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Does Rick Warren Endorse Chrislam?

Saddleback ChurchNo.


It’s a funny thing. Since we’ve announced that we’ll be planting a new church in cooperation with the new Saddleback Network and that Rick Warren has endorsed and sent us, I’ve gotten quite a few questions about the controversy over “chrislam.” I’m not going to link to any articles – Google tells the story, and it’s a sad and frustrating one.

The rumor is that Rick Warren and other prominent religious leaders are promoting a new belief system known as chrislam, which is a kind of twisted entangling of Christianity and Islam. Let me make a few things clear…

1. Rick Warren affirms that Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved for eternity. Here’s what Rick says about the issue: “If you can be saved without Christ, missions is a crock. We’re better off not to go.” This is from a recent interview between John Piper and Rick Warren in which Rick had an opportunity to set the record straight on a number of issues.

2. That Saddleback is involved in “chrislam” is crazy. The church hasn’t removed any crosses from the property. They haven’t put Koran’s in the pews (they don’t even have pews). They don’t teach from any Islamic religious traditions. In fact, Rick and the church affirm that we must be more clear than ever before that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven in light of an increasingly pluralistic society.

3. “Mature” Christians should really be more discerning. It’s funny how often I hear Christian leaders encourage believers to be more “discerning” about doctrinal error and how we should be “exposing” false teaching. I agree (and so does Rick Warren), but what’s sad is that there doesn’t seem to be any expectation that mature believers should be equally discerning about malicious, unfounded gossip. If our favorite guy on the radio or television quotes a verse and slams a leader, it must be true. Sadly, plenty of believers continue to quickly latch onto the latest hype over guys like Rick Warren, and I believe it grieves the Holy Spirit and breaks the heart of Jesus who has to watch His own body divide in this way.

If you’ve spread the “chrislam” rumor, or any one of hundreds like it, not only about Rick Warren, but about any other Christian leader, here’s my advice:

  1. Repent.
  2. Apologize to the leader.
  3. Confront the sources of malicious gossip. Ask them if they’ve verified their words, gone to the source, or approached their work of “exposing” in a way that would line up with Jesus’ clear instruction to go to a leader one-on-one first.
  4. Spread the truth.
  5. Talk about Jesus more than your favorite (or least favorite) Christian leader.
  6. Light a candle. It’s much more productive than standing around shouting at the darkness.

You have no idea just how forgiving Rick is, and this is because of his understanding of just how forgiving Jesus is. If you’ve ever watched a depiction of the trials of Jesus, you’ve felt what I’ve felt. Why didn’t He just defend Himself? Why didn’t He set the record straight and beat the dog-snot out of those false accusers? I’ve often felt the same about Rick. But at the end of the day, there’s a greater goal to be accomplished. I’m proud of Pastor Warren for deciding to spend his time and attention on the spreading of the gospel for the redemption of the nations rather than defending himself against every false accusation.

Make no mistake, Rick Warren loves Muslims deeply!! If you don’t, you have a problem with Jesus who loves Muslims even more than Rick does.

If you’ve been the center of unfair criticism, consider yourself blessed to be so identified with Jesus. And if you’ve handed out the criticism? Thank God that Jesus died to fully and completely forgive you and to grant you His smile when you trust Him!

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  1. I have heard, read and witnessed many times how hurting people hurt people. We have all been hurt. Consequently we all have hurt other people. The result of this hurt usually has us believing a lie regarding others and ourselves. We so desperately need to find the truth to set up free. God’s word tells us that. It shares that Jesus is that truth. When I decide that I will look after things myself  rather than consulting the Truth first, I am amazed how often I have to return to Him and ask forgiveness. That is actually the easy part because I know that He loves me. It is asking forgiveness from the person or persons here on earth that I find scary. They do not always respond in love. Ironically I often attempted to put a new project together without reading the instructions only to have to take it apart and then read the instructions. I am learning that in relationships I really need to consult with the Truth first because if a relationship needs to be reconstructed it is far more difficult and much more painful. 
    There are some wonderful verses in Ephesians 4:17-5:2 directed to us from our loving Heavenly Father that wants only the best for His children. May we permit the Holy Spirit to empower us to act in this manner.

  2. I did not believe it but needed to hear it from someone who had firsthand knowledge. Thanks

  3. Of course damage control must be done.  Who better than someone blinded by the limelight?  Recorded speeches are part of history and cannot be denied.  How about the speech at the Islamic Conference 2009, stating that Islam with it’s 1 billion and Christianity with it’s 2 billion need to live in harmony! Hogwash!

    (2 Cor 6:14) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath
    righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
    Before you say it, that’s not just talking about marriage or a business deal!

    Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to be saved. There is ONE God and he shares his glory with no one!

    Rick Warren talks double talk, he suggests they live in harmony, but he’s not for it!  hmmmm!

    That’s like saying,” I love PB/J sandwiches, but I would never eat peanut butter!  Sounds ridiculous, because it is!

    If you read his books and have no spiritual  discernment, then you have more serious problems than this.

    The next thing always thrown up is that if you don’t agree with FALSE religions, then you are judging them or you’re not showing love.

    No, if you love someone’s soul, then you DO tell them, not what they want to hear, but what they NEED to hear. The truth.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified!

    And No, I am not a hurting person trying to hurt!  I am a born again person,  challenging other Christians to get a backbone and stand up for their Savior-Jesus Christ!

  4. What is Kings Way if anything???

  5. Rehnvah says:

    Rumors fly and I for one need clarification on the subject matter. I had received inf.that Mr. Warren was promoting “Chrislam” and went to the Saddleback Church site and asked about it. I received an answer that he flatly denies any promo of it and that anyone who does is wrong!. I couldn’t agree more. The fact of the matter is that the Spirit of Jezebel, Baal and Asherah is deeply seeded in Islam and you better know what that is before you make a pact with Islam. 

  6. You all worship Rick Warren too much that you believe anything he says. You’ll even believe him when he denies he said it in the first place.

  7. Jeff Strahan says:

    It breaks my heart that this “controversy” has affected so many. I’m part of a men’s group that has been meeting for 5+ years, and we just finished Experiencing God…it took 5 years. That’s how deeply we dig, and how free the Spirit of the Living God is allowed to control the time. We meet for a couple of hours every week. That says volumes for what we’re about, that it took 5 years to finish 12 lessons.
    We all agreed, in view of the trend we’re seeing in our valley, to enter into a study (as long as it takes) on spiritual warfare. We chose Rick Warren’s book “The Invisible War” as our study guide, primarily because it is so scripture anchored, not to say that any other work or resource on spiritual warfare is any less grounded in scripture. We began our study on May 21st, 2013. we didn’t get far, in fact, we watched the video and entered intodiscussion about the contents, planning on reviewing the questions alone at home and then together last night.
    Last night, satan (I refuse to put a capital “S” on his name, he’s not a god) had other plans and we went to war. A brother, who had not been at the first meeting, began raking the reputation of Rick Warren over the coals and that initiated some lively dialog that ended an hour later with the recommendation that he prepare himself to defend with facts next week, his accusations. That is entirely scriptural, and deeply desireable in the group, because “iron sharpening iron” always results in filings on the floor, and it may be that we all need to review the controversy, if for no other reason than to be “Bereans”.
    In the first video, Pastor Warren mentioned the Saddleback online study groups, and as I was interested in leading one, I began my “investigation” of the controversy last week. The majority of the group last night had only heard anecdotally about the Chrislam controversy, but I was fairly versed in it. With the help of a smart phone, we were able to refute the majority of the issues the brother brought up (he had only heard the accusations, and chose to believe them). Suffice it to say, next week promises to be lively and interesting, as we rightly divide the truth, and don’t take an accusation against a leader lightly. We’ll saturate it with prayer, and Christ our Soverign will be glorified. Weare all in prayer for Pastor Rick, and all pastors as satan attachks their good work.
    Make no mistake about it; we all say things we wish we hadn’t said, and then have to explain ourselves. Our language is complex, and our choice of words not always the best. On the other hand, David comitted adultey and murder and we cling to his words like they are the very words of God, which I believe they are. We’ll not find an infallible leader outside te throneroom of grace…let’s extend some grace to Rick Warren.


  8. I have also heard the rumors. I don’t know Mr. Warren but I have read his book “The Purpose Driven Life”. I think a lot of his problems starts there. His book is riddled with new age stuff and he quotes from the “message” paraphrase bible (written by a new age supporter). I don’t know if he is involved in Chrislem but I do know that he has been teaching falsely a lot and the word does say that “a little bit of leven, levens the whole loaf”. As the leader of a large church and someone who is seen by the entire world as a Christian leader he truly needs to be more careful what he says or what conferences he attends. The world has embraced him…..Not what the Bible says the world should do to true Christian believers. We are to be separate from the world not embrace it. This isn’t rumors but facts. Can’t serve two masters….I can’t and neither can Rick Warren….Maybe he is the one who needs to also repent and turn back to his humble beginnings and get out of the world.

    • Dennis, Rick doesn’t support New Age teaching. In fact, it’s one of the things he calls out from the pulpit quite often because people in southern California are susceptible to it. The New Age movement has hijacked some Christian terms, which Rick employs in the book from a truthful standpoint but in no way endorses New Age teachings at all. And neither does Eugene Peterson, the author of the Message paraphrase.

  9. We share Jesus at our church and we don’t condemn anybody but I will not go to a teacher who is trying to be accepted by the world. My Lord is loving and forgiving but he is also righteous and His word is pretty tough on those who teach a false gospel. False in any way. We should be studying His word not other books written by men not inspired by the Holy Spirit. That is one of the biggest problems with the church today. Get back to the Word of God and not books by Rick Warren or anybody else. That isn’t what a bible study is all about.

  10. James Perkins says:

    rick warren is a wolf in sheeps clothing, the things he says is satanic like, telling his congregation to go to the movies rather than church to worship GOD. No wonder the bummer wanted him at is illegal inaguration (the bummer is from Kenya). I would not listen or read anything that the moron warren has to say


  1. […] Earlier this month, Van Impe named California megachurch founders Rick Warren and Robert H. Schuller as proponents of “Chrislam”, which he defined as “a uniting of Christianity with Islam.” TBN pulled the episode before a repeat broadcast could air.’ […]

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