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Rick Warren

April 11, 2011

The first example of a man from which we must separate is one whose doctrine is clearly wrong.  His proclamations of “truth” are more like riddles questioning the authority of God’s Word.  For most Bible believers, his errors should be visible from miles away.  The second character’s errors are not so immediately obvious.  His gospel appears to be alright, but upon closer examination one discovers that his doctrine has had a horrible effect on his presentation of the gospel.  Rick Warren is the incredibly well known author of “Purpose Driven Life” and it’s church focused companion “Purpose Driven Church”.  Warren is recognized as one of the front runners of the seeker sensitive church movement, and is the pastor of a seeker sensitive mega church.   His philosophy of church planting and ministry is objectionable, but by itself would not earn him a spot in this series of articles.

Rick Warren is a man from whom we must separate, falling under the commands of Galatians 1:8-9 and 2 John 1:10-11 because his seeker sensitivity in church ministry has resulted in a seeker sensitivity in his gospel.  Rick Warren’s doctrines have caused him to turn the gospel into something it is not.  For Rick Warren, the gospel has become a means to fueling self worth and achieving personal goals.   A couple years ago I wrote  a brief tirade on Warren’s suggestion that one could try Christ for 60 days.  Warren offers a Christ that will make your life better or you can just walk away from Him, no strings attached.  That’s not the gospel!  That’s not remotely the gospel.  Christ’s call to those who would be His disciples had no money back guarantee.  It never promised to make their life better.  It demanded the total denial of oneself and the willingness to forsake all to follow Him.  Warren’s gospel message has not improved since then.  If anything, it is worse.  For an example, consider the Daniel Plan.  The Daniel Plan is a year long healthy living course being offered this year by Saddleback Church.  The expressed goal of this course is to help people get healthy lives and introduce them to the gospel of Christ.  Sounds wonderful, except the gospel is missing.   The program contains a lot of spiritual talk.  The program references Bible verses.  But I could not find the gospel anywhere in the material, the videos or the website.  Not one drop of the gospel.  Not one iota of “Christ died for your sin.”   The essence of the presentation was “God wants you to be healthy, and if you are healthy you can glorify God in your life.”  The lyrics of the chorus from the Daniel Plan’s theme song show exactly the kind of erroneous gospel being presented.

Your love is changing me
To be available to mercy,
available to grace.
Available to You Lord
Make me what you want me to be
Available to serve you
Available to go
Available to You Lord
Make me what you want me to be
I’m fat free!

Is that what the gospel is all about?  Is that why Christ died?  Did He suffer on the cross that we might be delivered from the bondage of transfat?  Did He become a man, relinquishing His prerogatives as God, so that I could say no to french fries?  Is the new creation a fat free creation?  This is culturally popular baloney.  It is not the gospel.  It is not the reason Christ died.  It is rubbish.  This is one example of the pattern of Rick Warren.  This is not the only example, but it is the most recent.  Whatever your assessment of the Purpose Driven works, Rick Warren is presenting a gospel that is not the gospel.  Despite his assertions that they still preach the Bible as the inspired Word of God and Christ as the only way to heaven, we must separate from him and his entire ministry.  That means we must not by anything Purpose Driven.  We must not sign up for the Daniel Plan.  We must not pay for the things that might be good, for in doing so we give support to that which is not good.  We must not have anything to do with this ministry, lest we take part in its evil deeds.

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