In his own response to the Islamic reasoning, Pope Benedict praised the ''positive spirit'' of the letter. Obviously, the Pope has decided to pipe down from his initial aggressive posture towards Islam, deciding now to pursue the path initiated by his predecessor, Pope John Paul - who actually initiated the modern interfaith movement with his gathering of all manner of religious and spiritual expressions together at Assissi in 1986 (see CA! Vol 2 No 6) To demonstrate his seriousness, the pope further requested to meet the head of the Institute for Islamic Thought in Amman ,Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, as well as the signatories to the letter. For other responses to the letter, particularly of Evangelical pastors, see www.acommonword.com./index.php?lang=en&page=responses.
Paul Proctor of News with Views however, has provided a very useful commentary on all these responses. Paul saw the falling of Christian leaders over themselves to accommodate the latest Islamic initiative as nothing short of betrayal of Christ for the sake of the mirage called ‘world peace.’ He showed that, what the interfaith advocates are heading for is the elimination of both genuine Christianity as well as the original Islam, and the emergence of a brand new world religion!
First, Paul painstakingly showed that any plan requiring that Christians should unite with other religions and their deities is unscriptural and only amount to a disregard for God’s values in the name of tolerance/love. Scriptures cited include James 4:4, 2 Cor. 6:14-17, Ephesians 5:11 and Matthew 12:30
On whether the same God is served by both faiths, Paul simply reminded that “Jesus Christ is not the Son of Allah; and to even imply that He is by claiming to love the same “God” as Muslims is not only being dangerously deceitful - it's blasphemy!”
Responding to the joint statement endorsed by some 300 evangelical christian leaders,
to the effect that “Peaceful relations between Muslims and Christians stand as one of the central challenges of this century, and perhaps of the whole present epoch,” and that “If we can achieve religious peace between these two religious communities, peace in the world will clearly be easier to attain”, Paul Proctor reminds that Jesus directly disagreed with such views in passages such as Matthew 10:34-36. Evangelism and soul winning, Paul insisted is the central challenge in Christianity!
To read the whole article by Paul Proctor, visit
At Church Arise! we believe that while members of all faiths must learn to co-exist peacefully with mutual respect for one another, nevertheless each religion must be allowed to freely espouse its tenets and whosoever wishes to try any of them, should be free so to do. This is the ultimate test of tolerance and true love!
“WHO IS HE THAT OVERCOMES THE WORLD, BUT HE THAT BELIEVES THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD? “ 1 JOHN 5:5