), our church has never had any partnership with a mosque’

Notwithstanding these, his actions seem to deflect or deflate these statements. True, while he has not ‘partnered’ with a mosque,  we must remember that even going back to 2009, we find Rick Warren addressing the annual meeting of the Islamic Society of North America. At that time, “he opened by telling the audience how much he had in common with Muslims and the ideology of Islam. He preached a pro-globalization message of uniting together at any cost by laying down our differences.”

His desire to reach out to the Muslim gives him no biblical warrant to visit their meetings, say that we share much in common, and call for some union. This is a direct violation of the principles of 2 Corinthians 6:14f. We are to have no fellowship with them. “They are yoked together with unbelievers, who enter into close companionship with them” (Estius).

In fact, we are to expose the false systems:  “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). Tertullian uses this text in is book on Idolatry and states, “Of astrologers there should be no speaking even.” Again, speaking against Marcion he asserts, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” But these statements fall even short of our duty, as John Eadie notes,

It was a duty to have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness; but it was a far higher obligation to reprimand them. There was to be not simply negative separation, but positive rebuke-not by the contrast of their own purity, but by formal and solemn reproof. 

To participate in their meetings is to expose ourselves to the demons behind the false worship (1 Corinthians 10:20, 21; cf. 1 Tim. 4:1). The doctrines of Islam originate from demons (1 Tim. 4:1), and behind the worship of Allah is a demon, which we are forbidden to have contact with. Calvin notes, “Hence, too, we infer, that even those that do not in their hearts approve of superstitions are, nevertheless, polluted by dissimulation if they do not openly and ingenuously stand aloof from them.” Charles Hodge notes,

It was of great importance for the Corinthians to know that it did not depend on their intention whether they came into communion with devils. The heathen did not intend to worship devils, and yet they did it; what would it avail, therefore, to the reckless Corinthians, who attended the sacrificial feasts of the heathen, to say that they did not intend to worship idols? The question was not, what they meant to do, but what they did; not, what their intention was, but what was the import and effect of their conduct. A man need not intend to burn himself when he puts his hand into the fire; or to pollute his soul when he frequents the haunts of vice. The effect is altogether independent of his intention. This principle applies with all its force to compliance with the religious services of the heathen at the present day.

Warren seems to believe that speaking at their annual meeting is not a form of partnership, only an act of friendship. But this is frankly a slurring of the fact by providing a definition that is at best suspicious as a means of circumventing the criticism of Evangelicals. Friendship is personal, not not ministerial. Friendship is not done in this manner, bringing the authority of one’s office into it. He was not brought in as a speaker because he was a friend, but he was brought in to speak because he was a Christian minister, who is well known. And this is a breach of the Scriptural parameters of ministry.  Such a ‘friendship’ is not heard of throughout the history of the church, and that is for a reason: it is not friendship!  The words of the Apostle John are explicit:

“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed” (2 Jn. 1:10).  

Now, someone might feel that this verse is not taken in context, seeing that this has reference to anti-Christian doctrine. But that is what Islam is. It is not merely a heathen doctrine, but it is as Schaff and other rightly assert, a Christian heresy. It is from one who claims to be prophet, higher than Christ and a fulfillment of Christ’s promise of another comforter. In this sense, the words of Barker can apply:

Admittedly great care should be exercised before applying such a radical withholding of hospitality from anyone. For the elder it was applied only to antichristians who were committed to destroying the faith of the community. The issue involved more than disagreements in interpretation or personal misunderstandings among members of the body of Christ. It was radical and clearly defined unbelief, and it involved active and aggressive promotion of perversions of truth and practice that struck at the heart of Christianity.

Nothing strikes at the heart of Christianity like Islam. It denounces the uniqueness of Christ as the Son of God, His death on the Cross, and His resurrection for our justification. It denounces our Bible as a book of fables. It rejects the Trinity, though grossly misunderstood. For Warren to show up and speak is a refusal to see the grave danger of such an act, helping and assisting such an Anti-Christ system. As Robertson notes on this verse of 2 John,

[T]here was no way of escaping responsibility for the harm wrought by these propagandists of evil. It is not a case of mere hospitality to strangers.

FIVE CONDITIONS OF PREVAILING PRAYER by George Muller

Entire dependence upon the merits and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the only ground of any claim for blessing. (See John xiv. 13, 14; xv. 16, etc.)

2.—Separation from all known sin. If we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us, for it would be sanctioning sin. (Psalm lxvi. 18.)

3.—Faith in God’s word of promise as confirmed by His oath. Not to believe Him is to make Him both a liar and a perjurer. (Hebrews xi. 6; vi. 13-20.)

4.—Asking in accordance with His will. Our motives must be godly: we must not seek any gift of God to consume it upon our lusts. (1 John v. 14; James iv. 3.)

5.—Importunity in supplication. There must be waiting on God and waiting for God, as the husbandman has long patience to wait for the harvest. (James v. 7; Luke xviii. 1-8.)

Sanctification and the Means of Grace by J. C. Ryle

ryle

Sanctification, again, is a thing which depends greatly on a diligent use of Scriptural means. When I speak of “means,” I have in view Bible reading, private prayer, regular attendance on public worship, regular hearing of God’s Word, and regular reception of the Lord’s Supper. I lay it down as a simple matter of fact, that no one who is careless about such things must ever expect to make much progress in sanctification. I can find no record of any eminent saint who ever neglected them. They are appointed channels through which the Holy Spirit conveys fresh supplies of grace to the soul, and strengthens the work which He has begun in the inward man.

Let men call this legal doctrine if they please; but I will never shrink from declaring my belief, that there are no “spiritual gains without pains.” I should as soon expect a farmer to prosper in business who contented himself with sowing his fields and never looking at them till harvest, as expect a believer to attain much holiness who was not diligent about his Bible reading, his prayers, and the use of his Sundays. Our God is a God who works by means, and He will never bless the soul of that man who pretends to be so high and spiritual that he can get on without them.

Faith in Christ as the Marrow of the New Life by John Eadie

To be faithless is to be lifeless, without union with Him who has life and imparts it. Faith rests on His ability and will as a divine Redeemer—“the Son of God;” feels its warrant and welcome—“He loved me;” and revels in the adapted and numerous blessings provided—“He gave Himself for me.” These blessings are all summed up in “life,” as awaking it, fostering it, and crowning it, so that its receptive faculties are developed, and it pulsates healthfully and freshly in sympathetic unison with its blessed Source. Faith brings the soul into close and tender union with Him “who is our life,” keeps it in this fellowship, and creates within it a growing likeness to Him in the hope that it shall be with Him for ever. Faith gives Him a continuous influence over the conscience, writes His law on “the fleshly tables of the heart,” and enables the believer to realize His presence as his joy and power. In short, the new existence which springs from co-crucifixion with Christ, “lives, and moves, and has its being” in this faith of the Son of God.