The unofficial wanna-be Southern Baptist ambassador to the great apostate of the Tiber, Rick Warren, completed another Purpose Driven Church Conference last month.
While the adroit observer of the church, a la the “American” flavor of Christianity, won’t be surprised that the event was attended by participants from all 50 states, it may be saddening that the woefully undiscerning from 33 other countries also seeking knowledge from the chief priest of the idol of church growth bellied up to Saddleback. Was there, one wonders, a currency exchange booth in the Saddleback foyer?
The Christian Post reports that 70 percent of attendees at this latest conference were not in attendance at the original event a decade ago. Maybe those who skipped this latest conference were not, as Peter writes, like the dog who “returns to its own vomit.” (2 Peter 2:22) On the one hand, we can hope that means many of the unreturning turned instead to something far more Biblical than “purpose” and intentionally avoided worshipping at the feet of this false teaching mega-priest. Perhaps they discovered Scripture compels us to obedience, not an unbridled, un-discerning, world-enriched passion for purpose.
On the other hand, we can recognize that Christ’s words are being fulfilled before our very eyes.
And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. Matthew 24:11
Some of those “many” converged on Saddleback June 28-30 to hear bishop Rick bellow forth the decidedly worldly methodologies that have propelled him to the position of high priest of the temple of the insufficiency of Scripture. But, he’s just trying to help pastors.
“Then, the other day, God said, ‘I don’t want you to just pray for these guys. I want you to share with them all the lessons in ministry that I taught you the hard way. It will save them a lot of time and pain.” Rick Warren (Source)
Christ warned us, you know, about the importance of saving time and avoiding pain … right?
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake” Matthew 24:9
Oh, wait … wrong verse. Well, never mind. Rick just wants to help other pastors become mega-pastors, too. And, according to Rick, Rick is just the guy to do it.
“I will be doing all the teaching – downloading 36 years of learnings from Saddleback. In that time we’ve baptized more new believers (43,108), put more people into small group Bible study (over 38,000 meet weekly in 8,420 small groups), and sent out more members on mission (26,846 members have served in 196 countries) than any American church.” Rick Warren (Source)
If humility is grounds for tribulation from a persecuting world, this sounds more like the self-indulgent, self-extolling pleasures of a Carnival cruise.
It was, apparently, no small miracle that Warren was able to pull the cash-ference … err, I mean, conference … off in the first place. According to him, God was not exactly using His attribute of foreknowledge to appropriately provide Rick with ample time to plan.
“I know this invitation doesn’t give you a lot of time, but God didn’t tell me to do it until a few days ago. I’m just being obedient.” Rick Warren (Source)
Yeah. Rick Warren blamed God for poor planning.
If you happened to have missed the conference – while you should thank God for your obvious use of discernment – Rick still wants to help you.
For $199, you can purchase the “PDC16 Online Pass” for access “on-demand to all of Pastor Rick Warren’s” teaching. Rick wants to help, you see. God told him to help, you see. That divinely revealed command, though, will cost you 200 bucks. Umm … no.
One thing that isn’t clear is whether the online access includes only priest Rick’s seminar sessions, or if they also include the “worship” portions of the cash-ference
According to the Saddleback Worship blog, the set list of “worship” tunes for the event reflect exactly what one expects from the discernment-free likes of Warren. The play list was replete with Bethel Music, Hillsong United, and Jesus Culture. (For more on the dangers of such music, see HERE.)
Rick Warren continues to give discerning believers ample evidence of his pursuit of passions driven by a wide path, worldly approach to church growth rather than one driven by obedience to Scripture. You can skip that whole “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18) affirmation from Christ; Rick will show you how to do it better, saving time and avoiding pain.
From his anti-biblical claims to extra-biblical revelation, to his unbridled and undiscerning outreach to the known apostasy of Rome, to his teaching of heresies like contemplative prayer, and, now, with embracing the music of known heretical “churches,” Warren has proven he cares nothing for orthodoxy. (For more on the problems with Warren, see HERE.)
Warren may define his unbridled pursuit of purpose-driven ecumenism and church growth as guided by the revelation of God, but discerning believers will recognize that it isn’t God who prompts people “not to endure sound teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:3) It’s the false teacher who does that. And we know who’s in charge of them.
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.[Contributed by Bud Ahlheim]