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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Joseph_Botwinick, Jan 1, 2006.
He's like so many other feel good guys out there. He'll say whatever it takes to make people feel good about themselves, all the while never telling them "you're a sinner." I don't have much use for him,Osteen, Jakes etc...
I do not know if he said it, but that is a common theme today in church planting.
It has as its root the statistics involving salvation of the lost. Established churches produce a significantly lower of salvations than do 'new churches'.
How does one start a Church? Is the purpose of a Christian life all about a numbers game, or is it to preach the Word of God?
I do not believe that everyone in the church starting 'business' is in it for the right reasons. But, new churches are the most effective manner of reaching the lost.
Typically, a properly started new church of 300 in attendance will have led 150 to 250 of those to Christ (over a period of 2 to 3 years). That is comparable to a church of 8,400 (about 4,400 in sunday attendance).
When you do the 'math', it is difficult to say that church planting is not needed here in the THIRD largest mission field in the world.
Would you like to help start churches? I need a discipler! And I need prayer warriors. But, I need a minister of discipleship more.
Considering that many souls will go to heaven because of God's ministry through him, I thank God that God has had use of him.
An interesting chart comparing the Purpose Driven Church to a Word based church:
Warren Driven or Bible Obedient?
Of course one has to think a tad to understand what Rick was saying.
He can win a person a week (genuine, not hylesish numbers game) and there are 50 saved in a year.
He can take a few, plant a church, disciple and train and have each of THEM multiply his efforts. THAT will bring more saved EXPONENTIALLY than one person.
Obvious. What we are doing here in Wyoming. Planting a church and making long-lasting disciples, not just cram a tract, say a jabezish prayer and add another notch to my soul-winning belt.
Knowing how well you know Rick Warren, I agree, Dr. Bob. A well-grounded church will reach more than one person could. He didn't say one person soul winning was bad, just that a church would reach more. Why can't folks just take simple statements simply, instead of reading more into it?
I am curious if the Gospel message that you would preach to save a lost person is the same as Rick Warren's? I am also hoping that you can provide scriptural references for Rick's "gospel". thanx.
Here is Rick's interview with Larry King:
"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...
KING: So even -- go ahead, I'm sorry.
WARREN: OK, that's OK. There really -- when it comes to purpose, you only got three alternatives. One of them is, you can just make up a purpose and say, this is going to be the purpose of my life. But really, all along, you kind of know, well, is that really what I'm here for?
Another way is to just speculate about it, and one of the popular ways today is to say, look within. And if you look within, then you'll discover your purpose.
Well, there's only one problem with that. It doesn't work. I've talked to a lot of people. I looked within. I didn't find my purpose. Since I didn't create me, I can't tell me what my purpose is. I have got to look to my creator. And of course, the premise behind "The Purpose-Driven Life" is that you're not an accident. That you were formed by God for a unique reason here on Earth, and that gives life meaning and significance.
We've talked about this before. A lot of people have success, but they don't have significance. And significance comes from knowing you're not an accident, knowing you matter to God and knowing how much he loves you, and then fulfilling that purpose."
So, you wanted Rick's gospel?
</font>[/QUOTE]quote: "that I'm creating ways to simply share the message, that God loves you, he has a plan and purpose for your life, Jesus Christ died for you, there is a reason for the things that happen in your life. And even the bad things, God can bring good out of bad."
So, it's okay for Rick to push an inclusive agenda that atheists and buddists and any other religionists can find God's purpose for their life, and to mix that with saying that "Jesus died for you", is the Gospel message?????? Whoa . . .
[not to mention he has totally misquoted Rom 8:28]
There are many who have researched his teachings in depth - If you like, I can post a few links to help
ps: what is the difference between "Marketing is when you create a message in order to push a product," and "but what I'm doing is the exact opposite. I'm just looking for products to share a message". So now God needs products to help in proclaiming the Gospel? . . . double whoa, whoa
Say all you like about Rick Warren's contribution through the Purpose Driven Church, the Purpose Driven Life, and 40 Days of Purpose. I'll testify this: I thank God for his work, for it has helped me and my church a great deal in getting to know our Lord Jesus better; and after all is said and done - THAT's what matters - knowing Jesus Christ. You can even know your Bible, word for word, memorized - and that won't be enough if you don't know the One of whom it speaks. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their searching the law for life, and not finding out that the law does not give life, but only tells of the One who does. Anyone who wants to can find fault with any of God's human servants. We are ALL fractured clay vessels. We ought to ALL remember that.
It's not about being fractured, it's about teaching another gospel.
From a commentary on the PDL:
"The Bible shows that it is hearing the gospel of Christ that reveals the righteousness of God, and the wrath of God. Without the revelation of God’s righteousness and wrath, there is no fear of the Lord. Without the fear of the Lord there is no conviction of sin. Without the conviction of sin, there’s no recognition of the need for a Savior. Without the recognition of the need for a Savior there is no repentance. The gospel of Christ must be heard before it can be acted upon. Without it, sinners don’t know who Jesus is, and they cannot believe in him. Without it they have no knowledge of the price Jesus paid when he sacrificed his life on the Cross, or of his resurrection from the dead. Without it there is no knowledge of grace, no knowledge that there’s nothing we can do in and of ourselves that can save us, and that only Jesus can save us. Without it there is no faith. Without hearing the gospel of Christ, there is no hope of Salvation.
Romans 10:9-10: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation
But having heard the gospel of Christ, believed it, and acted upon it by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, therein is the hope of Salvation.
"another gospel of another Jesus"
Galatians 1:6-9: I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the Grace of Christ unto another gospel; Which is not another ; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so I say now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him].
Both 2nd Corinthians and Galatians warn of “another gospel”, and “another Jesus”.
In the “40 Days of Purpose” video tape with goes along with the “The Purpose Driven Life” Rick Warren has people pray a prayer at the end of the first session that goes like this: "Dear God, I want to know your purpose for my life. I don't want to base the rest of my life on wrong things. I want to take the first step in preparing for eternity by getting to know you. Jesus Christ, I don't understand how but as much as I know how I want to open up my life to you. Make yourself real to me. And use this series in my life to help me know what you made me for"
Then Rick Warren goes on to say: "Now if you've just prayed that prayer for the very first time I want to congratulate you. You've just become a part of the family of God."
In Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life” he invites people to do the following:
“First, believe. Believe God loves you and made you for his purposes. Believe you’re not an accident. Believer you were made to last forever. Believe God has chosen you to have a relationship with Jesus, who died on the cross for you. Believe that no matter what you’ve done, God wants to forgive you.”
“Second, receive. Receive Jesus into your life as Lord and Savior. Receive his forgiveness for your sins. Receive his Spirit, who will give you the power to fulfill your life purpose. Wherever you are reading this., I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity: ‘Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you.’ Go ahead, “If you sincerely meant that prayer congratulations! Welcome to the family of God!” (Pages 58 and 59)
At the point in the book where these prayers are introduced, there has been very little spoken about the gospel; a mention here and there about Jesus, but nothing nearly sufficient to be called “the gospel of Christ”.
Both of these prayers are lacking one thing, the gospel of Christ. Prior to the prayers there is no mention of the righteousness of God; the wrath of God; hell, repentance, the crucifixion, the resurrection, no mention of the Biblical Jesus at all.
Romans 10:13-14 has been ignored. They haven’t believed, because they haven’t heard. The gospel of Christ wasn’t heard because it wasn’t preached.
Then there is “The Salvation Message” from Saddleback Church website: “Our disobedient nature has eternally separated us from our Creator. No matter how hard we try, we can never earn our way back into God’s presence. Our only hope is to trust Jesus as God’s provision for our disobedience. Whenever you make that decision, you step into the eternal and abundant life Jesus promises for all believers.”
Where is the gospel of Christ? Jesus name is mentioned, but where is the gospel? Disobedient nature has replaced SIN, because it is less offensive. Trusting Jesus makes us believers? What happened to “confess with your mouth” and “believe with your heart”? The believe part can’t happen unless the gospel of Christ has been heard."
For the record,
Rick Warren will lead more children into heaven than almost anyone complaining about his methods (*). And that is not to count the men and the women.
Nothing personal, but that does make me righteously jealous.
(*) God has used only a handful of men that can claim more than 10,000. And I am jealous of all of them. And I guess that I am righteously jealous of about 200 men.
You can lead one person to Christ everyday for fifty years and lead about 18,263 people to Christ. In that same time you could disciple one person every two years and that person disciples one person every two years and at the end of fifty years you will have 1,6777,216 people who have been discipled. Which is more people and which is better? The person who make one disciple every two years and that person make a disciple every two years will have produced about 919 times as many people who have been led to Christ and they are also discipled along the way.
It's pretty obvious you don't like Rick Warren or his style of delivering the Gospel. That's fine. We all have our preferences. I personally like more of a "fire and brimstone" approach myself. But to say he is reaching a false gospel is simply wrong. What he has done for Jesus Christ out there in SoCal is undeniably amazing!
Rick Warren’s Deception Strikes Widely
Rick Warren adopted a typical human approach to church growth and spiritual development, since the standards that he set in the determination of success have a very poor doctrinal basis. His non-offensive gospel has been defined so vaguely that, from a human point of view, it is acceptable to virtually everybody. People are not offended by it because sin and its dreadful consequences, which is God’s wrath upon sinners, are not mentioned. The full implications of Jesus’ death on the cross, where He shed His blood and laid down His life to serve God’s death penalty upon sinners (Rom. 6:23), is not explicitly proclaimed.
What he does proclaim is a general identification with Jesus Christ, and the many blessings that He has in store for us. Christianity is so positively and beneficially presented, and rendered so acceptable to sinners by associating it with modern music and worldly methods of spiritual motivation, that great crowds are drawn into the church. The large flow of people into mega churches, as well as the sharply rising income of congregations, are interpreted as a spiritual revival and a new reformation movement.
Are sharp increases in numbers and income really indications of spiritual growth? Is an assessment in terms of these criteria an acceptable norm to determine true spirituality? Isn’t there a big different between human and godly evaluations of a matter? How do we know if a particular church leader, as human being, is truly led by the Spirit of God and abides by Scriptural principles when he takes decisions and makes pronouncements?
False doctrines often enjoy extensive social and ecclesiastical acceptance. They may become so popular and firmly established that many pastors proclaim them to ensure popularity, large congregations and a big income. This results in many people being deceived by the low standards of a distorted gospel: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Proff. Walvoord & Zuck (The Bible Knowledge Commentary) say the following about this Scripture: “Paul was concerned about the dangers of heresies diverting people from God’s truth.” Do we make a thorough investigation of doctrines before we accept them in good faith and expose our congregations to them? It does not seem so.
Secular criteria for success can be spiritually very deceptive. The end-time, socially acceptable and financially prosperous church is judged as follows by the Lord Jesus: “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:16-17; also see 1 Tim. 6:7-12).
Where does Rick Warren stand with regard to the doctrine of Christ? Bob DeWaay of Twin City Fellowship in Minneapolis, says in his Critical Issues Commentary of Jan./Feb. 2005: “Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life never explains the blood atonement in the context of the gospel or salvation. Jesus commended overcomers – people are overcomers because of the blood of the Lamb. Since Warren’s readers and followers do not hear anything from him about the blood atonement or the wrath of God against sin, they have no way to become overcomers.”
What is the advantage of doctrine if it does not lead to justification and sanctification? It can only give people a form of godliness, as well as a positive self-image like that in Laodicea, which was utterly rejected by the Lord Jesus.
Rick Warren and Eastern mysticism
Rick Warren openly associates with meditation, which is referred to as “contemplative prayer” or “breath prayer,” by making provision for it in some of his pastors’ training seminars, while yoga relaxation exercises are also offered. These are strange, mystical practices of Eastern origin. In Critical Issues Commentary (ibid) it is said: “Rick Warren compromises with the pagans like the churches Jesus rebuked in Revelation 2 and 3. He uses pagan principles in his SHAPE program which was inspired by Carl Jung’s questionable theories. He teaches pagan ‘prayer’ practices such as ‘breath prayers’ which are designed to induce altered states of consciousness. He consults compromisers such as Robert Schuller and encourage others to do the same.”
These meditation sessions at his seminars are only the tip of the iceberg. In his book, A time of departing: how a universal spirituality is changing the face of Christianity, Ray Yungen indicates that contemplative or centring prayers are invading large sectors of Christianity, where prayer is replaced by this mystical practice. It offers to people strange experiences of “another Jesus” within themselves (the God within) and also leads to alternative states of consciousness which form the basis of deceptive spirituality. Sandy Simpson (www.deceptioninthechurch.com) says that the widespread introduction of contemplative prayer is sure to be a final nail to the coffin of the modern, deceived church.
In his book, Deceived on Purpose: The New Age implications of the Purpose-driven church, Warren Smith confirms beyond any doubt the New Age influences in Rick Warren’s ministry and books. Within the context of “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Gal. 5:9), Smith refers to various distortions in Warren’ book, in which he often makes conclusions which are contrary to the true meaning of Scripture. The gospel is presented in such a way that people make a positive discovery of themselves without being convicted of their sins. That ties up with Robert Schuller’s ideas about self-esteem, as well as Bruce Wilkinson’s Jabez prayer in which the enlarging and expansion of your interests is a key concept. Rick Warren also quotes New Age authors to illustrate some of his statements.
The end result is a nice-sounding gospel which is based on Robert Schuller’s and Norman Vincent Peale’s concept of positive thinking. It has no contrasting pole of a devil with all his deceptive powers, and therefore no disposition to resist evil and deception. Robert Schuller said: “Concentrate on the positive. If you accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour... you’ll never have to worry about the devil.” Warren echoes this statement in his book when he says: “It helps to know that Satan is entirely predictable” (bl. 203).
At the end of his book, Warren Smith makes the following remarks about Rick Warren and his Purpose Driven ministry:
“Working with the purposeful efficiency of a tightly-run Peter Drucker business corporation, Rick Warren and his global alliance of Christian leaders and organisations are methodically marching the Church out of the land of biblical Christianity toward the borderland of the New Spirituality... It is not too late for Rick Warren to recognise that he has been greatly deceived by the worldly teachings of Robert Schuller. He could open many people’s eyes if he started to expose the differences between biblical Christianity and the deceptive teachings of the New Age and its new spirituality... He could make it clear to Walsch and other New Age leaders that the spiritual ‘territory’ of what we believe is not going to be enlarged, expanded, changed, or transcended in the name of New Spirituality or Jabez or anyone else. Rick Warren could make it clear that we don’t need any new revelation, because we have been given everything we need to know in properly translated Scripture and in our relationship with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He could make it unmistakably clear that God is not in everyone and everything, and that we will never accept the teachings of a new spirituality...
“If Rick Warren did these things he could greatly edify and encourage the body of Christ. He would be truly contending for the faith as we are admonished to do. By exposing the schemes and devices of our increasingly aggressive adversary, he could help many people from being deceived. And he could make it clear that, while we want to do whatever we can to help the world, we are not about to allow our faith or the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be compromised in the process.
“But it does not seem, at this time, that Rick Warren is about to change his course, issue the much needed detailed warnings, and earnestly contend for the faith. Sadly, if Rick Warren and other Christian leaders fall for New Age schemes and devices rather than exposing them, they will take countless numbers of sincere people down with them. It will be the blind leading the blind, as they fall further and further into the deceptive ditch of the New Age and its spirituality. Undiscerning Christians who think they are on the narrow way preparing the way for Jesus Christ, may discover too late that they had actually been on the broad way preparing the way for Antichrist. It is not too late to warn everyone, but it must be done soon before the deception advances any further. As we have already seen, there is another Jesus, another christ another spirit and another gospel at work in the world. The Church must not continue to fall prey to the deception” (Warren Smith: Deceived on Purpose: The New Age implications of the Purpose-driven church, Conscience Press, 2004, p. 168-170).