Someone or Something Out There Has a Purpose for Rick Warren’s life All right.
It Just Isn’t God!
Purpose Driven Life
The Purpose Driven Life
Judging by how many copies it sold, The Purpose Driven Life was immensely popular. However, after more than a decade, I presumed that the church must have long moved on to it's next fad, and The Purpose Driven Life was more of a distant memory than an ongoing affair therefore, needed no time wasted on it. I couldn't have been more wrong. It was recently brought to my attention that, in January 2011, Thomas Nelson announced that Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven Life held 16th place on their list of the 100 Best-selling Christian Books. Besides which The Purpose Driven Life is being re-purposed for a whole new generation, with a revised and expanded version due out the fall of 2012, based on what Warren says he has learned over the last ten years. Additionally, an all-new 6 session video & workbook teaching is designed to "unite and ignite small groups" in church". Although Rick Warren apparently believes that "The Purpose Driven paradigm is the Intel chip for the 21st-century church and the Windows system of the 21st-century church", it has much going against it. The non believer will be given little or no information as to how he, or she, can be included in the coming kingdom, and will certainly not be told anything about the necessity of repentance from sin and holiness. The reader, both Christian and non-Christian alike, will be introduced to a wide variety of, potentially, very destructive people, ideas, and practices. And since they have been told, in no uncertain terms, that the most important thing is “unity”, they will never hear a word about discerning between true and false teachings, nor how the Bible instructs them to deal with those who practice and teach untruths.
A Visit to Saddleback Church
Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, pastored by Rick Warren, is one of the most influential churches in the world. Warren says, “This is a world class church making a world class impact.” He is right about the impact, but sadly that impact is not encouraging strict faithfulness to God’s Word.
Rick Warren Interview on Larry King, March 26, 2005:
[Excerpt from CNN Transcript]
KING: You can, though, Rick, have a purpose-driven life and be an agnostic or an atheist, can't you? Still do good, still help others, still have purpose?
WARREN: Absolutely, you can help other people. I believe that we were made for a purpose, and that purpose is really to know God and to serve God and to love God, and to serve other people by -- serve God by serving others. You know, you can't really serve God directly, Larry, not here on Earth. The only way you can serve God is by serving other people.
KING: Since you believe in God, if an agnostic or an atheist is doing good, God appreciates it, according to you, right?
WARREN: God wants us all to be loving to each other, there is no doubt about that. In fact, Jesus wouldn't have made any distinction between someone who was of a different background. The issue was, do they love him and do they have a purpose? Are they following his purpose? See, I believe that we were made by God and that we were made for God. And that until we understand that, life isn't going to make sense. Now, really when it comes to... [Source]
Rick Warren says Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with many examples of God choosing to reveal himself to man according to our needs and that Jesus Himself won people over by starting with their felt needs. He also says that The New Testament is the greatest church-growth book ever written... that we should apply Jesus’ methodology. So how did Jesus and other Biblical figures do with seeker friendly methods? Actually if one takes the trouble to read the Bible.. they were all total failures according to modern standards. See Seeker Friendly, Church Growth Failures in The Bible
“Find me anywhere in the Scriptures where the church gathers as Christians for the purpose of watering down the Gospel message and getting people to come into their church congregation. The church gathered for training and edification of believers, then they went out with the message of sin and salvation so people could get right with God before they could even begin to think about whatever purpose God had for their lives. First things first. That is the consistent model in every single time in the book of Acts where the Gospel is preached.
In all 14 times the Gospel is preached where we have detail of what they said, there is not a single occasion where anyone was invited to have a relationship with God. There is not a single occasion where anyone is told that if they become Christians their life will get better, they will have more purpose, and everything will fall together. There is not a single occasion where the Apostles said that God loves them. The word love appears nowhere in the book of Acts. Now, is the love of God manifest there? Sure. But it is not the central message. It isn’t what leads to salvation. It is not what the Gospel is all about. The love of God is manifest in the efforts that He took to rescue a fallen human race. That’s the measure of His love. But the message is about fallen human beings, about sin and righteousness and judgment, and that Jesus came to restore man to their Savior against whom they have persistently rebelled. That’s the message that saves”. (Greg Koukl. What’s Wrong with Being Seeker-Centered? Emphasis Added)
FEEDING SHEEP OR AMUSING GOATS?
A Message by (C. H. Spurgeon?) That Speaks To Us Today
Please Note: I was recently informed by a very rude individual that this message is not by Spurgeon. He then accused me of publishing “untruths” which would cause my entire ministry to fall into “disrepute”. Wow! Well as I told him.. Since there seems to be quite an amount of confusion about the authorship, and I have no way of indisputably verifying whether or not Spurgeon actually wrote this piece [short of digging him up from where ever he is buried and asking him], I am not going to lose any sleep over it... Whosoever the author may be, the message is amazingly apt for our day and time.
An evil resides in the professed camp of the Lord so gross in its imprudence that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years it has developed at an abnormal rate evil for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out as the Puritans did, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.
My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work why did not Christ speak of it? "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." That is clear enough. So it would have been if He has added, "and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel." No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to Him. Then again, "He gave some apostles, some prophets, some pastors and teachers, for the work of the ministry." Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.
Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all His apostles. What was the attitude of the Church to the world? "Ye are the salt," not sugar candy-something the world will spit out, not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, "Let the dead bury their dead." He was in awful earnestness!
Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into His mission, He would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of His teaching. I do not hear Him say, "Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!" Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them. In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of the gospel amusement. Their message is, "Come out, keep out, keep clean out!" Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon. After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the Church had a prayer meeting, but they did not pray, "Lord grant Thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are." If they ceased not for preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainment. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They "turned the world upside down." That is the difference! Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her and bring us back to apostolic methods.
Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to affect the end desired. It works havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the Church met them halfway, speak and testify. Let the heavy-laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment has been God's link in the chain of their conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of the hour for today's ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.