What Should Church Leaders Say to Islamic Society of North America this Weekend
„Church leaders like Rick Warren should be able to address Muslim audiences winsomely, affirming common humanity, without compromising Christian teachings.“ Mark Tooley, IRD President
WASHINGTON, July 2 /Christian Newswire/ — California megachurch pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren is addressing the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) this weekend in Washington, D.C. Other Christians addressing ISNA include former National Council of Churches chief Bob Edgar, United Methodist lobbyist Jim Winkler, Yale theologian Miroslav Volf, and Chris Seiple of the Institute on Global Engagement. Thousands of American Muslims are expected to attend.
IRD President Mark Tooley commented:
„Church leaders like Rick Warren should be able to address Muslim audiences winsomely, affirming common humanity, without compromising Christian teachings. I pray that both evangelicals and liberal churchmen who will speak to ISNA this weekend will not embarrass American Christians, resort to anti- Americanism, tout leftist political causes, or betray persecuted Christians in majority Muslim countries. Hope and confidence, not guilt or ideology, are key to successful relations between Christians and Muslims.“
The IRD’s Guidelines for Christian Muslim Dialogue addresses how church leaders should engage Muslims. First composed in the wake of 9-11, it offers suggestions, including:
1. Emphasize human rights and religious freedom for all people.
2. Uphold the distinctives of the Christian Gospel.
3. Don’t fault Christianity or the West for problems in the Islamic world.
4. Be mindful of global Christianity, not just Western churches.
5. Don’t assume the world is neatly divided Muslim nations and non-Muslim.
6. Affirm moral issues where there is common ground.
7. Don’t exaggerate the power of interfaith dialogue.
The Institute on Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981, is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches‘ social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.