Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 92: Rick Warren and Funguses in the Church

So there is this guy/pastor by the name of Rick Warren...have you heard of him? Chances are you have because of his books "Purpose Driven Life", "Purpose Driven Church", etc. The thing I want to focus in on is the lightning rod of controversy this guy is. Now I have read both of the books mentioned above and to be honest have thoroughly enjoyed them. The "Purpose Driven Life" really helped me get a firm understanding on a few issues. I remember as I was a youth pastor back in, Milwaukee I took our youth group through this book and it proved to be quite beneficial. Do I still use the "Purpose Driven Church"? No. I don't use it because of any major convictions but rather I think for, Radiant Fellowship a different model is needed.

What I don't understand though are the people out there that are ripping this man's ministry to pieces. Both in Waupaca and other areas I have bumped into people who place this guy at the same level as Satan it seems. To be honest with you, I don't understand this. Yes I have received all of the emails from weirdo's that say he is new age and unbiblical etc, etc. I guess you can make anything sway in the direction you want it to when used out of context. After attending a couple of his conferences and hearing his heart and listening to what he said as a guest speaker at the Assemblies of God general council last summer....I just don't get it. Let me go on record saying so what if he quotes new age philosophers! The man still sticks to the bible and lives out the virtues of Christ. Let me ask, you that complain about, Rick Warren quoting new age philosophers...."HAVE YOU READ AND STUDIED YOUR BIBLE!?" Let me repost something from an old blog of mine....

"First of all, have you ever examined who let's say the apostle Paul quotes in Acts 17:28 when he says, 'For in him we live and move and have our being... .' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' He is quoting Aratus of Cilicia. How about Titus 1:12 Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons." Who was he quoting here? How about Epimenides of Crete! Just for kicks, what about I Corinthians 15:33 Paul writes, Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." hmmmm....nice saying, sounds biblical...but he quoted Menander, author of the Greek comedy Thais. So what is the deal with these people he is quoting? All Pagans. And how would he happen to know that information? Perhaps he read their poetry and pulled these quotes to use for his teaching purposes. This is just one SMALL example of how bible teachers used "secular" things to drive the point across."

Now this is what I do not understand. You will get these people that rip apart Rick Warren, Rob Bell, etc. and think nothing of it...what I would call a "fungus" in the church. I think these people fail to realize that these are local pastors with local ministries somewhere. These people that tear apart other ministries are then completely devastated when someone picks apart their ministries. It is really quite astounding. Maybe it is to simple a way of thinking but if a person is going to find the fault in one persons ministry be it on a national or local level....isn't it true you should not be surprised when it happens to you or your ministry? Perhaps going after a public figure is easy but they are a person none-the-less. This is true when we had Ted Haggard at our church last November. I got flack from people outside of the church and some of my own relatives for this. The only problem is that their complaining is based off stories they have read. Perhaps they never once thought about coming to hear his heart at our church service that Sunday.

This is what I do know, those that rip apart Rick Warren because he had Obama at his church or quoted an unbiblical source (if it is truth...isn't all truth God's truth?) and accuses him of being ungodly really ought to examine their own heart. Rick Warren preaches truth and lives out the Christian virtues in his daily life. You, complainer...what are you doing on an international level to change the world? Staying at home and praying? That's an easy way out isn't it? What are you doing to reach people where you are? Opening your church doors and HOPING they would come in while neglecting outreach and connecting with people where they are? The Apostle Paul has some words for these types of churches and ministries. To the ones that slam Rick Warren, Rob Bell, and Ted Haggard without knowing their heart or ministry...you should go and visit their church. I know first-hand that if you attend Rob Bell's church, he will take the time to say "hi" to you after service and I am quite sure Ted Haggard would do the same. I cannot speak to Rick Warren's church but am sure you could connect for a bit.

There is a great verse in scripture that speaks to this. It is addressed to those who think it is their way or no way. It is addressed to those who set the bar so high it is unattainable. It is found in Matthew 23:13-15(NIV) Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

Let me end with this question, "Have you prayed for them?" If you really believe they are wrong..."Have you prayed for them?"


  1. "Have you prayed for them?" If you really believe they are wrong..."Have you prayed for them?"

    Yep, and then I still have to follow the Biblical admonition of 2 Tim. 4:2 and Titus 1:9

  2. Amen, Ken! Totally agree. The best refutations of Warren and Bell are in Bob Dewaay's books "Redefining Christianity" and "Undefining Christianity." The Purpose Driven model and the Emergent Church are hostile to biblical teaching and theology.

  3. I saw the documentary on Rev. Haggard and was amazed at the tender heart that he had toward God's Word. At the end of the day isn't that what it's about? That we study God's Word and try to live it out honestly?

  4. I find it humorous that some who comment won't use a real name.

  5. Actually Ken and AOGPentecostal, The current evangelical hermeneutic and doctrine is hostile to the clear teachings of Jesus. He taught a strictly redemptive hermeneutic (John 5:39-40; Luke 24:27;44-47.) He and his apostles also redefined the Word of God from it's Jewish meaning of Torah to come to mean the gospel and Himself. Current doctrine is laced with the leaven of the Pharisees. The truth is that the Reformation did not go far enough and stopped short of the mark. In 2Tim 4:2 the Word to be preached is the gospel and *not* the entire scripture.... the same is true of Titus 1:9... it isn't Rick Warren that is off the mark.

  6. Jmac-how can you say Rick Warren is not off the mark? He is an evangelical, but not much of one in public when it comes to revealing his TRUE beliefs about the exclusivity of Christ. It is not clear as to what you mean by current evangelical hermeneutic and doctrine..."current?" as in postmodern American evangelicalism that tolerates experience over reason and relationships over doctrine?

  7. I love ted haggard and I pray for him and his family. I saw ted in public not long after his fall and my hart was broke over seeing him look so beat down, I said hi to him and thanked him for the positive influence he had in my life and told him I loved him, and I can honestly say that I still love ted. I do think ted is unfit to be a pastor or lead a church. I Timothy 3:1-7 gives us the qualifications for a pastor lets look at these requirements and see if Ted meet the standards, if I am wrong please show me my error. Above reproach ? NO! Faithful to his wife? NO! Self controlled? NO! Good reputation? NO! World speaks well of him? NO! Lets not forget that ted also a drug the name of Jesus and the Church threw the mud and by his actions continue to do so. Ted’s long time friend C Peter Wagner said this about him leading a church again “He said in his letter to his congregation after he was fired that he is a liar and deceiver,” Wagner said, adding that because Haggard didn’t finish the restoration program, he’s not fit to preach.- C Peter Wagnerr
    Another one of Ted’s good friends and what some people have called his ghost writer Patton Dodd had this to say about Ted. "I was hoping — against hope — that The Trials of Ted Haggard would document his walking into the light. It doesn't. It captures his attempt to reenter the limelight.....Anyone who cares about Haggard, as I do, must see this comeback as a continuation of his tragedy."
    Lets not forget that ted pryed upon a young man named Grant haas. Ted could have been a blessing to this young man but instead ted destroyed Grants faith and Grant has been having a tough time.
    I want to make it very clear that I love ted and his family and I do pray for them, but Ted taught me as a verey young Christain “read your Bible for your self, do not depend on some preacher to read it for you. Pray and fast and learn to hear GOD’s voice for your self. If eny man tells you the bible says this but it reallymeans this always trust the bible.” I took your advice to hart Ted.

  8. I looked up the two passages that were quoted above about "false" teachers...
    INTERESTING... the first... 2 Tim 4:2 is talking about "sound" teaching... so how do you KNOW Rob Bell etc... teaching is not sound??? I've listened to him a lot. He sure follows Christ's heart in my opinion.
    The next was Titus 1:9 which Paul follows with telling them to BEWARE of the circumcision group! Sure am glad I have MY copy of the bible and the Holy Spirit to go with it!

  9. I am in total agreement. I for the life of me can't figure out why so many "Christians" seem to despise Rick Warren. Well, I guess deep down I really do know the answer to that question.

    They despise him just as much or more than Rob Bell.

    The moment traditional/orthodox Christianity is challenged, the fearful run forward to stone and burn to the stake the heretics who dare to come against the traditions of men.

    Keep speaking out, this is definitely the time where God is challenging EVERYTHING we have been taught and told to believe about him.

    He is truly doing a "New Thing"


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  13. I will not be approving "anonymous" comments any longer on this blog or any other. Though I know based off 5 choices who could/would leave ignorant comments on this post...don't expect to get a response unless you post your name. Thank you however for giving me the title and subject of my next blog :-)

  14. Rick Warren doesn't even teach the true gospel , he has actually promoted pluralistic philosophy (you don't need to know Jesus- any god you choose) and Eastern Mysticism (he even promotes Reike in his Daniel plan- which the Bible strictly forbids us to have any part of these and other pagan practices). When he came out with his “Purpose Driven Life” it all seemed well and good on the surface but check him out now and see how he has evolved his philosophy to show what he truly believes and then you can see his agenda.

    Do some research and pray that God would show you the Truth and you will see that Rick Warren is part of the anti-reformation to bring all the world under the one world false religion of the one world leader, preparation for the false Christ to come.

    Bob, as a pastor you will be held accountable for all those you lead astray; you know of the serious warnings in the Bible. Do some research, repent so that those who follow you may know that only the Bible is inerrant and that through repentance of our sins we are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus alone. By no other can we be saved than Jesus.

  15. You obviously didn't read the comment I made before yours. Why is it the ones that make posts like yours where you call a person out never signs their name? Please post your name and I will discuss further with you. Otherwise...I will consider deleting your post.

  16. It seems to me that Rick lives out the Gospel. Perhaps if we all did that, then the ridiculous theological debates would fade away and we could finally enjoy this abundant life.

  17. LOL. Well, if you're going to post about this gang/tribe, you have to be prepared for the fallout, bro. I don't think you mind it. Grin.

    Always enjoy reading it tho, when I get the opp.

    But - O my gosh, Rick Warren used an 'unbiblical source?' Wow. I need to go back and re-work about 50% of my messages then - remove all those quotes from C.S. Lewis and Jonathan Edwards and 'Star Wars' and 'Seinfeld' and the like. :)

    That said, with the TV commercial I just saw this week promoting the new reality series "CELEBRITY WIFE SWAP" and seeing that Ted and Gayle Haggard are going to be two of the 'swappees,' it makes you wonder. I mean -- way to practically roll out the red carpet inviting criticism when you do that kind of thing.

    Rock on.

  18. Thank Spirit that the hearts and minds of evangelicals are opening. Love wins. It has to. Blessings to you Bob,

  19. Bob, I read your comment before posting and I have never posted a comment on a blog/site before nor was I sure that I did it right in the first place but I was convicted to do so this time and I obeyed. It was upon happenstance that I came upon your blog (and crazy enough it happened again tonight), or so I thought, when the Holy Spirit laid it heavily upon my heart to warn you and remind you of your accountability as an elder and shepherd. My comment was meant for you, not for the public. This is between you and God, I am only a simple messenger. It is my prayer that you would take heed of the warning, lay down your pride at the feet of Jesus and seek the full councel of God so that He might lead you in a closer walk with Jesus. The time is nigh, be the watchman on the tower: it is your duty to protect and warn the flock so that they will not be deceived.

    Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Acts 20:26-28

  20. Pray for wisdom, knowledge, discernment, and understanding to be given to you from God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the One True God.

    "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many . . . And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many . . . For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
    Matthew 24:4-5, 11, 24, KJV

    "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"
    1 Timothy 4:1-2, KJV

    "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."
    2 Timothy 3:13, KJV

    "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock."
    Acts 20:29, KJV

    "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
    2 Corinthians 11:13-15, KJV

    "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition . . . And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:"
    2 Thessalonians 2:3, 8-11, KJV

    "And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed."
    Daniel 11:27, KJV