Thursday, April 1, 2010

An Open Letter To John Piper

Posted by Christine Pack

Dr. John Piper
When I heard the news that John Piper had invited Rick Warren to be his keynote speaker at the 2010 Desiring God conference, I literally laughed. I thought it had to be a joke.  It was even a couple of days before April 1, so I think I can be forgiven for thinking someone might be playing an early April Fools prank on me.  The Desiring God National Conference, where Rick Warren will be speaking, is scheduled this year for October 1-3 in Minneapolis.  This is an annual event held by John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church.  John Piper, who has also authored many books, is widely well regarded in evangelical circles as being very doctrinally solid. So, I don't think I'm overstating it to say that many of us are simply in shock at hearing this news.  The blogosphere has exploded with back and forth talk on this topic.  Tweets are furiously twittering.  In just the past few hours, my inbox has had more than 100 messages about this issue.

With a white-hot spotlight on this topic right now, I'm going to take this opportunity to publicly address Dr. John Piper at Desiring God on this issue.  So here goes....

Rick Warren
Dear Dr. Piper,

I want to express my shock and sadness over Rick Warren being invited to speak at the 2010 Desiring God conference.  As a new Christian, I trained to be in leadership with Celebrate Recovery, a Saddleback ministry.  As time passed during my training, I became more and more uncomfortable at being under the authority of Rick Warren.  While I was learning how to lead groups in going through steps that would ostensibly free them from addiction, I began to privately think to myself: "These people don't need 12 steps to get sober, they need one step - to see God as He really is, high and holy."  And these groups I attended did not lift God up high and holy. I heard nothing of the glorious gospel, of wretched sinners being under the wrath of God, without merit and without hope, but that God, being rich in mercy, intervened into this bleak and hopeless situation by sending a Savior, Jesus, who gave himself up as a sacrifice for sins, so that all who would repent and place their faith and trust in him would be set free from the curse of sin.  When I asked about this, I was told that yes, this was definitely a "weakness" of the program.  A "weakness" of the program.....proclaiming God rightly?  But you see, this is everything....

I thank God that he graciously opened my eyes to the unbiblical nature of the Celebrate Recovery program, which led me to research Rick Warren, and what the whole Purpose Driven movement was all about.  Dr. Piper, I hope you don't feel it is ungracious of me to ask you please rethink your decision to invite Rick Warren into your church. You have done so much over the years to protect the purity of the gospel message, and I hope that your eyes are beginning to be opened about the unbiblical nature of Rick Warren's teaching, which undermine the gospel in so many ways.  I hope that you will do some more research about Rick Warren, and if you do, I think you will see that the gospel Rick Warren proclaims is "another gospel." (Galatians 1:6-9)

With kindest regards,

Sola Sisters

 Additional Resources 

Pastor Bob DeWaay Visits Rick Warren, Asks Him To Preach Christ

Redefining Christianity: Understanding The Purpose Driven Movement

Redefining Christianity - 15-part Radio Program