"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,for it is the power of God to salvation
for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." Romans 1:16

One more time on Michael Horton and the photo with Warren…

I’m going to answer this, hopefully, one…last…time…

Do I think Dr. Michael Horton compromised the faith by taking a photo with Rick Warren? No.

Am I ready to throw Dr. Horton under the bus for taking the photo? No

Would I have taken the photo? No

If Dr. Horton cared about my advice or opinion, and would take it into consideration, would I have advised him to NOT take the photo? Yes

Now, I hope this answer the questions. I don’t know how to make it clearer.

 

Rick Warren’s Infiltration of the Reformed Faith

This is an excerpt from an article at Worldview Times. You can read the entire article at http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/article.php?articleid=7007

There is irrefutable evidence that Rick Warren is a false teacher who terribly mishandles the Word of God for his own spiritual agenda. That is why Warren’s photo ops with Reformed leaders do nothing for the truth, and they do everything for Rick Warren’s relentless campaign for credibility and influence among those who should know better.

Scripture plainly tell us, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11

Has theology become a sort of arcane academic study for hobbyists with no practical application in the real world of evangelicalism? Is Rick Warren a false teacher leading many astray, or are differences with him not that big of a deal? Can we warn about a ravening wolf spiritually while simultaneously throwing an arm around him?

The issues surrounding Rick Warren are not minor, secondary issues over ways and means. We are witnessing a spiritual battle that is growing in intensity and nothing less than the Gospel is at stake.

The issues are growing more and more refined as lines are being blurred and as good is being called evil and evil is being labeled good by influential leaders.

That is why the divisions are growing deeper, the rhetoric angrier and more hostile, and it is why discouragement is rampant among servants of the Lord. The enemy has come in like a flood, and those attempting to raise up a standard against him are under incredible attack. Biblically faithful believers are watching in shock as men they trusted are serving as useful tools in the hands of the enemy.

The lesson in all of this for those who are Reformed and also for those who are not, is that the blind following of celebrity authors and teachers must end. The near papal devotion some of these leaders inspire blinds followers to spiritual danger.

There is no substitute for knowing and reading the Scriptures. It is easier to listen to a gifted speaker or nationally-known teacher and author than to dig into the Word itself, but therein lies the danger.

Those who may have been reliable guides a year ago may no longer be. The cracks in the spiritual lives of leaders are not always immediately evident. Over the course of time, however, those pastors and teachers on a treadmill with their publishers and handlers and endless conferences can lose the plot. They can believe their own press and grow personally complacent about their own need for prayer and teaching and accountability.

As the spiritual battle intensifies, there must be a renewed commitment by those who love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ to individual humility, prayer and Bible reading. We must ask the Lord to protect our minds and hearts from the seducing wiles of the enemy, asking him to reveal any idolatry of men in our hearts and to give us ears only for the voice of the Savior as found in His eternal Word.

 

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.

–Isaiah 40:8

 

What in the world is going on now?

I am saddened, and yes, even shocked to learn that John Piper will be conducting a Desiring God Conference at Saddleback Church in California in April 2011. What are we to make of this? Why is someone so admired and trusted; so loved and respected; someone who has stood so faithfully and boldly for the cause of Christ and His Gospel as John Piper, entering into a partnership with someone that is blatantly ashamed of the Gospel? Why? Why? Why?

Is Dr. Piper going there to call Warren to repentance? He is going there to declare to the people at Saddleback that Warren’s “gospel” isnt the true Gospel? Is Dr. Piper going there to declare ‘thus saith the Lord’?

On her Crosstalk Blog Ingrid Schlueter offers a post titled John Piper Desiring Rick Warren, and I read the article and my gut wants to scream, “No thats not right! That can’t be! There more to this than what we know!”.

Yet I recall all of the many instances where this has happened in other ministries and I cringe and I cry.

Warren calls for radical yes…but to what?

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,

Warren at Piper Conference-“Nothing happens till somebody starts dreaming. What we need today are great dreamers.”

A great commentary at the website of Sola Sisters, concerning the message given by Rick Warren at the recent Desiring God 2010 conference hosted by John Piper. Warren was not able to attend the conference personally but rather submitted a video message. I will offer my comments on a future post.

But this is not the yielded life of a true Christian as taught in Scripture….coming up with big dreams and then looking for God to give us the "go juice" to accomplish what we desire.  In thinking this way, we create an idol in our minds of a "God" who is reduced to being the "power in our engines" and the dog that jumps through the hoops of our choosing.  No, the way we come to the Lord is with our hands open, humbly submitting our dreams, plans, wants, and desires to His perfect will (Matt 6:10).

In closing, let me put forth the troubling idea that, thanks to Dr. John Piper’s Desiring God 2010, a whole new audience is now being exposed to Rick Warren’s particular brand of Christian narcissism…..with Dr. Piper’s stamp of approval.  And so I’ll ask a question I’ve asked before: how far from orthodoxy does Rick Warren have to fall before Christian leaders will begin to "mark him out" and separate from him (Romans 16:17) – rather than continuing to give him a platform for teaching and preaching? Apparently, to Dr. Piper’s mind, we’re nowhere close.

You can view the entire message online at http://desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/the-battle-for-your-mind.

Again, I ask the question, what has been the opinions of the other speakers at the conference, Albert Mohler, R.C. Sproul, Thabiti Anyabwile and Francis Chan? Have they made any comments about Warren’s invitation to the conference and his message?

If any of you know, please forward it to me.

Todd Friel-If You Have Been Hurt

(Editors note:Wonderful article Todd and very well articulated. Thank you.)

by Todd Friel, Wretched Newsletter

How many people have been deeply wounded because of “The Purpose Driven Church”? If I were a betting man, I would guess millions have been driven from their beloved church because of the writings of Rick Warren.

That is the second reason I absolutely hate the decision made by a man I love to invite Rick Warren to speak at the Desiring God Conference in the fall of this year.
As Purpose has seduced over 300,000 pastors (that is not a guess) to leave the Jesus Model and follow the Rick Model, faithful sheep have been forced out of their church by their shepherd to make room for the goats. Devastating.

If you are one of those people, I am very, very sorry that one of the men who probably served as an anchor during your storm has seen fit to use his national conference to figure out how Rick Warren ticks. Frankly, we know how Rick Warren ticks. He may have file cabinet orthodoxy, but his public works are nothing short of lethal.

Read the entire article…

A typical exchange with a Warren follower

I receive many emails, most of them are cordial and constructive. I also receive a lot of email from people who accuse me of picking on Rick Warren, like its a matter of two kids on a playground fighting over a football. The strange and sad turn of most of the email conversations comes when I challenge them to support their opinion of Warren’s ministry with Scripture. To this day, I can count on one hand the number of people who have accepted my challenge. I share with you one recent exchange with a person by the name of Robert.

Thank God for Rick Warren. He is a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and preaches the gospel
Please stop your hateful diatribe for the sake of Christ.
Get over it
Light a candle instead of cursing Rick Warren
Robert
__________________________________________

Thanks Robert for taking the time to write.
As I have others, and with all due respect, I challenge you to produce chapter and verse to prove your points.
As to getting over it, as Christians we are called to not get over it and to earnestly contend for the faith, Jude 3.
Thanks again.
Mike
__________________________________________

I’ve been to Saddleback numerous times; the man preaches the gospel in spite of what you contend.
Go after sinners man, not those who preach the gospel of Jesus Christ like Rick Warren.
Robert
__________________________________________

I can appreciate your visits and your opinion. But it’s neither what I think nor what you think that ultimately matters. What does God think as revealed in His Word? That’s all that matters. Examine Warren’s ministry through the lenses of Scripture. Show me chapter and verse.
Just to point….Christ was compassionate toward the sinner…it were the ones who claimed to presenting the truth, while actually spouting lies, that He called snakes and white washed walls.
We, all of us, have to get the Gospel right. We have no other choice. It’s not ours to change or alter. Warren does just that. He changes, alters, leaves parts out, and that Robert, is wrong, it is error, and what he proclaims is false. Thousands of people are being led to a fantasy salvation through the diluted and deceiving ministry of Rick Warren.
Thanks again Robert.
Mike