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catransplant48

With all due respect, Chris, I think perhaps you are missing the point of the article you referenced and also Rick Warren's reason for addressing the ISNA. At the conference, Rick Warren spoke about partnering with people of various backgrounds to help alleviate global ills, a topic which concerns every human being.

While I do not wish to offer an apology for ISNA, I would refer you to multiple articles that describe the organization’s goals in reaching out to other faiths, including Judaism, and denouncing terrorism (Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the leader of the largest branch of American Judaism, addressed the convention two years ago; also see the AP story on July 1 by Zoll, and stories in the Christian Post, Church Solutions and even the Washington Times a few weeks ago).

What I would like to clarify is Rick Warren's message and motive. I would like to assert that it is his lifelong agenda that led him to accept the invitation to speak at ISNA.

You may have noticed that outside of Saddleback Church, and Rick’s 30 year Purpose Driven Ministry to pastors, he does very little speaking to Christian groups of believers. Instead, he invests his time speaking to groups of unbelievers that most pastors never get the opportunity to share with. He carefully considers the opportunities that God has given him to address these audiences. These are folks that Jesus died for who would never enter a church to hear the Good News. Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Luke 5:31 (NIV) Rick believes strongly that if you want to actively demonstrate the love of Christ to others as He commands us to, then you have to reach out to a variety of audiences. No one is ever convinced of God’s love by labeling, condemnation, or anger. Rick strongly believes that if we want to behave in a Christ-like example, we must not waste any time judging others, but instead, do everything we can to build relationships of love and respect and trust with others.

In our secular culture, there are about a dozen different groups of influencers that Saddleback seeks to serve and reach out to including those in academics, business, military, sports, health care, media, prison, entertainment, other faiths, and government. If we are to fulfill Jesus' Great Commission in the world, we must build bridges to all of these, and more. Just know the goal of every speaking engagement Rick accepts is always the same: The global glory of God. We seek to build bridges of love - from our hearts to hearts of even those we may disagree with - so that Jesus can walk across!

The theme of the session was “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” a theme most appropriate for a message on perhaps our country’s most sacred day, Independence Day. Rick Warren brought a message appropriate to the values of the meaning of Independence Day; on what America and all Americans, not just Muslims or Christians, need in order to maintain our independence. Freedom and independence were at the core of our country’s founders and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect this country across its history.

As a pastor, Rick intimately understands these values, particularly the value of religious freedom, and will fiercely advocate for them unashamedly in front of any audience. But religious freedom means the right to practice the religion of one’s choice regardless of whether or not others agree with a particular religion’s tenets, and the freedom to associate for the common good of all Americans and for those less fortunate than us around the world. That is a value that is not only part of our heritage as Americans, but also a commandment of Jesus Christ.

I appreciate the opportunity to clarify Rick’s appearance before ISNA and would refer you to a recent issue of Rick’s “News and Views” in which he thoroughly discusses why he speaks to a variety of audiences.

http://www.saddlebackfamily.com/blogs/newsandviews/index.html?contentID=2625

Cynthia Curran

I think that Mr Warren is driving a lot of Protestants into the arms of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches since he makes protestant christianity divorce from the past. An example, his stating that we should not use Lord but Boss as in terms of your employer. In the Roman Empire Lord for the christians meant greater than Caesar. And Caesar was a ruler a lot greater than your Boss. Rick Warren is supported since he is seen as a moderate but he doesn't bring anything new and Christians on the left like Jim Wallis who also wants to have partnerships with Moselems and other religions are criticized by the same people. Why one standard for RIck Warren who with his purpose driven life as driven more Protestants to try what they see as more traditnal forms of christianity like the Catholic Church or the Orothodox Church. If you don't believe notice the converts to the Catholic and Orothodox Churches lately.

Matt Jamison

catransplant48,

So in obedience to Luke 5:31, Rick Warren called the audience at ISNA to repent of their sin and accept the forgiveness that is theirs in Christ Jesus.

No? So Rick Warren is "called" to "build bridges of love" so that maybe, somehow, Jesus will walk across the bridge to call Muslims to repent of their sin and accept the forgiveness that is theirs in Christ Jesus. This is done by flattering their itching ears.

Alternative theory: Christ called Rick Warren to the office of the holy ministry so that he could proclaim repentence and the forgiveness of sins in His name but Rick Warren stubbornly refuses to do so.

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