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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

40 Days of Purple

I don't like Rick Warren's book, The Porpoise Driven Life. I'm sure many people have found some helpful insights in it, but that does not excuse its many flaws. First, he relies heavily on lousy paraphrases of the Bible instead of reliable translations. Second, he frequently distorts and misapplies biblical texts. Third, he has an erroneous- and dangerous - belief about worship. Fourth, he managed to write a book about the Christian life without much Christ in it. It's not sufficient to toss in an occasional reference to Jesus. Warren's whole program is man-centered and thus skewed. I really do not like his book.

If you need to know what your purpose is, let me give you a word: vocation. Dr. Gene Veith has written well on this matter. Here's a good appetizer.

For more, get this book:



But Rick Warren aside, tomorrow is the beginning of the solemn season of Lent. If you are searching for meaning, don't waste your time with Christianity-Lite, go to sound biblical content. Find a church that proclaims God's warnings and promises accurately and consistently.

Sphere: Related Content

31 comments:

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

Thanks for the Veith link...but I can't tell what book you want us to get. :)

The Heresy Hunter said...

It's unfortunate that many Lutheran pastors are introducing Warren's book to their congregations.

Ryan P.T. said...

It's funny you called it the "porpoise" driven life at the beginning--I actually just read an article by the same name. Check it out: http://www.theooze.com/articles/article.cfm?id=1340

Xrysostom said...

For better-lived 40 day periods, I recommend reading these comments from What You Do, Do Quickly and Aardvark Alley.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

You know something, I think it's not that bad of a book and people have unfairly been attacking it. It's like whenever a christian becomes successful it's like he has sold out or something. Get over it. It is a useful tool that can be a good beginning to understanding the faith better. If you think you can do better then write your own 40 days of purpose or whatever to discuss the topics that you think are lacking. Man, aren't we fighting enough with each other as it is? We don't need outsiders to attack the church, we are doing a good enough job breaking it down from the inside.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Hey Cubicle,
Warren's book is full of damaging lies about God. Why should any false teacher get a pass? I'm not saying he doesn't have some good stuff. Even the Koran has some good stuff. But I read Warren's book and I found tons of problems. I'm amazed there isn't more criticism of him.

Let me just give one small example. Rick Warren writes: "God doesn't expect you to be perfect, but he does insist on complete honesty (p92)."

He contradicts Jesus who said, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Mt. 5:48)."

Man, I could go on for hours. How can a man claim to understand the gospel when he doesn't understand the law? He just doesn't get it.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

You just described just about every pastor and Christian for that matter I've ever met. We don't get it. We spend more time reading Christian books, which are good as a guide, and yet neglect scripture, prayer, and fellowship.

Carl said...

Scott,
I would think that Romans 16:17 applies in Warren's case, would it not? I don't recall ever reading in Paul's epistles that "a little leaven leavens the whole lump, but if there's something that you like in false teaching, that's OK."
Thanks for the warning us again about Warren!

The Cubicle Reverend said...

have any of you actually tried to contact him and talk to him about it?

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Cubicle,

One of Warren's chief defenders, a personal friend, and a leader in his church is Rick Abanes. Rick has written a number of very good book on apologetics. Several days ago, I linked to one of Abanes's books on Mormonism called "One Nation Under Gods."

I and another local Lutheran pastor have a weekly radio talk show. Since this other pastor knows Abanes personally, we asked him to come on our radio show to discuss Warren's book.

We did not contact Warren personally. But then, since his error is public, his rebuke should be public as well. St. Paul never visited Colosse but because he had gotten word of false teachers, he wrote a public rebuke.

Back to Rick Abanes. As I said, he is a very smart cookie and has written well on many apologetic issues. But the only defense he could come up with for Warren - and this is a strong Warren advocate - was emotional. Believe it or not, but Abanes AGREED with us about Warren's inexcusible use of atrocious bible paraphrases. He agreed with us that Warren's book is not Christ-centered. He agreed with us that Warren misapplies Scripture in places. He agreed with us that Warren's book has errors. There is no defense. But, you know, Warren is such a great guy. He really means well. He's very sincere.

Abanes basically said that Warren's only real problem is that he is CARELESS. And my response is that that is a huge huge problem for a pastor and teacher. Not many should seek to teach for teachers will be judged more strictly (James 3:1).

Abanes told us that Warren had no idea this book would be so successful and implied that if he'd known, he would have been more careful. So, it's OK to write wrong stuff as long as it only misleads a few.

Abanes, excellent apologist that he is, is unable to be objective because of his personal affection for his pastor. And at the end of the radio program, we told him so.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

I've spent most of my christian life chasing after false teachers far worse than anything Rick Warren has ever said. I just think there are better ways to handle something like this. I am reading through the book of Phillipians and have gotten to Phillipians 3:12-14, this was Paul, chosen by God, making these statements. Doesn't sound so perfect to me, but he strived on in Christ to achieve this. Pressing on towards the prize, encouraging and living others up along the way and challenging when necessary. I want to challenge bad teaching as much as the next guy. I've seen the result of bad teaching. I just think we are handling it wrong.

Bob Waters said...

Abanes is on record- in my blog, and elsewhere- as saying that only those doctrines on which all Christians agree are binding or important. Abanes, too, is a blatant false teacher.

Striving to attain the prize is fine- if your striving is based on gratitude for the Gospel, and only then. Otherwise- if it's an attempt to create a righteousness of your own, ala Warren, based on your own striving- it's an abomination before God.

There are no degrees of heresy. And when it comes to false teaching, Warren's total hash of the doctrine of sanctification is bad enough that there are simply no excuses for making excuses for him.

The Heresy Hunter said...

Even though I'm LCMS and disagree sharply with Warren I get the feeling that some Lutheran pastors think that only Lutherans will be in heaven since all others are teaching heresy. Hopefully, I'm wrong.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

What I love about Paul mentioning about how he confronted Peter about falling for some false teaching is that he actually went and talked to Peter. He didn't hide behind some letter or blog. And you know something? I've done the exact seem thing and I'm ashamed of that fact. I've hidden behind my privacy and threw the same type of stones and never actually tried to talk to these people or even contact them to express my disaproval. I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but we need to handle this differently. We are Christians, not of this world. We should be trying to become as like mind, not throwing stones from behind a bush then ducking down again.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Cubicle,

As I mentioned above, public sin should be publicly rebuked. Paul did not go to Colosse to condemn the Colossian heresy. He did not go to Galatia to confront the Judaizers face-to-face. St. Augustine did not travel to see Pelagius. Luther did not go one on one with the pope in person.

Warren's sin (and false teaching is a sin) is public. He should be publicly rebuked. He is a minister in God's church which only means he should be judged more strictly. To whom much is given, much is required. He undermines the gospel. This is very serious. As a pastor, I have had to undo damage - serious soul-threatening damage - that he has done to sheep committed to my care by Jesus. I believe there will be people who go to hell because of some of the things he writes.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

But aren't you supposed to confront a brother of his sin? Whether it's public or not? Peter was public, more public than Rick Warren ever was. There is a time and place for everything. No wonder the church is so divided. We wont' say anything to each others faces. This is my problem rev and I did the exact same thing, I was worse in many respects, quick to condemn, slow to actually help the brother who sins.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Cubicle,
Matthew 18 does not apply to a public sinner. Jesus said, "If your brother sins against you, go to him...." He is specifically talking about the context of a congregation.

All of the OT propehts, John the Baptist, Jesus, and St. Paul criticize, condemn and rebuke false teachers or other public sinners in a public manner via their preaching and writing. When Erasmus wrote "Freedom on the Will," Luther rebutted with his magnum opus "The Bondage of the Will." He didn't go to him face to face.

Sure, if it is possible, it if is feasible, a private meeting is a good idea. But even still, there should be a public rebuke and, hopefully, a public recant.

Parenthetically, I don't think that Peter was "more public" than Warren. Peter didn't sell 35 million books. Not that that matters.

I would have no problem speaking to Rick Warren. Instead, we got his spokesman.

Certainly, I would be far more patient with a layperson or a man on the street who is in error than a pastor. The pastor has been given the official public office of teaching and preaching. It is one of biblical requirements of the ministry that a man be "apt to teach." Teachers will be judged more strictly. I'm not assuming Warren's errors are due to weakness or ignorance. He has been given the office to teach. He should know better. To whom much is given, much will be required.

Logan Bennett said...

Well Scott, I have a few questions, personaly I don't really like the teaching of Rick Warren either. But His books have done a lot of good. Also if his teaching were so evil then why would God be blessing his ministry so well. Or is it more of the fact that you are jealous that he is doing so good and you are not??

First off, We were called to strive to be more like God, not to be perfect, and if you think that we have to be perfect, then you will burn in Hell I will burn in Hell everyone will burn in Hell because we will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever be perfect until we are reunited with our Lord. If we are saved by being perfect, then Jesus coming here to earth to die on the cross for us being unperfect was a big waste of time!!!!!! God could have just commanded us to be perfect, and then we would have to be perfect to get into heaven. We are made perfect through the blood of Jesus and by his grace not by our own actions.

Next question did God come to you last night and say Scott I am giving you the authority to Judge People??? I think that he didn't..... So what gives you the right to publicly judge or privatley judge??? we were not placed on this world to judge people and condemn people, we were placed on this world to love people.

Rick Warren might be a false prophet, who knows I can guarantee that you don't know if he is or not, I can guarantee that I don't know if he is or not. But what if you are wrong about him being a false prophet?? wouldn't you then be judged more harshley in the end then anybody else??? Even paul himself said that there will be false prophets, but even the false prophets are doing some good for christ. Rick Warren is doing some good for christ. I have never heard of a book that did any good for christ that was writen by YOU, so why don't you step down off your high horse and try to do some good rather then only trying to do some bad??? maybe you should actually grow a pair and try to step out on a limb and do some good like Rick Warren is doing. I can tell you this if you do try to do that you will always have people that are advocates for you and you will also always have advocates that are against you, that is life man people will agree with you and people will disagree with you. You need to stop whining and be a man about it.

Logan

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Logan,

A brief response:

1) God is not blessing Rick Warren's books sales. Do you think numerical growth or financial boon are necessarily signs of God's blessing? I don't.

2) God DOES demand that you be completely perfect. Don't you believe the clear words of Jesus? What about St. Peter who wrote - quoting Leviticus - Be holy. This is a very simple basic foundation of Christianity.

3) You and I do deserve to go to hell because we are not perfect. No one will go to heaven because he deserves it.

4) This is the gospel: Jesus obeyed the law perfectly in our place and he died in payment for our imperfections. Substitutionary atonement.

5) Christians are required to judge other Christians. Paul told the Corinthians to expel the immoral brother. That requires judgment. Paul told Timothy to COMMAND false teachers to stop. That requires judgment.

Carl said...

Scott,
Not that you need to be defended, but I believe you are doing a great
as an apologist for the truth.Also,
in discussing confronting the false teacher and what to do after such confrontation, doesn't Paul give us a clear guideline: "Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. Titus 3:10-11
Certainly, since Warren has persisted in his false teaching, does not Paul's directive apply?

Heather McCambly said...

I might be mistaken, but so far I don't see any ladies commenting on this little piece of insanity, so here are my two cents. As a woman, an artist, a missionary, a student and a servant of Christ, all of which are some of the lowliest, least respected, yet most amazing positions in the world I just want to say that your quarrel effects very few people in this world. I am not a fan of purpose driven life, I was completely bored and uninspired when I read it, yet I'm confused about how you think you are saving souls for the lord, or feeding the hungry by all this bull crap! Rick Warren, although imperfect as any ministry is, has provided a first step for the average suburban american to enter into dedicating their life daily to Go... great, fabulous, its not perfect??? Big freaking surprise, examine history my friends and lets talk about imperfect or even horrible ministries because they are everywhere.. Lets talk about Martin Luther, he did some awesome things BUT historically he did some Horrible things too, truly 'abominations before God', have you read his treatise on Jews by chance? I have. AND YET do I waste my life tearing those things apart, or take the awesome work he did, learn from it, while also learning from his mistakes, and move on, doing God's real work of LOVE, SERVICE, and actual work among the 4/5's of the world that DOESN'T KNOW CHRIST AT ALL! Are you all blind to what a waste of time your judgement and nauseating self righteousness is? What good are you doing, your world is just so limited, so tiny, so insignificant, see the world from God's perspective, people are lost, people are dying and starving to death, people are being murdered and bombed, tormented and completely alone... DO something in your world and live by example, you have helped no one through this, you know that right? I know Rick Warren has given a cursory overview, most people do know that... MOVE ON AND DO CHRISTS REAL WORK. PLEASE

John Mainarich said...

Heather,

Just so you know, my Pastor, Pastor Scott does do what you say is Christ's "real" work. He preaches the Gospel; he administers the sacraments, he counsels people with troubled hearts and mind, he ministers to the sick and dying and does this without complaint or hesitation. He has gone on mission trips to the Sudan. He does all of this and more, very well I might add, but his good works will not save him as he knows very well. It is only his faith that Christ died for his sins that will save him. I know he knows this, we hear it, every sermon. You cannot be saved by your works, your works are only a sign of your faith, and it is your faith that saves you. This is not the point of Rick Warren's book; it leads people to believe that their works earn them something. This is dangerous and can send them to hell if they end up saying their works justify them before God and that they earn their place in heaven. If you ask most people why they believe they will go to heaven, what answer do you get? Usually "Because I am a good person" or "I'm better than these other people" or "Because I Love Jesus", these will not get someone into heaven if this is all they believe. The only type of answer that will get you into heaven is - I am a poor miserable sinner who deserves death, but I trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus, that he paid the debt for my sins that I could not pay. This is the Gospel in a nut shell. The Gospel is the true work of Christ. Telling the truth of the Gospel and dispelling lies about it are important work so that people will not be deceived. Telling you neighbor how he can gain eternal life, is loving your neighbor, letting him continue in darkness is not.

Sincerely,
John Mainarich

The Cubicle Reverend said...

So how is this telling Warren that he's in darkness? Isn't he just as much our neighbor? I have a good deal of respect for Pastor Scott, he and I have had more than our share of good talks. He's a good man and has a good heart. That being said, I think all of the churches handling of bad doctrine isn't working, it's not appropriate, and we forget that they are our brothers and sisters first and foremost. Doing it on a blog is like asking the old question, "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" So I ask, if someone is teaching a questionable doctrine and no one talks to them about it does it make a difference?

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Cubicle,

I respect you too. But your last post here is truly baffling. I feel like I'm just saying the same thing over and over again here.

First, I am a pastor. That means I have a flock. Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." But the job of a shepherd is also to protect and defend. Members of my congregation (and many others obviously) are reading Warren's book. Some of them are also reading my blog. They NEED to be warned of his errors. His teachings will cause people to fall from Christ. I have dealt with correcting serious problems, cause by him, myself. My first aim, is to care for the people I know who are being misled.

Did St. Paul go to the Judaizers in Galatia personally? As far as we know, did he write to them? No. What he did was this. He wrote to the churches he founded and warned them.

I read an issue of Christian Research Journal a few months back where they had an article outlining the errors of Joel Osteen (oops, there I go again). And I read the article. Did CRI do something wrong? It appears that you think so.

You seem to agree that reading church history is a good idea. Haven't you begun to notice a common theme? Correcting error. Public error should be corrected publicly so that all who are susceptible to being miseld may also be shown the truth.

Here is what I am perceiving as the difference btwn you and I here. Tell me if I am wrong:

I think Rick Warren's book is undermining the gospel; You don't.

I think people should be warned publicly of this dangerous text; You don't.

Heather said...

Hmmm... My basic point is not that pastor Scott does not do these things, I apologize if that was my implication, truly I do. My point was that THIS, this debate about this book, this little blip on the radar, is taking so much time, that it is so divisive. Overall I am just a woman who adores the Lord, his Love, and his People. Not worrying about the small stuff that is just going to cause divisions, we have enough already, it just seems that there are better things to be doing, and better ways to handle it. THis is only a personal opinion, but I find it all laughable in the larger picture of the world around us. It's God's world, full of God's beloved children. It is true Jesus, and faith in him is the salvation for me and everyone, and it is not my works that get me anywhere. But am I wrong in saying that this faith leads us as believers to a more Christ like attitude with Christ like love to serve people ALL the time. It is humble love, servitude and mighty faith that I value. That is all I know to tell you the truth.

I am curious if anyone wants to abandon all the teachings and good that Luther accomplished because he turned out to be a rather assertive antisemite to say it nicely, something he also preached about, false teachings, yet not a false teacher. Why because all human words are fallible, all human ministries and doctrine are imperfect, I won't assume to know every 'heretic' when I see them, in the end God's saving Grave is there, SO I will serve, love, know, and work for him, his world, and his people, period. Pastor Scott, nothing but respect, just trying to say my opinion too.
Thanks

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Heather, You are welcome to state your opinions here. I respectfully disagree with them, however.

Luther's unfortunate writings on the Jews are not endorsed or defended by me at all. In fact, I have done my share to criticize them.

It seems odd that you will use this forum to criticize something Luther wrote while rebuking me for doing the exact same thing to Warren. You can criticize this shortcoming in Luther, but I am wasting time by criticizing a MUCH MORE SERIOUS flaw in Warren.

Warren's book undermine's the gospel. I am not, nor do I believe I have ever, criticized Warren's entire ministry. I'm not. I'm criticizing this book. Just like I would, and have, criticized Luther's tract on the Jews.

This is not a "blip," as you said. This blip has sold 35 million copies. That means that tens and tens of millions of people have read it, presumably. I am a pastor. I have had to sweep up spiritual damage caused by Warren's book. People in my flock have become confused about the gospel by reading his book. That is no blip. That is the welfare of souls.

Who is being divisive? The man who writes a book which seriously undermines the gospel, or the man who criticized him for doing it.

Anonymous said...

Scott -

I am supremely disappointed in you. I cannot believe that you would publicly declare that what you are doing is for God. Under the guise self-righteousness, hypocrisy, and false piety you have blatently misrepresented the teachings of a pastor (i.e., Rick Warren) and a lay Christian who has devoted his life to definding the truth of the gospel (i.e., me).

First, you have twisted and perverted the words and teachings of Rick Warren to fulfill your own agenda of hate and ignorance. Second, you went further, and twisted and perverted my words to do the same thing. And you did this after I attempted to come on your radio prgram and brig some light to the controversy. You give your denomination a bad name and perfectly illustrate everything that is so evil about fanatical sectarianism.

Allow me to tell your readers exactly what I DID say on your show so that I may correct your warped version of truth.

YOU STATED: "the only defense he could come up with for Warren - and this is a strong Warren advocate - was emotional."
TRUTH: This is a lie. I clearly stated Warren's orthodox faith, quoted his references to sound teachings, and corrected misperceptions about what he teaches/believes. All of this is appears in my book "Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him."

YOU STATED: "Abanes AGREED with us about Warren's inexcusible use of atrocious bible paraphrases."
TRUTH: I said that I disliked The Message and some other versions. But also pointed out that such versions are among many versions Warren uses. These versions include the King James, New King Jmaes, and New American Sttandard. I DID NOT, as you suggest, interpret his use of certain Bible versions as some deceptive ploy or horrific abuse of scripture. As I have said before, many people use The Message (and similar paraphrases) and are blessed by such versions-- i.e., people who otherwise would never read ANY Bible at all.

YOU STATED: "He agreed with us that Warren's book is
not Christ-centered.
TRUTH: This, sir, is yet again, a bold faced lie. You need to repent. Warren's book, faith, and teachings are INDEED centered around Christ and he is bringing many people to a saving knowledge of Jesus. What I said was that his most severe critics, like you, simply do not like the WAY he is presenting Christ. It is not the way that THEY would present Christ, which for them is good enough reason to call Warren a heretic. People like you, however, are far more damaging to the body of Christ than Warren will ever be. There are far worse things going on in the Church than Rick Warren's use of The Message. You and others like you show that a significant level of un-Christ-like behavior, doctrinal arrogance, lack of love, and downright nastiness has seeped into those who deem themselves doctrinal purists and defenders of the faith. But you and others like you, in reality, are neither. You are witch hunters, nothing more. There simply are no answers that could satisfy you. Your minds are made up and you relish the opportunity to attack. It is sad, very sad.

YOU STATED: "He agreed with us that Warren misapplies
Scripture in places."
THE TRUTH: This is a half-truth that you use very cleverly to deceive your readers and get your agenda across. What I actually said was that Warren, LIKE ALL
TEACHERS, does not get every single biblical verse perfect. All teachers of God's Word at some point gets some verses wrong here and there or misapply them
(e.g., "Behold I stand at the door and knock" is used for unbelievers, when it is really written to members of a backsliden church; Jer 29:11 is applied to individuals, when it was really written to the nation of Israel; etc.). I did NOT imply, as you suggest, that Warren is a wholesale deliberate abuser of God's Word.

YOU STATED: "He agreed with us that Warren's book has
errors."
TRUTH: Again, a half-truth. Sure, it has errors. All books, including mine and everyone else's, has errors too -- as well as careless phraseology that leaves
doors open for heresy hunters and nit-picky, small minded people to use as excuses to condemn what they do not like. It is reminiscent of the Witch Hunts. In all honesty, I simply cannot understand people like you. How dare you label what you do as a service to
Christ. But the Roman Catholic crusaders did the same
thing. So did the witch hunters of Medieval Europe and the Puritans in New England. So, as scripture says, there is nothing new under the sun.

YOU STATED: "There is no defense. But, you know,
Warren is such a great guy. He really means well. He's
very sincere."
TRUTH: I NEVER said anything like this as a defense of Warren. Scott, seriously, you need to think long and hard about what you are doing and repent. Sadly, even as I say that, I already know it is not something you will do.

YOU STATED: Abanes basically said that Warren's only
real problem is that he is CARELESS. And my response
is that that is a huge huge problem for a pastor and
teacher.
TRUTH: No. Again, a lie. Warren is a human being, and as such, is subject to flaws, mistakes of judgment, and imperfect writing. I said that at times, Warren is careless. So, too, are we all. Are you perfect Scott? Clearly, not. You need to look at your own "huge huge" problems before condemning others. I think there is a story about a speck of sawdust and a beam of wood that you need to read again.

YOU STATED: Not many should seek to teach for teachers will be judged more strictly (James 3:1).
TRUTH: You condemn yourself with your own words. It is incredible how accurate scripture always turns out to be.

CONCLUSION - Criticize Warren if you want to. Criticize me if you want to. But please, don't twist and pervert our words to suit your own agenda. Don't misrepresent me to others. Here are my views - fr everyone to read for themselves. Or, they can get my book. If you want your readers to disagree with them, fine. But at least let them disagree with what I really believe and with what I really said.

Richard Abanes
author, Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Richard Abanes, wow, what can I say? I am sad that you think I am "nit-picky" and "small-minded." I am sad that you think I am a "witch hunter" and "relish the opportunity to attack." I am sad that you think I am "far more damaging to the body of Christ than Rick Warren will ever be."

Of me you also said: "You and others like you show that a significatn level of un-Christ-like behavior, doctrinal arrogance, lack of love, and downright nastiness has seeped into those who deem themselves doctrinal purists and defenders of the faith. But you (me) and others like you, in reality, are neither." You accused me of "hate and ignorance."

You also said about me: "You give your denomination a bad name and perfectly illustrate everything that is so evil about fanatical sectarianims."

Of these great sins, God will be judge.

However, if I misunderstood your words on the radio and misrepresented you, of that I truly apologize, even though you "know" I would never do that. I reported what I heard and how I understood what I heard. But I cannot argue that you meant other than what you say you meant. Obviously I did err. So, for misrepresenting you I am deeply apologetic.

One caution, my dear brother in Jesus Christ. You don't know my motives or my heart. You can't possibly know what I repent of or not. Be that as it may, I never stated that Rick Warren is a heretic. If I did so, I was wrong. I do believe he is heterodox. And I do believe heterodoxy is a sin. And I never, as you claim, stated that Warren was a "deliberate abuser of God's Word." I don't know if his abuse was deliberate or not and neither do you. Only God can judge the heart.

Here's the thing. I have learned that one man can never judge another's motives, only his words or actions.

Rick Warren's book is bad. It hurts people. That's a fact. I am only a parish pastor. My congregation is small and intimiate. But I have had to repair serious damage Warren's book has done to people I know. And I will continue to condemn his teachings as long as he errs.

That having been said, my dearest brother in Christ, I do indeed hope you and your family have a most blessed Easter. Forgive me. Christ is risen. God is good.

Friar Cook said...

I listened to an Issues Etc. broadcast with Warren at the World Baptist Conference. "Instead of arguing about what the Bible says we should do what the Bible says." And I think those were his exact words. One problem with the company he was in. Some of them deny the Bible is inerrant, or true. Warren's problem is that he decided to become a pop culture preacher, but still have a Southern Baptist feel. The company he keeps, and the silly things he says give him away. When he says "Deeds not creeds" he is fooling himself. Because this ecumenicalism puts him in the center of saying homosexualiy is not a sin, abortion is not a sin, and that evolution is a fact. That is his storm, and he created it. The Baptist groups he has been speaking to all advocate those things. I'll keep my creeds, they ensure I know why I am even able to do the deeds. As far as why this arguement about Warren is taking place it is because he is presenting a false Gospel. He is also standing with religious leaders who deny the resurrection, and refuse to acknowledge sin. Sure Rick, and Mr. Abanes, lets do what the Bible says. However the Episcopals are saying homosexual marriage is o.k. Should we start doing that? Let's not argue about what the Bible says, let's just do it. There is a "pastor" on staff at Planned Parenthood who says killing children before they can make it out of the womb is not a sin, and the Bible backs her up. Which brings me to the issue of women in the pulpit as pastors. What does the Bible say about that? Deeds are important, but I think the Gospel is more important. If pop culture Christianity would sit down and hush for a minute they would actually find the time to mention the reason (and purpose that drives us). Christ Jesus. In an effort to seem "relational", "missional", and any other buzz word, casual Christianity almost destroyed my faith. The book is dangerous, because I read it, along with the other members of the congregation I belonged to, and I did try to earn my salvation. After feeling abandoned by GOD, and utterly incapable or unworthy, I made my way to a church where Law and Gospel are rightly preached and divided. I found that I would sin, but that I am forgiven, not because of what I do, but because of what Christ did (and still does). Purpose Driven forgot that. I went back to that church, and this time I noticed something. Jesus was never mentioned in the sermon. Not once. The sermon, it turns out, was about being a good person and purpose driven. I bet, Mr. Abanes, if I showed up at any given church function with Warren speaking I would be hard pressed to find the Gospel, because it is not the center of his preaching. And Paul states in his epistles every sermon is about Christ and Him crucified for sinners. Warren's sermons are mostly about what I can do for God. I can hear that in a mosque.

Sam H. said...

Pastor Scott,
how dare you protect your flock and not Warren? :D

But, I guess you don't need to do that, there seem to be others doing that latter task...

From another pastor who loves his flock...

Adjutorium said...

I hope this helps all concerned Christians:

Exposé of the Purpose Driven® Movement

New Curriculum at Concordia Theological Seminary