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The art theme this year is ‘Cult Cargo’ and focuses on a strange being called John Frum.

“Who is John Frum? Across the ages and around the world, the stories all agree: one day he will return, bearing great gifts.”

He is known to us by many names, this Visitor from Elsewhere, dispenser of endless abundance and wielder of mysterious technologies: John Frum, Quetzalcoatl, Osiris, “Bob,”‘ reads the website.

His cargo is splendid, his generosity boundless, his motives beyond our understanding. But across the ages and around the world, the stories all agree: one day he will return, bearing great gifts.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2406228/Burning-Man-Nevadas-experiment-desert-popular-Nearly-70-000-gather-weekend-debauchery.html#ixzz2dYfAIIjj

These people are being set up to receive as their saviour, the Antichrist.

Please read from Now the End Begins

Burning Man’ Draws 68,000 To America’s Largest Pagan Cult Gathering

burning-man-pagan-festival-occult

“Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” Ezekiel 20:7

The adherents to this religion are appropriately called “burners”, and the Burning Man Pagan Festival began like this:

“Burning Man stems from a small group of free-spirited artists in the San Francisco area who got together to burn a wooden effigy on the beach in 1986; and the little beach event has grown to an annual gathering of nearly 70,000 attendees and has moved to the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, where hippies, yuppies and wannabe bohemians of every type meet up and enjoy a week of crazy self-expression, self-reliance and communal craziness.” source – Explorer News

preaching revival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 This is a very important article especially in  light of the current Lakeland “Revival” being led by Todd Bentley…

It affected me deeply on two levels. Steve relates what should happen in a true revival and the comparision of what we are seeing today is truly stark.  Also.. it made me think and ponder the idolatry in my own life. I have to ask myself..what is it that God wants me to GIVE UP in order to serve Him?  Please read……

Here is a portion of this article taken from here:

http://indywatchman.wordpress.com

Much is being said, and many are praying for revival. With the carnival act going on in Florida, and the mega-mentality of the Church growth industry, it is being said and believed that, with the mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the people of God all problems would be addressed and remedied, all disabilities and debts relinquished, and all foolishness reversed, etc., etc., etc. Reference is made to past visitations and blessings, and loose translations of Scripture are trumpeted, with the intent that the sheep will draw certain conclusions as to God’s plans and their privileged position with the Almighty. True spirituality, as recorded in the Bible, invariably had the effect of making ridiculous many of the things of which the Church is so proud of today; calling childish most of what the Church requires as essential elements. True spirituality discounts many of the things the Church today takes for granted, and upsets the wagon of the status quo. This kind of revival only takes place when there is a real unity through connectedness, a commonness of spirit, and a foundation of oneness. Real revival is destructive and bold, and turns the world upside down. Revival is a great shaking, and causes things to come apart, and is not applauded by the world, but stomped on, and persecuted, and driven out, and extinguished– if possible.

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In times of true revival the Holy Spirit does not revive worldly religious things, He destroys them, and tears them down. All the machinery of men must go. Does it mean then, since we see the exploding of the mega-church growth movement, and the emerging movement, and the carnival healing movement, the massive machinery of men crawling over the earth, building God’s Church for Him, that we are in “Revival?” NO! It is the exact opposite, men have become mega-maniacs, gorged on their own foolishness, drooling all over themselves in their frantic efforts to reverse a world spinning out of control, and they dare not trust something so nebulous, as faith in God. They not only do not trust God, but teach others to not trust God. All these things of men must be left behind, but man has so much invested in his efforts that that is not likely to happen. The Bible just can not mean what it plainly says, there must be an answer elsewhere, and many men are vying for that cherished position, with preposterous presentations, and are winning great followings; it is insanity. The effects of revival is the smashing and tearing down of all our idols; the things that we have built up in our lives and in our heads as being necessary to the spiritual life. No sacrifice was ever made to God that did not die. To die is hard. To empty our selves is painful. To watch as God reduces to ashes our whole life, all that we have built and became attached to, it is nearly impossible to do. To take our most cherished possession and hand it over to God is a real stretch that throws our whole life out of joint. He doesn’t want our damaged goods, only our very best is good enough to give. That little lamb that would have been the beginning of that new flock, that would allow you the retirement you long for, that beauty, that had become the family pet, the one that was well beloved, it alone was good enough and you know it, spotless, without blemish, perfect in all his ways. You watch as your young son hands over the little lamb, and the priest puts the blade to his neck, and you watch as you see your retirement run out onto the ground, a scarlet red, and you watch as the body is laid on the altar, and you watch as your life goes up in smoke, a sweet savor unto the Lord. Then it is that you realize, you have been accepted of the Lord, and your life is in His hands, and you are truly safe and sound, in Him.

There is none of this in all the talk you hear today. There is none of this coming out of the pulpit, the cost is just too great, jobs could be jeopardized, funds depleted, and people lost. But, this is the message of revival. My heart aches at the thought of such a move of God. I am not satisfied with phoniness, the foolishness going on today to please the crowds and keep them coming, and giving. The delusional visions, and words from God about so-and-so, and such-and-such, sickens me. The casting out of demons, even from furniture and houses and cars, it’s lunacy, and it is dangerous. It doesn’t matter if it is false manifestations of the spirit or the manifestations of men, it is all of this world and God has discounted it, and weighed it, and found it worthless and vain. It is not only unimportant but it is a barrier between God and man. All of these methods have been found wanting, they just have not produced the kind of men that God requires, but God has found Himself some men and women, who will do His will, who know what God wants, and with His help they obey.

It is nearly impossible for Christianity to believe that anything can go on without the influx of men and machinery, marketing and management, and all the support from the organization! God’s mightiest and most fruitful works in nature and in His gifts to us are not done in a closet, quietly, inconspicuously, and they are done even before we realize there exist a need for it. We can’t appreciate the resurrection of nature every Spring-time without appreciating God’s mercy for an unworthy race. He knows what we need, even when we don’t deserve it. What God is trying to tell us is that we don’t need an organization, we need an organism, a real LIFE.

Full article:

here – http://indywatchman.wordpress.com/2008/06/01/gods-secret-of-revival/

       
  

Carl Jung was never clear about his own religious beliefs. But this unusual idea of synchronicity is easily explained by the Hindu view of reality. In the Hindu view, our individual egos are like islands in a sea: We look out at the world and each other and think we are separate entities. What we don’t see is that we are connected to each other by means of the ocean floor beneath the waters. 

Does Psychology belong in the Church?

Psychology counsels no fear of the Lord at anytime in any of its therapies, let alone
at the beginning. So there is no wisdom in it. The Bible teaches that
there is body, soul, and spirit; psychology says there is only the body and
the soul.

***

The Bible teaches us that it is Holy Spirit that will lead us in
all truth and that it is sharper than a two edged sword, dividing even the
soul from spirit. Psychology doesn’t even believe in the Holy Spirit.

***

The Bible teaches us about our eternal destiny. Psychology offers no hope for
eternity.

***

The Bible teaches us to lay up for our selves treasures in heaven. Psychology offers no concept of heaven to lay up your treasures for.

***

The Bible says seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things
(our needs) will be added unto us. Psychology doesn’t seek first the
Kingdom of God, in fact it never seeks the Kingdom of God.

***

The Bible teaches that our help comes from the Lord. Psychology tells us our help
comes from one or more of unproven theories and tens of thousands of
psychotherapists whose ideas were drawn from paganism, divination,
astrology, humanism, and evolution.

***

The Bible teaches that being lovers of selves is mankind’s problem. Psychology teaches that being lovers of selves is the solution. Bible teaches that we can come freely to drink the waters of life. Psychology charges for it.

***

The Bible offers the opportunity of becoming a new man in Christ. Psychology offers an improved or even damaged version of the old man.

***

The Bible teaches that our strength is perfected in weakness and that in suffering, sin loses its power. Psychology teaches us how to balance our strengths and weaknesses with personality profiles derived from paganism and divination.

***

The Bible esteems the contrite and broken spirit. Psychology esteems self-esteem.

***

The Bible teaches us to rejoice in the suffering or being persecuted with Christ to produce
character and overcome the world. Psychology has no interest in Christ’s
suffering, our suffering with Christ, or sees any redemptive value in his
shed blood.

***

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ believed in demon possession and delivered those possessed. Psychology teaches that there is no such thing as demon possession…so there is nothing to be delivered from.

***

The Bible tells us how to be blessed in the Beatitudes. Psychology
doesn’t even comprehend blessing, so it can not offer anyone a blessing
because it omits the person required to administer these blessings, that is
Jesus Christ.

***

The Bible tells us we can’t produce the fruit of the spirit
which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self-control without abiding in the vine which is Jesus
Christ himself. Psychology attempts to bear this fruit by abiding in the
teaching of such founders as Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud who opposed
Christianity!

***

The Bible teaches that there are primarily three things that are required of
every Christian: (1) Salvation, (2) Sanctification, and (3) Carry out the
Great Commission so that others may receive. Psychology can’t offer
Salvation, Sanctification, and is unable to and does not even pretend to
offer the Great Commission in order that others might be saved and
sanctified.

***

…..The Church needs to wake up too and stop integrating
and mixing the Gospel with the Religion of Psychology in its programs too!
You can not serve two masters! Choose today whom you will follow — the
Mighty Counselor and Intercessor, or your flawed psychotherapist as your
counselor! Psychology is based on myths while Paul in his Second Epistle to
Timothy said to turn aside from myths!

The above is from Psychology Debunked

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We are being told today that we have a self-esteem problem. Is this really true? I would venture to say that truly we esteem ourselves very highly. Are we not told to watch our for #1?. The proper position in life is to be at the top of ladder and certainly to be at a lower rung is to be looked down upon. Climb, climb, climb. Don’t we like to buy the best we can afford in life? How many times have we said to ourselves, “I really deserve a treat”…. “I just have to have this.” No…I do not think that low self-esteem is a problem, because in fact we love ourselves very much. We are full of pride. We get easily offended. We get impatient. “How dare I be made to wait.”…”Did you see how that clerk treated me?”… “Hey, I was next in line.”

We spend a great part of the day making personal selections and decisions that benefit self. Many professionals are raking in the dough telling people how to love themselves more by increasing their self-esteem. Self-love is not the problem.

Jesus knew this. In Matthew 22 a scribe asks Him “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Matthew 22:37-39

” Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

We are to love God first, then our neighbors then ourselves. We are the last in line. When we take the focus off of ourselves and put it on Jesus…our life changes. We begin to care more about others, especially our brethren. But…there is a certain despair that is caused by our inability to do this very thing. This should drive us to the cross, on our knees in prayer.

kim

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John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-

John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

 

 

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One of the most humbling and important books I am presently reading is War on the Saints.  This book has forced me to take an even closer look at testing the deceiving spirits that are ever-present in this world. 

One very important previous lesson that I have learned is that as my faith in the Lord grows so does the attacks from the enemy.  Every time I learn a spiritual truth from the Lord, Satan pounds back with discouragement, fear or temptation. When the Lord called me into the discernment ministry, I was filled with excitement at His calling…but I also was at first worried about the opposition I would face.  When the Lord called me to teach Bible study, I was willing but afraid at my lack of experience.  The enemy whispered to me…You can’t do this….This is too hard…This takes up too much time…

I only share this because the deceiving spirits are very determined to undermine our walk with the Lord in these end-times.  But with the help of the Lord and the other teachers who are forever encouraging me with their training…I trust the Lord will equip me with all I need to do his His will….and He has.  What a wonderful God we have!

Not only do we have to face the evil strategies Satan throws at us personally, we have to determine whether or not our spiritual leaders have been deceived themselves.  All throughout the Bible we are warned of false teachers who will attempt to lead us astray.  Some of these teachers will be deceived by the seducing spirits and may truly believe they are in the truth. But they are themselves deceived by giving into greed, seeking honor, and enticed by the spotlight that surrounds them. Others are truly wolves in sheep’s clothing. They know the truth, yet bury it deep into their conscience so that the truth no longer sears them. Both are dangerous and will mislead the masses into the kingdom Satan is building here on earth.

“There are many deceived ones among the most able teachers today because they do not recognize that an army of teaching spirits have come forth to deceive the people of God and that the special peril of the earnest section of the professing Church lies in the supernatural realm, from whence the deceiving spirits with “teachings” are whispering their lies to all who are “spiritual,” i.e., open to spiritual things. These “teaching spirits” with “doctrines” will make a special effort to deceive those who have to transmit doctrine and seek to mingle their teachings with truth so as to get them accepted. Every believer must test all teachers today for himself, by the Word of God and by their attitude to the atoning cross of Christ and other fundamental truths of the Gospel, and not be misled into testing “teaching” by the character of the teacher. Good men can be deceived, and Satan needs good men to float his lies inder the guise of truth.” [1] emphasis mine

So one has to ask…Self, do I know the Word of God thoroughly enough to recognize a false teaching? Self, when a teacher gives scripture do I check to see if it is given in context with the passage? Self, do I support a false teacher and mislead others because of this lack of knowledge?  Self….am I deceived?  What tough and humbling questions these can be. 

How we hate to admit that we are vulnerable to deception. But we must!

The man is deceived if he is a hearer but not a doer of the Word of God ( James 1:22).

He is deceived if he says he has no sin ( 1 John 1:8).

He is deceived when he thinks himself to be “something” when he is nothing (Gal. 6:3).

He is deceived when he thinks himself to be wise with the wisdom of this world (1 Cor. 3:18).

He is deceived by seeming to be religious when an unbridled tongue reveals his true condition (James 1:26).

He is deceived if he thinks he can sow and not reap what he sows (Gal. 6:7).

He is deceived if he thinks the unrighteous willl inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9).

He is deceived if he thinks that contact with sin will not have its effect upon him (1 Cor. 15:33). [2]

Doubt is actually a tool that can be used to question the experiences in our spiritual life.  It is this doubt that leads us to question the spirits and to see if they are from God or Satan. Too often we quickly snuff out the light we would receive by turning our back to the fear of discovering a truth we have ignored. We are clearly instructed to test the spirits in 1 John 4:1-3.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus Christ is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

Next in 1 Timothy 4:1-2

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”

Teaching deceptions will abound. Verses from the Bible will be plucked and regrouped to create false theologies. Words will be twisted from their historical meanings to create “new”, “fresh”, teachings. I was taught not long ago to read the Bible from beginning to end. When done…read it again in this way. There are no “secret teachings.”

“All genuine ‘truth’ is in harmony with the only channel of revealed truth in the world–the written Word of God. On the other hand, all teachings originating from deceiving spirits:

1. Weaken the authority of the Scriptures;

2. Distort the teaching in the Scriptures;

3. Add to the Scriptures the thoughts of men; or

4. Put the Scriptures entirely aside.

The ultimate object of the forces of falsehood is to hide, distort, misuse or put aside the revelation of God concerning the cross of Calvary, where Satan was overthrown by the God-Man and where freedom was obtained for all his captives.

Countless concepts and beliefs which are opposed to the truth of God are injected into the minds of ‘Christians’ by teaching spirits, rendering them ineffective in the warfare with sin and Satan and subject to the power of evil spirits. All new insights and systems of beliefs should be therefore tested by the truth of God revealed in the Scripture, not merely by texts or portions of the Word but by the principles of truth revealed in the Word. Since Satan will endorse his teachings by ‘signs and wonders’, ‘fire from heaven’ and other supernatural signs are no proof of a teaching being from God…” [3] emphasis mine

The end-times will be filled with spiritual deceptions that will deceive many. Signs and wonders, supernatural manifestations, prophetic visions, prophetic words, inner voices, physical manifestations (jerking, shaking, falling, undulating, head wagging, slaying) will all have to questioned by the discerner. Do not let your doubts go unchecked by searing them with a hot iron or by simply dismissing them. If you do this you will open yourself up to deception. You will not be able to discern the lies of Satan. 

You may want to pray something like this.

Lord, show me the truth even though I may not want to hear it. Close any doors that I have allowed to be opened that deceives my heart and mind. If I have believed any of Satan’s deceptions… immediately remove them from my life.   Amen

“War on the Saints” by Jesse Penn-Lewis  

[1] pg. 29

[2] pg. 22

[3] pp. 32-33

A Testimony from Elise

Over the last ten years I began to realize that I had developed some psychic powers. Mainly, I could feel some spirits and see auras. Even though I was a baptized Catholic I was never made aware that all psychic power came from the dark side. In the Catholic Church there is prophecy and healing but it comes from God through Jesus only. If you go to your local psychic center – you will not find God or Jesus there. The spirits of light that are advertised in those places or from psychics or so-called ‘light workers’ are from the dark side. If you want to know if someone is from the dark side or not just ask them this question: “Do you accept Jesus Christ into your heart, mind and soul as your one and only true Lord and Savior?” If they can’t answer it or they say no, run. Run like the wind. The place I went to had pictures of Jesus on flyers and posters here and there for endorsements. I fell for it. Whether they knew it or not – Jesus does not endorse occult practices. Verily, verily I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber” John 10:1 The occult is the “some other way.”

It all started when I decided to have a tarot card reading by a guy who told me he could see my aura and said that I “desperately needed one.” The advice he gave me was nothing relevant at all. He was a fake but fooled me for a time. They’re all fakes really because the occult knowledge doesn’t come from humans. How could it? It comes directly from the negative spirits these psychics have deliberately or inadvertently invited into themselves, sharing their eyes and senses. That’s why everywhere in the Bible mysticism and sorcery are condemned because they come from evil and can control you to the point of destruction and murder.

This joker told me I had an alien implant in my aura. He was fooled too because he claimed to have all these degrees in psychic matters but belonged to a ‘church’ which he felt justified him and ‘his’ powers. But it gave me enough creeps to ignorantly look through a state psychic directory not knowing yet that I should have just prayed to forget this idiot and his claims. So anyway, I came to find out that one can get an aura cleansing. How new-age! And what a nice way to get it out, I thought, so I had one. Came out feeling just wonderful. Looking back, I can definitely see now that I had a spirit transferred into me from the woman who did it. Unknowingly? Everything looked and felt different. I thought it was me but it was the spirit in me sharing itself as something wonderful. I always wanted to be a healer and I thought wow! I can be a psychic healer and really help people. The Bible says devils can come to you as an angel of light. Then it will reveal itself in the end, which it/they did to me.

So I signed up for a healers’ class a month later, still with this spirit in me, making me feel wonderful and different. I can now see the disguise it used. Meanwhile, I had started meditating daily and had some very strange dizzying sensations and slight hallucinations of things moving and bending while I said my preliminary prayers to God and Jesus. Later, I came to realize these were demonic spirits in me rejecting and reacting to my prayers. I had another aura cleansing a couple weeks later but not for these – I was still worried about that danged implant which was a lie given through the reader. In this one, I could actually see the aura bubbles of entities all around me ‘walking’ towards me. These were evil spirits entering my aura and the lady didn’t even know it, I would hope.

So my class happened on a Saturday. During the class we were told that we all could call on healing masters ‘out there’ that would channel this wonderful healing energy from the universe. What we were really calling on were demons masquerading as healing light spirits. Now I know all healing only comes through Jesus. All else is a fraud or at best, temporary. When I gave permission for one to use my hands, it did more than that. I felt a whole energy enter my body enough to rock me slightly so I had to make sure I had my balance. Now I had many in me – at least. We four students practiced on each other. Who knows what spiritually transmitted ‘diseases’ were being shared. The following Tuesday after coming out of a meditation, I had a very dark feeling come over me. The next day I had to call in sick to work because I was hearing voices in my head. Thoughts that I knew did not come from my own mind. Just like when you think “oh I need milk” there were thoughts I ‘heard’ but I knew I did not think them. They were mocking me and taunting me. After a few hours, I knew I needed to go see a priest. This was a highly spiritual matter and I needed to go ‘home.’ Back to my Church. Back to Jesus.

Later that morning, I sat there with the priest and told him some things. He said he knew of another priest who was an exorcist. Thank goodness. I don’t know what I would have done, possibly committed suicide because of these voices. So the next day I went to see this priest in his Church. He told me why I never should have left the Church and why I should come back. (By the way, I’m back.) I sat there in the front pew with him and a woman who was a member of his parish who stood behind me. The priest read a page in Latin over me holding the Crucifix. He also made the cross on my forehead with Holy oil and he had a Bible in his hand. At some point my hands went up and were frozen into a cursed position. I was aware of the demons in my head wanting to come out. One by one – about fifty to seventy five came screaming at the top of my lungs out of me over the next three and a half hours, all in different but similar ways. This was a deliverance from evil. They call it a deliverance. Jesus, Mother Mary and Archangel Michael were there fighting along with me and the priest. I remember a few specifically totaling about a minute’s worth. The rest my mind has erased. But Holy water, Holy oil, the Bible and the Crucifix were all placed on me causing me to arch my back and contort and then they would horribly scream out of me.

Unfortunately, this deliverance was interrupted and I still had one left in me that stayed for a couple weeks. I went through some very dark times with it. I tried to expel it myself and it finally was removed from me in a very peaceful way. I was at home and said a very sincere loving rosary. I looked out over the land in front of me and was thinking how beautiful it was and how much I loved God. I was leaned back gently in my chair and my head was turned slightly and I could feel it leave me. It was gone. It was removed by something I could feel was heavenly and very loving. It was just an incredibly peaceful feeling as if I was being floated on a cloud.

This episode left me weak for several weeks at first and a few came back to bother me. In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuked them, bound them, commanded them to leave never to return and cast them to the feet of Jesus Christ. Then I ask the Holy Spirit to fill me. I am stronger now and sense when they approach and I do this again. I know that I am a spiritual warrior now. We all are. This will happen to all Christians and non-Christians alike. You have to know when you need to fight. But only with Jesus Christ can you cast them away.

For those of you who do not believe in Jesus, just open your heart. It’s a simple gesture you can do even when no one is looking. He is there and He loves you. And he WILL protect you and save you from evil for eternity – because it is out there. That is His promise. Then, you will know why you need Him and for many more reasons too that you will find. He may not come on a dime or within the second you ask but he will come to you if you sincerely want Him to. He will make Himself known to you if your heart is open. He will not force his love on you but will give it freely and lovingly if you ask. That is why we are given a free choice. Choose Him. Read the New Testament – that’s Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Gospel all the way through Revelations. Then so read through Revelations and watch the signs of the times – He will come again. And in remembrance of Him I go to Church every Sunday and eat the Holy bread and drink the Holy wine. As He said, “DO this, in remembrance of me.” The Bible is online too. Repent and be baptized!

A Review Of Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life”
By David Cloud
David_Cloud.jpg

The book “The Purpose Drive Life” by Southern Baptist pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in southern California has sold more than 18 million copies and has wielded a vast influence.

Bruce Ryskamp, president of Zondervan, said, “The Purpose Driven Life is more than a bestseller; it’s become a movement.”

Over 12,000 churches from all 50 states in America and 19 countries have participated in Warren’s 40 Days of Purpose, which is drawn from the book. Over 60,000 pastors subscribe to Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox. He has provided materials and teaching to Christians in more than 117 countries on all seven continents.

Richard Bennett observes, “The movement is becoming a global empire.”

Rick Warren has been called “America’s pastor,” and it is for good reason. He is so shallow in his teaching, so positive in his approach, so slighting of repentance, so neglecting of unpopular doctrines such as hell and judgment, so tolerant of heresies, so enthusiastic of rock music, so soft-spoken on that nasty subject of worldliness, that apostate America can’t help but love him.

All of these characteristics are reflected in his best-selling book.

A FOUNDATIONAL ERROR IN WARREN’S BOOK IS THE EXTREME SHALLOWNESS AND INSUFFICIENCY OF HIS GOSPEL.

In chapter 7, “The Reason for Everything,” Warren explains to his readers how they can become a Christian.

“If you are not sure you have done this, all you need to do is receive and believe. … First, believe. Believe God loves you and made you for his purposes. Believe you’re not an accident. Believe you were made to last forever. Believe 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 his forgiveness for your sins. Receive his Spirit, who will give you the power to fulfill your life purpose. … 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!” (The Purpose Driven Life, pp. 58, 59).

This is one of the most superficial “gospels” I have ever seen. There is nothing here that would offend or convict the Pope or a Mormon. It’s not the gospel that was preached in the book of Acts or Romans.

For one thing, there is no clear dealing with the sin issue. Warren’s book is intended for wide distribution in society at large, and it is not enough in such a context merely to mention the word sin. The average person in North America will admit that he is not perfect and that he is a “sinner” in some sense, but he also thinks of himself as

a pretty good person. When he thinks of himself as a sinner, he does not mean what the Bible means, that he was shaped in iniquity and conceived in sin (Psa. 51:5), that his heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9) and full of evil (Ecc. 9:3), that he is unrighteous and unprofitable (Rom. 3:10-11), that in his flesh dwells no good thing (Rom. 7:18), and that his very righteousness is as filthy rags before a holy God (Isa. 64:6). Warren’s incredibly shallow approach allows any person who will admit that he is a sinner in any sense to pray a prayer and then think of himself as a genuine Christian, even though he might continue to deny what the Bible says about sin.

There are many other things we could expose in Warren’s gospel. There is nothing about God’s holiness and justice. There is no clear teaching on what Jesus did on the cross. There is nothing about the blood. He invites the reader to “believe on Jesus.” What Jesus? People today believe in all sorts of false christs, but Warren does not warn them of this nor does he take the time to identify the true Jesus of the Bible in any clear fashion and to distinguish Him from false ones. Just a vague “believe on Jesus” and presto you are ready to heaven.

And Warren completely ignores repentance. There is not a hint here that the sinner must repent of his sin and idolatry. This is not the gospel that Paul preached. Paul summarized his message as follows: “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Warren says that he believes in the Great Commission and he mentions it in passing in The Purpose Driven Life, but he ignores repentance which is a part of the Great Commission. Christ gave the Great Commission in Luke 24:44-48 and He commanded that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations.” Paul boldly preached repentance to the philosophers and idolaters in Athens, and if he were alive today he would certainly preach repentance to the idolaters in America! Paul said that God “now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30), and we can be sure that God hasn’t changed His mind.

WARREN TEACHES A SELF-ESTEEM THEOLOGY UNDER THE GUISE OF WORSHIP AND SERVICE

Though Warren professes that his teaching does not exalt man but rather exalts God and he claims that he does not teach a self help program, in reality he teaches nothing less than a Robert Schuller-style Self-Esteem theology.

Notice the following statements:

“The moment you were born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at your birth. … It proves your worth. If you are that important to God, and he considers you valuable enough to keep you for eternity, what great significance could you have? … Anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship …You may be gifted at mechanics or mathematics or music or a thousand other skills. All these abilities can bring a smile to God’s face. …. You only bring him enjoyment by being you.  Anytime you reject any part of yourself, you are rejecting God’s wisdom and sovereignty in creating you. … God also gains pleasure in watching you enjoy his creation. … When you are sleeping, God gazes at you with love, because you were his idea.  He loves you as if you were the only person on earth” (pp. 61, 64, 74, 75).

Here worship is turned on its head by making it as much about me as about God. I am so loveable and so important and so desirable to God that whatever I do brings God pleasure and therefore is worship. Wonderful me! The self-esteem theology is more about celebrating self than dying to self, even when it talks of dying to self! Warren says that if I reject any part of myself I am denying God’s sovereignty.

What about sin and what it has done to “myself”?

Consider another statement from Warren’s popular book:

“If you want to know how much you matter to God, look at Christ with his arms outstretched on the cross, saying, ‘I love you this much! I’d rather die than live without you'” (p. 79).

Thus the cross is sanctified by the self-esteem theology so that it is about me and how the Lord couldn’t live without me. Wonderful me!

Consider another statement:

“God is a lover and a liberator, and surrendering to him brings freedom, not bondage. When we completely surrender ourselves to Jesus, we discover that he is … not a boss, but a brother…” (p. 79).

The self-esteem God is dedicated to liberating me. He is not a boss! There’s nothing to fear. He’s just a Big Buddy, a Powerful Pal.

Warren quotes from Olympic runner Eric Liddell. “To give up running would be to hold him in contempt.”

Thus to deny what I am gifted at and what I like to do is to deny God. Isn’t it clever how that Warren has identified self will with God’s will so that they have become one and the same?

In fact, things I am gifted for and enjoy oftentimes come into conflict with God’s perfect will. God oftentimes calls upon an individual to give up even legitimate things for which he or she is highly gifted and qualified. Many men have given up such things when God called them to be a preacher or a missionary. Peter, James, and John gave up fishing. In the 1980s I met a Chinese man in Singapore who was a brilliant chess champion. God had saved him and called him to preach and he was preparing himself in a Bible College. He told me how that for awhile he had written a column on chess for a newspaper for extra income toward his Bible training, but he discovered that it was not possible to keep the chess moves out of his mind when he was trying to study Scripture so he gave it up entirely, though he was highly gifted at it and enjoyed it. That is true dying to self.

Note the following quotes from chapters 30 and 31 of The Purpose Driven Life which deal with finding my place in God’s will:

“Listening to your heart. The Bible uses the term heart to describe the bundle of desires, hopes, interests, ambitions, dreams, and affections you have. Your heart represents the source of all your motivations–what you love to do and what you are about most. … Don’t ignore your interests. Consider how they might be used for God’s glory. There is a reason that you love to do these things. … How do you know when you are serving God from your heart? The first telltale sign is enthusiasm. When you are doing what you love to do, no one has to motivate you or challenge you or check up on you. … The second characteristic of serving God from your heart is effectiveness. Whenever you do what God wired you to love to do, you get good at it. … Figure out what you love to do–what God gave you a heart to do–and then do it for his glory. … What I’m able to do, God wants me to do” (pp. 237, 238, 239, 243).

Note that Warren does not warn his readers that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). What a gross, inexcusable omission! While it is true that you can trust your desires to some small extent when you are a mature Christian who is delighting in God and immersed in His Word and obeying Him (Psa. 37:4), how many of the readers of The Purpose Drive Life are in that condition? A great many of the millions of readers are doubtless complete unbelievers or nominal Christians or novices or carnal, and to teach them that what they love to do is God’s will is frightful heresy. Many are professional sports fanatics, for example. Others are rock & roll fanatics. Others are fanatics about modern fashion trends. Are they fanatic about such things because that is the way that God made them? No, they are fanatic about such things because they are conformed to the world and walk in the way of sinners (Psa. 1:1; Rom. 12:2).

There are many things that professing Christians are gifted for and effective at that are NOT God’s will!

Again we see that when Rick Warren’s theology is examined carefully it is about self fulfillment, but it is presented under the guise of worshipping and serving God.

Warren builds his self-esteem theology upon strange versions of the Bible. Consider an example:

“The Bible says, ‘Noah was a pleasure to the Lord.’ God said, ‘This guy brings me pleasure. He makes me smile” (The Purpose Driven Life, p. 69).

Warren is quoting Genesis 6:8 in the Living Bible. In fact, this verse should say, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” It has nothing to do with God getting pleasure from Noah. It has everything to do with Noah getting favor from the Lord! The Living Bible perverts this verse, turning it upon its very head. Nonetheless, since it fits Rick Warren’s theology he grabs hold of it and pretends that it is Scripture.

Consider another example of how Warren builds his self-esteem theology upon inaccurate versions of Scripture.

“The Bible says, ‘Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self'” (p. 19).

Here Warren quotes Matthew 16:25 in The Message. Actually, the verse should say, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”

There is not a hint here about self help or finding your true self. The verse is not teaching about finding your self but about finding your life. What Warren quotes as Scripture is actually a prefabrication by Eugene Peterson, the author of The Message.

The Message also takes away the Lord’s solemn warning that whosoever will find his life shall lose it. This fits in perfectly with Warren’s unscriptural positivism.

WARREN SLIGHTS OVER HELL AND JUDGMENT AND THE FEAR OF GOD

The Lord Jesus Christ preached on hell frequently. There are nearly 100 references in Scripture to fearing the Lord, and God’s judgment is a never-ending theme of Scripture.

But when it comes to Rick Warren, he does not mention God’s judgment, never urges his listeners to fear the Lord, and he makes only one passing reference to hell. This is on page 37, and in the same section he quotes C.S. Lewis twice. Lewis believed that hell is a mere metaphor and a state of mind: “And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind–is, in the end, Hell” (Lewis, The Great Divorce, p. 65).

Not only did the Lord Jesus Christ preach much on hell, but he preached it hot and furious.

“And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:43-48).

There is no a hint of this kind of preaching in Rick Warren’s woefully inadequate ministry.

If ever there were an hour in which the people of this world need to hear hell and judgment and the fear of God preached fiery hot and powerfully plain it is this present unbelieving, mocking, blasphemous, pleasure mad, self-loving, self-content, self-righteous age, but the popular preachers won’t touch it. Too negative. Too damaging to self-esteem. Too dogmatic and intolerant. Too likely to offend and cut into the size of my audience.

WARREN PROMOTES EVERY STRANGE BIBLE VERSION

In The Purpose Driven Life, Warren uses 15 different Bible versions, including two Roman Catholic ones (The New American Bible and the New Jerusalem Bible). His favorites are the “dynamic equivalency” versions such as the Living Bible, the New Living Bible, Today’s English Version, the Contemporary English Version, and The Message. The latter seems to be his most favorite.

As a result, it is often impossible to know exactly what Scripture he is quoting because it is so strangely paraphrased and wildly inaccurate.

On page 70 Warren quotes Hebrews 11:7 from The Message.

“By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told … As a result, Noah became intimate with God.”

In the dependable King James Bible this verse says:

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

We can see that The Message adds to and takes away from the Word of God in an amazing manner. It adds the bit about Noah building a ship in the middle of dry land. It omits the fact that Noah was moved with fear. It changes “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” to “became intimate with God.”

On page 20 Warren quotes 1 Corinthians 2:7 from The Message:

“God’s wisdom … goes deep into the interior of his purposes … It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest–what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us.”

In the King James Bible this says:

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.”

It is obvious that The Message is not a translation in any sense of the word; it is a presumption. It is not God’s thoughts but man’s. It is almost childish, not because it is simple but because it is ridiculous.

Warren claims to have quoted more than 1,000 Scriptures in The Purpose Driven Life, but most of the quotations are similar to the previous examples and have no right to be called Scripture.

When I visited a service at Saddleback Church in 2003, I observed that only a few people were carrying Bibles into the auditorium. The reason became clear when I saw the multiplicity of versions that were used in the preaching. It would be impossible to follow along in one’s Bible. The result is that the people do not bring their own Bibles and do not therefore carefully test the preaching. How could they, when any biblical statement they would attempt to examine has dozens of contradictory variations?

WARREN SLIGHTS SCRIPTURAL BAPTISM

The Purpose Driven Life has a page and a half dealing with baptism, but there is not a word about the mode, which is one of the most important aspects. He leaves the reader with the impression that pouring, sprinkling, or immersion is equally acceptable. Obviously it would offend many readers if he were to present a truly Scriptural position on baptism as a burial in water, but what else would a true Bible believer and a true Baptist do?

WARREN CLAIMS THAT GOD LOVES ALL KINDS OF MUSIC

In chapter 8 of The Purpose Driven Life, Warren becomes a prophet, saying:

“God loves all kinds of music because he invented it all–fast and slow, loud and soft, old and new. You probably don’t like it all, but God does! … Christians often disagree over the style of music used in worship, passionately defending their preferred style as the most biblical or God-honoring. But there is no biblical style! … God likes variety and enjoys it all. There is no such thing as ‘Christian’ music; there are only Christian lyrics. It is the words that make a song sacred, not the tune. There are no spiritual tunes” (pp. 65, 66).

This idea that music itself is neutral and that any music can be used in the service of the Lord has opened the door for the world to come into the churches as few other things.

Though the Bible nowhere says nor even hints that God loves all kinds of music, we are to believe that he does because Rick Warren says so. His only evidence for this outrageous statement is his reasoning that since God “invented it all” he must like it all. But where is the evidence that God invented all music? Are you telling me that the devil and sinful men are not involved in the field of music? That is a ridiculous thought, seeing that the devil is called “the god of this world” and music is one of the most powerful influences among men. Sinful men have used music since Cain’s children built the first society apart from God and made musical instruments to satisfy their carnal pleasures (Genesis 4:16-21).

Styles of music are not neutral. Rock musicians have testified that they play their particular style of rhythm for the very reason that it is lascivious. Frank Zappa said: “Rock music is sex. The big beat matches the body’s rhythms” (Life, June 28, 1968). Gene Simmons says, “That’s what rock is all about–sex with a 100 megaton bomb, the beat!” (Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987). John Oates said, “Rock ‘n’ roll is 99% sex” (Circus, Jan. 31, 1976). Patty Labelle said, “Rock and roll was something that’s hardcore, rough and wild and sweaty and wet and just loose” (Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Ohio). And punk rock manager Malcolm McLaren agreed, saying, “Rock ‘n’ roll is pagan and primitive, and very jungle, and that’s how it should be!” (Rock, August 1983).

Note that they are not talking merely about rock music’s lyrics and associations but also its RHYTHM! These men and women of the world believe there is such a thing as a sexy rhythmic pattern. Rapper Missy Elliot’s album, “Miss E … So Addictive,” was described by as “a seductive cocktail of quirky rhythms and hypnotic beats.”

Why do these secular rockers describe their heavily syncopated rock rhythms as sexy, primitive, seductive, rough, hardcore, naughty, loose, wild, and hypnotic? They are testifying the very opposite of Rick Warren’s philosophy; they are saying that music is not neutral and that the heavy rock & roll backbeat that can be heard on any Sunday at Saddleback Church is sensual and licentious and that is exactly why they love it.

As for the idea that there is no biblical style of music, I could not disagree more fervently. The Bible tells us exactly what type of music to sing in our churches, as follows: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). Spiritual songs are not the same as unspiritual or sensual or worldly, hymns are not the same as rock music, melody is not the same as raucous repetition. Spiritual is something that is set apart from the world unto a holy God; different in character than the things of the world. The Bible gives Plain instruction about the Christian’s affiliation with worldly things, and any music that draws the child of God into fellowship with the world is to be rejected (James 4:4; 1 Jn. 2:15-16). The Bible forbids the Christian to be conformed to the world (Romans 12:2). Yet the Contemporary Christian Music that Rick Warren uses in his church is nothing if not conformed to the world’s musical styles.

WARREN PROMOTES AN UNSCRIPTURAL JUDGE NOT PHILOSOPHY

The Purpose Driven Life contains extensive documentation of Rick Warren’s dangerous and unscriptural “judge not” ecumenical philosophy.

On page 164, Warren says, “God warns us over and over not to criticize, compare, or judge each other. … Whenever I judge another believer, four things instantly happen: I lose fellowship with God, I expose my own pride, I set myself to be judged by God, and I harm the fellowship of the church.”

In typical New Evangelical fashion Warren makes no distinction between judging hypocritically (which is forbidden in Matthew 7) or judging on the basis of personal preference in matters not taught in Scripture (which is forbidden in Romans 14) and judging on the basis of the Bible (which is required by God).

The child of God has an obligation to judge everything by God’s Word. The believers at Corinth were rebuked because they were careless in this regard and were tolerant of false teachers (2 Cor. 11:1-4). The Bereans, on the other hand, were commended because they carefully tested everything by the Scriptures (Acts 17:11). The Bible says “he that is spiritual judgeth all things” (1 Cor. 2:15) and Jesus taught that we should “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). We are to judge preaching (1 Cor. 14:29) and sin in the churches (1 Cor. 5). We are to try the spirits (1 John 4:1).

To test preachers and their message carefully by God’s Word is not a matter of pride, but of wisdom and spirituality and obedience.

On page 34 of The Purpose Driven Life, Warren says: “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?”

If this is true, why does the Bible say so very much about doctrine and why did the apostles call for doctrinal purity on every hand? Paul instructed Timothy to allow “no other doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:3). That is the very strictest stance on doctrinal purity, and it is precisely the stance we find throughout the apostolic writings. Rick Warren has a lot to answer for, because millions of people are basing their lives upon his teaching rather than upon the pure Word of God.

If God is unconcerned about doctrine, why did the apostles spend so much time warning about false doctrines and doctrines of devils? See, for example, 2 Corinthians 11:1-4; Galatians 1:6-12; Philippians 3:18-21; Colossians 2:8; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 1 Timothy 6:20-21; 2 Timothy 4:1-4; 2 Peter 2; Jude 3-23.

Rick Warren requires his church members to sign a covenant promising to protect the unity of the church (The Purpose Driven Life, p. 167). This is a dangerous and unscriptural covenant. The child of God is not instructed to submit to a church or to its leaders blindly and at any cost. We are commanded to “prove all things” (1 Thess. 5:21), and all things means all things. The Bereans are exalted because they “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). No preacher or church is above being tested by God’s Word. The Bible says, “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge” (1 Cor. 14:29). Preaching is to be carefully judged by God’s Word. The pastor has God-given authority (Heb. 13:17), but it is not unquestionable authority and it is not his own authority; he is not a shepherd over his own flock; he is an undershepherd over God’s and he will give an account to the Great Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:1-4). The pastor’s authority is not in his own word; it is in God’s Word (Heb. 13:7); and if he strays from the Word of God he has no authority over God’s people and he should not be followed. Blind loyalty to a church is Popery and it is a gross heresy.

Warren even claims that “conflict is usually a sign that the focus has shifted to less important things” (p. 162).

If this were true, then the apostles and preachers in the early churches were side tracked much of the time, because they were frequently involved in doctrinal conflicts. Paul was involved in such conflicts almost continually. Many of his epistles contain lengthy sections in which he takes a stand against false teachers. In his epistles to his fellow preacher Timothy, Paul repeatedly warned about false teachers by name (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 2 Tim. 1:15; 2:17-18; 4:12, 14).

WARREN PROMOTES HERETICS

In keeping with his unscriptural judge not philosophy, Warren uncritically quotes from a wide variety of theological heretics, especially Roman Catholics such as Mother Teresa, Henri Nouwen, Brother Lawrence (Carmelite monk), John Main (Benedictine monk who believes that Christ “is not limited to Jesus of Nazareth, but remains among us in the monastic leaders, the sick, the guest, the poor”), Madame Guyon (a Roman Catholic who taught that prayer is not from the mind and does not involve thinking), John of the Cross (a pantheist who believed the mountains and forests are God).

Warren does not warn his readers that these are dangerous false teachers who held to a false gospel.

Mother Teresa and Henri Nouwen, who are quoted at least four times in The Purpose Driven Life, were universalists who believed that men can be saved apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ. When Mother Teresa died, her longtime friend and biographer Naveen Chawla said that he once asked her bluntly, “Do you convert?” She replied, “Of course I convert. I convert you to be a better Hindu or a better Muslim or a better Protestant. Once you’ve found God, it’s up to you to decide how to worship him” (“Mother Teresa Touched other Faiths,” Associated Press, Sept. 7, 1997). Henri Nouwen said, “Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God” (Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey).

Why does Rick Warren continually and non-critically promote heretics? The Bible asks, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).

WARREN‘S SHALLOW ENCAPSULATIONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT FAITH

On every hand Rick Warren presents his own shallow encapsulations as the true essence of biblical Christianity. For example, in chapter 39 he lists “God’s five purposes for your life.” They are (1) Love God with all your heart, (2) Love your neighbor as yourself, (3) Go and make disciples, (4) Baptize them into [a church], and (5) Teach them to do all things.

There is nothing in these “five purposes” about holiness, contending for the faith, separation from the world, separation from false teaching, reproving sin and error, and many other things that are emphasized in the New Testament Scriptures. Obviously Warren’s five purposes for life are not the sum total of God’s.

My friends, we don’t need some misguided man’s abbreviated form of Christianity; we need the “whole counsel of God” as found in the Scriptures (Acts 20:27). The Bible as a whole, not a few select parts thereof, is the sole and sufficient authority for faith and practice. The Lord Jesus Christ instructed the churches to teach “all things” rather than a few things (Mat. 28:19-20).

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