The Thoughts of men and the Words of God
Man by intellect alone cannot know or understand God His infinite creator. So God communicated with man to reveal himself. John explains in the beginning of his gospel Jn.1 the light came into the world and the darkness did not comprehend it. Jesus further states John 3:19-21 “this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
What is this light? Jesus- John 8:12 "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." “in Him was life, and the life was the light of men- John 1:4. He is the “true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world”- John 1:9
Darkness goes to darkness for instruction because their deeds are evil and they do not want to be known.
1 Kings 4:29-30 “and God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt.” He was wiser than all men-- and his fame was in all the surrounding nations.
1 Kings 4:34-5:1 “And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom , came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.”
Today, few listen to the words of Solomon that are written, nor do they listen to the words of one greater than Solomon: “And indeed a greater than Solomon is here”(Matthew 12:42), whose words are life (Jn.6:63).
Wisdom is hard to come by in these days of darkness, as we watch the curtain coming down. But there are certain timeless truths –“Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom” (Proverbs 4:7).
Proverbs 14:6-9: “A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands.
Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit. Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is favor.”
Wisdom means you make the right decisions on matters of truth or morality by the standard- The Word of God.
Colossians 1:9-10 tells us to be ‘filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” Without His wisdom we do not have spiritual understanding, we are unable to Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time (Colossians 4:5).
Proverbs 12:1-3 “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid. A good man obtains favor from the LORD, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn. A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.”
How do we tell who is righteous? When they are shown that they are wrong by the word of God they will turn from their error and thank the one who saved them from self -destruction.
Jeremiah knew his place and knew new peoples reaction 15:17: “And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers” Jeremiah 8:9 “The wise men are ashamed, They are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD; So what wisdom do they have?” Without embracing God’s word they were lost in Jeremiah’s day and so are we today.
Its time to face facts on what is taking place and make up your mind on what side you stand on and where you will give your loyalty. We have need to evaluate what is taking place by prophecy in the word of God for there are those who do not treat the word as the truth, they instead use human reasoning as their final authority for judgment.
1 Corinthians 2:1-7 “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom , but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.”
A widening of the way is purposely being introduced in the church to unite her with other religions. It may not be the intentions of all the peoples hearts involved but certainly some. They are being influenced by something greater than themselves. The underlying support for this new era of tolerance and unity is humanism. If we could just concentrate on our actions and goals instead of our beliefs, we can have a unity that would be beneficial worldwide.
There are many who believe others can follow Christ being in another religion and still others who teach that one can have faith in God without Jesus Christ. This is what this is all about, for if this is true, then we may not need to become a Christian through a spiritual birth, that there are other acceptable ways to God. The tact of the enemy of God has been and still is to introduce other religions as equally valid and a uniting with them to destroy the truth in Christianity.
In their Open Letter to the Pope (see english.pdf), for the first time in recent history, Muslim scholars from every branch of Islam spoke with one voice about the teachings of Islam.
They warned Pope Benedict XVI that if their offer be rejected, "The very survival of the world is at stake if Muslims and Christians cannot learn to live together (text of the letter from Muslim leaders to the Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury). (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00218/Open_letter_from__M_218459a.pdf)
The Vatican had a response, saying the Pope cannot sign collective response to Muslims. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, told I.Media “When we speak of the love of God, are we speaking about the same love?” http://www.acommonword.com/index.php?page=media&item=88
On October 13th 2006, one month to the day after Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg address of September 13th 2006, 38 Islamic authorities and scholars from around the world, representing all denominations and schools of thought, joined together to deliver an answer to the Pope in the spirit of open intellectual exchange and mutual understanding. A year after this letter, Muslims have expanded their message. In A Common Word Between Us and You, It is hoped that this document will provide a common constitution for the many worthy organizations and individuals who are carrying out interfaith dialogue all over the world. The emphasis is on not only dialogue but an eventual uniting together.
While there should be no barriers for friendships to develop, there is a huge problem with our spiritual beliefs being the same.
In their paper they state “In the Holy Qur’an, God Most High enjoins Muslims to issue the following call to Christians (and Jews—the People of the Scripture):
Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal ‘Imran 3:64)
The words: we shall ascribe no partner unto Him relate to the Unity of God, and the words: worship none but God, relate to being totally devoted to God. Hence they all relate to the First and Greatest Commandment. According to one of the oldest and most authoritative commentaries on the Holy Qur’an the words: that none of us shall take others for lords beside God, mean ‘that none of us should obey the other in disobedience to what God has commanded’. This relates to the Second Commandment because justice and freedom of religion are a crucial part of love of the neighbour.
Thus in obedience to the Holy Qur’an, we as Muslims invite Christians to come together with us on the basis of what is common to us, which is also what is most essential to our faith and practice: the Two Commandments of love. In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, And may peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad
A COMMON WORD BETWEEN US AND YOU
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and contend with them in the fairest way. Lo! thy Lord is Best Aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright.”
(The Holy Qur’an, Al-Nahl, 16:125) (http://www.acommonword.com/index.php?lang=en&page=option1)
Notice how the invitation is put—they invite Christians to come together with them on the basis of what is common to them. As if we do not practice the commands of love of Jesus correctly, (according to them we do not). I believe this to be the only conclusion we can come to on the basis of a number of their beliefs (besides what they wrote) 1) they believe the Bible is corrupted, untrustworthy, ( I can only wonder why they are quoting it). 2) Christians are unbelievers (this will be made clear as we go on). The last statement qualifies the meaning-- those who stray and those who go aright- what category do you think the Christian is in?
This same sentiment is repeated in a different manner:
“Finally, as Muslims, and in obedience to the Holy Qur’an, we ask Christians to come together with us on the common essentials of our two religions … that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God … Let this common ground be the basis of all future interfaith dialogue between us, (Aal ‘Imran, 3:64).
Notice what it actually says about no partner, this means what we believe about Jesus Christ.
“A Common Word Between Us and You," was signed by 138 Muslim scholars, clerics, and intellectuals from all over the world. Claiming common ground shared by Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Saying this is about “building true communities of justice, peace, and a lasting security for all,” Sound familiar; it’s not as if this hasn’t been tried before. The Vatican seemed to stand more on Christian principles, unfortunately, others did not. They responded in afar more conducive manner showing a lack of wisdom.
The statement was well received by scholars at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. Moved by the "Muslim hand of conviviality and cooperation extended to Christians worldwide," in response they extended their "own Christian hand in return,…so that we may live in peace and justice, loving God and neighbors.”
After 138 Muslim scholars and clerics sent an open letter "to leaders of Christian churches, everywhere," titled A Common Word Between Us and You, ( atwww.acommonword.com.) many of America's top Christian leaders and scholars signed onto a response of support to "A Common Word Between Us and You."
The following response was drafted by scholars at Yale Divinity School's Center for Faith and Culture. In the name of the Infinitely Good God whom we should love with all our being, Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to A Common Word Between Us and You.”
In the Preamble Yale's scholars claim that Christians sinned against Muslims in the Crusades, and still do so by our “excesses in the war on terror.” many Christians have been guilty of sinning against our Muslim
Neighbors.” They say that if we could achieve religious peace with Muslims, world peace would likely follow.
This was issued by Harold W. Attridge, Dean and Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament, Yale Divinity School--Joseph Cumming, Director of the Reconciliation Program,Yale Center for Faith and Culture, Yale Divinity School --Emilie M. Townes, Andrew Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology, Yale Divinity School, and President-elect of the American Academy of Religion--Miroslav Volf, Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology, Yale Divinity School. It was endorsed by almost 300 other Christian theologians and leaders,
[It was published in its entirety as a full-page advertisement in the New York Times on November 18, 2007]
Out of the 300 plus signatures, here are some of the more recognized names that we should know signed onto this. By signing this document we can see where they stand on issues that concern the health and protection of the church that they claim to be shepherds over.
George Verwer, Founder and former International Director, OM
Berten A. Waggoner, National Director, Association of Vineyard Churches
Richard Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary
Brian D. McLaren, Author, Speak
Rick Warren, Founder and Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church
Tony Jones, National Coordinator, Emergent Village
Bill Hybels, Founder and Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church
Lynn Green, International Chairman, YWAM
David Neff, Editor in Chief and Vice-President,
Christianity Today Media Group
Robert Schuller, Founder, Crystal Cathedral and Hour of Power
Jim Wallis, President, Sojourners
Joseph Hough, President, Union Theological Seminary, NY
David Yonggi Cho, Founder and Senior Pastor, Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, Korea
Richard Cizik, Vice President, National Association of Evangelicals
Emilie M. Townes, wrote a book with Peter Wagner
In the Yale letter: “As members of the worldwide Christian community, we were deeply encouraged and challenged by the recent historic open letter signed by 138 leading Muslim scholars, clerics, and intellectuals from around the world. A Common Word Between Us and You identifies some core common ground between Christianity and Islam which lies at the heart of our respective faiths as well as at the heart of the most ancient Abrahamic faith, Judaism.”
Islam actually rejects Abraham and the Bibles account. Ishmael, not Isaac is the child of blessing in Genesis 16. How can a Muslim claim Abrahamic roots when Ishmael was produced by his wife’s handmaiden, Hagar out of a lack of faith in the promise God gave them.
I have to wonder if any of the Christian signatories are aware of the peace and justice practiced by Islam in their own countries. Do these learned men not know what the Qur’an says?
The signing is mostly from the religious left wing of the church. Liberal evangelicals are so predictable, like politicians they promise something they should not, something they cannot deliver. I’m not surprised to hear of neo-evangelicals, emergent promoters of a new Christianity take part in any interfaith movement agreement with the other religions. Don’t be surprised to see a type of ECT signing in the future if these dialogues continue (Evangelicals and Catholics Together). After all, there care for the church is not protective as the apostles, Jesus said He gave his life for the church but this same attitude is not in these men.
Thankfully, some spoke out, but their voices were not many. “The response drew sharp criticism from highly respected theologians R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and John Piper, pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, and other Christian leaders.
Piper called the Christian document a "profound disappointment" in the way it was worded and was surprised that even some of his friends lent their support to the letter.
The Rev. Canon Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, the director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity and a British Anglican, applauded the effort of the Muslim leaders in reaching out to Christian leaders to try to find common ground but he called the Christian response a "betrayal" and "sellout" of the Christian faith.
Shortly after this Administrators from one of the most influential evangelical colleges in the country removed their names from a controversial letter addressed to Muslim leaders that some say compromises the Christian faith.
Wheaton College president Duane Litfin, provost Stanton Jones and chaplain Stephen Kellough decided to back away from the letter that they had originally endorsed …"I signed the statement because I am committed to the business of peace-making and neighbor-love,” Litfin stated on Friday in The Record, the student publication of Wheaton College. “I did not savor the document’s unnuanced apology section, but swallowed that in order to be a part of reaching out a hand to these Muslim leaders who had courageously taken the initiative. Though the statement was not written in the way I would have written it, it seemed to me that I could sign it without compromising any of my Christian convictions.” (“Influential Evangelicals Withdraw from Christian-Muslim Statement” By Lilian Kwon Christian Post Reporter Feb. 09 2008)
I commend these men for having the courage to turn and to step away from the decision they first made with these other men who lack wisdom. Don’t be fooled by this so called peace offering, its no less deceptive than the trojan horse was. The goal of Islam is for every person to submit to Allah to have peace and this is clearly read in between the lines. I see the intention of the letter being to expose Christians to the message of Islam, diminishing any opposition to its teachings. This is step one in many to prepare Christians to embrace Islamic teaching. In Islamic law Islam cannot make war against the infidel without the infidels first being offered an opportunity to submit to Islam, I see this letter as part of that concept.
Read other comments about it:
To have peace between two of the world's greatest religions is a noble goal. The end of the letter reads:
Finding common ground between Muslims and Christians is not simply a matter for polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders. Christianity and Islam are the largest and second largest religions in the world and in history….If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace.…So let our differences not cause hatred and strife between us. Let us vie with each other only in righteousness and good works. Let us respect each other, be fair, just and kind to another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual goodwill.”
How can Muslims who do know know the one who brings peace to earth work for peace? World peace (or a peaceful co-existence) is to be led by this coalition of Muslims and Christians together. A promise of "peace" from the enemies of God and Israel should not sit right with anyone who believes in Jesus Christ. Maybe they can demonstrate what they mean by loving the Jews in Israel. Or is that too much to ask from either side?
Since when is peace up to us? The call for peace from the Muslims necessitates submission to Allah, there is no other way for them.
Their Scholars used quotations from both the Bible and the Qur'an to show the similarities between the two Religions (they call faiths) such as the requirement to worship one God and to love one's neighbour. But what a Muslim means by one God and Christians are two completely different concepts. The signers assume Islam and Christianity have strong similarities: love of the same God. This is the most outrageous false statement of them all.
One of many verses from the Qur’an quoted in the letter "A Common Word Between Us and You “ Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal ‘Imran 3:64)
Think about what this last portion is actually saying--Islam means "one who submits to God." How anyone can be this ignorant of what they meant by this letter is beyond comprehension. Only Muslims bow to (God) Allah's will.
If one were to continue to read the portions[s] of the Qur’an that they quote it is not a request for peace at all but a scolding, a rebuke. In the following verses 65-71 we find exactly what it means:
Sura 3:70-71: Ye People of the Book! Why reject ye the Signs of Allah, of which ye are (yourselves) witnesses? Ye People of the Book! Why do you clothe Truth with falsehood, and conceal the Truth while ye have knowledge?
In its context, the Qur’an, is bringing forth a condemnation on both Christianity and Judaism. We need to remember the signatories of this letter are some of the most learned scholars of Islam, they know what they intend it to mean.
This is more than disappointing for evangelicals to respond to this by a mutual agreement, it brings it on treasonous grounds- making it common shared faith when it is not.
Islam believes Allah is the only true God, the Qur'an says Allah has no son, Jesus did not die for our sins on the cross nor did he raise from the dead. On this there is no unity from them. The Jesus of the Qur'an did not die on the Cross but was replaced by another individual. Surah 4:157: “That they said in boast ‘we killed Christ Isa, the son of Mary’…but they killed him not, nor crucified him.”
This is the basis of the Christian message that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son...,” (Jn. 3:16) “the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world” Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God” (1 Jn. 4:14-15). This is the love of God, it was an action taken on our behalf of which Islam denies vehemently. What common ground could we possibly have with those who reject these Christian tenets of OUR FAITH?
For the Qur’an states: “In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary. Say: "Who then hath the least power against Allah, if His will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all every-one that is on the earth? For to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between. He createth what He pleaseth. For Allah hath power over all things" (Surah 5:17).
“O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah...."
Not only does the Qur'an not teach of the same God that Christians and Jews worship, but the Jesus of the Qur'an is only a prophet on the level of Moses or Muhammad. Despite the apparent and huge differences, their point was to present Islam and Christianity as sharing the same Divine Origin (Abrahamic) to begin the road to co-operation and worldwide co-ordination by our holding to two greatest commandments. They quote “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself,” the Prophet Muhammad said. In the New Testament we similarly read, “whoever does not love [the neighbor] does not know God” (1 John 4:8)This considers the Qur’an, the Torah, and the New Testament as equal in revelation from God. However, the Qur'an fails on all levels to understand Christian doctrine that was written by the Holy Spirit (whom they claim is Gabriel). Yet the Qur’an claims to be from God even though it contradicts and denies in no uncertain terms the very core of our faith. But according to these so-called Scholars and leaders we are to acknowledge both the Bible and the Qur’an to have peace.
Does Muhammad teach love for neighbor? His religious endeavor purged anyone who disagreed, thousands of innocent people were killed in the name of his god Allah.
They wrote-“Christians mistreated Muslims in the Crusades?
In response the Christian signatories stated: we want to begin by acknowledging that in the past (e.g. in the Crusades) and in the present (e.g. in the excesses of the “war on terror”) many Christians have been guilty of sinning against our Muslim neighbors. Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.”
Are we now to ask forgiveness for defeating the Islamic armies that were trying to take over Europe and what is the difference of what they are doing today throughout the world?
Muslims have a record of killing innocent civilians for centuries before the crusades ever took place, and long after they stopped they continued this. Islam promises paradise for Muslims dying in jihad against any infidel so how do we accept their statements when they do not correct their own first.
They made this an open letter for a purpose. It’s intention is twofold: 1) to influence the Christian church and 2) have the public believe they have good intentions. The fact that the Christian signatories didn’t get it does not help the public. I see this as a means to turn more of the church to support the Palestinian efforts and to undermine Israel. Muslims know that a small by dedicate contingent of the church supports Israel. If they can turn this around they will have victory and destroy Israel just as they promise over their airwaves and in their prophecies.
While Evangelicals enter into dialogue, they had to first strain themselves to find something in common as the killing from Islam continues. Would it not be more efficient for them to talk to their own who are killing in their gods name, for the cause of jihad? Should we not insist on our seeing them do something instead of dialogue with us as if we are to blame.
Sixteen times the Qur'an says Allah is not a Father and has no Son. But the very foundation of Christianity is that "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son" (Jn. 3:16).
Surah 5:73: “They do blaspheme who say God is one of three…for there is no Allah except one Allah.”
Surah 5:116: “And behold! God will say: O Jesus the son of Mary didst say unto men, ‘worship me and my mother as gods’ in derogation of Allah?
Surah 4:157: “That they said in boast ‘we killed Christ Isa, the son of Mary’…but they killed him not, nor crucified him.”
Their Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible, He is not God incarnate. how can a knowledgeable Christian consider the Muslim god the Muslim as something we can cooperate with for the purpose of peace? What kind of Christian leaders are these?
Again from their Qur’an Sura 9:30: The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the Son of Allah.; That is a saying from their mouths; (in this) they but imitate what the Unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from Truth! They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; Yet they were commanded to worship but One Allah: There is no god but He.”
How do we have common ground with those who reject the core teaching of Christ and God? They are
seeking common ground outside the parameters of the Christian faith not from within it. "Loving God and Neighbor Together" divorces us from the only message we have to proclaim to the Muslim people! Proclaiming Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the greatest means in our showing love to the Muslim people. So this has us abandon the our commission from Christ.
The Qur’an also states to the Muslim "Believers! wage war against such of the infidels as are your neighbours, and let them find you rigorous: and know that God is with those who fear him." (Sura 9:124). As already established, if you believe Jesus is the Son of God and worship God in Trinity you blaspheme and are an infidel.
Does God turn against his own people? Allah tells his followers to not take Jews and Christians as friends and even to kill them as infidels. Hardly a suitable religious group to have peace with. While this agreement does not include other “faiths” it is the first step toward that by the two largest religions that have hostilities to abandon them for peace.
This letter is a test for the leaders in the church and they have failed to see its intention.
The Muslims speak of: Freedom to worship God according to the dictates of one's conscience?! How are we are preventing this? We already give Muslims their religious freedom in the West, but what have they done for others religious freedoms in their countries? This is very one sided. Christians are killed and churches are burned by the hundreds if not thousands in nearly every muslim majority country, what are they talking about! There is no freedom of the press, speech, or religion in their countries. Any Muslim who converts to any other religion is to be beheaded, this is their own sharia law.
These men who claim to represent the church have no backbone to stand up for Christ when challenges come, nor do they care to adhere to the actual facts of history and Islams current actions. Peace with the enemies of God and Israel, who would think it would be even considered by those who run seminaries and ministries.
Would Jesus tell the church to agree that they worship the same God (in spirit and in truth) or to work with other religions to have a peaceful co-existence acknowledging each other as sharing the same truths! He didn’t even do this with the Religious leaders of his day who taught the Old Testament and added their own laws to uphold it.
Christian signatories in response “We share the sentiment of the Muslim signatories expressed in these opening lines of their open letter: Which is-- Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.
Paul quotes a Greek poet to the Corinthians who had trouble receiving the word of God hoping they would understand a practical principle from their own culture. “Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits." This concept is all through the book of Proverbs and both Testaments which say “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers . For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)
We have a dilemma. What their book says about us, ours says about them (minus anything about killing- instead separation). “Do not be unequally yoked with unbeliever: One needs to make up their mind on what Islam actually is and what their relationship to Muslims is without compromising their faith.
To have wisdom shows one can recognize these differences and remove themselves from it. Proverbs 2:6-7: “For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly”
There are some Christian signatories that feared for Christians could suffer in Muslim lands if they did not sign. It really is the very opposite. This is a betrayal of Christian brothers and sisters that are laboring with their lives for the gospel in the Muslim lands! These men are convinced that dialogues and peace conferences will bring the desired result of peace between the religions. And it will, temporarily, as the false Messiah signs the treaty (covenant) with many for 7 years. Or did we forget that this is coming in the future?
It is incredulous for these men who signed on do not to see where this is headed. This is to dream the impossible dream-- peace without Christ ruling over the earth. It will never happen without Him.
Let me point out further that there is a concerted effort by a number of these same signatories to have Israel give up land thereby giving up her security against the enemies that surround her. A number of these “leaders” have a track record on this.
The support for Israel to be there own nation and governed freely is being opposed by certain evangelicals. Over 30 evangelical leaders stepped forward to say these efforts have given the wrong impression about the stance of many, if not most, American evangelicals. They “sent a letter to President Bush saying that both Israelis and Palestinians have “legitimate rights stretching back for millennia to the lands of Israel/Palestine,” and that they support the creation of a Palestinian state “that includes the vast majority of the West Bank.”
The letter is signed by 34 evangelical leaders, many of whom lead denominations, Christian charities, ministry organizations, seminaries and universities.
They include Gary M. Benedict, president of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, a denomination of 2,000 churches; Richard J. Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary; Gordon MacDonald, chairman of World Relief; Richard E. Stearns, president of World Vision; David Neff, editor of Christianity Today; and Berten A. Waggoner, national director and president of The Vineyard USA, an association of 630 churches in the United States.
“This group is in no way anti-Israel, and we make it very clear we’re committed to the security of Israel,” said Ronald J. Sider, president of Evangelicals for Social Action, which often takes liberal positions on issues. “But we want a solution that is viable. Obviously there would have to be compromises.”\
“We think it’s crucial that the Muslim world realize that there are evangelical Christians in the U.S. in large numbers that want a fair solution,” Mr. Sider said.
They believe “that both Israelis and Palestinians have legitimate rights stretching back for millennia to the lands of Israel/Palestine.”
see our Question answer section on- are there Palestinians.
This is their way to solve the matter, appeasement, when they have no grasp on the real issues- people will die from decisions like these. So to say they are for the security of Israel is only moot words. They are sending a clear message they oppose those who are dispensational (meaning that those who make a distinction between Israel and the church) because many hold to a replacement teaching- that the church is the new Israel.
To read the letter sent to President Bush to lobby for this unbiblical position and see who the signers are: