Well, Pastor Bob DeWaay of Twins Cities Fellowship has given his response to the spin doctors trying to use DeWaay's words against other Christia watchmen and apologists who oppose Warren's unbiblical Purpose Driven paradigm, in his Sunday School class on June 1st here. This is especially pertinent given the fire-storm erupted over Chris Rosebrough's not-very-sensitive post regarding Rick Warren. Warren defender Richard Abanes has tried to milk out something from DeWaay's previous statement made in his previous Sunday School class last week (May 25th): that he and Rick Warren share the same doctrines, just different ministry philosophies, of which DeWaay aptly rebuts Abanes' grasping of straws in this response of his. After listening to him, I can say that I have new-found respect for Pastor DeWaay, who truly loves the sheep and does not compromise the truth nor does he stumble the sheep but affirms his solidarity with them, all while doing so in a gentle and godly manner. If only there were more pastors and Christians like him.
Anyway, here is the statement that Pastor DeWaay has sent out through a friend on Saturday, May 30th, which Pastor Ken Silva has posted on his ministry page here.
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 [Sunday, June 1, 2008] 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. Otherwise they have no business claiming that I agree with them.
As Ingrid Schlueter has also stated succintly regarding this episode:
What ultimately matters is not what is said in private by any Christian leader. What has been said publicly by Rick Warren has always been the issue. Rick Warren, I am sure, is a gracious host, and personally, highly congenial. When was that ever in question? The only reason that I and the others who have addressed the PDL movement have ever written or said anything about Rick Warren’s teachings is that these ideas have had a vast impact on the evangelical church around the world. When these ideas do not comport with Holy Scripture, we are under an obligation to say something.
Pastor Bob DeWaay himself has also just posted a column on Christian Worldview Network here to counter the misinformation spread around by various people regarding the visit. Thanks Pastor Bob for standing up when it counted; we salute you.