One of the definitions of truth is “a verified or indisputable fact.” Jesus Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” so within the Christian community Truth is certainly foundational.
In the past couple of years, there have been a number of blogs, e-mails and even “news” services that have reported on a phenomenon called Chrislam – a blending of Christian and Islamic teachings. Unfortunately, there are churches that in an attempt to love their Muslim neighbor water down the gospel and invite imams into their churches to speak and read passages from the Qur’an. Statistically four out of five Americans believe Christians and Muslims worship the same God so there are definitely groups who call themselves Christians who obviously do not have an understanding of the difference between the two religions.
However, there have been e-mails passed around in Christian circles regarding Chrislam that are untrue. A recent one accuses Pastor Rick Warren from Saddleback Church in California of practicing and promoting Chrislam.
It is true Pastor Warren spoke at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) meeting in 2009. He received criticism from many in the Christian community for speaking at the meeting. He called on Muslims and Christians to work together, and as part of his comments said, “I am not talking about civil religion where everybody compromises their beliefs and we dumb it down so really we don’t believe in anything. Differences make a difference.“ You can read the entire transcript of Pastor Warren’s comments here.
In February of 2012, a newspaper article claimed Pastor Warren and his church had “embarked on an effort to heal divisions between evangelical Christians and Muslims by partnering with Southern California mosques and proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.”
Because of the widespread circulation of the article, Pastor Warren responded in an interview at Pastors.com. As far as the report of Christians and Muslims worshipping the same God, he 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 member 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. Friendship and partnership are two very different levels of commitment.”
There are other concerns that Christians have raised about some American pastors and Christian leaders who included their signatures on a document with Muslim scholars called A Christian Response to A Common Word Between Us and You. Although many with an understanding of Islam and the agenda behind the religion would not sign this document, it is important that in a world where Christians and Muslims interact daily we begin to pray for each other in the body of Christ to have wisdom in these interactions.
Mark 3:24, says, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” It is time for the Church to rise up and support each other through prayer rather than to tear each other apart through misunderstandings and differences of opinion.
PRAYER FOR RELIGION
- Pray that Americans, especially those in the body of Christ will see the truth about Islam and recognize that we do not “serve the same God”.
- Pray that Muslims will begin to see that Truth is indeed a foundation of Christianity, unlike Islam, which teaches the concepts of “kitman” (lying by omission) and “taqqiya” (saying something that isn’t true). These concepts say it is permissible to lie to advance the agenda of Islam.
- Pray for those involved in the Islamic political agenda in our nation — that God will take that which is meant for evil and turn it around for good.
- Many Americans, including Christians, pass along e-mails from questionable sources. Pray they will be sensitive about this form of “gossip” and realize that legitimate information can and should be verified.
- There are “heresy hunters” who continually try to find fault and spread rumors. Pray those those who reach out to Muslims with the gospel will continue to do so regardless of any criticism they receive.
- Finally, pray that Muslims will respond to the One who is Truth – Jesus Christ.