Monday, March 31, 2014

"Jesus Is Muslim" Campaign Underway

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'We believe that clearing up the many misconceptions about Islam will make this world a better place---a place with less violence and hatred about Islam," explains the organization behind the newly launched billboard campaign carrying messages such as "Jesus Is Muslim" and "Muslims Love Jesus Too."

The sponsor of the campaign argues that Muslims are actually Christians, if "Christian" is taken to mean "someone following the teachings of Christ."

Is anyone actually going to believe their message?

Actually, there are those within the "Christian" community who are working to "reconcile" Christianity and Islam by advocating that Christians and Muslims worship the same God---just by a different name.

And they are advocating a new religious expression which combines Christianity and Islam.

It's called Chrislam.

The billboards have begun to show up in the Columbus, Ohio area but plans include a national campaign.

The sponsor, "Ask A Muslim" plans to put up billboards and other messaging devises across the country carrying the same message.

"Ask A Muslim" explains their mission is to educate people about Islam.

Their web site says, "Muslims are following the teachings of Jesus, while most Christians have begun to follow the Church."

They explain, "This is why the Qur'an (Holy Qur'an 9:31) needed to be revealed. Their teaching includes showing the connection between Jesus and Muhammad in the Bible.

They say, "Please remember Islam = following Jesus. Muhammad confirmed Jesus."

"Muslims love Jesus too." They say.

Columbus football coach Dan Daubenmire who also heads up "Pass The Salt Ministries" is upset. He along with a few pastors organized a prayer vigil this past Saturday to bring attention to the campaign and to proclaim that "Jesus is Lord," He is not Muslim.

In his press release coach Daubenmire said, "Although we support the Islamic community's right to free speech, as well as their right to post messages on billboards, we do not support the hi-jacking of the name of Jesus Christ in their attempt to lure uninformed Christians into their religion."

The Muslim web site features "One Message---One God" and teaches how Adam--Moses--Abraham--Jesus and Muhammad are all connected.

We should not be surprised to find such a message resonating with people in our pluralistic society.

Ironically---and tragically, there is a parallel message within the "Christian" community.

Let me give you a very brief background on the concept of "Chrislam." And report on recent incidents where well known pastors have been called out by the evangelical Christian leaders for their comments that suggest they are giving some credence to the false doctrine of "Chrislam."

The notion of Chrislam has been around for a long time, however following 9-11, there was a resurgence of discussion about how Christians and Muslims could be reconciled.

For example, in a 2002 issue of Newsweek Magazine, religion editor Kenneth Woodward asserted that "mere tolerance of other religions is not enough" and that "even the acceptance of other religions as a valid path way to God is not adequate."

Woodward said, "The most important theological agenda of the new millennium is for committed Christians, Jews and Muslims to find within their own traditions sound theological reasons for valuing other faiths without compromising their own."

In the February 4, 2002 issue of Christianity Today, Wheaton College professor James Lewis wrote an article titled, "Does God Hear Muslim Prayers?"

In the article he encouraged Christians to "seek Muslim prayer partners and together beseech the true, one and only God to have mercy on us."

Given his influence within the Christian community, many leaders and pastors expressed concern that he was suggesting compromise of the Christian faith, saying that for evangelicals to capitulate the teaching of the Bible, and soften the gospel, would blur the lines between the god of Islam and the God of the Bible.

However, many religious left "Christian" churches have in more recent years adopted a Chrislam format in their churches.

A list of Chrislam Christian churches in America who combine the Bible and the Koran in their teaching was published in 2011. I'm certain there are more today, but could not find a current list.

Shamsuddin Saka pastors a "Chrislam" church in Lagos Nigeria. He preaches from both a Bible and a Koran. He would not be worth mentioning, except that he is drawing a great deal of attention from leaders in Europe and some from the US.

This matter has resurfaced again. I am writing this today, not to judge, but to inform my readers.

My heart aches, but does not judge. Our culture is seductive. And people are quick to judge, particularly those who lead.

These are perilous times and it is necessary that biblical believers be informed.

These are 2 more recent events related to this matter of Chrislam.

In 2012, Pastor Rick Warren announced that he had "embarked on an effort to heal divisions between evangelical Christians and Muslims by partnering with Southern California mosques and proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God."

Pastor John Piper, who has previously defended Rick Warren on a couple of theological issues, did not defend him on this issue.

Please read the link carefully and be informed.

In December, 4 months ago, Pastor Brian Houston, founding pastor of the 30,000-member Hillsong Church made a statement in his December 4 sermon that has caught the attention of Christians around the world.

He said, "Do you know – take it all the way back into the Old Testament and the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God. Allah to a Muslim, to us Abba Father God. And of course through history, those views have changed greatly. But let's make sure that we view God through the eyes of Jesus, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the beauty of a Savior, the loving open inclusive arms of a loving God. And that way we'll lead out of that and you'll be purposeful about your leadership and you'll draw people just like the Lord Jesus always does through the power of the Holy Spirit."

Houston's critics are becoming more and more vocal as video copies of this sermon surfaced around the world this past week. Houston is denying that he believes in any form of "Chrislam" and only teaches and preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The story is linked above. Please read it and be informed.

A final thought.

Islam rejects the Trinity and the God of the Bible, insisting instead that Allah alone is the one true deity. It denies that Jesus is God, that He died on the cross, and that He was raised from the dead. Instead, say Muslims, Jesus was but one of thousands of prophets sent by Allah, the greatest of them being Muhammad. In other words, Jesus was merely a man.

Clearly, Islam and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Both claim to be the only true way to God, but both cannot be right. There is no atonement in Islam, no forgiveness, no savior, and no assurance of eternal life outside jihad. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of hope; Islam is a religion of hopelessness.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.