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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!

Books: Real-Time Connections – Linking Your Job With God’s Global Work

Real Time Connections by Bob RobertsA few months ago I had the privilege of meeting Bob Roberts in his office in the Dallas area and he gave me a copy of his book, Real Time Connections: Linking Your Job with God’s Global Work. He even signed it with the inscription “Change the world. Don’t let people go to hell. ~ Bob Roberts.” Simple task, right?

Bob’s book is an instruction manual for every believer to do just that – change the world. He rids us of the notion that you cannot have a global mission unless you’ve entered into full time ministry. Instead he shows, step-by-step, how to develop a missional philosophy in which every connection we have with every other person on earth provides us a launching pad for the message of the gospel.

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Back to Real Purity

BernAnother politician has fallen, along with another high-profile Pastor. Both stories come within weeks of each other. Adultery. The moral fabric of a home torn. Some marriages may survive it, though they’ll walk with a permanent limp. Others will never recover. Carnage will lie everywhere.

Not nice to think about, is it? But we’ve got to face it head-on, especially within Christianity. I’ve read lists of “commandments for purity” before, such as Ed Young’s, which he posted on his blog today. I’m thinking through my own right now and would encourage you to do the same.

Have boundaries and limits. Communicate them. Avoid secret places in your life aside from the closet of prayer. Satan loves to lurk in the dark and dusty, cobwebbed corners of our souls. He kicks up dirt where we’ve refused to purify ourselves.

Guard the eyes – the gateway to the mind. Guard the mind – the gateway to the heart. And guard the heart- the gateway to the soul.

Don’t fall into legalism, that life in which living by your own rules overtakes your intimate walk with God. But have the guts to have some standards and to live by them.

May we salvage what is left of the reputation of Christ-followers, and may our families, children, and churches be preserved and revived. Let’s get pure!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Olly M Pus

Just Turn To Jesus, It’s That Simple

Confession: Christianity is a mess! But that’s the tendency of religion isn’t it? We have too many denominations, too many moral failures among leaders, and too much quibbling over secondary issues. We argue about music styles, dress codes, and politics. Let’s admit it.

And while we’re admitting, let’s admit that we’ve also messed up the message of the gospel. We either water it down or muddy it up. We either leave out the parts about Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and our faith and repentance toward Him, or we throw in extra and often confusing terminology and rules. Some who are inquisitive about the faith may walk away thinking that turning to Jesus is more difficult than filling out a tax return.

So let’s straighten this out:

  1. You and I have sinned. We all have. No denying it. We’ve broken the rules of our Creator.
  2. We deserve punishment for our sins, separation from God in hell to be exact.
  3. God loves us in spite of our sins and willingly allowed His Son Jesus to come to earth and to die on the cross to pay the penalty of our crimes. He died for us.
  4. He rose again.
  5. Turn to Him and trust Him as your Savior, and you’ll be saved forever.

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I Think It’s Time To Be Concerned

I’m deeply concerned. Jesus made a bold statement once about the influence of believers when He said, “If the salt loses its savor, it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled under the foot of men.” I’ve just finished reading an article by Al Mohler that gives an articulate voice to a rising concern within Christianity – are we losing our savor?

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