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Jack Van Impe Leaves TBN After Criticism Of Rick Warren, Robert Schuller

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RICK WARREN ROBERT SCHULLER
AP

By Adelle M. Banks
c. 2011 Religion News Service

(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."

Correction: An earlier version of this story wrongly included a picture of Robert A. Schuller, the son of Robert H. Schuller who is referenced.

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