Pastors Defend Rick Warren Against "Chrislam" Rumor

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Two prominent pastors are defending pastor and author Rick Warren against rumors that he embraces "Chrislam," a hybrid of Christianity and Islam.

July 26, 2011

Two prominent pastors are defending Rick Warren against rumors that he embraces “Chrislam,” a hybrid of Christianity and Islamic faiths that recognizes both the Bible and the Qu’ran as holy Scripture. Geoff Surratt, pastor of church planting at Warren’s Saddleback Church, and Brandon Cox, author and planter of Grace Hills Church in Arkansas, both vehemently denied the rumors online. Surratt stated on, “Let me be very clear: Pastor Rick Warren does not believe in, promote or validate Chrislam on any level…Pastor Warren is not perfect; he is very open and honest about his challenges and flaws. But his theology is tightly bound to Biblical Christianity.” Cox led his blog post with the title, “Does Rick Warren Endorse Chrislam?” and began the post with a direct answer: “No. Period.” Then he continued, “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.” 

Warren himself denied the rumor in a response to a blog post perpetuating it, stating, “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…refuse to pass on rumors until you’ve checked for the truth with the person accused.”

The Chrislam rumor began, according to The Christian Post, as a statement by televangelist Jack Van Impe on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, who backed up his claim by pointing to Warren’s participation in an Islamic conference in Washington in 2009. Impe has since resigned from TBN, but the claims have been perpetuated by others in the Christian community.  

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  • Saltforfishes

    Actually more interested in the Warren Murdoch connection.  And further, the Murdoch pornography connection.  If Warren accepted 2 million from Murdoch, did the money come from porn profits?  I would have a problem with that because porn might involve human trafficking.  It is a slippery slope if there is a connection here as some have alleged. 

    • 0carter

      Well, if that’s your concern you had better be worried about your NIV Bible and many many Christian books and publications.  If you’re so worried about the ‘Murdoch’ connection, then you should know that Zondervan (the biggest Christian book publisher in the world) is a subsidiary of HarperCollins, which is owned by Murdoch.  The point is, it has to be all or nothing when you make a ‘moral’ stand on something.  My personal take is that some people will find, twist, and vehemently debate (people AND Scripture) just so they can validate their preconceived judgments.  People are taking it to such extremes that they are actually fighting battles that God has already won, i.e. being part of a complete waste of time, and in doing so being terrible stewards of that time.
      Really I think Mr. Warren actually said it best, “It’s stupid to assume we know the motivations of other’s hearts.  We don’t know our own motivations most of the time.”God’s Will is going to happen, whether I choose to be a part of it or not

    • Chicolate

      Abstain from every appearance of evil (Holy Bible) Bad company corrupts good people.  Come out from the world and be separate and touch NOT the UNCLEAN things.  Enough said, there are more Scriptures for the reading.

      • thirdwaver

        Jesus broke every one of these. Much of what He did appeared evil to the religious crowd of the day, He regularly hung out with “bad company” and touched lepers. You were born about 2050 years to late.

  • Ashenewlife

    “Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask
    forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around
    the world.” – Rick Warren in a speech to Muslims.

    Is this true? If so then it certainly sounds like Chrislam to me

    • Twinsfan1

      Or is it simply an acknowledgement that we need forgiveness from God (who IS the All-merciful One according to the Bible) for the way Christians have treated Muslims who need the gospel of Jesus?  Sort of like how Christians treated Native Americans and supported slavery and racism.  Nothing in the statement you quote supports the idea that RW supports Islam in any way, shape, or form.

      • Ashenewlife

        FYI The “All merciful one” is one of the 99 names of Allah. Yes, Allah is simply Arabic for “god,” but Muslims insist that Allah is not the Trinity, the God of the Bible. “The way Christians have treated Muslims?” Are you kidding me? All over the world churches are being burned, Christian girls are being raped, beheaded, burned alive…not to mention the 1700 + terrorist acts committed since 911. OK now the Native Americans? seriously? Are you aware that first Americans shared the Gospel with them, built churches for them and helped them with their crops?

        • Twinsfan1

          Wow – a bit touchy aren’t we?  

          My use of “All-merciful One” wasn’t a bow to a Muslim name for God – rather pointing out that God describes Himself as merciful.  Apparently that makes both RW and me a supporter of “Chrislam?”  I am quite aware that Islam does not worship the God of the Bible.

          My point is that many Christians are NOT loving toward Muslims – but rather point fingers (as you are doing) to what they have done rather than look for ways to bring the gospel to them.  Obviously there is no denying what some Muslims have done and are doing to Christians around the world.  I get the Voice of teh Martyrs prayer bulletins each week.  But does that justify hateful attitudes toward all Muslims?  It seems that if a Christian acts in a nice manner toward Muslims, it is viewed as betraying Jesus or America.  Is that what you really believe?  Because that’s how it comes across in your post.As for how Natives were treated, you’d better do some looking at how they were treated – forced to cut their hair, taken from their families to live in church-sponsored boarding schools, forced to renounce their culture (including those things that have nothing to do with one’s spiritual “culture.”), mistreated, etc., by THE CHURCH.  Yes, there were many good and wonderful Christians in the mix, but overall, the ones who did much in my area of the country were mean-spirited bigots who felt they were far above the “heathens” they were called to “minister” to with their condescension rather than Scriptural love.I can tell you that there is generational hatred toward Christianity because of the way the Natives were treated by “Christians.”  I know, because I minister to many of them, and getting past that is incredibly hard.  Try helping them see that Jesus isn’t just the god of white oppressorsOn a related note, Muslims have much of that same generational hatred toward Christianity as it relates to the Crusades.And yet our job is to help all of them see that Jesus is true, regardless of the actions of some of His misguided followers.  Wouldn’t you agree?

          • Twinsfan1

            And now it’s my turn to ask for forgiveness.  The opening line of my last post was unnecessary.  Please accept my apology.

            As for the second paragraph, I’m not sure why it didn’t separate like it should have, so sorry it looks like one long ramble…

          • Ashenewlife

            Please forgive me for being “a bit touchy,” but it frustrates me to see how Muslims are taking advantage of our lack of discernment. Truth has definitely become the new “hate speech.” I know God loves Muslims and understand that my desire is also for them to come to know Christ, but We seem to talk a lot about tolerance and love without ever sharing the truth. Most Christians also seem to be in the dark about the Islamic doctrines of deception which allow them to lie to infidels in order to promote the will of Allah. Look at England, Egypt, Australia, etc there’s not a single place where they are content to “coexist” with other belief systems. Also most Muslims believe that our tolerance speaks volumes about our lack of faith in our God. In closing, again I apologize. I did not mean to offend you or anyone else. 

          • Chicolate

            if we had “loved” Hitler and Mussolini the way you are advocating we love Muslims, how much freedom do you think we would have today??  Use your head; understand the mindset of Muslims and you will see that not many of them will “accept the Gospel” so the majority are not our friends.   

      • mia

        muslims are taught in the koran to kill the infidels, christian jews buddists and the list goes on.  we all in this world do not always treat each other right. it is time the true children of God stand up and defend the gospel you so speak of.  if i were you i would do some reading on rick warrens books.  maybe you should go the muslim countries and preach the gospel let see how long you will last as a christian

        • Twinsfan1

          Mia, has anything I said in my post been untrue?  Did I say anything about not preaching the gospel to Muslims?  I don’t think so.  In fact, I have shared the gospel with a number of Muslims over the years and I financially support missionaries to Muslim people groups.  My whole point in my post was that we are not supposed to return evil for evil.  You seem to advocate doing just the opposite.  Is that what you mean to do?  Defending the gospel does not mean treating Muslims like their radicals treat Christians.

    • Brian

      Wow….. you really stretch a point until it shatters to pieces…. please tell me what in your quote gives an credence to you opinion regarding Rick Warren.

  • Chris M

    I agree with the writter of this article.  And very good points of Christ hanging around those the pharisees deemed unfit.  How can you preach the gospel to every creature if there are those who you personally deem unworthy and unfit?

  • Chris M

    And that is the issue with many things on the net.  Some are labeling folks as this and that and no one who is offended goes with 2-3 witnesses to talk with the “offender” to talk.

  • Kriley

    There has been millions of men.women and children killed because of what they believe in ( when it comes to religion) Seems to me that it’s Religion that separates man kind. And in each one of them they have had some people misused it to there benefit ( Power,Money). That gives the other side the right to put down the other. Why cann’t we all just play fare? My Lord tells me to love my enemy. Not blow him up!!! Love and compassion for people will when the day alot better than fighting.

  • Gbpierce58

    I am not a Pastor, Educator or otherwise, I am a kid of many years ago who worked at Taco Bell and Rick was my youth Pastor. I have never forgotten the one most important thing that Rick impressed upon my life, to Love others as Christ has loved us and died for us. I am not able to explain the love that Rick has for others but can tell you it is sincere, I have seen him wittness to others in my youth.  I am also a Jew who feels embrasseed to stand in front of him because of my own failings in life.  I very much love this man and hope someday can have half a fraction of the courage and faith this man has demonstrated all of his life.  He truly Loves our Lord with all of his heart, and through this love is able to love others in a way that is difficult for the world to understand!!!

    His heart is to go and spreed the news that Jesus came and died for our sins to my cousins who I also fear.  Please pray for his safety and protection and avoid getting caught up in our modern day fears.

    With all my heart and Love, the kid from Taco Bell who will never forget you!


  • Tuffzig

    I am astonished, yet not, that anyone who calls themself a Christian can miss what “GODS” word is truly talking about—“Listen” we are in the last days—the Lord is on his way, more NOW than any other time that any of us have heard those words. We discuss, bicker promote and dissassociate and “what-ever”, point fingers rather than listen to what God’s Inspired Word “The Holy Bible” tells us, Gods Holy Spirit should have the final say—-but we have not listened—“in the last days even the very elite shal be decieved”. Now the old saying — if the shoe fits ware it—-then all of us—who blindly want to support anything or anyone who does not believe the full inspired word of GOD is fooling themselves. Anyone who does not accept “JESUS” as their personal Savior will be lost. We cannot have it any other way—just you wait and see—God Jehovia will only win—no other god! Any of you can say what you want; but when Jesus returnes—it will be only for those who believe in him—nothing watered down—Only Jesus. It is not what I said it is what God, Jehovia has said. Read in it or out of it what you please. God does not lie. He gets His way.


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