A couple weeks ago, Rick Warren was scheduled to make his first speaking appearance in a Jewish synagogue. We posed the question, "Would Rick Warren's words at that June 16th event earn him the same treatment that Jesus' received when he spoke in Jewish religious settings?" Apparently, the answer is "no."
According to a press release from Religion News Service, Warren and one of the leaders of Synagogue 3000, a movement to revitalize Jewish religious activity, "engaged in dialogue with an audience of several hundred participants about the need to tackle the enormous challenges of poverty, illiteracy, illness, and hunger that plague the world." Sounds a little like the kinds of questions contestants in beauty pageants are normally asked. These aren't small problems, but what about questions of eternal importance? Instead of discussions about inheriting the world to come, Warren and his host discussed how to "cooperate to promote tikkun olam, the betterment of God's world." Isn't this world passing away? Aren't we looking for another?
And the kick in the head.... Warren has decided to follow up this "historic" event with another. He has invited popular Jewish musical artist Craig Taubman to "share songs from the Jewish liturgy as part of the worship service" at Saddleback. Not only did Warren's talk not result in the treatment we might expect for proclaiming clearly that Jesus is the Messiah and all must repent and believe in Him... it was so far from that that several thousand Christians will now participate in a "worship" service where the theological theme is either the Messiah is not yet come or that there is no Messiah.
We must do better. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to the Jew first....
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