Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This just in: Muslims and Christians worship the same God and don't need to evangelize each other... so says Rick Warren

I have long lamented the love affair some LCMSers (fairly large and often influential congregations and Pastors) have with Rick Warren and Saddleback.  It is not like Warren has made any moves toward any Lutheran confession or identity. The movement is all one way -- toward the evangelical side of things.  Rick Warren has been a best selling author (Lord knows how many LCMS congregations transformed Lent into 40 days of purpose) and he has mediated political candidates before his congregation (McCain and Obama).  Now he seems to be taking his hand at settling the long standing disputes between Islam and Christianity.  Thank you, Jesus, for giving us Rick Warren to sort out what religious, political, economic, and military experts have failed at for more than 1500 years!

You can read it all for yourself here....

The Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest and one of America's most influential Christian leaders, has 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.

For the record, I do not advocate violence or even protest against Muslims who abide by the rule of law and who renounce violence here and elsewhere.  I have no interest in turning America into a Christian nation (although a nation of Christians is something quite different and to this end we proclaim the Gospel here and throughout the world)I do not believe that everything Christians did to Muslims in the past was okay and I don't believe that everything Muslims did to Christians in the past was justified either.  But I am certainly not ready to suggest that we worship the same God and that we merely advocate separate paths to the same ultimate deity.  It is a sham and a curse on our house to give that impression.

The one and only true God has revealed Himself not through a prophet Mohammed but through Jesus Christ, His one and only Son, born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and who gave Himself as the Lamb of sacrifice for our sins, dying our death for us and rising to give us new and eternal life.  Unless and until a Christian and a Muslim can say the Nicene Creed and mean the same thing when confessing it, it is impossible to say that we worship the same God.

But Warren's group has gone a couple of steps too far.  We agreed we wouldn't try to evangelize each other, witnessing to each other to correct misconceptions and to make fully known what it is that each believes but no proclamation of the Gospel -- that cannot be reconciled to the Gospel.  Jesus is the one Way, the one Truth, and the one Life who refuses to share the path of salvation with those who cannot deliver what His life, death, and resurrection have accomplished.  He is an exclusive Savior whose Gospel is inclusive of all people.  Since we do not know the heart, we as Christians are to presume that everyone is elect and to preach the Gospel to all people so that the Spirit may work faith in those whom God has called.

I hope and pray all those Lutherans who read Warren's books and gravitate toward his style will have some second thoughts...  More than that, I hope they have some regrets...


Anonymous said...

Rick Warren is a renegade Southern
Baptist pastor who has delusions
of grandeur. He wants to solve the
world's problems and be a major
player on the world stage.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. Rick Warren comes with a warning label. "Do Not Emulate Me if You are Confessional Lutheran."

Anonymous said...

This is fabulous.

Just like Rob Bell.

Just give heretics enough time and they all declare themselves to be what they are.

Warren should repent. Period.

If he stands by this egregious heresy, those who confess our true faith will have their eyes opened.

The true church cannot include a confession like Warren's. It is false.

Many folks will now drop him like a rock.

I appreciate his honesty.

I also appreciate the 1st Amendment that protects him so he can declare who he truly is and that way many more will not be deceived.

Anonymous said...

Robert Schuller said the same thing
10 years ago. He said we should stop
evangelizing non-Christian religions.
Of course the Crystal Cathedral went
bankrupt spiritually and financially.

Carl Vehse said...

This just in:...

It's just the same ol', same ol'!

In a Feb. 18, 2003, email, Atlantic District President David Benke told a Lutheran layman, “The Muslim God is also the true God (there IS only ONE TRUE GOD, right?) but worshipping [worshipped] in an inadequate way. In other words, the Muslim is worshipping God but understanding God's LAW (and there is really no religion like Islam when it comes to the Law.)”.

Five and a half years later Benke retracted 28.5 percent of the heretical statement he wrote.

Anonymous said...

"Unless and until a Christian and a Muslim can say the Nicene Creed and mean the same thing when confessing it, it is impossible to say that we worship the same God."

Pastor, you and those who agree with your asinine position desperately need to take a course in formal logic and/or critical thinking. Reflect on the above assertion without your inherent exclusivist bias, and allow the Holy Spirit to wash away your hatred of that which you perceive as imperfect, improper and/or imprecise.

Recall that God is truly omniscient, and many of these rabid, vapid accusations fall away.