Saturday, May 31, 2008

On the fire-storm going on over Chris R and Bob DeWaay's visit

I have been informed of the growing fire-strom primarily on Chris Rosebrough's blog after he publicly thanked Rick Warren for hosting him and Pastor Bob DeWaay at Saddleback and listen to their concerns over the PD paradigm. It seems that Warren invited many of his critics (not me however), and offered to pay for and host them at his conference at Saddleback Church, and afterwards hearing their concerns. Ingrid Schlueter declines the invitation along with a couple of others, but Chris Rosebrough and Bob DeWaay attended it.

The fire-storm was generated when, because of Chris' somewhat glowing thanks for Warren's hospitality, a couple of people decided to warn him because they knew of Warren's deceitfulness; of his playing the game of the Hegelian dialetics. Richard Abanes decided to pour oil onto the volatile situation, plus the ever-so-helpful destructive CRN.(mis)info added rocket fuel to the mix. The result is one big explosion, no thanks to these foxes who ruined the Vineyard (SoS 2:15), leaving a mess for us to pick up.

Anyway, first of all, it must be admitted that there is nothing wrong with going to Saddleback and calling upon Rick Warren to repent. That some may have decided not to do it like Ingrid is perfectly fine. But that others choose to do so is perfectly fine too. And there is nothing wrong wih thanking Rick Warren for being hospitable for that matter either.

The problem comes about when others would prefer a hardline approach to Rick Warren, and because they know of Warren's methods, are very wary of his kindness. That of course is a legitimate fear, for it is very easy to be disarmed by people's kindness into deception, myself included. After all, none of us like conflict. (And if you do, please do us a favor and go see a psychiatrist, or better still repent of such an attitude). The issue of being charitable then is conflated with the issue of diabolical dialetical deception, and therein lies the knotty situation we find ourselves in.

To untangle this mess, we should first of all remember some principles:

1) There is nothing wrong with praising someone (anyone) for something he did do which was good or right

Rick Warren may be many things, but he is not the devil. Ditto Richard Abanes. We must always not be too over-sensitive, as if anything praising Rick Warren does is de facto wrong, or Richard Abanes for that matter.

2) That said, we must be careful of our speech and mindful of the sheep

In this, I think Chris Rosebrough was not sensitive of the situation nor mindful of what may happen. As Rom. 14:21 says, we are not to do anything which causes our brethren to stumble. Knowing that many Christians are hurt and scarred by the PD paradigm, and knowing that the process by which the PD paradigm is introduced into churches is through the unbiblical and highly subversive change-management Transitioning techniques, it is my opinion that Chris should have taken all of these into account when he posted that post of his. Yes, it is wrong to wrongly infer that praise for Rick Warren on anything means that one is mesmorizeed by Rick Warren, but knowing the presence of such sensitization, shouldn't we not take that into account instead of just posting whatever we feel like posting?

Now, of course, this does not mean that we should all just gag ourselves out of fear of offending weaker brethren, but we can post disclaimers and put a damper onto what seems otherwise to be just exuberant praise. For example, you can make a short note that you still think Rick Warren has severely compromised the Gospel, even denying it, or something along those lines. Although that may not satisfy everybody, it would do much to alleviate much of the storm that is going on, and would not stumble our weaker brethren who are still hurt and wounded by the PD paradigm.

Another thing which Chris fails to do is to rebuke Richard Abanes. It was obvious that Abanes was instigating much of the heated exchange and bringing out the worst in others. And that is one reason why my blog has rules, and I do enforce then and moderate the comments. Our goal should be to edify the flock and not to contribute to confusion and an increase in animosity, and most definitely contribute to stumbling the flock. It is my opinion that Chris contributed to the mess by not commenting as he should and instead let the whole discussion take on a life of its own.

3) We should not second-guess others' intentions or motives, unless they are made explicit

Chris has been under-fire for not planning to publicly release the interactive session he and Pastor Bob DeWaay have with Rick Warren. This is regrettable. While it is good to release it publicly, it is not a sign of compromise if Chris decides NOT to release it. To think just because of that that Chris has drank the PD kool-aid is to second-guess his intentions, which is wrong. Of course, Chris is not above blame also, for reasons which are stated in section 2. Instead of just giving reasons which are probably valid, it is always good to assure people that you are still against the PD paradigm (as I am sure he still is), instead of just giving a "Trust me" answer, or worse still, invoke Mt. 18! And frankly speaking, those who have been hurt by the betrayal of the church leadership due to the PD paradigm are most definitely not assured by such an approach. Does Chris not know this to be the case? Does he not know that such an action ("Trust me" approach) will stumble the sheep who have probably witnessed the same tactic used by their leaders who betrayed them? Ditto the Mt. 18 verses which are distorted by these very same folks, and of which the mere mention of them wil set up alarms in anyone who faces the gag command found not only in the PD paradigm, but also in a lot of movements like the New Apostolic Deformation Reformation for example.

So this is the concern over the fire-storm over at Chris's site, and hopefully this should help us to untangle the mess and move on. We should remember also that Rick Warren, and Richard Abanes is not our main enemy but the pawns of the enemy; Satan is. We are to love them and desire their repentance and salvation, not to condemn them to hell.

Another thing which was quite interesting was Pastor Bob DeWaay's comments on his meeting made on his May 25th Sunday School Discussion, in which Pastor Bob said that he found that Rick and him shared essentially the same beliefs. Having looked at the PD paradigm, it is rather more accurate to say that Pastor Bob DeWaay shares the same beliefs as Rick Warren's professed beliefs. For orthodoxy (correct belief) should lead one to orthopraxy (correct living), and therefore for Rick Warren to continue his waywardness while professing Christian beliefs shows that his profession is not actually what he believes, otherwise he wouldn't do what he has indeed done. I'm sure even I can find myself professing many of the same beliefs that Rick Warren professes, but what use is it to merely profess the faith, rather than truly believing it? This then should be our concern and thus I think it would be better for Pastor Bob DeWaay to make this clear also.

So therefore, it is my hope that this would contribute to peace-making within the Christian community over this issue. May we continue to stand firm in the faith, and tak care not to stumble each other needlessly, for the glory of God alone. Amen.

11 comments:

Richard Abanes said...

I have some questions for you to answer at .INFO. Please answer at your convenience.

joiful77 said...

Bob DeWaay has just released this statement regarding his views on Rick Warren and posted it on Phoenix Preacher. I thought you would want to see it. http://phoenixpreacher.com/cms/?p=3006 You will need to scroll to the bottom of the page.

PuritanReformed said...

Richard:

I will answer them later.

Joiful77:

thanks.

PuritanReformed said...

Add:

According to a commentor at Phoenix Preacher, this is Pastor Bob DeWaay's statement on this issue:

====
May 31, 2008

I wrote my book, Redefining Christianity, assuming that Rick Warren actually believes the Saddleback Church’s statement of faith, but that he refuses to preach it because he wants to be popular with the world and grow his movement. I still think that could still be true—I give him the benefit of the doubt.

At the Saddleback Church conference he was speaking of winning souls for Christ and talking about his father’s legacy of building churches and winning souls. More than likely he believes Baptist doctrine. But along the way he was derailed by reading the church growth theory of Donald McGavran. While in seminary I studied under a disciple of McGavran. McGavran’s book was required reading. His philosophy hinges on this idea: “people do not become Christian for theological reasons, but for sociological ones.”

Rick Warren believed McGavran and set out to study people to find out what makes them tick so he could get them into church — thus “Saddleback Sam.” Purpose Driven is a franchise system to multiply this idea into other churches. Warren tells pastors that they do not have to change any doctrine to join his movement. The reason for that is that doctrine becomes unimportant because it is no longer taught. I don’t think Rick Warren changed his Baptist doctrine either; he just doesn’t allow it to determine what he teaches and what he does. When we met that is what I challenged him about.

So I have not moved in my beliefs nor have I changed my position on any doctrines I have preached.

I will not allow myself to be pitted against any of Warren’s critics. I read Warren Smith’s book and spoke with him on the phone. He is a wonderful brother. The New Age implications are in Rick Warren’s movement and are helping lead toward a One World church. But because he has publicly made statements besides his statement of faith that he believes there is a literal hell and that people without Christ will go there, I don’t believe Rick Warren is a true New Age believer, and neither does Warren Smith. Warren Smith simply says there are New Age implications to what Rick Warren is doing, and I agree with him.

Tomorrow morning I will make a statement clarifying what I mean when I said that we did not have theological disagreements in our meeting. Rick Warren did not disagree with my positions on doctrine in our meeting. But he did not comment on everything I said. Please read my book, because in it I point out that Rick Warren privately affirms orthodox Christian theology—he did so again in our presence. So this is not news worthy.

To set the record straight, for those who think I am suddenly okay with Rick Warren – I am not. I asked him to preach Christ and honor the idea of scripture alone – and I pointed out that he cannot have a “reformation” based on general revelation.

These are huge issues and he did not say he was going to change anything—but he did not disagree. Do Warren’s supporters really think that having an orthodox theology in private is all that God expects of a preacher? Do they think we should not hold Rick Warren accountable to sola scriptura? Do they think that we can have any old ministry philosophy even if doing so totally changes the definition of the church and her message from how the Bible defines them?

I challenge Rick Warren’s supporters to step up to the plate and demand that Rick Warren repent, as I requested him to do in my book. That statement is posted at http://www.twincityfellowship.com/special/appeal.pdf Otherwise they have no business claiming that I agree with them.

Bob DeWaay
====

Thanks, Pastor Bob, for the voice of reason in this madness.

Richard Abanes said...

Pastor Bob has been answered at PHOENIX PREACHER.

Richard Abanes

PuritanReformed said...

Richard:

ever step back and wonder if such tactics of yours are precisely the reason why so many people are turned off by you? Why do you take it upon yourself to even oppose pastors who clearly love the flock?

Richard Abanes said...

DC: Why do they take it upon themselves to even oppose a pastor who clearly loves the flock?

RA: My answer is: Because it's my job as a professional apologist. Your asking me this question is like asking a plumber why he fixes pipes. But I see no answer for them, especially because most of them have the bulk of their information is wrong.

I wouldn't care at all if what they said was true. Do you see me correcting their assertions about how false Mormonism is? Nope. :-)

RA

PuritanReformed said...

RA: My answer is: Because it's my job as a professional apologist.

Richard, is being an apologist about winning or about serving and ministering to people? I think Stephen Macasil did hint at something along these lines the last time he engaged you here.

Richard Abanes said...

D,

I have NO interest whatsoever in winning anything.

As I am seeking to answer you over at .INFO, I am hoping that you will see not only my heart, but my desire to share with you my views, experience, and understanding of things in a way that will be productive.

RA

PuritanReformed said...

Richard:

I will check (mis)info later. At the moment, my time with God comes first.

PuritanReformed said...

O yes,

I need time to think and pray before I type, most definitely not as fast as you.