Saturday, February 9, 2008

Purpose Driven Deceit

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 4:1)

Purpose Driven Puppet Master Rick Warren is world renowned for his "revolutionary" methods of doing church. It's true that his "successful" formula has indisputably put more nickels and noses into the professing church, but what's not so well known is the fact that Warren-esque success comes at a high price. Just ask the "resisters" who have been literally thrown out of their former churches by Rick Warren's zealous zombies - a.k.a. his Purpose Driven Pulpit-Puppets - as they mindlessly, methodically, and mercilessly implement "Pastor Rick's" New Age inspired systems.

Unfortunately for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Warren himself originally took root within the lukewarm Laodician hothouse conditions of their denomination and by virtue of his SBC pedigree he and his ilk have managed to thoroughly corrupt vast swaths of the church with their deranged doctrines. Warren's worldly methods of easy-to-use programs and measurable, manageable results appeal to the sinful, natural man precisely because he espouses a man-centered, works-righteousness non-gospel of nothingness which is modeled on the self-esteem teachings of the apostate Robert Schuller, Rick Warren's spiritual mean godfather.

As I've previously detailed there is a common thread which connects seemingly disparate personalities within the broader professing church such as Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Ken Blanchard, Richard Foster, Tony Jones, Dan Kimball, Doug Pagitt, Erwin McManus, Leonard Sweet, Robert Schuller and Brian McLaren who represent the entire spectrum of seeker sensitive, purpose driven, and emergent/emerging churches. The common thread is a lofty view of man coupled with a low view of scripture. And I suppose it doesn't hurt anything to throw in an unhealthy dose of Gnosticism, Deism, and New Age mysticism in order to heighten the appeal to man's innate and sinful desire to be a god.

These blind leaders of the blind are veritable spiritual apothecaries who are adept at mixing just enough truth with error to brew up a sweet tasting yet spiritually poisonous concoction. These are ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing who mercilessly rend Christ's little flock while purporting to be about God's work.

The discernment site Watcher's Lamp has posted an excellent piece that dissects Rick Warren's unbiblical conception of "unity" with the skill of surgeon. Rick Warren's "unity" - so called - is proven to be a vapor, a hoax, and a sham that is gained at the expense of preaching the whole counsel of God. Warren and his hirelings would rather attain a false temporal unity that's built on the shifting sands of bully-pulpit intimidation and mob tactics than believe and teach the Biblical truth of the spiritual unity of all true believers in Christ.

It would seem that the true Gospel of Jesus Christ doesn't fill the pews or the offering plates in quite the same manner as Rick Warren's man-centered non-gospel of 100% law and works righteousness.

Pastor Bob DeWaay deftly leaves a smoldering crater where Rick Warren's Devil Driven Idol used to stand in his well researched and damning indictment entitled Redefining Christianity: Understanding the Purpose Driven Movement. An excerpt from his article states:

Rick Warren wrote the forward to Dan Southerland’s book entitled Transitioning; Leading Your Church Through Change. The book is designed to show pastors how to transition their traditional church into a Purpose Driven one. Rick Warren sells the book on the Purpose Driven website. Some of the chapter headings reveal how heavily it depends on the concept of vision: “Preparing for Vision; Defining Vision; Planting the Vision; Sharing the Vision; Implementing the Vision, etc.” The future Purpose Driven church is what the vision is all about. The vision includes the process of removing people who oppose becoming Purpose Driven. This book is very revealing.

“What Happened to My Church?”
Reading Southerland’s book will help people whose churches have changed from gospel preaching and Bible teaching churches to “seeker” churches understand what has happened to them. Southerland characterizes those who resist this transition as “leaders from hell” who are of the ilk of Sanballat who resisted Nehemiah. It is clear that Pastor Southerland is convinced that he is like Nehemiah on a mission from God (i.e. to convert the church to being a Purpose Driven seeker church) and that all who resist are misguided, have evil motives, or are just unwilling to change because of their being caught in traditions.

There is, however, another side of the story. I have heard from many of these “evil Sanballat types” and they are heart-broken over what has happened to their churches. They love the gospel and hunger for solid Bible teaching. Besides being starved spiritually, they are now chastised as being evil doers. This email is an example:

We were labeled critical and divisive and negative in our Southern Baptist church for pointing out the watered-down gospel and twisting of scripture in the book Purpose-Driven Life. Despite the concerns we raised, our church pressed ahead with their 40 day journey earlier this year and we found it too difficult to attend church over that period, where all the ministries of the church were geared to that study over that time. We have found the lack of discernment very alarming. We are shocked at the weak teaching of scripture we are seeing, the lack of discernment, the ignorance of truth versus error, and the willingness to jump unquestioningly on every popular "Christian" bandwagon that comes along. We are very discouraged as we know of no solid, Bible-honouring, discerning church in our area and wonder what those of us who see these problems are to do. (from Canada)

Here is another lament from people whose church made the transition:

We attend a large Baptist, though in reality nondenominational church in the Detroit area. It seems our church, and many, many, others have embraced what I've come to call "Warrenism". . . What's disturbed us is the secularization of our church. It's become more and more worldly, while growing large in numbers. (about 6,000 members). We have felt alone in our uneasiness with the “Warrenistic” culture of our church as it's grown stronger there, but we felt confused about it after some Sunday sermons in support of it. What we see now at our church is not enough evangelism without, and God's House is very worldly within. This is what breaks our hearts. We hear sermons with only vague references to scripture and have a secularized worship service many times. My wife asks me, “shouldn't we be getting nourishment to prepare us for our battles as Christians?”

My question is this: “Are the resisters really leaders from hell or are they solid Christians who know the difference between the gospel as preached by Christ and His apostles and the Purpose Driven message that is tailored to appeal to the unregenerate and carnal minded?”

What most of these resistant people do not know is that their pastors have been trained in how to deal with them. Their pastors have been taught that “traditionalists” who do not get on board with the new vision will have to go if they cannot be placated or converted to the new paradigm. The reason for this is that the Purpose Driven franchise cannot succeed without conformity to its protocol. That is why Rick Warren makes all members of his church sign a unity covenant. In his case, his church never was anything but Purpose Driven. The people who have come there mostly do not know the difference between a gospel church and a Purpose Driven church. They are happy to sign unity pledges because they are already convinced the Rick Warren and his processes are from God. But Warren’s campaign to convert existing churches to become Purpose Driven creates a far different situation. It displaces thousands of people who know what real gospel preaching and Bible teaching are. They know that the synthetic alternative that pleases the unregenerate masses is not the same message. They, who were previously the stalwarts of the congregation, are now the “problem people” who have to be dealt with.

So there you have it. Unity at all costs, Warren-esque unity that is. For the Purpose Driven churches it's Rick's way or the highway for you, brothers and sisters!

As I've stated before, I believe God Almighty is sending a strong delusion into the world that men might believe a lie because they've been lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy (2 Timothy 3:2).

Friends, may those who are called by His Holy Name continue to pray up, speak up, and look up, for His coming is surely nigh, even at the door!

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)