What is your ministry's view of Rick Warren, his "Purpose Driven" book and the seeker sensitive movement in general?
We as a ministry at everlastinglifeministries.com have some very serious concerns regarding Rick Warren and the seeker sensitive movement in general.
Below at the bottom of this article are a number of links to articles that clearly spell out the problems associated with the whole growth church or seeker sensitive model of a "doing church." In addition the links contain a great deal of information about Rick Warren.
We do not wish to attempt to reword any of the information provided in the links below so we have merely given you the sources for fear we would not do justice to spelling out the dangers to a person's walk with the Lord if they become swept up in the "Purpose Driven" seeker sensitive model of "doing church" and the related theology.
Moreover, we can not deal strictly with Rick Warren without putting things together that are part of the same package we term as "The Laodicean Package." For all, who are taken in by this humanistic deception, we can foresee another book titled "How to change Philadelphia into Purpose Driven Laodicea in Forty Days."
Some of the major issues we have with "The Purpose Driven Life" book are highlighted here:
- The book promotes using "contemplative prayer." This is a practice shared with Yoga, which is a Hindu practice. The spiritual deepening that Warren and others claim can be attained in this practice is actually direct communication with demons. A New Age proponent would refer to this practice as contacting your "spirit guide." In his book, Mr. Warren includes enough acceptable truth to see where it easily deceives many, but his new age additions are cause to make his theology something we consider a doctrine of demons. Since Warren mixes Hindu practices with his purpose driven material, new
believers and others are put into direct contact with demons with the chanting of select words to use over and over again. As we've mentioned earlier, those who practice Yoga call up a "spirit guide" which is certainly not the Holy Sprit. This is New Age mysticism.
Instead of Hindu Yoga, Warren calls it "contemplative prayer" or "centering prayer" which is really a mantra that is given to those who practice Yoga or ZEN. Mystic monks also practiced this in the early church around 400 AD and continue to this day. This topic is covered in detail in an article "Please Contemplate This" by T.A. McMahon, The Berean Call Newsletter, 03/00, www.deceptioninthechurch.com/newpage3111.htm.
- Of particular concern is Mr. Warren's "P.E.A.C.E. plan" that aims at solving the greatest problems in the world. Rick Warren subscribes to the Kingdom Now or Dominionist theological view. In short, Kingdom Now is the view that all prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D. with the destruction of The Temple in Jerusalem and we are living in Christ's Kingdom at the present time. For Christ to return the church must conquer the world "for Christ". This can easily cause a very serious misunderstanding of the times in which we live. Not to mention it attempts to elevate man's importance and suggest that God is not sovereign over times and events that transpire here on earth. It could well make someone eventually accept the mark of the beast "for Christ's sake" if they were deceived into believing the False Prophet was taking over the world "for Christ's sake".
- Rick Warren also subscribes to Replacement Theology. Replacement Theology teaches that the church has replaced Israel; the blessings given to Israel in the Old Testament have been "transferred" to the church without any of the related curses. In this view there is no significance of modern Israel, it is just another country.
- Because of the seeker sensitive movement being hyper-ecumenical, unbiblical teachings are being endorsed all for the sake of unity and church growth. The true Gospel is being watered-down as well so that no one will ever be "offended" by the message at these churches. If someone decides to take a stand for solid biblical truth they are labeled as "divisive" or "judgmental". Standing in defense of the faith is no longer considered Biblical. Feeding a flock of the saved to equip them to share the Gospel with the lost is out of fashion, promoting humanistic means to draw in the large numbers to be "entertained" is in.
- There is no relying on God to provide the growth. It is a view where the ends justifies the means. This is of serious concern, given that often the end is that people are not hearing the Gospel. Therefore, all they are getting is 'church membership' and 'religion' instead of what will really 'save' them, and that is, a personal relationship with Jesus as the Lord of their life. There are literally seeker sensitive churches these days that take pride in never using the word "sin." We have heard pastors from some of these places literally brag about not using the "S word". Ask yourself, do you consider the Gospel message to be 'all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God' but 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life' and 'by faith and not by works'? That is what we consider to be the Gospel. How do you share this Gospel if you never use the word "sin" for fear it might "offend" someone? How do you tell someone they are a sinner in need of a Savior if you never use the word "sin?" Perhaps these churches are just playing church, keeping the crowd entertained and not sharing the Gospel at all?
- The "Bible" Warren uses is called "The Message." What kind of message is "The Message?" This link will give chart of what is added, deleted, distorted, minimized and replaced in Eugene Peterson's, "The Message" www.crossroad.to/Bible_studies/Message.html.
What each of us needs to decide is, are we going to stand for Biblical truth or a cheap 'new age' imitation that relies on man's marketing methods instead of God?
If you find seeker sensitive methods making their way into your church, are you going to take a stand for Biblical truth and speak the truth in love?
Should we be seeking to reach the lost and develop them into true berean minded disciples of Jesus (Acts 17:11) if we truly believe He is returning soon? Or should we be preaching and entertaining watered down new age gospel where the lost are not told they are sinners in need of a Savior?
Rick Warren's claim on page ten of the book that "The next 40 days will transform your life" is unbiblical. The forty-day concept is a man centered model where humanistic superiority is placed into perspective to discern the greater purpose. At best this is man's attempt to reach to God contrary to God reaching men and defies even the basics of Systematic Theology.
Many faithfuls are being taken in by the deceptive purpose driven doctrine to become part of that last church that will still be here after the rapture.
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you," 2 Corinthians 6:17
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Revelation 18:4
It is very clear that there will be deceived believers who will still be here to experience the great tribulation whom Jesus calls, "my people." These are the same people who made a choice to join themselves to a false bride and will find out when it is too late that they have been deceived.
Our belief at this ministry is that Jesus is indeed returning soon and we prefer He returns to a church that is growing daily to a more mature faith, alive and active in reaching the lost, not a church with an outward focus and with large numbers that are at best immature in their faith [if they are saved at all] and asleep, instead of actively watching for Jesus' return. It is also this ministry's desire that the Church should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto saints (Jude 1:3) instead of looking for a new purpose and a socially acceptable change.