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The first time i heard of Rick Warren was when that kidnapped women supposedly saved her captor. Remember this:

                                

New York Times
September 28, 2005
Celebrated Hostage Gave Crystal Meth to Captor
By EDWARD WYATT   Ashley Smith, who was held hostage in her apartment in March by the man now charged with murder in the Atlanta courthouse shootings, was hailed as a hero after she disclosed how she had persuaded her captor to surrender, partly by reading to him from the spiritual best seller “The Purpose-Driven Life.”

But in a memoir released yesterday, Ms. Smith also recounts that she gave the kidnapper some of her supply of crystal methamphetamine during her captivity and that she did not tell the police for some time afterward.

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Almost 2 years have passed since that incident. I do not know what has happened since to that women or her kidnapper but i sure know a lot more about Rick Warren. 

When i first heard of “The Purpose-Driven Life” i assumed that it was probably a good book and full of inspiration for the Christian life.  But here is what i discovered instead….

http://www.inplainsite.org/html/saddleback_church.html

by David Cloud

Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, pastored by Rick Warren, is one of the most influential churches in the world. Warren says, “This is a world class church making a world class impact.” He is right about the impact, but sadly that impact is not encouraging strict faithfulness to God’s Word. Everything about Saddleback is shallow. Truth has been boiled down to such a low common denominator that not much is left. For example, the Saddleback Statement of Faith has six simple points.

Note the following statement on salvation, which we are quoting in full: “Salvation is a gift from God to mankind. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can we be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our life by faith.”

Note that the gospel is not actually given in this statement. There is nothing about Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, nothing about His shed blood and atonement. Sinners are exhorted to trust Christ but that is not explained in any sense whatsoever.God has commanded us not only to believe sound doctrine but also to earnestly contend for it (Jude 3).

That means we are to fight aggressively against that which is false. This is exactly what we see in the uncompromising ministry of the Lord’s apostles. Their epistles contain strong and clear warnings about false teaching. Paul often named the names of the false teachers. Such a ministry naturally causes divisions between those who are committed to the truth and those who are following error. Paul made no effort whatsoever to avoid doctrinal controversy.

Our day is described plainly in Bible prophecy: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Rick Warren claims that he has not compromised the Word of God with his principles and methods, that he has only modernized them; but when I look into the book of Acts and the Epistles I see a different kind of Christianity, a different kind of church there, than the one that Rick Warren has devised. Thus I must reject Warren’s Purpose Driven methods and I must warn those who have an ear to hear, regardless of how small that crowd may be, that they not heed the siren call of the contemporary church growth gurus. It is fearful that this church is influencing thousands around the world.

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Have you heard of Warrens Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan?  What possibly could be wrong with wanting peace on this earth.  Well, plenty….the way Warren is planning to achieve this peace.  Wait a minute..doesn’t the Bible predicts wars and rumors of war?  Does Christ ever predict peace before his return?  Nope. Here is what P.E.A.C.E. actually stands for:

P – promoting reconciliation

E – equip leaders

A – assist the poor

C – care for the sick

E – educate the next generation

Sounds great doesn’t it?  But let’s take a look at Matthew 24:6-11 Here is what Jesus says about the signs of His return.

Mat 24:6 “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these things are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then they shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all the nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”

I attended a kick-off celebration at a neighboring church who is signing on to the “40 days of Community”. The workbook i purchased from their table is subtitled, “Better Together…What on earth are we here for? A CHURCHWIDE SPIRITUAL GROWTH CAMPAIGN.” First we watched a video of Rick Warren.  The ad in the New Age section* of my local paper said he was speaking at the church, but this didn’t happen. The pastor called the video a “Rick-Fix”. Here are some of the pastors quotes:

You cannot fulfill God’s purposes by yourself.

The 40 Days of Community takes us from, me and God, to we and God.

Do this as a cell group.

We are to impress others with our love of others.

We are to focus on our relationships together.

We have the longing for belonging.

The key in interdependence.

Okay, so here we have a program that is stressing the relationships that we have with one another instead of the relationship that we have with God. On our little worksheet that was handed out to us, we learned that the “Community” is God’s answer to lonliness, getting more work done, defeat, waiting, and witnessing. 

Here is where i lost it….What is witnessing the pastor asked? “SPREADING THE LIFE MESSAGE” was the answer.

Life message? Hello….Excuse me?  What about the Gospel? Is this what Rick Warrens main thrust is. THE LIFE MESSAGE.  I am still not over this. Let’s thumb through the book.

pg. 30 ” This is your chance to choose your spiritual legacy, which will also transform your physical legacy.”

(I thought we were to do God’s will for us, that He had plan for our lives…does this mean i get to choose God’s will for me? My spiritual legacy? I have no desire for legacy. All the Glory is for God, not man…..)

pg. 44 “We is more powerful than me.”

pg. 57 “The bottom line is this: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Non-believers, like most of us, are looking for deep, true, supportive friendships.”

(Not me…i search only for Christ, He takes care of the rest)

pg 59  You’ve got to spend time with nonbelievers in order to becomes friends with them.”

( I thought we were not be friends with the world but to be separate)

There is some really good stuff in the book too. Inspirational but that’s about it…This is a book about good works.  Good works…is…er…good!… but even a non-believer can do good works, so what is the difference here? This body of good-workers support and love and pray for each other….This is absolutely wonderful…but? Okay, time to move on.. let us take a look at the Missions Projects Booklet and see what this particular church has selected. Food drive, county park clean-up, Crisis Clinic, HIV/Aids Foundation, Hospice of *****County, God’s Kitchen and Closet…OK.. again all good stuff.  BUT NO EVANGELIZING……There is NO training for evangelizing, no mention of evangelizing. 

 What is the Great Commission?  

Great Commission

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Christian tradition, the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples, that they spread his teachings to all the nations of the world.

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Scanning this book “Better Together”, it is very easy to pick up on questionable statements. But the rule is this.  I Corinthians 5:6  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? (KJV)

This is from the King James Version. “Better Together” uses the NIV, GW, CEV, NCV, NLT, LB, Msg, TEV,GNB, NASB, NKJV, NJB, and the ESV. It must be nice to have so many versions to select from. In fact, there are thirteen versions. Then you can select the version that best matches the point you want to make. 

I applaud those who want to serve Christ and do His will, and encourage those who in His will are seeking the lost and spreading the Gospel.  But many professing Christians do not even know what the gospel message is. The Gospel is this…Jesus died and rose again, and He took our sins upon Himself. We need to repent of our sin and turn AWAY from it.  It is our faith that leads and sustains us as our santification grows in Christ.

What is Christ asking you to do for Him today? By having a relationship with the Lord, He will reveal what His specific plan is for you.  He will lead you. He will guide you. Yes, we need our brothers and sisters in  Christ, but His will be done…not our will that is created by another man’s agenda.

kim

*see https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2007/09/10/is-there-new-age-religion-in-your-town-just-look-in-your-newspapers-religion-section/

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