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Islam And The King's Way


Rick Warren is wrapped in controversy over a group in his congregation called "The King's Way".  Read his blog at; http://saddleback.com/blogs/newsandviews/

One thing Warren said in response to the criticism is this. "A member of Saddleback started a Bible study, called The King’s Way, with some of our Muslim friends. During the study they started writing down things that they noticed Muslims, Jews, and Christians might have in common: They noticed that all three claim to believe the Great Commandment (“Love God with all you heart and love your Neighbor as yourself”), all three accept the Old Testament as Scripture (and Muslims claim to accept the New Testament also) and all three are monotheistic (one God, not many). They presented these thoughts at the Bible study’s Christmas dinner in December. That’s it!  End of story!  It went no further. No document was signed. No agreement was made. No covenant was approved.  It was just two men sharing their observations at the Bible study dinner regarding what Muslims, Jews, and Christians have in common".


Christians attempting to find common ground with Muslims is popular these days.  To me this demonstrates the Biblical illiteracy that is now common place among Christians.  I turn to the apostle Paul to see what the Bible says about this issue.  Paul dealt with priests, politicians, and yes, with pagans as well.


Concerning priests, Paul "reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead". (Acts 17:2) Paul wasn't seeking any common ground with an apostate Judaism.  Instead, from Scripture, he reasoned, explained, and proved, that Jesus was their Christ.    


Concerning politicians, Paul acknowledged Felix as governor.  "I know that for a number of years you have been a judge over this nation". (Acts 24:10)  It was proper for Paul to make this acknowledgment, but after showing respect, he got right to the point.  He preached "Jesus Christ and the judgment to come". (Acts 24:25)  Felix was willing to free Paul from prison if Paul would just slip him a few bucks under the table, but Paul refused. (Acts 24:26)  He also refused to compromise the truth of the gospel.  He maintained this stance all the way to the supreme court in Rome.


Concerning another politician named King Agrippa, Paul said, "I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven … I preached that they (Jews and Gentiles alike) should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. (Acts 26:19-20 )  Without compromise, Paul then turned to the king, looked straight into his eyes and said, "do you believe the prophets? … I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am …" (Acts 26:27-30)  Paul hit a king right between the eyes with a fist full of uncompromised gospel truth.  Politicians were to become like Paul, not Paul like the politicians.      


Now concerning polytheistic pagans, Paul "reasoned" with them in the market place. (Acts 17:17)  He said, "I see that in every way you are very religious … I found an altar with the inscription 'to the unknown god'".  (Acats 17:22-23)  Using their own pagan symbol as a starting point, Paul preached the Lord Jesus Christ without compromise.  In Acts 17:30 he boldly told these pagans that in the past "God overlooked their ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent".  There's no common ground, no compromise here, just a message of pure unadulterated repentance.


1Corinthians 8 and 10 gets to the bottom of this issue.  1 Corinthians 8:4 introduces the subject by saying, "about food sacrificed to idols…"  Jews weren't allowed to eat food that had been offered to idols, but with the introduction of the New Covenant, Paul said that "idols are nothing … there is no God but one … there is one God, the Father … there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ".  (1 Corinthians 8:6)  Pagans had it all wrong.


Even though idols are nothing, just lifeless objects, Paul said that "the sacrifices offered of pagans are offered to demons … I do not want you to be participants with demons …" (1 Corinthians 10:19)  He also said, "if an unbeliever invites you to a meal … eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience …", something that was previously not permitted. (1 Corinthians 10:25 -27) 


Here's what Paul is saying.  Idols are just pieces of wood or stone.  They're no big deal.  So, eating food that has been offered to an idol while at your pagan neighbour's house for lunch is no big deal either.  However, if you eat the same food in the context of your pagan neighbour's worship service, that's a very big deal.  This act of eating becomes an act of demon worship.  This point is fundamental to the issue at hand.     


So, Christians can be friends with Muslims, eat with them, reason with them, invite them to a Bible study, and call it the "King's Way".  However, we cannot try to find a common ground between Christianity and Islam that doesn't exist.  And, what we can never do is gather with Muslims in a joint worship service, as some are now doing.  That's demon worship.  Instead, like Paul, we call everyone everywhere, including Muslims, to repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. 


There is one God.  He is the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, who Muslims don't worship.  All other so-called gods are demons, and Christians don't worship demons for the sake of unity.  It's that simple.  This isn't intolerant.  It's the "King's Way" of relating to Muslims.  It's not a matter of attempting to find common ground that doesn't exist. The "King's Way" is to lead Muslims to the cross, where the Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, shed His blood for them.        

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