Once upon a time there were two preachers. Both were well known. Both had a good following. Both also had many detractors.
One day, many years apart, the two preachers had a chance to speak. Both audiences were made up of unbelievers. Some audience members were even hostile to Christianity.
What would these preachers say to these audiences? Would they preach the Gospel? Would they not mention it? Would they show tolerance to those to disagree with the message of Christ?
Who were these audiences? They were both made up of descendents of Abraham. One was made up of descendents of Isaac. The other was made up of descendents of Ishmael.
Those from the line of Isaac knew of the claims of Christians that Jesus was the promised Messiah. But they didn’t believe that He was.
Those from the line of Ishmael knew of Jesus. But they believed He was nothing more than a human, one of a long list of prophets and surely not the Son of God.
The first preacher lived under the constant threat of imprisonment or death because of his beliefs. The just had a chance to talk before a group from the line of Ishmael. What would they say?
The first spoke of his conversion. He spoke of his past as an unbeliever and a persecutor of Christians. He then spoke of Jesus. He told his audience of the need to repent and to believe that Christ died and rose from the dead to forgive our sins and bring us to eternal life with Him.
One member of the audience told the preacher that he was out of his mind and mad. Another told the preacher that he might actually be persuaded to become a Christian! That same person then cut off the preacher from further speaking and met with other audience members.
The second preacher was given the opportunity to speak before the descendents of Ishmael. Here was an opportunity any preacher in the world would love!
Did the second preacher speak of Christ and the Gospel? Or did he coddle his audience, telling them to work together for the common good without compromising their convictions?
Who were these preachers? The first, of course, was the apostle Paul. He was before the court of King Agrippa. (Acts 25:13-26:29) His life and liberty were at stake. Paul could have folded; he could have denied Christ before the king and the others in the room, thus eliminating the threats against him. But he didn’t. In the end, Agrippa could find nothing to convict Paul and then sent him to Caesar.
The second preacher was Rick Warren. He’s been anointed by the media as “America’s Pastor” because he has a large church and wears Hawaiian shirts at the pulpit, therefore thinking he must be cool. Warren was speaking before the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) on July 4, 2009. According to Steve Emerson, a terror expert, the ISNA has ties to terror groups. One of their goals is to force Sharia Law on the entire world.
Warren spoke only of Christians and Muslims working together, staying true to the convictions of their respective faiths. He spoke only of works of humans to bring about global peace. Not once did he tell the Muslims that to gain eternal life with God they must accept Christ as their savior and repent! Not once!
The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) tells us, as Christians, to make disciples of al nations. Paul followed this, no matter the circumstances or any danger to himself. He was not afraid. Eventually, preaching the Gospel cost him his life, but while he was alive, many came to Christ through his teachings and many continue to come to Christ through his letters.
Can the same be said of Rick Warren? The answer is no! If his speech before the ISNA is typical, it seems Warren avoids following the Great Commission like the plague! What is Warren afraid of? What is so bad about Biblical Truth and the message of Christ that he fails to preach it? Was he worried that the audience might storm the stage and caused him harm if he preached the Gospel? Or does he drive around with a “coexist” sticker on his bumper?
Whose example should Christians follow? The only answer is Paul’s. He was never fearful of the consequences of his teachings. He always showed boldness, preaching the Gospel of Christ to Jews and Gentiles alike. He never backed down from anyone or any group.
Can the same be said of Rick Warren? Hardly, not even close.