I don’t want to belabor the point, but I am really getting tired of all the bullying that I am seeing. As many of my reformed brethren, I was disappointed when John Piper announced that he had invited Rick Warren to speak at this year’s Desiring God Conference.
My position on Warren’s theology and his “purpose-driven” movement has not been quiet, and admittedly at time has been rude and inconsiderate. To say that, as a Christian brother, he has nothing of value to contribute is childish, puerile, and unbiblical. We are undoubtedly called to use discernment in our teaching and in our conversation. However, to lash out at a Christian brother regardless of what he is actually saying because judgment has already been made on his theology is not following biblical discernment.
In a previous post I illustrated how Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Community Church and pontiff of the Purpose-Driven movement, has said that he thinks we should stop feeding our congregations and start inciting them to Godly service, yet regularly fails to teach the substance of our faith. In the last few days via his twitter feed, Warren has given a few “slices of bread” which I will use to make a Gospel sandwich.
A sandwich is usually called by what is in the middle, which is also the best part. However, you cannot have a sandwich without the bread. One might call it vital to the sandwich. However, if you only have two slices of bread, a sandwich you have not. Thus said, it is clear that what lies between the bread is what really makes the sandwich work.
Rick Warren, popular pastor of purpose, has once again flown the flag of philanthropic philosophy. It is clear that Warren supports attractional and law-focused moralism rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ that not only saves but compels to good work. Here is a tweet he sent out earlier today:
CHURCH! An army’s strength isnt seen by how many eat in the mess hall but how many are fighting on the front line battle. (Online Source)
The Purpose-Driven movement is all about action, and Warren’s critique of Gospel-driven ministry is that all it does is “feed” people and neglects to challenge people to “live out the gospel.” Unfortunately, the Bible teaches the contrary. Over and over again we are commended to study, to teach, and exhort the story of Christ and his atoning work for us on the cross.
More aches in the house of Warren, which most know as Saddleback Church in southern California. The dust is still settling from Warrengate and the Jonas Brothers concert this year’s Easter Sunday worship service, and he still does not seem to have a basic understanding of what the Gospel is.
Consider this tweet from yesterday:
Ranked as the world’s most influential woman, Oprah Winfrey is undoubtedly a woman who has inspired millions with not only her wisdom, her wide circle of connections, but also with her very own rags to riches story. Although much ink has been spilled over her questionable influence in matters of spirituality, this post is not about her, instead it is about the church.
In 2005 a national survey of pastors was conducted, asking each of them to name the books that have most influenced them. The Purpose-Driven Life was the most frequent response. Authored by America’s pastor, Rick Warren, the book which has sold the most copies of any book in print, excepting only the Bible. Warren, who has amassed significant wealth as a result, retains a significant level of influence including the ear of the President of the United States.
Here is where we play the game regularly found in copies of the children’s magazine Highlights: circle the differences in these two pictures.