I was recently asked what I thought about the story running around about Pastor Rick Warren (Saddleback Church) teaching the Qur’an along with the Bible.  I had no idea about this, so I asked a few questions.


Apparently Jack Van Impe (a televangelist) and others have accused Pastor Rick of using the Qur’an with the Bible at his church.  My first reaction was that I would take Rick’s side before someone like Jack Van Impe.  I offered to check the story out and let them know what I found, seeing as this person does not have a computer and cannot verify it themselves.  What I found confirmed what I thought.


Apparently, these rumors were started based on Rick’s invocation at the Inauguration in 2008.  In his prayer, Rick referred to several religious beliefs and used the name “Isa,” which is the Muslim name for Jesus – in addition to the English, Spanish and Jewish names for Him.  I kept reading and finally got to what Rick Warren himself said about these accusations. 


“The so-called “Chrislam” rumor is 100% false.  If the guy who started this libelous myth, or anyone else who passed it on, had obeyed our Lord’s command (Matt. 18:18-20) to come directly to me, and then asked what I actually believed – they would have been embarrassed to learn that I believe the exact opposite….”


I am always advising people that wherever possible, when they hear a rumor, advise the person spreading it to stop.  It is hard to ‘unhear’ something; so when something we hear bothers us, we should go to the source and check to see if it is true.  The same thing is true about some of the stories that get published on the Web.  There are sources we can go to in order to check to see if George Bush is an alien or not, or if Nancy Pelosi is the real Antichrist.  My favorite source when I cannot go directly to a person is a website called snopes.com.


Even if the story is true, we need to ask ourselves a basic question.  Do I have the RIGHT to pass this story along?  One of the worst problems within the church is gossip.  Of course, we in the church don’t really gossip, we “share prayer requests.”  Oh really?  How would you like it if the rest of us shared some prayer requests about you?  Maybe that is the real question; if this was about you, would you like it if others “shared” it?  The reality is that unless you have specific permission from the individual, you do not have the right to pass the information on – even in a prayer request.