WARREN ONCE AGAIN CAUGHT UP IN CONTROVERSY
By Marsha West
April 7, 2012
Plastic pastors transparent enough to see through, like Joel Osteen, are not as dangerous as Rick Warren. Modalistic moguls of the painfully-obvious-money-hungry prosperity movement, like T.D. Jakes, are not as dangerous as Rick Warren. Self-serving sorcerers of the false signs and wonders movement, like Todd Bentley, are not as dangerous as Rick Warren. No. None of the before-mentioned personalities or groups are all that dangerous because what you see is what you get. They all lack the ability to change their appearance to accommodate a change in environment. They lack the chameleon-like ability, the self-serving ability, to say what needs to be said in order to keep people in every camp liking them.—Tony Miano
In part 1 I brought you up to speed on what some “watchbloggers” refer to as “Kingsway-gate.” I’m guessing we haven’t heard the end of this mess. However, this matter and many others commented on in part 1 have helped to earn Rick Warren the title: Teflon Pastor. So we shall see what happens with Kingsway-gate.
Common ground in the love of God…or god?
Most likely Saddleback Church congregants are unaware that their pastor signed a controversial document produced by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture titled: Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to a Common Word Between Us and You. In July 2008 Christian and Muslim leaders gathered at Yale University for a conference to promote understanding and peace between Christians and Muslims. The letter urged the two faiths to find “common ground” in the love of God. Since Christians and Muslims do not believe in the same God, one wonders which God we’re to find common ground with.
The Christian Post reported that Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, “disagreed with key points raised in the letter because he felt they compromised the Christian faith [and] amid calls for love in a common God, the letter ‘failed to clearly define the Christian understanding of God as the trinity.’"
So why would any serious Christian sign a document that did not clearly define the Trinity?
Rick Warren claims he believes in the Trinity and we must take him at his word on this. But to what extent does his belief in the Trinity come through in his ministry to Muslims? Does he keep his Trinitarian belief close to the vest so as not to offend them? Or is he forthcoming in his belief that there is one true God who exists in three co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? If his Muslim friends cannot understand his view of the Godhead, perhaps he’s not bothering to explain it to them.
The Christian Post report revealed some of the notable leaders at the conference:
Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan; former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi of Sudan; Geoff Tunnicliffe, CEO and international director of World Evangelical Alliance; Leith Anderson, president of NAE; and Antonios Kireopoulos of the National Council of Churches. A handful of Jewish leaders will also attend the conference.
Scroll through the list of signatories and you’ll discover several other notable leaders (theological liberals) such as Emerging church proponents Brian McLaren, Tony Jones and Scot McKnight; prosperity evangelist David Yonggi Cho; one of the “seeker-sensitive” architects, Bill Hybles; Richard Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary; David Neff, Editor in Chief, Christianity Today; gospel of self-esteem sage Robert Schuller; Marxist sympathizer Jim Wallis (mentioned in part 1); and of course Rick Warren.
Certainly biblical unity can be a good thing, but as Phil Johnson reminds us:
The concept of “unity” commonly touted today has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘being in full accord and of one mind’ (Philippians 2:2). Instead, it is a broad, visible, ecumenical homogeneity without boundaries. And that is nothing like the biblical concept of unity.
What did Jesus say regarding unity? “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34).
Global peace, at last
April 17, 2005 speaking before 30,000 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Rick Warren breathlessly proclaimed his plan:
bottom line is that we intend to reinvent mission strategy in the 21st
century. As I stated, this will be a new Reformation. The First Reformation
returned us to the message of the original church. It was a reformation
of doctrine – what the church BELIEVES. This Second Reformation
will return us to the mission of the original church. It will be a reformation
of PURPOSE – what the church DOES in the world.
Our goal will be to enlist one billion foot soldiers for the Kingdom of God, who will permanently change the face of international missions to take on these five ‘global giants’ for which the church can become the ultimate distribution and change agent to overcome Spiritual emptiness, Self-serving Leadership, Poverty, disease and ignorance . (Online source)
Warren put forth his program for global Christian dominion. He also encouraged the crowd, the majority of them Christians, to adopt the same sort of dedication shown by followers of Hitler, Lenin, and Mao.
The New Apostolic Purpose Driven Reformation
As Rick Warren reveals the details of his global agenda, more and more Christians are expressing concern over it. And so are liberals. In fact liberals are so uneasy over what he and other dominionists are doing that the New Apostolic Research Group was formed. Far-left blogger Bruce Wilson is part of it. In a 2009 column Wilson declared:
Both C. Peter Wagner and Rick Warren want to transform the world, and both [1, 2] have proclaimed the advent of a second Reformation. Wagner calls it the New Apostolic Reformation, while for Rick Warren this is a "purpose driven" effort powered by Warren's global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. In Uganda both visions for societal transformation appear to include the categorical elimination of homosexuality - by any means.
By any means? Hyperbole, I presume. As a committed lefty, Bruce Wilson fully supports the radical homosexual agenda to normalize sodomy and other aberrant behavior.
Rick Warren wrote his 1993 dissertation for a Doctorate of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminar, under Wagner's supervision. It is titled New Churches For a New Generation: Church Planting to Reach Baby Boomers. In his 2008 book "Dominion", C. Peter Wagner describes the process through which this brand of Christianity can take dominion over government and society, and Wagner claims that this can be done within a democratic framework. Wagner clearly states that Rick Warren's global P.E.A.C.E. Plan is an example of "stage one":
Wagner is the Convening Apostle in a movement of charismatic "relational networks" which has extended its reach from the United States to Uganda, and worldwide. Under its umbrella of authority are virulently anti-gay apostles in the United States and Uganda including Lou Engle of TheCall, who led thousands of young people in a twelve hour November 1, 2008 stadium rally in support of California's anti-gay marriage Proposition Eight. The San Diego event closed with Engle, a member of Wagner's inner circle of "prophets," calling for Christian martyrs. Wagner's plans include reorganizing charismatic Christianity under the authority of these apostles and prophets. (links in original) (Online source)
Wilson has done his homework on the NAR. Unbelievably, most Christians have not taken this movement seriously even though these false teachers have united with the Christian Right, politicians, rock-star pastors, entertainers, radio personalities, and a host of Christian leaders. (Learn more about the NAR here.)
Growing a church
In Break Through These 3 Barriers to Growth “Coach" Warren outlines three essentials for breaking through the barriers to church growth. Following is barrier #2:
You must change the primary role of the pastor from minister to leader.
What’s the difference? In leadership, you take the initiative; in ministry, you respond to the needs of others. When someone calls and you pick up the phone, that’s ministry. When you pick up the phone and call someone, that’s leadership. Typically, you learn ministry skills in seminary, but you learn leadership skills in seminars. Pastoring is a balance. Here are five skills you must learn if your church is going to grow:
…Learn to communicate your vision.
…Learn the ability to motivate through messages.
…Learn how to equip for ministry. If you don’t learn how to coach, you will not be able to equip. And, if you do not equip, you will burn out in ministry.
…Learn how to raise money. Those who write the agenda must also be able to underwrite it.
…Learn the skill of managing your time and energy.
What about Rick Warren’s view of growing a church? In Ordinary Pastors, part 2: A Biblical Definition of Ministry C. J. Mahaney defines pastoral ministry thusly:
Pastoral ministry that is pleasing to God is not ultimately about gifting, influence, or even fruitfulness. It is not about how many books you have written, which conferences invite you to speak, or how many of your sermons are downloaded on iTunes. It is not even about whether your church membership numbers grow or shrink. Pastoral ministry that is pleasing to God is about faithfulness to the charge of 2 Timothy 4. You and I are called to be faithful to this charge.
For the record, here’s what Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:1-5:
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Peace + unity = universalism
In part 1, I pointed out that Rick Warren serves on the advisory board of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and that the foundation’s goal is to unify the world’s major religions. Following is Warren’s explanation for serving:
The vision and values of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation are desperately needed today.... In any effort to help people learn to live and work together, we must engage the vast networks, resources, wisdom, and influence of the faith communities. My friends, [Roman Catholic] Tony Blair is uniquely prepared with the gifts of temperament, knowledge, experience, leadership, and global respect essential for a task this great. I honestly don’t know of anyone better suited for this challenge. It’s why I agreed to serve on the Advisory Board. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s potential for doing good is staggering.
What is staggering is that a Protestant pastor has no problem with a Catholic’s plan to unite all religious faiths. In a piece I wrote titled Damnable heresies invading the church I touched on the push for unity:
What Warren is purporting is ecumenicism. Actually, we are moving beyond ecumenicism into interspirituality (interfaith spirituality) or interdenominational cooperation. “In the name of peace and unity,” says Ray Yungen, “the world’s religions are more and more joining together. And with that joining together will come a consensus that it is narrow minded and even hateful to say there is only one way to salvation.”
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Peace and unity has a nice ring to it. But traditional, historic, evangelical Christianity holds that there is only one path to God, one door to enter through. Peter left no doubt when he said, “Salvation is found in no one else” (Acts 4:10). (Also see John 3:16, John 6:66-68, John 14:6, Acts 16:30-31, 1 Tim 2:3-6, 1 John 2:1) The Bible clearly teaches that all paths do not lead to God. Those who take a different path will spend eternity in hell. So the loving thing for a committed Christian to do is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. In fact, Jesus commanded His followers to go out into the world and spread the good news. Those who keep the good news to themselves fail to understand that God gives no second chances. Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Mat. 7:22).
My reason for this article (part 1&2) is to highlight some very concerning issues related to Rick Warren. Each of the concerns that were identified could have been substantially expanded upon and if that is the readers’ desire there are links and references that will help one to do that. My purpose has been to urge his followers and supporters to be like the Bereans who “were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).
In these dark days ahead, God’s people must be watchful and discerning. We must “Prove [test] all things; hold fast that which is good” (1Thes 5:21). For part one click below.
Recommended articles and videos:
Articles by Joseph Farah of Worldnet Daily:
2- Rick Warren on Syria: 'A moderate country'--11/26/06
3- Listen to what Rick Warren said about Syria in an audio version of the video message his church pulled down from YouTube after it was exposed by Farah
4- There you go again, Rick Warren--12/26/06
5- Rick Warren's distortions of reality—12/13/07
6- “One wonders if Pastor Warren’s discussions with President Assad about peace included a presentation of the Gospel of peace through Jesus Christ, as promoted in the author’s new P.E.A.C.E. Plan. The opportunity for an evangelical leader to meet with the head of a terror regime is rare.” --Lawrence E. Ford, Sr., Institute for Creation Research
Articles on the New Apostolic Reformation—On Solid Rock Resources
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