For at least the past six years now online apologetics and discernment ministries like Apprising Ministries, have warning about the growing infestation within evangelicalism of critical thinking skills-numbing corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), such as that taught by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin and Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard.
You may recall that none other than Living Spiritual Teacher and Emergent Church guru Brian McLaren told you they were “key mentors” of the Emerging Church. So what did you think these mentors were teaching the leaders within the sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church, who have now gone on to develop a quasi-universalism in their new postmodern version of Progressive Christian theology under their spiritual circus “big tent” Emergence Christianity?
Here’s the heart of the matter: This refried Roman Catholic CSM, because it’s centered on the self (cf. 2 Timothy 3:2) this corrupt Counter Reformation always leads those who practice it into ecumenicism—and even syncretism—which is crystal clear from observing what it did to the now mortally wounded mainline denominations. What’s so tragic is because spiritually spineless evanjellyfish embraced the EC, it is now also on the same broad road as the mainline.
As an example of how CSM leads to syncretism consider Doug Pagitt Excited About Interfaith Powwows At Solomon’s Porch and Samir Selmanovic Defends Worshipping With Witches; it’s deeper into mainstream evangelicalism than you may even know as evidenced by The Daniel Plan of Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren because The Daniel Plan Of Rick Warren Encourages Unbiblical Meditation. But could all of this really lead to a blending of Christianity and Islam; i.e. Chrislam.
Well, it is an intriguing question; and while we don’t necessarily agree with every conclusion, Chrislam Starts To Spread In America does give us pause for thought:
You knew this day was going to come, when the liberal “love gospel” preachers who, desiring to fill their seats and bank accounts, would find a way to merge apostate christianity with the Devil’s religion of Islam. That day is here… Just recently, Rick Warren, founder and pastor of Saddleback Community Church in Orange County California, addressed the convention of the Islamic Society of North America. Warren stated that Muslims and Christians must work together to combat stereotypes, promote peace and freedom, and solve global problems. Christians and Moslems – faith mates, soul mates and now work mates! Chrislam! source – Whole Truth Help
Quote of the Day: “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. This weekend, the Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston along with Christian communities in Atlanta, Seattle, and Detroit will initiate a series of sermons that have been designed to produce an ecumenical reconciliation between Christianity and Islam. In addition to the sermons, the Sunday school lessons will center on the inspired teachings of the Prophet Mohammad. Qurans will be placed in the pews next to the Bibles. (Online source)
Little surprise to see Rick Warren being quoted in this regard and asking forgiveness of a demon (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:20); we think back to July of 2008 and a conference “at Yale University” that was to “promote understanding and peace between Christianity and Islam.” Perhaps you can recollect:
The gathering [was] a direct response to a letter signed by 138 Muslim leaders last fall that called for peace between Muslims and Christians for the sake of world peace. The letter, entitled “A Common Word Between Us and You,” urged followers of the two faiths to find “common ground” in the love of God and engage in more sincere discussions on peace rather than simply just “polite ecumenical dialogue” between certain religious leaders.
Yale scholars responded with a statement that pledged more open dialogue to “reshape” the two communities to “genuinely reflect our common love for God and for one another.” Some 500 Christian leaders – including prominent Christians including Saddleback pastor Rick Warren, theologian John Stott, National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson – endorsed the Yale statement. (Online source)
Since that time, particularly under the spiritually bloated big Emerging tent, we really are seeing the rise of a kind of Chrislam. If you didn’t know, this isn’t simply playing with words as you’ll see from the following OneNewsNow report ‘Chrislam’ in Protestant churches from this past February:
A Protestant renewal organization is concerned about the recent efforts of some mainline Protestant churches to produce an ecumenical reconciliation between Christianity and Islam. According to a recent blog post from The Last Crusade, congregations in several metropolitan areas — Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, and Detroit — preached sermons and held Sunday school lessons recently on the founder of Islam, Mohammad, whom Muslims consider a prophet.
Qurans were also placed in the pews next to Bibles. Proponents of the movement, which has been dubbed “Chrislam,” claim that Christians cannot love their neighbors without having a relationship with them. (Online source)
Briefly, this growing phenomenon of Chrislam:
is an attempt to syncretize Christianity with Islam. While it began in Nigeria in the 1980s, Chrislamic ideas have spread throughout much of the world. The essential concept of Chrislam is that Christianity and Islam are compatible, that one can be a Christian and a Muslim at the same time. Chrislam is not an actual religion of its own, but rather is a blurring of the differences and distinctions between Christianity and Islam.
Advocates of Chrislam point to facts such as Jesus being mentioned 25 times in the Qur’an, or Christianity and Islam having similar teachings on morals and ethics, or the need for the two largest monotheistic religions to unite to fight against the rise of atheism and alternative spirituality. Chrislam is viewed by some as the solution for the ongoing conflict between the Western world, which is predominantly Christian, and the Middle East, which is predominantly Muslim. (Online source)
You might also recall that in Jim Wallis And Sojourners Making Muslim-Christians I discussed an article by Aaron Taylor, “the author of Alone with A Jihadist: A Biblical Response to Holy War,” who tells us in his Sojourners post Can Muslims Follow the Biblical Christ and Still Be Muslim:
I read Carl Medearis’s excellent book Muslims, Christians, and Jesus. In his book, Carl shares stories of his interactions with Muslims who deeply love Jesus and strive to follow his teachings — yet remain committed Muslims. I nearly wept thinking about how things could have been different if I had trusted my original instincts. (Online source)
Of course that’s asinine; but the fact is those following the postmodern form of Progressive Christian theology—a Liberalism 2.0—spewed by the now upgraded Emerging Church 2.0 are now essentially deciding truth by group hug instead of Scripture. So we go off-roading into the jungle Wonderland of Humpty Dumpty language bending and shaping words into whatever Play-Doh shapes we want them at a given time. Taylor muses his man-centered myth:
if a Muslim can believe and practice the bare essentials of what biblical faith in Jesus requires and still be true to their own faith, then not only have we figured out a way to build a bridge of peace between the historic religions of Islam and Christianity, we’ve also figured out a way for Christians to be faithful to the command of Jesus to “Go and make disciples of all nations,” without using our faith as a battering ram to demonize people of another faith. (Online source)
Well, how convenient; why didn’t the Apostles think of that, might have saved them from being murdered. And how’d that blending of religious practices work out for Israel in the Old Testament? Not well; and yet spurious CSM is the bridge connecting the professing Christian with the professing Muslim. This is corroborated by Tony Campolo, who’s one of those Red Letter Christians together with other apostates like the aforementioned Brian McLaren, as well as another third of the unholy trinity of the EC, progressive theologian Tony Jones—who’s the heretical “theologian in residence” at the gathering place of his equally heretical universalist pastor Doug Pagitt.
Campolo would opine and then query the below in one of his books:
a theology of mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam. Both religions have within their histories examples of ecstatic union with God, which seem at odds with their own spiritual traditions but have much in common with each other.
I do not know what to make of the Muslim mystics, especially those who have come to be known as the Sufis. What do they experience in their mystical experience? Could they have encountered the same God we do in our Christian mysticism?
Notice the double-speak as first Campolo tells us that Islam and Christianity both have “examples of ecstatic union with God”; then he muses, “Could they have encountered the same God we do in our Christian mysticism?” Campolo certainly hopes so; as this would help him win friends and influence people within Islam, and would then neatly by-pass that nasty exclusive message of Scripture e.g. — Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him (Romans 8:9). Yeah, that’s just gonna get in the way of this whole Chrislam thing; so we’ll ignore it because we feel that faithful Muslims, who’re doing “good” in the area of global social reform, must be following God in the way of Jesus.
Such as these contemplate, “Ah I know; even if they don’t personally happen to know it. Yeah, that’s the ticket; that’ll work, salvation by osmosis. Hey in this case, no siree Buddha, we don’t need that old Gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ Name. If someone looks good to us—in other words—hates the evil empire and does good deeds like us, then they’re in; pretty slick, eh.” With all of this on our mind then we now come to the Christian Post report Jesus: A Prophet of Islam” – Muslim Group Runs Provocative Billboard Campaign where we’re informed that:
Billboards have emerged across Sydney, Australia, carrying the slogan “Jesus: a prophet of Islam.” The advertising campaign is being run by Islamic group “MyPeace,” which has said that the purpose of the campaign is to encourage interfaith relations between Christians and Muslims.
However, a number of Christians in the region have condemned the controversial campaign and called for the billboards to be removed, labeling them as provocative and offensive to Christianity… MyPeace has claimed it means no offense by the campaign and that it simply is trying to show to everyone that Islam follows the teachings of Jesus too. By encouraging this common ground to be found between the two faith groups, the organization hopes closer interfaith communications can come about. (Online source)
1) For the Christian there can be no interfaith relations with any idolators worshipping a false god (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18) because 2) we are ambassadors for Christ as we implore those in captivity to these false religious systems on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20). As one who’s been in the ministry field of Comparative Religion for almost 24 years I can tell you categorically that Islam most certainly does not follow “the teachings of Jesus too.” In fact, it denies in no uncertain terms Who He is; the one true and living God in human flesh. No genuine Christian will throw their arms around that.
Dr. John MacArthur is absolutely correct when he points out:
Islam claims to be fully surrendered to the will of Allah. And the will of Allah,Muslims believe, was revealed through his prophet Mohammed. The revelation is written down in the Muslim holy book, the Koran… Muslims believe that Allah alone is the one true deity. He has neither mother nor father; similarly, he has no sons or daughters. He is not a Trinity; he is not the God of the Old Testament; and he is not the God of Christianity. Allah, according to Islam, is the god of all humanity.
Muslims believe in all the “Messengers and Prophets of Allah.” According to Islamic literature, Allah sent thousands of prophets (Jesus being one), but Mohammed is the greatest of them all… Islam is fundamentally and irreconcilably opposed to biblical Christianity. Islam teaches that Jesus Christ was a mere man–a prophet, and not God incarnate. Islam also denies that Jesus died on a cross. Obviously, if Christ did not die on the cross, He did not have to rise from the dead; so Islam denies the resurrection, too.
Islam further teaches that no one can have salvation but a Muslim. Even though a Muslim can never know whether he has salvation, only Muslims can have it in the end. Much more could be said, but clearly, Islam and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Both claim to be the only true way to God. Both cannot be right. (Online source, bold his)
The bottom line is: If you do love Muslims, for whom Christ died, then you’ll preach the Gospel to them as Paul did the Jews, who unlike Islam, actually held to an Abrahamic faith:
And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. (Acts 18:4-5)
 http://tiny.cc/dpm2s, accessed 2/22/11.
 Tony Campolo, Speaking My Mind: The Radical Evangelical Prophet Tackles the Tough Issues Christians Are Afraid to Face [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004], 149, 150, emphasis mine.