CHRISTIANS PARTNER WITH PAGANS FOR A BETTER WORLD
By Paul Proctor
October 3, 2008
It would seem a new fall emphasis is underway to again try and bring the world�s religions a little closer together with the help of the Southern Baptist Convention�s two most prominent Council on Foreign Relations members, pastor Rick Warren and the SBC�s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission president, Richard Land.
If you�re wondering what the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Great Commission have to do with the CFR�s global agenda, you�re not alone. But how better to gently steer the world�s largest protestant denomination toward the coming new world order than with a couple of its more influential leaders acting as facilitators?
The Washington Post had an article in its On Faith section the other day, titled Rick Warren, Interfaith Activist, that talked about Warren�s recent appearance at the Clinton Global Initiative where he continued to promote the idea of getting �people of faith� to work together at solving the world�s problems � as if a gathering of the gods and their do-gooders was all that was needed to accomplish such a monumental task.
Keep in mind, the term �people of faith� is a carefully chosen expression designed to exclude and offend no one while at the same time giving willing participants, including gullible Christians, a warm and fuzzy feeling of commonality with pagans and idolaters via good works and a global cause.
After all, who doesn�t have faith in someone or something?
Apparently, it doesn�t matter who�s headed to Hell anymore because we�re building a heaven right here on Earth. All we have to do now is figure out how to extend this life indefinitely.
In the Post piece, writer, Eboo Patel extolled the virtues of Warren�s �pluralist� language and �religious diversity� this way:
Last week at the Clinton Global Initiative, Warren was asked how "the church" could help to solve poverty. His response was to rattle off the numbers of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians in the world - in that order - and make a plea that the public and private sectors take seriously "the faith sector as the third leg of the stool of successful development."
Warren consistently used the language of a religious pluralist. He spoke of "mosques, temples and churches" as central to the life of villages in the developing world. He underscored the fact that there are huge numbers of people of faith in the world, and huge numbers of houses of worship in places where clinics, banks and schools don't exist. Those people of faith can be trained to be the arms and legs of any development plan, and those houses of worship can double as clinics, banks and schools.
This is a big deal, because it signals an important turn in the American Evangelical tradition - from viewing people of other faiths primarily as lost souls requiring conversion to viewing them as partners in the plan to make earth more humane and just.
Yes, I would call this an enormous �turn� from the �American Evangelical tradition.� In fact, I�m not sure if the term �Evangelical� is even appropriate anymore � at least in this setting.
If sin is what brought about all of the world�s problems, just how is ignoring it going to solve them? Shall we merely treat the symptoms of sin around a fallen world with an interfaith program of good works and discard the cure as potentially divisive � that being, God�s call to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ?
How does one work with pagans and their false gods and honor the One True God Who warns us in His Word to not be �unequally yoked together with unbelievers� and commands us to �come out from among them, and be ye separate�? (2nd Corinthians 6:14-17)
The bottom line is, as I pointed out, in a recent NewsWithViews.com article, Rick Warren Still Doesn't Get It.
Isn�t Warren�s P.E.A.C.E. plan a little like rounding up bar patrons to follow a drunk driver around town to render aid and comfort all the people he runs off the road and organizing a fulltime crew of beer guzzlers to repair all of the roadside damage he does with his out-of-control vehicle instead of getting him off the street before he gets behind the wheel of a car and sobering him up with the cold hard truth and a stern warning about the dire consequences of his actions and the life-saving benefits of abstinence?
The former spares the drunk�s feelings and lifestyle at the expense of future victims.
The latter saves lives � including the drunk�s.
Which is really more loving and productive?
The Lord didn�t commission His followers to manage this world�s madness with ecumenical efforts that ignore His Word, but rather call the lost out of the insanity to faith in Jesus Christ while tending to their more immediate physical needs.
Warren might claim in certain circles that both their spiritual and physical needs are being met with his P.E.A.C.E. plan; but it is clear to me that the focus is, more often than not, on the flesh and the temporal, even though the Lord�s emphasis was predominately on the spiritual and eternal.
By working with pagans instead of challenging their damning doctrines before watchful eyes, as preachers of the Gospel are called to do, the lost are simply fed, clothed, comforted and cared for on the road to Hell.
How is that compassionate?
It�s like a cruel joke and about as loving as offering a death row inmate a hot meal and a cigarette before he�s executed. Sure, he might appreciate it; but what�s it all really worth in the end?
Unfortunately, time doesn�t permit me to go into the socialistic implications of business management guru Peter Drucker�s �three-legged stool� concept to unite the government, the business community and the church for a better world. I am, however, including links in this article that sufficiently address the subject at length.
Now, the other CFR Southern Baptist, Richard Land, is calling for �bridges of understanding� in a little Baptist Press piece titled U.S.- Muslim engagement seen as key to security, prosperity:
Deep misunderstandings between the United States and Muslim communities around the world are causing serious problems and solving them will require constructing "bridges of understanding," says the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
So, we don�t need to challenge Muslim beliefs and point them to Jesus Christ; we just need to learn how to get along with them, is that it? Where did our Lord teach this and what are some biblical references Land can point to where the Apostles or anyone else in the early church built �bridges of understanding� between Christians and other religions?
Land went on to say:
"Polls show there is a huge lack of understanding of Americans in the Muslim world. We need to broaden and deepen the understanding on both sides��
Who needs polls to show us this when we have, among other things, four downed planes, a missing World Trade Center and over three thousand dead people to make that point?
According to the report, 18 months of �extensive research� was done by a �bipartisan coalition� on the �challenge of reversing extremism, increasing international security and improving relations with the Muslim community� � something called The U.S. � Muslim Engagement Project � a group that is apparently supported by two other like-minded organizations called, (are you ready for this?) Search For Common Ground and The Consensus Building Institute.
Yeah � that ought to get the Gospel out there.
The BP report continued with this:
The group's plan calls for significant shifts in American foreign policy to create a safer U.S. and a better world and suggests a "new blueprint" on how to reconstruct America's relationship with Muslims around the world, said Stephen Heintz, president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
Ah yes � the Rockefellers � Always busy about the Lord�s work.
Enough said � I�ll close with this:
My pastor shared something not long ago that he considered profound and worth remembering.
He said: �Whatever you permit, you promote.�
I couldn�t agree more.
Isn�t it fascinating who and what the church accepts these days to partner with for ministry that�s in clear violation of Gods Word?
Is it ignorance, arrogance or just apathy?
Whatever the case, the end is the same.
�And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.� � Ephesians 5:11
Baptist Leaders Claim Ties to Council on Foreign Relations
2. Rick Warren, Interfaith Activist
3. U.S.- Muslim engagement seen as key to security, prosperity
4. The CFR and the Social Gospel
5. Rick Warren Still Doesn't Get It
6. The Church of Common Ground
7. Consensus Anyone?