The Yale Covenant - Let's Discuss please -

ferg

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IN THE NAME OF THE INFINITELY GOOD GOD WHOM WE SHOULD LOVE WITH ALL OUR BEING. This Title and document is word for word from the following Website: Yale Center for Faith and Culture - About Us

Preamble

As members of the worldwide Christian community, we were deeply encouraged and challenged by the recent historic open letter signed by 138 leading Muslim scholars, clerics, and intellectuals from around the world. A Common Word Between Us and You identifies some core common ground between Christianity and Islam which lies at the heart of our respective faiths as well as at the heart of the most ancient Abrahamic faith, Judaism. Jesus Christ�s call to love God and neighbor was rooted in the divine revelation to the people of Israel embodied in the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18). We receive the open letter as a Muslim hand of conviviality and cooperation extended to Christians worldwide. In this response we extend our own Christian hand in return, so that together with all other human beings we may live in peace and justice as we seek to love God and our neighbors.

Muslims and Christians have not always shaken hands in friendship; their relations have sometimes been tense, even characterized by outright hostility. Since Jesus Christ says, �First take the log out your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor�s eye� (Matthew 7:5), we want to begin by acknowledging that in the past (e.g. in the Crusades) and in the present (e.g. in excesses of the �war on terror�) many Christians have been guilty of sinning against our Muslim neighbors. Before we �shake your hand� in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.

Religious Peace�World Peace

�Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world�s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world.� We share the sentiment of the Muslim signatories expressed in these opening lines of their open letter. Peaceful relations between Muslims and Christians stand as one of the central challenges of this century, and perhaps of the whole present epoch. Though tensions, conflicts, and even wars in which Christians and Muslims stand against each other are not primarily religious in character, they possess an undeniable religious dimension. If we can achieve religious peace between these two religious communities, peace in the world will clearly be easier to attain. It is therefore no exaggeration to say, as you have in A Common Word Between Us and You, that �the future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.�

Common Ground

What is so extraordinary about A Common Word Between Us and You is not that its signatories recognize the critical character of the present moment in relations between Muslims and Christians. It is rather a deep insight and courage with which they have identified the common ground between the Muslim and Christian religious communities. What is common between us lies not in something marginal nor in something merely important to each. It lies, rather, in something absolutely central to both: love of God and loveof neighbor. Surprisingly for many Christians, your letter considers the dual command of love to be the foundational principle not just of the Christian faith, but of Islam as well. That so much common ground exists � common ground in some of the fundamentals of faith � gives hope that undeniable differences and even the very real external pressures that bear down upon us can not overshadow the common ground upon which we stand together. That this common ground consists in love of God and ofneighbor gives hope that deep cooperation between us can be a hallmark of the relations between our two communities.

Love of God

We applaud that A Common Word Between Us and You stresses so insistently the unique devotion to one God, indeed the love of God, as the primary duty of every believer. God alone rightly commands our ultimate allegiance. When anyone or anything besides God commands our ultimate allegiance � a ruler, a nation, economic progress, or anything else � we end up serving idols and inevitably get mired in deep and deadly conflicts.

We find it equally heartening that the God whom we should love above all things is described as being Love. In the Muslim tradition, God, �the Lord of the worlds,� is �The Infinitely Good and All-Merciful.� And the New Testament states clearly that �God is love� (1 John 4:8). Since God�s goodness is infinite and not bound by anything, God �makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous,� according to the words of Jesus Christ recorded in the Gospel (Matthew 5:45).

For Christians, humanity�s love of God and God�s love of humanity are intimately linked. As we read in the New Testament: �We love because he [God] first loved us� (1 John 4:19). Our love of God springs from and is nourished by God�s love for us. It cannot be otherwise, since the Creator who has power over all things is infinitely good.

Love of Neighbor

We find deep affinities with our own Christian faith when A Common Word Between Us and You insists that love is the pinnacle of our duties toward our neighbors. �None of you has faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself,� the Prophet Muhammad said. In the New Testament we similarly read, �whoever does not love [the neighbor] does not know God� (1 John 4:8) and �whoever does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen� (1 John 4:20). God is love, and our highest calling as human beings is to imitate the One whom we worship.

We applaud when you state that �justice and freedom of religion are a crucial part� of the love of neighbor. When justice is lacking, neither love of God nor love of the neighbor can be present. When freedom to worship God according to one�s conscience is curtailed, God is dishonored, the neighbor oppressed, and neither God nor neighbor is loved.

Since Muslims seek to love their Christian neighbors, they are not against them, the document encouragingly states. Instead, Muslims are with them. As Christians we resonate deeply with this sentiment. Our faith teaches that we must be with our neighbors � indeed, that we must act in their favor � even when our neighbors turn out to be our enemies. �But I say unto you,� says Jesus Christ, �Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good� (Matthew 5:44-45). Our love, Jesus Christ says, must imitate the love of the infinitely good Creator; our love must be as unconditional as is God�s�extending to brothers, sisters, neighbors, and even enemies. At the end of his life, Jesus Christ himself prayed for his enemies: �Forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing� (Luke 23:34).

The Prophet Muhammad did similarly when he was violently rejected and stoned by the people of Ta�if. He is known to have said, �The most virtuous behavior is to engage those who sever relations, to give to those who withhold from you, and to forgive those who wrong you.� (It is perhaps significant that after the Prophet Muhammad was driven out of Ta�if, it was the Christian slave �Addas who went out to Muhammad, brought him food, kissed him, and embraced him.)

The Task Before Us

�Let this common ground� � the dual common ground of love of God and of neighbor � �be the basis of all future interfaith dialogue between us,� your courageous letter urges. Indeed, in the generosity with which the letter is written you embody what you call for. We most heartily agree. Abandoning all �hatred and strife,� we must engage in interfaith dialogue as those who seek each other�s good, for the one God unceasingly seeks our good. Indeed, together with you we believe that we need to move beyond �a polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders� and work diligently together to reshape relations between our communities and our nations so that they genuinely reflect our common love for God and for one another.

Given the deep fissures in the relations between Christians and Muslims today, the task before us is daunting. And the stakes are great. The future of the world depends on our ability as Christians and Muslims to live together in peace. If we fail to make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony you correctly remind us that �our eternal souls� are at stake as well.

We are persuaded that our next step should be for our leaders at every level to meet together and begin the earnest work of determining how God would have us fulfill the requirement that we love God and one another. It is with humility and hope that we receive your generous letter, and we commit ourselves to labor together in heart, soul, mind and strength for the objectives you so appropriately propose.
-----------------------------


Discussion ????

There are some 'big name' Christian pastor that have singed on to this, Rick Warren and Dr. Schuller just to name two -

ferg....
 

ferg

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I found this, that pretty much, and much more eloquently than I could have ever stated, sums up my take on the above:

Satan has not changed one bit since he fell. He uses the same two lies: trying to pull man away from God's Word ("Yeah, hath God said ...?") and from trusting God's goodness and character ("God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods ....") BTW, the modern translations suggest that by the use of the word "elohim" in Genesis 3:5 Satan was not saying "ye shall be as gods" but rather that "ye shall be as God Himself." This may in fact be true. In fact all religions in the world offer man the opportunity to become a god, if not part of God Himself. Christianity alone differs, presenting the truth that man is created and shall ever be a created being even when he is glorified. God alone is God ... and ever shall be.

The issue of Chrislam, like all of the other apostasies in evidence today, is the result of man ceasing to stand on God's Word. There is NO OTHER ROCK upon which man can stand but the Word of God. God and His Word cannot be separated. Christ IS the Word. There may be differences of interpretation of certain scriptures, but the fundamental precepts, the core beliefs, the cardinal doctrines, are not debatable because they are clear in God's Word to all who have the Spirit of Christ �that is to say, the Holy Spirit� within them. As soon as we begin veering from the Word we begin veering into error. The Bereans were not "more noble" merely because they searched the Scriptures, but because they searched the Scriptures to see if what was being taught them agreed with the Word. Had it not, Paul would have been cast out from their presence.

Surely all mature Christians, not just those called to a pulpit ministry, as servants of the Gospel can �indeed, should� ensure that we are not only rightly dividing the Word and walking in it in our own lives, but boldly and lovingly proclaiming it, breaking it, feeding it, to all who will hear. God called and placed in His Church some men to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers (the latter are one thing in the Greek) for the equipping of the saints, bringing us all to maturity in Christ, that "we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." Too many preachers are spending too much time in men's books and not enough in God's Book. Too many seminaries are teaching future pastors and preachers to doubt the sufficiency, indeed the soundness, of God's Word.

(credit where credit is due: http://www.raptureforums.com/forum/prop ... enant.html)
 

Bambi Buster

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Love thy neighbor, love your enemy, turn the other cheek, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are the meek, etc., etc. Nothing new or radical here that I can see.
 

Hangnail

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I thought the Yale folks were supposed to be smart. A quick glance at the religion paragraph and it's obvious they lack reasoning and memory. Muslims and Christians have to have peace and justice between themselves? I think it's pretty clear that there is very wide divide between the two when it comes to justice. They've been divided for 2,000 years, so lets see some of that vaunted brain power solve the riddle without having the Christians kiss Muslim arses for the sake of getting along. Here's the right answer, it'll never happen.
 

in the dog house

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Pic IN the Casa said:
I agree with Hangnail. It's always about Christians giving ground not the cavemen.

I don't think we should worry what the others are doing. We, as Christians should do what is right, and lead by example. The Word is the Word, and we should all strive to be the best Christians everyday. If we all did this to our fullest, what a wonderful world we would be living in. We cant control what others do, only what WE do. Just my .02 nice post ferg........
 

Pic IN the Casa

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While I do agree with you, one day we will not have another cheek to turn. Christianity has been bitten by the PC bug. We think we can just 'nice' evil into changing its mind.

The fact is: Muslims/Caliphate are in this to win- to annihilate us off the face of the planet. Modern day Christians are fine with settling for a tie. Yet that won't work.

Christians have used this 'play nice' thing as an excuse when the government kicked God out of schools, when Nativity Scenes have been banned, etc.... IT'S NOT WORKING!!! We think going to church and the Wednesday night food and fellowship is good enough. Meahwhile, we're getting our azzes kicked.

We need Joan of Arc just like the country needs G. Washington.

We're losing. Plain and simple.
 

in the dog house

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Pic IN the Casa said:
While I do agree with you, one day we will not have another cheek to turn. Christianity has been bitten by the PC bug. We think we can just 'nice' evil into changing its mind.

The fact is: Muslims/Caliphate are in this to win- to annihilate us off the face of the planet. Modern day Christians are fine with settling for a tie. Yet that won't work.

Christians have used this 'play nice' thing as an excuse when the government kicked God out of schools, when Nativity Scenes have been banned, etc.... IT'S NOT WORKING!!! We think going to church and the Wednesday night food and fellowship is good enough. Meahwhile, we're getting our azzes kicked.

We need Joan of Arc just like the country needs G. Washington.

We're losing. Plain and simple.

I agree with you but, we have the ace in the hole, JESUS CHRIST !!!! :) In the end we ALL will prevail !!!!!
 

Hangnail

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Being right and dead rings hollow. The muslim nuts have made it clear to the world that they intend to take it over. They've been fighting their fight for centuries. There are places in the U.S. where muslims are doing their best to implement Sharia Law and the Christians in these areas seem to think it's okay if they play along nicely. I can't imagine a scenario where this ends well. You can turn your cheek if you wish.
 

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