Originally published in Charisma News
Rick Warren is calling his affiliation with Chrislam (a bridge-building attempt to allow the two religions to coexist) “nonsense” and “a lie that won’t die.”
Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, directly responded to one of his Twitter followers on the microblogging site on Saturday. The question was: “Old guy on TV claims u support chrislam. True?”
That “old guy” was likely Jack Van Impe, the popular end-times television host who walked way from TBN in the wake of a dispute over naming well-known ministers he claims are mixing Muslim and Christian beliefs.
Warren had previously commented about the rumors in response to a blog post where people were attacking him for his reported support of Chrislam. In the comment, he pointed to Proverbs 14:15, which states “Only a fool believes all that he hears.”
Here is the rest of Warren’s response:
The so-called “Chrislam” rumor is 100 percent false. If the guy who started this libelous myth, or anyone else who passed it on, had obeyed our Lord’s command (Matt. 18:18-20) to come directly to me, and then asked what I actually believed—they would have been embarrassed to learn that I believe the exact opposite. As a fourth generation Christian pastor, my life and ministry is built on the truth that Jesus is the only way, and our inerrant Bible is our only true authority.
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.
It is nonsense to believe that you must compromise your beliefs, or water down your convictions in order to love someone, or even just treat them with dignity.
Jesus was called “the friend of sinners” by the legalistic Pharisees because he hung out with (and clearly loved) unbelievers. I HOPE YOU will 1) Always believe that EVERYONE needs Jesus as their Lord & Savior. 2) Have the courage to associate with nonbelievers in order to love them and bring them to the Savior. 3) Consider being called “a friend of sinners” a Christ-like compliment. 4) Refuse to pass on rumors until you’ve checked for the truth with the person accused. The false statements above should be removed.
Will this put an end to the controversy? Should it? Or is it, as Warren says, the “lie that won’t die”?