Ramadan Day 19 – Education: “Interreligious University – Compromising Education”

On September 6, 2011 the newly formed Claremont Lincoln University officially opened. “Claremont, a Methodist institution dating back to 1885 has partnered with the Islamic Center of Southern California, the Academy for Jewish Religion and the International School for Jain Studies” [Jain is an Indian religion] to create the world’s first interreligious university. This is the first multi-religious program of its kind offering a curriculum that allows religious leaders to cross-enroll in programs that train Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders. Other Christian institutions such as Hartford Seminary train imams, but this is the first to include Jewish and Jain studies. The university hopes to eventually add Hinduism and Buddhism studies to the project.

The university will train rabbis, imam and pastors from many denominations. According to one report, “the Claremont Lincoln University will be a space where future religious leaders and scholars can learn from each other and collaboratively seek solutions to major global issues that no one single religion can solve alone.” Claremont claims they are not watering down Christianity but are taking “Christ’s commands to be peacemakers and to love our neighbor as ourselves seriously.”

In order to understand the basis for this university, it is helpful to look at the founders. Rev. Jerry Campbell, Rabbi Mel Gottlieb and Imam Jihad Turk are the co-founders of this new model of education. These three men met regularly each month for a year picking a theme, preparing and then spending a couple of hours with each other discussing what their various texts said.

Perhaps most revealing about the future direction of the university is an account about one of these meetings from an article written by Rabbi Gottlieb:

For this session, Imam Turk chose a text from the Quran that is often interpreted as meaning that those who don’t believe in Islam cannot obtain salvation. He pointed out, however, that capitalizing the word Islam in this case is a fundamentalist translation. It implies that those who believe the religion of Islam are superior. Other texts in the Quran (such as 2:62) contradict that assumption.

In fact, said Imam Turk, the correct scholarly translation of this text is to spell islam with a lower case “i,” using the word’s literal meaning: submission/yielding (to God). Since Christians, Jews and other spiritual people, as well as Muslims, yield to the Divine, they are all included in the word islam.

So according to at least one of the founders he believes all spiritual people are included in Islam. In addition, Imam Turk left out the Qur’anic verses preceding sura 2:62 that basically says if Arab pagans, Jews and Christians are in doubt concerning the Qur’an they should fear the fire of hell which is prepared for disbelievers (sura 2:22-24).

There is One, Jesus Christ, who is Truth. The scriptures warn that we are not to compromise the truth. The Word of God in II Tim. 3:7 tells us there will be those who are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”


  • Pray for a move of God’s Holy Spirit among the students at this and other universities around our nation. Pray that the God of Truth will reveal Himself to every student and professor who have ever confessed the name of Jesus Christ as Savior in such a way that there is no room or desire for compromise.
  • Pray that Muslim, Jewish and Jain students at this historically Christian University will have an encounter with the God of John Wesley and the fire of His Spirit that will fundamentally change the atmosphere of the academic world.

Ramadan Prayer Day 14 – Religion: “Interfaith Pawns”

Last week, Interfaith Alliance brought together a coalition of 42 groups who participated in writing a letter to the five members of Congress who had called for an investigation into the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. government. The letter said the actions of the legislators “have serious implications for religious freedom and the health of our democracy.”

It was signed by Jewish, Hindu and secular groups, along with several Christian groups including the United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society, United Church of Christ, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations, and the American Baptist Churches USA.

The letter condemning the Congressmen for raising concerns says, “Those you accuse…leaders of the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and Muslim Advocates have long-standing histories of positive and committed work to strengthen the United States of America.”

It is true there are long-standing histories, but most would doubt how positive their work in our nation has been. For example, a look at the history of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is quite revealing. ISNA not only was designated by the United States federal government as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism funding trial, but it also attempted to have the designation removed and failed. U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis said the government had produced ample evidence to establish their association with Hamas. Some of the evidence included a Muslim Brotherhood document that listed ISNA as an “apparatus” of the Brotherhood along with proof ISNA raised money and supported Hamas through a joint bank account with the Holy Land Foundation. According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, “ISNA checks deposited into the account were often payable to ‘the Palestinian Mujahiden’”.

ISNA’s ties to Hamas were proven in U.S. federal court. Hamas’ name is an acronym of Harakat al Mawqawama al Islamiyya meaning “Islamic Resistance Movement.” Article 2 of the Hamas charter states “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Youssef Qaradawi wrote a book called Priorities of the Islamic Movement in which he gives some reasons for Muslims to participate in interfaith dialogue including the Church stop supporting Christians against Muslims in every battle that erupts between the two sides, such as those in southern Sudan and the Philippines and in other regions.”

Revealing more of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates’ purpose for interfaith dialogue, a Qatari newspaper reported Qaradawi’s instructions. “We do not engage in dialogue with them so that they may be pleased with our religion. They will not be satisfied with us unless we follow their form of religion. This is a fact. We only converse with them to find common grounds on which to stand together against atheism, obscenity, and grievances…. We try to rally the Christians with us to stand together, especially for the cause of Palestine, since Palestine has both Muslims and Christians. We have to rally the Muslims and Christians of Jerusalem to stand up together against Zionism and the Israeli arrogance and tyranny. There is no objection to that.”

According to the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, the purpose for interfaith dialogue is to convince Christians to stop supporting other Christians and Israel.

The Interfaith Alliance website states, “We believe that religious and political extremists are a threat to individual liberty and democracy.” The problem is the Alliance is clearly unaware that by coming against these legislators and defending groups such as ISNA they are actually aiding those religious extremists. If the Muslim Brotherhood succeeds in creating their goal of a worldwide Islamic caliphate there will be no liberty, democracy or freedom.


  • Open the eyes, ears, and hearts of those that love You in the Church to understand the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood in our nation.
  • Wake up Your Church across this nation to stand for Israel and for Christians suffering around the world. Help them realize that standing against fellow Christians and Israel is actually part of the plan of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ramadan Prayer Day 3 – Religion: “No Compromise”

Recently an article appeared in a magazine on a denominational church’s website entitled, “A Moravian and Muslim Answer to an Imam’s Request”.  It is the story of two church members who, after living in the United States for many years, returned to the place of their birth, a village in Sierra Leone. They, with the help of their church, have built a mission house, a school and a church in the village.

The population of the village is reported to be 90 percent Muslim, but the mission group maintains a good relationship with these Muslims. A church member visiting the village paid a visit to the Imam at the mosque in the village. After her visit, she asked if there was anything she could do to return his hospitality. His reply was the mosque was in need of prayer rugs so after returning to the United States the need was shared with other congregations.

Through an interfaith clergy group a pastor with the help of an imam in his city was able to purchase the prayer rugs and send them to the mosque in the village. The magazine applauded this effort and described the pastor and the imam as overjoyed that their friendship made them part of an interfaith effort stretching from the United States to Sierra Leone.

Unfortunately, as this well-intentioned effort by these Christians demonstrates, they obviously do not understand the teachings of Islam or the implications of their gift.

Prayer rugs are used for the ritual prayer, or salat, that Muslims perform five times daily at: dawn, midday, afternoon, sunset, and evening. Most prayer rugs have a mihrab (niche), an arch-shaped design at one end of the carpet. Muslim worshipers must point the mihrab toward Mecca when praying. When performing salat at the mosque, worshipers line up in parallel rows behind the prayer leader (imam) who directs them in actions and words. As part of the salat, Muslims recite Al-Fatiha, the first sura (or chapter) found in the Qur’an.

Although recited in Arabic, the English translation is:

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the universe.

He is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

He is the Master of the Day of Judgment.

It is you we worship, it is you we ask for help.

Guide us in the straight path.

The path of those you have blessed, as opposed

to those who incur wrath and have gone astray.

 One English version translates the end of the sura like this, “The way of those on whom you have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians). Islamic scholars verify the understanding by Muslims that Jews are those who earned Allah’s anger and Christians are those who went astray.

Each time Muslims in the village in Sierra Leone use the prayer rugs given to them by Christians they are declaring the very Christians who gave the gift have been led astray.  Muslims believe the Bible was corrupted and the teachings of the Qur’an supersede the Bible. The gift of the prayer rugs affirms Islamic worship as a valid path to God, yet Muslims do not believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God; to them it is considered blasphemy.  In fact they do not believe God has a Son.

Unwittingly, these Christians have in fact presented a gift in the form of prayer rugs to those who are lost that does nothing to bring Muslims closer to the Truth.


  • Pray that churches and denominations will have their eyes open to the truth of the teachings of Islam and learn that their followers do not worship the God of the Christians.
  • Pray that God will raise up missionaries to the Muslim world who will courageously proclaim the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Pray that those involved in interfaith relationships will be moved to boldly go before the throne of grace and contend for the souls of those that God has brought across their path.
  • Pray that servants of Christ will demonstrate the love of our Savior to others, including Muslims, without compromise.