Remarks as Delivered at the 46th Annual ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) Convention
By Pastor Rick Warren, Saddleback Church
Washington , DC
July 4, 2009
I come here today with a spirit of love, a spirit of friendship, a spirit of deep respect. I love my dear, dear Muslim friends, my next door neighbors, …and so many that are friends,…and I love you. Now dear friends as globalization draws us closer and closer together, one of the most pressing questions we have to ask ourselves is how to we deal with our deepest differences? It is a fundamental question that we have to wrestle with. How do we live together in peace and harmony, and not only that, how can we actually work together, maintaining our separate traditions, maintaining our convictions without compromise, working together for the greater good of everybody in the world. Secularists, those who don’t believe in God, don’t understand really, how deeply your ability, my ability and other people of faith, how our identity is tied to what we believe. They just don’t get it. Now of course you understand that. You know that obviously as an evangelical pastor, my deepest faith is in Jesus Christ. But you also need to know that I am committed not just what I call the “Good News,” but I am committed to the common good. And as the Scripture says “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I am commanded to love and I am commanded to respect everybody. Everybody. Now I was asked to speak to you about how Muslims and Christians can work closer together for the greater good, in our world. And I will tell you that I am not interested in interfaith dialogue, I am interested in interfaith projects. There is a big difference. Talk is very cheap. And you can talk and talk and talk and not get anything done. Love is something you do. It is something that we do together. Love is a verb. Now as the two largest faiths on this planet, Muslims and Christians, we must lead in this. We must lead. With over one billion Muslims, and over 2 billion Christians, together, as half the world, we have to do something, about modeling what it means to live in peace, to live in harmony. And there are a lot of things that we could do together but tonight I would quickly want to mention 4 things. Can we work on these things together? And I know we can.