Friday, February 03, 2006

Syncretism at National Prayer Breakfast

From this year's National Prayer Breakfast, via the Washington Times:
King Abdullah II of Jordan quoted from the Bible and the Koran in a brief speech to a lunchtime crowd of 2,000 mostly evangelical Christians yesterday, invoking "our Judeo-Christian-Islamic heritage" and urging moderates of the three great religions to unite.
"At this point in history, our service to God, our countries and our peoples demands that we confront extremism in its myriad forms," he told listeners at the annual National Prayer Breakfast luncheon at the Washington Hilton.
"To overcome this common foe, we must explore the values that unite us, rather than exaggerating the misunderstandings that divide us."
Our "Judeo-Christian-Islamic" heritage? I don't have any Judeo-Christian-Islamic heritage!
Does King Abdullah II have a Judeo-Christian heritage? His official website says that he is the "43rd generation direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)."

What values unite us? I guess there are some - humanitarian and secular in nature - but not spiritual or theological or biblical.

The article continues to tell us:
The king got an enthusiastic welcome from the crowd, and Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat, called Abdullah "a great example of unity for us." Praying in the name of Jesus Christ, a name otherwise hardly mentioned by anyone else at the event sponsored by evangelical Christians, Mr. Nelson asked God for "a double portion" of the spirit of the late Jordanian King Hussein to rest upon Abdullah, his son.

The king reciprocated with a speech that included six verses from the New Testament, eight from the Koran, two from the Old Testament and remarks from Martin Luther King.
So, evangelical Christians organized a prayer breakfast but hardly ever mentioned the name of Jesus Christ? Why? Scared it might offend someone? The words Paul wrote to Timothy need to be heard by these "church leaders": For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord (2 Tim 1:7-8). In Mark 8:38, Jesus said "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

Is Senator Nelson's prayer one that Jesus would be in agreement with?

Later, we read this:
After yesterday's lunch, the king met privately with 23 religious leaders for an hour. Joseph Lumbard, the king's interfaith adviser and a convert to Islam from the Episcopal Church, called the meeting "very, very, very friendly."
Christian leaders included:
  • The Rev. Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals;
  • The Rev. Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.;
  • Richard Mouw, the president of the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.;
  • Don Argue, president of Northwest University in Kirkland, Wash.; and
  • Rabbi Arthur Schneier of Park East Synagogue, an Orthodox congregation, in Manhattan.

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