IPFS Greg J Dixon

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More About: Politics: General Activism

Did Rick Warren Hit a Home Run or Strike Out?

With the exception of President Elect Barack Hussein Obama, no one had more pressure to deliver the goods, so to speak, at the big event in the Nations Capitol than Rick Warren, who had the unique privilege of delivering the inaugural prayer. Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forrest, California and the heir apparent of Billy Graham as the “Nation’s Pastor,” is bigger than life with a congregation of over 20,000 per Sunday and a book that has sold more than 30 million copies world wide. Friend and foe alike were waiting to hear what he would say, and his foes who are many, were waiting to catch him, as the Pharisees and Herodians in Bible times waited, to catch the Lord Jesus, in his words. Tragically as Lloyd Bentson said to Dan Quale, “Senator, You are no John Kennedy”, Rick Warren is not a candidate for a water show yet.
I know just a wee bit of the pressure that Warren must have felt on this occasion. One of the highlights of my life many years back was to open the U.S. Congress in their opening prayer, and also at time to pray before the Indiana House of Representatives, but that doesn’t hold a candle to what Warren was called on to do today. Warren not only represented His Lord, he also represented the entire Christian world, including every believer and every preacher who claims to believe the Bible and to know Christ personally. I for one was pulling for him. I wanted him to hit a home run, but he didn’t, in my opinion, even hit a loud foul to left field, he struck out and did so very badly. Even the unbelievers and secularists caught it that the prayer was designed to be all inclusive even though most of the shallow believers missed it.
But first let us give God Glory. What a wonder. A half breed son of an African immigrant who but a few years ago would have been rejected by whites and Blacks alike has now ascended to the most powerful office in the entire world, and has taken the oath before the largest crowd in the history of our nation. At the same time, a preacher has stood publicly and named the name of the lowly Nazarene and quoted his prayer uttered 2,000 years ago and boldly proclaimed – Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven - For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. And it was done before a live audience of 2 million souls and a world wide audience of untold millions by electronic means which shows that God still rules in the kingdom of men.
However, few understand that Rick’s prayer had to be approved by the Obama team ahead of time. The prayer was ear tickling in the words of scripture, which was designed to offend no one, not a Biblically sound prayer which would be acceptable to God as a sweet smelling savor before His throne of grace.
Moslems and Jewish Secularists Not fooled
[World Net Daily-Drew Zahn]
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.
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?
Jochen Katz
“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.[1]
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;
Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Rick Warren knows and believes every one of these scriptures, but if he had prayed in the name of Jesus, he would not have prayed at the inauguration of Barack Obama. Rev. Joseph Lowery prayed a stem winder of a benediction, but he didn’t pray in Jesus’ name, Neither did the sodomite Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, who kicked off the inaugural ceremonies with his non prayer on January 18 at the Lincoln Memorial.
The Holy Spirit who is the true author of the Holy Bible and is the one who knew that these days were coming upon us gave us a clear warning: 2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted,… 2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.  
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2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Patricia Sprague
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Thank you for this article. Every born-again believer and God called preachers need to read this.

Comment by Ed Vallejo
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Thank you so much Pastor Dixon for this clarifying article. I was fortunate enough to hear you speak at the Arizona Breakfast Club in Phoenix, and I find your book quite fascinating. I pray for the success of your Ministry, and look forward to reading more of your articles here on Freedom's Phoenix.

Ed Vallejo