by Dr. D ~ March 3rd, 2012
(Rick Warren -Photo credit: jurvetson)
A recent article in the OC Register newspaper claimed that Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church believed Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Also that he has partnered with local mosques and agreed not to evangelize Muslims.
The article which appeared last week entitled, "Rick Warren Builds Bridge to Muslims," kicked off a firestorm of comments both in the the paper itself and on the Internet. Pastor Warren immediately responded with the following comment to the online version:
"I deeply love my Muslim neighbors but this article contains multiple errors – factually and theologically that neither our dear friends in the Muslim Community nor the Christians at Saddleback Church would agree with."
In an interview with The Christian Post, Pastor Warren refutes what the paper said about Christians and Muslims believing in the same God:
"Of course not. Christians have a view of God that is unique. We believe Jesus is God! We believe God is a Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not three separate gods but one God. No other faith believes Jesus is God. My God is Jesus. The belief in God as a Trinity is the foundational difference between Christians and everyone else. There are 2.1 billion people who call themselves Christians… whether Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Pentecostal, or Evangelical… and they all have the doctrine of the Trinity in common."
In response to his outreach to Muslims, Pastor Rick had this to say:
"Building a bridge has nothing to do with compromising your beliefs. Because Jesus commanded us to take the Gospel to everyone, I spend much of my time with groups of people who completely disagree with what I believe. I’m constantly trying to build a bridge of love to nonbelievers, to atheists, to gays, to those I disagree with politically, and to those of other faiths."
Now Pastor Warren has come out with a three-page response to the Register article:
It is also an answer to those who claim that he is a supporter of so-called ‘Chrislam.’
The Chrislam charge has become a favorite online ‘urban myth’ that Warren is supporting the development of a new religion that somehow combines Islam and Christianity.
It all started a year or so ago when a number of liberal mainline churches across America decided to combat so-called ‘Islamaphobia’ by inviting Muslim leaders to preach and teach and say prayers in their churches. Since Rick Warren actually spoke at several Muslim conferences, his name was added to those who were pushing for Chrislam and then it took a decided life of its own like many conspiracies and urban myths do on the Internet and through passed-on email messages.
To the Chrislam charge he says:
“It’s the lie that won’t die. No matter how many times we refute it and correct that lie, people keep passing it on as truth. Jesus is the only way to salvation. Period. If I didn’t believe that, I’d get into much easier line of work! But I do believe that everybody needs Jesus and I am willing to put up with false statements and misunderstandings in order to get the Gospel out."
Response: On a clear day at the top of our block I can almost see the Saddleback Church that Rick Warren pastors and we have worshipped there on a number of occasions. Also we have quite a few friends that are members there. So I do know something about that church and consider it to be a tremendous ministry in our area.
The point is, I am always surprised by the amount of negative junk on the Internet against Pastor Warren by fellow Christians. I find that nearly all of it is down right false or at least full of half truths. If any of it had any basis in fact, Pastor Rick would have been defrocked long ago since his church is part of the Southern Baptist Convention which demands that it’s Churches and ordained ministers adhere to their Biblical based theology and Statement of Faith. So much for Chrislam or the idea that Muslims and Christians believe in the same God. *Top