- 1 Rick Warren False Prophet
- 1.1 Basic Background
- 1.2 Rick Warren’s “original thought”
- 1.3 Rick Warren’s book, “Purpose Driven Life“
- 1.4 Warren’s flawed Low View of Scripture
- 1.5 Warren’s Erroneous Method of Bible Interpretation
- 1.6 Warren’s “other Gospel”
- 1.7 Warren doesn’t understand man’s sinfulness
- 1.8 Warren is a Universalist (His Soteriology)
- 1.9 Errors on Various Subjects
Rick Warren False Prophet
Rick Warren False Prophet
By David Cox
Rick Warren is one of the Sirens of our era. (Note: A siren is what sailors of old thought were beautiful women or meremaids that would sit on the rocks in times of sea fog calling for the men to come to them. When they did, the ships ran upon the rocks to their own ruin.)
“I’m looking for a second reformation. The first reformation of the church 500 years ago was about beliefs. This one is going to be about behavior. The first one was about creeds. This one is going to be about deeds. It is not going to be about what does the church believe, but about what is the church doing. I am working toward a second Reformation of the church which could create a Third Great Awakening in our nation or world.” Source
What Warren wants is to lead a revolution within Christianity against that very Christianity. He rebells against the standard concepts and doctrines and practices that the Bible teaches us.
Rick Warren is pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest California.
Rick Warren’s “original thought”
Rick Warren is a pastor that restructured his church. According to his own accounts, he thought “church” was being done wrongly, so he revamped everything by taking surveys of the unsaved people in the area where he was, and he remade his church on that basis. The problem with this is that any minister of God is only a messenger, not a creator of the content. That being the case, every minister has an obligation to turn to God via the Holy Scriptures to find out how to do his ministry, and to go to the world is just wrong morally. Moreover, the world turns to the church when their own ways of doing things just doesn’t work out. Therefore that makes no sense to use the world’s failed way of doing things to structure “church”.
Warren’s problem is further wrong because God does not help man until man first confronts his own sin with acknowledgement (through confession of sin to God), and repentance (abandonment of sin and seeking to do righteousness).
Rick Warren’s popularity continues to grow. But from the beginning this was a grave error in his concept.
Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Many false prophets fall prey to the error of thinking that worldly popularity is the hand of God’s blessing. It is not. A true man of God is a person who risks the scorn and derision of the world in order please God, his true master.
Rick Warren’s book, “Purpose Driven Life“
In regard to his PDL book John MacArthur noted “some significant points where the thrust of the book is [at] odds with the message of Scripture. He pointed out, for example, that the true gospel is a call to self-denial, not self-fulfillment. The gospel is a message about redemption,not about life’s purpose. The gospel according to Scripture deals with God’s law, His grace, human depravity, redemption from sin, justification, sanctification, holiness, the nature of saving faith, and the lordship of Christ. And the true gospel’s most essential features are the cross of Christ and the truth of the resurrection. None of those subjects is dealt with adequately or biblically in The Purpose-Driven Life.”–Grace To You Statement
A Christian already has his main message defined (his gospel), and that is man is sinful, and Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Warren redefines this gospel to be purpose.
In “The Purpose Driven Church”, Warren said, “As I shared in chapter 1, I began Saddleback by going door-to-door for twelve weeks and surveying the unchurched in my area. Six years earlier I had read Robert Schuller’s book “your Church Has Real Possibilities”, which told how he had gone door-to-door in 1955 and asked hundreds of people, “Why don’t you go to church?” and “What do you want in a church?” I thought this was a great idea…” (p. 190)…
Warren changed a great deal as he progressed from a preacher who wanted to “build a church for people who hate church” to worldwide religious leader. He spoke with Reader’s Digest—whose parent company recently launched his new magazine, Purpose Driven Connection—twice in recent months.
I pulled off the highway, and we walked into this real estate office and met an agent named Don Dale….We were driving to the condo with him and I said, “Hey, Don, do you go to church anywhere?” He said, “No, no. I hate church.” I said, “Great. You’re my first member.” We started with my family and his family. Our first service was on Easter Sunday in 1980, with 200 people. For Easter in 2008, we had 14 services back-to-back, with 45,000 people. Don is still a member here. (source)
The idea of “church” is a group of truly saved people, obeying God by doing what God commands them to do. This idea of “church” is a community that comes together basically every week (Sunday) to worship God and to do God’s work (evangelism of the lost in that community and around the world, prayer for needs, and edification of those people, equipping them for life and for their part in God’s work).
Warren’s idea of “church” is to get unsaved people into a community, his community, his “church” doing specifically what pleases them. He seeks for people who “hate” church (the traditional concept I would assume). This is unbiblical and against the very concept of what “church” is. Church has to be defined as a group of redeemed people wanting to enter into an obedient life. God has defined church and what and how we are supposed to “do church”. If a community called a church is built on the theme of hating traditional church (like Scripture teaches us that church is to be), then Warren has a church filled with God haters, with people who hate the true redeemed of God, and hate everything we should love, and loves everything we should hate. Why doesn’t Warren just break from anything “Christian” while he is at it, and just call his group a voodou group or a coven, and call himself a witch doctor? He bastardizes Christianity by still calling himself a pastor, his group a church, and trying to drap Christ and Christianity around that disaster he is promoting.
It is totally okay for us to invite the unsaved into our “community” (church), but always the rule is, they come to learn and convert to Christ and obey God’s commandments with us, not to impose their unscriptural ideas and desires (pleasures) on our church.
Warren’s flawed Low View of Scripture
From the above note, Warren has a flawed concept of spiritual authority, that being that popularity has more authority and warrant than does Holy Scripture. From there you need go no further investigating Warren, but just conclude that nothing good will come from such a position. His discernment is totally wacky, and he should be in basic doctrinal course, he himself BEING TAUGHT the first foundations of Christianity instead of him teaching or leading anything.
“I do accept the Bible as a standard of authority and I judge my experience by it not vice versa.” (source)
According to Warren’s thinking, there are other authorities equal to or above Scripture that Warren uses in his teachings to change people’s minds. This low view of Scripture is very disturbing in itself. He relegates Holy Scripture to being just “a” standard (among many in his mind).
In a PBS interview with Charlie Rose, he says, “You don’t have to change your beliefs for us to work with you. I don’t insist that a Muslim change his belief for me to work on poverty. I don’t even insist that a gay person has to change their beliefs.” (source)
True to form for a minister of Satan that seeks to destroy God’s authority, Warren uses the paraphrase version “The Message” from Eugene Peterson.
Warren’s Erroneous Method of Bible Interpretation
Warren wrote his masterpiece of evil, the Purpose Driven Life, and in it, he deams that we must all take on the purposes which he espouses to truly straighten out our lives. He claims that Isaiah and Job had no purpose in their lives as the Bible presents things. In this he compares them to a certain Dr. Bernie Siegel, a New Age teacher, and says that Dr. Seigel understand hope and purpose, and he lives correctly in contradiction.
Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope. In the Bible, many different people expressed this hopelessness. Isaiah complained, “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.” Job said, “My life drags by – day after hopeless day” and “I give up; I am tired of living. Leave me alone. My life makes no sense.” The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose.
Hope is as essential to your life as air and water. You need hope to cope. Dr. Bernie Siegel found he could predict which of his cancer patients would go into remission by asking, “Do you want to live to be one hundred?” Those with a deep sense of life purpose answered yes and were the ones most likely to survive. Hope comes from having a purpose.” [The Purpose Driven Life, p.30-31.]
The entire book of Ecclesiastes shows us how hopeless life is, and how vain or futile it is as men normally live. Life only finds hope and value when Jesus becomes the center of everything in a person’s life.
Warren Smith in Deceived on Purpose insightfully writes: “Rick Warren could have wonderfully introduced hope and purpose through the godly lives of Isaiah and Job, but he chose to use them as examples of men who were without hope, purpose, or God in their lives. Instead, he used a New Age leader (Dr. Siegel) to preface his remarks about having a true hope that comes from having a ‘deep sense of purpose.’” [Deceived on Purpose, p.51.]
Warren’s “other Gospel”
One of the key elements of the New Testament is how all of the Christians and disciples of Christ, especially the apostles and leaders of the NT churches had the gospel of the NT. A “gospel” is something that is primordal, or in other words, it is the thing that a person always has in mind. He wants to communicate that to others in the events of life, and they always return to that. It is the most important thing ever for them. For these brave men and women of the New Testament, they testified constantly of this gospel even when it cost them life and livelihood. Nothing could detour them from announcing this gospel as the most important thing in their lives.
Warren has taken on the need of the poor as his gospel. This is another gospel, a social gospel.
Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
What true salvation boils down to is that we are not ashamed of our Savior, nor what he did on the cross to save us, which is our gospel.
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
2Tim 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 2Tim 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2Tim 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
God wants us to stick to the original gospel of the NT, and not to turn to things that satisfy “itching ears” always wanting to hear new things.
Warren doesn’t understand man’s sinfulness
One of the key points in biblical doctrine is to accept God’s statement that we (mankind) are all sinners before God’s eyes. That sinfulness separates us from fellowship with God, and only by coming to Jesus Christ in faith, can we be saved, and that breech that separates us from God can be done away with, and we can again have blessed communion with God.
Man’s sinfulness is a key condition to being saving. We must accept that we have no merit before God with which we can approach God. It is only through Jesus Christ and his purity of life, righteousness, and work on the cross that we can access heaven and have fellowship with God.
“But going back to this thing about heaven and getting into a perfect place. Let’s say we got a scale of 1 to 100. Let’s put Hitler at zero and Mother Teresa at 100 OK. And Steve you’re at 85 and Larry’s at 65 and I’m at 45.The truth is, some people are better than others, there’s no doubt about it. Some people are more moral than others, they’re nicer, they’re less selfish, less self-centered, things like that. But the truth is, nobody makes [it] to perfection… And so somebody’s got to make up that difference. And that’s the gift I believe Jesus came to – to make up the difference between my zero and my 100 or my 45 and 100 — somebody’s got to make up that difference. ” (source)
Warren’s idea here is simply unbiblical in the extreme. It neither accepts the fact that all our righteousness is as filthy rags, nor that our justification comes only and explicitly through Jesus’ righteousness, and by nothing else. Rom 3:10,12; Eph 2:1-3; Rom 4:4-5
Warren is a Universalist (His Soteriology)
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Matt 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
2Thess 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
There is a great narrowness in the Bible’s perception of salvation. Those that enter at that narrow gate will go to heaven, but the stress is on understanding that all roads do not lead all people to enter into heaven. That is the lie of Satan. To be saved, one has to love the truth or else not reach heaven. This love of truth is exclusive. The various conflicting and contradictory religious systems are not all right. There is only one truth, and you must find that “way” or “gate” or be left out of salvation and heaven.
Rick Warren says
“I happen to know people who are followers of Christ in other religions.” —Rick Warren, Aspen Ideas Festival, The Aspen Institute, July 6, 2005, “Discussion: Religion and Leadership,” with David Gergen and Rick Warren
“…You may be Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist or Baptist or Muslim or Mormon or Jewish or Jain, or you have no religion at all. I’m not interested in your religious background. Because God did not create the universe for us to have religion. He came for us to have a relationship with him.” —Rick Warren, United Nations, Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, September 2005
Warren says those of other faiths together with “Christians” “serve the same Lord“. Source: Christianity Today as quoted by Lighthouse Trails Research
The idea of all people in any religious faith will all get to heaven is directly at odds with God’s declaration of the narrow and only road of the cross, and our burden to reach the world with the true gospel.
“And the second question is gonna be the question of, “What did you do with what I gave you? The talent, the ability, the resources, the network, the opportunities, the health, the freedom?” And we are going to be evaluated and judged NOT on our relationship to other people, in terms of, ‘well he did better and he did worse,’ but what did you do with what you were given.So, a retarded person, who does not have mental capabilities will be judged on a totally different scale. In fact the Bible says that people who don’t even have the ability to acknowledge God or to accept Christ, that they’re safe. They are safe. That’s why I believe babies automatically go to Heaven. Every baby does go to Heaven. “~ Rick Warren
So according to Warren, our salvation is not faith in the work of Jesus on the cross but rather what we do as far as our own good works. What we do with what God has given us. This is totally unbiblical and stands in stark contrast with Scripture.
Warren also said:
“And I think that one day, everyone of us is gonna stand before God and he’s not gonna say, “What religion were you? Were you Jewish? Were you Christian? Were you Buddhist? Baptist?” I don’t think he’s gonna say, “What church did you go to?” I think he’s gonna say first thing, first, “What did you do with my son who I sent to earth? Did you ever really get to know him? Did you even check him out? Did you trial test faith in him?” You know, “What did you do?” It’s about a relationship not a religion.” – Warren in his beliefnet interview
“…You may be Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist or Baptist or Muslim or Mormon or Jewish or Jain, or you have no religion at all. I’m not interested in your religious background. Because God did not create the universe for us to have religion. He came for us to have a relationship with him.” —Rick Warren United Nations, Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, September 2005 (beliefnet interview)
Part of the New World Order that Satan will set up in the Tribulation is that salvation is not a matter to worry about. Everybody is saved no matter what religion they have (or lack of religion). Therefore since all “paths” lead to heaven, doctrine is not important.
On page 34 of his PDL book, Warren says, “God won’t ask about your religious background or doctrinal views. The only thing that will matter is, did you accept what Jesus did for you and did you learn to love and trust him?” (source)
Errors on Various Subjects
Warren works alongside of any kind of person which is opposite of the Christian, of the Christian norms. Warren’s perception of different religions is that they are all linked together in one at a mystical level. This is the New Age way of thinking of things. Whereas Paul could condemn other pagan religions for their lack of the true gospel of God, Warren cannot see this, and embraces any and all pagan religions.
Warren mocks Fundamentalism and has said,“There aren’t that many Fundamentalists left in America.”[From Pew Forum, May 23, 2005, “Myths of the Modern Mega Church,” an interview with Rick Warren, accessed July 1, 2008] Although Warren may interpret God’s blessing in terms of numbers, God never does. (Source)
“You’ve got to protect the unity of your church. If that means getting rid of troublemakers, do it.”
“As pastors, as shepherds of God’s people, it’s our job to protect our congregations from Satan’s greatest weapon – disunity,” he writes. “It’s not always easy, but it’s what we’ve been called to do.” (Source)
There can be no unity if it doesn’t start with doctrinal unity. The differences in doctrines IS THE PROBLEM, but the answer is not for us to give up our doctrines, but that the other people accept Jesus as their Savior and come under the sovereignty and domain of God. When we all believe the Bible, then there is unity. Differences are important to keep dangerous people away from God’s people, so that there is no fellowship with darkness and evil which destroys all who enter there.
F.B. Meyer said it well, “It is often argued that we should stay in the midst of churches and bodies whose sins and follies we deplore, in the hope of saving them for God and mankind. Such reasoning has a good deal of force in the first stages of decline. A strong protest may arrest error and stop the gangrene. But as time advances, and the whole body becomes diseased; when the protests have been disregarded, and the arguments trampled underfoot; when the majority have clearly taken up their position against the ‘truth’ we have no alternative but to come out and be separate. The place from which we can exert the strongest influence for good is not from within, but from without.” (Source)
Endorsement of False Prophets
Warren has endorsed many false prophets, such as Robert Schuller (speaking at Schuller’s Institute for Successful Church Leadership in 1997). He was accompanied at this time with Bill Hybels, and 80+ gay and lesbian pastors.
We would expect that a “man of God” like Rick Warren would have great discernment, and that his direction, understanding, and moral strength against evil would lead many in times of hardship and the evil day. But as rotten as Rick Warren is on theology and as wrong as he misunderstands Scripture, likewise is his perception of world events.
In 2006, Warren visited the terrorist state, Syria, and gave aid and comfort to this foreign enemy of freedom and the Gospel of Christ. During his visit, Rick made no mention of “Syria’s one-party police state, its political prisoners, its chambers of torture, its support for Hezbollah terrorism in Lebanon, and its continued devotion to the destruction of Israel.” [Joseph Farah, World Net Daily, accessed July 3, 2008] His visit turned into a propaganda bonanza for the Syrian tyrants. Joseph Farah of World Net Daily exposed Warren’s misguided visit by writing:
“But now that Rick Warren has traveled to and provided legitimacy to a hostile foreign government, presided over by a brutal fascist dictator who hates Jews, threatens Israel, subverts neighboring Lebanon, imprisons and terrorizes its own citizens and even kills them in massive numbers when they stand up in revolt – now I have to denounce this impostor in the strongest terms possible.” [Joseph Farah, World Net Daily, accessed July 3, 2008] (source)
Truly, Warren has lost any concept of right and wrong, and follows full force down evil and wrong paths. His ecumenical spirit of working with anyone, has ruined him completely.
2Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
While mega-pastor Rick Warren has joined a group of 100 church leaders calling for interfaith dialogue and the building of “common ground” with Muslims, he has a slightly different outlook toward Christians with whom he disagrees.In his latest missive to fellow pastors, he writes: “You’ve got to protect the unity of your church. If that means getting rid of troublemakers, do it.” (source)
The problem with his thinking is that he has started off with Scripture, supposedly being saved, and then being called into the ministry (all concepts in Scripture), then he has trashed Scripture and everything it says, taking opposite (antichrist) positions from Scripture. In the end, he stands shoulder to shoulder with Muslims, Catholics, New Agers, etc. but doesn’t stand shoulder to Bible believing true Christians. What a contraction in thought.
Homosexuality and Lesbianism
Rick Warren refuses to come out clearly and state that homosexuality is a sin that one needs to disavow before they can be saved. Warren invites homosexuals, and worse homosexual spokesmen and leaders, homosexual pastors into his church as though they are great men and women of God, giving them the nod of approval.