Ri(ck)diculous: The War Goes On

August 16, 2005 — 191 Comments

Richard Abanes is a man I’m proud to have made the acquaintance with personally. He’s a really nice guy–laid back, but he’s really good at discussions and debates. As I look back on my lunch with him two months ago, I can just picture the scene:

Two round tables stuck together in an open-air, covered food court. All of my friends wanted to hear what kind of tough questions I would ask Richard, so they all gathered around. All week they’d heard me talk about “Rick Warren’s apologist” and at least a hundred times I had to tell them what an apologist was and why in the world Rick Warren needed one. And finally I was there with the man who had gained my respect with his great defense of Warren on Challies.com and with his style of writing that I found intriguing, and easy to follow. The weather was perfect. Live music in the background. Friends all gathered eating.

We opened up the discussion with the Purpose Driven Life (after a few autographs were signed–I think I made Rich a celebrity in one day.) He explained things well. I asked him what his view on sin and hell was, and well as Rick Warren’s view. I asked him about Bible translations. I talked to him about Ray Comfort. About Harry Potter. About Saddleback. About his then upcoming book. About the Gospel.

(You know Rich…where was your wife? I noticed she wasn’t there.)

I left feeling a lot better about the Purpose Driven Life. I left believing it was a great book (yeah…I, know…HERETIC!!!!) with some mistakes. But no mistakes that would bring me to call Rick Warren a “Satanist” and “New Age fanatic” out to take over the world. Nothing could bring me to take low shots at Abanes for defending the book. But I saw that happening on the web. We talked about it, and I expressed my disgust at those who seemed out to get Rick and Richard, going way too far in their disagreement over the Purpose Driven Life.

I’ll be honest. I could have decided to be against Abanes. I went into my discussions with somewhat of a critical attitude towards the PDL. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t “lovey-dovey” about it. I wanted to hold the book under intense light. I wanted to find the truth, and take everything Abanes said and hold it under God’s truth, the Bible.

“But no!!! You got caught HOOK LINE AND SINKER by Abanes and his spiel!!! How could you?!?!?!”

Tim Challies criticisms have, unfortunately, turned into people like Ingrid Schlueter and Deborah Dombrowski. They’ve gone way to far. And all the “Rick Warren is a Satanist” commenters deserve to be banned from the internet. This makes the discussion uncivil. We don’t need that in the body of Christ. They aren’t looking at both sides of the issue, which could be slightly resolved if they were like Tim Challies. He looked at both sides of the argument. He did the right thing.

Rick Warren is a Christian. I believe that. Richard Abanes is one as well. And they’ve made mistakes, just as you have. Don’t make yourself look better than them. When we make ourselves heroes because we’re being “attacked” by the enemy (Abanes) on the Internet, it’s wrong.

I was once called “pundiculous.” I think those who trash Abanes and Warren (going beyond heart-felt criticism) need to be called “Ri(ck)diculous.” I don’t like seeing low shots being taken by people who continue to call Rick Warren a Satanist and New Ager. That’s absurd. It’s like left-wingers who say 9/11 was rigged and Bush was out to kill thousands. These are just some of the statements made by those on a holy war against Rich and Rick. They believe they’re in it for the money or whatever. They’ve got their conspiracy theories and trash lines. It’s like reading Daily Kos gone Christian when I visit the comments sections of Challies and Slice of Laodicea.

Look at some of this stuff:

“This guy is a jerk and a jerk is a jerk under any name,” says gmax1, “A review of the site in question with pictures of himself every where shows a man truly in love with himself. But you have hit a nerve. Abanes shows his true colors and proves by his actions that the spirit that moves him is certainly not the Holy Spirit.”

“Perhaps richard abanes overcompensates for his lack of education by being the bully,” says another,” remember the kids who would do something mean to someone and then state, “It was just a joke!” i hope abanes searches his heart to see if what he did on his blog is really a way to honor God. he covers for himself by telling people to lighten up or by being snide. sometimes sarcasm is a coverup for a person’s own hurt or need to be superior. i think abanes is a good person to ignore.”

And on her radio show, Ingrid did not stop the host from saying that Richard Abanes was plagarizing her site by using the same template. She let the host say that he stole her artwork, etc. Never stopped him.

The theories and attacks are totally absurd. The majority are easily crushed by Rich and his defense. Most don’t want to deal with him because he’s so good.

So I stand behind Abanes in his defense of Rick Warren personally.

Think about it: when we go to get information, we go to the source. The way I see it, Abanes is as close to the source as we can get. That’s why I enjoy reading his books, and his defense. I must say, he does an admiral job amidst the anti-Warren mob that can be found at Challies and Ingrid’s site.

There is no call to attack Rick Warren personally. He’s made mistakes. So have you. But attacking him as a person is wrong.

I disagree with the presentation of the gospel in the PDL. I believe it should have been written to believers only, and not for unbelievers. A big topic, but not enough to make me call someone a Satanist.

I see that Richard has produced a book that holds his views, and is pointing people towards it so that he doesn’t have to debate 5 days a week on Challies’ forums and comments sections. But people are taking cheap shots at him by twisting his words. Of course, they’d claim the same thing in their case, saying that Abanes is twisting their words.

But, again, I stand by Richard and his defense against those only out to attack Rick Warren. I don’t support Rick’s presentation of the gospel, but I don’t believe that he needs to be called a “Satanist” and totally against God’s Word. He’s not perfect, and I don’t think he’s ever said he is. But when you go out of your way to attack someone and construe their words, and exaggerate their actions, it’s wrong. We need to stop tearing the body of Christ apart with this.

There is no need to go on an all-out campaign to attack and tear apart Rick Warren and those who believe the PDL holds many good truths.

“NO THEY DON’T!!! THEY ARE BLATANTLY AGAINST GOD’S WORD!!! YOU’RE FOLLOWING A WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING”

Three words: No I’m not.

First off, I have disagreements in the directed audience of the Purpose Driven Life. I had hoped that it had been targeted to believers…if that had been the case I would be an all-out promoter. But it does not do a good enough job for non-believers. For believers, it’s great (but really California…I think that California stuff is part of the root issue…things are different there…maybe that’s it…maybe it’s because we’re not from California??? Could it be???).

But a lot of those who criticize the Purpose Driven Life are ex-New Agers…many of which are extra sensitive to anything that even remotely resembles New Age. They see something that reminds them of New Age and jump to conclusions. That’s going too far.

The debate over “seeker-friendly” is another matter. Changing the gospel is wrong. If that’s what’s happening, the church is in grave error. But from what I heard from Abanes…I heard the gospel. He knows the gospel. Rick Warren knows and preaches the gospel. The gospel is in the PDL (though too hard to find for non-believers in my opinion).

I think we put ourselves in non-believers shoes and look at the PDL. When we see it through their eyes, we say “Wow…this is seeker-friendly.” That’s why I don’t think the targeted audience should include non-believers. But it is, and that’s where problems arise for most.

But going beyond that is unfair. Hooking Rick Warren up with New Agers? Calling him a Satanist? Wishing Tim Challies was going to hell for letting Abanes have a voice? Come on now, that’s not a Christian attitude.

I believe that if Dombrowski and Ingrid Schlueter were really looking for the truth, they would do as Challies did. Listen.

Ingrid Schlueter would have Abanes on her radio show, or she would have pro-Rick Warren callers. She would present both sides and decide. Dombrowski would do something similar.

The anti-Rick Warren mob of commenters would sit back for just a second. Weigh things out. And respond with Christian love. With Scripture. They’d show that they really are for the truth, and show it in their words and actions.

And all of us must agree with one thing in the book: We all have a purpose (yeah…without one would you want to live?).

Let’s get this “war” turned back into a discussion. Let’s not be Rickdiculous. Let’s be like Christ. Take the ear-plugs off, and let’s discuss this.

Flashback:

“I can recommend this book only to discerning readers. There is certainly some value in the book, but in my opinion the bad outweighs the good. I would certainly not use this as an introduction to Christianity or as a means of reaching unbelievers.”
–Tim Challies

“Things are not always as they seem. God will bring the hidden things to light.”
– Deborah Dombrowski on my site.

‘”Welcome to the family of God!” Comes all too soon.’
–Agent Tim

My audio interview with Richard Abanes.

“Welcome to the family of God!” Part 1 and Part 2 by Tim Sweetman.

Rick Warren: Good or Bad? by Tim Sweetman (Virtue Magazine)

Tim Sweetman

Posts

Tim Sweetman is a young writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

191 responses to Ri(ck)diculous: The War Goes On

  1. Hey Tim,
    Did you give Ingrid Schlueter a call before you chose sides? Don’t recall you mentioning that. If Ingrid is supposed to have Richard Abanes on her radio show, shouldn’t you allow Ingrid on your website and have some pro-Ingrid comments as well?
    If not, you’re no more ethical than those you condemn.

  2. Would you be up to an interview? If so, drop me a line at agenttimblog-at-gmail-dot-com

    I’ve emailed Ingrid before…but never had a response.

  3. Oh yeah…as for “giving” her a call and “choosing sides.”

    1. Where do I call? I’m serious…

    2. Read my past articles on Rick Warren…I didn’t “choose sides.” In fact, you could call me the middle man.

  4. Tim,
    I know it’s cool to be a “friend” of someone of notoriety or some sort of fame, I’ve walked through that phase and by the grace of God was able to find Truth before I breathed my last, the truth that comes from God’s word, not the mouths of man that are in direct conflict with the words of God. James 4:3-5 says:
    You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

    So much of what the PDL and Warren’s PEACE Plan and what Richard Abanes promotes and supports would be described as developing a greater love for the world and things in the world, I would have hoped that someone would inform me of God’s intentions years ago, but God saw to it to protect me through all my mistakes and lead me to the point where I would seek His will, not my own “purpose” in which I could profit off the will of God. Does God have ministries for people to serve Him, absolutely so, but the end point of following through with PDL ideology is this, you look to your own strengths to determine where you best fit into the function of the church, whereas God took people out of their comfort zone, out of their expertise, and out of their experience and called them to serve Him in a fashion in which only God receives the glory, because He will not share His glory with any man, nor should He. As it is written: 1 Cor. 4:9-11:
    For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.

    Consider the “Sermon on the Mount” Tim, listen to what Jesus says about those who wish to be his followers and disciples, read Luke 9 and try to square that with Rick Warrens gospel presentation in PDL which is simply to say, “Jesus I believe you, and I receive you” at which point he then welcomes the reader to the Kingdom of God, totally no repentance for sin (turning from self and towards God). Without which there will be no salvation for the wicked – Jesus and John both began their ministry with “Repent, for the Kindom of Heaven is at hand” – I simply ask you this my friend, how can someone experience true repentance without knowing the Holiness and the Righteousness of God?

    You said you asked Richard about Ray Comfort, follow the advice of Ray Comfort over the advice of Richard or Rick Warren anyday, Ray is an anointed man of God and minister the the flock of Christ, time will soon expose the folly of PDL as the harvesting time will soon be upon us and it will reveal the quality of fruit from that movement.

    God Bless You Tim and may the Spirit of God lead you to the Truth as it led me.

  5. Agent Tim,
    I saw your comment on my blog saying that you couldn’t get a hold of me. I received your request to talk with me. After seeing Abanes’ new blog where he uses even the name I chose as well as the template which, by his own confession, was used to imitate mine, I have realized that there is no point in discussing the issue further. Richard Abanes is not the issue. He is a distraction from the real issue. As long as I respond, point, counterpoint, as he does, I am busy spending my time defending myself, protesting distortions and misrepresentations and so forth, while my true ministry in warning about false teachings in the church is neglected. I stand by what I have said, regardless of how is has been mischaracterized by Richard and others. I will also say that Rick Warren has had more than enough outlets in the last few years to express his views. Our radio show and my blog are small voices of biblical dissent and we are speaking as we feel God would have us. If all the money, public relations and public exposure on secular and religious media aren’t enough for Rick Warren to have his side of the issues expressed to the public, than being on VCY America will be of little help. Our radio network and my blog is dedicated to speaking the truth, free and clear of pressure and obligation to publishing houses, PR firms, advertisers, etc. We have freedom because we are supported by donations of faithful believers alone. We are accountable to our board, to our supporters and to the Lord and we have a real freedom because of that. I have work to do so I must run. In Nehemiah we see the story of the two who tried to get Nehemiah to come down off the wall he was building around Jerusalem. They tried a number of tricks to distract him from his mission but they failed. Richard Abanes can copy my blog idea all he wants and mock the contents, smear my name, etc. It just doesn’t matter. I won’t be addressing this again on my blog because I’m busy building a wall. God bless you, Tim, with discernment. We all need it.

    Sincerely,
    Ingrid Schlueter

  6. WBURKE: I know it’s cool to be a “friend” of someone of notoriety or some sort of fame, I’ve walked through that phase and by the grace of God was able to find Truth . . .
    ABANES: If I may jump in here for a moment, what you have done here is not-so-subtly dismissed Tim’s thoughts by implying that those thought are the result of him being overly enamored with me. Well, this is unfair on various levels. 1. It does not really even address the points Tim made. 2. It sells Tim short both intellectually and spiritually. 3. It accuses Tim of something for which you have no real evidence—except for the fact that he may disagree with you.

    WBURKE: . . . the truth that comes from God’s word, not the mouths of man that are in direct conflict with the words of God.
    ABANES: And now, I would ask that you please provide concrete quotes from either Warren or me that indicate our beliefs/faith are “in direct conflict with the words of God.” And I would ask that you PLEASE stick to central doctrines of the Christian faith—not whether or not you happen to think contemporary Christian music is godly or whether the use of drums in worship is biblical.

    WBURKE: So much of what the PDL and Warren’s PEACE Plan and what Richard Abanes promotes and supports would be described as developing a greater love for the world and things in the world,
    ABANES: Really? Interesting.

    Here are the five purposes of God as outlined in Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life: “You Were Planned for God’s Pleasure” (Revelation 4:11); “You Were Formed for God’s Family” (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:4-7); “You Were Created to Become Like Christ” (Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 2:5; Colossians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6); “You Were Shaped for Serving God” (Matthew 4:10; Romans 7:6, 12:1-2); and “You Were Made for A Mission” (Matthew 28:19).

    Please tell us how any of these promote/support a love for the world?!

    What about Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. Plan? The word PEACE is a great word and it lends itself to being an acronym. Warren is using it in a great way to discuss and set up a program for:

    P lanting Churches
    E quipping servant leaders
    A ssisting the poor
    C aring for the Sick
    E ducating the next generation

    Again, I ask, please do tell us how any of these promote/support a love for the world?! It sounds terrifically close to fulfilling the Great Commandment (Matthew 22) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28).

    What is most fascinating about your comment is that both Warren and me have said the very opposite of what you have accused us of—i.e., loving the world and the things of it. We are told plainly in 1 John to not love world nor the things of the world. And Warren’s book is all about NOT looking into the self to see what you THINK will bring you meaning/purpose. It’s all about looking to God and serving HIM and becoming what HE wants you to be for HIS glory—not what you want to be for your own selfish motives.

    WBURKE: I would have hoped that someone would inform me of God’s intentions years ago, but God saw to it to protect me through all my mistakes and lead me to the point where I would seek His will, not my own “purpose” in which I could profit off the will of God.
    ABANES: And it is right here that you misrepresent Warren in the exact way that so many are misrepresenting him. You prove my point. Warren does NOT teach that we are supposed to find our own purpose. He teaches that we need to find GOD’S purpose for us. And that is NOT found by looking at the self (or serving the self), but rather, is found in looking at God and seeking HIS will for us. I call your attention to Warren’s words on page 18 of The Purpose Driven Life—

    “Contrary to what many popular books, movies, and seminars tell you, you won’t discover your life’s meaning by looking within yourself. You’ve probably tried that already. You didn’t create yourself, so there is no way you can tell yourself what you were created for! . . . Only the creator or the owner’s manual could reveal its purpose. . . . you cannot arrive at you life’s purpose by starting with a focus on yourself. You must begin with God, your Creator. You exist only because God wills that you exist. You were made by God and for God—and until you understand that, life will never make sense. It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny. Every other path leads to a dead end. Many people try to use God for their own self-actualization, but that is a reversal of nature and is doomed to failure. You were made for God, not vice versa, and life is about letting God use you for his purposes, not your using him for your own purpose” (PDL, p. 18).”

    WBURKE: Does God have ministries for people to serve Him, absolutely so, but the end point of following through with PDL ideology is this, you look to your own strengths to determine where you best fit into the function of the church, whereas God took people out of their comfort zone, out of their expertise, and out of their experience and called them to serve Him in a fashion in which only God receives the glory, because He will not share His glory with any man, nor should He. As it is written: 1 Cor. 4:9-11.
    ABANES: Wrong. You are confusing and confounding Warren’s teachings on two separate things: 1) what God desires for our lives; and 2) the natural gifts/talents or abilities God has given us (equipped us with) in order to accomplish what he desires for our lives. Your quoting of 1 Cor. 4:9-11 has NOTHING to do with us serving God using the natural talents he gave us, whether they be inn the area of music, writing, speaking, teaching, administration, etc. etc. etc. The Holy Spirit equips and calls God’s servants according to His will, and this call is often associated with how God has formed us for service via the way we are gifted. Carpenters often serve by helping to build churches. Singers/musicians naturally fall into leading worship. Men gifted in the area of communication commonly become preachers or teachers. This all as NOTHING to do with seeking to share God’s glory. The passage is about servants of God suffering for the sake of the gospel and being willing to do so for Christ’s sake.

    WBURKE: For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death . . .
    RA: Again, see above. You have taken this passage out of context. It is not about giftedness or finding where to serve the church based on our talents and gifts. It is about suffering servants of God who are willing to suffer for Christ.

    WBURKE: . . . read Luke 9 and try to square that with Rick Warrens gospel presentation in PDL which is simply to say, “Jesus I believe you, and I receive you” at which point he then welcomes the reader to the Kingdom of God,
    ABANES: You conveniently fail to mention that Warren does discuss the gospel, albeit briefly, just before the prayer, saying: “”God has chosen you to have a relationship with Jesus, who died on the cross for you. Believe that no matter what you’ve done, God wants to forgive you. Second, receive. Receive Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior. Receive his forgiveness for your sins” (p. 58).

    WBURKE: totally no repentance for sin (turning from self and towards God).
    ABANES: Wrong. The Greek word for repentance or repent means to simply change your mind. Warren lays out the fact that Christ died on the cross for our “sins” and we need to accept Jesus as our “Lord and Savior” to receive “forgiveness” for those “sins.”

    The truth is that Warren does not dwell on these things as long as you personally would want him to dwell on them in order to satisfy YOU. In other words, it is not that Warren does not present the Gospel. It’s that he does not present it according to YOUR sartisfaction. He does not say “hell” enough times. He does not say “cross” enough times. He does not say “sins” or “repent” enough times. But that is not a biblical position for you to take. Scripture tells us in Romans 10:9 that the gospel unto salvation is very simple, so simple a child can believe (Matthew 18:2-4). Where does scripture tell us the precise way to ALWAYS preach the gospel and what exact words are to be used? — It doesn’t.

    The Bible tells us what the gospel is, then it tells us to preach it. Warren does it. I do it. Tim does it. You do it. The only difference is that if we don’t happen to do it just like you do it, then we are called compromisers or false teachers by you. You need to read, Mark 9:37-40:

    “‘Teacher,’ said John, ‘we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.’ ‘Do not stop him,’ Jesus said. ‘No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us’” (NIV).

    RA

  7. Thanks for your comment Ingrid. Again, I do wonder about your silence on Crosstalk. I know that Richard made a “parody” site, but he didn’t do anything illegal. If you hadn’t let the host make it sound like he did something illegal, I would have been more impressed.

    I pray that calling Abanes a “distraction” is not an excuse from hearing both sides of the issue. Make sure you don’t use half-truths. Get the whole story out. On your radio show, I’ve not heard that.

    Richard, thanks for your defense. I mostly (just a few points) agree with all that you’ve said. The whole PEACE plan and “Rick Warren’s taking over the world” issue just doesn’t make sense.

    God Bless,
    Tim

  8. INGRID: After seeing Abanes’ new blog where he uses even the name I chose as well as the template which, by his own confession, was used to imitate mine, I have realized that there is no point in discussing the issue further.
    ABANES: But Ingrid, you already DID choose to discuss my new blog on “Crosstalk” radio, where you gave not only a partial story, but also twisted the facts to make me appear as bad as possible—and you failed to mention that you yourself emailed me with a reference to a parody website that made fun of Rick Warren. Why didn’t you mention that fact on the air during your VCY America interview? I discuss all of this in my new series of articles that will be going up.

    INGRID: Richard Abanes is not the issue. He is a distraction from the real issue.
    ABANES: Actually, I am pulling people’s attention more in focus to the REAL issue, which is how so many people have viciously misrepresented someone like Rick Warren. THAT is the issue. The ongoing false accusations about Warren (and others) have indeed made this controversy far broader that just Warren. It has now gone into the realm of apologetics as a general concept, truth-telling, accountability, the proper approach to research, how Christians should forgive mistakes of leaders, the responsibility of radio talk show hosts to present facts, legalism, the marks of a judgmental spirit, and the true causes of division in the body of Christ.

    INGRID: I stand by what I have said, regardless of how is has been mischaracterized by Richard and others.
    ABANES: Ingrid, in all sincerity and heartfelt appeal, I submit that you have not been the one mischaracterized. As my up-coming articles will show, you are the one who has been doing all of the misrepresenting of so many people—including Rick Warren, Saddleback members, purpose driven churches, purpose driven pastors, and me. For example, you slander all of Saddleback by saying we do not preach Christ crucified. Well, the truth is that Warren does indeed preach Christ crucified on the cross for our sins, and his shed blood as an atonement for us, and his resurrection from the dead as the ONLY way of salvation—and it is by grace through faith that we are saved, not of works, lest any man should boast. I implore you, in Christ’s name, to stop the false accusations and hate-rhetoric. Do you have ANY idea how painful it is for people who have accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior to hear you say we do not even teach Christ crucified?? It is like a knife in the heart & soul.

    INGRID: I will also say that Rick Warren has had more than enough outlets in the last few years to express his views. Our radio show and my blog are small voices of biblical dissent and we are speaking as we feel God would have us.
    ABANES: On your last VCY America radio interview, you noted that your blog had somewhere in the neighborhood of 36,000 hits in two months!!! Small??? And now VCY America has all of your shows about Warren on the Internet for download. Small??

    INGRID: Our radio network and my blog is dedicated to speaking the truth, free and clear of pressure and obligation to publishing houses, PR firms, advertisers, etc.
    ABANES: Actually, your blog and network is free from accountability. And that is why so much error and false accusations have been able to be offered to trusting readers and listeners. But in the end, you will be held accountable—judgment begins in the house of the Lord.

    INGRID: We are accountable to our board, to our supporters and to the Lord and we have a real freedom because of that.
    ABANES: You are accountable to no one—and you have shown that by continuing to perpetuate false accusations and partial truths.

    INGRID: They tried a number of tricks to distract him [Nehemiah] from his mission but they failed. Richard Abanes can copy my blog idea all he wants and mock the contents, smear my name, etc. It just doesn’t matter. I won’t be addressing this again on my blog because I’m busy building a wall.
    ABANES: I am not sure how my presentation of your factual errors and false accusations is a trick. But my personal opinion is that you won’t address it because you: a) don’t want to change your set views of reality; b) don’t want to adjust your thinking according to the facts, evidence, and truth; and c) have no desire whatsoever for their to be any way to see Warren or the others you have attacked in a different light (dare I say, a more biblically-sound and Christ-like light).

    And as for mocking, Ingrid, it was you who first sent me the URL link to a mockery of Rick Warren and his book via a parody of The Purpose Driven Life at an Anti-Warren website (see http://www.sacredsandwich.com/advertisement7.htm). And to be honest, I thought it was hysterical. Ironically, this website is what gave me the idea to parody your blog. So, in other words, I copied your blog’s look only because YOU sent me the link to the Warren parody that showed how powerful parody can be.

    In conclusion, I continue to hope and pray that you will soon understand how much hate you have spread and how seriously you have damaged the cause of Christ, hurt brothers/sisters in Christ with your false accusations, and misrepresented what should be the Christ-honoring practice of apologetics (i.e., defending the faith). Ingrid, you are not defending the faith—you are attacking and accusing the brethren. I am now seeking to bring correction and a public rebuke for your actions that have been done publicly. As Paul Proctor, another Warren attacker, has demonstrated so well in his article on Mattew 18, publicly correcting Christians for errors/mistakes made publicly is perfectly acceptable. So I stand firmly on biblical grounds to publicly correct and rebuke you for violating the commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16).

    In Christ (believe it or not),

    R. Abanes

  9. OK…let me clarify my post here…my final point is that both sides have come to what I would call a stalemate. They have plummeted to name-calling and half-truths. Both sides have messed up. I think both sides have gotten edgy, and we have not responded to each other in brotherly (and sisterly) love. I pray that my article speaks that…that’s what I’m trying to say.

  10. Uh, Tim, what about the ugly cartoons you drew of those who oppose Rick Warren? Isn’t that a form of name calling on your part? It certainly doesn’t show brotherly love or tolerance. Before you criticize ANYONE else as a young man, take down this disgraceful attack post in its entirety and start in your own heart. Don’t join in. That’s the Scriptural thing to do.

  11. I am enjoying your articles Tim but I would have to agree with Christiana…the cartoons are a little edgy themselves.

  12. “what about the ugly cartoons you drew of those who oppose Rick Warren?”

    I don’t see any cartoons portraying those who oppose Rick Warren as ugly. If I’m missing one, please let me know.

    I can see why you might find them a little edgy. But if you really think about them, you’ll notice that, while they could be taken that way, it’s not like they’re mean, Ad Hominem attacks. In fact, it seems to me that the point of the cartoons is just the opposite.

    And it’s a message that’s very important. The outragousness coming from some on both sides of the issue needs to stop. We’re the body of Christ. And we’re throwing verbal darts at eachother. The cartoons remind us of that.

    It’s a sad thing when Christians have to be reminded to stop acting like liberals.

  13. Agent Tim: Ive enjoyed reading your many comments on different sites but I was taken a little aback by these comments.
    “We opened up the discussion with the Purpose Driven Life (after a few autographs were signed—I think I made Rich a celebrity in one day.) ” And you seeming to be taken in by Richard. Plus I read your entire post
    And these verses came to mind.
    Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful”
    Jude 16 ” These people are grumblers and complainers, doing whatever evil they feel like. They are loud mouthed braggarts, and they flatter others to get favors in return.

    Tread carefully little brother I know many seem harsh against the Warren camp. But when you approach self centered doctrine from people who dont really care about doctrine there is no point in mincing words.And the Warren camp is headed in a different direction and is in bed with many new age and false teachers.
    2John 10-11 ” If someone comes into your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, dont invite him into your house or encourage him in any way. Anyone who encourages him becomes a partner in his evil work.”
    That is a serious biblical warning we should all take note of in these end times
    Just be careful-
    The Lord be with you Tim
    Tim Wirth

  14. Tim, let me clarify that statement: I should have kept the original manuscript that I wrote, which stated that Abanes was flattered, and the guys thought he was Rick Warren (which was pretty humorous). Only two autographs were signed. One guy was adamant about getting one…since he saw a book about the Da Vinci code that Abanes wrote and had read the original and wanted to hear what Abanes had to say about it. Richard is an author, and he signs books. I was there, and I believe that it was not about “loud mouthed braggarts, [flattering] others to get favors in return.” By the way, I did not get (or really need or want) an autograph.

    Christiana and others: The editorial cartoons are a graphic representation (and exageration) of what I saw, and am seeing. Back and forth bashing and unchristian love.

    People have taken these cartoons wrong. I perhaps should have forseen my feeble attempts to lighten things up would be taken wrong. I refuse to make personal attacks.

    You ask for pro-Ingrid words from me. I have many. I listened to her radio show and believe she is doing an excellent job in showing and refuting the seeker-friendly and watered down churches. We owe her a great deal in that regard.

    I’ve seen too many personal attacks. And most of the time it’s in comment sections such as this that we see back and forth tearing apart speach. Many are saying I’ve made a mistake in writing this post.

    I’m praying about that.

    As for Richard Abanes–I’ve met him once and emailed him a few times. He’s not a personal friend but an online aquaintance.

    I’m a 15-year-old kid with a blog (that receives many visits a day only thanks to God). I’m not stupid–but really trying to weigh both sides of the issues, and expressing my thoughts here.

    Those wanting me to remove this post: please read my criticisms of Rick Warren. I, unfortunetely, have not fully decided on the issue.

    But when an issue turns into a war, I don’t like it. Civilty is hard to find in this. I don’t like that.

    Criticisms towards Rick Warren should be made a critizing a fellow believer, not the anti-Christ. And criticism towards the critics should be made as critizing a fellow believer, not anti-Christs.

    I reiterate Alex’s comment.

  15. Hey Tim: And my comment was just about warning you to be careful. It’s hard not to get caught up in the many Christian famous personalities we have.I dont think your stupid at all and pray that God uses you in a mighty way. Im really encouraged that someone so young like you is making a stand. We may not agree on some things but I trust the Lord to keep you safe and keep your discernment sharp.
    You have a right to think the way you want to think whether anyone disagrees with you or not.
    Its up to the Lord through His Holy Spirit to change your mind and lead you into all truth.
    And I trust that you are submitted to Him. Not to comments people make.
    Stick with Gods leading and you will always bring glory and honor to His name.
    Reject any teaching that does not stack up with scripture. If something I say does not stack up with scripture I would encourage you to reject it.
    There is just so much strange doctrine out there these days be careful.
    Its really encouraging to me that someone so young (I have kids your age) is making a stand for what they believe. I pray God uses you to influence others your age.
    No matter what happens God will never leave or forsake you. Trust in Him.
    Blessings
    the other much older Tim

  16. Wow have I missed a lot…might I say that I fully support Agent Tim in this (and Richard Abanes is totally awesome!)…

    Tim Wirth,

    In your last comment, you struck the heart of what myself and others (like Agent Tim and D3) are trying to do in our own little ways (mostly blogging, obviously):

    “[To] Stick with Gods leading and you will always bring glory and honor to His name.
    [To] [r]eject any teaching that does not stack up with scripture.”

    That is what, by God’s grace and knowledge as He leads us, we are all about. The bonus of it is that we like to share what we learn and warn others of the dangers.

    I must say you made good points…thanks for sharing your wisdom. :)

    Christiana,

    Before you criticize ANYONE else as a young man, take down this disgraceful attack post in its entirety and start in your own heart.

    Tim already clarified what he was saying/expressing, so I’m not going there. however, I must ask that you explain this whole “young man” business…what do you mean by that? If you mean that, because he’s 15, he has no right to attack wrong actions, then I must disagree (this is not to say that he did do that). God has given ALL believers, without disinction given to race, gender, or age. That being said, He gives gifts of the Spirit without scruple to age as well. Tim, in my own observations, has been given the ability to discern Truth and Deceit through the power of God and that is not a thing to be suppressed.

    In the Love of Christ,
    David Ketter

  17. o timmy you try too hard..go play football or something cuz you in ova ur head lol. i heard ziggy was looking for a cartoonist tho why dont you apply? oh yah hate to say but from my neutral perspective you gettin played by rich.. he strokin your feelings like a pet rabbit and you purrring with enjoyment :-P but you got sum heat on yo backside now boi so keep cool and keep on drawin mr. 007

  18. I find this rather disheartening.

    If Christians are squabbling like this, how do you purpose to get anything done? I know very little about PDL, but I do know Mr. Sweetman has always made valuable efforts to ascertain the truth of a matter. Granted, no one is perfect, and he may have discerned wrong – but just because he tried, we are going to accuse him of being “young” or “stroked like a pet rabbit?”

    How is this Christ-like? To demean someone who takes a stand over anything (even if wrong) gives the victory to no one but the Enemy – few people have the maturity of Mr. Sweetman at any age, let alone at 15.

    I may research PDL some to keep myself abreast of this a little more accurately. But such pettiness by others is, as I said before, dis-heartnening.

  19. Master Yoda – I have to strongly disagree with your comment. Quite simply put, rabbits don’t purr. It’s cats that purr; rabbits tend to make clicking noises with their teeth when they are happy.

    And on top of that, Tim isn’t a rabbit (but that’s besides the point *wink*).

  20. Mr. King must we have such talk? Agent Tim is an extremely mature young man looking to express his God-given talents of writing. I agree with Mr. Willis on the fact that squabbling leads nowhere. I think that there is much to be learned from this situation. The Bible says in Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” There may be something to what Ingrid has to say and the same goes for Richard. The key is understanding.. “Get wisdom, Get understand;”-prvbs 4:5 Wisdom is to be desired over much gold. Has worship gone too far with the integrating of pop culture into the church? Many youth group leaders and church pastors are merely figuring out ways to reach a larger audience, yet there may come a time where the worship of the flesh starts to take over (ie. vending in the church), wheter it be the intention or not. I’m sure there are many good ideas in reaching people in the world today, but our Main responsibility is to spread the word, and let the Holy Spirit move as He will. I mentioned the verse from Proverbs because I believe Ingrid and Richard both mean well with their separate ministries, but I’d just like to suggest that what Ingrid is saying about our responsibility to follow God’s principles, especially in worship, may be very close to what the Bible says, and as a wise man who has a humble spirit would do, I think we should listen. Mainly, we should stay close to God, and base our disions, thoughts, and beliefs on what God’s word says..and pray for understanding that we may gain from the reading of His word. The Lord has given you many gifts and can use you in a mighty way Tim! Don’t let the little things distract you, however learn from what others have to say. Remember this verse next time you hear a juicy tidbit that could cause some controversy: Matt 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Show you’re the mature Christian by asking forgiveness from those you’ve offended and learn from the mistakes you’ve made. Continue what God’s word says to do. If you take persecution for Christ’s sake, He will bless you one day for it. Don’t fight back because it only stirs anger in the parties involved. Proverbs 15:1-”A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” God’s sheep should not bicker back and forth! God will judge those who are in the wrong in His timing. If we take up the battle up ourselves, we are taking the battle out of God’s hands and that’s when the flesh has an opportunity to take over..Ok im done now :) Anyways take care and know that I am praying for you. I wish God’s hand and blessing in your life and ministry!

    Love in Christ

  21. Tim,
    I am against much of Warren stands for. His whole foundational premise is to bring non-believers into the church. Isn’t the church supposed to reach out? Weren’t the people afraid to join the assembly in the book of Acts, due to how serious and God-centered it really was? He started his whole ministry by asking non-believers what they thought needed to be changed about the church, when the CHURCH is not for them. I don’t hate Rick, but I believe he is leading the church on a hellish path, and I think that this can easily be shown in very substantial ways… there is much to say against Rick, and not much to say for him. Constantly do Paul’s epistles warn against teaching heresy, and I don’t think we should take those warning lightly for the sake of tolerance. Name calling is not the issue here, Tim, truth is!

    On a different note… you’re 15??? Good grief. I read your posts thinking some 20 year old had started a site. Amazing. Keep up the study, and may the truth of God always be your motive (not debate or fame). It seems you have a good head on your shoulders. I must admit, I always hate it–selfishly of course–when I stumble upon 15 year olds with three times my intelligence. lol… my 19 years of age seem to mean nothing sometimes. God bless and good work, Tim!

  22. By the way, Yoda (or whatever), I don’t mean to interject stupidity into an otherwise intelligent conversation. But, might I suggest that in trying to–I suppose–commend Tim, your whole post was self-refuting. Being a peace maker does not mean we do not correct. Apollos debated for the truth, and Paul was even SARCASTIC. You basically just corrected Tim by telling him not to correct others. You debated with others on this post for the sake of criticizing God-honoring debate. Your first post, as well, was insulting and certainly not very “peace-making”… anyway, just a note! Perhaps one should think before they post. God bless, and may He guide us all into the truth of His Word, even through such means as friendly debate.

  23. Adam,
    Now THAT is the type of comment that I’m talking about. I appreciate your comment so much. I have some of the same concerns, and am still praying and seeking God on this issue. And, yes, I am 15. If you go to http://www.virtuemag.org you can read some of my columns there :).

    I’m pleased that you visited, and hope that you stick around!

  24. I’m with you Adam..I should’ve thought it through and sorry Tim for my lame comments earlier. Reading this blog is very informative so, as Adam said, keep it up.

  25. Adam: I am against much of Warren stands for.
    RA: Could you fill in some blanks for us. Perhaps listing 5 things that you are against that Warren is for.

    ADAM: His whole foundational premise is to bring non-believers into the church. Isn’t the church supposed to reach out?
    RA: The whole foundational premise of the Calvary Chapels is to bring non-believers to church as well. In fact, go to just about ANY church in America and you will find scores of Christians who seek to bring their unsaved friends to church. Are you really saying we should NOT invite our non-Christian friends/family to church?

    ADAM: Weren’t the people afraid to join the assembly in the book of Acts, due to how serious and God-centered it really was?
    RA: What verses would you be referring to—that would be helpful for readers.

    ADAM: He started his whole ministry by asking non-believers what they thought needed to be changed about the church,
    RA: if I may correct this misperception, Warren did NOT ask unbelievers how church needed to be changed—he asked them 4 questions:

    • “Why do you think most people don’t attend church?”
    • “If you were looking for a church, what things would you look for?”
    • “What advice would you give to me as the pastor of a new church that really wants to be of benefit to the community?”
    • “How could I, as a pastor, help you?”

    These are not the demonic questions people are making them out to be.

    ADAM: I believe he is leading the church on a hellish path, and I think that this can easily be shown in very substantial ways…
    RA: A few of these ways would be helpful to point out—and doctrinal variants, for example, would be interesting to see. . .

    ADAM: Constantly do Paul’s epistles warn against teaching heresy . . .
    RA: Please list for us at least 3 heresies that Warren is teaching. References to how Warren contradicts the creeds might be helpful, or goes against any of the central teachings of Christianity. Thanks in advance.

    R. Abanes

  26. Tim,
    Do yourself a favor and make your association with Richard Abanes and Saddleback Church, The Purpose Driven Life a part of your past and never look back but rather look forward to the word of God and keep your eyes on Him. You should have noticed Richard has a serious problem taking peoples words in context and discussing them – he regularly stops mid-thought and mid-sentence to “make a point” without really making a point most of the time. He took a post that was not meant for him and dissectied it as if he was slighted, he jumps in as if he is auditioning for the job of Executive Director of The Rick Warren Apologists Club. He regularly lies in defense of Rick Warren, namely portraying those who cite the involvement of Ken Blanchard in the PEACE Plan Training Corps, when it is rightly shown by Ingrid and Deborah Dombrowski and others that he clearly intends for Ken Blanchard to be central to the training of “leaders” for the program. Take the time to watch the video of Rick Warren unveiling the PEACE Plan, I watched in sheer disgust as it appeared to be no different than an Amway-esque convention what with the parade of videos, the “Church-in-a-box” complete with Hawaiian shirt punchline, and the tag-team introduction between Rick and his wife. The whole things really made me grieve for what those tens of thousands are being fed on a weekly basis. After watching it I understood why RA is as convoluted and decieved as he is – when you’ve been fed milk for years and no longer have a stomach for the meat of God’s word you shun anyone who would have you change your diet – but by the grace of God these people will end up being told to “depart” by Jesus Christ. What a sad day that will be.

    Note to Adam – save your words in conversing with Richard – it doesn’t matter how much evidence you provide him with – he will try to find one or two points he can pick apart in his own mind by implying motive and slandering your good intentions and then throw that back at you and completely ignore the very valid Biblical points you make.

  27. WBURKE: he will try to find one or two points he can pick apart in his own mind by implying motive and slandering your good intentions and then throw that back at you and completely ignore the very valid Biblical points you make.

    RA: I asked for examples and I am still waiting. And I would also ask for examples of my regular “lies” in defnese of Warren. I am simply an online poster who happens to have my own viewpoints and, as a free American, enjoy posting my opinions. If I have made errors, or mistakes, feel free to point them out using documentation and quotes. So far, all I am seeing are accusations. I am looking for no fights, but merely clarifications and evidence of accusations. That’s all.

    peace-out,

    RAbanes

  28. Did you JUST actually say “but by the grace of God these people will end up being told to “depart” by Jesus Christ.”???

    You REALLY need to stop and think about what you have just said here. Perhaps by the Grace of God you and Rick and others of us who put our trust in Christ will sit at the same table in heaven?
    And seriously… even if the nutty “Rick Warren=end times apostasy/New World Order” stuff were right… you seem to rejoice in someone else’s judgement??? Do I Have that right?

    You actually relish the thought of Rick Warren being told to depart to hell? Read the Book of Jonah, and try to get a handle on what God was saying to him in the last couple of verses.

    The hatred and vitriol being spewed at Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven Stuff is amazing…

  29. WBURKE: . . . namely portraying those who cite the involvement of Ken Blanchard in the PEACE Plan Training Corps, when it is rightly shown by Ingrid and Deborah Dombrowski and others that he clearly intends for Ken Blanchard to be central to the training of “leaders”

    ABANES: Actually, the only thing Ingrid Schlueter and Deborah Dombrowski point to is a 2003 (2 years ago) single mention of Blanchard by Warren during a weekend sermon. As it turns out, nothing ever materialized (something that should have been checked by anyone). All Warren seems to have meant was that Blanchard, who knows about the business world, had agreed to “help” Rick if he needed any business-related advice or input about implementation of feeding the poor, caring for the sick, bringing education into third world countries, etc etc etc (the PEACE Plan). I attend Saddleback, I’ve spoken to Warren, I’ve spoken to Blanchard. And Blanchard has not trained anyone, and it is not being planned for him to train anyone. So, stop spreading lies. If you have any proof that Blanchard has helped trained anyone for the peace plan—please provide it.

    RA

  30. bob: You actually relish the thought of Rick Warren being told to depart to hell?

    WBurke: Where do you get that Bob? I don’t relish the thought of anyone being told that by Jesus, but the fact is the word of Jesus Christ is that many, I repeat MANY, will be told that. He said that “broad is the way that leads to destruction” – the fact that people aren’t fleeing the teachings of a Rick Warren, a Joel Osteen or a Bill Hybels and that they are swallowing up the words of Eugene Peterson as if it were the word of God, the Bible, only shows how deeply deceived people have become that in their efforts to become more “relevant” they have become totally irrelevant. Not my words but the words of Os Guinness – see “Prophetic Untimeliness.”

    I unfortunately forgot to input a comma – it should have been but, by the grace of God, meaning they be spared by the grace of God, not that by God’s grace they be told to depart. Pardon my shortage of punctuation, but for once and for all drop the inferred vitriol when someone calls out a false prophet, false teacher, a greed driven money chasing scoundrel who is defaming the name of Christ throughout the world by preaching a Gospel that doesn’t save a soul. I’ve provided ample presentation of where Warren falls short in his gospel with his “Jesus I believe you I receive you” broad way presentation in the PDL page 57, 58. That is a repentence free gospel that has no salvation in it yet RW claims that by saying that prayer under your breath or whispering it you are now saved. What a lie that is.

    And Richard, would you just drop off the planet or get a clue – your pastor presented a video of Blanchard to the congregation, pretty much inviting him to take over the pulpit by video and in that video he stated how he (Blanchard) was looking ofrward to being a part of the PEACE Plan etc…. Now if you claim that nothing ever materialized then I must ask you why your pastor was putting Blanchard in the “sermon” to sign on to the PEACE Plan and then back out? That is a sign of confusion which the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob is definitely not in the habit of. You guys cannot believe that all your doubletalk and cut and run tactics are anything that serves Jesus Christ in any way do you? Shut you fingers down with the provide proof, it is tired, as are you. People if you haven’t wised up to the god that Abanes and Warren serve yet, then may God have mercy on you and cause you to seek His face and not the false image of god that has so enveloped Saddleback and Abanes and the Purpose Driven confusion that is sweeping the nation and the world.

  31. WBURKE: the fact that people aren’t fleeing the teachings of a Rick Warren, a Joel Osteen or a Bill Hybels and that they are swallowing up the words of Eugene Peterson as if it were the word of God, the Bible, only shows how deeply deceived people have become
    RA: WHAT teachings?? Please, WHAT teachings?? List for us 3 heretical teachings that Warren is preaching (and by the way, quoting The Message is not heresy).

    WBURKE: when someone calls out a false prophet, false teacher, a greed driven money chasing scoundrel who is defaming the name of Christ throughout the world by preaching a Gospel that doesn’t save a soul. I’ve provided ample presentation of where Warren falls short in his gospel with his “Jesus I believe you I receive you”
    RA: You show nothing. If you want to see the gospel Warren preaches, go here
    http://abanes.com/warrenpreachesgospel.html and if you want to see the gospel in the PDL, go here, http://abanes.com/PDLcrossbloodsin.html, which includes your quote ripped out of context from the book.

    WBURKE: That is a repentence free gospel that has no salvation in it yet RW claims that by saying that prayer under your breath or whispering it you are now saved. What a lie that is.
    RA: Actually, the lie is misrepresenting Warren, who just gives a basic “Come to Christ” call after a brief and basic presentation of the gospel. Repentance simply means changing your mind and going in the other direction.

    WBURKE: And Richard, would you just drop off the planet
    RA: You wish . . . : – )

    WBURKE: or get a clue – your pastor presented a video of Blanchard to the congregation, pretty much inviting him to take over the pulpit by video and in that video he stated how he (Blanchard) was looking ofrward to being a part of the PEACE Plan etc.
    RA: Really???? Watch it again, all 30 seconds or so of it.

    WBURKE: Now if you claim that nothing ever materialized then I must ask you why your pastor was putting Blanchard in the “sermon” to sign on to the PEACE Plan and then back out?
    RA: I think the more important question is: Why are you so conspiratorially minded??? You use language like “back out” etc as if to imply some bizarre hidden plan or agenda. Look, the explanation has been given. And yet you just keep repeating yourself, but never showing anything to contradict what has been said. Oh well.

    WBURKE: That is a sign of confusion which the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob is definitely not in the habit of.
    RA: Hmmmmm, exactly when did you or any Christian become perfect and also able to tell the future???

    WBURKE: You guys cannot believe that all your doubletalk and cut and run tactics are anything that serves Jesus Christ in any way do you? Shut you fingers down with the provide proof, it is tired, as are you.
    RA: uh-huh.

    WBURKE: People if you haven’t wised up to the god that Abanes and Warren serve yet, then may God have mercy on you and cause you to seek His face and not the false image of god that has so enveloped Saddleback and Abanes and the Purpose Driven confusion that is sweeping the nation and the world.
    RA: Sad, man. I weep for you. You will be held accountable for bearing false witness. My GOD is the Triune GOD of the Old and New Testament, whom I now serve after having accepted Jesus Christ, God the Son and the Son of God, who was and is 100% and 100% man, and who died for my sins on the cross—by his shed blood, by grace through faith I am forgiven for my sins.

  32. WBurke, what’s wrong with Joel Olsteen? I’ve never read the Purpose Driven Life, but I watch him all the time. All I’ve ever seen used against him was tiny fragments of his book taken totally out of context…

    Maybe I should read the PDL, if it’s got some of the same “lies” in it the Joel teaches ;) – LOL

  33. “The goal of ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ is to help people develop a heart for the world.”
    (Rick Warren, “The Purpose Driven Life helps readers determine the focus of their lives,” pastors.com)

    1 John 2:15 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

    “Everybody knows that Christmas is the idea that God sent Jesus Christ to earth. The big question is, ‘So what?’ Why did He come? And of course the Bible says, ‘He came to, uh, give our past forgiven, a purpose for living and a home in heaven. And that’s what this book (The Purpose Driven Life) is about.”
    (Rick Warren, “The Bill O’Reilly Show, The Factor,” Friday, December 17, 2004)
    Note: No mention of sin and the Gospel to the millions of viewers of Bill O’Reilly on the Fox Network.

    “It is my deep conviction that anybody anybody can be won to Christ if you discover the felt needs to his or her heart. That key to each person’s heart is unique so it is sometimes difficult to discover. It may take some time to identify it. But the most likely place to start is with the person’s felt needs. As I pointed out earlier, this was the approach Jesus used.”
    (Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church, pg. 219)

    Comment – Show me where in the Bible Jesus or any of the disciples tried to discover someone’s “felt needs” before preaching the Gospel to them. Better yet show me where God ‘s word or Jesus commands us to seek out someone’s “felt needs” before sharing with them a gospel message that it may convert them? Jesus didn’t wait -when talking to Nicodemus he went straight to being born again without Nicodemus even asking Him a question. With the rich young ruler he told him he must sell all he has, give it to the poor and come follow Him, yet when the RYR walked away sad He said nothing to comfort him or meet his “felt needs” did he? With the woman at the well show me where he tries to assess her “felt needs”? He went quickly to her adulterous lifestyle and convicted her of a sinful nature in need of the “living water” that He, the Son of God, offered.

    I just called it “Getting to Know God.” I love to teach theology to non-believers without them knowing what it is; I find that a challenge. So it’s a good balance.”
    (Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Preaching: An Interview with Rick Warren. Sept-Oct 2001)

    Where in the Bible does it teach us that being deceptive with non-believers we can lead anyone to salvation? Whereas Paul taught the Corinthians sharply in the 1st letter to them that they might experience a godly sorrow which in the 2nd letter (7:10) he said, For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

    “We must be willing to adjust our worship practices when unbelievers are present. God tells us to be sensitive to the hang ups of unbelievers in our services.”
    (Rick Warren, quoted in “Church Growth Gone Mad,” By Clay Miller, Associate Pastor, Outreach Ministries, Grace Community Church

    Show me Richard where in the Bible God says we should adjust our services for saints and believers to accommodate the desires and feelings of unbelievers. How is that edifying to the believers?

    “You know, the three biggest surprises of 2004 were first, as you mentioned, ‘The Passion of the Christ,’ which was roundly panned by every media, and yet went on to become the third best grossing movie in history. That was the first bit surprise. The second was my book, where for the second year in row, 2003 and 2004, it was the best selling book in the world. And what in the world is a book by a pastor doing at the top of the best-seller’s list for two years.”
    (Rick Warren, “Larry King Live,” CNN, March 22, 2005)
    Note by author, not by WBurke: Good question, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets,” Luke 6:26.

    “You must match your music to the kind of people God wants your church to reach…. The music you use ‘positions’ your church in your community. It defines who you are…. It will determine the kind of people you attract, the kind of people you keep, and the kind of people you lose.”
    (Rick Warren, Selecting Worship Music, July 29, 2002)

    Comment: So in other words if your music is not appealing to a person then that person should continue to walk in their sin possibly never coming to church again? Paul told Timothy in 2 Tim 4 to “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

    The work of an evangelist is primarily to go out into the world to make disciples of the nations, not to attract people into the church and make the church service, the Sunday morning weekly service, about the evangelization of the unsaved. That is a complete dereliction of duty by the pastor to equip and edify the saints through the preaching of the word of God. It also serves to relax the saved into not equipping themselves to fulfill their ministry of reconciliation which all of the saved have, having been reconciled we are to reconcile others. If you don’t know how that should be done I qould encourage you to go to http://www.wayofthemaster.com because there was a method to witnessing that Jesus Christ used and it didn’t revolve around assessing and pacifying someones “felt needs” it revolved around resolving their need for a savior from the coming judgment we are all to face.

    Final quote from Rick Warren:
    “The church that claims to reach everyone is only fooling themselves. No style of church can possibly reach everyone. Take a close look and you’ll find that every church has a “culture.” This culture is determined by the predominant kind of people who make up the congregation. Whoever your church has right now is who you’re likely to attract more of – whether you like that fact or not.
    What is the likelihood of a church full of retirees reaching teenagers? What is the likelihood of a church full of urban professionals reaching farmers? What is the likelihood of a church full of military personnel reaching peace activists? Highly unlikely. That’s why we must start all kinds of services and churches.”
    (Rick Warren Interview, Pastor’s.com, August)

    Jonah converted an entire city by the power of God, not just Jonah types. Peter brought in 3000 at Pentecost by the power of God and the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ (without compromise or focus on felt needs) not by modifying the message or the service to meet the desires of the 3000 but by addressing their condition. Richard you say you like Charles Spurgeon, well he would be a chief opponent of Rick Warren because Spurgeon was outspoken against the “downgrade” as he saw it and as his sermons reveal very clearly there is no way around preaching of the wrath of God, the coming judgment and our irreplaceable need for Jesus to save us and for us to “put on” our Lord Jesus Christ not merely speak a few words at a point in time for our salvation from the wrath to come.

  34. WBURKE: “The goal of ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ is to help people develop a heart for the world.” (Rick Warren, “The Purpose Driven Life helps readers determine the focus of their lives,” pastors.com) 1 John 2:15 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
    RA: This citation alone and your interpretation of it shows that you are beyond hope. Are you actually believing that Rick Warren is here instructing people to literally have a “heart for the world” as in LOVE the world and the things in it??!!!! Amazing. It almost leaves me speechless how you can actually pervert his words into this kind of twisted notion. It’s so painfully obvious that what he is saying here is develop a “heart” (or a caring attitude) for the world’s people (i.e., our neighbors).

    You probably got this from Paul Proctor’s “Sweet Lies” article—June 23, 2004 (see my article response at http://www.abanes.com/paulproctor.html). This is a prime example of how Proctor can take a perfectly innocent comment and pervert it in a way so bizarre that it boggles the mind. Here we have Rick Warren simply saying that he hopes his book will encourage people to care about others around them (i.e., the world)—in other words, love thy neighbor and demonstrate that love by serving in the church. Such service is rendered by feeding the hungry, giving clothes to the poor, caring for the sick, sheltering the homeless/orphaned, and comforting those who are in need (such as widows). Such conduct is one of the marks of “pure and undefiled” religion (James 1:27). It exemplifies how Jesus lived out his ministry by feeding the hungry and healing the sick.

    But Proctor, in his unending quest to make Warren look as bad as possible, lifted Warren’s words out of context and twisted them to fit his own agenda. Proctor went to an article from The Baptist Press, then lifted the short phrase “a heart for the world” was lifted out of a paragraph that actually explained what Warren meant by this statement, which by the way, was not even a direct quote, but instead was a paraphrase of Warren’s words. The article stated: “Warren says the goal of The Purpose Driven Life is to help people develop a heart for the world. He says real meaning and significance won’t come from pursuing one’s personal goals and ambitions but only from understanding and fulfilling God’s purposes” (see article athttp://www.baptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=14320).

    WBURKE: Show me where in the Bible Jesus or any of the disciples tried to discover someone’s “felt needs” before preaching the Gospel to them.
    RA: Read about Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman. Do you even know what Warren means by “felt-needs”? You don’t seem to know what he is even saying. “Felt-needs” just means meeting people where they are in life. That’s all. Stop making it into something it’s not. Felt-needs is NOT, as Warren’s critics have incorrectly defined it., making people feel better or pacifying them—that is one of the destructive rumors that you and others are spreading without first even understanding Warren’s teachings. You hear a term like “felt-needs,” define it as YOU would define it, then start spreading rumors about what Warren teaches. Wrong approach. Find out what a person actually means by something they say.

    WBURKE: Where in the Bible does it teach us that being deceptive with non-believers we can lead anyone to salvation?
    RA: This is not deceptive, it’s called talking to them so they: a) understand what you are saying; b) can apply what they understand to their lives; and c) don’t frighten them away from Christ by talking like some holier-than-thou, self-righteous, indignant, Bible-thumper. It’s called just simply talking to people about Christ and being down to earth.

    WBURKE: Show me Richard where in the Bible God says we should adjust our services for saints and believers to accommodate the desires and feelings of unbelievers. How is that edifying to the believers?
    RA: 1 Corinthians 14:23-33. Argue with Paul. He’s the one who said be sensitive to unbelievers.

    WBURKE: So in other words if your music is not appealing to a person then that person should continue to walk in their sin possibly never coming to church again?
    RA: Dude, you’re arguments are just getting too strange at this point. They have no bearing in reality.

    RA

    BTW, you didn’t list a SINGLE statement that was in any way heretical or that compromised the central doctrines of Christianity. Thanks for proving my point.

  35. “The goal of ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ is to help people develop a heart for the world.”
    (Rick Warren, “The Purpose Driven Life helps readers determine the focus of their lives,” pastors.com)

    1 John 2:15 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

    Tim: Totally out of context. We ARE to love the world. Not “love the word” as in love sin, but love the people, and long for their forgiveness and mercy from God. That’s what Rick Warren is talking about. He’s not talking about love for sin.

    “Show me where in the Bible Jesus or any of the disciples tried to discover someone’s “felt needs” before preaching the Gospel to them.”

    Tim: The blind men, the beggars, the sick, the needy, the helpless, the poor. Jesus helped them. He healed them. For others, he showed them that their need was forgiveness, and met that neeed.

    I must say, that when I see things taken out of context, I can’t agree with the rest of the arguement many times. Richard answered some of the other questions (but Richard…settle down man…it’s not the end of the World :-))

  36. Tim,

    Brother when you totally take 1 John 2:15 and reshape it to fit your mistaken take on it – brother you’re not taking the word for what it offers. Jesus Himself said if anyone loves brother, sister, father or mother more than Me they are not worthy of me, yet when, as Warren and you put it, someone develops a “heart for the world” i.e. a love for the world and things in the world they very readily fool themselves into thinking that by meeting a persons physical needs and ignoring their spiritual needs they have done right by that person. God’s word says he wills that none should perish, so before you take on this response, begin by making sure that the gospel message you would preach to the lost is one that has all the needed components and utilizes what Psalm 19:7 says is PERFECT for converting the soul, and what Paul says is the schoolmaster to lead someone to Christ (Gal. 3:24). The very tool Jesus used with the Samaritan woman at the well and with the rich young ruler, the Law of the Lord is what I am speaking of, something minimized in the prevailing trends of “churchdom” in America. Look at Psalm 1 Tim – note verse 2 – But his delight is in the law of the LORD,And in His law he meditates day and night. Show me where in the PDL one is to learn to delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on it day and night.

  37. Tim: (but Richard…settle down man…it’s not the end of the World :-) )

    RA: Seriously? Do I sould unsettled? Actually, I was half asleep when I wrote—my corn pops were just getting soaked in milk. Oh well, guess I still have a ways to go before dialing into the internet blog sound—i.e., light banter, humor, yet firm. I try to make things sound light, but my personality just doesn’t come across in the text. Hmmm.

    talk soon,

    RA

  38. WBURKE: someone develops a “heart for the world” i.e. a love for the world and things in the world they very readily fool themselves into thinking that by meeting a persons physical needs and ignoring their spiritual needs they have done right by that person.

    RA: hmmmm, excuse me, wrong. In fact, Rick Warren—in my innterview with him—denounces the social gospel and condemns simply meeting a person’s physical needs. That is one reason why the very first letter in the PEACE plan (“P”) is for planting churches—this is important or the primary thrust of the PEACE Plan, which is introducing people to Jesus and getting them saved (Warren also notes this in his interview with me—Time can verify it, he has a copy of the book).

    RAbanes

  39. Yeah, I was just kidding. But “light banter, humor, yet firm” works best. It takes some time, but practice makes perfect. I just did a new post on commenting/debate ethics on the main page that may be of interest to all commenters here.

    WBurke,
    I’ll get back to you on that later. (aka: I’m still writing my comment)

  40. Planting churches which will all be by the PDC model complete with 1 year of sermons by Rick Warren – now tell me Richard how is that going to usher in the will of God for a village or remote community when it is only a rehashing of the teaching of Rick Warren to Saddleback? Pastors need to get on their knees and into prayer to God for the words which god would have them deliver to the flock they are blessed with, not regurgitate some sermon that Warren did and sells at http://www.pastors.com as a “help” to struggling pastors.

    Do you even comprehend what Jesus meant in Matt. 7:22-24 which includes the sobering warning to MANY that “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ How would it be that some could practice lawlessness and yet believe that they have done great wonders in His name? They could have been duped into believing they were “saved” when in fact they had a worldly sorrow that leads to death (2 Cor. 7:10), they could have been fed the line that if you say this simple prayer and “believe it, I mean really believe it” that you’re saved, it’s not about asking Jesus into your heart, to put it that way is to make Jesus out to be almost like a beggar, and then you end up with people like yourself who are totally averse to examining yourself to see that you are in the faith, that you are living by the words of Jesus which include “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” Matt 10:37-38

    You’ve got people reading PDL being told that because they said this prayer they’re saved and then they read in the Bible these harsh commands of Jesus, “but wait Rick Warren said I’m saved because I said that prayer on page 58 of PDL and received Jesus, both of them can’t be right so who do I follow? Who do I believe?” At this point the reader must choose who to follow and the situation pits RW against Jesus, this would not be the case were the person given a legitimate teaching of the gospel through the method that Jesus used which is clearly taught at http://www.wayofthemaster.com and http://www.livingwaters.com by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, praise the Lord. Jesus also said in Luke 14:27-30 “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?”

    What will happen to those who have not been apprised of the cost of following Christ when they are put to the fire of trials and tribulations which we are promised will occur? How then will they respond when their comfortable situation is turned upside down? When God asks them, as He asked the rich young ruler to sell it all and give to the poor and follow after Him? We (in America) live in an age of spiritual comfort, where we seldom see our faith put to the tests of say a Chinese Christian or Sudanese Christian or Russian Christian where faith in Jesus Christ could mean life or death. sure you have a Columbine example, and praise God for that wonderful account of faith under fire, but what would happen in most churches in America if men with guns came in and proclaimed that “anyone who is not willing to die for their faith in Jesus Christ exit the building now!” You would likely see a mass exodus from the churches and reveal exactly how shattered many American Christians faith really is.

    Question Richard – what exactly is Rick planning to do with his foray into the world of AIDS? Is he going to help funnel drugs into the communities affected by NIV/AIDS or is he going to present the truth about AIDS which can be found at The Dr. Rath Foundation where they are using vitamins and amino acids to cure HIV/AIDS patients in South Africa? http://www.dr-rath-foundation.org.za/ see for yourself and pass the word on to Rick so that people don’t have to be forced into taking extremely toxic drugs under the illusion that they are the best therapy possible for HIV/AIDS infected people. If truth is Rick’s desire and resolution of the AIDS problem is his goal – then he should know the drug companies are not the answer.

  41. WBURKE: Planting churches which will all be by the PDC model complete with 1 year of sermons by Rick Warren – now tell me Richard how is that going to usher in the will of God for a village or remote community when it is only a rehashing of the teaching of Rick Warren to Saddleback?
    RA: Brother, do you know why 1 year’s worth of Rick sermons might be added to the churches planted in remote and deserted areas of Africa???? I’ll tell you why—the godly brethren who are local villagers, who will have to keep the church going, have NO trianing, schooling, education, or experience in teaching/preaching. It is how Saddleback is trying to help these servants of Christ get going. The sermons to them will be FREE OF CHARGE!!!!! Copies of the sermons will be given to help them see how messages can be formed and delivered—all Bible based topical studies. This effort is funded by money received from selling items to American pastors (who are far better off financially than third world pastors). Third world pastors cannot afford materials.

    WBURKE: Pastors need to get on their knees and into prayer to God for the words which god would have them deliver to the flock they are blessed with, not regurgitate some sermon that Warren did and sells at http://www.pastors.com as a “help” to struggling pastors.
    RA: No one is saying pastors do not need to get on their knees and pray. My goodness, man, it is just a tool to help starting pastors—just like any bible study commentary, dictionary, encyclopedia, or preaching courses at seminaries. WHy are you so hostile and just itching to condemn even the kindest and simply acts of Warren and Saddleback? Why are you so willing to condemn without really looking at what is being said, taught, or done? I don’t understand.

    WBURKE: Do you even comprehend what Jesus meant in Matt. 7:22-24 which includes the sobering warning to MANY that “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ How would it be that some could practice lawlessness and yet believe that they have done great wonders in His name?
    RA: Who in the WORLD is talking about lawlessness???? Again, I can only ask why you keep repeating such misrepresentations?? No one at Saddleback, least of all Warren, condones lawlessness, disobedience, or not following Christ’s commands.

    WBURKE: You’ve got people reading PDL being told that because they said this prayer they’re saved and then they read in the Bible these harsh commands of Jesus,
    RA: You are utterly ignoring the answers being given to you and are clearly not interested in the truth. My friend, please, I implore you, reconsider these issues.

    WBURKE: Question Richard – what exactly is Rick planning to do with his foray into the world of AIDS?
    RA: Uhhhmmmmm, showing compassion and Christ’s love to the suffering masses????

    WBURKE: Is he going to help funnel drugs into the communities affected by NIV/AIDS or is he going to present the truth about AIDS which can be found at The Dr. Rath Foundation where they are using vitamins and amino acids to cure HIV/AIDS patients in South Africa?
    RA: Vitamins and amino acids cure AIDS????? Oh, dear. . . . I have no words.

    RA

  42. WBURKE’S endorsement of a lying doctor~

    In a 12/5/05 statement, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) condemned the vitamin selling Matthias Rath Foundation.

    WHY?

    First, because his claims are outrageously false about being able to cure AIDS through the use of vitamins.

    Second, because a “number of accounts published by Matthias Rath on his website and distributed as flyers and advertisements in South Africa imply that a number of United Nations bodies including WHO, UNICEF and UNAIDS endorse his approach.” Such a claim by Rath, of course, is untrue.

    A Health-e News Service notes: ““The three UN organizations are extremely concerned about these misrepresentations and note that the Rath Foundation has used quotes and information from UN agencies out of context. Misrepresentations of this sort are both dangerous and unhelpful,” said UNAIDS spokesperson Richard Delate.”

    See this article – http://www.csa.za.org/article/articleview/360/1/1/

    In South Africa a lawsuit is now being waged against Rath over his bogus claims. “[C]ourt papers said, ‘The Rath Foundation is preying on vulnerable people with life-threatening illnesses with two aims: to sell their products and to support the HIV denialists who have caused enormous damage to our country’” (see this article, here—http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=24506).

    Richard Abanes

  43. RA: Vitamins and amino acids cure AIDS????? Oh, dear. . . . I have no word.

    WBurke: Hey Richard before you get bent over your ignorance about “vitamins and amino acids cure AIDS” why not do yourself a favor and watch the videos available at the link I provided and explain to me “Mr. Compassionate Christian follower of Pastor Compassion Warren” why these people were surrounded by their friends who were dying and getting sicker with AIDS while they were being cured and their benevolent doctor who was giving them the therapy that was eliminating the AIDS from their bodies for FREE is being demonized and villified by mainstream medicine, the media, many governments including the US government and the most directly drug companies and their agents of propoganda like TAC? Here’s a few of the links: http://www.dr-rath-foundation.org.za/multimedia/pressconference04.ram http://www.dr-rath-foundation.org.za/multimedia/pressconference03.ram http://www.dr-rath-foundation.org.za/multimedia/pressconference05.ram
    I’m sure you can find the time to watch them since you seemingly spend your life surfing the web defending your idol. Why don’t you do him a favor and get him on the right page before he gets in deep with drug companies who kill more Americans every year than 50 to 100 9/11′s. http://www.mercola.com/2003/nov/26/death_by_medicine.htm

    RA: Copies of the sermons will be given to help them see how messages can be formed and delivered—all Bible based topical studies.

    WBurke: Richard NEWSFLASH The Message is not God’s Word and it’s no wonder Rick doesn’t think African pastors can afford do it, he seems convinced that you need to have 30 different Bible versions to be able to write an effective sermon. He (RW) said in his PEACE Plan sermon that “many pastors he knows don’t even have a Bible”, well Richard and Rick why don’t you save your PDL and PDC and give the pastors a solid helping of God’s word in the form of a real Bible, like say maybe a New King James or King James or NIV – something that hasn’t been destroyed or isn’t a paraphrase. The proper process for a pastor of a church to go through in preparing a sermon is seek God’s inspiration and His word for each message, not download a sermon or run a retread from Saddleback.

    RA: Why are you so willing to condemn without really looking at what is being said, taught, or done? I don’t understand.

    WBurke: It is exactly because I have looked at what is being taught and said and written and discussed in interviews that I am so vocal about spreading it throughout the world. It has literally consumed churches I’ve been affiliated with and made them virtually impotent in their messages and producing very poor quality of fruit, messages that are 90% fluff, 3% “Word of God” or passages from a paraphrase and 7% of the time is spent announcing “accomplishments” from the previous week or the coming weeks planned activities that don’t include Bible study but rather “life groups” centered around “relationships” with other church members with a secondary focus on Alimighty God. I’ve been involved in the groups Richard, I’ve seen them developed in churches and I’ve seen the fruits that come from them, often self-centered Bible dismissing proponents of PDL/WCA like yourself. Not good fruit Richard. Not good fruit.

  44. Let me just add Richard that I’m adamant and highly disturbed by PDL and the “seeker sensitive” movement because these are ETERNAL lives we’re talking about here, but in the case of those who come up short on Judgment Day by believing the lie and spending the rest of their lives assured they are heaven bound and are told by Jesus Christ “Depart from me” – for them it is Eternal DEATH! Every day in is no closer to the end than the day they arrived. Something Rick and you seem not willing to mention with the amount of passion that one who truly has a grasp of the concept will display. Spurgeon whom you said was one of your favorites and a must read was extremely clear about how to preach to the lost, the importance of the full council gospel and you say you are very fond of his writing yet much like your aversion to the many scriptures I’ve cited or posted you say one thing but then your words belie credulity on the matter.

    As for your lame post of the anti-Rath attacks Richard thanks for doing more work of Satan. You are now attempting to slander the name of a man who is saving lives with methods that use the God-given power of the immune system, a protege of 2-time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, a world renowned researcher who is not afraid to put his reputation and life on the line to save the lives of others. Big Pharma is responsible for hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of deaths per year and one more named Matthias Rath would certainly not bother them one bit as he’s been a huge thorn in their side and sits ready to topple their golden goose named HIV/AIDS to which the US has promised Billions upon Billions of dollars.

    Obviously Richard your entire case against Rath drop at this point – He is not selling one vitamin to anyone in South Africa – he has however promised them free of charge to any and all South Africans seeking them, an offer that will hopefully cost him much of his foundations money which comes from sales to other countries and donations. Something you seem to think is okay concerning sermons but apparently in the area of AIDS and when lives are in the balance lets throw them toxic ARV drug cocktails. Get your facts straight before you step on this mine again Richard – you are way out of your league here.

  45. WBURKE: . . . .

    RA: You kill me. {:—)

    Have a good day, WB.

    RA

  46. “The Rath Foundation touts the benefits of vitamin therapy above antiretroviral therapy, claiming that the western drug therapy is toxic.”

    Hey Richard this is a paragraph from the article you posted. You might find it worthy of note that when AZT is packaged for other industrial uses, the exact same chemical formulation merely packaged for a different non-medical use, it is labelled with crossbones on the label. Yet how dare Dr. Rath or anyone for that matter dare call it or any other drug toxic.

  47. Yeah, and toothpaste contains carpet-cleaner. You can also use botox to get rid of wrinkles. And honey will kill a baby. That doesn’t make botox, toothpaste, and honey murderous drugs. In fact, when it comes to drugs and chemicals, these substances are often used in varying strengths for different purposes, including POISONS! Did you ever get bit by a rattler snake??? That will really lay you out because of the toxic venom. But guess what anti-snake serum is made with??? Hmmm, that would be toxic snake venom.

    But we digresss—we seriously digress. You still haven’t posted anything stated by Rick Warren that is a different gospel or heretical. And I have declared my faith. So, again, I say, have a good day.

    peace-out,

    RA

    PS I, of course, am no doctor. Are you?

  48. I watched as my mother was destroyed by medicine and you have the auddacity to make light of the deaths of hundreds of thousands at the hands of pharmacia by some convoluted comparison of irrelevent factors, what a pity.

    You are an incredibly entrenched individual in the philosophy of Warren therefore irregardless of what heresies, false gospels, etc… are clearly revealed to you (as we’ve done on numerous occasion, your integrity, heck even your future sales of one of your latest works rests on the fact that you are convinced of what utter nonsense you have presented. I pity those who’ve wasted their money on your writings because in the short time I’ve known you I’ve got to say I have no doubt that the truth is elusive to you and barring an incredible conversion and repentance by you, you will be buried by your defensive posturing for Warren. In research of your background I even found where on of your CRI coworkers has revealed probable plagiarism you’ve done, does that mean you’re guilty, I cannot say, but in seeing how you write and the way you present yourself I wouldn’t find it hard to believe.

    Am I a doctor? No I wouldn’t waste $250K to learn how to milk patients for money and leave them needing more in their time of direst need. However I spent 12 years studying alternative medicine and the health care system – more time then doctors spend in med school. Doctors get one course required on nutrition in the med school curriculum and we’re told to go to them before we make any diet decisions? Medicine in America kills 785,000+ per year (Death By Medicine, 2003, Null, Dean, et al) http://www.garynull.com/documents/iatrogenic/deathbymedicine/DeathByMedicine1.htm
    Why would I want to pay into the system that is destroying so much life and ostracizes and vilifies those who spread the truth? Pharmaceutical companies despite being relatively new (mostly post WWII) have completely controlled medical education since the 60′s and now they direct the discussions on health care to such an extent that they’ve got people handing over their hard earned dollars to “cure” diseases these companies have no interest in curing – all one needs to do to come to that realization is to look at the end run scenario – they cure cancer, AIDS, heart disease, diabetes – they wipeout billion dollar industries and eliminate their own jobs – yeah like that’s gonna happen in publicly traded companies.Am I a doctor? I gladly say no, but then again most doctors are not healing agents – but rather have become drug peddlers and pushers.

    WBurke

  49. It’s very easy to get into contention with issues like this. Men on both sides tend to want to prove themselves right with a quise of spirituality. It’s easy to happen to us all. That being said let’s try to focus on God’s truth.

    Check out what “The Bible” says about the importance of “every word” he has written. We are called to hold everything up to the light of scripture to examine it, and as you read through the Purpose Driven books I ask that you do just that.

    “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:5,6

    “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35

    “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Psalm 12:6, 7

    “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19

    P.24 from PDL Eph 1:4 Says “God’s motive for creating you was his love. The Bible says, “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love.

    Compare to KJV – According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    *Comment – takes out the Holy and without blame part from Word of God, continues on the path to remove the “righteous, purity, holiness” etc.

    P.193 from PDL “God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character. In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible”.

    *Comment – Gods Word is far more valuable in molding us than our circumstances, how so dishonoring to the richness and power of His Word to make such a statement

  50. TS very well put, thank you for your calm and focused response to the errors within PDL – let me apologize to you and all for my momentary lapse of restraint.

    WBurke

  51. Without dissecting every verse of scripture in every translation, let me say that: 1) personally I do not like The Message; 2) all translations have problems—including, the KJV.

    If you want to talk about changing God’s Word, the word unicorn in the KJV is wrong (it is NOT in the hebrew manuscripts) and the Trinitarian formula in 1 John 5:7 is not in the Greek manuscripts. So, who is adding to the Word of God now? Just my two cents. Even so, none of us are heretics. You cannot define a heretic by the translation or paraphrase they like.

    And as for Warren’s remark—”In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible”—I can only wonder why you did not quote ALL of what Warren said in context. He clearly explained what he meant by that statement, which you have misconstrued. He said:

    “God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character. In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible. The reason is obvious: You face circumstances twenty-four hours a day.”

    In other words, Warren is making a remark here about experiential change connected with daily living in the world that pushes us toward sanctification. This is happening every waking moment. We are being changed by our circumstances with every moment of life. He is not making some heretical comment that diminishes the power, worth, and need for God’s Word.

    Jesus said in John 14:12: “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do”! Does this mean we are greater than Jesus??? Of course not.

    Context, context, context.

    RAbanes

  52. Richard nice try but all you have to do to get a good understanding of what Warren means is compare those ideas to the fruits of his ministry and the sum of all of that clearly reveals how far removed from the spirit of God’s word his teachings have become. Context? Context? Context? When you continuously slide the slope upon which he speaks as if you’ve corenered the market on “Warrenspeak” and no one else is able to hold the man accountable for false teachings, poor interpretations, misuse and misrepresentations of non-Biblical paraphrases like The Message, the multi-version sermons which ultimately will discourage believers to leave their Bibles at home or purchase and rely on a sad interpretation/paraphrase like the Message for “The Word of God” because Warren has repeatedly referred to it as “the Bible says” – that is heretical in the highest order yet you I am sure have no problem with it and will simply throw out your unicorn statement about the KJV to say again that all versions have issues.

    “Rather than threaten sinners with fire and brimstone, Warren says, “We believe in attraction evangelism. We believe in loving people into the Kingdom.”
    (“This evangelist has a ‘Purpose,” by Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY, 7/21/2003)

    The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Pet. 3:9)

    How exactly Richard do you love someone to repentance?

    “I knew that by simplifying doctrine in a devotional format for the average person, I ran the risk of either understating or overstating some truths. I’m sure I have done that. I also knew that I’d be criticized for what I left out of the book and for using fifteen different translations and paraphrases to get the message across. But I decided when I planted Saddleback in 1980 that I’d rather reach large numbers of people for Christ than seek the approval of religious traditionalists. In the past eight years, we’ve baptized over 11,000 new adult believers at our church. I am addicted to changed lives.”
    (Rick Warren Interview, Christianity.com)

    Would Rick consider God one of those religious traditionalists? I mean what happened to Uzzah when he did things out of order when transporting the arc of the Covenant? He was slain by God on the spot. When you have allowed the youth ministry in your church to take on such a worldly tone as evidenced by the worm eating, authority slamming activities os your churches own youth program (see http://www.simplyyouthministry.com/dr/v2/ec_MAIN.Entry10?V1=31032300&SP=10024&PN=28&xid=49326&DSP=&CUR=840&PGRP=0&CACHE_ID=0
    then it shows an irreverence for scriptures like Rom 8:29 – For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. How is it being conformed to the image of His Son by desecrating your body, disrespecting authority and conforming to the patterns of this world which is clearly condemned by Rom 12:2 which says – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

    Those are the fruits of a message that is irreverent, worldly and softened to the point of being devoid of any sufficiency for salvation.

    Fruit, fruit, fruit!

    WBurke

  53. oh my…

    See this is what I’m thinking.

    Some people are angry and blinded, they just HAVE to be contrarian.

    Look- should we love the world?

    Yes.

    Does anyone remember John 3:16?

    Let’s go ahead and say that to ourselves right now.

    (and let’s look up ALL the meaings of the greek word “kosmos”)

    Does anyone else feel as though if RIck Warren were to say that the sky was blue, certain people here would begin marshalling biblical evidence that the sky is, in fact, green?
    :)

  54. In reference to comment #53:
    (I posted this at slice of L. but I doubt it will get through…it’s about the worm eating thing)

    “You know, you could rip apart almost any Church and their youth group. You don’t have to focus on Saddleback. Let’s take a look a my church, which I believe is very doctrinally sound (let’s just say that my Grandpa is the minister of music and is friends with Al Mohler, who happens to be on your sidebar). I’m sure you could come into our church and find many things and say that “thanks to so and so church “youth groups [are] into freak shows.”

    We do mystery dinners, and the youth pastor dresses up in a really funny costume that you could look at on the web and say that we’re just sick or whatever.

    But youth groups CAN have fun. And you have to admit it…it’s kind of funny. I’m sure that there are times to be silly, and times to be serious, and the time the guy was eating worms was a time to be silly. It’s not like that’s all they do. That page is for funny pictures…(man, I wonder if the guy really at the worms…)

    Also, you could come into any church and find something that the Pastor says wrong, or “New-ageish” (is that a word?). If you really think about it, it’s true. It’s not like Saddleback is one church that does a bunch of “evil” stuff. Many of the things they do, hundreds of other churches do too..and those other Churches are awesome!”

  55. “Jesus drew large crowds yet he never comprimised the truth. No one accused him of watering down the message except the jealous chief priests, who criticized him out of envy (Mark 15:12). Frankly, I suspect that same ministerial jealousy motivates some today who criticize churches that attract large crowds.”
    (Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church, page 53)

    WHAT? No one ever accused Jesus of watering down the truth because He never did. He, in spite of the threats of stoning delivered to the chief priests the harshest words they could fathom, they never had “ministerial jealousy” for Jesus they viewed Him as blasphemous for claiming He was equal to God, they condemned Him because He exposed their inner filth and was PERFECT in every way and His deeds were convincing many of His authenticity, His Lordship, His Deity. This kind of flawed interpretation of scripture is inexcuseable, but has come to be par for the course in the ministry of Warren. That is where the problems come from Richard – he is consistently misinterpretting scripture to justify himself and condemn others who would hold him accountable for such erroneous interpretations. Notice he takes a slap at solid Biblical churches without justification in the second half of the quote – a trait you apparently revere because you’ve shown an adeptness at doing the very same thing.

    “Third, never criticize what God is blessing, even though it may be a style of ministry that makes you feel uncomfortable.”
    (Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church, page 62)

    Where is there scriptural support for this statement? And despite the Old Testament being filled with examples of fast growing movements that were not of God and the New Testaments many warnings of a great falling away and apostasy from early days of the church and even more likely at our present day – the time for discernment and adherence to sound scriptural methods and teachings has never been more critically necessary.

    RA has implied that RW never compromised church services to fit the needs of the unchurched, a dereliction of the responsibilities of a pastor who is to exhort and edify the saints – well this proves the opposite is in fact true from Warrens Purpose Driven Church:

    “Using information we gathered through the survey, we mailed an open letter to the community addressing the major concerns of the unchurched and announcing a church service designed to counteract the most common excuses they gave.”
    (Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church, page 193)

    Let me simply close with this from Acts where it describes how the early church clung to the DOCTRINE AND FELLOWSHIP of the apostles, certainly very strict and what would be considered “outdated and irrelevent” in our current society but the ultimate closing is in this passage and that is that God added to the church daily, not marketing, relevent methods, meeting the felt needs of the unchurched, etc… but it was God who did it.

    “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers…Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
    Acts 2:42,47

    Certainly none of these that were added by God would account for many of the MANY who will be told by Jesus “Depart from me you workers of iniquity, I never knew you.”

  56. Why does this post remind me of Tim Challies? I saw this image over at Bob’s blog:

    This post is saying that those who really, truly think this are wrong. Have you all read my latest post by the way?

  57. Well, image doesn’t work.

  58. Dear WBURKE,

    Part of what makes it so difficult to talk to you is your serious level of hate, anger, preconceived bias, all around heat, and poison you have already read about Warren. But I will try.

    WBURKE: “How exactly Richard do you love someone to repentance?”
    ABANES: How about these suggestions: Becoming someone’s friend, loving them, letting them know you care, telling them about Jesus and what he has done in your life, don’t expect them as unbelievers to act like believers, being there for them, praying for them, not shoving Bible verses in their face when maybe all they need is a friend to talk to, and freaking out about every little thing in the world. I can specifically acting like this with an atheist and an agnostic who I ministered to at Saddleback for several weeks and they accepted Christ—the Christ of the Bible, knowing that he was the only way, truth, and life.

    WBURKE: You ask: “Would Rick consider God one of those religious traditionalists?”
    ABANES: This is just a mean sarcastic question. So, sorry, no answer.

    WBURKE: I mean what happened to Uzzah when he did things out of order when transporting the arc of the Covenant?
    ABANES: Well, of course, those commands were to theocratic Israel and regarding the Ark’s transportation and temple issues—so exactly what in the world that has to do with anything is beyond me. God cares about the gospel, not external man-approved forms and rituals. Goodness.

    WBURKE: When you have allowed the youth ministry in your church to take on such a worldly tone as evidenced by the worm eating, authority slamming activities os your churches own youth program then it shows an irreverence for scriptures like Rom 8:29
    ABANES: What in the world are you talking about? Where exactly does it say in the Bible that worm-eating is worldly. Personally, I think it’s gross, but you are exalting your personal likes and dislikes to the level of scripture. Okay, so you don’t like worm-eating. Fine, then don’t eat worms and don’t laugh at it. And you want to talk about DESCRATING you body??—Okay, go to the Bible Belt and start measuring waist lines and ask those people how much pastries, cakes, pies, and fried foods they eat. THAT’S desecrating the body. That’s a slow suicide. So why don’t you go ahead and condemn those people as violating scripture? The truth is that you simply don’t think kids should be doing this worm-eating thing (despite the fact that worms/grubs are eaten around the world). Ok, fine. But don’t go around saying that a bunch of Christian kids having fun and thinking that such a thing is entertaining is contrary to Rom 12:2. That, at the very least, is an abuse/misuse of scripture. That verse you cite is about sin and sinning—not worm-eating (or long hair, or blue jeans, or cars, or telephones, or PG-13 movies, or billiards, or jewelry, or make-up, etc etc etc).

    WBURKE: Those are the fruits of a message that is irreverent, worldly and softened to the point of being devoid of any sufficiency for salvation.
    ABANES: I never knew that “NO WORM EATING” was ever a condition of salvation. My Bible, in Romans 10:9, says something completely different, as does John 3:16, and 1 John 5:10-13.

    And you STILL have not produced a SINGLE statement form Warren that detracts from or denies an essential/central doctrine of Christianity. Interesting. You also did little more than side-step the unicorn mistranslation in the KJV and the non-Greek manuscript inserted Trinitarian formula in 1 John. Moreover, just FYI, would you like to know where the KJV heretical mis-translates the word LORD (Kurios) in the New Testament for the New Age word “Master”???? I suppose since New Agers usually use the word master to refer to their avatars and ascended masters that this makes the KJV New Age!!! No???? Hmmm, I thought not. (note to Sweetman—I’m trying to be light here and humorous, because, well, it seems so silly).

    Well, all I can say is what scripture says—we are saved by grace through faith, without works, lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:8-10).

    R Abanes

  59. Thanks Richard (By the way, I will be closing comments in the coming week. I will set up an area to continue the debate if you want.

  60. Hey Tim, with all due respect, God doesn’t judge on human standards such as “how many others were doing it” or “was it a time of silliness or a time of seriousness” the body is “the Temple of the Holy Spirit” is it not? How then can you attempt to legitimize, in the spirit of silliness, defiling it by gluttony with disgusting creatures eaten live in a fashion similar to Fear Factor which glorifies gluttony and defiles contestants by requiring them to eat some offensive animal body parts.

    You say many other churches do things that would be similar to that, how many of them have been affected by Warrens church and the influence of his programs sold as items to spark growth and entice the fancy of youth? You cannot answer that but you can go to Saddleback and see many items on sale that would encourage these types of activities can you not? A little leaven leavens the whole loaf does it not? That is why Paul warned repeatedly to be mindful of false teachers and constantly on guard.

    Consider:
    “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.”
    Galatians 1:10-11

    “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not…Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.”
    1 John 3:1, 13

    “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
    1 John 4:4-6

  61. TIM: But youth groups CAN have fun.

    RA: ahhh, but Tim, many many many Christians CANNOT!!! You’re missing that. Fun to them = Sin (unless it is a kind of fun that they understand and are comfortable with). Only THEIR kind of fun is really fun (and godly). Everything else is of the devil, carnal, sensual, worldy, desecrating, etc etc etc. T

    The truth is that there is a wide variety of things coming into play here with this whole Rick Warren issue—not just what he does, or does not, believe. To be honest, his actual beliefs have now become secondary and even tertiary to the far more deep-seated emotional stuff that is going on.

    RAbanes

  62. WBurke,
    Yes, I expected that from you. But maybe I’ll come at it from another way.

    Eating worms isn’t “wordly.” It’s not like it’s a sin.

    I think my main point would be that you could go to ANY church, any place, and do the same thing you’re doing to Rick Warren to the Pastor that speaks there. You could attack the sermon, the music, the youth, or whatever.

    I think that focusing on Rick Warren and grabbing anything possible that’s wrong with him and using it against him is wrong.

    Put yourself in Richard’s place. Your pastor is being attacked. Your church is being ripped to shreds on the internet. (and yes, I must admit, it’s a little funny sometimes). What would you do.

    Let’s keep in mind that this debate is between CHRISTIANS, and not between unbelievers. Let’s be a good example.

  63. Tim that simply is not the case brother. You have tried to put error on all pastors when you have no ability to know that it would apply to all. Clearly it does not, because there is growing unease with Rick Warren’s efforts to bring more churches into a Purpose Driven model. And in all honesty I wouldn’t be worried about his teachings at all were he not trying to infect and ultimately destroy churches by his methodology which includes dismissing resisters in a manner that is completely unbiblical and destroys long-lasting fellowships (see http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/4-purpose-resisters.htm
    I don’t believe there would be a broad effort to alert people of the errors of Warren’s teachings were he not trying to broaden his influence via his Pastors.com where he sells his sermons. Which, in other words, make pastors present Saddleback retreads rather than submitting to God’s will for their churches, they are now submitting to Warren’s will for Saddleback implemented within churches it was never meant for.

    As for defending my pastor, as you say Richard is doing, I find it very revealing about a pastors heart state when you consider what my pastors have said, and I quote, “If I do anything, ANYTHING, that is contrary to the word of God, then I give you permission to run, not walk thru that door.”

    I’ve visited churches I used to attend and found myself leaving with a feeling of complete spiritual emptiness (much like eating a meal that is wholly unfulfilling) because the message was so watered down and worldly, much like Warren’s that I’ve seen, and these are churches that are now members of Willow Creek Association and have gone through the 40 Days of Purpose. To see pastors you one revered as solid preachers becoming so soft on sin and judgement and preaching messages of self-improvement vs. righteousness and Godlinenss is incredibly sorrowful. Knowing that many friends and acquaintances are under the teachings of such a softened preacher is going to drive at the soul of a Christian, it certainly does mine, thus my passionate plea for sound scriptural preaching.

    Where does the desire to eat worms come from Tim? It comes from Fear Factor – a very worldly show that uses gluttony to defile contestants as they eat sometimes offensive body parts of various animals. Is eating worms wrong, no. Is gluttony wrong, yes. Is eating worms conforming to the patterns of the world, no. Is doing things like those things you see on a popular television show conforming to the patterns of this world – absolutely yes. Don’t justify it because you find it humorous, Jesus said in Luke 16:15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    If my church were being ripped as Rick and Saddleback are, by your own claim not mine, I would evaluate my condition, the validity or the charges based upon the Bible, not the feelings of man. I certainly wouldn’t go the the extent Richard has and begin character assassinations on any detractors, most completely without merit or justification as the charges against Warren are completely justified and scripture backs them.

  64. RA: To be honest, his actual beliefs have now become secondary and even tertiary to the far more deep-seated emotional stuff that is going on.

    WBurke: Not true Richard, nice try but the only reason other aspects are brought up is that they are the unhealthy fruits of an unhealthy church. When Warren’s actual beliefs are challenged you go into an argument of “context” or ignore it altogether. When his quotations are brought up you ignore them or refuse to take them serious and joke it away.

    Like I said earlier, you now have invested hugely into this debate and would have to suffer a completely humbling realization to recognize that the truth is your pastor is very errant and out of control in theology, habits and public speaking engagements. What happens to a fine wine when it is thinned out by a cheaper wine? It is polluted by the lesser quality wine. What would you say is the final value of a wine that has been thinned out by 14 added wines of varying quality, but all of them lesser quality than the first? It would be a low grade wine which very likely would not resemble the flavor of the original fine wine. That is what happens when you water down the word of God with a broad variety of versions and include in these interpretations paraphrases and modern translations that include the products of lesser quality transcripts. Yet that is what Warren’s model of preaching is and what he encourages others in PCD to follow:

    “Read Scripture from a newer translation. With all the wonderful translations and paraphrases available today, there is no legitimate reason for complicating the Good News with four hundred-year-old English. Using the King James Version creates an unnecessary cultural barrier. Remember, when King James authorized the new translation it was because he wanted a contemporary version. I once saw an advertisement that claimed if King James were alive today, he’d be reading the New International Version! That’s probably true. Clarity is more important than poetry.”
    (Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church, p. 297.)

    To which I would respond accuracy is more important than easy reading – God’s intent is more important than Eugene Petersons Message or is it not?

  65. WBURKE: there is growing unease with Rick Warren’s efforts to bring more churches into a Purpose Driven model.
    ABANES: Warren, to be technically accurate, is not advancing any “efforts.” You and others are making it seem as if Warren, via some kind of covert operation, is controlling the masses and swooping down across evangelicalism like Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait. Good grief. The guy published The Purpose Driven church, started holding conferences, and offers what he thinks might help churches find balance and health, and by getting healthy, just might grow. He is twisting nobody’s arm. And if various pastors or church leaders are taking Warren’s materials and acting like idiots with their congregations—then that is not Warren’s fault. People are doing all kind of strange things in the name of Warren and Purpose Driven that Warren and purpose driven has never said to do!!! Even cultists take the Bible and Jesus’ words and abuse it to their own destruction. ANY message can be perverted and used in a wrong way. And that is indeed happening at various churches. But responding by calling Warren the anti-Chrjst and any/all purpose driven churches compromising, non-gospel preaching churches helps nothing.

    WBURKE: “I wouldn’t be worried about his teachings at all were he not trying to infect and ultimately destroy churches by his methodology which includes dismissing resisters in a manner that is completely unbiblical and destroys long-lasting fellowships (see http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/4-purpose-resisters.htm”
    ABANES: See above. Also, regarding Berit Kjos, her research leaves MUCH to be desired. I just put up a new article about her at http://abanes.com/beritkjos.html. Warren is not seeking to destroy churches. MY goodness, man, think about what you are saying. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of churches have experienced incredible revival and thousands have come to Christ (and yes, the REAL Christ). There are a few churches scattered here and there where problems have hurt some people. Ok, let’s figure out how to deal with that—it is NOT by painting Warren as a demonic deceiver and calling all of us non-Christians.

    WBURKE: I don’t believe there would be a broad effort to alert people of the errors of Warren’s teachings were he not trying to broaden his influence via his Pastors.com where he sells his sermons. Which, in other words, make pastors present Saddleback retreads rather than submitting to God’s will for their churches, they are now submitting to Warren’s will for Saddleback implemented within churches it was never meant for.
    ABANES: Wrong. DID YOU EVEN READ WHAT I WROTE ABOVE ABOUT THIRD WORLD PASTORS??? I said, “the godly brethren who are local villagers, who will have to keep the church going, have NO trianing, schooling, education, or experience in teaching/preaching. It is how Saddleback is trying to help these servants of Christ get going. The sermons to them will be FREE OF CHARGE!! Copies of the sermons will be given to help them see how messages can be formed and delivered—all Bible based topical studies. This effort is funded by money received from selling items to American pastors (who are far better off financially than third world pastors). Third world pastors cannot afford materials.”

    WBURKE: As for defending my pastor, as you say Richard is doing, I find it very revealing about a pastors heart state when you consider what my pastors have said, and I quote, “If I do anything, ANYTHING, that is contrary to the word of God, then I give you permission to run, not walk thru that door.”
    ABANES: Yeah, that’s what Warren says too. I’m still there. No church is perfect. No pastor is perfect. Yours included. Why? Cause we’re all sinners saved by grace. Warren teaches THAT too. You turn Warren’s humanity and his fallible condition as a sinner saved by grace as an excuse to demonize him. That is not apologetics, and that is not defending the faith. It is destructive and divisive.

    WBURKE: I’ve visited churches I used to attend and found myself leaving with a feeling of complete spiritual emptiness (much like eating a meal that is wholly unfulfilling) because the message was so watered down and worldly, much like Warren’s that I’ve seen . . .
    ABANES: Please tell us how many messages/sermons you have listened to Warren deliver.

    WBURKE: Knowing that many friends and acquaintances are under the teachings of such a softened preacher is going to drive at the soul of a Christian, it certainly does mine, thus my passionate plea for sound scriptural preaching.
    ABANES: Go find a church that preaches like you like to hear preaching. Tune in to Jimmy Swaggart, or at the other end of the spectrum, a John MacArthur. Fine. But you STILL, and I hate to repeat myself, but you have STILL not presented a single statement from Warren wherein he denies/compromises ANY central teaching of the Christian faith—the Trinity, deity of Christ, virgin birth, salvation by grace alone through faith alone, hell, heaven, the second coming, the Bible. Not a single statement.

    WBURKE: Is gluttony wrong, yes.
    ABANES: Okay, so did you REALLY need that fourth trip to the salad bar along with your elders and deacons???

    WBURKE: Is doing things like those things you see on a popular television show conforming to the patterns of this world – absolutely yes.
    ABANES: Really? This is like the reasoning used by the Amish to avoid wearing colorful clothes, growing mustaches, and driving cars.

    WBURKE: Don’t justify it because you find it humorous, Jesus said in Luke 16:15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”
    ABANES: Another biblical passaged ripped from its holy context. Sad. You decry Warren’s use of scriptures incorrectly and yet you do the same thing. That’s called hypocrisy. Luke 16:15 is Jesus’ condemnation of the Pharisees because they, as lovers of money, were scoffing at Christ’s teachings (see v. 14). Now I will submit a scripture to you, for you, about you (and like-minded critics): “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (Matthew 23: 23-24). The Pharisees did the same thing.

    WBURKE: I certainly wouldn’t go the the extent Richard has and begin character assassinations on any detractors, most completely without merit or justification as the charges against Warren are completely justified and scripture backs them.
    ABANES: I back my accusations with facts, quotes, documentation, and scripture—IN CONTEXT. Exodus 20:18 says do not bear false witness.

    RAbanes

  66. WBURKE: When Warren’s actual beliefs are challenged you go into an argument of “context” or ignore it altogether. When his quotations are brought up you ignore them or refuse to take them serious and joke it away.

    RA: Yeah, reading something and interpreting it in context is a a real pain in the neck, isn’t it? You still haven’t provided a single statement about Warren’s doctrinal beliefs that would in any way be heretical or biblically unsound. Why? It’s because there are no quotes. You keep citing fringe remarks about this and that, with no doctrinal substance. And what I ignore are posts and comments and quotes that have nothing to do with what you need to show—i.e., Warren’s doctrinal deviations on central/essential teachings of Christaianity.

    These could easily be produced for other heretics like Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell, David Koresh, Robert Schuller, etc etc etc. But for Warren? Nothing.

    All you can post are more accusations about worm-eating, my overly zealous defenses Warren, what you think SHOULD be the right Bible translations everyone should use, and the heart-rending stories of people who, through no fault of Warren’s, are getting kicked out of their churches by overly-zealous Christians who are themselves not behaving the Warren would approve.

    Oh well.

    Please, now, for everyone reading——If Warren is a heretic, please post at least 1-3 statements wherein he clearly declares a doctrine that compromises any one of the central/essential doctrines of Christianity as declared in the earliest established and accepted creeds of Christianity: Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, or Chalcedonian Creed.

    RAbanes

  67. For anyone who has been following this thread, you may be interested in seeing how pne Warren critic, Ingrid Schlueter, has now played the “Nazi” card against RIck Warren. See my blog post at http://sliceoflaodiceachurch.blogspot.com/.

    R. Abanes

  68. Hey Tim.. sorry the picture didn’t work out. Thanks for the shout out!

    It’s amazing that here, on the blog on Agent Tim, we see the convergence of the fundamentalists (WBurke), the evangelicals (Abanes), and the post-evangelicals such as myself.

    Truly a Mars Hill, eh?

    By the way… much of the post-evangelical (“emergent”) movement began as a reaction to and movement away from mega-church/seeker kind of stuff. But in our critique (here’s one of mine from awhile ago- here) we’d tried to remember that we’re still all a part of the Body of Christ, brothers and sisters. And when we stepped over the line, into a less charitable spirit, we (or at least I) repented.

    The problem with the current crop of pharisaical critics is that they have to question someone like Rick Warren’s relationship with Christ- accuse him of heresy, nazism, and even complicity in a world-wild plan to take over the world and institute a one world government.

    At that point, differences or no, I stand with my Christian brother Rick Warren. No, our community won’t be doing 40 Days of Purpose… but that doesn’t mean I see it as evil. Rick Warren loves Jesus Christ, preaches the Gospel, and as a fellow pastor all I can say to these nut-job critics who think he’s paving the way for the anti-Christ is get real

  69. To RAbanes: You have been shown a clear “example” of how Warren uses a Paraphrase like the message which is a pillar of Rick Warrens book, and how it takes away from the truths of God’s Word.

    I’ll site it again from P.24 from PDL Eph 1:4 Says “God’s motive for creating you was his love. The Bible says, “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love.

    Compare to KJV – According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

    *Comment – takes out the Holy and without blame part from Word of God, continues on the path to remove the “righteous, purity, holiness” etc.

    Your response to that was to attack the KJV?
    This is not an isolated instance either, the purpose driven books are riddled with these versions that take away from God’s truths.

    Then regarding the statement Warren makes this in this statement ”In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible”
    You say —”I can only wonder why you did not quote ALL of what Warren said in context. He clearly explained what he meant by that statement, which you have misconstrued. He said:

    “God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character. In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible. The reason is obvious: You face circumstances twenty-four hours a day.”

    That’s the context? I’m glad you shared the context with the readers. It even shows all the more, how dishonoring Warrens statement is. Making the following statement; “In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible” in any context is not acceptable. I’m sorry you feel that it is.

    Furthermore, Warren says in this statement, “he depends.” The Lord does not depend on anything. Our awesome triune Lord does not depend on any of His creation. There is nothing the Lord needs. The Lord does not wish and hope for things to happen. God does not respond to His creation, unless God is to be made dependant on anything to accomplish His will. God’s will is always accomplished. To say otherwise is to make a mockery of God.

  70. To RAbanes, I would like to leave a reply about what Warren and you said below:
    “God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character. In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible. The reason is obvious: You face circumstances twenty-four hours a day.”
    Yes, we are alive 24 hours a day and we face circumstances, but we are not to depend on those circumstances (whatever this fallen world throws our way) to ‘push us toward sanctification’, but to trust in and apply to our lives the word of God so God can lead and direct us through the circumstances of every moment of life. And God leads and directs us through His written word, not through feelings and experiece. God uses feelings and experience, but He does not DEPEND on them. Why/How would The Creator need to depend on anything?

    You also said the following: Jesus said in John 14:12: “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do”! Does this mean we are greater than Jesus??? Of course not.
    I do not exactly understand why you brought up that verse or topic at the time you did there in one of your previous responses, but it is clear in the CONTEXT of that verse that it is talking about the works being greater, it is not about you or I.

  71. BOB: The problem with the current crop of pharisaical critics is that they have to question someone like Rick Warren’s relationship with Christ- accuse him of heresy, nazism, and even

    RA: Exactly. So far, just over the last 6-8 weeks (and that is all that I have been doing this online stuff about Warren), I have been called: 1) an unbeliever; 2) a backslider who needs to repent; 3) led by the devil; deceived by the spirit of Antichrist; 4) ignorant; 5) a lover of Warren more than a lover of God; 6) worldly; 7) carnal; 8) a wolf in sheep’s clothing, etc etc etc. And this is after 10 years in ministry and more than a dozen books defending the faith and exposinng cults, the occult, and unbiblical teachings. Odd.

    RA

  72. TS: You have been shown a clear “example” of how Warren uses a Paraphrase like the message which is a pillar of Rick Warrens book, and how it takes away from the truths of God’s Word.
    ABNAES: I never said Warren hasn’t made mistakes like this. He has. Okay, fine.

    • Ever hear a pastor/teacher quote Rev. 3:20-21 in reference to unbelievers?? HERETIC! This passage is really written to a backslidden church.
    • Ever hear a pastor/teacher use Jer. 29:11 to assure Christians that God has great plans for them? HERETIC! This passage is really directed toward Israel.
    • Ever hear a pastor/teacher say that Matt. 18:18-20 has to do with prayer. HERETIC! This passage is really about church discipline.
    • Ever hear a pastor/teacher explain that 2 John 10-11 means you should not let Mormon missionaries or Jehovah’s Witnesses into your house? HERETIC! This passage is really about church homes in the first century and not allowing false teachers preach in that church home congregation.

    The list goes on and on. I cannot count how many pastors/teachers, evangelists, radio Bible personalities, and even lay Christians have misused all of the above passage (and more)! Now, should we start labeling their entire ministries as false, lying, deceptive, liberal, New Age, watered-down, or perverted? Hardly.

    You slice and dice Warren, but ignore the fact that EVERY pastor/teacher has problems and makes mistakes. Why? Because we are all sinners saved by grace. So, go ahead and find any/all pastors and teachers who have ever taken a verse of scripture out of context or made a mistake at interpreting and condemn them too. And afterward, good luck finding a church. Are you willing to say to all of us that there is some pastor/teacher out there who is perfect???—I thought not.

    TS: I’ll site it again from P.24 from PDL Eph 1:4 Says “God’s motive for creating you was his love. The Bible says, “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love.
    ABANES: First of all, see my above posting. Secondly, I didn’t ask for an example of where Warren made a mistake in either his Bible interpretation, or where he used a paraphrase that’s lousy. That criteria would condemn just about everyone (again, see above response).

    So read my request again, I said: “If Warren is a heretic, please post at least 1-3 statements wherein he clearly declares a doctrine that compromises any one of the central/essential doctrines of Christianity as declared in the earliest established and accepted creeds of Christianity: Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, or Chalcedonian Creed.”

    Go ahead, give me an example. But you can’t can you? That is why you need to just keep repeating your complaints about various translations/paraphrase that Warren quotes that you don’t like, or that are off on some point. But, my friend, that does not make Warren a heretic—no matter how much you may want him to be one.

    TS: Your response to that was to attack the KJV?
    ABANES: And your response is to ignore the main point I made, which is that all translations/paraphrase have their own problems?

    TS: This is not an isolated instance either, the purpose driven books are riddled with these versions that take away from God’s truths.
    ABANES: Oh, like the KJV takes away the truth that Jesus is Lord and just replaces that doctrinally important word with the New Age wimpy “Master” (see the mistranslation of the Greek word kurios, normally rendered “Lord,” as the New Age “Master” in reference to Jesus in Ephesians 6:9 and Colossians 4:1). Deal with it. You must be consistent.

    TS: Then regarding the statement Warren makes this in this statement ”In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible” . . . That’s the context?
    ABANES: Yes, that’s the context. It’s not that big of a deal except for people who simply MUST condemn Warren for something, and nit-pick at every itsy-bitsy thing he says in order to make sure they can find something to condemn him for. You take this one statement by him, at the exclusion of 25 years of hie preaching, and hang all of your hate on it.

    Look, his statement has been explained. He was just saying that we live, work, and breath circumstances and experiences every day that God uses to shape us. And these occur on a 24-hour basis. Do you study the Bible 24 hours a day? Haven’t you ever studied something in the Bible, knew it with your head, but then experienced it and really understood it deep in your soul for sure? THAT is what he is talking about. You’re making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    TS: I’m glad you shared the context with the readers. It even shows all the more, how dishonoring Warrens statement is.
    ABANES: I’m glad you’re glad, because that shows readers how much you actually desire to make Warren someone who is dishonoring.

    TS: Making the following statement; “In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible” in any context is not acceptable. I’m sorry you feel that it is.
    ABANES: Actually, it’ actually quite acceptable in the context I have given. You just don’t want it to be acceptable. You want Warren to be a heretic who is dishonoring to God. I could go into ANY church, including yours, and find something said by the pastor that I could twist and turn to make sound really bad—if I wanted to. But that is not what it means to be discerning and/or a defender of teh faith.

    TS: Furthermore, Warren says in this statement, “he depends.” The Lord does not depend on anything. Our awesome triune Lord does not depend on any of His creation. There is nothing the Lord needs. The Lord does not wish and hope for things to happen. God does not respond to His creation, unless God is to be made dependant on anything to accomplish His will. God’s will is always accomplished. To say otherwise is to make a mockery of God.
    ABANES: Again, this is fascinating, you hang so much hate and self-righteous indignation on a little word like “depends” by adding to it all kinds of stuff that, to be honest, Warren does not really say (he is simply using “depends” in a casual conversational style), but you will utterly IGNORE dozens and dozens and dozens of lengthy comments, remarks, and sermons by Warren about how people need Christ, the Son of God, who died on the cross for their sins!!!! Absolutely unbelievable.

    Again, I say: ““Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (Matthew 23: 23-24).

    Richard Abanes

  73. RACHAEL: . God uses feelings and experience, but He does not DEPEND on them. Why/How would The Creator need to depend on anything?

    RA: You and others are reading WAY TOO MUCH into this isolated word. Warren is just writing in a very casual, informal, and sometiimes SLOPPY style. You can’t hang a man for heresy because of one word used in one book. I GO TO SADDLEBACK, I know what is taught there. Warren, even in his book, is just breezing by this concept, wanting to simply make the point that we live, work, and breath circumstances and experiences every day that God uses to shape us. And these occur on a 24-hour basis. Do you study the Bible 24 hours a day? Haven’t you ever studied something in the Bible, knew it with your head, but then experienced it and really understood it deep in your soul for sure? THAT is what he is talking about.

    Would I have used the word “depends.” Probably not. I would have been more nuancesd in how I said it. But Warren is not an author like I am, he has himself admitted that. So he was just kind of writing along like a preacher would preach. I’m sure he did not think people would take the tiny word “depends” and build a whole case of heresy around it in application to him. This is all foolishness and divisiveness, in my opinion.

    Again, there is so much straining at gnats going on here that I am iin awe of it all. Look, the guy is a Southern Baptist preacher, who holds to ALL of the essential/central doctrines of the Christian faith. That’s it. Agree with him or disagree with him on other matters like contemporary music, or not dressing up for church, whatever. But don’t start stringing him up for heresy becasue he used the word “depends.” Really, brothers and sisters, c’mon.

    If Satan is using anything or anyone in this instance, it is not Rick Warren or purpose driven.

    RAbanes

  74. RACHAEL: I do not exactly understand why you brought up that verse or topic at the time you did there in one of your previous responses, but it is clear in the CONTEXT of that verse that it is talking about the works being greater, it is not about you or I.

    RA: I mentioned this passage to show that even Jesus’ own words—if not understood in context and in the spirit delivered—can be misconstrued to mean something heretical. In Christ’s case, I have heard people say that his words meant we could do GREATER things than him (qualitatively)—GREATER things in kind. But this is untrue.

    Christ was God the Son, with all the powers of being truly divine resident within him (hence, for example, he could rise from the dead). This verse, therefore, is speaking of a numerical/quantitative or influence aspects to our works throughout the world.

    My point is that a word here or a word there like “greater” or “depends” must be undertsood in the way a person meant it, not necessarily how we read it. This is all just basic communication. That’s why I cited it.

    RAbanes

  75. Those that attack Rick Warran are driving people away from any church and the cults are waiting for them with open arms. How would any of you that are attacking Warran or Abanses respond to Philippians 1:15-18?

  76. RA: You slice and dice Warren, but ignore the fact that EVERY pastor/teacher has problems and makes mistakes.

    WBurke: Not every pastor is out pushing their agendas and their beliefs upon churches and pastors throughout the world with the hopes that they can create PD churches that function like they do, destroying the word of God by corrupting it with paraphrases taught as the word of God. Not every pastor is out making millions of dollars off of their ministries while promoting “small group” development as a way to grow the church, which in effect takes the control of what is being taught out of the hands of the pastor and puts it into the hands of people who may not even be trained to rightly divide the word of God. Not to mention the fact that many of these small groups are not even studying the Bible but rather are encouraged to be more like a book of the period club as a replacement for edifying and essential teaching by the pastor of the church. Hybels does it, but he’s not the author of a book that has sold over 20 or 30 million copies.

    RA: I’m glad you’re glad, because that shows readers how much you actually desire to make Warren someone who is dishonoring.

    WBurke: Actually I believe most would see it as showing how highly TS regard the word of God and the proper use of it, rather than the slaughtering of it that Warren does with reckless abandon, corrupting it with paraphrases that are completely out of context and cohesion with the word of God.

    RA: Warren is just writing in a very casual, informal, and sometiimes SLOPPY style.

    WBurke: Not acceptable Richard because the man is exhibiting no signs of remorse for errors, no desire to revise faulty interpretations, no desire or will to correct that which is wrong and that my friend is a sign of pride, something you have exuded more than any other person I have ever met. Pride got Satan kicked out of heaven, it is what Paul warned Timothy about in regard to the qualifications of a Bishop or overseer (see pastor) in 1 Tim 3 verse 6 which says: not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. The errors, or many errors that have been exposed in the PDL by the growing number of scholarly discernment ministries would call to task those who have put their trust in this man who clearly has shown himself to be a novice and by allowing you, one of his own flock to knowingly distort the motivations behind the many detractors in a book, then you have clear evidence of excessive pride. Were that not the case he would reverently humble himself and answer the serious allegations brought before him. Allegations that Tim Challies clearly stated were not addressed in your book, and I quote:

    The single most common concern raised about Warren (at least in my experience) is his use (or misuse) of Scripture. This comes in two forms. First, Warren often quotes verses out of context or in ways that are advantageous to the point he is trying to make. He will often quote only a half of a verse if the second half does not support what he wants to say. Second, he uses poor translations and translations that say what he wants the Bible to say, rather than what God intended for it to say. There are times when this may be an honest mistake, but there are other times when it is clear that Warren has deliberately twisted a verse or taken it from its context to make it work for his purposes. Despite these two areas being of prime importance to those who are concerned with Warren’s ministry, Abanes gives this no attention whatsoever. None. Not a sentence.

    Another common criticism is Warren’s prayer in the seventh chapter of The Purpose Driven Life. He leads the reader to pray, “Jesus I believe in you and I receive you” and then welcomes to the family of God anyone who prayed that little prayer sincerely. Yet this was before the person was provided any significant information about sin or repentance. It would be easy to assume that the person was praying to receive purpose more than to receive Christ. This is a very common criticism, yet one Abanes does not address.

    Those are only two examples and I could have provided more. I realize, of course, that Abanes cannot address every charge anyone has ever levelled at Warren. But it seems odd that he overlooked some of those that are most common and most serious.

    Read the entirety of the book review at
    http://www.erwm.com/ChalliesAbanesReview.htm

    David Norris: Those that attack Rick Warran are driving people away from any church and the cults are waiting for them with open arms. How would any of you that are attacking Warran or Abanses respond to Philippians 1:15-18?

    WBurke: Look at 2 Peter 2 David, look at the teachings about false teachers therein and then focus on this passage:

    18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.

    To not be concerned about false teachings and those who fall under them is to ignore the impact of this passage. The Bible says in 1 Titus 1:13-14 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.

    As for the Christ preached in Phil. 1 – the complete Christ, the Christ who called all to repentance which Warren left out of PDL until after he had welcome the reader to the family of God. The Christ they BELIEVE in must be the Christ who require any who wish to follow Him to deny themselves and pick up their cross and follow Him, not merely an idea that He wants them to allow Him into their world. There is clearly a “bait and switch” in an insufficient message which is why some great preachers you might hear about would wait until several nights of a revival had passed before they would offer an altar call to know that those who came knew they must die to self to be born again with Christ.

  77. To RAbanes: Your accusing me of hating because I called out errors in Rick Warren’s teaching? I never called him a Heretic! There are many who are may indeed be calling Warren out to be something he’s not.
    But when someone writes to show error and problems with Warrens book and how dishonering much of it is to Gods Word by clear example, or disagrees with you, you call them haters?! Are you a hater for exposing errors in the authors books you you have reviewed and wtitten about?
    Warrens teachings or full of error and and I gave you two CLEAR examples that are a good representation of how Warren handles scripture throughout the book. Light has been shed on the errors and it make you angry.

    You told me earlier that I didn’t use the full context of the following CLEAR dishonering statement Warren made on P.193 from PDL “In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible” this is what you said RA —”I can only wonder why you did not quote ALL of what Warren said in context. He clearly explained what he meant by that statement, which you have misconstrued”. I responded with “I’m glad you shared the context with the readers. It even shows all the more, how dishonoring Warrens statement is”.
    ABANES: I’m glad you’re glad, because that shows readers how much you actually desire to make Warren someone who is dishonoring.
    My gladness was that you shared the context which you said I didn’t! What I was glad about was that the readers could see that what I wrote was not a false review of Warrens errored teaching, yet showed even in the context you put it in, that his teaching from page P.24 from PDL Eph 1:4 Says “God’s motive for creating you was his love. The Bible says, “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love.

    Compare to KJV – According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

    And anyone is aware that the KJV is an acceptable version of scripture to shed light on anything, I wish you could ask our forefathers.

  78. WBurke: Not every pastor is out pushing their agendas and their beliefs upon churches and pastors throughout the world with the hopes that they can create PD churches that function like they do . . .
    ABANES: Dear friend, again, you are functioning on all kinds of misinformation, faulty assumptions, gossip, and preconceived notions that are biased against Warren. Please, please, now just take a moment, and listen, listen, listen.

    1. Any agendas and beliefs that Warren is pushing involve trying to get people to understand that JESUS is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
    2. The creation of PD churches is based on a desire that is expressed by pastors of non-PD churches. As I already posted: “The guy published The Purpose Driven church, started holding conferences, and offers what he thinks might help churches find balance and health, and by getting healthy, just might grow. He is twisting nobody’s arm.”
    3. Warren does not want all churches to function EXACTLY like Saddleback functions!!!!! Get that straight. Now, I am going to say it again—Warren does not want all churches to function EXACTLY like Saddleback functions! At every PDC conference he always tells people DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT try to recreate Saddleback. Instead, he tells people to take whatever materials and information and experiences that Saddleback has to offer and use it in their own way for their own church to help. The MAJORITY of churches that are successful PDC churches are between the 100-200 member range!!!

    So please, get your facts straight.

    WBurke: . . . destroying the word of God by corrupting it with paraphrases taught as the word of God.
    ABANES: Ugh, I give up.

    WBurke: Not every pastor is out making millions of dollars off of their ministries while promoting “small group” development as a way to grow the church, which in effect takes the control of what is being taught out of the hands of the pastor and puts it into the hands of people who may not even be trained to rightly divide the word of God.
    ABANES: Yawn. Yet more misinformation. DUDE, get your facts right. When people attend small groups, they usually have a time of worship, pop in a video tape of one of the teaching pastors giving a Bible study, then spend some time asking questions about what they heard, take prayer requests, pray, hang out for some greta fellowship, and go home. The small group leaders just run the thing. Serious biblical questions that cannot be answered by the leader are forwarded on to pastors. For example, one question from a small group was passed on to associate pastor Tom Holladay, and he thought it was so great he answered in an Internet article! The question was: “Our small group met last night and we had a question. . . .We wondered about the Jews. They follow the laws as handed down to Moses. They do not accept Jesus Christ. How can they be saved and insure their place in heaven.” Holladay answered: “When you begin to think about how those who have a Jewish heritage come to salvation, the best answer is in looking at the first followers of Jesus. The first disciples were all Jewish men, but their salvation came through their relationship with Christ—not their Jewish background. The same is true of the apostle Paul and every other Jew who came to Christ in the New Testament. The truth of the Bible is we all come to salvation in the same way. . . . through our faith in Christ”—see http://www.saddlebackfamily.com/maturity/fullstory.asp?id=3619.

    And as for the “MILLIONS” that Warren is making, yo might want to consider the fact that last year he and his wife GAVE AWAY $13 million!!!!!! Why?? Because they are REVERSE tithers now, by God’s glory—they live on 10% of their income and give the rest away! So, cut the “greed” implication against Warren.

    WBurke: Not to mention the fact that many of these small groups are not even studying the Bible but rather are encouraged to be more like a book of the period club as a replacement for edifying and essential teaching by the pastor of the church.
    ABANES: Where in the world are you getting your information???? You make all of these accusations and never back it up with any actual proof. C’mon, my friend, please.

    WBurke: Not acceptable Richard because the man is exhibiting no signs of remorse for errors, no desire to revise faulty interpretations, no desire or will to correct that which is wrong . . .
    ABANES: Oh, I seem like all of the countless pastors/teachers who misuse the above passages of scripture I already listed.

    WBurke: . . . and that my friend is a sign of pride, something you have exuded more than any other person I have ever met.
    ABANES: Whatever. . . .

    WBurke: The errors, or many errors that have been exposed in the PDL by the growing number of scholarly discernment ministries
    ABANES: Scholarly???? Hardly. Goodness, I don’t know where to begin. The only scholarly critics would be MacArthur, Wilken, and Koukl. Sadly, they didn’t use much of their scholarly training to accurately investigate Warren before shooting from the hip.

    WBurke: . . . this man who clearly has shown himself to be a novice
    ABANES: Oh goodness. He has four earned degrees.

    WBurke: . . . and by allowing you, one of his own flock to knowingly distort the motivations behind the many detractors in a book, then you have clear evidence of excessive pride.
    ABANES: Ohhhh, I seeee, then you have indeed read my book in order to know what I say in it, right???? Or, are you just making another accusation, which you cannot back with facts. Please, tell all of us, have you read my book??? And if so, please quote from where I “knowingly distort the motivations behind the many detractors”?

    WBurke: Were that not the case he would reverently humble himself and answer the serious allegations brought before him. Allegations that Tim Challies clearly stated were not addressed in your book . . . . . First, Warren often quotes verses out of context . . . . Second, he uses poor translations and translations that say what he wants the Bible to say. . . . Abanes gives this no attention whatsoever. None. Not a sentence.
    ABANES: DO tell me what difference it would have actually made for me to talk about this at all since what I DID talk about still being ignored!?

    And as for what Warren does or does not do—maybe he disagrees, maybe he’s too busy, maybe he hasn’t sat down and gone through the reams upon reams of bizarre accusations to be able to find the few criticisms that are legit. I don’t know. He TRIED to correct the lies spread by Lighthouse Trials Research and that just made everyone attack him even more! So, what is he to do??—see my article http://abanes.com/lighthouseresponse.html.

    Again, I must add, it’s too bad that other pastors/teaches who misuse the scriptures I noted above also have not humbled themselves. Maybe you should attack them, too. Once more I say, no man is perfect. Who is the perfect pastor/teacher?? Please tell us that.

    WBurke: Another common criticism is Warren’s prayer in the seventh chapter of The Purpose Driven Life. He leads the reader to pray, “Jesus I believe in you and I receive you” and then welcomes to the family of God anyone who prayed that little prayer sincerely. Yet this was before the person was provided any significant information about sin or repentance. It would be easy to assume that the person was praying to receive purpose more than to receive Christ. This is a very common criticism, yet one Abanes does not address.
    ABANES: Yeah, my first draft, which addressed only about 1/2 of the stuff written against Warren, filled 280 pages!!!!!

    As for my friend, Tim Challies, he noted: “It would be easy to assume that the person was praying to receive purpose more than to receive Christ.” Really???? That’s odd since right before Warren offers the prayer, he is not even talking about Purpose. What is he talking about?????—JESUS AND HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS!!!!! Just before his prayer, Warren states: “God has chosen you to have a relationship with Jesus, who died on the cross for you. Believe that no matter what you’ve done, God wants to forgive you. Second, receive. Receive Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior. Receive his forgiveness for your sins” (p. 58).

    Gee, sounds like what you might hear at any church in America on any given Sunday!

    Moreover, contrary to what Challies said, in my book I do indeed talk about Warren’s discussion of sin and repentance. And I discuss the nature of Warren’s book and how it must be kept in perspective as a devotional that includes a very simple/basic “Come to Christ” message. But simply because I did not deal with the positioning in the text of Warren’s “prayer,” Tim feels it was not dealt with at all. But that is not really accurate.

    Now, I would agree that before giving his invitation to come to Christ (remember he is a pastor and an evangelist, not a professional apologist) he does not give a seminary-worthy doctrinal treatise on the impeccability of Christ, the Virgin Birth, or the incarnation—thank God. The average unbeliever (many of whom have now accepted Christ) would never have gotten to the invitation at all. In America the average person (for example, many ex-Catholics) know precisely who Christians say Jesus is. For most people, generally speaking, that understanding is plenty to get them saved if they choose Jesus. Later on, they will learn more. (Ever ask a new believer to explain the Trinity with theological precision?—good luck.) Warren is concerned with meeting people where they are (unsaved) and getting them where they need to be (saved). His book is a devotional, not systematic theology.

    WBURKE: Read the entirety of the book review at
    http://www.erwm.com/ChalliesAbanesReview.htm
    ABANES: And read my response to the review by Tim Challies is here—http://www.challies.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1580&highlight=abanes&sid=864bc1ebd334c34d5446b0e623fcb897

    WBURKE: David Norris: Those that attack Rick Warran are driving people away from any church and the cults are waiting for them with open arms. How would any of you that are attacking Warran or Abanses respond to Philippians 1:15-18?

    WBurke: Look at 2 Peter 2 David, look at the teachings about false teachers . . .
    ABANES: Stop making accusations without proof—stop ignoring my request:

    “If Warren is a heretic, please post at least 1-3 statements wherein he clearly declares a doctrine that compromises any one of the central/essential doctrines of Christianity as declared in the earliest established and accepted creeds of Christianity: Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, or Chalcedonian Creed.”

    RABANES

    “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16).

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (Matthew 23: 23-24).

  79. TS: And anyone is aware that the KJV is an acceptable version of scripture to shed light on anything, I wish you could ask our forefathers.

    RA: Yeah, especially unicorns (New Age) and Jesus as just our “Master,” but not our Lord (New Age). Hmmmm. Are you a New Ager??

    RAbanes

  80. To RAbanes: you said “You and others are reading WAY TOO MUCH into this isolated word. Warren is just writing in a very casual, informal, and sometiimes SLOPPY style. You can’t hang a man for heresy because of one word used in one book.”

    TS says, again I never said the Rick Warren was a heretic; that’s your words, not mine my friend. I showed a CLEAR example of Warrens bad teaching. Again Again and Again this is a representation of bad teaching of Warrens that is a chord that runs through the entire book. You said that Warrens writing was sometimes SLOPPY. You also said you didn’t like “The Message”.

    His sometimes SLOPPY writing and bad paraphrase is throughout the book. When quoting The Message which slaughters the Word of God, mixed with what some might call SLOPPY writing, I say this is not a book to recommend to a friend, much less have “Campaigns” around it!

    Referring to the KJV RA says “Yeah, especially unicorns (New Age) and Jesus as just our “Master,” but not our Lord (New Age). Hmmmm. Are you a New Ager”??

    TS: WHAT!??? So now on top of being a hater because I’m shedding light on bad teaching, now I’m a new ager because I prefer the KJV over many of the Slaughter that “The Message”
    does to God’s Truth? Get a grip.

    Again I ask; Are you a hater for exposing errors in the authors books you you have reviewed and wtitten about?

    Also, you told me that you were asking for 1-3 heretical statements from Warren, not mistakes. I’m so sorry if I’m not answering to your “specific request sir”. However, I am posting CLEAR errors behind the PDL, which the last I was aware I could do that on this site.

  81. I thought it best to remind all of the stark contrast between the preaching style of one most notable preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon with the soft serve life enhancement PDL leaven that is creating a fatted steer church ready for slaughter by the hand of the evil one. Note the condition of the heart towards God in this, the Morning devotional from Morning & Evening by C.H. Spurgeon:

    Morning and Evening

    Morning …

    Psalm 51:1
    Have mercy upon me, O God.

    When Dr. Carey was suffering from a dangerous illness, the enquiry was made, “If this sickness should prove fatal, what passage would you select as the text for your funeral sermon?” He replied, “Oh, I feel that such a poor sinful creature is unworthy to have anything said about him; but if a funeral sermon must be preached, let it be from the words, ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.’” In the same spirit of humility he directed in his will that the following inscription and nothing more should be cut on his gravestone:-

    WILLIAM CAREY, BORN AUGUST 17th, 1761:

    DIED – -

    “A wretched, poor, and helpless worm On Thy kind arms I fall.”

    Only on the footing of free grace can the most experienced and most honoured of the saints approach their God. The best of men are conscious above all others that they are men at the best. Empty boats float high, but heavily laden vessels are low in the water; mere professors can boast, but true children of God cry for mercy upon their unprofitableness. We have need that the Lord should have mercy upon our good works, our prayers, our preachings, our alms-givings, and our holiest things. The blood was not only sprinkled upon the doorposts of Israel’s dwelling houses, but upon the sanctuary, the mercy-seat, and the altar, because as sin intrudes into our holiest things, the blood of Jesus is needed to purify them from defilement. If mercy be needed to be exercised towards our duties, what shall be said of our sins? How sweet the remembrance that inexhaustible mercy is waiting to be gracious to us, to restore our backslidings, and make our broken bones rejoice!

    If you were to turn in the book back to the evening devotional you would find a devotional that reads as follows:

    “All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.”
    Numbers 6:4

    Nazarites had taken, among other vows, one which debarred them from the use of wine. In order that they might not violate the obligation, they were forbidden to drink the vinegar of wine or strong liquors, and to make the rule still more clear, they were not to touch the unfermented juice of grapes, nor even to eat the fruit either fresh or dried. In order, altogether, to secure the integrity of the vow, they were not even allowed anything that had to do with the vine; they were, in fact, to avoid the appearance of evil.(1 Thess. 5:22) Surely this is a lesson to the Lord’s separated ones, teaching them to come away from sin in every form, to avoid not merely its grosser shapes, but even its spirit and similitude. Strict walking is much despised in these days, but rest assured, dear reader, it is both the safest and the happiest. He who yields a point or two to the world is in fearful peril; he who eats the grapes of Sodom will soon drink the wine of Gomorrah. A little crevice in the sea-bank in Holland lets in the sea, and the gap speedily swells till a province is drowned. Worldly conformity, in any degree, is a snare to the soul, and makes it more and more liable to presumptuous sins. Moreover, as the Nazarite who drank grape juice could not be quite sure whether it might not have endured a degree of fermentation, and consequently could not be clear in heart that his vow was intact, so the yielding, temporizing Christian cannot wear a conscience void of offence, but must feel that the inward monitor is in doubt of him. Things doubtful we need not doubt about; they are wrong to us. Things tempting we must not dally with, but flee from them with speed. Better be sneered at as a Puritan than be despised as a hypocrite. Careful walking may involve much self-denial, but it has pleasures of its own which are more than a sufficient recompense.

    CH Spurgeon said “Better to be sneered at as a Puritan than to be despised as a hypocrite. Walking before the Lord may involve much self-denial…”

    Contrast that with PDL and the ways of Warren – Purple Haze (even if only a short 30 seconds worth – 1 Thess. 5:22) and the RA “it was only a joke and ALL the people were laughing about it” excusing of it.

    I have to tell you Richard I don’t bemoan Warrens profits, I don’t bemoan anyone being blessed by the Lord for doing the work of the Lord, I am not angered by some phony belief that Warren makes millions of dollars for himself, I know he sends most of his profits back into “ministry” – my problem with Warren is his false teachings, his lax view of the sanctity of the word of God exhibtted by his constant use of numerous paraphrases and translations to find the passage that best suits his agenda for his church and those of the oft quoted “350,000+ pastors he’s trained”. You seemingly present Warren as the standard by which all others should be compared yet even you must see the stark contrast between the heart of Spurgeon (whom you cited as one of the 3 most important books to be read aside from the Bible) and that of Warren. And before you go and say “he’s not perfect” – I know noone is, not even Spurgeon or myself, it’s not about perfection its about humility and a humbleness in coming to the Lord saying, not my will, Lord, but yours be done. If I must be longsuffering and patient and lay down my life that You might raise it up again to eternal life, Lord that is my greatest desire. I just want to serve you Jesus, create in me a clean heart. Make me a new creation Lord, one that sees through Your eyes, not mine, that speaks through Your words, not mine, that feels things through Your heart, not mine.

    Matt. 23:11-13 – But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
    “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

    Just as insufficient directions do not get a tourist to their destination – neither will an insufficient gospel message, scattered throughout the pages of a “best-seller” without the tremendous grace and mercy of the Holy Spirit lead the lost to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Paul said “The Law was our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ” yet the law has been reduced to “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” as a sufficient mentioning of the Law. Just as a doctor might rebreak a bone to set it right that it might properly heal, just as a shepherd will dislocate the leg of a runaway sheep that it might no longer run away we cannot submit to the sufficiency of a gospel message that glosses over the state of the lost. Just as I’ve provided an alternate view of preaching – CH Spurgeon v. what yopu know of Rick Warren – compare the gospel message of PDL (Jesus I believe you I recieve you) to the method taught by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron at http://www.wayofthemaster.com and http://www.needGod.com

    Got to http://www.livingwaters.com for free tools to use to witness to your friends who are lost in a way that uses what the Bible says is “perfect converting the soul” to witness to your loved ones and acquaintances.

    Yours in Christ,

    WBurke

  82. TS: So now on top of being a hater because I’m shedding light on bad teaching, now I’m a new ager because I prefer the KJV over many of the Slaughter that “The Message”
    does to God’s Truth? Get a grip.

    RA: uhmmmm, I was being sarcastic. Of course, you’re not a New Ager, and of course, the KJV is not new Age. I was making a point that . . . . oh, never mind.

    TS: Are you a hater for exposing errors in the authors books you you have reviewed and wtitten about?
    RA: NO, and again, I say, legit criticism are fine—Gee, I’ve even posted concerns about some of Warren’s views and phraseology myself (see http://abanes.com/concerns.html). But as Bob said above, it’s the crazy criticisms and bizarre conclusions people are drawing about Warren that need to stop.

    RA

  83. WBurke: my problem with Warren is his false teachings . . . .

    RA: yeah, yeah, yeah, ok. whatever. Now you’re just hitting the “repeat” button. Your just playing a recording. A sound loop that you won’t stop. This is my third time asking:

    “… please post at least 1-3 statements wherein he clearly declares a doctrine that compromises any one of the central/essential doctrines of Christianity as declared in the earliest established and accepted creeds of Christianity: Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, or Chalcedonian Creed.”

    Last chance. Your silence is deafening.

    The truth is that Warren holds to ALL of the central/essential teachings of Christianity and has not compromised ONE of them (see my brief statement at http://abanes.com/warrenessentials.html

    Hence, Warren is NOT a false teacher. Someone cannot be called a flase teacher just for liking The Message. Misapplying a a few passages here and there does not make someone a false teacher (see above passages in post #73 that have been misapplied by vast numbers of preachers all over the radio, TV, and church pulpits).

    Warren is human. If you want to now define that as being a false teacher. Fine. Have a good life.

    “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16).

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (Matthew 23: 23-24).

    Richard Abanes

  84. RA:NO, and again, I say, legit criticism are fine—Gee, I’ve even posted concerns about some of Warren’s views and phraseology myself (see hytp://abanes.com/concerns.html). But as Bob said above, it’s the crazy criticisms and bizarre conclusions people are drawing about Warren that need to stop.

    TS: I would agree about crazy criticisms and bizzare conclusions. But Warrens repeated use of bizzare bible versions or paraphrases of the which slaughter the word of God. Then yes, it is a ligit criticism.
    And yes when he says things like “God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character. In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible”. Another legit criticism, expecially when so much of the church growth movement is about relying on “circumstances” rather than the “word of God”.

  85. Talk about misuse of scripture, I guess the fruit isn’t falling too far from the tree with you Richard, but I digress. You claim you want to have me post Warren heresies, false teachings, etc… yet everytime someone does you ignore, divert or go into some lame justification or convoluted explanation of how Warren isn’t in error. And then it is as if that person has never cited any examples at all and you revert back to “please post at least 1-3 statements…” whatever. It’s like Groundhog Day with you Richard, the same thing over and over except in the movie Bill Murray finally got it.

    Back to the misuse of scriptures – funny you should post on that speaks of important matters of the law since the law is completely ignored in the PDL gospel message. The law of the Lord that is PERFECT converting the soul is “too offensive” to use in his “devotional” so he makes it a gospel message that won’t scare too many away and will be attractive to the masses. Congratulations Rick, they’re eating it up but like the candy from a candy store it is unfilling and unhealthy for you. Worst part of it is that here it is someone’s eternal life we’re talking about.

    As for the bearing false witness, Richard you are one of a small few who would ever call this discernment of Warren’s false teachings bearing false witness. Paul warned Timothy about false teachers and thus we should also point out the errors of people who are leading others astray.

    And the “last chance” thing Richard is really funny, good one. Last chance or else what?

    Let me test your bible knowledge Richard – when was to one time that Jesus showed the greatest anger?

    Give up?

    I know you know it was in the Temple when they turned His Fathers house into a den of thieves and a marketplace – much like the marketing of the church as laid out in Business Week: see http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_21/b3934015_mz001.htm

    From which we get this statement: Rick Warren believes evangelism means devotion to both social issues and God.

    Say what?

    The thing that I’ve got to ask you Richard, as one who has taken it upon himself to make the defense of one of the most successful marketing ideas in church growth history his seemingly full-time occupation, how does it not concern you knowing what Jesus did to the inhabitants of the temple?

    Matt. 21:12-13 – Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”

  86. W: but I digress.
    RA: understatement of the year.

    W: You claim you want to have me post Warren heresies, false teachings, etc… yet everytime someone does you ignore, divert or go into some lame justification or convoluted explanation . . .
    RA: Wrong. You haven’t yet posted a heresy. You seem to knot even know what that word means. Therein lies the problem. You seem to think a “heresy” or a “false teaching” is equal to whatever you don’t happen to like (or is equal to quoting a lame Bible paraphrase). But that is not what a heresy is.

    Please read my request S L O W L Y again:

    “please post at least 1-3 statements wherein he clearly declares a doctrine that compromises any one of the central/essential doctrines of Christianity as declared in the earliest established and accepted creeds of Christianity: Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, or Chalcedonian Creed.”

    A response to this request has not been forthcoming. So, at this point, whatever. Believe as you will.

    Richard Abanes

  87. Hey Richard, before you spend any more time trying to score point for the Warren Team take the next 30 minutes to find out what Hell’s Best Kept Secret is:
    http://www.livingwaters.com/listenwatch/stream_hbks_broadband.asx

    I’m gonna leave you with that because you’re pushing more people to buy into a message that has an astronomical fallaway rate, if you won’t take 30 minutes to learn about Hell’s Best Kept Secret then I have nothing more to say to you.

    In Christs Service,
    WBurke

  88. Here’s some more from the Purpose Driven Life that one should have concern over. Why recommend a book like this that is riddled with error, much less build a campaign around it?

    From pg 34 of PDL “From the Bible we can surmise that God will ask us two crucial questions: First, ‘What did you do with my Son, Jesus Christ?’ God won’t ask about your religious background or doctrinal views. The only thing that will matter is, did you accept what Jesus did for you and did you learn to love and trust him?”

    Warren “surmises” that God will ask these two questions and that this is all that matters. He’s merely guessing because the Bible doesn’t actually say what Warren says here. The Bible says, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16, KJV) Hmmm, doctrine isn’t “important”? I would have to say that our salvation is much more than what we “did” with Jesus. Even the way that Warren says that is irreverent and trite.

    1 Timothy 1:10
    For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

    1 Timothy 4:1
    Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

    1 Timothy 4:6
    If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

  89. Well said TS, well said.

  90. Sorry about the weird stuff going on here guys…but things are finished for the time being.

    Just to let you know…my church uses WOTM, and I talked to Richard about it in California. Have either of you heard the interview?

    http://www.audioblogger.com/media/50596/205240.mp3

    I think it’s pretty good and would like to hear what you have to say about it.

  91. Tim do you not see the difference between the gospel presentation in the PDL and its insufficient gospel message, which despite Abanes’ declarations of sufficiency is completely lacking when compared to what is taught in The Way OF The Master?

    It’s good to hear that your church uses it, I’ve taught and am planning to further teach the course as well as the one day Training Day format in my church and other churches in my area – so you might say I am very impressed with the program and the efforts of Ray and Kirk. What I’ve got to ask you though is have you thought much about the 94% “backsliding” statistics churches are experiencing? What that means is that less than 1 in 10 people evangelized by modern methods, the “better life” approach which is epitomized by the PDL message as well as the gospel presentation within it, do not continue in fellowship or according to one major denominations records were not involved in church within a years time. Whenever anyone, much less the man referred to by many as “America’s Pastor” and the author of a book which has sold over 24 million copies, and pastor of a church of over 20,000 presents, presents to the lost a gospel presentation they owe it to that person or group of persons to make sure it is a loaded message. Much like a shot by a doctor without the proper medicine would be totally unconscienable so should be the perception of the gospel without repentance and the law.

    BTW I just listened to your interview with Richard for the second time because I didn’t think I’d heard him comment on the WOTM the first time I listened. In listening to it a second time I only wished you’d had someone equipped to respond to his responses with discernment and confidence that comes from the Lord and the word of God. I admire your effort but you really tossed him some lobs for him to seemingly knock out of the park.

    Stay in the word brother and ask God for wisdom, which He will give liberally to those who seek Him and ask for it. Do that, avoid paraphrases and modern rewrites of the Bible and God will give you the wisdom to discern the truth.

    God Bless.

    In Christs Service
    WBurke

  92. WBurke…I only talked to Richard about WOTM during lunch, and not during the interview. As for answering him, I wasn’t really attempting to do that in the interview. I was just letting him have his say in the interview.

    I will admit, I have HUGE concerns about the PDL. I do not believe it should have been written to unbelievers. Even though it may have the gospel in it, it’s far too hard to find in the first reading of the book.

    But does the book hold good truths for Christians? Yes.

    I think that more than just the PDL has contributed to the falling away of so many believers. But, yes, the PDL has serious errors in the area of the gospel. The book is for “discerning readers” as Tim Challies said.

    I reiterate Tim’s comments:

    “I can recommend this book only to discerning readers. There is certainly some value in the book, but in my opinion the bad outweighs the good. I would certainly not use this as an introduction to Christianity or as a means of reaching unbelievers.”

    Exactly. It’s too hard to find the law and gospel for nonbelievers. That’s my concern.

    But my article is about going farther than that. It’s calling Rick Warren a new-ager and Satanist. It’s about attacking EVERYTHING he does. That’s wrong.

    I was saddened by the fact that such a good blog like Slice was doing that (and still is). She is finding ANYTHING and EVERYTHING wrong with Rick Warren, which is not right.

    I will ask my Pastor about the PDL this week, and see if he might like to write something on it.

  93. Hmmm…

    Everyone keeps saying that the gospel isn’t presented well enough in the book, and because of that, people shouldn’t read it. I don’t think this makes sense though.

    It goes against the whole idea of a Christian culture, if you really think about it. And even worse, it goes against VeggieTales. Just kidding. But let’s use them as an example.

    Does VT present the gospel? Nope. Is it evil, wicked, or otherwise not very nice just because of this? Of course not. The idea is that not everything has to have the gospel intact. Having stuff that is just plain Christian is fine as well. If it doesn’t lead to salvation, at least it’s preparing the ground.

    Hope this makes sense…

  94. Tim you might consider that Ingrid is not after Warren, she is merely trying to alert people to the MANY problems that have to do with his programs and his preaching which is influencing millions of Christians. Were it not for the intensely coercive and sometimes downright communistic measures that are being implemented by churches following the promotions and teachings of Warren and Hybels, as evidenced in Who’s Driving The Purpose Driven Church? and exhibited in the Arizona location of the recent Leadership 2005 Conference Warren and Hybels spoke together at where a man was escorted out because he had a conversation with someone in which he brought up concerns about the teachings of these two (listen to the CrossTalk show, I believe it is in the second half of the show http://67.36.84.226/crosstalk/ct050812.asf ). When you cannot even hold a private conversation in a coffee shop during a conference like this where they are raking in millions of dollars from church funds and the pockets of Christians and promoting their brand of soft serve worldly Christian leadership – they need to be scrutinized and exposed at every mis-step. I don’t believe you would trust your leadership if they removed any dissenters from the premises under threat of arrest, yet these are not uncommon tactics implemented in churches who follow this path. I know a pastor who was great friends with the pastor of a large church in my hometown until he said he thought the word of God was sufficient for teaching. At that point he no longer received calls from the pastor and in stark contrast to what was seemingly a growing friendship he was then treated as if he were not wanted to the extent that he did not receive a certificate of completion for a course he took and partially taught prior to the comment. This is a pastor with as great a shepherd heart as I’ve ever seen and because he simply said the Bible is sufficient this WCA PD church ostracized him. Does this strike you as the type of activities that would be acceptable to God? Yet these are the kinds of things going on in churches across the country under the influence of the church growth movement.

    If you have any doubt about the reality of this stuff really going on I’d encourage you to review Dealing With Resisters by Berit Kjos http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/4-purpose-resisters.htm

    Ingrids blog is still top notch and more valuable than any of us will know until we wake up on the other side of life as a favorite pastor of mine often says.

  95. Tim,

    Thanks for putting that interview out there, it was interesting to listen to. It was pretty much what I expected to hear from Richard Abanes.

    You can’t go wrong with studying WOTM, I hope you really go in that direction instead of following after this purpose driven stuff.

    A teacher is only as good as his source, and a faulty source means faulty teaching. You have seen that by the insulting paraphrases of the word of God that Warren uses. People seem to make light of these bad paraphrases, but it is nothing to be made light of. It distorts God’s word and if we truly love him and his word, we will not tolerate the manipulation of it. All you have to do is get a reliable version, and compare to what Warren says the Bible says. It’s that simple, and it amazes me how blinded people are to that.

    Tim again, I really appreciate what you are doing, it shows the fruit of your love for God and that’s refreshing!

    God Bless,
    TS

  96. Another example of what removing a few words from the Bible does, look at example from Purpose Driven Life.

    Pg.10 PDL – Rom 12:2 “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think, Then you will know what God wants you to do.”

    COMPARE TO KJV – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

    *Comment – What happened to “be not conformed to this world”? Very common in Purpose Driven Life for Warren to use Bible versions taking out the likes of sanctification and separation from the world.

    Look again what God says about the seriousness of this;
    “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:5, 6

    “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35

    “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Psalm 12:6, 7

    “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19

  97. The majority of you people that are bashing Rick Warran are making the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, and Islam very happy by doing their recuiting for them. Where are all the comments against these false teachers? Rick Warran is at tleast preaching Christ, and in this you should rejoice, but the others listed above are not! You all need to get off the Warran thing and start protesting the many cults that are flourishing in this land due to people like you! Read Philippians 1:15-18.

  98. If ylou want a rebuttle and a look at all sides of the issue, visit me at
    http://spm1313.blogspot.com

  99. David,

    With all do respect to your desire to see the kingdom of God grow, you don’t do it by tainting the Truth. That’t exactly what Warren has done, all you have to do is shed the light of a reliable Bible version on to the PD books to see that they error greatly. What the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, and Islam are all very happy about, is when Christians are so watered down by bad teaching they’re ineffective.

  100. TS and David,
    I would further that idea TS by saying that Satan, the foe we all are out to defeat is not going to try to throw all his efforts into those things that are objectionable in plain sight to the believer and very clearly heretical, but just as was done with Eve in the Garden and attempted with Jesus in the desert he makes empty promises he has no authority and power to deliver on knowing that many will bite and buy it and believe the lie that they are promised eternal life when in fact they have not met the simple requirements God has laid out – Repentance and Believe – not simply that Jesus died and rose again, not simply that He died for our sins, but truly believing in Him, in His words, in His sacrifice that was paid on our part to cover a debt He did not owe for a price we could not ever pay.

    There is a passage that talks about these the latter days that is worthy of note here – 2 Peter 3:1-7 which says:
    But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    Notice – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Many evangelicals today have bought into the lie that we need to convey the message of the gospel differently for this, a different generation of people. The power of the gospel is in the necessary components of it – our sin revealed, exposed for us to recognize and understand, Jesus Christ the Lamb of God slain on our behalf to cover our sinfulness which we are to make an account for at the day of judgment, our repentance and turning from sin and our fleshly desires and turning towards God, seeking Him and trusting in Jesus Christ, not by saying it once and walking away claiming redemption because of the words of man, but putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. Like a skydiver would not simply believe a parachute will work but will put it on and wear it without fail until firmly planted on the ground safely – in just such a manner should we cling to the word of God and the words of Jesus Christ for it is in Him we are made new, in Him we are found faithful and through Him alone that we can find any hope of saving grace from the coming judgment due this perverse and wicked generation.

    “Jesus I believe you and I receive you. Welcome to the family of God….” Rick Warren should know that is an empty promise, we as believers should know that is an empty promise and shame on anyone for presenting that type of message as a sufficient gospel presentation. The inescapable problem with Warren is that he is so close to the truth, so much appearance of doing the will of God, “blessed” in the eyes of man by the success and fame that has come his way, and all the way carrying the banner of “Christianity” with him – to most he appears to be a solid leader which by worldly standards, business standards it would be hard to disagree – but God’s word says in 2 Tim. 3:10-17:

    But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    “and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” – where is that in the PDL? the God has a wonderful plan for your life message? the look at how perfect my life is since I found Jesus?

    Knowing the Holy Scriptures makes “you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” – The Message is not the Holy Scriptures, thus it is powerless to fulfill this promise much as the PDL gospel message is powerless to fulfill the promise of salvation.

    Just a few thoughts for consideration,

    In Christ’s Service,
    WBurke

  101. TS: What the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, and Islam are all very happy about, is when Christians are so watered down by bad teaching they’re ineffective.

    RA: Yeah, I suppose that’s why I organized a cult conference at Saddleback featuring such notable apologists and counter-cultists as Alan Gomes, H. Wayne House, Bob & Gretchen Passantino, and myself. Geez. You guys have created your own alternate reality.

    Well, have a good week.

    RAbanes

  102. Hmmmm, “alternate reality” by using reliable scripture to direct my paths rather than following something like “The Message”? Interesting…

  103. One of the most offensive and new age inferences/presentations in Eugene Peterson’s The Message is the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6 and I’ll provide both the New King James and Message version for your consideration:

    NKJV Matt. 6:5-15
    “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
    “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:

    Our Father in heaven,
    Hallowed be Your name.
    Your kingdom come.
    Your will be done
    On earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our debts,
    As we forgive our debtors.
    And do not lead us into temptation,
    But deliver us from the evil one.
    For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

    “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

    The Message Matt. 6:5-15
    “And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
    “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

    “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

    Our Father in heaven,
    Reveal who you are.
    Set the world right;
    Do what’s best–
    ***as above, so below.***
    Keep us alive with three square meals.
    Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
    Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
    You’re in charge!
    You can do anything you want!
    You’re ablaze in beauty!
    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.

  104. I think everyone MUST READ Richard Abanes concerns about Rick Warren. They are VERY enlightening.

    http://www.abanes.com/concerns.html

    “Warren uses The Message extensively. I, however, find that Bible version to be terrifically defective in a number of areas. Fortunately, those areas do not impinge on the central teachings of the Christian faith. Still, in my view, it is simply too off in a number of other verses to be used as a teaching Bible. Maybe as a comparison text, okay. But for making serious points in a book, or for substantiating some important teaching, IT SHOULD NOT BE USED.”

    Hmm. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? I believe Richard told me that while I talked to him out in California.

  105. WBurke: One of the most offensive and new age inferences/presentations in Eugene Peterson’s The Message is the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6

    Me: Cool passage from the Message. I think what you’ve got to remember, is that it’s trying to take the Word and put it in present day language. Now in doing that, they had to made some doctrinal assumptions. The KJV people had to do the same thing just to get it into english, but in my opinion, the Message probably does it more.

    Obviously you wouldn’t use it for the final word on a doctrinal issue. Be like the Borians. But sometimes the Message hits us upside the head with the truth where the old english just can’t. So just rememeber what it is, and there’s nothing wrong with using it.

  106. Tim,

    It’s good to see what Richard wrote. However, it’s a contradiction to talk about what a problem “The message” is, then turn around and recommend a book that uses such a insult to the Bible repeatedly. “That is if you truly hold God’s Word in high regard”. It becomes a way to defuse a problem, just as one might say, “we need to change the method, but not change the message”, then take the freedom to change the message. See, they’ve already defused the criticism of changing the message by making that statement up front. Yes I know, I risk hearing, “oh you’re making way to much out of this”. I take very seriously the Word of God, because He does. Because it is slandered over and over comparison examples should be shown for because most have not, and will not take the time to do so on their own.

  107. Okay Alex I can see where you’re coming from, I guess coolness is important to you so let me ask you this.

    Is it cool to think you’re in the club and then find out at the last moment that you’ve been excluded?

    Is it cool to be told you’re hired by the best music store in town to be store manager and then when you show up for work they tell you go back to the unemployment line?

    Is it cool to have a girl come up to you and ask you to go to Prom or Homecoming and then after getting everything ready, tux, transportation, reservations, flowers, etc… you go to pick her up and she’s gone with someone else?

    None of these things are cool, not even close. But Jesus says that on that day many will come to Him and say to Him Lord, Lord! And He will say to them (Matt. 7) “Depart from me you workers of iniquity, I NEVER knew you”. These are people who never knew the law, the NKJV says lawlessness instead of iniquity – people who despite doing signs and wonders in Jesus name will be told that He never knew them. Very likely because they held Him and His word and the things of His Father in such low regard. These people fitting of the proclamation Jesus made repeating what Isaiah 29:13 says: (Matt 15:7-9) Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
    ‘ These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
    And honor Me with their lips,
    But their heart is far from Me.
    And in vain they worship Me,
    Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

    When a preacher, pastor, church leader of any sort uses for teaching the ultra new age Message which lowly esteems God, minimizes sexual immorality and the consequences of sin, replaces Amen at the end of the Lord’s Prayer with what in many minds could be viewed as a clip from any number of dramatized sexual encounters (Yes, Yes, Yes – much like When Harry Met Sally or worse), there is little reason to support the author of such a vile “depiction” of the word of god much less use it for text before your flock.

    For your understanding I’ll submit the following KJV, NKJV and Message texts – the destruction is incredible.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (New King James Version)
    9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (The Message)
    9Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, 10use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. 11A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit.
    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (King James Version)
    9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
    10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
    11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
    1 Corinthians 6:16-20 (New King James Version)
    16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”[a] 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
    18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body[b] and in your spirit, which are God’s.
    1 Corinthians 6:16-20 (The Message)
    16There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” 17Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever–the kind of sex that can never “become one.” 18There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. 19Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. 20God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.
    1 Corinthians 6:16-20 (King James Version)
    16What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
    17But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
    18Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
    19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
    20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

    Matt. 7:13-14 Jesus says: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

  108. “A servant of the Lord MUST NOT QUARREL, but be gentle to all, patient, able to teach, in humility correcting those in opposition if GOD PERHAPS WILL GRANT THEM REPENTANCE, SO THAT THEY MAY KNOW THE TRUTH, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will”- 2 Timothy 2:24-26. A servant of the Lord MUST NOT QUARREL”. and there’s a whole lot of quarreling going on in the body of Christ.

  109. WBurke: Is it cool to have a girl come up to you and ask you to go to Prom or Homecoming and then after getting everything ready, tux, transportation, reservations, flowers, etc… you go to pick her up and she’s gone with someone else?

    Alex: Considering I’m homeschooled and don’t date, I’m tempted to make some smart remark about that statement. The only problem is that I can’t think of one ;)

    WBurke: And He will say to them (Matt. 7) “Depart from me you workers of iniquity, I NEVER knew you”

    Alex: Yeah, those nasty workers of iniquity – using the Message translation! Those lawless people, having the nerve to use anything but the King James Version! Sorry, to be dramatic, but I’m trying to make a point. I get a funny feeling that Christ isn’t talking about people who read the wrong Bible translation there.

    WBurke: For your understanding I’ll submit the following KJV, NKJV and Message texts; the destruction is incredible.

    Alex:May I quote myself?

    Obviously you wouldn’t use it for the final word on a doctrinal issue. Be like the Borians…

    God Bless :-D

  110. RAbanes said it well when he said the following regarding The Message. “But for making serious points in a book, or for substantiating some important teaching, IT SHOULD NOT BE USED.”

    I would have to say that ALL TEACHING FROM THE BIBLE IS IMPORTANT. It’s interesting how many are ok with saying that maybe it’s not the best version to use, but then take such offence when real examples of the slander are shown with comparitive text to a reliable version.

  111. Alex,

    Look in 1 Tim 3:1-7 at the requirements of an overseer/Bishop:

    Qualifications of Overseers
    This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

    He must be blameless and able to teach – now it is clear by these requirements and James 3:1 (My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.) that the standards of a Pastor are far greater than those of an average Christian. Now if you want to read The Message, have at it, I wouldn’t encourage it but it is your walk, not mine. But with regard to pastors using the new age paraphrase by Eugene Peterson that is riddled with problems, freely acknowledged by many, for use in sermons and represented as equivalent to the legitimate translations of the word of God, then a line has clearly been crossed and the byproduct of such teaching will most assuredly be a lax view of the inerrant, infallible word of God.

  112. Rick Warren also makes new members sign a “Covenant”. He also recommends that other churches do the same. He says that it is a way of compelling the flock to become more involved in and committed to the ministry of the church. Although, on the surface such covenants might seem practical, it is not Biblical.

    In Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, he makes the following point:

    “The worse men are, the less they are bound by oaths; the better they are, the less there is need for them.”

    When a church becomes dependent upon carnal mechanisms for spiritual motivation rather than the power and conviction of the Holy Spirit, contracts become fashionable among frustrated pastors who find it necessary to coerce members into carrying out the church’s ministry. Those who are led by the Spirit of God don’t need to sign on some dotted line guaranteeing their faithfulness. Those who aren’t led by the Spirit have no business in a Christian ministry to begin with. We don’t sign contracts guaranteeing our commitment to Christ for our salvation. So, why is it now necessary to sign a contract guaranteeing our commitment to serve in His church? Because faith isn’t required – that’s why. It’s only when you set out to fill your church with the faith-LESS that guarantees become necessary. This is what legalism is all about.

  113. Sorry about the broken comment section guys. I had been messing with templates (Baaaaad Idea) while waiting for my old one to be remodified, and my old posts brought back (Alex???). Anyway…comment to your heart’s content now.

    TS: Read the interview with Rick Warren and Richard Abanes. He talks about the “covenant” and what it’s all about.

    Also, if you think about it, anyone can fake being a Christian and act right in Church and become a member anywhere. It’s just like that, unfortunetely.

  114. Tim,

    I can’t find the interview, can you provide a link to it.

    Thanks

  115. TS: Those who are led by the Spirit of God don’t need to sign on some dotted line guaranteeing their faithfulness.

    RA: I suggest you probably actually learn a bit more about what the covenants are. I suppose you’d also condemn those who hammered out the Nicene Creed and all agreed to live by and abide by that and preach it to the world as the formal expression of Christianity.

    After all, please, WHERE are their any Creeds in the Bible presented as something to by voted upon?!

    I mean, gee, those who are led by the Spirit of God don’t need to vote on some Creed and sign its dotted line guaranteeing their faithfulness!!!

    Hmmmmmm.

    RAbanes

  116. RA: I suggest you probably actually learn a bit more about what the covenants are.

    WB: Please do tell us Richard what happens to someone at Saddleback who raises concerns about aberrant teachings of pastors, be it Rick or another? Are they able to voice their view, relate it to relevant scripture and have a forum in which to resolve the issue or as is so often noted from other churches that adopt the PD directives are they ostracized, removed from fellowship or given no avenue in which to communicate their concerns? Loyalty to a church that is of God does it not require nothing more than loyalty to God whose will is in His Word? Why then must you have members sign covenants to uphold unity – the point I believe TS made very clearly – if in fact their desire is to do the will of God and God alone?

    Another comment for you Richard and others – if you want to hear the genuine nature of a couple of people who are after doing God’s will, no matter what the cost to their own reputation or name I’d encourage you to listen to the Ken Silva interview with Ingrid on Crosstalk http://67.36.84.226/crosstalk/ct050831.asf from Wed. August 31st – the very nature of these two and the content of their discussion is a must hear for such a time as this.

  117. The Nicene Creed is a statement of Beliefs!

    Not a do’s and don’ts list for church members to sign off on!

  118. Having been raised in the Catholic faith in which we recited the Nicene Creed at mass every Sunday – it wasn’t signing a covenant every Sunday with a man, a church or ministry to be “loyal” to that ministry, it was simply reaffirming our beliefs in who God was, who Jesus Christ was, in who the Holy Spirit was and what the church was as well as some other things like communion of saint, forgiveness of sins, life everlasting.

    Jesus did not speak out against reciting creeds to confirm beliefs so when someone asks you what you believe you might be able to tell them succinctly and concisely, but He did have a comment about oaths in Matt. 5:33-37 – Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

    And His brother James revisits the topin in James 5:12 – But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.

    And one final note – were these scriptures solidly taught within the churches there would be no need for covenants at all. Those who will not break written covenants needn’t have to sign them as they are led by the light of Christ to do God’s will not their own. Those who would not do God’s will in the first place are not likely to let a covenant stop them from having their way.

  119. The interview was in “Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him” which everyone needs to read (maybe we could avoid a lot of this, or it would be easier to discuss):

    [after Rick Warren denounces Schuler]

    Richard says: “Do you kick people out of Saddleback for not signing the church membership covenant?”

    Rick W.: Well, you can’t join without the covenant. That’s true.

    RA: But you don’t remove people for not signing.

    RW: No, no, no.

    RA: {paraphrasing here} Why covenants? Isn’t that cultic?

    RW: “…They’re simply affirmations (quoting WBurke: “it was simply reaffirming our beliefs”) of faith. Any apologist should understand that it’s important to clarify what you believe. So we ask people to clarify that they agree with our beliefs before joining. And I would think that apologists would support that, rather than be offended by it. If you can join as church without having to affirm any kind of creed or a covenant, then you can have unbelievers as members in your church.”

    On a different note, I think we mentioned that Brian McLaren and Rick Warren agreed with one another (is that right?)

    Well, anyway, Rick Warren calls postmodernism “wimpy” and he “debated” Brian. He (RW) said he’s going in a totally “diffent direction.”

  120. WB: Please do tell us Richard what happens to someone at Saddleback who raises concerns about aberrant teachings of pastors, be it Rick or another? Are they able to voice their view, relate it to relevant scripture and have a forum in which to resolve the issue or as is so often noted from other churches that adopt the PD directives are they ostracized, removed from fellowship or given no avenue in which to communicate their concerns?

    RA: Are you asking me or telling me? I have a feeling it’s the latter. So, why should I bother. You guys already have yourmind made up. And as for “aberrant teachings”—you STILl haven’t listed what I asked for: “at least 1-3 statements wherein he clearly declares a doctrine that compromises any one of the central/essential doctrines of Christianity as declared in the earliest established and accepted creeds of Christianity: Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, or Chalcedonian Creed.”

    There are no teachings at Saddleback that would be defined by any recognized apologist at “aberrant.” This is why those who endorsed my book include some of teh most respected apologists in the evangelical community: Ron Rhodes, James Bjornstad, Luke Wilson, and Lee Strobel.

    Don Veinot knew what the right thing to do was, and he backed away from truth under pressure from the anti-Warrenites—see my response to Veinot here: http://abanes.com/donveinot.html

    Oh, BTW, you mentioned “Ken Silva interview with Ingrid.” ken Silva??? Oh, the guy who questions my entire walk with Jesus because I happen to like country music and I don’t (in his opinion) show him enough respect??? That Ken Silva? Here’s my responses to Silva

    http://abanes.com/kensilvamain.html
    http://abanes.com/kensilva2.html
    http://abanes.com/kensilva3.html

    My favorite part is the section in the third response that deals with Silva and music—
    http://abanes.com/kensilva46_65.html

    RA

    BTW, people at Saddleback can express themselves just fine and question all kinds of things. What we don’t want, and what any church doens’t want, are people who are mean-spirited and who go around sowing discord and division. That is sin. And the Bible even talks about such persons, troublemakers, who want nothing more than to cause problems and draw attention to themselves and run the church their way.

    RAbanes

  121. Tim you might want to look more at what Rick Warren does rather than what he says. If he says he will do something or is doing something and his actions back it up then praise God, he’s a man of his word and truth matters to him. But if he says one thing and then does something else or does things that are directly opposing to what he’s declared he will be doing then it not only undercuts his integrity, but as such a prominent “leader of Evangelical Christians” it does great harm to the cause of Christ and of God.

    Tim: RW: “…They’re simply affirmations (quoting WBurke: “it was simply reaffirming our beliefs”) of faith.”

    WB: But Tim, one is a verbal recitation of an aged Creed while what Rick and Saddleback has you sign is a Covenant which requires you to say you will not do anything to breach the “Unity” of the church – where is that outlined in scripture and again how do you dismiss what Jesus Christ Himself said about oaths as I stated above?

    Question about Saddleback – this is their Salvation Belief from their website:

    ABOUT SALVATION
    Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God´s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin´s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.

    Now I’ve said on many occasions that the problem with the gospel message in the PDL is there is no repentance mentioned. Well now you have no repentance mentioned at Saddlebacks website. How can you dismiss this consistent exclusion of the repentance called for in the word of God, that “all men everywhere must repent and put their trust in Jesus Christ?”

  122. Here’s #4 from the covenent which Rick Warren says the following: “Well, you can’t join without the covenant. That’s true”.

    You don’t see the difference between this and a statement of beliefs such as the Nicene creed?

    4. I WILL SUPPORT THE TESTIMONY OF MY CHURCH

    …By attending faithfully

    …By living a godly life

    …By giving regularly

    These are all things God wants us to do, but he doesn’t desire us to have to sign a Church covenent to do them!

    He also desires us to dress modestly, funny how I don’t see that one on there. It would be legalistic wouldn’t it now?

  123. WBURKE: Now I’ve said on many occasions that the problem with the gospel message in the PDL is there is no repentance mentioned.
    RA: What exactly do you think repentance is???? It si sNOT weaping on your face as you crawl on pavement to the altar. Repentnece merely means a change of direction or a change of one’s mind. When you accept Christ as your savior in respone to your realization of sin and your need for a savior you ARE repentging!!!

    TS: These are all things God wants us to do, but he doesn’t desire us to have to sign a Church covenent to do them!
    RA: So glad to see that you are now teling everyone what God desires, especially when you yourself admit that the facets of the covenant “are all things God wants us to do.” It is not ungodly to say, “hey guys, let’s all commit to this together and make it one of the things we think others should commit to in order be a member of this particular fellowship.” Big deal. Did you ever make a committment to a friend to be a prayer partner, or an accountability partner?? Nevermind.

    RA

  124. Interesting outtakes from the Ken Silva rebuttal about music.

    SILVA#53: “it is without a doubt quite an appalling witness for Christ Jesus that Mr. Abanes would then go on to tell us that he listens to Green Day, which is a punk rock band! Now, it is true, that as far as this rubbish goes, it is a more ‘pop’ version of this ‘harder side of music.’ However, how can this noted apologist for the faith of our Lord, possibly lend his support to ‘punk’ music, which is undeniably antithetical to a Christian lifestyle!”

    RESPONSE: “Appalling?” Now, according to Silva, I am offering the entire world an “appalling witness” for Christ because I happen to appreciate the artistry and music skills of a single band? let us take a brief look at exactly what my witness has been to the world—i.e., what I have done that might make it Positive or Appalling. I think it shows the interesting way Silva tends to weigh evidence and come to conclusions.

    Tell me Richard what you really think about giving approval to young Christians to listen to songs with lyrics like this:

    Green Day – Basket Case 2nd verse worse than the first:
    I went to a shrink
    To analyze my dreams
    She says it’s lack of sex
    that’s bringing me down
    I went to a whore
    He said my life’s a bore
    So quit my whining cause
    it’s bringing her down

    Green Day – Dominated Love Slave
    Verse 1
    I want to be your dominated love slave
    I want to be the one that takes the pain
    You can spank me when I do not behave
    Mack me in the forehead with a chain

    Is this really the type of stuff that a person in “Full-time Christian ministry” should be taking in? It is one thing if you are a Christian who is not in ministry, but as one who is in a qwuasi-leadership/teaching position and touted as an “expert” by Christian publications on a variety of issues (which is beyond my comprehension to be honest) I find it greatly disturbing to put it mildly.

  125. RA: ”It is not ungodly to say, “hey guys, let’s all commit to this together and make it one of the things we think others should commit to in order be a member of this particular fellowship.”

    TS: Uhmmm, and signing on the dotted line is the answer?? You’re right.. Nevermind.

  126. WB: Tell me Richard what you really think about giving approval to young Christians to listen to songs with lyrics like this:

    RA: Approval?? As in some kind of blanket approval or some sort of recommendation for “young Christians”? I never said that. I said that for me, a professional musician, I can appreciate their artistry and talent. And that is osmething that cannot be denied.

    I like the way you conveniently left out what I had to say at my #51 comment repsonse to Silva on my website, which actually detailed my views (predictable, WB, so predictable). I said:

    _____BEGIN
    Dear Pastor Silva, pray tell, where might I be in my Christian life? And where might there be any Bible verses that would specifically tell a Christian, specifically me, where I might be based on my listening to “country” music or “punk” music? And where might there be any Bible verses that would specifically tell any Christian where they might be if they also: had long hair, painted their finger nails blue, wore jewelry (just like harlots), wore a skirt 2 inches above the knee instead of 1 inch, watched a PG-13 movie (or even an R-rated film), had a glass of fine Merlot with some pasta, went to church on Saturday instead of Sunday, enjoyed the theater, used electricity, painted their house a bright color, or walked through a corn field on the Sabbath.

    Artistic expression and musical tastes are individual (also see my response to SILVA#50). And in a secular society there is going to be no secular artists who are perfectly aligned with Christian/biblical ideals. Why not? BECAUSE THEIR SECULAR! But Silva apparently thinks God has commissioned him to be the one who decides for everyone—or perhaps for at least his own congregation—where the biblical line exists between having a “walk with Jesus” that is not quite right (i.e., by listening to certain kinds of music) and a “walk with Christ” that is righteous (i.e., not listening to certain kinds of music that Silva finds objectionable or “rubbish,” see SILVA#53). This is legalism—per Ken Silva—in violation of Christ’s words: “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister” (Matthew 20:25-26, KJV). Or, as the NIV says, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant (Mark 10:42, NIV).

    Silva’s approach to music is very much reminiscent of the Judaizers in Paul’s day who, despite the fact that Christ had come to deliver his followers from the law, insisted that laws/regulations/rules had to be followed on order to either obtain or demonstrate their righteousness/faith (see Acts 15:1). Silva certainly does not go so far as to make “NO PUNK MUSIC” a condition of salvation, but he certainly comes dangerously close to that, implying that no Christian with any kind of close “walk with Jesus” would listen to such “rubbish” (see SILVA#53). Silva’s judgment of my “walk with Jesus,” which he bases on little more than my taste in music, also contradicts the following passages of scripture: “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17, KJV); “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore. . . .” (Romans 14:13-23); and “except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:23, KJV).

    I would recommend that Silva read two fairly simple and straightforward Q&A studies available online: “How can believers be in the world, but not of the world?” and “How should a Christian view sports / athletics?” (applicable to other issues like music, movies, etc.). Silva’s legalism and narrow-minded approach to life is only a few short steps removed from the Amish, who interpret the call for Christians to be separate from the word as a command to not use electricity, or grow mustaches, or wear buttons, or drive cars.

    ___END

    RA

  127. BTW, dear Wburke, do you want to get into analysis of song lyrics now??? If so, then fine.

    In your first quotation of “Basket Case” you completely ripped these lyrics from their context that explain what the song is about ) you do the same thing with statements from Warren and me—how predictable). This song is appropriately labeled “Basket Case” and is about someone who really is having a hard time in life and feels as if they are quite literally “cracking up.” It is about being paranoid, having panic attacks, and are just feeling rather messed up. You conveniently skipped the repeat chorus that explains all of this stuff, as well as the first verse wherein the singer enumerates many of his problems. This is a song that in no way advances or advocates going to whores or a lack of sex (as you seem to think). if anything, it’s pointing to the emptiness of such things. It’s fruitless. They provide no answers. They gives no satisfactory solutions to life’s problems. How did you miss that, WBurke?

    The second song you quote, “Dominated Love Slave” is a song that is usually perceived by listeners and fans as a colossal joke! Sure, it’s mature—but so are R-rated movies, especially ones that don’t portray such stuff (as in “Dominated Love Slave”) as humorous. Would I recommend the song for Christians??? No, of course, not. But I never said that I think everything Green Day has done is biblical or a great example of godliness—duh, they’re not Christians. As I said, I am commenting as a professional musician on their talents and artistry. (See recent previous post #126).

    You want to know something?? Because I do not insulate and isolate myself from the world I have actually been able to witness to young people who need Christ. I can talk to them about Green Day, various rappers, and all kinds of things going on in the world. We can communicate. They know that I am not just some Bible thumper who doesn’t even know what a Green Day is. They listen, we talk, they’re willing to hear about Christ. So, go ahead, if you thing that’s horrific, then so be it.

    As for me, I will seek the lost and eat with sinners like Jesus did. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (Matthew 23: 23-24).

    RA

  128. Yeah okay Richard and I suppose “Jesus of Suburbia” with the f-bomb riddled lyrics and offensive desecration of the name of Jesus is not one you’d recommend under your Christian authors hat but if you were speaking as a musician (which of course you are – don’t forget to add the link to the albums so you can maybe sell a few more of your recordings and make more money off Jesus name) it has some well crafted lyrical content and finely performed instrumentation?

    Thanks for clearing that up Richard. BTW dude I’m a professional musician myself and am embarrassed by your justification of lowered standards for integrity based on a musical gift from the Lord – that is total hogwash, pure and simple. To portray yourself as a worthwhile author in the Christian community and turn and exalt Green Day and justify their unseemly lyrics as if, again to suppose that you alone have the authority on interpretting what someone is saying. What an ego you have Richard, how could you ever fit that ego through the Pearly Gates?

    Garbage in! Garbage out! I don’t know who said it first but you know what, they had it right.

  129. which of course you are – don’t forget to add the link to the albums so you can maybe sell a few more of your recordings and make more money off Jesus name

    Yeah, that’s right! You know, that’s one of the biggest problems with PDL, if they really loved the Lord they wouldn’t charge money for their books. They really ought to give them away for free. That really tells a lot about them. What a bad testimony.

    Christian artists in general, actually, they shouldn’t be charging for their music. How unchristian. And what’s worse – advertising it! My gosh.

    Forgive my sarcasm – I actually do agree that Christian shouldn’t listen to secular music, WB, but the “making-money-off-of-Jesus” arguement was too much.

  130. Are any of you are aware of Alistair Begg’s preaching? I would urge you all to listen to his message from yesterday that I have included. It’s title is The Church Confronts the World. It’s only 1/2 hour.

    http://resources.christianity.com/truthforlife/talkInfo.jhtml?id=63626&JServSessionIdroot=3exla1vmx1

  131. Alex,
    I too have no problem with Christians making money selling albums, books, etc… – the problem is so not about that it should be deafening to you. It is about a person who is supposedly in “full-time Christian ministry” who so wickedly assails pastor after pastor who says of Green Day:

    RA: And regarding Green Day itself—Silva calls it “rubbish”? Well, if that’s Silva’s opinion, then fine. But that’s certainly not my opinion as a professional musician. Nor is it the opinion of the music industry. Green Day was recently nominated for 8 MTV VMA awards: the Viewer’s Choice Award, Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Best Rock Video, Best Direction in a Video, Best Art Direction in a Video, Best Editing in a Video, and Best Cinematography in a Video. Also, Green Day’s “American Idiot” album received 7 Grammy nominations: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Performance by a Duo/Group with Vocal, Best Short Form Music Video, and Producer of the Year. Green Day produces some of the most intricate and original lyrics, chord structures, bridges, verses, cadences, and melodies now existing in the music world. Their lyrics include some decidedly deep thoughts on politics, society, and the human condition (for example, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”).

    COMMENT: Notice the exaltation of Green Day and reverence towards Green Day that is not shared to a God ordained minister of the Lord Jesus Christ who has defended the word of God at great personal expense, not that he’s complaining at all, but it serves to be noted.

    And then Alex he goes on to say this:

    RA: For example, does Silva even know that some “punks” and “punk” musicians actually stand AGAINST (that’s right, against) things like drug abuse, alcohol, racism, hedonism, and sexual promiscuity?! They may LOOK just like other punks, but they live a life and advocate values that might best be thought of as traditional values. These so-called “rebellious” youths are actually rebelling against those things that Silva himself would term “antithetical to a Christian lifestyle.” Does Silva know this? Doubtful.

    COMMENT: As if to say that all we as Christians should be worried about is if people are doing drugs, drinking alcohol, being racist, hedonistic, etc… The Christian Worldview is centered around the belief that without Jesus Christ to save them every soul is assured of eternal damnation – it doesn’t matter that these “punk” musicians are anti-drug, anti-racism, anti-alcohol or whatever else they may do that is “good” in societies eyes – as a Christian with the ministry of reconciliation my utmost concern with them, if I truly do love them as I am supposed to as a Christian, is do they know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, have they repented from their sinful ways and turned towards the God. Will they in fact pass through the gates of Heaven on Judgment Day or will they be cast into the lake of fire?

    For a “full-time Christian minister” to say what Abanes said above while villifying a pastor is confounding and contemptuous.

  132. WBURKE: I’m a professional musician myself

    RA: How full of yourself you must be to brag so about your accomplishments! Can’t you just use the Word of God? Must you appeal to your worldly accomplishments?! Goodness gracious.

    WBURKE: on’t forget to add the link to the albums so you can maybe sell a few more of your recordings and make more money off Jesus name

    RA: yeah, well, now you’re just being palin old nasty mean. have a good time representing jesus and spouting you Bible. That’s the end for me—we really have notihng more to say to each other. Well, at least I have nothing more to say. Man, I feel sorry for you. Ah well.

    RA

  133. RA: How full of yourself you must be to brag so about your accomplishments! Can’t you just use the Word of God? Must you appeal to your worldly accomplishments?! Goodness gracious.

    WB: Context! Context! Context! It was a ‘sentence’ whereby the fact that I was a professional musician did not elevate me above the obligation to maintain an integritous walk with the Lord. Setting myself apart because that is what God calls us to do, not justifying listening to offensive lyrics and celebrating the band producing them because it is somehow making me better able to “relate” with the world and reach the lost. With God “all things are possible” when it comes to fulfilling His will – even to the communication with the lost.

  134. TS: I have read that. And wasn’t really happy with a lot of it…I mean, Ingrid REALLY jumped on that article way too fast, and now that Abanes has defended the church on the site, she says he “attacked” the blogger who wrote it (“After Scott was attacked by Richard Abanes”), which is going far to extreme.

    The majority of that article was sarcasm…which we don’t need. People in this discussion will believe sarcasm. That’s the sad part.

    I think that searching for things in Rick Warren’s past of Richard Abanes past is wrong. Tim Wirth commented here, and I liked his comments. But I’ve been reading some other comments, which I would not expect a fellow believer to post. He’s not alone.

    People link to this picture: http://www.abanes.com/abanes-one.jpg of Abanes, then use it to laugh and make fun of him. They attempt to turn him off, saying that he’s just a little fly that’s bugging them. He “attacks” people. He has no truth in what he’s saying.

    I think there is plenty of truth in what he’s saying. Not because I’ve met him or not. I’ve believed that before I ever even emailed him.

    But I digress. Back to Ingrid. I started reading her blog awhile back, and really liked it. But now, I am seriously appalled at some of what she’s posting. She see’s a picture…she posts it. Take this post for example: http://www.sliceoflaodicea.com/archives/2005/09/evangelical_fre.php

    Has she gone to the church? What does she think they’re doing there? Is something wrong with puppets? Fun magic shows?

    It’s not like they have it on sunday morning to bring folks in. It’s on TUESDAY NIGHT! Not even Wednesday prayer night.

    I had to laugh at this comment made there:

    “J [who had a great comment! Go J!], I think the point is, why are they trying to draw the kids in with magic. Don’t they already have enough “Harry Potter” in their lives? I have no problem with a church trying to reach the kids in their town but they don’t have to be so “worldly” about it.

    Posted by: Denise at September 2, 2005 03:09 PM”

    Harry Potter is totally different from the magic we’re seeing there.

    But she has some good posts such as linking to this: http://www.clearviewcommunity.com/News/11

    But that is very seldom. I pray that using sarcastic posts and blowing off Abanes as a troll is not plugging her ears.

    Wburke and TS: You have one side of the debate. I let you comment, because I want you to be able to defend your beliefs. Same for Abanes or whoever.

    I sit in the middle somewhat, if not closer to you guys. But attacking people is WRONG. I think you all agree. But what I’m seeing on other blogs is not what I’m seeing you guys doing here.

    TS, Wburke…(am I missing anyone?). I hope you believe that we don’t need a lot of what we see on other blogs.

    Thanks…

  135. Tim, I’m not for the “personal” attacks either. I hope that if you were to go back through my comments, that you wouldn’t see personal attacks.

    I put that blog address on there primarily for what Scott Hill and a friend witnessed at Saddleback during their visit, a lot of which Richard did not deny happens at Saddleback, it just boiled down to whether a lot of those things are right or wrong.

    Anyway thanks for trying to keep things clean bro.

  136. I’m with you there, TS. And I really appreciate your clean comments, as well as WBurkes, and Adam’s, and others.

    I had some comments (2 I believe) that we very innpropriate, and I would assume actually came from beleivers. It’s disheartening to read the comment sections of some blogs, especially Slice.

  137. Hi Tim,

    I’m the Denise who made the comment you quoted in #137… there is a problem when the church becomes worldly. I suggest you go to an online bible or a version that’s on your computer, and do a search for the word “world”. You’ll find many verses, and here’s one them.

    2 Peter 2:20
    For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

  138. >People link to this picture: http://www.abanes.com/abanes-one.jpg of Abanes, then use it to laugh and make fun of him.

    RA: I went over to visit Schlueter’s website where the link to the photo was posted and indeed it ios being used to make fun of me.

    Can any of you actually believe this is happening. That is a photo fo me when I was 19 years old. So now apologetics has sunken to the level of hunting down what are supposed to be just fun pictures from decades ago—and then using those pictures to mock someone today??? This is soooooo sad I just have no words.

    And if you go over to http://fide-o.blogspot.com/ you have numerous people also mocking, deriding, and making fun of my old show business name “Richie.” This has just all become surreal—very very bizarre that these people have sunk to such an unsavory level of nastiness. What is next?

    I must admit that I am really shocked by all of this. Ah well. I think, if anything, God is using this whole Rick Warren controversy to expose wome really nasty segments of the “Christian” community. These people, in my opinion, need some serious counseling.

    That’s all for me here. This has pretty much become a waste of time now that people have slipped into the arena of just making fun of people’s names and pictures (from 20+ years ago at that). Weird, man, really weird.

    RAbanes

  139. Comment of the week:

    “Hi Tim,
    I think you’ve got caught in the middle of a flame war that doesn’t look like it’s going to die down any time soon.
    It doesn’t help when Rick posts his stuff here, or Ingrid posts hers – I don’t have a side in this. You know me as a blogger and my concern is that you are being caught in the cross fire – and your blog is being used by two adults who should know better.
    My suggestion – Rick and Ingrid should take their boxing match elsewhere.
    Brother – pray for them and leave them to it. You have other stuff to do that is constructive. I care about you and I know God has given you a writing gift. So stick with Him ok?

    –www.allthings2all.blogspot.com”

    That would be my letter of resignation.

  140. Tim,

    I’m going to share hopefully a final word in here that will benefit everyone involved in this issue. We all probably know by now that Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. We should also know that when we lack wisdom that if we ask Him for it He will give it liberally to us that we might know His desire and will for our lives. A few weeks back my pastor said in a Thursday night Bible study (New King James Version) that God’s word is His will and that His will is His word. If anyone is wanting to know what God’s will is for them get into the word and you will find it. But the point I want to make is this – we clearly can go back and forth on this issue ad infinitum, ad nauseum, ad….etc…whatever….the end! But ultimately if you seek God diligently and spend time in the word of God you will begin to notice the flagrant problems with much of the CGM, PDL, WCA methods for “doing church” and you will either be asked by God to be a missionary iwthin one of those churches or be called out, but ultimately you will recognize error for what it is by the grace and mercy of God. If you diligently seek Him, because as I read today at our men’s conference for the benefit of all present – Hebrews 11:6 which states: But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

    You must believe first that He IS! And that He is a REWARDER of those who DILIGENTLY seek Him, not come to one service and go back to their sinful ways or try to bring their sinful ways into the church body but diligently seeking God.

    Get in the word, stay in the word and when you have any questions about right and wrong or this or that – consult the word of God and God’s wisdom.

    God Bless and may you all have your names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

    WB

  141. It’s really hard for us men (mankind) to keep our little hands out of the equation isn’t it? I’ve seen it on both sides where everyone is talking about how “I’ve” been attacked. WOE is me. The sad thing is, this has become another “tool” to be used for making a case for one side or another concerning this whole Warren issue and ir de-emphasizes the Word.

    It boils down to this, is the Whole Purpose Driven thing something that is for or against the Truths of God. Let’s all get our reliable Bibles out and just compare scripture to scripture. It is really quite that simple.

  142. My response to this statement from Grace To You (by Nathan Busenitz) can be found now at my blog http://sliceoflaodiceachurch.blogspot.com/ under “John MacArthur, Nathan Busenitz, and Rick Warren.”

    RAbanes

    PS Please don’t argue with me here on Tim’s blog. I won’t respond here on his website. He shouldn’t be in the middle.

  143. Tim I apologize for doing this here but when I posted this legitimate response to Richards latest attempt at twisting the minds of some he very quickly removed the post. I guess when it gets down to the point where he cannot defend the salvation message on Saddlebacks website among other things he must resort to censorship.

    Here is the response I posted regarding his assailing the efforts of Nathan Busenitz. Tell me if you see this as worthy of response or worthy of deletion?

    RA: Unfortunately, Busenitz—who is a GREAT guy, personally speaking—is a very young (29-year-old) fresh out of Seminary (and very inexperienced) researcher who really has neither the background, nor expertice, to examine an issue as vast as the one he was asked to research—i.e., Warren, Saddleback, seeker-sensitive, church growth, etc. etc. etc.

    Bill: Tell us Richard, please, what exactly is your background that would lead someone to trust you as a reliable resource for discernment?

    I would have to say Mr. Busenitz did a bang up job on his task. It is in-line with a growing body of believers who are alarmed at the self-centered PDL approach. Take for instance your first point of the 5 points from purpose:

    “You Were Planned for God’s Pleasure” (Revelation 4:11)

    Rev. 4:11 from NKJV reads:
    “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

    Warren takes a scripture that is about how worthy God is and what He has done and makes it about us and how we can provide pleasure to God? This is about what the 24 elders who give Him glory and honor and what they are saying to Him as they divest themselves of all honor and cast their crowns at the feet of their King. As you might say CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT.

  144. The King James Version, the only reliable version of the Bible according to so many of Warren’s critics, declares faithfully: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11).

    Dear WBurke, stop using the NKJV, a New Age perversion of God’s word!!!! All things, including people, were created by a glorious God for his pleasure.

    R. Abanes

  145. Richard you’ve clearly fallen off the deep end in your efforts to defend Warren. You have so, or let me clarify that because a false teaching is to be called out as a false teaching, Warren and you have so distorted the word of God as to render it completely contrary to its original intent. To debase the essence of what God spoke, or in the case of Revelations, Jesus Christ spoke to John, is an abomination to God.

    Time will tell what your end will be, I think Ken Silva did a very good job in his pastors perspective of you, were you a member of my church you would certainly be called to be disciplined as per Biblical mandate for your exhibition of willfully undermining the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    You would do well to take heed page “The Character of Genuine Saving Faith” per 2 Cor. 13:5 from the MacArthur Study Bible

    I Evidences that neither prove nor disprove one’s faith:
    A. Visible Morality
    B. Intellectual Knowledge
    C. Religious Involvement
    D. Active Ministry
    E. Conviction of Sin
    F. Assurance
    G Time of Decision

    II The Fruit/Proofs of Authentic/True Christianity
    A. Love for God
    B. Repentance from Sin (not simply “repenting” but an actual exhibition of the turning away from sin)
    C. Genuine Humility
    D. Devotion to God’s Glory (not man’s)
    E. Continual Prayer
    F. Selfless Love (not self-love)
    G. Separation from the World
    H. Spiritual Growth
    I. Obedient Living
    J. Hunger for God’s Word (not challenging the versions that are counted most accurate and calling one of them a New Age perversion as you did above)
    K. Transformation of Life

    If list I is true of a person and List II is false, there is cause to question the validity of one’s profession of faith. Yet if List II is true, then the top list will be also.

    NOTE: Parenthetical insertions are my comments and not a part of the MacArthur Study Bible.

    RA: All things, including people, were created by a glorious God for his pleasure.

    WBurke: Where exactly are your Biblical references for that one Richard, because the one that Warren used and you quoted is completely bogus as a foundation for that teaching. I’m shocked that the very first of the five principles is so poorly supported with his reference to Rev. 4:11.

    Remember what Rev. 22:18-19 says, and you may want to remind Warren of this next time you talk to him:

    For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

  146. Wburke: when I posted this legitimate response to Richards latest attempt at twisting the minds of some he very quickly removed the post. I guess when it gets down to the point where he cannot defend the salvation message on Saddlebacks website among other things he must resort to censorship.

    Tim: Well, I always say the same thing when I post on Slice of Laodicea…

    WBurke: “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

    Tim: Not out of context. You are worthy…to recieve glory and honor and power. Why? Because he created all things, and all things are made for him. We were created for God’s pleasure. We make God happy, not vice versa. God wasn’t made for us.

    That’s what Warren is saying.

  147. Tim,
    When you are reading scripture you have to take in the entire passage as it is written and in this case specifically to take this as the foundational scripture for claiming we were made for God’s pleasure is beyond error. To say to a person who doesn’t know God, doesn’t have any hunger for His word and certainly has no idea the price that was paid that they might have a chance at eternal life that they were created for God’s pleasure is to tell an already proud individual something that will serve more to add ot their pride than it will do to humble them to a point of contrition that they might receive the gospel message in fertile soil that they might bring forth much fruit.

    Look at the whole of the passage from which Rev. 4:11 has been stripped to make that claim:

    Rev. 4:9-11 reads as follows from the NKJV:
    Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
    “You are worthy, O Lord,
    To receive glory and honor and power;
    For You created all things,
    And by Your will they exist and were created.”

    Why would I discourage someone from taking this to be justification for Warren’s teaching? The answer is in 1 Peter 5:5-6 which reads as follows:

    Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
    “ God resists the proud,
    But gives grace to the humble.”
    Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,

    He found it such an important message that He repeated it in James 4:5-7

    5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
    6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
    “ God resists the proud,
    But gives grace to the humble.”

    Humility Cures Worldliness

    Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

    Doesn’t matter what Warren says, if God says to humble yourself – humble yourself and know that God sees through all the false humility in the world right to the heart of man. Without humility there is no salvation for it takes a humble heart to receive what God offers through the blood of Jesus Christ. Any other message provides a bogus promise.

  148. There has been a lot of nasty things said on many of these blogs, but it seems as though that many times ALL of those who have legitimate concerns about Warren are lumped together as Haters, and that is not true. If anyone expresses problems about a movement and book that are clearly against scripture in many areas then “you are filled with hate”. Let me show an example, I was new in making any comments, I had only made 2 or 3, and I was commenting on the PDL. Read the following

    TS: Then regarding the statement Warren makes this in this statement ”In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible” That’s the context?
    ABANES: Yes, that’s the context. It’s not that big of a deal except for people who simply MUST condemn Warren for something, and nit-pick at every itsy-bitsy thing he says in order to make sure they can find something to condemn him for. You take this one statement by him, at the exclusion of 25 years of hie preaching, and hang all of your hate on it.

    I was showing a clear “example” of error in Warrens book, which by way are not isolated, and he calls me condemning and filled with hate. Richard makes these stabs, then it’s always the one who has a concern about Warren who is a hater. Just an observation.

    Also as far as the Warren statement ”In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible” This is obvously bad teaching. Jesus is MUCH more concerned with molding us from his Word than Circimstances!

  149. RW: ”In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible”

    WB: We know the scripture expressly says in Romans 10:17 – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. We also know that scripture says in Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

    This tells us that God is a rewarder of those who DILIGENTLY seek Him, now how can you reconcile that with simply living and being content with circumstances? Circumstances according to definition #3 is – The sum of determining factors beyond willful control. Should we then simply proceed aimlessly through life without incentive to read the word of God because God does not depend on that but rather He depends on “The sum of determining factors beyond willful control.”? Certainly not! Certainly not!

  150. WBURKE: RW: ”In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible” WB: We know the scripture expressly says in Romans 10:17 – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the

    RESPONSE: And here is why it is so frustrating to try to talk to you guys. You don’t want answers. You don’t want to see another side of things. And you don’t want to talk Warren’s words in any other possible way, even though an alternate explanation makes more sense given his conservative faith in Christ.

    Here’s a perfect example from WBURKE. This very same point was apready raised in comment #50 by TS, which reads: “#50 . . . P.193 from PDL ‘God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character. In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible’. [But] Gods Word is far more valuable in molding us than our circumstances, how so dishonoring to the richness and power of His Word to make such a statement.”

    In comment #52, I responded: “52. August 27th, 2005 at 3:11 pm . . . And as for Warren’s remark—’In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible’—I can only wonder why you did not quote ALL of what Warren said in context. He clearly explained what he meant by that statement, which you have misconstrued. He said: ‘God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character. In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible. The reason is obvious: You face circumstances twenty-four hours a day.’ In other words, Warren is making a remark here about experiential change connected with daily living in the world that pushes us toward sanctification. This is happening every waking moment. We are being changed by our circumstances with every moment of life. He is not making some heretical comment that diminishes the power, worth, and need for God’s Word.

    And then, AGAIN

  151. Like it was said before and then AGAIN, THE CONTEXT NEVER CHANGED this statement because of more of what Warren wrote here saying “You face circumstances twenty-four hours a day” as RA would have you believe.

    I really liked the way Rachel put it back on #71. To RAbanes, I would like to leave a reply about what Warren and you said below:
    “God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character. In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible. The reason is obvious: You face circumstances twenty-four hours a day.”
    Yes, we are alive 24 hours a day and we face circumstances, but we are not to depend on those circumstances (whatever this fallen world throws our way) to ‘push us toward sanctification’, but to trust in and apply to our lives the word of God so God can lead and direct us through the circumstances of every moment of life. And God leads and directs us through His written word, not through feelings and experiece. God uses feelings and experience, but He does not DEPEND on them. Why/How would The Creator need to depend on anything?

  152. TS: Why/How would The Creator need to depend on anything?

    RA: Semantics. My goodness. You are so obsessed with nit-picking at isolated words you can’t even see the far more mundane point that Warren is making. He is not making some statement on God’s character by using the word “depends.” C’mon, man. Stop TRYING to find some doctrinal error, which is what you are doing. Reading it more simply. This is not some kind of test to pick apart some cult leader and find out what he ie REALLY saying. Warren is just saying we are faced with circumstances 24/7 that God uses to shape and mold us. Yes yes yes yes, of course, God uses his word to shape us. But you are creating a scenario that Warren is not painting. Warren is expressing a time factor calculation of how we are molded by everything we face (our responses, our need to act Christ-like in the face of nonbelievers, sufferings, trials). I’ve known plenty of people who study study study and REAL change cmae when they had to put what they’ve studied into practice in real life. Ughhh. That’s all he’s saying. . . . . whatever.

    RA

  153. RA: Yes yes yes yes, of course, God uses his word to shape us. But you are creating a scenario that Warren is not painting. Warren is expressing a time factor calculation of how we are molded by everything we face (our responses, our need to act Christ-like in the face of nonbelievers, sufferings, trials).

    TS: I’m glad you are willing to rewrite the book and tell us what Warren REALLY means. You can do that with every bad doctinal statement he makes in the book and then it might not be so bad.

    “God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character. In fact he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible. The reason is obvious: You face circumstances twenty-four hours a day.”

  154. TS; TS: I’m glad you are willing to rewrite the book and tell us what Warren REALLY means. You can do that with every bad doctinal statement he makes in the book and then it might not be so bad.
    RA: TS, I am not rewriting anything. Look, my whole ministry, life, and career is in discernment and research and investigating cults, the occult, and world religions. I am reading Warren’s book like any other book/work by a religious leader. A person’s words, whether it’s Warren’s or anyone else’s must be in terpreted in light of their belief system and overall theology and statements. And I know Warren’s teachings personally.

    Moreover, the reading that I am giving is the simplest, most straightforward reading, given the rest of what he says about God and Gos’s use of circumstances in our lives—as well as the premium that is put on Bible study and spiritual maturity at Saddleback. If you read my latest blog about Michael Barrett and his recent sermon, you can see how ANYONE can be made to sound as if they are preaching heresy. But interpretation of a person is important. You seem to already have conclusions about Warren, then read a statement and interpret that statement in light of what you already believe to be true about him. THAT is not the approach to take—with Warren, or ANYBODY.

    Oh well. Believe as you wish. I’m telling you that it is only a small minority of Warren’s critcs who are reading his words in some very strange ways. They already believe he is some kind of bizarre cult leader and are treating every word that come sout of his mouth (or pen) that way. It’s wrong. Look, the guys not perfect. Never said he was. But no pastor is perfect. No pastor uses scripture perfectly. And guess what—YOU don’t either. Why? because we are ALL flawed sinners!!!!!

    Is the gospel being preached? Is the true God being presented? Is the Jesus of the Bible (rather than some false Jesus) being exalted? With Warren and Saddleback the answer to all of these questions is yes. I have already asked just on this page several times for ANYONE to provide 1-3 statements wherein Warren/Sadleback clearly declares a doctrine that compromises any one of the central/essential doctrines of Christianity as declared in the earliest established and accepted creeds of Christianity: Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, or Chalcedonian Creed. So far NOTHING!

    I’ve given this same request to numerous critics and so far the same result—NOTHING. That is very telling. All they can point to is: I don’t like this, I don’t like that, he quotes paraphrases, he sang about 15 seconds of Purple Haze as a stupid joke etc etc etc etc. THAT is not heresy.

    Please read Robert Bowman’s “Orthodoxy and Heresy: A Biblical guide to Doctrinal Discernment” (Baker Books).

    RA

  155. The very REAL problem with Warren is elucidated in his comments to the World Baptist Congress in which he spoke these very chilling words, my reaction to them was one of sheer empathy for the hearts of those who cannot see right through this man’s teachings, and I quote:

    “It’s not about creeds, it’s about deeds. It’s about what does the church do in the world….You see we know all the right things. We don’t need a reformation of belief, but we need a reformation where we start acting on what we already know to do. And that’s why Jesus said you will be blessed if you do these things, not if you know them….So we need a reformation of not creeds, but deeds. Not belief, but behavior. To be doers, it’s not about our message, we know what our message is, it’s about our mission. The first reformation divided the church, we need a new one that unites it.

    “If you know something more important than bringing people into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, eternal destiny secured, helping them find their purpose in life, grow to spiritual maturity, discover their ministry in the body of Christ, and to share their mission in the life world to the glory of God, if you know something more important to do than that, I invite you to stand up right now and tell us! If you wanna know what God cares about most, He wants His lost children found. That’s why he went through that whole thing about the cross. Legend tells us that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. And yet Christians are fiddling around debating things while the world goes to Hell. Friends, it’s time to stop debating and start doing. Stop debating the Bible and start doing it.

    The way he describes things is an afront to the very word of God. And this statement: “that whole thing about the cross” is sickening to hear much less to allow from the podium at a gathering of church leaders. It needs to be mentioned here that the very fact that a guy who teaches from an uninspired book, The Message, for him to say we need to stop debating things would be laughable were it not so serious.

    BTW Richard, why don’t you start with defending things Biblically rather than throwing emotions and unexhibited demeanors into the discussion. Is it that you resent how the word of God portray Warren and thus you cannot stand the focus on that or is it that you personally have a great disdain for the word of God?

  156. RA:Oh well. Believe as you wish. I’m telling you that it is only a small minority of Warren’s critcs who are reading his words in some very strange ways.

    TS: hmmmmmm. reading his words in stange ways? I have quoted his EXACT words, that is bad doctrine, and it is throughout the whole book! it is you that gives the lengthy rewrite that Warren never says! For a believer who actually “Believee” what he reads, his writing is dangerous to say the least. I’ve never said his books are heresy, I say they’re misleading and dangerous.

    You keep saying everone is critisizing what he “doesn’t” say rather than what “he says”. Then when someone quotes what “He says”, you go into a lengthy dissertation of what “he didn’t say”. You are very confusing.

  157. . . .. this is a waste of time.

    RA

  158. One problem is directly tied to the unbiblical approach that attempts to “attract” sinners. Warren states that church, in order to be successful, must target its audience, and then appeal to that audience. He even goes so far as to claim that Jesus targeted the audience of Israel “in order to be effective, not to be exclusive” (p. 15 of PDC) . This is not just a case of bad hermeneutics, it is a case of bad teaching on the part of Warren. Warren states that Jesus demographically targeted focus groups in his this methodology. He and His disciples “targeted people they were most likely to reach — people like themselves. Jesus was not being prejudiced, he was being strategic” (p. 187 PDC). To say that Jesus targeted Israel because He could relate to them culturally and in order to be strategic (successful) flies in the face of prophecy (Isaiah, Psalms), the real purpose of His ministry (John 11), Scripture ( John 6, Matthew 5) and common sense. In Warren’s false understanding, Jesus “targeted” Israel because He was sent there by His Father, not because He felt He would be more successful there than in Egypt!

  159. RA: Look, my whole ministry, life, and career is in discernment and research and investigating cults, the occult, and world religions.

    WB: What is your education and experience that would deem you reliable in this area? I mean you tried to shoot down Nathan Busenitz because he’s a fresh graduate, but he’s able to see the dangers within the PDL teachings while you’re ignoring them altogether. He has nothing ot gain by raising the issues while you have much to lose should they (the Warren critics) be right on the money. So how and why is it that we should count you as a reliable discernment source Richard?

  160. W: So how and why is it that we should count you as a reliable discernment source Richard?

    RA: Look up my credits, reputation, and those who have endorsed my books. I don’t have to prove anything. It wouldn’t matter anyway to you. Goodness, I just wrote forum piece for the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. I don’t have to validate my ministry. Believe what you will.

    Best wishes,

    RAbanes

  161. Let’s just look at the proof in the writings, including Rick Warrens Books, “The Message” and of course most importantly “The Bible”. I’ve known many gifted peaople inspired by the Holy Spirit and Word of God, who by men’s stantards, have no “worthy credentials”. I’ve known others who had a ton of impressive credentials by men’s standards who were intilectually brilliant but were not being led by the Holy Spirit or word of God, i.e. Pharisees. Basically, God looks at the heart more than “credentials” That being said there are many godly men with credentials that are impressive to men, yet they are also being led by the Spirit and Word “Not Circumstances”

  162. By the way, how because Nathan Busenitz is a fresh graduate and is 29 years old takes away from his descerment to spot bad teaching is so insulting.

  163. Richard, by men’s accounts and view Judas would have been viewed as a very solid person in his reliability when it comes to godliness, I mean he served for 3 years within the inner circle of Jesus Christ, he was trusted with the finances of the disciples and Jesus’ ministry and yet Jesus called him the devil. The accolades of man in the sight of God are meaningless, the ultimate diviner of value and integrity in the things of God are determined by one’s understanding and defense of the word of God. To make it about endorsements and accomplishments which are highly subjective, is to trust man over God. And in stark contrast to that, you have the example of what happens to those who come to their senses regarding endorsing your writings regarding Warren – your email to Don Veinot http://abanes.com/donveinot.html – it’s not about someone recognizing the error in Warren’s teachings, but rather about someone hurting you personally. A breaking of trust between 2 people rather than an upholding of the word of God.

    You have too much vested in the promotion of Rick Warren to be viewed as a trusted, objective, discerning voice in the debate. You have shown this in your aggressive defending which often turns personal rather than remaining scriptural and responsible. I might add that more times than not it is you who are throwing punches below the belt, but I’ll admit that is a subjective point. The matter of vested interest is not subjective however. Enough said.

  164. W: The accolades of man in the sight of God are meaningless, the ultimate diviner of value and integrity in the things of God are determined by one’s understanding and defense of the word of God.

    RA: Amazing. YOu ask for qualifications. I provide only a few, and then you resort to talking about “accolades of man.” Unreal. And as for “one’s understanding and defense of the word of God” I suggets you read a few of my books on apologetics and/or Mormonism.

    That’s all for me. This is useless.

    RAbanes

  165. RA: I suggets you read a few of my books on apologetics and/or Mormonism.

    WB: Richard I’ve heard you on several programs, the interview with Tim and your episode on Mormonism on Issues Etc. I would give you credit for knowing a thing or two about Mormonism – that’s an easy one. But to be honest with you your writings and your efforts to support Warren are destructive to your integrity in matters of discernment. Your infrequent use of the bible to support yours and his positions and your apparent disdain for those who do use it (the Bible) to show his errors are destroying any reliability you might have had prior to PDL and your recent barrage against the likes of John MacArthur, Ken Silva, Ingrid Schlueter, Faith Free Presbyterian Church, Paul Procter, etc… It is quite sad to watch someone destroy their credibility in the manner you have chosen to do it.

  166. I to have much respect for a lot of what Richard has done in the past. But on the whole PDL issue, I believe he has dropped the ball and lost a lot of the objectivness comparing what has been written by Warren in the light of reliable Scripture.

  167. If people would only compare the Word to what Rick Warren says many times it would become very clear that his teaching simply doesn’t line up. Look at another example;

    He says “The more your target is in focus, the more likely it is that you will be able to hit it…. The people your church is most likely to reach are those who match the existing culture of your church” (pp172, 174 PDC).

    I have to interject here, at my church Sunday, I couldn’t help but notice, the diversity in our culture, we had a good even mix of Old, Young, Spanish, Anglo, Men and Women because our church truly relies on the power of the Word of God to reach people, not men.

    Rick Warren even goes so far as to claim that Jesus targeted the audience of Israel “in order to be effective, not to be exclusive” (p. 15 of PDC) . This is not just a case of bad hermeneutics, it is a case of bad teaching on the part of Warren. Warren states that Jesus demographically targeted focus groups in his this methodology. He and His disciples “targeted people they were most likely to reach—people like themselves. Jesus was not being prejudiced, he was being strategic” (p. 187 PDC). To say that Jesus targeted Israel because He could relate to them culturally and in order to be strategic (successful) flies in the face of prophecy (Isaiah, Psalms), the real purpose of His ministry (John 11), Scripture ( John 6, Matthew 5) and common sense. In Warren’s false understanding, Jesus “targeted” Israel because He was sent there by His Father, not because He felt He would be more successful there than in Egypt!

  168. This week Sept. 12 thru Sept. 16 Pastor Noah Hutchings is focusing in on the problems with the Purpose Driven Life and Church. To access it go to:
    http://www.swrc.com/broadcasts/2005/september.htm

    and scroll down to Sept 12 or beyond and enjoy. The insight is most helpful in discerning the errancy of PDC/PDL.

  169. This issue can now be relocated to my blog Tim where I’ve responded to “Critics of Rick Warren and The Purpose Driven Life” at http://outreach2k.blogspot.com/ – if anyone cares to continue this discussion there and allow Tim to have some peace at his blog I welcome all visitors and comments.

    God Bless and Good Night.

  170. ridiculous ? I was just wondering if you were trying to get rid of a bogart.

  171. TS: The following statement was from Nathan White taken from a conversation he and Richard Abanes were having on Abanes’s site under the Macauther discussion. It is worth going out there to review it, but here is a Natan’s closing statement that encapsulates so much.

    NATHAN: Richard,

    You continue to talk like you know the *real* Rick Warren. Instead of what we find in his books and in his sermons (Free will theology, man-centered, seeker-sensitive, numbers focused), you seem to know what he *really* means by his words (belief in the Sovereignty of God, God-centered, doctrinally sound). Rick Warren is either one poor communicator, and for that matter he accidentally puts on a great ‘appearance of evil’, or many sound evangelicals have completely misinterpreted him and for that matter scripture itself, or your judgments of what he *really* means are in error. I do not care to discuss which of the three apply. But you know, there’s a reason why so many sound evangelicals disagree with him, and it’s not solely because of ‘poor wording’ on Warrens part.

    However, I am no longer going to participate in discussion with you. Your condescending tone and rude rhetoric have well, honestly hurt my feelings. You should be ashamed of the way you have talked down to me. And your attitude and words can say more than anything I can say, so I’m going to let those stand as they do.

    Grace, peace, and mercy to you from our Lord Jesus Christ.

  172. See my new article “The Seduction of Dave Hunt” on the truth about Dave Hunt, Rick Warren, my interactions with Hunt, and sadly, politics. I take no pleasure in revealing this information.

    http://sliceoflaodiceachurch.blogspot.com/ — intro
    http://abanes.com/davehunt.html — full article

    R. Abanes

  173. Proverbs 12:15
    The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.

    Richard your efforts are beyond pathetic – you say you take no pleasure in it and then when your site shows little traffic and/or fanfare over your recent efforts you have decided to litter other blogs with links to gather viewers back to your site for a wealth of self-promtion and delusional banter. David Norris exhibited the characteristics of a true Christian in his dealing with you much like Ken Silva and your response is to portray them as blind, misguided, agenda-driven, untruthful or even out to “falsely portray” the acts and works of Warren as cause for great concern and even apostate. The facts are clear and the fruit of the teachers efforts are becoming even more abundantly clear – A Rotten root bears no good fruit! You might want to read the article by Pastor Silva brother, your roots are showing. http://www.apprising.org/archives/2005/10/a_rotten_root_b.html

  174. Tim, Richard wrote a piece on repentence on his blog and had many good things to say and described repentence well.
    The only thing when I questioned him as to where in the PDL I could find where Warren also said that part of repentence was turning from sin, he could not respond with quotes, sentences or paragraphs. here’s just a portion.

    TS: my question is where can I find in the purpose driven book where Rick Warren clearly defines “repentence” so that one can understand it? Please give me the page number. Thanks

    RA: Sure, no problem, please see pp. 9-319.

    TS: Can you be more specific where exactly Warren defines in Purpose Driven Life concisely as you did the meaning of repentence just as you did? After all one must know “what” repentence is to be able to do it. This is how you defined it which is a good concise definition. “The call to repentance is a call to deny the self and follow Christ as Lord and Savior”

    “change in one’s mind from wanting to live for one’s self in sin to wanting to live for God in His service with Christ as Lord”

    Can you tell me where he says in his book to repent one must be willing to turn from sin? Referencing the entire book is a bit vague.

    As often is the case Richard took a tone that is not the most enjoyable to deal with at times, yet truth needs to be shown here behind this whole PDL jargin. For futher reading on it go to his site.

  175. TS: Can you tell me where it says in Warrens book to repent one must be willing to turn from sin as you did? Referencing the entire book is a bit vague.

    RA: I suggest you read the book again. Pages 9-319 declare in detail the various aspects of turning one’s life over top Christ as Lord and Savior and begin living for God rather than for the self. Those who have eyes to see and hears to hear will see and hear.

    TS: Interesting…. RA suggest I have to read the whole PDL book pp 9-319 to find where Warren describes what repentence is. Repentence is after all a key factor in Salvation, is it not? Warren writes on pg 58 of PDL the following on how to get into the family of God;

    “Wherever you are reading this. I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity: “Jesus I believe in you and I receive you.” Go ahead. If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God!” ok…..

    So I have narrowed the request down substatially to less that 58 pages. Richard please show me in PDL pryor to Warrens leading the lost into the above prayer on pg.58, where he gives a Biblical definition of repentance as you have, when you clealy stated the following; “The call to repentance is a call to deny the self and follow Christ as Lord and Savior”

    “change in one’s mind from wanting to live for one’s self in sin to wanting to live for God in His service with Christ as Lord”

    I believe that we may be waiting a very long time for an answer Ladies and Gentlemen. It is such a shame that so many people are buying into this, when the PDL is “clearly” a mockery in so many ways from start to finish. Is this how we want to live our Christian lives folks, turning our backs on Truth?

  176. The PDL is filled with error and it can even be found on the very first page where the reader is to sign in agreement to “finding their purpose” in 40 days. Is Rick Warren in the position to uphold this agreement? The Bible tells Christians not to enter into any convenants. For a man cannot assure any such agreement. Only God. Also, why does Rick Warren continually quote non-Christians throughout his book? He quotes people who are panthiests, agnostics, and just about everything else.

    Rick Warren has also written the Purpose-Driven Church. He makes sure to explain that talking about sin and the Cross is too offensive and should be left out of Sunday sermons. ???? The focus should be entirely on Jesus and Him crucified. Rick Warren is so afraid of offending people that he is against preaching what Jesus preaches. I’m sure Saddleback is filled with people who think they are Christians but in reality they have no idea.

  177. Ben,

    I have to agree with you. I hope you go back through this whole post on Rick Warren and read the past comments.

    You will notice a lot of comments and excuses made for Warren’s bad teaching by a Richard Abanes. Richard had his own website and blog, much of which was devoted to Warrens bad teaching and critisizing those who were not for Rick Warren. Richard’s site was taken down and he seems to have gone in seclusion, at least in the web world. I sincerely hope that this is due to a change of heart on Abanes’s part and has seen the truth behind Warren’s misleading teaching.

  178. Without going too deep into the subject, I would like to make an objection to those who say that Rick Warren proves his points by chosing the Bible translation that he likes best. Although I dislike the fact that he uses so many translations, I believe that the fundamental parts of his teachings can be deduced from any single Bible translation. As a matter of fact, when I ‘did’ the PDL in the Netherlands, I used only one Dutch translation. At no point in time did I run into problems understanding the principle that Rick was trying to teach. Since the PDL was translated into many different languages, I believe this must hold for other languages as well!

  179. M10,

    You can go through the numerous examples shown throughout this thread that show that RW does indeed prove his points by the version that suits him best.

  180. “Richard’s site was taken down and he seems to have gone in seclusion, at least in the web world. I sincerely hope that this is due to a change of heart on Abanes’s part and has seen the truth behind Warren’s misleading teaching.”

    Actually, he didn’t have the time to keep up the site. He’s working on two books right now and just doesn’t have the time to debate on the web. He’s said what he’s needed to say.

    But I must conclude that I stick by what I’ve said in the original post, but have come to the conclusion that overall, I’m not for Rick Warren. I’m just against the way some of his opponents have attacked him.

  181. January 10, 2006: According to a news story in the January 8th edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rick Warren says Christian fundamentalism will be an enemy of the 21st century.

    Excerpt from article:

    “Warren predicts that fundamentalism, of all varieties, will be ‘one of the big enemies of the 21st century.’ … ‘Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism – they’re all motivated by fear. Fear of each other.’” ["The purpose-driven pastor"]

    What does Rick Warren define Christian Fundamentalism to be? In a May 2005 interview between Rick Warren and the Pew Forum on Religion, Warren stated:

    “Today there really aren’t that many Fundamentalists left; I don’t know if you know that or not, but they are such a minority; there aren’t that many Fundamentalists left in America … Now the word ‘fundamentalist’ actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity.” Quote by Rick Warren, May 2005

    Ok…. So Christian fundementalist are now one of the biggest enemies ranking right up there with the Muslisms?

    What a fine pat on the back for our fundemental brothers and sisters Rick… good grief.

  182. Looking thorough the multiple examples of how Warren mistreats scripture, it’s hard to understand why the masses have eaten it up as they have.

    Praise God for Chuck Smith and Calvary chapel for being an example and leader to repent of such nonsence.

  183. “# TS Says:
    September 1st, 2005 at 4:54 pm

    Are any of you are aware of Alistair Begg’s preaching? I would urge you all to listen to his message from yesterday that I have included. It’s title is The Church Confronts the World. It’s only 1/2 hour.

    http://resources.christianity.com/truthforlife/talkInfo.jhtml?id=63626&JServSessionIdroot=3exla1vmx1

    Thank you. I’m having a listen.

  184. “Thank you. I’m having a listen”

    I really get a lot from Alistair Begg’s teaching. That particular message spoke to me tremendously in it’s exposing the foolishness of much of today’s twisting of the Word for carnal gain such as the Purpose Driven trash.

  185. I stumbled on the following website the other day and have spent many long hours pouring over their articles. Some of the things they talk about (change agents, transforming the church, etc.) are EXACTLY what’s happening at our church right now as we speak.

    http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles.html#church

    Rick Warren’s name comes up repeatedly (at our church and on this website) … as do references to The Purpose Driven Life, The Purpose Driven Church, and The 40 Days of Purpose. Our church was overhauled completely about ten years ago according to the Saddleback model … but now it’s going through another complete change (“transformation”). Much of the new changes are directly related to the whole emerging church paradigm. The young adults’ ministry at our church is even called Emerging Generations and they’re trying to implement much of what’s going on at Mars Hill in Seattle (sort of the Mother Ship for the Emerging movement in our area).

    So even though Rick Warren says that he’s not affililated with Brian McLaren or other Emerging church proponents, I’m seeing firsthand in my own church the very easy slide from the seeker-friendly church model to the Emerging model. It’s a slippery slope. And horribly unnerving to see happening in front of my eyes. The young people in our church’s young adult ministry are now taking “field trips” to the liquor store and having micro-brew beer tasting parties. And this is a Baptist church, no less. Whatever happened to being in the world but not of the world? It seems like they’re in the world, of the world, exactly like the world. Where’s holiness? Sanctification? Scripture knowledge?

    My own daughter (age 20) was told by the director of the college age group at church that she shouldn’t go to seminary (her goal) because too much knowledge isn’t a good thing. What a bunch of post-modern hooey, IMHO.

    Anyway, I’d love to hear what you think if you visit that Crossroads website and read some of their articles.

  186. Thankfully time and the diligence of God fearing individuals, Rick Warren and his PD ways have been revealed for what they are. It is refreshing to see what went from just a remnant who could see through the superficial glitter of the Purpose Driven fad, to a solid multitude of believers who have clung to Truth and rejected and exposed the imitations.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Agent Tim Online » Rick Warren is a Nazi (No really, he is!) - August 28, 2005

    [...] I don’t know if my comment will be accepted, but I believe that it’s true. Obviously, some have not read my last post on Rick Warren (76 comments and growing). Let me quote from it: “Tim Challies criticisms have, unfortunately, turned into people like Ingrid Schlueter and Deborah Dombrowski. They’ve gone way to far. And all the “Rick Warren is a Satanist” commenters deserve to be banned from the internet. This makes the discussion uncivil. We don’t need that in the body of Christ. They aren’t looking at both sides of the issue, which could be slightly resolved if they were like Tim Challies. He looked at both sides of the argument. He did the right thing.” [...]

  2. Agent Tim Online » Blog Archive » The World Revolves Around Me - November 15, 2005

    [...] How Far Does Seeker-Sensitive Go? Rickdiculous: The War Goes On [...]

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