Rick Warren and His Never Ending Fables…

June 15, 2012 at 11:26 AM 5 comments

I recently learned that Rick Warren “tweeted” the following statement on his Twitter account:

The well intentioned fad of finding the Cross in every verse is eisegesis.  Even Jesus didn’t do that!  Never force a theology.” [1]

Really, Mr. Warren?  The fact that Jesus is the Word and the Word of God clearly points to the plan of redemption as one of, if not the main tenet should be obvious.

However, what is even more ironic than whether or not every verse points to the cross is the fact that Mr. Warren uses the term “eisegesis,” yet has no problem doing what he warns others not to do.

Eisegesis is essentially the art of reading into Scripture to gain meaning from it as opposed to exegesis, which is reading “out of” Scripture the true meaning that God placed there.  With eisegesis, a person goes to Scripture with a preconceived notion and finds verses that confirm that notion.

Exegesis forces a person to go to the Bible with no previously conceived idea of what it says and simply looks for the actual intended meaning.  For the person who routinely uses exegesis – to pull out – with respect to biblical interpretation, they are on far safer ground than with eisegesis.

I was reading Jacob Prasch’s book, “Shadows of the Beast” and offered a review of that book on this blog not long ago.  It was an interesting read as I noted and one of the things that made it interesting was Prasch’s research, as well as his matter-of-fact writing style.

At one point in the book, he referenced Rick Warren and in fact, he referenced Warren numerous times throughout the book as an individual who can really only be classified as a false teacher because Prasch believes (and I would concur) that Warren teaches false doctrine.  Obviously, people disagree over that, but for me, the reality seems clear enough.

By way of introduction and with respect to the Emergent Church, Prasch states, “With the arrival of Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Leonard Sweet and other figures in the Emergent Church (McLaren and Warren jointly wrote forewords for Dan Kimball’s book The Emergent Church), we witness the spirit of antichrist making pseudo logos inroads into Evangelical churches.” [2; emphasis added]

Narrowing his focus down even further, Prasch aptly points out that “The main door into the Emergent Church, however, has been The Purpose Driven lie with its social gospel, interfaith spiritual pluralism, repentance-free gospel, and psychologized soothsaying that has replaced biblical exposition. [3; emphasis added]

Prasch also notes that “Based on the marketing psychology of the late Peter Drucker (a non-believer), Warren’s unbiblical ideas also have incipient roots in Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, and Bill Hybels’ “seeker sensitive” Willow Creek Church near Chicago.” [4; emphasis added]

Proving that Rick Warren’s ideas, in many ways, are thoroughly unbiblical, Prasch comments, “Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. plan needs no Christ. In Davos, Switzerland, Warren spoke of a future world of religious pluralism. Rick Warren is correct in that this is what the Book of Revelation calls “Babylon the Great,” the religious platform for the Antichrist for whom Rick Warren is helping pave the way under the inspiration of the spirit of antichrist.” [5]

Of course, the problem is that Rick Warren does not want people studying Eschatology (study of the End Times).  This, he believes, is not beneficial and simply causes division.  That’s his belief and he’s sticking to it.  Apparently, to Warren, evangelism is not big on God’s “to do” list because it is not even one of the words from Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. acronym.  Prasch rightly points out that the type of peace that Warren wants to bring to the world is a peace devoid real peace because it leaves true evangelism completely out of the picture.

Just as Satan knows, those who study Eschatology will in fact be obeying Christ and learning about the End Times in order to prepare for it, Warren also seems to know that Christians who are concerned about the physical and eventual return of Jesus will be more effective evangelists for Jesus.  They will be reminded of the fact that every day could be our last (whether you agree that the Rapture could happen soon or seven years from now, the studying Eschatology gives a person a right understanding about the brevity of life and the fact that each day may be our last due to physical death).  Beyond this, they will make logical decisions about how to prepare for coming hardships they may well face as Christians.

Prasch says as much when he points out, “It is little wonder that Rick Warren, contrary to the instructions of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24:42, tells his Purpose Driven followers to avoid end-times prophecy. Satan does not want the Church ready for what lies ahead, and neither does Rick Warren. Both Rick Warren and the Antichrist have a false peace plan because both are, in fact, driven by the spirit of antichrist.” [6]

Prasch also speaks of Warren’s penchant for finding a Bible translation that agrees with his own philosophies.  For that reason, Warren seems to have landed on “The Message” as his paraphrase (not even a word-for-word, or thought-for-thought translation) of choice.  Unfortunately, as Prasch points out, “The Message” is nothing more than a “redefining redaction.”

Don’t like the passages that deal with homosexuality?  No problem.  Just find a “Bible” that eliminates them or changes them in such a way so that they are no longer “offensive” to practicing homosexuals.

What about Rick Warren’s view of Eschatology?  We’ve already noted that Warren – like Satan – does not want authentic Christians to study anything about the End Times.  It’s divisive and non-essential.  Leave it alone.  Ignore it.  This is in spite of Jesus’ admonition to pay attention to what He says about the End Times (cf. Matthew 24).

Warren however, goes even further in his attempt to prove his own agenda from Scripture.  He actually blends two sections of Scripture as if they are one in the original!

Prasch explains it well.  Prasch shows where Warren has quoted a section of Scripture that appears to say one thing:

When they asked Jesus about the time of His coming and the end of the age He said, ‘It’s not for you to know the times and seasons the Father has fixed by His own authority, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes and be My witnesses.”

Is that what it says? They did not ask Jesus about the sign of His coming at the end of the age, they asked Him about the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel. What did Rick Warren do here? Highlight and delete, cut-and-paste. What Rick Warren has performed is “trans-location,” a re-arranging of biblical verses from chapter-to-chapter, text-to-text, and-book-to-book in order to make the text state whatever he wishes it to in order to promote his own unbiblical and contra-biblical agenda. All this with no regard for what God has actually stated in His Word! Rick Warren trans-locates verses from one passage, chapter, and book to another in order to make it appear that Jesus said and taught the diametric opposite of what Jesus actually said!” [8; emphasis in original]

Rick Warren essentially took the text from Acts 1:6, copied and pasted it in right at the end of Matthew 24:3 to make it appear that Jesus was simply cutting of His disciples mid-question and then moving onto something else entirely.  He winds up giving “a different answer to a different question! He literally shifts verses around![9]

This is classic when it comes to eisegesis and Rick Warren has no shame here.  The worst part of this is that there are so many pastors in the United States and throughout the world who rely on Rick Warren to “feed” them and they in turn, simply regurgitate what Warren tells them to their own congregations.

It is sadly hilarious that Rick Warren can deign to make a “tweet” as he did regarding the concept of eisegesis when it is patently clear that this is what he majors in doing himself.

Whether Rick Warren is aware of his propensity toward being a wolf in sheep’s clothing is not the point here.  He clearly and intentionally attempts to make the Bible say one thing in order to support his own peculiar agenda.  That agenda is one that is being adopted by too many people today because rather than do their own research (as the Bereans of Acts 17 did with the apostle Paul), they prefer to simply take what people like Rick Warren teach as gospel.

Obviously, Rick Warren will come under the greater condemnation because he is a teacher.  However, all who listen to him without going back to Scripture to determine truthfulness will also be held accountable.

Look, no one in today’s world can live a perfectly holy life.  No one can live their life free from sin.  No one – in this life – will ever achieve perfect understanding where the Bible is concerned.  It is clear though that when people deliberately do what Rick Warren does, they are obviously not even interested in trying to determine what God has said.  They are far more interested in what they have to say.  It is because of that, they wind up maligning Scripture because of the way they handle it.

Is it ironic that Rick Warren calls people out for what he believes to be “eisegesis” on their part, all the while completely ignoring the fact that this is what his entire ministry is built around.  Then again, this is decidedly why there is so much hypocrisy within much of the visible Church.  It is due to people like Rick Warren and many others who use the Bible for their own selfish gain.

[1] http://standupforthetruth.com/2012/06/rick-warrens-unsettling-tweet/

[2] Prasch, James Jacob (2011-05-27). Shadows of the Beast (Kindle Locations 979-981). Moriel Ministries. Kindle Edition.

[3] Prasch, James Jacob (2011-05-27). Shadows of the Beast (Kindle Locations 1041-1042). Moriel Ministries. Kindle Edition.

[4] Prasch, James Jacob (2011-05-27). Shadows of the Beast (Kindle Locations 1053-1055). Moriel Ministries. Kindle Edition.

[5] Prasch, James Jacob (2011-05-27). Shadows of the Beast (Kindle Locations 1153-1155). Moriel Ministries. Kindle Edition.

[6] Prasch, James Jacob (2011-05-27). Shadows of the Beast (Kindle Locations 1177-1179). Moriel Ministries. Kindle Edition.

[7] Prasch, James Jacob (2011-05-27). Shadows of the Beast (Kindle Location 1521). Moriel Ministries. Kindle Edition.

[8] Prasch, James Jacob (2011-05-27). Shadows of the Beast (Kindle Locations 1680-1683). Moriel Ministries. Kindle Edition and Prasch, James Jacob (2011-05-27). Shadows of the Beast (Kindle Locations 1672-1680). Moriel Ministries. Kindle Edition.

[9] Prasch, James Jacob (2011-05-27). Shadows of the Beast (Kindle Location 1686). Moriel Ministries. Kindle Edition.

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5 Comments

  • 1. More on The Purpose Driven Lie | Amos 3:7  |  June 27, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    [...] Rick Warren and His Never Ending Fables… « Study – Grow – Know [...]

  • 2. Simon  |  June 16, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Did Karl Bath, arguably the greatest theologian of the 20th Century, founder of ‘neo-Orthodoxy’, hold that Jesus was the Word (as you rightly point out in detail). He said that as such, all of the OT pointed forwarded to Jesus, and everything in the NT pointed back to Jesus.

    Pretty much agreed with what you also said about evangelism, eschatology and Satan. Don’t most modern Prosperity Gospel Churches try not to discuss these issues these days – not popular. Instead, they try to dress Christianity up as Oprah’s The Secret?

    • 3. modres  |  June 16, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      Hey Simon,

      You could be right about Barth. I’m not sure. I have several books but that quote escapes me. It makes sense though.

      Yeah, it’s a shame that much of what is in the visible Church today is little more than a redressed version of “The Secret” or something similar.

      Hope everything is going well at your end of the world.

      • 4. Simon  |  June 16, 2012 at 9:02 PM

        Thanks Fred. Yes, everything is fine here in Australia – we luckily have many minerals that China still wants. Everyone is holding their breath on Greece though, in case it becomes the next Lehman Brothers moment.

      • 5. modres  |  June 17, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        Glad to hear that, Simon.

        I must admit that economics is not my forte, but I realize that things are on the verge of going drastically wrong in several places in the world right now, including Greece.


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