New accusations connect Rick Warren with Chrislam
After an Orange County Register article describes Saddleback Community Church's outreaches to the Islamic community, pastor taken to task on conservative websites
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"Second, while we urge our members to build friendships with everyone in our community, including Muslims and other faiths, ('Love your neighbor as yourself'), our church has never had any partnership with a mosque. Friendship and partnership are two very different levels of commitment. Some of our members have hosted a Bible study with Muslim friends, which I applaud, but I’ve never been to it, and a Bible study certainly isn’t any kind of partnership or merger! It’s just crazy that a simple Bible Study where people explore Scripture with non-Christians would be reported as a partnership and others would interpret that as a plan for a new compromised religion. Just crazy!
"Third, as both an Evangelical and as an evangelist, anyone who knows me and my 40 year track record of ministry knows that I would never agree to 'not evangelizing' anyone! I am commanded by my Savior to share the Good News with all people everywhere, all the time, in every way possible! Anyone who’s heard me teach knows that my heart beats for bringing others to Jesus."
The interview goes on to quote Warren to talk about his years-long efforts to build bridges between the Christian and Muslim communities.
"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 an earlier statement on pastors.com, Warren stated: “As an evangelist, I spend much of my time speaking to non-Christian groups. You cannot win your enemies to Christ; only your friends, so we must build bridges of friendship and love to those who believe differently so Jesus can walk across that bridge into their hearts. Besides, it is not a sin, but rather COMMANDED by Jesus that we love our enemies. In the past 10
years, Saddleback Church has baptized over 22,000 new adult believers—simply because we express love to those who don’t know Christ yet.