Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hey Rick Warren, Christians and Muslims Do NOT Worship the Same God

Yesterday I read a very disturbing report regarding Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and known for his Purpose Drive series.  If anyone knows me, they know I disagree with Mr. Warren on many levels, but this seems way out of bounds even for him.  In his desire for some kind of world compromise, I mean peace, he is building a relationship with Islam.  He is denying that he has any interest in combining the two faiths into this new thing called Chrislam, but he is saying some very troubling things in his efforts to make friendships.  I am not saying we should be at war with Muslims.  Jesus died for them as much as He did for us and it is our responsibility to reach out to them with the Gospel.  The answer is not, however, to compromise our own faith or acknowledge any part of theirs as true in the process.  Specifically, Mr. Warren is saying that we worship the same God. I can not begin to say how untrue that is. 
Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, "Your name [is] Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name." So He called his name Israel. Also God said to him: "I [am] God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land."  Genesis 35:9-12 NKJV
This may seem like an odd verse to show that Rick Warren can not claim to be a Christian while also claiming to think that Islam worships the same God, but please bear with me.  What it comes to is Israel.  Islam lays claim to Jerusalem and Israel based on a mythical visit made by Mohammed to Jerusalem.  Islam claims that Jerusalem is a holy place that belongs to them.  This is what they claim their god says through their prophet.  Is that the same God as our God?  Did our God give Israel to the Muslims?  God have Israel to the descendents of Jacob (Islam claims to be defended through Ishmael).  So unless God changed His mind, they can not be the same God.  If Mr. Warren gives any credence to the argument that Israel does not belong to the Jews then rick Warren is saying that there is a chance that the Bible is wrong and the Qur'an is right. 

Another issue is that the Bible declares that the Jewish nation is God's chosen people. Islam claims that Muslims are God's chosen people.  There is no way to reconcile the two beliefs.  Once again, it comes down to how strongly you believe the Bible to be the Word of God.  If you believe it to be the Word of God, Islam can not have the same God as their god has chosen an entirely different people.  Furthermore, would the same God that we believe in tell Muslims to conquer Jewish people and either force them to convert, pay a tax, enslave them, or kill them?  Would our God ever endorse the command to kill all the Jews?  Would our God want Israel wiped off the face of the earth?  I would say not if the land was given to the descendents of Jacob for all time. 

Finally, and most importantly, there is the message of grace.  Allah is not a god of grace by any stretch of the imagination.  The Qur'an teaches that Allah actually tortures doomed souls in Hell.  Our God sent His only son to suffer a torturous death so that we do not have to go to Hell.  Allah is a god who must be perpetually pleased and even then there is never a guarantee that you will end up in paradise.  Our God sent His Holy Spirit to live in our hearts so that we can know that we have eternal life through His Son.  Allah is a god who expects his followers to kill all unbelievers.  Our God expects us to reach out to unbelievers in love to share with them the love of Jesus Christ.   It is an insult to God to say He is the same "god" worshiped by Muslims. 

I realize this is not an exhaustive lists and many great books have been written on the subject.  I think even from these simple principles that Muslims do not worship the same God as we worship.  They are nearly opposites of one another and they are absolutely incompatible.  To reach out with Muslims in such a way that upholds their faith is only allowing them to believe a lie that they have any hope of pleasing God without Jesus Christ.  I am not saying we should not be friends with our Muslim neighbors, we should reach out to them with the love of Jesus Christ.  Give them the hope that is in you to destroy the fear that lives inside them.  There is nothing in Islam that can lead to salvation and all that prayer and dedication will only take them to Hell.  Their faith rejects Jesus as nothing more than a misunderstood prophet, Jesus says something completely different.  Instead of upholding the lie they believe about their false God, share with them the truth about Jesus Christ. 
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6 NKJV

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