Monday, December 18, 2006

Review of Rick Warren's sermon....

I have just finished my review of a sermon preached by Pastor Rick Warren during his July 2006 PDC (Purpose Driven Church) conference here in Singapore. It is available here in PDF format. Just an excerpt from my conclusion (Actually, it's my conclusion):

From this review of Pastor Warren’s message, many troubling signs can be seen. Warren’s promotion of the Neo-Apostolic heresy and his subtle hint of an embracing of Word-faith heresy are particularly disturbing. His revivalist tendencies reminiscent of the Pelagian arch-heretic Charles Grandison Finney, together with his neo-liberal socialist tendencies in promoting a new ‘evangelical’ social gospel exposes him as a false teacher. When one includes all the church splits he has indirectly caused by his Purpose Driven Church/Life and 40 Days of Purpose campaign, which implicates Warren of committing the Diotrephesian error (3 Jn. 9-10), there is very much cause for concern. One can only hope that the Church of Jesus Christ would open her eyes to the deception of this heretic and turn back to Christ alone.

With regards to Warren’s sincerity, it can clearly be seen that Warren seems to be passionate about serving God. At least in this sermon, Warren comes across partly as a humble servant of the Lord with God just blessing him with affluence and influence. He also did mention that he did not seek wealth, nor fame or influence, but God just gave them to him. Assuming he is what he has portrayed himself to be from this sermon, it is no wonder that many people who call themselves Evangelicals are fooled. As Christians who are called to be discerning, however, we are called by Christ to discern the fruits (Mt. 7:15-20) and not look on the surface at apparent piety. If discernment is properly and biblically exercised, even if Warren is sincere and means what he says, Warren, through his false teachings and beliefs and improper associations, could be seen to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Oh, he is sincere, but he is sincerely devoted NOT to Christ, but to a god of his own making; to a god whom he creates from reading the Bible through the lenses of his unbiblical worldview. He is serving that god, and NOT the true God of the Bible.

However, we do know from the words that he says elsewhere in secular interviews and speeches etc that Warren is not being true in his portrayal of himself in this sermon. On the one hand, he says that he says that he is not seeking fame and influence, yet if then, why should he be yearning to be the pastors of pastors, through setting up his website and the Purpose-driven network? Why is he championing the HIV/AIDS cause but not championing the cause of the unborn? Worse still, why is he not championing the best way to solve the HIV/ AIDS crisis, which is for sexual abstinence before marriage, marital fidelity, an end to homosexuality and all forms of deviant sexuality, no drug abuse and thus no sharing of needles? Why would he be toeing the liberal line on fighting the HIV/AIDS crisis, unless of cause that truly standing up for Christ in this manner would make him unpopular with the elites in society? So from all this, we can see that Rick Warren is indeed seeking fame contrary to what he says in his message. At the very least, he is ashamed of the Gospel, and Scripture does tell us what the punishment of God is upon those who do such things (Mk. 8:38; Lk. 9:26). Since he is supposed to be a pastor, such action of his is sufficient cause for him to be removed from the pulpit altogether.

In conclusion, we can see the various errors embraced by and being promoted by Rick Warren. Therefore, Rick Warren is to be marked as a heretic and avoided (Rom. 16:17) because of his embrace and promotion of various heresies, and treated as such if and until he repents of his heresies and sin of schism.

Oh, and just to add one more point for the sake of fellow Christians, if you really care about Rick Warren, encouraging him in his apostasy is the more hateful thing you are doing to him, since he will continue to be convinced he is right. The most loving thing anyone can do for Rick Warren now would be to rebuke him for his errors and hand him over to Satan (1 Cor. 5:5), in the hope that God would break him and turn him back to Christ in repentance for his many heresies, like what God has done in the immoral man who repented (2 Cor. 2:5-8) after being given over to Satan previously. Since such is the case, and since many undiscerning Christians are supporting and even defending Rick Warren, Warren supporters are actually guilty of hating Rick Warren and allowing, and even facilitating him to slide into perdition.

Oh, and I have just recently seen that Issues Etc has recently came up with a sermon review of a sermon Rick Warren recently preached in his church defending the entire purpose driven enterprise against his critics. You can hear it here.

[HT: Slice of Laodicea]

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