Monday, January 10, 2011

Rick Warren Believes In The Sovereignty Of His Audience

I have been greatly encouraged in recent times by a New Zealand brother called Glen who has been devouring posts on this blog and commenting all over the place. Glen has asked for some specifics concerning my criticism of Warren because I usually critique on the premise of pointing out specific factual issues. Glen's impression of this series may have been that my criticism is more general and as such I may be being a little harsh on "America's Pastor". I am now informed by Glen that he has read through a lot of my other material on Rick Warren and I am sure he has found a lot more specifics on the chameleon like behavior of Warren. I think a lot of these will resurface as this series progresses but I thought I might take some time today to reiterate some of the big issues as to why Rick Warren is so dangerous.

First of all, the book that made him famous. Purpose Driven Life and the rest of the Purpose Driven series has sold tens of millions of copies. In a Christian book about human purpose you would think that the Gospel would take center stage since, in the words of Question 1 in the Westminster Catechism - "What is man's purpose? Answer- to glorify God and enjoy Him forever". You will not enjoy God forever if you are not a Christian. So is the Gospel center stage in Warren's book? No! Is it in there at all? Well there is one obscure passage where you get the gospel according to Rick Warren. I'll let John Macarthur explain (if you haven't already seen this video - watch it!).

That should be enough for any discerning Christian. I could go on for a very long time with countless other problematic issues concerning Warren but I will mention just a few more because they are big ones. The massive Fox television network has given Warren an hour of their air time more than once at Christmas. Think about it, a secular network with tens of millions of viewers offers a pastor an hour of their prime time to preach about the meaning of Christmas. So what did Warren say with this unbelievable opportunity? I cannot put into words my disgust and contempt but I'll let Todd Friel carve this one up . . .

Todd continues . . .

One other thing of the many I could mention is Warren's continual failure to advocate Jesus Christ at the many "interfaith" forums that he speaks at. That Warren can speak for hours to Jews, Muslims, and other religions without mentioning Jesus Christ is staggering. The editor in chief of the "Jewish Journal" magazine had this to say about an address Warren made to a large gathering of Jews:

“Warren told [Rabbi Ron] Wolfson his interest is in helping all houses of worship, not in converting Jews……Warren managed to speak for the entire evening without once mentioning Jesus — a testament to his savvy message-tailoring.”

Here is just one short video example of Warren's astounding ability to avoid the subject of the Savior whenever it suits his chameleon like pragmatism, and dazzle the audience with his amazing "humility":

Not only did Rick Warren graciously point out that his book was the best selling book ever in the history of the universe, he also managed to identify himself as a Brother to a Muslim. So Rick that leaves just one question - are you a Muslim Christian or a Christian Muslim?

I'll leave it at that for today. There are so many other things I could bring up such as Warren's prayer at Obama's inauguration; his applauding the Syrian government for their treatment of Christians, then denying it; his backflips and denials over the gay marriage vote (prop 8) in California; his heroes change from Ghandi to Johnathan Edwards depending on whether he is talking to Larry King or John Piper. Go digging around on this blog and elsewhere if you really want to torture yourself with more. But the point is that Warren is dangerous because he is actually theologically educated and pragmatic. We don't really know what he believes because the audience is always sovereign in Rick Warren's world. We'll get back to critiquing Warren's sermon at Desiring God on wednesday . . .

And Glen, I hope this post cleared up some things for you. Thanks for your encouragement.


Glen Richards said...

If you are correct in your evaluation of Warren's teaching, then I think his style must be the most dangerous of all - because it's so very, very subtle (i.e., I'm still not convinced on Warren's ministry being what you say it is even after watching the video's above).

If this is true of ministries like this, then apostasy is running deep! And people are being deceived at worse, or made ineffective at best.

These thoughts really grieve me - how many have been lost? And then I look at myself and how ineffective I have been and am. And how little energy I have to muster change in myself. How many times have I presented the Gospel ineffectively or completely mis-represented God. Forgive me Lord. Thank you for your grace. Work your change in me!

Should we be eating the fish and throwing away the bones (and no one is perfect)? Or should we be throwing away the bad fish? I know what you think Cameron, but I don't know. It's hard. Much to think about. Thanks for the food for thought.

Nik said...

"Is something mising her" (John MacArthur).

I believe that the 'something', that is missing (repentance, destruction), is by no means unique for Rick Warren's message.

In fact, it is rather usual - both for those aknowledging it straight forward, and - probably most scaring, for those evangelicals who just don't want to talk about it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all you have done on getting the truth out about these apostates. Could you please do a post about him and his pastor John Baker's program-- "Celebrate Recovery." I have a friend who is a brand new Christian and is part of a Celebrate Recovery group.

I have warned her because it involves Rick Warren but I would like some concrete examples of where he is, most likely, twisting scripture so that I can warn her about specific teachings.

Thank you and keep standing for truth.