Following a four-day conference last week at Yale University, Christian and Muslim leaders from around the world announced the first step of the "Common Word" exchange drafted last November. A joint statement was affirmed in their support of religious freedom and further interfaith dialogue based on their common love for God and neighbor.
But something is very wrong with this picture.
Over 140 conference participants unanimously approved a cooperative statement that signaled a "new beginning of collaboration between Christians and Muslims" where stronger assertions of faith would be required. So the statement began by affirming the "unity and absoluteness of God" and God's merciful love as central to both religions.
Wait a minute! Allah has merciful love? And Allah is central to both Christianity and Islam? Isn't it devotion to Allah that causes people to strap explosives onto themselves and blow innocent people to shreds? And it seems he also encourages some of his followers to cut off heads of the innocent.
In attendance and in agreement, sadly, were both the head of the National Association of Evangelicals and the World Evangelical Alliance. Those two organizations represent most evangelicals in America. Both faiths--Christianity and Islam -- pledged to spend one week a year sharing the good aspects about the other's faith. Our pulpits are already lacking in sound gospel preaching! Now we must take one week each year to learn that Islam might really be "a religion of peace?" And that Christians and Muslims worship the same God?
The Lord's Day is just that: A day to worship and learn about the God of the Bible, not to hear about the positive nature of Islam or any other faith. It's tough enough that many reading this are laboring in churches that have forsaken the Bible for "new ways of doing church." We have leftists and Emergent Church leaders praised in our pulpits, and now once a year we will have Islam praised in our pulpits--and I am speaking of "evangelical" pulpits since the heads of the evangelical world signed on to this.
Don't these evangelical leaders know that deception is part and parcel of the Muslim religion when they deal with "infidels"? Do they really think American mosques are going to start heralding Christianity once a year and really mean it? Don't they know that many American mosques--certainly not all--are the breeding ground for calling for the destruction of America and its takeover by Islam?
I have to conclude that the primary goal here is unbiblical ecumenical unity. The second goal is to get Christians to see Islam in a positive light. Sharing the gospel with Muslims is not part of the agenda with this interfaith effort, even though thousands of Muslims are turning to Christ today. If this element were a part of the plan, it would be less egregious. I ask, "Where is the outrage toward the evangelical leaders who are promoting this agenda?"
It has long been the standard of congregations who are a part of the National Council of Churches to promote ecumenical unity and praise false religions. Now that so-called evangelical organizations are doing the same, is there a dime's worth of difference between them?
Forgive my cynicism but I think the Muslims are laughing all the way to Mecca.