The Pen

Saddle Up! Rick Warren and the SBC's spiritually hazardous line-up.

By now, it’s no doubt that Rick Warren has not let the criticism from fellow believers, advice from his colleagues, or even the Word of God stand in his way of promoting questionable practices, ideas and beliefs in his ministry at Saddleback Church. In the past, he has promoted (and currently still does promote) unbelievers like Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Swedenborg cult follower, Dr. Daniel Amen, a teacher of tantric sex (a mystical approach to a perverted form of sex), and Dr. Mark Hyman, a propagator of Buddhist meditation techniques. Despite the outpouring from the discerning evangelical community decrying Warren’s associations as unbiblical, he pressed on with his docket as though he was deaf to all reasoning.It doesn’t look like it will be any different in 2015. His calendar includes a laundry list of questionable teachers in which events and Bible studies will be based. Among the inventory of evil-doers is false teacher, Kenneth Boa, an advocate for the unbiblical practice of contemplative prayer, and new age practice of lectio divina, or divine reading. Boa says in his Introduction to Sacred Reading:

Most contemporary approaches to Bible study have more in common with the scholastics than with the monastics. …they are more concerned with informational reading than with formational reading. … But when evangelicals study Scripture, they typically look more for precepts and principles than for an encounter with God in the depths of their being. The practice of lectio divina can correct this lack of balance…

This “lectio divina” that he promotes is nothing more than Eastern Mysticism, that engages one in an altered state of mind, and the participants have a mystical experience of “finding God within themselves.” This notion of God “within us” is a form of New Age thought known as panentheism. Panentheism, similar to pantheism, is an extremely heretical view of God that makes him out to be on the same spiritual level as man. But the Bible presents God as being present everywhere (omnipresent), but not in everything (Psalm 139:7-10), all knowing, and never learning (omniscient) (Job 28:24; Psalm 147:4-5), being all powerful (omnipotent) (Job 42:1-2), self-existent, as opposed to a created being like man (Exodus 3:14; Psalm 36:9), eternal, without beginning and without end (Psalm 90:2; Habakkuk 1:12), changless and unmoving (Psalm 33:11; James 1:17), perfect and pure (Deuteronomy 32:3-4), and infinite, immeasurable and everlasting (Job 5:9; 9:10).

I can’t imagine why someone calling themselves a pastor, and a shepherd to God’s people would allow such nonsense within the doors of their sanctuary. But it doesn’t stop there. Sadly, Saddleback church, in the name of ecumenism, has now picked up the Catholic practice of the “Stations of the Cross.” The “Stations of the Cross,” or Via Dolorosa, is a catholic tradition of visually walking through the final hours of Jesus’ life on the way to the cross. The ritual is a way of eliciting emotions from the faithful based on a visual representation and imagery that is either unverifiable in Scripture, or contradictory to it. This Catholic form of mysticism is thoroughly subjective and experiential. It claims, in contradiction to Scripture (Isaiah 1:18, Proverbs 4:7, 2 Peter 1:3, etc.) that God can’t be known or understood through intellectual reasoning, and one needs to “experience” him through subjective ritualistic techniques. Though some of the more far-fetched of the traditional stations have been removed or cut-back, the idea is still the same.

As if this weren’t enough to make you cringe, the women will be holding a 12 week Bible study onThe Message, which purports to be a paraphrased translation of the Bible in contemporary language. During an interview with Michael Cusick of Mars Hill Review, some of the startling statements made by Peterson were: “One of the Devil’s finest pieces of work is getting people to spend three nights a week in Bible studies,” “But most Christians know far more of the Bible than they’re living. They should be studying it less, not more. You just need enough to pay attention to God,” and ” I’m just not at all pleased with all the emphasis on Bible study as if it’s some kind of special thing that Christians do, and the more they do the better.” I wish I could make this stuff up, but please see the source for yourself. Yet, Saddleback Church has invited this man’s demonic influence right into the innocent hearts of his women’s congregations.
the book of Psalms by none other than Eugene Peterson. Peterson is the author of the highly controversial book,

But of course there’s more. There’s the usual heretics, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, etc. Where is the discernment at Saddleback? We already know who Rick Warren is, and what he stands for, but out of the multiple thousands upon thousands of members in this organization are there really no real men to stand up and say, “Hey, wait a minute, something isn’t right here?” Why are more leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention not standing up and speaking out against these heresies? Is it because they are too busy peddling their own heresy for profit? Too busy cozying up with the pope of the largest demonic organization in the world? Too busy preaching false doctrines for monetary gain and promoting mysticism from the pulpit? Too busy pushing communist racial reconciliation agendas instead of focusing on sound doctrine and leading people to Christ? These mega-churches and mega-pastors are a mess… a huge mess, and our Southern Baptist leaders are no better. In fact, they’re horrible. They are totally unaccountable, they hide from any criticism, and they team together to defend each other. I don’t really care if this upsets anyone, because I am sick of it. It’s time to clean house in the SBC. We need leaders who will stand up for sound biblical doctrine, preach the Word of God, and hold accountable the false teachers within the organization that won’t. Let’s take out the trash.