This past Monday, October 23rd, 2016 false teacher, Rick Warren started promoting what he calls the “personalize-it method” of Bible meditation. In other words, this could be summed up as the “Narcissistic method” of Bible interpretation. At Rick Warren’s Daily Hope website under the devotional section Rick Warren explains:
“Put your name in the text, and you’ll strengthen your faith and encourage yourself.”
Is this biblical? Should we be substituting our names in place of pronouns or nouns that we already find in the Bible? The short answer is —NO! In the Word of God, we find nowhere the instructions to do what Rick Warren is telling us to do. One can search the Scriptures endlessly and will come up empty-handed, never finding this concoction that Warren is promoting. Then what is the Bible about, if it’s not about us? The Bible is about Christ from the first to page in Genesis to the last page of the book of Revelation. The Bible is not about us or our story; rather it is about what Christ did for us on the Cross. It is about our sin debt being canceled at the Cross as stated in Colossians 2:14. The end goal being the glorification of the Father, for sinners to be made righteous by Christ’s atonement. Which is then brought forth in the culmination of Christ’s righteousness imputed to us so that we are made clean before a holy and righteous God.
While we should, by all means, practice methods of strengthening our faith through the reading of Scripture, prayer, and fellowship with the brethren; inserting our names into God’s Word is not one of these ways. Rick Warren is walking a very dangerous line with his “personalize-it” method of Bible meditation where the outcome could radically change the meaning of those “personalized” verses. We are told throughout Scripture not to make alterations to the Word. The personalization of Scripture would also fall under this category. If we are willing to accept changing the Word of God by personalizing it with our names, what other changes are we prepared to allow? This seemingly simple and innocent tactic of altering the Scriptures opens the door to possibly larger heretical alterations in teaching and theology.
While Rick Warren may be trying to make the Scriptures more personal, God’s inherent Word does not need any help from this false teacher or any man for that matter. God’s Word is already personal enough and has been for over 2000 years. All one must do is read it. If one needs to make the Word of God more personal than it already is, it could be because that person lacks a personal relationship with the personal Savior — Jesus Christ.