Warren Insists “Building a Bridge of Love” to Muslims “Has Nothing to do With Compromising Your Beliefs”
One reader took exception to Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, and author of The Purpose Driven Life, being listed as a supporter of “Chrislam” in last week’s Opinion to Stimulate the Mind. Some followers of Pastor Warren consider The Purpose Driven Life being second only to the Bible as a guide for Christian living.
The reader was very helpful in providing information reportedly from Warren and his supporters, denying numerous allegations and opinions that Warren subscribes to and promotes Chrislam.
Chrislam is defined as a blending of Christianity and Islam through the coming together and seeking common ground between Christians and Muslims.
One of the references was an interview published in the Orange County Register that dealt with the subject.
In the published interview, Rev. Warren said: “The belief in God as a Trinity is the fundamental difference between Christians and everyone else.”
Question: “A recent newspaper article claimed you believe Christians and Muslims worship the same God, that you are ‘in partnership’ with a mosque, and that you both agree to ‘not evangelize each other.’ Can you explain that?”
Warren: “Sure. All three of these statements are flat out wrong. “
Question: “That same article mentioned that you ate an Iftar dinner with Orange County Muslims. What is that all about?”
Warren: “It’s called being polite and a good neighbor. For years, we have invited Muslim friends to attend our Easter and Christmas services and they have graciously attended year after year. Some have even celebrated our family’s personal Christmas service in our home. So when they have a potluck when their month of fasting ends, we go to their party. It’s a Jesus thing. The Pharisees criticized Him as ‘the friend of sinners’ because Jesus ate dinner with people they disapproved of…. I wish more Christians would reach out in love like Jesus.”
Question: “Why do you think people who call themselves Christians sometimes say the most hateful things about Muslims?
Warren: “Well, some of those folks probably aren’t really Christians.”
“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.”
Question: “’Building a bridge’ sounds like compromise to many people.”
Warren: “Building a bridge has nothing to do with compromising your beliefs. It’s all about your behavior and your attitude toward them. It’s about genuinely loving people. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Before people ask, ‘Is Jesus credible?’ they want to know if you are credible. Before people trust Jesus they must trust you. You cannot win your enemies to Christ, only your friends. It’s part of what Paul calls ‘the ministry of reconciliation.’ It is Christ-like to treat people with dignity and listen to them with respect.”
In the interview Warren said members of his church family speak 76 languages. “We are an all-nation congregation. We are a multi-ethnic church.”