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
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...