Vam Impe leaves TBN over 'Chrislam' remarks

(RNS) Jack Van Impe, a popular End Times broadcaster, has ended his
decades-long run on Trinity Broadcasting Network after a dispute over
naming ministers that he accuses of mixing Christian and Muslim beliefs.

Earlier this month, Van Impe named California megachurch founders
Rick Warren and Robert H. Schuller as proponents of "Chrislam," which he
defined as "a uniting of Christianity with Islam." TBN pulled the
episode before a repeat broadcast could air.

Michigan-based Jack Van Impe Ministries said its board of directors
decided unanimously Thursday (June 17) to no longer work with TBN.

"We would not be able to minister effectively if we had to look over
our shoulder wondering if a program was going to be censored because of
mentioning a name," said Ken Vancil, executive director of the ministry,
in a statement.

TBN president and founder Paul Crouch expressed disappointment with
the ministry's decision.

"Although I understand, and actually agree with, your position that
you `will not allow anyone to tell me what I can and cannot preach,' I
trust you understand that TBN takes the same position with its broadcast
air time as well," Crouch wrote in a letter to Van Impe.

Van Impe's program cited Warren's speech to an Islamic conference in
Washington in 2009 and Schuller's keynote address at an interfaith
conference called "A Common Word" in 2008.

Van Impe and his co-host wife, Rexella, also claimed Warren said
churches can attract new believers by taking crosses down from inside
and outside their buildings.

In a June 8 tweet, Warren said just the opposite: "If you remove the
cross from the church, it's no longer the church. Just a social club."

Adelle M. Banks

Adelle M. Banks is a national reporter for Religion News Service.

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