Chrislam: When “Outreach” is Rebellion
by: Lonnie Lane
When God’s people turn from Him to other gods, His favor is withdrawn and both the Bible and history tell of the consequences. It was not long before people were given over to a spirit of deception when “they exchanged the truth of God for a lie…” (Romans 1:25). Take King Saul, for instance. He may have been a fearful man to begin with, hiding when first chosen to be king (see 1 Samuel 10:20-22), but it wasn’t until he disobeyed God and stepped into the role of a priest (see 1 Samuel 15) that God revoked his anointing as king, and Saul became paranoid and tormented. That this was due to an evil spirit and not just a psychological malady is made clear, because the demon was bound and silenced from harassing Saul when David came and played his harp and worshipped God in Saul’s presence. “Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him…. So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him” (1 Samuel 16:14, 23).
No one who was not ordained as a priest was ever to act as a priest. But Saul did so when he decided to sacrifice because Samuel delayed in coming to the battle site. His intention, he said, was to ask God’s favor upon the battle. He erroneously presumed God would bless his actions even though his actions were clearly against Scripture. Here is where Saul opened himself up to demonic influence. He was the man in authority, but he blamed it on the people saying he followed their wishes, as if he wasn’t the one to lead them! He was more concerned with what the people thought of him than what God thought of him. Speaking to Samuel, “then he said, “I have sinned; but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel” (1 Samuel 15:30). He could have repented before God but he never really did. From then on, Saul’s decisions were one form of rebellion after another.
God had defined the role of a priest very specifically and the priests alone were anointed to serve Him in that capacity. The sacrifices were holy and only those ordained to offer them to God were permitted to do so. You have probably heard the verse, “to obey is better than sacrifice” – this is where it comes from: “Samuel said (to Saul), ‘Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice’” (1 Samuel 15:22).
|God’s people turn away from God when they lose their love for Him and His word.|
Saul had no authority to act as a priest so for him to do so, whether he thought it was a good idea or not, was an act of rebellion. He had taken matters into his own hands and had violated God’s word. For anyone, even a king, to act in the power of something spiritual, when he or she has not been given the authority by God, is witchcraft. “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23). The power, since it does not come from God, then comes from the devil who is most willing to provide it because it puts the person under his control. That’s a sure way to open the door further to evil. So let’s understand this clearly: Disobedience to God’s word, especially by a leader of God’s people, is equal to rebellion in God’s eyes, which is equal to the sin of divination or witchcraft (trafficking with demonic spirits), and in God’s eyes is idolatry (the worship of other gods which God considers spiritual adultery). This violates the first and foremost commandment to have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3). Got that? Okay, keep it in mind as we go on.
God’s people turn away from God when they lose their love for Him and His word. What happens when an individual turns from God can happen just as well to a group or a nation. They lose the sense of intimacy with God and the pure pleasure of being in His presence. They become distracted and find interest or what they perceive is help or advancement elsewhere, unaware that it is first God whom they are hurting, and not just themselves. Losing the sense of God’s love is directly linked with losing the sense of true holiness as God’s people. Isn’t it amazing that the devil was able to distort the church’s idea of holiness by getting us so distracted with do’s and don’ts, that those things were thought the measure of holiness, rather than loving God and responding to Him and His love for us in reverential obedience? Loving God and being holy were the characteristics of the first century disciples. It was the key to the power they experienced. But it was soon lost to the church within a few hundred years, when a mixture of other religions were incorporated into Christianity thereby introducing more rebellion and witchcraft.
It wasn’t the intention of the Bishops, who made those decisions under Constantine’s leadership, to destroy Christianity. What they wanted to do was quiet the animosity within the empire against the Christians and bring peace between the different religious factions. So they mixed them together with the idea that everyone would be happy, though it’s doubtful God was. The result? The ways of God, that had brought freedom from sin and fear, and bathed the believers in the peace, joy, healing and deliverance, that had characterized faith in Messiah from the beginning of the church age, were corrupted and the church leadership became the devil’s instrument for domination, oppression, darkness and fear; all because of the mixture of other religions with faith in the Lord.
|We have emerging within our churches what may be the greatest travesty…|
And folks, it’s happening again today on our watch! We have emerging within our own churches what may be the greatest travesty taking place since the counsel of bishops mentioned above married Christianity and Rome’s pagan religions. Another such marriage is presently taking place. There are now a significant number of churches, a few of which were regarded as significant churches in America, names you would likely know, which are boasting of a new unification of Christianity and Islam called Chrislam. The Islamic Qur’an is considered to be equal with the Bible, and each pew now holds a copy of both. I am in great disbelief that this can be happening, but it is. Perhaps the idea behind it is also to quiet animosity, as they sought to do in Rome, between Christianity and Islam now, lest it become really nasty. Perhaps the churches thought this would enable them to reach the Muslims for the Lord. But this is as misguided as Saul thinking he could sacrifice in the place of a priest. It is a misappropriation of the Scriptures. To reach out to unbelievers does not mean worship with them. It is a direct rebellion against the word of God to “have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). Should you have any idea that Islam and Christianity have the same God, please click here and read, “The Christian-Islam Debate: God as Father.”
Unless it is a direct and intentional rebellion (which I doubt), it can only be that the men in the churches who are making these decisions to invite Islam to have equal say in their churches, have either not taken the whole Bible, specifically the Old Testament, seriously or not read the entire Qur’an, or they would know they are not talking about the same God. Just the statement “God has no son” in the Qur’an should be enough to tip them off that something is wrong. Consider these words from the Qur’an addressing Christians: “O people of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which he conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers and say not ‘Three’ – Cease! (it is better for you!) – Allah is only one God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son…The Messiah will never scorn to be a slave unto Allah” (Quran 004.171, my emphasis). A bit confusing, but there it is. Allah is presumably too transcendent and majestic to have a son, or to be part of a trinity, and Jesus is portrayed as embracing being a slave to allah.
How about this one that rejects the crucifixion: “That they said (in boast): We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, The Messenger of Allah. But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjunction to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. … And on the Day of Judgment He (Jesus) will be a witness against them (Christians)” (Quran, 004:156-159). This one says that the Christians lied about the crucifixion and staged it to make it appear that He was crucified, and those who believe it are confused and full of doubt about it. Then on Judgment Day Jesus will come and be allah’s witness against the Christians who have believed wrongly about Him. Other verses talk of Jesus having been a true Muslim (which is interesting since He lived 600 years before Mohammed) and reviling the Christians on Judgment Day for not following Islam, after which He will be buried in Mecca (Saudi Arabia) next to Mohammed. So obviously there is no belief in the resurrection either. And this is being given equal place with the Bible in these Chrislam churches. It’s an outrage!
|…if you didn’t know it already, Islam and Christianity do not worship the same God!|
We have to believe that these Christians must be ignorant of the dire consequences of opening themselves up to the worship of other gods, for surely this isn’t the God of the Bible. This may make my case once again that too many Christians do not take the Old Testament as seriously as the New Testament, and as a result miss the warnings of violating the Scriptures and the holiness of God that fosters a true reverential fear of God that is foundational in the Old Testament. Let it be known one more time, if you didn’t know it already, Islam and Christianity do not worship the same God! Abraham may have been the father of Ishmael and the Arabs, but he was not the father of Islam because Islam contradicts the Bible. This is equal to Israel inviting the Canaanites to bring their pagan sacrifices into the Tabernacle, or to worship Ishtar along with Yahweh. I cannot convey enough the danger in this kind of practice. For churches to continue to do this is to invite the wrath of God, sooner or later.
To say it again, one can only assume there to be a distinct lack of the fear of God among those propagating such a mixture. And again I say it can only be due to an ignorance of the consequences of Israel’s incorporating the worship of other gods, as there seems to be no recognition that God has said, “You shall have no other god’s before Me….. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.” (Exodus 20:3, 5). If we have little fear of God, then His jealousy means little to us when it should arouse fear and repentance. Such spiritual decisions will not only affect those who make them, but likely their children and grandchildren to the fourth generation, will be affected as well. Granted these verses were given specifically to Israel but consider, with regard to America, that it is the only other nation that was founded for the purposes of religious freedom, and established on the basis of Judeo-Christian, that is to say Biblical principles. Our founding fathers were Bible believing men. It has always been a Bible based nation – at least until recently. America is accountable to the Bible!
If we look at where this abandonment of Biblical Christianity in the Chrislam churches stems from, we see the connection with what has been termed, “seeker friendly” church. My understanding of such churches is that there is nothing to make the “seeker,” that is the person who comes with some supposed interest in Christianity or God, uncomfortable by exposing them to anything too religious. After all, we don’t want them convicted of sin. That makes people uncomfortable, don’t ya know! So it apparently meant avoiding preaching about sin and repentance. Doesn’t that equate with enabling people to continue to be comfortable, as opposed to being uncomfortable with their sin? So if you go to a church where you think you’re going to meet with God somehow, but the God you’re told about seems to have little or no concern about your sins, well then you’re okay, aren’t you? You can just go on as usual, enjoying the church entertainment and not being bothered by being confronted with the holiness of God. The expression “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” comes to mind.
For those people who are more passionate about God, I’ve been told, well, they were relegated to services where the new seekers wouldn’t be confronted with hands raised or faces upturned toward God in adoration, lest they be offended by such religious fervor. (I see that fervor as normal, not excessive. How about you?) Where expressive love for God is to be hidden, then there can be no acknowledgment of His Lordship. If you hide your love for God, there is something that you love more, your reputation with unbelievers perhaps. Where there is no reverential fear of God, there is no true love of God!
What about repentance? We repent when we realize that we have offended God, or we become aware there is just reason for Him to cast us away from Him forever. Realizing that we are truly forgiven, we become free and grateful for what Yeshua did for us in forgiving our sins, and saving us from the just due for them in hell forever. What a gift! So then, if Yeshua preached a message of repentance, should we eliminate repentance from our preaching as the seeker friendly churches are reported to have done? What Yeshua preached during His ministry on earth, before His death and after the resurrection, was the Kingdom of God. That was and still is the Lord’s message: “The Kingdom of God is at hand. It’s here. Repent of your ungodly ways so you can now come to God!”
Repentance and the Kingdom of God cannot exist one without the other, because if you don’t repent then you remain in your sin and are outside the Kingdom of God. If you are hearing a message that has no call to repentance in it, then you are hearing another Gospel than the one of the Bible. And if you don’t know you need to repent, you don’t know you need a Savior. So whatever Jesus you think you’re coming to, it isn’t the Son of God who came to cleanse mankind from our sins. It’s another Jesus. Paul warns, “If one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully” (2 Corinthians 11:4). What he’s saying is that the false doctrine was so easily accepted. So you can see how the seeds of seeker friendly church spawned the error of Chrislam. When the preaching of repentance was eliminated, with it went the fear of God or fear of violating His word. It made its own popularity a higher call than Yeshua’s call to repentance and holiness, and their “driven purpose” was their own and not His. More than likely, God removed Himself from their services as they no longer wanted who He is.
There is no cross for the church that does not call for repentance and if there is no cross, there is no real Jesus, no Messiah Yeshua; no Son of God! If the cross is regarded as offensive so as to be avoided in order not to offend the seekers, then the cross is obviously not seen as the wisdom of God. If it’s not the wisdom of God, then what does the following statement say about those who do not see the cross as worthy of honor? “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). Men may call themselves Christians but if they disregard the cross and are ashamed of it, might they be perishing? God have mercy! And what about the people they are supposed to be preaching to? To disregard the cross and to avoid the preaching of repentance leaves people in their sin and far from salvation. God once told me that the reason there is so much counseling in the church is because there is no cross in the churches for people to come and be cleansed and made new. A great disservice is being done to the seekers who were seeking to be saved and told they could settle for less.
This whole paradigm of comfort to the sinner is as rebellion and opens the door for all kinds of deception and demonic spirits, which is what is behind this Chrislam thing. Like Saul, assuming they took God into consideration, they evidently have erroneously presumed that God would bless their intentions of outreach to the Muslims, even though it violates Scripture to worship with those who serve other gods. We have not yet begun to see the damage that will come as a result of this unless we cry out to God for His mercy that He not allow it to continue or to grow, but to put it under His feet where it belongs. Pray for mercy for the people who are so deceived as to think this cross-less Chrislam is God-worthy, and that they would return to the fear of God and repent. Pray for the true gospel message to return to the church worldwide. And yes, we also pray for the repentance and salvation of the Muslims, in Yeshua’s name.
To sum this up with a few thoughts, if something comes before you that appears to be of God, but you’re not sure if it is Biblically based; then you had better look not at what benefit you think it may bring in the short run, but what are the long term spiritual consequences to it. Will it open the door to deception even though it seems like a good idea in the natural? Can I find it in Scripture, or perhaps more importantly, can I find true Scripture without distortion in what I’m considering? Does it foster more intimate love for God and bring me closer to Him personally? Or does it make me more in line with those who do not worship the God of the Bible, the God of the cross, the God of the assurance of heaven, the God of goodness and holiness, forgiveness and freedom? If any of those components are missing, I suggest you flee. Never go the way of a mixture of faith in Yeshua and faith in any another, regardless of the motive. Anyone with another religion needs to come to Yeshua, we don’t need to go to them to share their religious experience.
If you have found you have lost your love for God, take the short road back – through repentance: for looking elsewhere, for trusting other than in Him, for seeking comfort in something or someone that should come from Him, or……. (what comes to you? You fill in the blank.). Then wrap your arms around the cross of Messiah Yeshua, focus your eyes upon Him. Let His blood cleanse you of your rebellion, unbelief, or whatever sins until you feel the release in your soul for what He has done for you. Cry out to Him in repentance, then accept His forgiveness. He paid for it with His blood! Once forgiven, once restored by faith, quiet yourself before Him and let the peace of God flood your soul and stir your love for Him in gratefulness. For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength’” (Isaiah 30:15).
Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2011.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.