Being Friends With Muslims
5 October 2013
 
 
A week ago today I wrote an article inspired by a post on the Jihad Watch Web site — see Christian Martyrs and Hateful Christians. Today I feel compelled to write in response to today's Jihad Watch article, Rick Warren: "Legendary Cat Stevens came by to see me today as I worked at home on a sermon."

In the article, Mr. Spencer sarcastically rips Mr. Warren for being on friendly terms with Mr. Stevens.
Who knew that Rick Warren and Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) were this close? Did they sing a few choruses of Cat's nasheed that contains the lines, "I'm praying to Allah to give us victory over the kuffar"?

It is no surprise. Rick Warren previously has addressed the convention of the Hamas- and Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He apologized to Muslims, but wasn't sure what for. And now he is palling around with Mr. Peace Train (which he even references in the above tweet). What could possibly go wrong?
And then there are the sarcastic, cynical, and even hateful reader comments after the article:
"Who is the real Cat Stevens? Is it the jihadist 'Yusuf Islam'? Who is the real Rick Warren? Is it the guy who shills for the Muslim Brotherhood? Does Rick Warren know Muslims are killing 100,000 Christians every year? This is a war against Christianity. Is Warren able to connect the dots? Is 'Yusuf Islam' playing Warren like a violin?"

"Good God, what a dhimmi tool Rick Warren has become. What a suicidal idiot. That "Peace Train" is now heading straight to an Islamic hell on earth, but Rick Warren apparently hasn't noticed. Unfortunately, Warren will be taking his large congregation along for the ride."

"Rick Warren has long promoted the coming one world church, as do all who poo-pooh doctrinal correctness according to Scripture in favor of union with all who name the name of 'Christ.' Since Muslims do name the name of 'Christ,' in a sense, Warren's embrace of Stevens is not at all surprising."

"As for Rick Warren, to be kind to fools is to throw water into the sea."
I was happy to find a couple of comments which communicated the love and truth of God:
"Really? Really? Did not Jesus tell us to proclaim the gospel to all nations? Did not Jesus say to love one another? I see more of the gospel and love coming from Warren than I do this site. Check yourself."

"This is what they did to Jesus... condemned him for 'palling around with sinners'... WOW!"
But then readers started condemning these two positive comments:
"Jesus didn't pal around with apologists for mass murder. Also, not every supporter of this site is christian, but every supporter of this site knows the difference between a good religion and a murderously evil one, and knows that a time comes when one has to take a stand against such a religion and those who enable it to carry out its supremacist war. Stevens is a active member of the murderous supremacist pseudo-religion of islam and Warren is enabling his propagandising for it."

"I believe you are confusing 'love' with compromising the truth of Jesus.... Islam is an antichrist religion that denies the deity of Jesus.... Rick warren can associate with muslims like Stevens but he is pushing an compromising message of Jesus, the so called 'Chrislam' that denies the deity of Jesus and His sin atoning death and resurrection."

"I thnk when Robert says 'palling around' it's obvious that he means 'supporting'. Jesus didn't say 'support' your enemies, he said 'pray for them'." "It's not about, 'palling around with sinners.' It's about 'palling around' with members of an evil death-cult — whose stated objective is to kill or subjugate anyone who refuses to accept it."
Well, there are more comments which you can read for yourself on the Jihad Watch Web site — I'm not going to quote them all here.

In the context of Mr. Spencer's article and the comments his readers left, I want to share some thoughts and insights about the issue of Christians being friends with Muslims.

In the days when Yeshua (Jesus, Isa) walked the earth, He did not have a very good reputation in some circle. The religious leaders of that time (the Pharisees and the Sadducees) strongly criticised Him for being a friend of sinners:
"When Yeshua reached the spot, He looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.... Yeshua said, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For I, the Son of Man, came to seek and to save the lost." (Luke 19:5-7,9)

While Yeshua was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with Him and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" (Matthew 9:10-11)

"I, the Son of Man, came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'" (Matthew 11:19a)

"Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Yeshua. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." (Luke 15:1-2)
The religious leaders made the common mistake of thinking that Yeshua condoned and supported the sinful lives of people just because He was "palling around" with sinners, being friendly with them and eating with them. Unfortunately, we have the very same problem in religious circles today. Sadly, many Christians end up being disciples of the Pharisee more than of Yeshua.

Yeshua knew how to love and accept sinners and enemies without approving their sin and becoming part of it. In addition to His example which we are commanded to follow, Yeshua also taught,
"You have heard the law that says, 'Love your neighbor' and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:43-48)
In our self-righteousness, it's so easy for us Christians to see Muslims as the enemy. We are living with an Old-Testament mentality — and an Islamic mentality — if we think that there is any legitimate reason for hating our enemies. If we are truly followers of the crucified Messiah, then there is no excuse for considering Muslims to be enemies. By word and deed, Yeshua commands us to love them, be kind to them, and pray for them. As the Apostle Paul wrote:
When we were utterly helpless, Messiah came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed His great love for us by sending Messiah to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Messiah, He will certainly save us from God's condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. (Romans 5:6-10, emphasis mine)
There is NO way Muslims are going to see the love and forgiveness of Yeshua through us if we keep on treating Muslims as if they were zombie-vampires!

I'm no fan of Rick Warren, and I don't keep up with what his views are. Therefore this article is not really about Mr. Warren, but about the pervasive un-Christlike attitude in the Church towards Muslims.

Of course, if Mr. Warren were spreading around the false teaching that Allah, the god of the Quran, and Yahweh, the God of Israel and the Bible, are the one and same God — see A Mentally Ill God? — then I would have solid grounds for criticizing him. But condemning him for a simple visit with Cat Stevens seems way off base to me.

We must get over our fears and start to be friends with Muslims. We CAN do that without compromising our faith and our conscience. If you are not sure how, I encourage you to get the book Breaking the Islam Code which will help you get started in the right direction.

Every single human being was born into this world as an enemy of God — even you and I. Yeshua came to die for us and our sin so that we could become the friends of God. He died so that Muslims, under the demonic ideology of Islam, could be set free and become the friends of Yahweh as well. Who are we to hinder Yeshua's work by hating Muslims and considering them enemies? Who are we to say that we, who once were the enemies of God, deserve eternal life, but the Muslims don't?

If we are afraid of Muslims, it is a strong indicator that we are still trying to save our lives rather than lose them for the sake of Yeshua and the Gospel. If we keep clinging to our lives in this way, we run the risk of losing them for eternity. If we want to be true followers of Yeshua, we must be ready to stick our necks out for Muslims — even if that means we receive a knife in the neck (or a vampire bite!) in return.
UPDATE 10 October 2013: In the continuing saga of this story, Jihad Watch posted this article today: Rick Warren takes down tweet of him with arm around "legendary Cat Stevens" -- Yusuf Islam
You can send comments to me privately at: shahid@yourislamicfuture.com
 
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