Rick Warren is Perplexing

March 1, 2011 at 11:45 AM 1 comment

…for many people.  The reality seems to be that on many levels, Rick Warren denies basic, orthodox doctrines within the gospel.  These doctrines are sacrosanct and are not either debatable, or something to be compromised.

Unfortunately, it most certainly appears as though this is what Rick Warren and other people like him seem to be doing.  I was reading one blogger who, among other things, wrote:  “I think that many in some of these posts almost seem to forget that Piper and Warren are human beings, and more than that, our brothers in Christ. We should not wage war against them. Warren has tweeted before about his disappointment and bewilderment that the reformed people “hate” him. He also asked, “Why do those who love grace so much show so little of it?” [1]

I guess my question would be, “Why do those who state they love Jesus seem to want to denigrate who He is and what He accomplished for humanity?”  It appears that this is what Rick Warren does based on what he teaches.  We seem to forget – or at least some do – that the apostle Paul went head to head with people who tended to deny aspects of the gospel message.  He even mentioned those who had spent years with him, but had eventually given up and went back to the world.  In fact, if you read through 1, 2 Timothy, Titus, 1, 2 Thessalonians, and elsewhere, it is clear that Paul often dealt with troublesome individuals who wound up leading people astray.

Are we, as authentic believers, to sit back while we see or hear some leader within the Christian community preach what amounts to error?  Should we merely approach that individual with nothing but an overwhelming love and acceptance, in spite of the fact that their teaching does and is leading people away?

For instance, how is it possible that Rick Warren would not only invite Tony Blair, but give him an award?  Blair has a very liberal view of salvation, akin to those within the Emergent Church.  There, salvation is often declared to be based on a type of works system and in many cases, there is no real need for a person to even receive Jesus directly in order to receive salvation.

Why should grace be used as the tone in which this type of error is rebuked?  Is it fair to say that Jesus did not use grace when He fashioned a whip and chased the money changers out of the Temple area?  Of course He used grace!  Had He not used grace, those individuals would have been dead.  As it was, grace caused Him to react to those individuals as a father reacts to a recalcitrant child.  Jesus’ motives were still based on love.  It was the deep love He had for His heavenly Father that prompted that action and rebuke.

When it comes to salvation, if we say and believe that there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ, how can we continue to allow those who essentially deny that to continue without often harsh rebuke?  We are not rebuking them because we have nothing better to do, or because we simply become angry or legalistic and want to vent our spleen.  We rebuke because of the damage they are doing to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is as simple as that.

We can probably sum up every false religion and cult in one sentence.  In some form or another, all of them believe that salvation (however they define it) comes through a combination of works and belief, or simply all works.  That is it in a nutshell.  Every system that Satan has created to compete and even set aside the ability to find true salvation, is a system that has something to do with working in order to attain that salvation.  I cannot think of one system where works is not part of the picture.  Even for those who deny “once saved, always saved,” works is part of the picture.  While they say that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in God alone, they follow that up with, “but a person can lose that salvation is they are not careful.”  They are mitigating the all-importance and ability of God to save and to keep us saved and ultimately they are denigrating Jesus.

So if every system apart from authentic Christianity requires some form of works to either attain or maintain salvation, and if this is abjectly opposed to the truth of Scripture, should this untruth not be withstood and opposed with everything we have?  If we let it stand, are we not then as bad as those who preach the wrong gospel?  What is the result of this error?  The result is that people will not receive authentic salvation, but they will think they have done so!

Imagine the multitudes of people who leave this life, believing that they have something they do not have, only to discover that they were bamboozled by someone in this life who sold them a bill of goods.  When Paul says to the Galatians that “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!  As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:8-9), what does he mean?  He means that the problem of preaching a gospel that is not only not true, but it is not true because it is contrary to the truth of Scripture, is so bad, that the individual preaching that error should be accursed! He says it twice so that he is not misunderstood.  He even says that if HE (Paul) is found to be preaching error, HE should be accursed as well!

“But Paul,” we might say, “that doesn’t sound to gracious, does it?”  No, it doesn’t sound gracious, but it is gracious without doubt.  We are talking about souls hanging in the balance.  Anything that takes us away from Jesus Christ and the truth of His salvation is from hell.  Do we get that strongly enough?  If it is not truth, it is error.  If it is error, no matter how nice it may sound, it is from hell.

How can we possibly be gracious toward someone who is mouthing the lies of hell?  How can we pretend it is okay, or that we should put on our kid gloves when we hear someone teaching people something that actually moves them away from Jesus and toward hell?  How can we justify kindness in that sense?

I’m not saying that we need to physically attack the person.  I’m also not saying that we need to verbally assault the person.  What I am saying is that in no uncertain terms, it is our responsibility to let the person know that what they are teaching and perpetuating is leading people away from Jesus and directly into the pit of hell.

When Paul used the word “accursed,” it means anathema.  That word is a very strong word and literally means giving that person over to the destruction that is found in the eternity of hell.  In a sense, this is exactly what the person who is teaching the error is doing.  They are presenting an untruth that will – if left unchecked – cause the person(s) listening to end up in hell for all eternity.  Are we to take that lightly?  Are we to keep from involving ourselves because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, or worse, because we don’t want anyone to be angry with us?  This is absolute selfishness.  If we take that approach, the only thing we are concerned about is SELF.

It takes guts and it takes a deep love for God and people to stand up to error.  It is not popular and has its detractors.  It can be done with grace, but it should be done.  Error should be called error without equivocation.  We should not hem and haw regarding what someone is teaching.  If it is false, it should be noted as being false.

There are many things in this life that are not really worth debating.  In fact, there are many things within theology that are not worth debating.  At the same time, there are areas of doctrine and theology that are not only worth debating, but should be debated because of the simple fact that a person’s eternal destiny rides on whether or not what they are being taught is truth or error.

At best, Rick Warren sends out mixed signals with respect to salvation.  At every turn, he seems to want to promote himself and his agenda.  He seems hard-pressed to nail down when it comes to the meaning of salvation.  Because of that, he should be rebuked. publicly.  If he does not like it, or if he erroneously believes that people “hate him,” he needs to think again.  This not about Rick Warren.  It is about truth and from many angles, it simply does not appear that he is teaching truth.

If Rick Warren wants to stop people from complaining about what he teaches, then he needs to teach what is Scriptural truth, not some feel-good gobbledygook that teaches people God is already living in them and He merely wants the best for them in this life because ultimately, we are all merely extensions of God anyway.  Wrong.  Whether it’s Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, or some other religious luminary, the truth needs to be taught as it is presented in Scripture.  To set aside that truth is to placate self, and because the heart is so wicked (who can know it?), it behooves us – all of us – to ensure that we are presenting the gospel as it is revealed by Jesus Christ – His words, His deeds, His life, death, and resurrection.

Christ did not live, die, and rise again after living a perfect life so that people can continue to be part of their religious system of choice.  He did what He did so that people will see and understand that everything apart from Him is error and leads to destruction.

I’m sorry Rick Warren is feeling sorry for himself.  He needs to get on his knees, confess his sin, ask God to humble him and begin to walk humbly before God in absolute truth.  Only God can make that happen and He will only do it in and through those who want that to happen.

There is absolute truth today.  It is found only in Jesus Christ and the salvation that He has made possible.  It is found in no other “truth” that is not truth at all.  This is what people like Rick Warren are supposed to teach.  They are not supposed to tickle people’s ears, leaving them to continue walking toward destruction.  That is something that absolutely needs to be rebuked.

[1] http://adrianwarnock.com/2010/04/unity-in-diversity-warren-piper-and-new-word-alive/

Entry filed under: 9/11, alienology, Atheism and religion, Barack Hussein Obama, Barry Sotero, Communism, Demonic, dispensationalism, Eastern Mysticism, emergent church, Gun Control, Islam, Islamofascism, israel, Judaism, Life in America, new age movement, Posttribulational Rapture, Pretribulational Rapture, Radical Islam, rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism, second coming, Sharia Law, Socialism, temple mount, ufology. Tags: , , .

Mr. Obama: Master of the Mixed Signal Some More “Food for Thought!” from Dr. Fred

1 Comment

  • 1. RSPmouse  |  March 1, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Amen! Preach it Dr. Fred!

    Like


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