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.