Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Warrenism and the Death of Discernment

It was a recent post of mine that triggered the ire of one of my readers. That's ok. I'm used to it. The person posted a comment which was loaded with sarcasm. It was obviously something written by someone who didn't share my convictions. Again, that is ok.

I write this because I think the time is right to review the issue of discernment. I'll let you read the thread, it is very tedious. But as it turns out, this person was, in fact, trying to defend Rick Warren. After I closed the thread, the commenter wrote a private email to me and informed me that Rick Warren is his pastor. He said he would have told me earlier, but then I hadn't asked. Oh well.

What really got up this guy's nose is that I said Rick Warren is an apostate. An apostate is someone who has fallen away from a former orthodox position. I will assume that Rick Warren was, at one time, orthodox in his beliefs regarding the basics of the Christian faith. As far as where he is now? Well, I'll let Rick state it for you. What follows are just a few links.

For all the "Joes" in this world who really believe in this guy, I'd ask you to carefully compare what you read and hear from Rick Warren in light of a decent Bible (for example, an NIV, KJV or NASB). Rick tends to pick modern paraphrases that feature a verse worded in a way that supports a given argument. So, instead of the Bible ruling over the content of his message, he finds the Scriptures a handy tool to subject to his own, uhm, "purposes".

Just a few cursory points first -- The true Gospel includes the message of repentance. I'd challenge anyone to examine Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life" and count how many times the word "Repentance" is used. Let me save you some time: Not Once. What the "Joes" of this world need to do is reexamine how they defend Pastor Warren, claiming he does preach repentance while you never hear him say it nor read it in his printed material.

Ok -- What about Warren on "The Essentials" or, as stated by Joe, "foundational doctrinal issues"? Warren thinks that Mormons, Christians and Jews are just different "Denominations"! Ready? Here is another one. And of course, how Muslims and Christians should just get together and worship God...

I recall a video from CNN where Larry King interviewed Warren. I'll have to look for that one. Until then, here's a post that links to a video where you can watch him lump cults and denominations all together. After all, doctrine isn't important!

Joe argued later in the thread that a pastor must be "engaging". I'd argue that while that is a nice "plus", it certainly isn't an essential. What is essential is substance. The apostle Paul, self-described in 1 Corinthians, was not eloquent. He repeated the "reviews" of those to whom he preached. But he had substance. And I'd argue that eloquence can lull you more deeply into error.

So here is my plea: Let's see the "Joes" of this world needing us to help them return to at least some minimial form of discernment. When those who profess Christ can honestly try to defend those who openly spread a false Gospel we have really failed to represent the Gospel entrusted to us.

For the Joes? Let this be a loud wake-up call.


pastorbrianculver said...

You hit the nail on the head! Good job! There is no valid argument against this. His own words condemn him. His own teachings and beliefs shows what's really important. Let's all just get along and feel good! How about when he went to India and had an opportunity to preach Jesus Christ to millions and not once did he mention Jesus' name!

Tim Brown said...

Thank you, Brian. Nice to know things happened for a "purpose"...