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Rick Warren

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by richard abanes, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. D Curlee...

    D Curlee... New Member

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    All,

    You:

    It isn't simple. And dead people do not seek.

    And unfortunately you will not get this from me. I have no desire to begin such a long and drawn out battle. I've been in quite a few discussions with folks of your persuasion. Sadly, most of them have your demeanor. From experience I know that these battles are muddy, argumentative, and LONG. Honestly, I have no desire to engage in such a time consuming process. So, call it what you will (and I'm sure you will), I am done.

    Dustin...
     
  2. All about Grace

    All about Grace New Member

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    Common misdirection tactic that does not answer the question. Call them pagans, heathen, spiritually dead, Hellbounders, lost, whatever term you want to use -- the question remains: should a church be insensitive to unbelievers?

    Not surprised. Unfortunately this is a common response from guys of "your persuasion" who come on a public board and accuse someone like RW of preaching a "false gospel", pragmatism, postmodernism, unbiblical, etc., and then when they are confronted with the reality of their own inconsistency, they couch their excuses in spiritual terms and flee the scene.

    This is almost amusing to me. You come on a board that you have rarely visited and lay out some serious accusations about a man respected across the evangelical divide, you falsely accuse him, fail to support your claims, fail to answer simple questions, and then refer to someone else's demeanor???

    In actuality, I lived in your world for quite a while. I was educated to the highest level in Reformed circles. I have interacted and continue to dialogue with respected leaders in your circle. I would have to say that the one spirit that continually frustrates me in these discussions is a spirit of "superior spirituality". Most of the Reformed guys I interact with maintain a "our way is the most spiritual and right" attitude that borders on legalism. You may or may not be that way. Based on your posts, I detect a hint of the same attitude.

    Perhaps you should have never started.


    At the end of the day, it does not bother me one iota how much you agree or disagree with RW or anyone else for that matter. At the end of the day, it is "all about grace." We are on the same team. I pray that you are faithful to fulfill what God has left us here to do as I attempt to do the same.
     
  3. D Curlee...

    D Curlee... New Member

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    Well, it isn't amusing to me. You're right, I should have never gotten started, but not for the empty reasons you proclaim.

    Dustin...
     
  4. All about Grace

    All about Grace New Member

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    Just not going to answer the simplest question: should a church be insensitive to unbelievers?

    I hope you will bring your actual ammo next time instead of tossing a few grenades that turn out to be duds.

    Care to discuss your review of PDL on a public board?
     
  5. D Curlee...

    D Curlee... New Member

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    All,

    No, I don't care to discuss my review or this topic any longer. It has nothing to do with "ammunition." Instead it has to do with time spent on a discussion board fighting through equivocations, terms, ideas, methodologies, doctrines, and attitudes. It becomes all consuming to do this. I use to be one who would stay for hours on end in forums and what not, but I no longer have the drive or time. While you may have the time to wade through all of it, I do not. I have a wife and a daughter that need me, studies, work, etc.

    Dustin...
     
  6. All about Grace

    All about Grace New Member

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    Still can't get that simple answer.

    So you have time to come on BB and blast RW with outlandish claims but you do not have time to back it up?

    I do understand the time issue. I have a wife, 3 kids, studies, and a growing church to lead. Some days I have a little time to dialogue on BB amidst work. Most days I don't.

    I would simply suggest you consider the time issue before you go off on someone on a public forum.

    Godspeed. Go get those elect!!! :D
     
  7. webdog

    webdog Active Member
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    You will never get a simple answer, if any, from a reformer :rolleyes:
     
  8. shannonL

    shannonL New Member

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    Dustin,
    I'm not a big fan of PDL nor am I the most articulate poster on this board by a long shot.
    But dude you need to unbutton the top button on that shirt of yours and breath a little bit.
    You spit verbage out like a philadelphia lawyer but dude you said nothing.
    Plus dude, you got nailed on the church health post. Whether your a big fan of RW or not anybody and everybody who has read PDC and PDL knows both are about church health.
    I must say if I have to choose I'll take a RW type over a hyper calvinist anyday.
     
  9. richard abanes

    richard abanes New Member

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    I'm back . . . . here's why—


    ______________PART ONE

    JOSEPH: What you originally posted before it was edited by a moderator was spam, which is explicitly prohibited by the Baptist Board Rules, which you agreed to abide by when you registered to post here. Tell me. Did you learn this kind of dishonesty from the PDL?

    RA: Let's take a look at this post.

    First, is this Christ being represented? Is Jesus being uplifted? Is this love? Is there some biblical justification for being so rude/nasty to someone who has tried to stop by and say "hi everyone, let's talk about this issue"? Why so angry?? Even when it comes to REALLY serious things like false doctrine, scripture says to correct others with gentleness and respect (see 2 Tim. 2:24-26). How much nicer/thoughtful should we be when correcting someone for things as superficial as spam and cross-postings. As my cousin used to say when we were kids—Ex CUUUUUSSSSE ME! So let's keep things in perspective, ok? After all, I did not come on the board and post remarks in support of gay marriage or drug abuse.

    Second, "SPAM" is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. In fact, in my post, I mentioned "spam," explaining that I would not speak at length about my book because spam is what I was trying to avoid. So, as I said in a follow-up post "sorry." I am not quite sure why you (Joseph and others) would explode with so much fury over such a little thing. But I will say, in observation, that this kind of conduct/demeanor is very typical of Rick Warren's harshest critics—hmmm, I wonder why that is. Third, the whole mean-spirited "dishonesty" jab was really unnecessary, Joseph. Were you trying to be amusing? Were you trying to be hurtful? Were you seriously asking a question about whether or not dishonesty is taught in PDL? Apparently, you already believe I am dishonest, but is that based solely on my mistake of posting spam, or something else? If based on my post, then I thank God that Jesus is more forgiving. Anyway, allow me to again apologize TO EVERYONE for posting "spam." I did not see it as such, or else I would not have posted it.

    Moreover, regarding my horrible cross-postings, this too was nothing I saw as evil and/or wicked. I have cross-posted before in other internet forums. And I only posted in those sections that seemed related—general discussions, Pastoral discussions, and book discussions. Well, I guess that is not accepted here. Fine. It'll never, ever, ever happen again, mea culpa. Ya know, anyone could have just said something more like: "Hey Rich, welcome to the board. And just so you understand this forum, your post was a bit spammy for us. You might want to be more careful about that in the future and maybe you should read our policy again. Also, we don't allow cross-postings. Anyway, thanks for dropping by. I look forward to asking you some questions about Warren."

    Would that have been so hard? Ah well.


    JOSEPH: But, it became clear rather quick that he [Abanes] wasn't interested in discussing the issues, only selling his book. Why would he give us his perspective for free when he has $$$$$$$$$$ in his eyes?
    RA: Really? It became clear "rather quickly"? From my perspective, what became clear "rather quickly" was that you and others WANTED me to, let's see . . . . how was it said by PAUL33, ah yes, you wanted me to "take a hike." Well, I took a hike, only to find out via email that SOME people did not want me to "take a hike" after all. And I saw at the same time, that because I did indeed take a hike, I was now being accused of just proving my desire $$$$$$. Why so quick to attribute the worst of motives to a fellow Christian that you do not even know?


    JOSPEH: Perhaps, he will come back and prove me wrong. Somehow, I kind of doubt it. If he does, I will certainly apologize to him.
    RA: Well, here I am . . . . I'm waiting. : — )


    PAUL33: The assumption, until he proves otherwise, was that he came here to hawk his book. One thread was bearable. Three was rediculous and rude on his part.
    RA: See above remarks to JOSEPH, not to mention my post wherein I actually did state: "I was emailed by a moderator and was told that cross-posting was not acceptable. Excuse me. I post in many places and cross-posting is indeed acceptable at some boards. Oops. sorry. my bad." This perfectly highlights ONE of the main problems with Warren's harshest critics—they don't read carefully. It's almost as if they are just skimming statements in order to find some word/phrase that can be used to condemn Warren, much in the same way that Paul33 somehow missed me saying the very thing he declared that I needed to say in order to make things right.


    PAUL33: So we jumped on him! Ouch! Yep, that hurts. But instead of answering questions and removing doubt about his motives, he fed the fire with his own defensiveness.
    RA: This is very interesting because it was you, Paul33, who immediately told me "take a hike"! Then, after I had indeed taken a hike, you then blamed me for not sticking around and answering questions. Paul, do you want me to take a hike, or answer questions? I cannot do both. To other board readers, PAUL33's comment highlights yet another trait of Warren's critics—they do not seem to actually want answers, but instead, are more interested in just making more accusations and controversy. No matter what is said or done, it is the wrong thing. They create a classic d@@!%^ if you do, d@@!%^ if you don't scenario.


    PAUL33: So I told him to "Take a hike." It's the same thing I tell telemarketers when they break the "no call" rules.
    RA: So, again, I ask, do you want me to take a hike or stay to have some civil, godly, and fruitful dialogues? For now, I will assume that you and others want me to stay and talk. So let us move on to more unimportant matters—i.e., Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, and purpose driven.

    Rabanes - see part two
     
  10. richard abanes

    richard abanes New Member

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    _____________PART 2

    SHANNON (posted July 17, 2005 11:45 PM, PASTORAL MINISTRIES): I'm very upset about Richard's website. In his Bio link we get 3 pages worth of how wonderful Richard is and about a paragraph that mentions Jesus or the Gospel. There sure were alot of "I's" in that bio.

    RA: This is kind of surprising to me. I mean, really, my simple "bio" was enough to get Shannon "very upset"? It says nothing heretical, nothing anti-Christian, nothing controversial. Basically, I just tell my story and past—so that people know who I am. Moreover, it is odd that Shannon would interpret my bio as nothing but various pages about "how wonderful" I am. The internet is filled with countless private websites that talk about family, individuals, career accomplishments, and ministerial history. Whenever I do a radio interview, one of the first things I am usually asked is: "Tell us a little bit about yourself. What books have you written and what have you done?" So I have attempted to answer this at my website via biographical material and pictures. But in response, some people (like Shannon) have criticized me for being carnal, worldly, conceited, full of myself, etc. etc. etc. (also see my response to Jackie Alnor (http://abanes.com/jackiealnormain.html). This is kind of strange to me since I am personally always interested in people, their past, their accomplishments, and what they have done in life. Such information gives insight into who a person is and what has molded them. I think others are interested in that kind of stuff, too. And I like pictures—basically, I enjoy seeing pictures of people, places, and things. I also happen to think that it is rather cool to be able to post photos in cyberspace (I love technology). Moreover, we live in a very visually-oriented society. I suppose, however, that some people don't see it that way, Ah well.


    SHANNON: His website is a little bit "overkill" when it comes to self promotion.

    RA: Well, this is a matter of personal opinion, rather than a reason to get "very upset" with someone. Others seem to have no problem with the website. A few people (like my mom) think I should have even more pictures up and talk about myself even more—leave it to moms. In fact, my mom is one reason I have so many pictures up. She is in her mid-70s and lives far away. We only see each other once a year (if that), and she likes to stop by my website and see me. So, I suppose, Shannon, if you want, you can partially blame my mom and criticize her, too.


    SHANNON: . . . you can forget Richard answering your question about RW taking Scripture out of context to fit the theme of his book. I mean why should he answer it when 2 thirds of evangelicals don't even care. I mean any seasoned christian can read that book and pick up on that in the first reading. To me in the intro he is off base when he states that David was transformed by Goliath's 40 day challenge. How. I thought the Bible said David was ready to fight Goliath because how he was prepared by tending sheep? The spies were transformed by 40 days in the promised land? Yea, they were transformed alright. Only two of them had the faith to believe God could help them take the land. These are examples of RW stretching Scripture to fit his purpose theme. Some may say so what. Well we are talking about the Bible here not the Sunday paper.
    RA: I am reminded at this point of Matthew 23: 23-24: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel."

    This obsession with Warren's references to 40 days has become one of the many gnats that his critics love to strain at. Critics basically ignore the fact that Warren calls his readers to Christ, tells readers that life without God has no meaning, assures readers that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, reminds people that storing up temporal treasures is waste of time, exhorts people to live like Christ, teaches everyone that sin must be avoided, says that it is important to serve in the church, and promises that one of the greatest things we can do is to tell others about Jesus. But all of this is ignored because getting those 40 days references sure is important! Critics virtually ignore the good/biblical in The Purpose Driven Life, in favor of repeating an almost hypnotic mantra: "40 days, 40 days, scripture twisting, unbiblical, 40 days, 40 days, scripture twisting, unbiblical, 40 days, 40 days, scripture twisting, unbiblical."

    The truth is that Warren was simply trying to say that the number 40 seems to have very significant meaning in scripture. We see the number popping up everywhere in the Bible. and it is often connected with events, people, places, and things that show some drastic change in a person or circumstances. As for Warren, his entire horrifying display of scriptural perversion takes up a grand total of one sentence at the bottom of page 9 ("WHENEVER GOD WANTED TO PREPARE SOMEONE FOR HIS PURPOSES, HE TOOK 40 DAYS") and eight short bullet points that follow—out of a 334-page book! The bullet points read: • Noah's life was transformed by 40 days of rain. • Moses was transformed by 40 days on Mount Sinai. • The spies were transformed by 40 days in the Promised Land. • David was transformed by Goliath's 40-day challenge. • Elijah was transformed when God gave him 40 days of strength from a single meal. • The entire city of Nineveh was transformed when God gave the people 40 days to change. • Jesus was empowered by 40 days in the wilderness. • The disciples were transformed by 40 days with Jesus after his resurrection.

    Now, let's look at this whole set-up. It cannot be denied that the 40-day period of time appears in conjunction with many extraordinary events in the lives of some well-known biblical characters—often closely related to God fulfilling a purpose/promise in their lives: Noah, Moses, David, Jesus, the disciples. This is all Warren is trying to say. Does he say it perfectly? No. Does it say it using the best examples? No. But instead of responding appropriately, critics have turned this into a sideshow of criticism; a tempest in a teapot; and mountain out of a mole hill, etc. Critics are latching on to these few lines in Warren's book and acting like they say something more akin to Jesus was not God! Here are my thoughts, contrary to PAUL's assumption that I would not talk about such things.

    First, Warren clearly should not have said "Whenever" God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes. Obviously, God has also transformed people in 1 day, 1 hour, 40 hours, 40 years, etc. etc. etc. Big deal. Warren's use of "whenever" might best be categorized as a either an overstatement, a broad generalization, or perhaps even hyperbole—but NOT heresy, or anything deserving of the kind of freaking-out that we are seeing from people. Critics are fixating on the word “whenever” as if it had some radical anti-Trinitarian implications or something. But in context it is clear that all Warren was trying to do was use the number “40” as a peg on which some lost soul or immature Christian could hang their proverbial hat. That’s all. But for this offense people are willing to practically crucify Warren! Why? — Gnats & Camels . . . Gnats & Camels . . . Gnats & Camels.

    Now, what about the bullet points? Well, truth be told—Warren gives: 1) some good examples; 2) some good examples that were not worded very well; and 3) some NOT SO GOOD examples. Ok, fine. sure, whatever. So what? Again, what has made everyone so crazy with anger? How judgmental and exacting are we to be? Let's look at Warren's examples of people he says were prepared for God's purposes via a 40-day period. [PLEASE NOTICE that Warren says "when God wanted to prepare someone for His purposes" (p. 9)—He does NOT say "When God wanted to save someone." I mention this point because MOST critics have actually CHANGED what Warren said. Marshall C. St. John, for instance, in his ant-Warren diatribe "The Purpose Driven Life–Guidance or Misguided?," writes: "Noah . . . was a believer and follower of God long before that time. Moses became God's man long before his 40 days on Mount Sinai." But these are strawman arguments since Warren never said that it was during the 40-day period that these men became God's followers/believers].

    Warren's examples:

    1. "Noah's life was transformed by 40 days of rain": This one is not too bad since I cannot imagine someone's life—including Noah's—not being transformed in some way by the experience he endured for those 40 days! Wouldn't anybody be changed by living on an Ark for 40 days in the rain with all those animals? Do you think Noah was changed by the experience? Personally, I think that he was probably transformed quite a bit by his time on the Ark as it rained for 40 days. So, I say, this one is fine. Warren does not say Noah was saved by or through the 40 days. He just says "transformed."—ACCEPTABLE.
    2. "Moses was transformed by 40 days on Mount Sinai": Sounds okay to me. I, too, would say that Moses was transformed and prepared during his time on Mt. Sinai for what God wanted him to do.—ACCEPTABLE.
    3. "The spies were transformed by 40 days in the Promised Land": This, in my opinion, is not a very good example. All of them were probably transformed, but only two of them were transformed in a positive way (i.e., Caleb and Joshua, Numbers 14:24). The other 10 lost faith and spread a bad report about the land. So, I probably would have dropped this one because it is not completely accurate (unless Warren is just referring to Caleb and Joshua)—UNACCEPTABLE.
    4. "David was transformed by Goliath's 40-day challenge": This is a bit of a push, but I can see how Warren was viewing it since; a) Goliath's challenge to Israel did indeed last for 40-days (see 1 Sam. 17); and b) the outcome of the challenge (David's transition from lowly shepherd boy, to hero, and eventually king) was an ultimate result of the 40-day challenge. But, as already noted, this is really pushing the envelope because there is no real biblical information about David during the 40-day challenge. Additionally, the challenge was more directed at the Israelite army (in other words, if David would have been present throughout the challenge, then it would have been a much better illustration). I can imagine, however, that God was probably preparing David in some way during that 40-day period for his eventual battle with Goliath—maybe he was practicing a lot with his slingshot, maybe God was speaking to his heart, maybe he was fasting, maybe, maybe, maybe. . . no one knows. Personally, I would have dropped it—CONFUSING/PROBLEMATIC.
    5. "Elijah was transformed when God gave him 40 days of strength from a single meal": This one, although an over-simplification of a rather complex story, is acceptable in my opinion because Elijah was indeed strengthened by a single meal for a 40-day journey to Mt. Horeb where he met with God (1 Kings 19:8-9). We really don't know what happened during that 40-day journey, but it is not out of the question to assume that Elijah was communing with God during that period and thinking over the recent events related to Ahab and Jezebel. The climax was his meeting with God at Mt Horeb 40-days after his meal—ACCEPTABLE.
    6. "The entire city of Nineveh was transformed when God gave the people 40 days to change": This is fine, as we see from Jonah 3:1-10. The people of Ninevah repented and changed their hearts toward God throughout the 40-day period of waiting to see if God would indeed destroy them—ACCEPTABLE.
    7. "Jesus was empowered by 40 days in the wilderness": This one, although I do not particularly agree with how Warren worded it, is certainly within the bounds of orthodoxy. Jesus did go into the wilderness for 40 days during which time he was tested by Satan. And given the words of Luke 4:14—i.e., "Jesus returned to Galilee IN POWER of the Spirit"—I can see why Warren phrased his statement the way he phrased it.—ACCEPTABLE.
    8. "The disciples were transformed by 40 days with Jesus after his resurrection": This one is based on Acts 1:3, which tells us that after Christ's resurrection he presented himself "by many convincing proofs" to his followers for 40 days and spoke to them about "things concerning the Kingdom of God" (NASB). Are Warren's critics actually saying that his Christ's disciples were NOT transformed during this period of time. I know that I certainly would be transformed if I had jesus appearing to me for forty days and teaching me personally about "things concerning the Kingdom of God"—ACCEPTABLE.

    Clearly, the paroxysms of panic and gnashing of teeth by Warren's critics over the above eight points are hardly worthy of the time that has been spent on them (including, IMHO, my own time spent having to tease out the above arguments). The bottom line is that no author or a speaker communicates everything perfectly. Warren is no exception. But one would think that fellow believers would grant a bit of room for human imperfection to someone whose goal is to bring people to the saving knowledge of Christ—not a false Christ, not a false God, and not some self-help plan rooted in the bankrupt Human Potential Movement. Sadly, the very opposite seems to be true. In a somewhat analogous incident, John the disciple came to Jesus one day and said, “‘Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us’” (Luke 9:49-50). In reference to this verse, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary observes: "The disciples were bigoted. Because this man was not of their company, they were ready to discount his work completely” (Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, eds., The Wycliffe Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1962; 1987 edition], p. 1045).

    Are we only to smile and give approval to those pastors/teachers who always get EVERYTHING right? If so, then we have some problems.

    • Ever hear a pastor/teacher quote Rev. 3:20-21 in reference to unbelievers?? HERETIC! This passage is really written to a backsliden church.
    • Ever hear a pastor/teacher use Jer. 29:11 to assure Christians that God has great plans for them? HERETIC! This passage is really directed toward Israel.
    • Ever hear a pastor/teacher say that Matt. 18:18-20 has to do with prayer. HERETIC! This passage is really about church discipline.
    • Ever hear a pastor/teacher explain that 2 John 10-11 means you should not let Mormon missionaries or Jehovah's Witnesses into your house? HERETIC! This passage is really about church homes in the first century and not allowing false teachers preach in that church home congregation.

    The list goes on and on. I cannot count how many pastors/teachers, evangelists, radio Bible personalities, and even lay Christians have misused all of the above passage (and more)! Now, should we start labeling their entire ministries as false, lying, deceptive, liberal, New Age, watered-down, or perverted? Hardly. And yet people are being terribly exacting and unforgiving when it comes to Warren. Is there some kind of anti-Warren agenda going on?. I suppose if some of you (Paul, Joseph, and others) want to be so judgmental about every little thing Warren says, then that is your choice. But you will have to be consistent and view/judge with equal harshness anyone else who has has ever committed the same unspeakable crimes—and have you ever made any mistakes or not gotten every little passage perfect? Let's just be fair and denounce as heretics all pastors/teachers who have ever misused any of the above verses. After all, "we are talking about the Bible here not the Sunday paper" (yes, I am being a bit sarcastic).

    I think my point is clear—nobody has it all perfect. Mistakes will happen, overstatements will be voiced, hyberbolic remarks will be made, and flawed appeals to scriptures will be given. Why? Because we are all sinners saved by grace. Is JOSEPH or PAUL33 saying they have it all nailed down and perfect when it comes to scripture?? Wow. Amazing. Good for them. Warren, however, is human. So at times he unwisely used hyberbole in The Purpose Driven Life—for example, when he probably should not have "whenever" God wanted to transform someone he used 40 days. This is very likely because he is a preacher, rather than an author. So, how should we respond? Crucify him, of course! How tragic. Gnats and camels . . . . gnats and camels.

    Rabanes - see part 3
     
  11. richard abanes

    richard abanes New Member

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    ____________PART 3
    SHANNON (posted July 17, 2005 11:45 PM, PASTORAL MINISTRIES): He never presents the complete Gospel in the book only the positive outcome of accepting the Gospel.

    RA: This is untrue, dare I say, it is a lie. The gospel is found in The Purpose Driven Life ALONG WITH the positive outcome of accepting the gospel. Paul33 and other critics seem to just not like HOW the gospel is presented in The Purpose Driven Life—i.e., hell is not said ENOUGH, sin is not said ENOUGH, cross is not said ENOUGH. But the gospel is indeed presented—that is, in a very basic way. But I agree that The Purpose Driven Life is not a systematic theology, nor is it an in-depth treatise on soteriology, Calvinism vs. Arminianism, and thanatology. Again, so what? Warren presents Christ, Him crucified for our sins on the cross, and the need to accept him or else we go to hell. That's the basic gospel. I suggest you read a document that I have put together that includes Warren's many statements related to the gospel—http://abanes.com/PDLcrossbloodsin.html. During his Easter 2004 service, Warren also presented the gospel—see excerpts here, http://abanes.com/warrenpreachesgospel.html. Warren gives FAR more than just the "positive outcome of accepting the Gospel" (both in his books and sermons).


    SHANNON: Is an individual truly saved if they have no real concept of just what it is they are saved from? He mentions hell for a nanosecond in the book he never explains the very negative outcome if you reject the Gospel.
    RA: Uhm, I may be stepping out on a limb here, but I thought "hell" WAS the very negative outcome of not accepting Christ! On page 37, Warren writes, “Eternity offers only two [choices]: heaven or hell....If you learn to love and trust God’s Son, Jesus, you will be invited to spend the rest of eternity with him....If you reject his love, forgiveness, and salvation, you will spend eternity apart from God forever.” On page 112, he says: “[You should praise God] for the rest of your life because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. God’s Son died for you!... Why? So you could be spared from eternity in hell.” To me it sounds like Warren is explaining it all just fine. It also seems that what critics are REALLY saying is that Warren does not dwell on "hell" enough for them. So they attack him, rather than rejoicing over the fact that he seems to talk it about it enough for many people to see the error of their ways and turn to Christ.


    SHANNON: Funny, 3000 people were saved at pentecost and Peter basically said you guys murdered the Messiah. We wouldn't preach like that today it might damage someone's psyche.
    RA: Well, I suppose we no longer preach that message because there is no one left alive who murdered Jesus. Exactly what SHANNON wants to have preached still seems unclear to me. Does she want Warren's messages to include admonitions against sinning? Ok, done. Does she want Warren to name sins from the pulpit and condemn them? Ok, done. Does she want Warren to fill every sermon with nothing but shouts against abortion or gays, complete with good old terror words like "abomination," "filth," and "harlot"—if so, then this last one may be a problem. But exactly where in the Bible are we told that we must scream these things at people to convert them. I suggest that SHANNON go back and read about how Jesus dealt with the adulteress and the Samaritan women at the well. But if SHANNON has some other idea in mind, then I am open to hearing her thoughts.


    SHANNON: We don't have to be offensive in presenting the Gospel but friends the "true Gospel" is offensive no matter how you cut it.
    RA: Ok, fine. I agree. So does Warren. Now, I ask: What is the problem then since Warren preaches the gospel. But if it is being alleged that Warren does NOT preach the gospel, then I look forward to evidence from Warren's lips that shows he teaches some other way of salvation or compromises the gospel.


    SHANNON: That is why I'm leary of all this positive, never mention hell kind of evangelism. It is just not biblical.
    RA: Never mentions hell? First, check out the above "hell" statements from The Purpose Driven Life. Second, read on:

    RICK WARREN - "I turned from certain condemnation and hell to heaven and eternal life. I turned from misery to hope. For me, repentance was the most positive thing I ever did in my life" ("Communicating to Change Lives," The Pastor's Gathering, part 8 of 9). RICK WARREN - "When you preach on hell you preach on it with a broken heart, not like “Goody! Somebody’s going to go there!” Or like you’re really happy somebody’s going to go there. Your heart should be breaking when you think of hell! And they should feel your passion and your love and that you’ll do anything you can to keep them out of hell because Jesus did" ("Communicating to Change Lives," The Pastor's Gathering, part 8 of 9). RICK WARREN - "When you preach about hell you preach about hell with a broken heart not with a smile on your face. How would you imagine Jesus would quote Romans 3:23? Do you think He'd say it harshly? in anger? Do you think He'd say, 'ALL have sinned, ALL have come short of the glory of God!' I don't think so. I really don't. I think He'd say it with a broken heart. 'All of us have sinned, everybody has blown it. Everybody comes short of God's glory.' It's a fact of life folks. I don't measure up to my own standards much less God's" ("How to Communicate to Change Lives," PDC Church Conference, session 3 of 12). RICK WARREN - "If you choose to be separate from God now, you will choose to be separated from God for eternity, and that is called 'Hell.' You say, 'Rick, is there a real hell? Is hell a real place?' Well, of course there is. Jesus talked about it. Some people say: 'Well, I don’t believe in hell.' Well, that doesn’t make it not real" (“The Foundation for Happiness: Exploding The Myths That Make Us Miserable,” Aug. 21, 1994). RICK WARREN - "They choose [hell] by rejecting God in their life. They choose by rejecting the love of God and what Jesus did on the cross and say, "No, I don't want that. I don't want to follow God's way for my life. I want to be my own boss. I want to do my own thing. I want to live my life without God." God says, OK, live your life without God -- for eternity. That's called hell. And it's a real place. People say they don't believe in hell. That doesn't mean it's not real. I could say I don't believe in Disneyland but it's still going to be there whether I believe in it or not" ("Your Mission On Earth: God Wants to use You, part 4 of 5, Mar. 24, 1996). RICK WARREN - "omebody has to pay for all the things you’ve done wrong in life. Either you or somebody else. Somebody has to pay for all your sins. Either you go to hell or somebody else pays for your sins. And there’s where God said, 'I’ll do it!' He steps up to the plate. Jesus Christ is sent to earth. God in human form and says, 'I will pay for your sins.' . . . To go to hell you have to reject the love of God. Why would anybody do that?" (Easter sermon, 2004). RICK WARREN - "Either you go to hell or somebody pays it for you. That’s where God steps in and says, “I’ll do it. I created you. I made you. I love you. I will pay for all the things you’ve done wrong.' . . What is hell? Hell was made for the devil and his demons. Really it was. A lot of people have a big myth about hell. They think hell is where you go if you’re really, really, really, really bad. Like an ax murderer. But heaven is a place where you go if you’re pretty good. . . . Notice – this is very, very important. It’s not what you do that gets you into heaven. It’s what Jesus Christ already did. That’s the only way. It’s not what you do. It’s what Jesus Christ already did" ("God's Passion for You," part 2, Feb. 29, 2004).

    And here's what Warren's brother-in-law and associate pastor, Tom Holladay, has taught: "The Bible says, 'It's given to man once to die and after that the judgment,' for the choices we've made on this earth. Instead of 'if at first you don't succeed' the truth is you never get a second chance to make a first impression in life. Our life here on this earth—the impression we make—isn't how good we are or how great we look, but we make the impression by the choice we make about Jesus Christ. Either: We Suffer Separation in Hell Or: We Enjoy Celebration in Heaven. That's the greatest good news ever. That's also the greatest bad news ever. . . . Hell is a real eternal place. Jesus Christ believed in hell. Twelve of the twenty direct references to hell in the New Testament came from Jesus' lips. He talked more about hell than anybody else. He talked about it as being a real, eternal place. It is just as real and just as eternal as heaven. I'd rather just talk about Heaven, the good news. But I wouldn't be honest if I didn't tell you the whole picture. Hell is just as real as heaven. The choice we make on earth determines where we're going to spend eternity. What's the truth about hell? It's a place of suffering. Physical, emotional, relational, spiritual suffering. Physical suffering. It's a place of fire and suffering. The Bible says it's true. Emotional suffering. Several times when Jesus Christ talks about hell He says it's a place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Weeping, emotional suffering—a place of eternal sadness. . . . Relational suffering. People who think hell is going to be some great big party don't get the point. Jesus said hell is a place of outer darkness. Relationally it will be a place of loneliness. C. S. Lewis said, "Hell is nothing but yourself for all eternity." It's a place of loneliness, relational suffering. . . . Spiritual suffering. 2 Thes. 1 "they'll be shut out from the presence of the Lord." . . . In hell, there will be none of that. No compassion, no creativity, no patience. It's a place where we're separate from God" ("WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I DIE?: Answering Life's Toughest Questions," part 5 of 8, May 24, 1992).

    Moreover, Warren’s pastors.com Web site, which is based at Saddleback, regularly publishes articles by evangelicals who also preach about sin—and hell:

    • “‘Why did Jesus die?’ First, because I accept the Bible as the ultimate truth, I believe that Jesus Christ died for sinners—and I am one of those sinners. . . . all creatures are sinners. Through the misuse of our freedom we have alienated ourselves from God and incur both guilt and wrath. . . . The Bible portrays us many times as being in the dreadful state of humanity without Jesus Christ. . . . [W]hen holiness faces human sin, the situation demands God’s wrath (Cecil Murphy, evangelical author and speaker, "“The atonement changed our relationship with God,” pastors.com).
    • “[E]verything God does, by either explicit decree or permission, has an ultimate beneficial purpose. This includes the fact of hell and God's judgment against rebellious sinners, as well as the blessings of heaven and salvation in Christ” (Timothy George, Christianity Today executive editor and dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, "Has God Played Fair?," pastors.com).
    • Without Jesus paying the price to cover our sin, there would be nothing standing between us and the eternal agonizing damnation that we rightly have earned as fallen sinners. . . . And every punishing blow [Christ received] is what you and I have earned as our punishment for being the sinners we are” (Mark Landsbaum, freelance journalist, Evangelical Press Association, “Gibson’s Passion of Christ: genuine, not anti-Semitic,” pastors.com).


    SHANNON : When you get frustrated at how everybody thinks RW is the berries and can do no wrong remember this quote from RW himself. "Never question what God is blessing." Never mind that the Bible says to test the spirits etc... Why your intolerant and mean spirited, narrow minded and backwards if you question the the great PDL explosion. I mean its successful, everybody loves it God must be blessing it. Whatever. Ole Richard sure got his candy licked for a guy who is supposed to be so this and that.

    RA: Let's see what Warren actually said IN CONTEXT, shall we? (Oh, and BTW, I have had nothing "licked" thank you very much).

    First, the quote is NOT "Never question what God is blessing." Warren really said, "Never criticize what God is blessing" (The Purpose Driven Church, p. 62). There is an obvious distinction since "questioning" and "criticizing" are basically two entirely different words. But let's move on.

    Second, IN CONTEXT, this statement appears in his chapter titled "MYTHS ABOUT GROWING CHURCHES," under the subheading that reads: "Myth #6—There is one secret key to church growth." It is the THIRD point in this section. Oddly, critics don't seem interested at all in quoting Warren's 1st two points, which are: 1) "there is more than one way to grow a church" (p. 61); and 2) "it takes all kinds of churches to grow all kinds of people" (p. 61). Hmmmmm, now why might critics NOT cite these two points?? Well, clearly, these points by Warren do not reinforce the oft-repeated FALSE accusations that: a) Warren declares HIS way to be the only way to grow a church; and b) Warren is against traditional churches and/or churches not like Saddleback.

    Third, the statement actually appears at the beginning of a full paragraph that Warren uses to explain EXACTLY what he is saying. He is NOT declaring that non one should "question" things—or "test all things," which would be in opposition to 1 Thess. 5:21. And he certainly is not saying don't "test the spirits" (1 John 4:1) as Paul33 puts it. This is a classic example of how critics invent charges to put on Warren based on an isolated sentence or word somewhere. IN CONTEXT, Warren says: "Never criticize what God is blessing even though it may be a STYLE of ministry that makes you feel uncomfortable. . . . If lives are being changed by the power of Jesus Christ—then I like the way you are doing it! We are all trophies of God’s grace." In other words, Warren is just talking about style of doing church. And he is saying that if people are truly being changed by CHRIST'S POWER, then it's cool because Jesus is being exalted and people are becoming true Christians. He is NOT saying that Christians should not question the doctrinal integrity of teachings or church programs. Moreover, IN CONTEXT, he is not even discussing PDL or his own teachings in The Purpose Driven Church.


    SHANNON: Gotta stop I'm rambling.
    RA: Indeed.


    PAUL33 (posted July 18, 2005 10:41 PM, PASTORAL MINISTRIES): It's not a disagreement about what the text says, it is a distortion of the text itself. Rick is more intelligent than that, I think. I don't know how a seminary grad can hunt and peck for paraphrased interpretations of the text and then pass them off as Scripture.
    RA: Actually, more than anything else, you seem to just not like paraphrases. Fair enough. But I really don't think that this is reason enough to paint Warren as practically the worst thing to hit the church.

    Rabanes - see part 4
     
  12. richard abanes

    richard abanes New Member

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    _________________PART 4
    Dcurlee/DUSTIN (posted July 19, 2005 08:00 AM,. PASTORAL MINISTRIES): . . . Mr. Abanes had come onto this forum to promote Rick Warren's unbibilical eisegesis and humanistic philosophy. My pastor also commented that some folks had actually spoken against this postmodern ear tickling. That prompted intrigue and hope. Sure enough, you folks didn't take kindly to Mr. Abanes 1. breaking the guidelines of the forum by which he agreed to abide, and 2. his saddening support of horrific and confused doctrine.
    RA: 1. Please supply quotes from Warren that demonstrate he supports/teaches the anti-God/anti-Christian humanistic belief system. 2. Please supply quotes from Warren that demonstrate he supports/teaches postmodernism, which might best demonstrated in some statements that would show he advocates moral relativism. 3. Please supply quotes from Warren that demonstrate he supports/teaches any confused/horrific doctrine—any deviations from any one of the central teachings of Christianity will do.


    Dcurlee/DUSTIN: It gave me hope to know that people are still willing to stand up for a Biblical worldview rather than succumbing to pragmatism steeped in postmodernism. Rick Warren's message is not the gospel. His methodologies are not Biblical. His book is not worth reading. I know this isn't popular, but I'm not concerned about popularity.
    RA: What you actually seem to not be concerned about is truth. Please see my previous statement and provide requested evidence of your assertions.


    DCurlee/Dustin (posted July 19, 2005 01:10 PM, PASTORAL MINISTRIES): Pragmatic - Rick Warren and his methodologies are pragmatism manifested in its clearest form. It is the methodology that says whatever works - use it! Do you deny that Rick Warren, et al, look to corporate business methodologies and schemas to "build the church" rather than adhering to the foundation of Scripture for their "model" of church growth?
    RA: Warren's model for building a HEALTHY church (not necessarily as LARGE church) is thoroughly New Testament. It is based on achieving a balance of time, energy, and resources between the five aspects of ALL churches: membership, maturity, ministry, missions, and magnification (i.e., worship). Finding BALNCE is what Warren is advocating, along with using various methods of communication and styles of church service that today's culture can appreciate, understand, and relate to. That's about it. He does NOT promote a "whatever works" approach, as Dustin puts it. That accusation is absurd. Warren doesn't say we should water down the gospel, or avoid sin, or _______________ (fill in the blank with anything unbiblical). Warren's foundation for building a church is based on the Great Commission (Matt. 28) and the Great Commandment (Matt. 22). The five purposes of The Purpose Driven Church are taken from the internal structures of these two biblical passages. And BTW, if someone is seeking to run a large church (about the size of a medium to large business) and they take some management/leadership bits of advice (e.g., identify your problems and deal with the most important ones first), then that is NOT unbiblical, it is practical and smart. It is using various truths to serve God.


    DCurlee/Dustin: Fuzzy and relativistic. That's a not so technical definition, but a fitting one nonetheless. In other words, and coinciding perfectly with their pragmatic business philosophies, the definitions for terms and ideas are very relative to the circumstance and ideology.
    RA: Please, prove it. In my interview with Warren that appears in my book, he denounces relativism. So, please, stop bearing false witness against another Christian.


    DCurlee/Dustin: Thus you have pragmatic postmodernism rampant in the church and in the teachings of its Pastors - specifically in the context of this post, Rick Warren.
    RA: Again, bearing false witness, and now, not just against Rick Warren, but countless pastors. You, sir, need to repent. You have no reason to accuse Warren and/or PDC pastors of post-modernism. If you want to say that SOME individuals in the emergent church are post-modern-like or even relativistic in their thinking, then you would have some ground to stand on. But as it stands, you are in error, and if I may say so, sin. These are serious false charges that you are making against numerous godly believers.


    DCurlee/Dustin: False Gospel - Rick Warren teaches Christ and Him crucified. Praise God! However, what does Mr. Warren teach about sinners and salvation?
    RA: First, you should already know what Warren teaches on "sinners and salvation" if you are going to be making such serious accusations against him. But I'll go ahead and fill you in. 1. Everyone is a sinner. 2. Everyone is a sinner becasue of our sin nature. 3. The only way of salvation is through Jesus Christ ALONE (John 14:6). 4. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. Don't believe me? Think I am lying? Then, read my book for documentation and/or don't get my book and do the research yourself. Either way, at the very least stop bearing false witness against another Christian.


    DCurlee/Dustin: What does he teach about their spiritual conditions pre and post salvation? What does he teach about other essentials of redemption and holiness? Do you know? If you've read his books (and I have), then you'll know that it's a confused theology at best. Thus, I conclude that his "good news" is no good news at all.
    RA: I doubt that you read Warren's books with an eye toward anything other than finding a word or a phrase here or there that you could twist/pervert out of context to use as an excuse to condemn him for all manner of evil speaking.

    • Pre-salvation, a person is a sinner in need of salvation. They need to repent and accept Christ as their savior to appropriate the free gift of eternal life made available through the death of Jesus for our sins on the cross.
    • Post-salvation, people are sinners saved by grace who have entered into the way of sanctification—i.e., becoming like Christ—this is the third purpose in The Purpose Driven Life.


    DCurlee/Dustin: Methodologies - Pragmatism not saturated in Scriptural standards is unbiblical. Postmodernism is unbiblical. "Seeker sensitive" methodologies are unbiblical. Thus, Rick Warren's methodologies are unbiblical.
    RA: More accusations and painting with a brush so broad that you might as well damn the whole church (except, of course, your little segment of it). Please do list for us perhaps ten "seeker-sensitive" methodologies from Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Church that are unbiblical or ungodly. His book is about 400 pages long so it will not be too hard to list 10 unbiblical methodologies of building a purpose driven church.


    DCurlee/Dustin (posted July 19, 2005 02:21 PM, PASTORAL MINiSTRIES): I'd be interested in Rick Warren's definition of "church health."
    RA: Sure, no problem. Read Warren: ". . . let me start by telling you what purpose-driven church is not. First, it has nothing to do with the size of your church. There are little, tiny purpose-driven churches, medium-sized churches, large churches, and megachurches. . . . The vast majority of purpose-driven churches have 100 people. And it’s notabout denominations. . . . It’s about building a church on God’s purposes: worship, fellowship, maturity, service, and evangelism. . . . But if you don’t have a structure to give equal balance to all five, then you’re going to emphasize the one that the pastor cares about the most. You might be good at building maturity, but there’s no evangelism. You might be good at evangelism, but there’s no ministry going on. . . . (RW, interview in Richard Abanes, "Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him").

    What Warren is saying here, and elsewhere, is that balancing God’s purposes will result in a healthy church, which in turn will likely cause church growth (not because of any quality of man-centeredness, but because the purposes follow God’s biblical pattern). As for numerical attendance, it is secondary, if not tertiary. In fact, it is only one of five ways Warren measures church growth and success: "A church needs to grow warmer through fellowship, deeper through discipleship, stronger through worship, broader through ministry, and larger through evangelism" (see The Purpose Driven Church, chapter 3).

    Numbers or size mean nothing to Warren. He is concerned with first of all, getting people saved, then bringing them to maturity, so they can in turn be used in ministry and missions. That is a "healthy" church. Lives transformed by the power of Christ and an army of belivers loving and serving not only each other, but also the community/world.


    DCurlee/Dustin: You say: quote: By the way, every church models some type of business paradigm. Unless you can substantiate that claim I reject it as false. Can you prove that every church "models some type of business paradigm?"
    RA: Hasn't every church adopted some kind of payroll system? Doesn't every church hold meetings/committees of some kind? The list of business practices goes on and on. And please, do NOT respond with: "We just base our church on the Bible!" Really? Then, I suggest you abandon your church building and start meeting in homes because there were no church buildings in biblical times. Also, you might want to take all of your funds and pool them together in a commune-style form of church gathering per Acts 4:32-35, which tells us that the whole congregation offered up all of their possessions "and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to them was his own." Please let me know once you have implemented this non-business, biblical model of church so that I can come and visit.


    DCurlee/Dustin:If you are saying that we must function according to some type of business paradigm, then I ask, why? A Biblical government based upon 1 Timoth 3 and Titus, but not business.
    RA: Again, please conform your church in ALL ways to the biblical pattern. I shall visit. And BTW, there are many different ways that various churches run their congregations. Are they all wrong except you? And just for clarification, 1 Timothyy 3 has far less to do with church government than it does the personal qualifications of a local church leader. The same can be said for Titus. So, please, stop misusing scripture.


    DCurlee/Dustin: You ask: quote: Business meetings? No! You ask: quote: A chairman? No! quote: A board? No! quote: A committee? No! quote: Then you are a church that implements extra-biblical "business" methods. Actually, no we are not.
    RA: Well, now you just sound like a cult. David Koresh didn't have any of these things either. Nor did Jim Jones. Nor did Marshall Applewhite's suicide cult in San Diego. Hmmmmm.


    DCurlee/Dustin: Can you divorce your methodology from your theology? Is that really a possibility? I do not think so. Thus, your premise is flawed and self-destructs.
    RA: Uhm, well, yes, you can. In the United Methodist Church—very traditional in the liturgy and church style or methodology—you can find some of the worst heresy infecting the body of Christ. Some of these "traditional" congregations actually have women witches as senior pastors!!! I am not exaggerating (see the information available from many sources on the Re-Imagining conferences). And yet, you can go to a radical "biker" church where people just sort of hang out on their Harley's on Sunday morning and talk about Jesus—but they are completely biblical and orthodox in their faith. Where would YOU want to go to church?


    DCurlee/Dustin: What is a "seeker?"
    RA: Basically, a non-Christian or a backsliden Christian.

    Rabanes - see part 5
     
  13. richard abanes

    richard abanes New Member

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    _____________PART 5
    DCurlee/Dustin (posted July 19, 2005 04:10 PM, PASTORAL MINISTRIES): It isn't simple. And dead people do not seek.
    RA: ahhhhh, a Calvinist (I think). Well, as one Calvinist to another—you are wrong. I agree that God justifies, then the dead accept. But what is actually happening before regeneration?—no one knows. God is drawing unbelievers to himself, we know that much (Jn. 6: 44, 45). And choice is in there somewhere, we know that much (Joshua 24:15; John 3:16; Rom. 10:9). Moreover, preaching the gospel is intrinsically linked to drawing the dead (Rom. 10:15) because faith itself comes from hearing God's Word (Rom. 10: 17). So, if God wants to use all kinds of different tools, techniques, church methods, and methodologies to draw people—well, YAHOOO! PTL! Glory!


    DCurlee/Dustin: I have no desire to engage in such a time consuming process. So, call it what you will (and I'm sure you will), I am done.
    RA: Predictable.


    SHANNON (posted July 16, 2005 01:55 PM, General Baptist Discussions): I went to Richard's site. One of my quotes on "the Jimmie Hendrix" incident made it onto his link concerning the matter complete with my name and the name of the Baptistboard. My pastor took our church through the PDL book. Yet I could never imagine him singing one line of "purple haze" in any type of a setting. Be it a joke or whatever.
    RA: Fine. Your pastor is not Rick Warren. And you are not representative of all Christians.


    SHANNON: I read some different things on Richard's site. He accuses anyone who is critical of PDL or Warren as being a pharisee.
    RA: Wrong. Untrue. Here, I'll prove it. I really do not like Warren's use of The Message. I, personally, hate The Message. And my wife refuses to even read it. There. I certainly am not a Pharisee. Why? Because I am not condemning Warren as a false teacher simply because he happens to like the paraphrase. Clearly, I do not label as a Pharisee "anyone" who just criticizes PDL or Warren." AGAIN, we see the common trait of Warren's critics here that I mentioned in PART 1—i.e., they don't read carefully, but only skim material in hopes of finding things to complain about. On my website, for instance, I call people Pharisees who act like Pharisees in their nit-picky ways of criticizing Warren—e.g., he wears a Hawaiian shirt, he likes loud music, he made a joke some people don't find amusing (the "purple haze" thing), and so on. Even in my above postings I used the charge of Pharisee against those who strain at the 40-days issue (see PART 2 of my posts), while completely overlooking so much good that is in the book.


    SHANNON: To me his book is nothing more than a "spin machine" designed to discredit any critics. "I haven't read the book" but from all the stuff on his site it has to be something of that nature.
    RA: First, I suggest you read the book. Second, a "spin machine" would be a deceptive volume dedicated to making false teachings sound acceptable. This is not what my book does. Instead, it corrects misperception about Warren and absolutely false accusations that have been made against him. It's a defense of truth more than a defense of Warren.


    SHANNON: On his link defending Warren's use of the term "breath prayers" Abanes says that just because RW used some terminology that is the same as some false religions doesn't mean RW meant it in the same way. That may be true. But why even use a term that would confuse people.
    RA: Did you ever think that just maybe Warren has no idea that the term "breath prayers" is used in other ways? (Warren is NOT an expert in the area of cults, the occult, or the new age.) Or did you ever think that maybe Warren heard the term somewhere, it got stuck in the back of his mind, then when he was trying to think of a way to describe a quick prayer you could say in one breath, he thought, "hey, breath prayer," not even realizing that the term had lodged in his head from somewhere else? (The human brain works like that). Or did you ever think about "coincidence"? That happens, too. There, off the top of my head I just gave you three possibilities. Pick one. The bottom line is that Warren's "breath prayers" have nothing to do with what people are accusing him of.


    SHANNON: What I did notice is the fact that Abanes failed to mention that RW got the idea from the french monk, Brother Lawrence. That may not bother some people but it bothers me. Just my opinion.
    RA: I discuss Brother Lawrence in my book. And as for your opinion, yes, that is the point. Many critics are exalting their opinions to the level of biblical truth or righteous judgment/indignation.


    SHANNON: He never warns people that Lawrence was from a "works" salvation point of view. He doesn't warn them because he thinks we can benefit from some "classic catholic authors,etc... I really don't care what RW does.
    RA: In my book I discuss Warren's use of persons like Lawrence and others in his writings.


    SHANNON: Our church did the PDL thing I didn't like it. We gained a member or two. Our church was strong without doing it.
    RA: Fine. Okay. So what? Other churches have experienced different results.


    SHANNON: I didn't run and tell the pastor off about it . The reason the book has such mass appeal is because it is so vague or generic whatever you want to call it.
    RA: Really? That's odd, especially since I have talked to so many people who said it appealed to them because it was written in such as way that they finally realized their need to either: a) connect with God; or b) reconnect with God. if the book was vague and fairly meaningless to you, then fine. But stop condemning it simply because it did not change YOUR life or YOUR church's life. It has done miracles in the lives of others. Rejoice.


    PAUL33 (posted July 16, 2005 03:24 PM, General Baptist DIscussions): Did Rick Warren use church time to write the book?
    RA: No.


    PAUL33: I understand that he took seven months to write the PDL. Is that true? If so, why aren't the royalties going to the church?
    RA: Do you do ANY research at all before making insinuations or accusations? Here: "He proudly notes that during the seven months he was writing Life, he preached only Christmas and Easter services" (USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/life/2003-07-21-rick-warren_x.htm).


    PAUL33: Yes, I commend him for giving 90% away to a foundation that he set up. Does Warren receive compensation from this foundation?
    RA: Not that I know of. It all goes to the needy. But why do I get the distinct impression that you practically wish the money was just being funneled back to Warren. Sad, man, really sad.


    PAUL33: He paid back to his church every penny he ever received from the church in compensation. Why?
    RA: Please, at least do SOME research. This one is out there so easy to find I just can't bring myself to lay out the whole thing for you.


    PAUL33: Couldn't he have continued to receive a modest salary, say $100,000 per year, and give all of the royalties to the church?
    RA: Well, ALL the royalties are his, for one. Second, who says $100,000 is modest? You? What about those who say only $80,000 is modest? What about those who say only $50,000 is modest? Where does it end. See the problem. The guy is a reverse tither for goodness sakes. He gives away 90% of his income and you are still going to cast aspersions on what he is doing? Unbelievable.


    JOSEPH (posted July 16, 2005 03:42 PM , General Baptist Discussions): Careful Paul. He [Warren] might end up demonizing you on his website where you cannot respond and defend yourself. HMMMMMMMMMMM...can we say gossip?
    RA: HHMMMMMMMMMMM...can we say hypocrite and can we say Romans 2:1, 3: "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things... So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?"

    RAbanes

    I hope I have answered SOME questions and shown that I am indeed more interested in truth than money. God Bless all. To God be the glory, to God be the praise. I meant no insults to anyone and tried to post in a tone consistent with this board and the Internet. If I made any light-hearted jabs that offended anyone, that was not my intention. And I apologize. Please feel free to indicate the offending comments so I can learn more about this particular community. All are different.
     
  14. shannonL

    shannonL New Member

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    For the record,

    I sent Richard a private e-mail that stated within it an apology. I have posted things about him and some things about RW and PDL that were juvenile and not well researched. Richard's replies were not the reason I felt led to apologize. I did because it was the right thing to do between me and the Lord.
    Only a stand up guy would take the time to respond like he did to the posts that were directed towards him. I feel as though I got caught up in Gossip instead of just general debate. For that I repent and confess it.

    Often times when I get critical of someone else the Lord brings this little passage to my mind.

    John 21:21-22 So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, "Lord and what about this man?
    Jesus said to him, If I want him to remain until I come, what is tht to you? You follow me!"

    Jesus was saying Peter I'll take care of John you just take care of Peter.

    When we get to heaven the only ministry we will each answer for is the one God gave us not somebodyelses.

    Good day Mr. Abanes,

    God bless
     
  15. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    Thank you for coming back, Richard.

    I pray my fellow posters will be more Christ-like in their responses to you.

    No one can say you didn't provide enough answers! [​IMG]

    Blessings,
    §ue
     
  16. All about Grace

    All about Grace New Member

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    Richard just dropped a bomb. I will look forward to the reasonable responses from the other side, but I will expect none. I can't even get a simple answer to a simple question.

    Way to go Abanes!
     
  17. webdog

    webdog Active Member
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    Excellent post, Richard...welcome back! [​IMG]

    Shannon, I commend you for openly apologizing to Richard. We'll see if the others are as humble as yourself. It takes a big person to admit when "self" takes over. God bless you! [​IMG]
     
  18. Paul33

    Paul33 New Member

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    Richard,

    I appreciate your willingness to come back and answer questions.

    You accuse many of us of treating you in a less than Christlike manner. But then the tone of your reply was every bit as harsh.

    Apparently, I didn't apologize clearly enough so that your first two posts were filled with pointing out our many faults. So I too, will apologize as clearly as I can. I'm sorry for offending you and telling you to take a hike. You made alot of hay with that comment, obviously taking it out of context and wanting to know if I wanted you to stay and answer questions or indeed take a hike.

    If you want to spam the board, take a hike is my deepest thoughts and feelings for you.

    If you want to answer questions, then by all means, stay.

    As to paraphrases: When Warren congratulates himself for how many translations he used in writing PDL, he opens himself up to examination. I was stunned how many times the "quote from the Bible" didn't come close to the original Hebrew and Greek when checked in the original languages or when cross-checked with the NIV, NASU, etc.

    Your brush off of the most serious complaint of the book was weak. Rick Warren is too intelligent to use paraphrases in the manner that he did. To call a paraphrase that does not communicate the mind of God, Scripture or "the Bible," is beneath anyone who claims the name orthodox Christian. Do you know why he did this?

    The other complaint I have with your responses is that you picked out our criticism from our praises to paint a picture of how badly informed we are and how much we hate Warren.

    I will say it again. I like Rick Warren. I think what God has done through him is incredible. I think his giving 90% of his royalties to a foundation is wonderful. But Rick is also a spokesperson for Christianity. He has a high standard to uphold, both with his use of Scripture and the material gain he has earned from the Christian community because of his national reputation as the pastor of Saddleback.

    I trust that Rick will do his very best in representing Christianity in America. God has blessed him and put him in an incredible position.

    My information came from memory having read USA Today's article about Warren a while back.

    I don't have the time or the interest to research it for myself. You did. Thank you. But do you have to be so demeaning because I have asked questions from limited understanding and resources.

    Isn't that why you wrote the book? To set the record straight. But now you don't have time to help someone as uninformed as I am to better understand?

    You also impugn my motives for asking questions. You hated it when we did that to you, but you turn around and do it to me? Interesting.
     
  19. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit New Member

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    This conversation reminds me of the old hymn, "Satisfied With Jesus." The entire hymn is about our approval of Christ - until the very last line, "Is my Savior satisfied with me?"

    Way to much time spent in critique of another individual, when the question I ought to be asking is "is God satisfied with me? - with my use of time on bulletin boards, Bible study, prayer life, etc., etc., etc...

    It's the pot calling the kettle black, I know... I just wonder if it's even close to productive debating these things for so long, or is it a waste of valueable time that God has given us to do something useful?
     
  20. All about Grace

    All about Grace New Member

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    Without spending a lot of time here, I will make 3 observations:

    1. RW did open himself up to criticism by using so many translations (some of them loose translations at best). He explained his use of multiple translations in the back of the book. Guess what? That is his reasoning. You can accept it or not accept it. That is his reasoning. Nothing more - nothing less. To try and understand this choice beyond his explanation is useless. Critique his reasoning if you desire but he has already explained why he chose to do what he did.

    2. Warren is correct in the sense that any English translation falls well short of the Greek/Hebrew. Every translation has its weaknesses. RW selected translations that gave fresh insight to the biblical truths he was explaning. You can agree or disagree with his choice in certain instances. That is your choice. I am sure I was make different choices than you would make. That is the strength and weakness of being 2000 years removed from the original.

    3. As far as I know, he identified paraphrases when he quoted them. Paraphrases explain the text in modern language. Paraphrases are doing the same thing pastors do every week when they say, "This verse means ...."

    If you want to point out some specific examples of Warren's distorted use of Scripture, perhaps we can look at them?

    RW also makes a valid point when he references Jesus and the apostles use of Scripture. Care to critique how they interpreted and employed Scripture? It definitely does not fall into your typical historical-grammatical interpretation.
     
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