LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Influential evangelist Pastor Rick Warren has labeled as "flat out wrong" a local newspaper's assertion that he believes Muslims and Christians worship the same God, has partnered with Southern California mosques and has agreed not to evangelize Muslims.
The debate over Warren's alleged beliefs as reported in the Orange County Register has created a firestorm of online discussion, including more than 300 comments underneath the article, and Christians, both leaders and lay people, asking Saddleback Church members and associates a steady stream of questions about the validity of the statements made.
In response to questions raised by The Christian Post, Warren has issued a three-page white paper titled "Muslims, Evangelism and Mission," which asserts that Saddleback Church is preaching Jesus Christ as Savior and a Triune God to the Muslim community. This is not how Muslims view God. The Register, a daily newspaper publication in the area with more than a half-million readers, published an article last week (online and print) stating that Warren agreed not "to try to evangelize" Muslims in a document "outlining points of agreement between Islam and Christianity." more >>
In stark contrast to most mainstream Christian leaders, especially those of the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S., a coalition of 22 Christian, Jewish and Muslim institutions has emerged expressing support for President Barack Obama's controversial contraception mandate that affects many faith-based institutions.
Catholics for Choice, Episcopal Divinity School, Jewish Women International, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Muslims for Progressive Values, the Planned Parenthood Clergy Advisory Board, and several others said in a Wednesday statement that the Obama administration was correct in requiring institutions that do not have purely sectarian goals to offer comprehensive preventive health care.
National leaders have the responsibility to "help improve the health of women, their children, and families," the groups wrote in the joint statement. "Hospitals and universities across the religious spectrum have an obligation to assure that individuals' conscience and decisions are respected and that their students and employees have access to this basic health care service. more >>
Pastors seem to spend very little time addressing environmental issues in churches, and some critics suspect that might be due to fears of being labeled "liberal." The church leaders who see the importance of God's creation say it should not be so. Caring for God's creation is an important part of the Scriptures, those unafraid of the label "green" have been telling The Christian Post.
According to The National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE), an interfaith nonprofit, evangelical ethics of caring for creation rests on the foundations of several key biblical teachings, such as: "Honoring God as Creator by respecting His handiwork (Psalm 19, 121, Job 38, Job 39);" "Obeying God's command to humanity's first parents to care for the earth and its creatures (Genesis 2);" "Following God's call to love our neighbors, especially those who are poor and less powerful (Deuteronomy 6, Luke 10, Matthew 22, Mark 12);" and "Furthering Christ's work of reconciling all things to God (Colossians 1, Romans 8)."
These beliefs are often referred to by pastors as the "stewardship of creation," a belief that it is one's Christian duty to take care of the earth, which was created by God – and that the Bible urges one to do so. more >>
A group of pro-family Christian and Jewish leaders – including many African-American pastors – plan to rally outside the offices of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., Tuesday to protest the SPLC’s labeling of organizations, many of them faith-based, as "hate groups" due to their opposition to homosexuality and pro-gay agendas.
The SPLC categorizes "hate groups" as any organization in the nation that has "beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics."
The group of religious leaders believes the SPLC has wrongly applied that label to themselves and other members of the faith community. more >>
Donations from Christian churches to charities affiliated with other faiths, such as Islam, have led some to wonder how far Christians should involve themselves in non-Christian charities and to what extent should they aid non-Christian religious groups.
In December of last year, Collegiate Church Corporation, a Christian charity located in New York, gave a much needed $100,000 donation to The Muslim Women's Institute for Research and Development, which oversees multiple food pantries that serve the needs of approximately 2,500 people.
Regarding whether Christians should aid non-Christian religious charities, Dr. Darrell L Bock, research professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, told The Christian Post that “strictly humanitarian aid” would be “appropriate.” more >>
A Southern California academic institution that prides itself on being “the world’s first inter-religious university” has completed its first semester since opening its door.
Claremont Lincoln University, once a Methodist seminary, has decided to add other religious schools to its program, including most recently several Eastern religions.
Tammi J. Schneider, a professor of Hebrew Bible at Claremont School of Theology at Claremont LFloveincoln University, said that she had a favorable opinion of Claremont’s direction. more >>