Thursday, August 27, 2009

More on McLaren and Ramadan

From Denny Burk:

Commenting on McLaren's post...

This explanation is so filled with dangerous and damning error, it’s difficult to know where to begin. For starters, one cannot observe Ramadan as a “deeply committed” Christian. Fasting in the Christian tradition is irreducibly Christocentric. It involves praying to the Father of Christ (Mt 6:18) and longing for the return of Christ (Mt 9:15). The meaning and aim of the Muslim fast has nothing to do with Jesus. How can one observe Ramadan in any meaningful sense and do a Christian fast? The answer is that you can’t. If you try, you will end up distorting the Christian fast with syncretistic gobbledy-goop that is no longer recognizably Christian.

I would warn that McLaren is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but he has dropped the ruse. The wolf is prowling about openly.

Read the entire post HERE.

From Doug Wilson:

It is not as though McLaren just announced this, leaving us to figure out why. He 'splains it himself.

"Ramadan is the Muslim holy month of fasting for spiritual renewal and purification. It commemorates the month during which Muslims believe Mohammed received the Quran through divine revelation, and it calls Muslims to self-control, sacrificial generosity and solidarity with the poor, diligent reading of the Quran, and intensified prayer."

And all God's people say ohhhh, their voices trailing off at the end. Then their faces bunch up that funny way that faces have. And then a cluster of hands go up, and the looks on some faces indicate that this might turn into a town hall meeting or something.

"This year, I, along with a few Christian friends . . . will be joining Muslim friends in the fast which begins August 21. We are not doing so in order to become Muslims: we are deeply committed Christians. But as Christians, we want to come close to our Muslim neighbors and to share this important part of life with them."

That is, deeply committed Christians who believe that what matters is the deeply committed part, and not the object of the commitment. For, as we have just learned, being deeply committed to a diligent reading of false Scriptures, and intensified prayer to a false god, and sacrificial generosity as a means of ginning up some works righteousness around here, is something that deeply committed Christians can "come close" in order to "share." Sharing, that is, in the experience of getting all the fundamentals wrong. It is as though deeply committed adherents of the notion that the square of the hypotenuse was equal to the sum of the square of the other two sides decided to "come close" to those who thought that it wasn't even close to the sum of the square of the other two sides. But what the heck. What matters is being deeply committed to drawing what you think are triangles on a piece of paper. Is that not what really matters? We have pencils and papers in common. Come on, people. Don't you want to end wars?

"Just as Jesus, a devout Jew, overcame religious prejudice and learned from a Syrophonecian woman and was inspired by her faith two thousand years ago (Matthew 15:21 ff, Mark 7:24 ff), we seek to learn from our Muslim sisters and brothers today."

In other words, we learn from a woman who came to Jesus the lesson of why coming to Jesus is totally not necessary.

"Muslims observe Ramadan in the same basic way world-wide: they fast from food, water, sex, etc., from dawn to dusk. We Christians who are joining in the fast will share these four common commitments . . ."

The dot dot dot at the end of the quote means that it gets even riper.

"We, as Christians, humbly seek to join Muslims in this observance of Ramadan as a God-honoring expression of peace, fellowship, and neighborliness. Each of us will have at least one Muslim friend who will serve as our partner in the fast. These friends welcome us in the same spirit of peace, fellowship, and neighborliness."

In exchange, each one of these Muslim friends will come over to our houses this Easter for our traditional Easter ham, the kind with the brown sugar glaze . . . oh, they won't come? Curious. Why not? Something about believing their religion . . .
Read the entire post HERE.

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