Sunday, February 24, 2008

More on the Zeitgeist Follies

As you will recall, two days ago I referenced an article on "The Spirit of Error". The author's fundamental point had to do with why it is so difficult in our day to rationalize Biblically with so many people. You put the Scriptures out in front of them. Everything is perfectly clear. There is no refuting what is being said. But they just can't seem to "get it".

The point was that such people may well have been handed over to the Zeitgeist, the "spirit of the age". (The "spirit of the age" morphs over time. Currently, the spirit of the age is tolerance and commercialism. Rick Warren and others have mastered this.) If you say "no" to the truth long enough, the Lord will send a deluding spirit which will harden you. It is a judgment from God.

No, I'm not saying that if someone disagrees with me that they are in this position. Not at all. But I'm not talking about those rational conversations where there can be a valid difference of opinion. I'm talking about those who follow error even though the Scriptures clearly teach something contrary to what someone believes.

Ever notice that so often, comments tend to be hot or cold. In other words, either they are in total agreement or someone has to argue? It's not because I censor anything. It's because that is how it is! To date, no one has ever come around and said "Hey, I see what you mean but can you explain this to me?" It's either an agreement or a fight. Nothing in the middle.

I think it is because of the effect of the zeitgeist, the spirit of the age. The division between the two camps is becoming clearer and there is much less honest discussion. If someone disagrees, they must do it violently. Civility is gone. It's "Troll's Day Out". And even when someone asks for an explanation, you often find they really aren't interested in Biblical truth, but just a fight.

Not long ago, I got a comment here from a pastor. He told me that he didn't expect me to post it (it was off-topic). But he wanted me to review some material on Rick Warren, stating that maybe I could find something redeeming in him. This person has been a problem on this blog (and others). He causes problems then when his comments get rejected, it's the old "no one is allowed to disagree with you" bit.

Well, that's ok. I can read most of what people send me. But when I saw this, I couldn't believe it. Could someone really take what they had sent me seriously? Here is what they wanted met to evaluate in an effort to redeem Rick Warren, in my eyes. The following is from a web site. He copied it from there. I'll leave the "zinger" for last. My comments will be in blue...:

According to the commenter, Rick Warren allegedly said:

1. "Saddleback may be the most spiritual[sic] mature church in the nation… we have more people in small groups than we have in Sunday morning worship… we have 13842 tithers… over 14,000 people having a daily quiet time… the over 15,000 people who are serving in ministry…"

Now, I say "wow"! This is supposed to be partial evidence of Orthodoxy on the part of Rick Warren? The fact that he has so many people in his church? Where in the Bible do you find numerical growth as a sign of spiritual maturity? To be specific, check the seven letters to the churches in Revelation. There were lots of rebukes there. None were about a lack of numerical growth! No where in the New Testament will you find anyone saying that numerical growth is a sign of the maturity of a church!

If numerical growth demonstrates spiritual maturity, what do we make of Islam?

2. "Teaching a sermon will not disciple people… it is not enough."

Say What? I think I have a problem with this! 2 Peter tells us to desire the "sincere milk" that we may grow! In order to have proper practice, you must have proper teaching...and proper preaching from the pulpit will provide the proper teaching! You feed garbage in? You will put out garbage. It is the exposition of God's Word that helps us understand what God has said. And when what God has said is properly preached, it will cut and sting and cause growth! Now, are there other things too? Sure! Those other things include accountability from other believers. Someone coming to you when you are wrong and correcting you. Doing church discipline when there is no repentance. But taken on its face, this would appear to be an assault on Biblical preaching!

3. "Prosperity gospel: don’t ever put an adjective in front of gospel: Prosperity gospel, social gospel. The gospel is good news: Christ died and resurrected for our sins."

What is being done here is putting all the errant gospels in one basket with the true one! There is only one "real" gospel as Paul said in Galatians 1. What Rick Warren is allegedly doing here is asking us to accept anything that claims to be the Gospel as valid! It would appear to be an appeal to stop distinguishing between the false and true. "If it mentions Jesus, it is the gospel". No thanks.

4. "[Referring to the temptation of Jesus] The plan was that Jesus would be worship[sic] because he died on a cross not because he jumped off the temple."

No, the point of the temptation was to show that He couldn't be broken down. He will be worshiped because He is Lord of all. Everything He did in His life demonstrates that by His Character we know He is God, the rightful Master over all His creation.Rick Warren's alleged statement is shallow, at best.

5. "Spiritual growth is incarnational… it’s Christ in you… it is helping people let Christ live through them… Christ in you the hope of Glory."

Progressive sanctification is realized through death to self. It's not just "letting Jesus" do anything. Our Lord demands anyone who would follow Him die to self. The statement sounds good, but it's watered down.

6. "There are three dangers: hedonism, materialism, and secularism-- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. If you have been in the minsitry 10 to 20 years and kept your pants on, I honor you."

This is plain sick. Paul had a much higher standard. See Titus and Timothy. It was much more than “Keeping your pants on for 10 or 20 years”. Someone should try reading the two epistles.

7. "Jesus led people from "come and see" to "deny yourself and take up the cross" to "eat my body and drink my blood." That takes a while and it takes a plan.

Some of you are “come and see preachers” and your people need you to lead people to “eat my body and drink my blood.” They need you to lead them to harder truths. You need a plan to move people to high commitment of "denying yourself" and “eat my body and drink my blood.” Some of you are “eat my body and drink my blood preachers” and you need a plan to help people “come and see.” Church is all about bringing people closer and closer to Christ."

How many times in the Gospels did Jesus lay out the cost of following Him in very stark terms at the outset...and let people walk away? Where is Warren getting this from? On one site (which I'd have to find and link to) Warren tries to use this to demonstrate that salvation can precede recognizing Christ as Lord by three years. What Warren is doing is justifying easy believe-ism. You don't "need a plan", all you have to do is preach about sin, the law, and the need for repentance! Of course, your numbers may go down if you have been "purpose driven". . .

-------- End of the list ---------

Now, I know that my responses here can be fuller. I'm not trying to give a comprehensive response to this. Besides, that isn't my point. Which brings me to the "zinger" that I told you I'd save for the end. We're coming to it.

Again, this is from a pastor who has been known to defend Warren "tooth and nail" according to another blogger. This is in spite of the fact that Rick Warren's ecumenical escapades are well documented. This is in spite of the fact that Rick Warren's position on Rupert Murdock (a high profile pornographer who attends Rick Warren's church) is well known. Murdoch apparently can sell as much filth as he wants and Warren doesn't see a problem with it. Click here for a list of articles about Rick Warren which are at this blog.

No, no. None of that matters to some because Rick Warren Said Some Things That Sound Good!

Wanna know the zinger? The list is a cut and paste job from a person's site. The person's site says this about the quotes I just responded to:

"Here are a few quotes (written on the fly, but I think they are pretty accurate) from when Rick spoke. "

Oh. Ok. I see. We have something here..."written on the fly", which someone "thinks" are "pretty accurate" from some talk Rick Warren gave. "Quotes on the fly". Nothing authoritative. Nothing known to be true. Maybe in the ballpark, maybe not. But we'll buy into it.

And someone wants me to take this as evidence that there is "something redeemable about Warren's theology"? Statements about still having your pants up after years in the ministry? Discounting discernment regarding the true gospel and the false ones?

After all the teaching on Purpose Driven from Bob DeWaay on this site, (which the person, to my knowledge, has never listened to, even after being challenged to do so) after all the clear reporting on this blog about what Warren has been teaching and doing, this is somehow supposed to speak for him?


Well, welcome to another chapter in the Zeitgeist Follies!

1 comment:

Jfranklin6 said...

10 million of the nicest, kindest and most hard working people I know are going to hell, they are mormons. But Christ said Many will say....

But I fully agree, no sermon will save a man. Only God will, and He will give that man the drive and determination to KNOW the Word. To cherish the Word. He will esteem the Word more than his daily food. We don't need to prop up dying men, we need to preach to them. The Holy Spirit will give them the need for discipleship.