I do not remember a day when I have received so many encouraging and positive emails and so many really negative ones too. Looking through my inbox today has truly been a roller coaster ride. I may publish some of the responses in a future update but suffice to say its gone from "Thank God there is somebody out there like Eric Barger" to "Take me off your gospel hating list."
I don't want to revisit everything that I said in either yesterday's email (January 22) or the one sent on January 17. Everybody, including me, is tired of hearing about and discussing Rick Warren. However, I want to make an addition and clarify a point that I think some folks missed. First, the clarification.
Isa, as some who are upset with me have stated, is indeed the Arabic name for Jesus. However, the whole point I was trying to make (and obviously didn't do so well with) was that the Isa of the Qur'an is NOT the Jesus of the Bible but only one of many counterfeits. There is no presentation of Jesus as Savior in the Qur'an. There is no "Christ," only Allah. The Qur'an only includes a version of Jesus that absolutely false things are stated about. These include: "Jesus, son of Mary, is not God or son of God" and "O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not "Three" - Cease! (it is) better for you! - Allah is only One Allah. Far is it removed from His Transcendent Majesty that He should have a son." (Surah 4:171)
In fact, of the 97 mentions of the word "Jesus" or "Isa" in the Qur'an you will never find any indication that THIS Jesus is God incarnate. Clearly, from the standpoint of the Qur'an, ISA is a "different Jesus" than Jesus Christ.
With that said, understanding what I do of Rick Warren's history defending the idea that Allah (of Islam) is also Jehovah God, it was clear to me that his inclusion of "Isa" in the prayer was nothing more than conscripting the false Islamic version of Jesus as being equal to the real thing.
It was clearly no accident and I do not believe that Warren was just trying to be cordial and reach out to Arabic speakers by including Isa. After all, if that were true then where was a tidbit to placate Hindus and Buddhists? There was none. Yet, Warren covering three of the worlds five major religions in his prayer but did so in such a way that the majority of Christians didn't recognize what had happened. Those who pointed out his universalist leanings are being branded by many as the problem. I know this all to personally today. (Let me check my email to see if anyone has written to call me the Antichrist yet...)
What I am saying is that it has been an agenda in Rick Warren's thinking to unite Christians, Jews and Muslims. It fits with his obvious preterism. It fits with his PEACE plan and it fits in his affiliation with the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Economic Forum (where he announced last year that "the future of the world is religious pluralism." The problem is, until Jesus returns it just doesn't fit with the Bible!
As I pointed out yesterday, his affinity with Islam is perhaps most evident through his affiliation with the Yale University effort to bring Christians, Jews and Muslims together in dialog. There, Warren has asserted that Jehovah and Allah are the same deity. One doesn't have to extrapolate too far then to deduce that if this is so then he also believes that the Isa of the Qur'an and Jesus of the Bible are one in the same as well. As I have stated, the very premise of the letter produced by the heretics, liberals and neo-evangelicals (such as Warren) at Yale states that both Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the same God. Is anybody getting this???
Warren's mention of Isa placed his stamp of approval on the Qur'an my friends. Even though Arabic Christians may use the name Isa, without the title of "Christ" (which he did not mention in the prayer) Warren has stepped over the edge into at least limited universalism. And my next statement will further substantiate this.
During the prayer Dr. Warren nearly quoted the New International Version of Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O Israel; The Lord is our God, the Lord is One." (Warren added the "is" I have highlighted.) This prayer is known as the Sh'ma or Shema, perhaps the most important statement of faith to the Jews.
Warren immediately continues, "And you are the compassionate and merciful one..." These words are repeated again and again in every English version of the Qur'an. NO MUSLIM COULD MISS THAT.
Actually, the English Translation of Al-Qur'an starts every chapter called a "Surah" (except for one as I recall) with the words "In the name of Allah, the compassionate and merciful One."
Since Warren and his buddies at Yale have openly stated and signed a letter that they believe Jehovah and Allah are one, then logically Dr. Warren must also believe that there is no problem in quoting the most used phrase from the Qur'an when addressing "God Almighty" as he did at the inauguration.
I sincerely hope this sheds extra light and clarity for those still interested. Most likely, I won't be addressing this topic again, at least for a while. However, this won't be the last time the world will hear religious mixtures such as Warren presented this week in prayer. Just wait until Antichrist steps up to the podium someday in the future.
For information on Isa visit: http://www.answering-islam.org/Intro/islamic_jesus.html