I’m always amazed whenever there is a story concerning Rick Warren where he shares “his wisdom” in areas of theology. In a ChristianPost.com article titled Rick Warren Urges Pastors to Say Radical ‘Yes’ to God, he makes his usual misleading, foggy and sometimes, outright erroneous statements such as:
Pastor Rick Warren kicked off the 2011 Radicalis Conference on Tuesday by asking church leaders, pastors, and pastors’ wives to start representing Jesus by saying “yes” to God in every aspect of their lives first – before asking others to do the same.
On the surface, most of us would say amen to this statement, but then Warren says,
“There are two reasons that nonbelievers don’t know Jesus Christ. One is, they’ve never met a Christian. The other is, they have,”
I would put this comment in the Pelagian/Finney category of false teaching. According to Warren, coming to faith in Christ is all based on whether the person makes it happen or some external earthly source influences them to ‘accept Jesus’.
Then the story quotes Warren’s wife Kay:
To elaborate on this idea, Kay Warren, the wife of Rick Warren, was invited to speak about the lavish love of God and how it moves individuals into radical action.
“I don’t know about you, but I rarely do anything out of fear, guilt, duty or obligation,” she stated. “I may do it, but I don’t like it.”
She explained how unbelievers sense fear, guilt, and a sense of duty from those who try to evangelize them, immediately feeling the need to say “no” to them because they do not want to adopt that type of religion.
Again, in the Warren (Pelagian) view, it’s not about the choice of the sovereign Lord to grant grace to the lost, but it’s about whether they feel something, especially from another person. Then more from Rick Warren:
“The problem when people come to Christ is that they don’t see any difference in their lives. We’ve got the same stress, the same debt, the same problems as everybody else does and we react the same way,” said Warren.
He concluded by saying, “We decided we want to be distinctly different. We want to be radical. We want to go back to the roots.”
I would agree that believers need to return to their roots. However their roots are not based on being purpose-driven, but being Gospel-driven; by denying ourselves, taking up our crosses and following Him (Luke 9:23). I prefer how John MacArthur put it in another recent ChristianPost.com piece;
The truth is, to be a Christian is to be a slave of Christ….
Instead of teaching the New Testament gospel-where sinners are called to submit to Christ, the contemporary message is exactly the opposite:Jesus is here to fulfill all your wishes…
Not only is He a kind and gracious Lord, but He is also the God of the universe. His character is perfect; His love is infinite; His power, matchless; His wisdom, unsearchable; and His goodness, beyond compare.”
MacArthur reminded believers that they were delivered from “the vilest, most dreadful master imaginable” – sin.
“Slavery to Christ not only means freedom from sin, guilt, and condemnation. It also means freedomto obey, to please God, and to live the way our Creator intended us to live – in intimate fellowship with Him.”
And it doesn’t end there. Once liberated from sin, Christians are “ushered into the wonder and privilege of full citizenship in the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
“[W]e are citizens of heaven, both by emancipation and by birth, and all by grace,