In ealier posts I discussed Rick Warren's inauguration prayer for Barack Obama's presidency. Though I was critical of his prayer in general, I did commend Warren for praying in Jesus Name and not being a sissy on that issue. Well it turns out that I might not have listened closely enough and Warren has been very sneaky - but not sneaky enough for people sharper than myself.
If you want a refresher here is the prayer again - listen carefully and then examine the startling revelations below.
Islam expert Robert Spencer at JihadWatch.org, an organization dedicated to bringing public attention to jihad theology and defending Western society, criticized Warren for including a common refrain from Islam's Quran – "You are the compassionate and merciful one."
"'The compassionate, the merciful' is, of course, a reference to the invocation at the beginning of every chapter of the Qur'an except one: 'In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful,'" Spencer writes. "Making sure everyone feels included – terrific. But the prayer indicates yet again that there is little general awareness of the reasons why the term 'Judeo-Christian-Islamic values' is a misnomer."
Warren also included the foundational Jewish prayer Shema Yisrael, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one,"
The Dallas Morning News religion blog writer, Jeffrey Weiss, wrote, "I found it to be inclusive – in the sense that he expressed God's love of all peoples and set forth a set of broad moral imperatives." On the Dallas paper's message board, one contributor presented a complimentary critique, with a fitting conclusion, regardless of one's opinion of Warren's invocation.
"A prayer for our time and our new President," he writes. "May God's care and blessing be upon a people that can extend that blessing onto others. The Lord of ALL (non-Christian, gay and lesbians included) is the Lord of us. May we recognize and honor Him so. As this prayer clearly reminds us, we will eventually have to give an account to Him of our deeds, good or bad."
And being a converted pantheist, I mean environmentalist, he had to play to the “tree huggers” this zinger, “When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us.” And then he couldn’t leave the civil rights over constitutionalists out by praying the adulterous Martin Luther King into heaven.
Greg Dixon at "Freedom's Phoenix" shared the following startling revelations.
Praying in the Name of Isa Inexcusable
I must confess that when Warren came out to pray, I was nervous for him but I was not a Boo Bird. I wanted him to pray a good prayer. I wanted him to hit a homer for our Lord Jesus Christ. He is a Baptist preacher. He follows a Baptist preacher as Pastor to Presidents, what an honor. But when he closed his prayer by saying, “I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life – Yeshua, Isa, Jesus, – who taught us to pray…:” My heart sank. Isa is the Muslim word for Jesus through out the Koran. Here is what the word means in the Koran.
Jesus in Islam [Hilal Plazz.com]
“Jesus, or Esa as he is known to Muslims, is one of Allah’s greatest prophets who brought the same message as all of God’s messengers – worship the One true God without partners. It is obligatory on Muslims to love Jesus and to honor him, as they do for all of Allah’s messengers. Muslims, however, do not believe that Jesus is the son of God nor God himself. According to Islam, Jesus was simply a man who was born of a miraculous birth to Mary without male intervention.”
Is 'Isa the true name of Jesus?
“The traditional Arabic name for Jesus is Yasu'. Until very recent times, all Arab Christians used no other name for Jesus. And even today, that is the name used by more than 99% of all Arab Christians. Just walk into any Arab Christian church, turn on Arabic Christian broadcasting, read Arabic Christian literature written for Christians. You will only find Yasu', never E(I)sa . Only very recently (perhaps some 25 years ago) some Christians started to use the name E(I)sa in Arabic publications written specifically for Muslims in the hope that they may more easily accept their message if they see the quranic (Koran) name for Jesus instead of the traditional Christian one.
Nevertheless, among themselves, Arab Christians do not use E(I)sa (Isa) Abualrub's statement suggests that Arab Christians commonly use E(I)sa , and that is simply wrong.” Mr. Katz also explains that Esa is Esau the brother of Jacob the son of Isaac. Dr. Scott Johnson from Ft. Myers, Florida who has a powerful Internet ministry, has now gone on record with these potent words: “I want to go on record as saying the Rick Warren is NO pastor of mine, and should be shunned by every Bible loving Christian until such time as he repents of his sin, turns his life around and truly decided to follow Jesus, not Esa! Until then, he is no brother of mine and no example of a Christian.”
Praying In Jesus’ Name
While on earth, the Lord Jesus instructed His disciples that after He was gone they were to pray to the Father in His name to receive answers for their prayers. The most hated name in America today is the name of Jesus. You can say God all over the place, but if you say Jesus, you will be treated as if you have the plague. Courts are ruling that His name cannot be invoked in prayer in the halls of the legislatures of the states, and many preachers now are careful at city council meetings and other public gatherings to use generic endings like, “In His name”, etc. After all, we wouldn’t want to offend Jews, Muslims, atheists, etc. Warren’s prayer was carefully crafted to be legally correct when he said, “I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life…Jesus”. That was politically and legally correct. He wasn’t forcing Jesus on anyone else. He had the right to say that Jesus was the one who changed his life, although he didn’t say that He was His Savior.
In private conversation or a church setting that might fly, but not in a public forum. The Lord Jesus said, Lu 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels. With these words Rick Warren presented another Jesus that is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of the Bible is not Warren’s personal Jesus, he is a universal Jesus. Three times God spoke from heaven and said, “This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him.” The writer of the book of Hebrews said, Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
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