Showing posts with label rick warren. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rick warren. Show all posts

Monday, November 10, 2014

Rick Warren's Signature on Ecumenical Document "A Response to 'A Common Word'"

Posted by Christine Pack

An interfaith document authored by the Muslim community entitled "A Common Word," meant to unite Muslims and Christians together in peace and in common causes, was released in 2007.

The Christian community reacted by drafting their own document as a response to "A Common Word."  This document, drafted by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, became known as "A Christian Response to 'A Common Word'." This document contains some concerning ecumenical language, and seems to affirm that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. "A Christian Response to 'A Common Word'" was published in November 2007, and was signed by a number of professing Christian leaders, including Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, who has denied in the past that he believes that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. You can read some of the language of the Yale Response (below) and see for yourself what you think.

The entire Common Word document can be downloaded as a PDF file here. Please note that:

- The Yale Response is also contained in the "Common Word" document, beginning on page 143
- Saddleback pastor Rick Warren's signature can be seen on page 162

"A Common Word" (authored by the Muslim community)

"A Response to 'Common Word'" (authored by the Christian community)




 Additional Resources 

Why Is A Saddleback Preacher Teaching "Kingdom Circles"? (Stand Up For The Truth)

The Islamic Center of Southern California, Saddleback Church, and Our Friendship (by Jihad Turk of The Islamic Center of Southern California)

Rick Warren: Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Controversy Over An Article About Rick Warren's Efforts to Bring Muslims, Christians Together

Rick Warren Addresses Chrislam Controversy

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rick Warren and Joel Osteen Join Hands With Oprah

by Marcia Montenegro, Christian Answers For The New Age
(Original publication date: Oct. 6, 2012)


On October 5th, 2012, I watched 3 hours of live taping of Oprah’s Lifeclass online. This included an hour of Word Faith preacher Joel Osteen with Oprah and 2 hours of megachurch Pastor Rick Warren with Oprah. These programs will air later on the OWN network (Rick Warren’s two shows will air in early 2013).

 God's Word First 

Before discussing this, let’s look at God’s word. First of all, we are told to handle God’s word correctly: “Be diligent to (present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).

It is important not to take scripture out of context, or to misapply it. Reading a passage in context and in comparison to other scripture on a similar topic or theme solves most mistakes or deliberate misuses of scripture applications.

Both Word of Faith teachings (Joel Osteen) and New Thought (Oprah) use scripture and claim Christianity, but take the Bible out of context to prop up false teachings. One of the most widely misused passages is Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” This is quoted by almost every New Thought teacher who has ever lived to support the view that your thoughts determine the reality of your life. The deeper belief here is that your thoughts can alter reality, and that positive thoughts attract positive events while negative ones draw negative events. This is actually a principle of sorcery.

How do we know what Proverbs 23:7 really means? It’s easy to discover if one examines the entire passage. Then it becomes obvious that the text is denouncing acting outwardly one way while inwardly thinking another way. Starting at verse 6, we read: "Do not eat the bread of a selfish man, or desire his delicacies; for as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, 'Eat and drink!' But his heart is not with you." Rather than buttressing New Thought principles, this passage is condemning selfish, hypocritical behavior!

The subtle deception of New Thought is that renewing one’s thinking can be done through techniques and self-effort. This is Satan’s counterfeit of the putting on of the “new self” and renewal of the mind by the power of the Holy Spirit, which only happens when one has believed in Christ and been regenerated by the Spirit (see Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 4:16; Eph. 4:23; Col. 3:10; Titus 3:5).

 Joel Osteen 

Osteen gave his usual Word of Faith teachings that words have power over our lives and this is the way to change our lives. He gave the same kind of affirmations that are taught in New Thought and the New Age, so Oprah was totally on board with this. Affirmations are statements that one repeats, verbally and/or in writing, so that they will become true.

Oprah was spiritually influenced by Unity minister Eric Butterworth’s teaching that Jesus came to show how to achieve Christ Consciousness (the realization that we all have an inherently divine nature). I was not surprised at anything Osteen said, nor that Oprah found him in line with her views.

 Rick Warren 

However, although Rick Warren has had New Age Dr. Oz at his church (along with a professing Christian doctor who also endorses some New Age practices), I was hoping Rick Warren would give the gospel in the midst of his motivational advice, but he never did. He used the imagery of a poker game to explain we are dealt certain cards, and then gave a teaching on this that sounded like moralistic self-help programs I’ve heard so many times, throwing in a few Bible quotes taken out of context or misquoted. It was something almost any New Ager could accept. God becomes a tool for self-improvement and success.

Rick Warren referred to Jesus, but took scripture out of context and applied things said to believers to everyone. He also misused the Proverbs passage that says “as a man thinketh, so is he.” This passage is a famous text misused by New Thought proponents and is used in “The Secret.” 

What was really hard to watch is when a woman in Norway Skyped to say she realized she needed God but wanted to know who God is and she asked, “What should I do?” It was clear that she was ripe to hear the gospel and needed Jesus! It was a great opportunity to share the gospel with her, and at the same time, for Oprah to hear it. Instead of giving the gospel, Rick Warren seemed uncomfortable and finally just said something like, ‘Go to God and find your purpose” (or "Go to God and you'll find your purpose"). It was a terrible moment! The woman looked surprised and sad, like she was expecting something else. I prayed for her later and am hoping that the many Christians who witnessed this will pray for her.

Not only that, but when Oprah referred to God, as she often did, Rick Warren agreed with her as though she was referring to the biblical God, which she was not. He even said a few times, “Oprah has a good point.” No, she never did! She was speaking totally out of her New Thought/New Age beliefs. I am grateful that Warren recommended that people read the gospel of John. That was the best thing he said.

 A Different God and the True God 

New Thought followers and New Agers will refer to God and Jesus, but it is a god who is a tool for self-betterment and success, and a Jesus who inspires as a human example – not the righteous God who has wrath on sin nor the God-man Jesus who through is death and resurrection is found forgiveness of sins and eternal life to those who believe.
"He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18
"Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” Acts 10:43

photo credit: shutterbean via photopin cc

 ADDITIONAL RESOURCES 

Article on New Thought

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rick Warren Endorses "Catholics Come Home" Campaign

Posted by Christine Pack
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people." (Romans 16:17-18)
Now that Saddleback pastor Rick Warren has endorsed the Roman Catholic campaign Catholics Come Home, created to bring lapsed Catholics back to the Catholic faith, can he finally and officially be publicly marked out and separated from for the false teacher that he is?
“The mission of Tom Peterson and Catholics Come Home to bring souls home to Jesus and the church is critically important during this challenging time in our history. I fully support this new evangelization project.” —Rick Warren, author The Purpose Driven Life



 Additional Resources 

Rick Warren Endorsing Catholics Come Home (Apprising Ministries)

Catholicism Is Not Just Another Christian Denomination (Sola Sisters)

Why the Reformation Was Important (Sola Sisters)

After The Darkness, Light (Post Tenebras Lux) (Sola Sisters)


A Chart With Christian/Catholic Views Side-By-Side (Berean Beacon)

Testimony of a Former Roman Catholic Priest....From Darkness to Light (Berean Beacon)

Far From Rome Near To God (Amazon)

On The "Faith" of Mother Teresa: John Ortberg Strikes Out (Sola Sisters)

The Myth of Mother Teresa
 (Challies)

Mother Teresa A Lost Soul (Berean Beacon)

Mother Teresa in Her Own Words (Sola Sisters)

CNN Reports That Mother Teresa Underwent Exorcism (CNN Archives)

BBC Reports About Exorcism Performed on Mother Teresa (BBC Archives)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rick Warren Calls Christians to Pray For the Catholic Council?

Posted by Christine Pack


Rick Warren wants us to pray for the Catholic church council as they select a new Pope? Really? What should we pray, that they repent of their apostasy, and come to true saving faith that is found only in repenting of "good works" and placing their faith solely in Christ's finished work upon the Cross?


(Note: While I do think some Catholics can truly be saved, the ones who hold to Catholic teaching are not, because what the Roman Catholic Church teaches about salvation is diametrically opposed to what the Bible teaches. Please see some of the reference materials below for a better understanding of this, particularly the side-by-side chart compiled by former Roman Catholic priest Richard Bennett, and which shows the conflicting beliefs between Catholicism and Christianity.) 


 Additional Resources 

Warren’s Ecumenical Call to Fast, Pray for Cardinals Seeking New Pope Called ‘Real Tragedy’

Redeemer's Tim Keller Recommends Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation Leader Ignatius of Loyola?

Ignatius of Loyola, an Examination of His Teachings
 (Pastor Gary Gilley)

Catholic Mysticism Infused Into Our Society (Berean Beacon)

Why the Reformation Was Important (Sola Sisters)

After The Darkness, Light (Post Tenebras Lux) (Sola Sisters)

Biblically Explaining The Heresy of Catholicism (Dr. John MacArthur)

A Chart With Christian/Catholic Views Side-By-Side (Berean Beacon)

Testimony of a Former Roman Catholic Priest....From Darkness to Light (Berean Beacon)

Far From Rome Near To God (Amazon)

On The "Faith" of Mother Teresa: John Ortberg Strikes Out (Sola Sisters)

The Myth of Mother Teresa
 (Challies)

Mother Teresa A Lost Soul (Berean Beacon)

Mother Teresa in Her Own Words (Sola Sisters)

CNN Reports That Mother Teresa Underwent Exorcism (CNN Archives)

BBC Reports About Exorcism Performed on Mother Teresa (BBC Archives)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Lost Will Want More of the "God" of the Bible Miniseries?

Posted by Christine Pack

Christians keep telling me that God can use the currently showing Bible miniseries to reach the lost. Really? But how can this be, when God's beautiful, glorious redemptive plan for lost sinners, that runs all the way from Genesis to Revelation, is not clearly laid out in the series? And without the redemptive plan being understood, for those who have only a smattering of Bible knowledge (as many lost people in America do), the God of the Old Testament just comes off as angry, vindictive and arbitrary. So the question is, does anybody know any non-believers in their lives who want more of that God? Anyone? Anyone? Yeah, I didn't think so.



 Additional Resources 

Two Creation Ministries Endorse The Bible Miniseries

The Bible or The Bible Miniseries? (Contender Radio)

Theological Errors of the History Channel's Bible Miniseries, Part 1 (Pirate Christian Radio)

Rick Warren Lays Out The Theology of The Bible Miniseries (Pirate Christian Radio)

Wretched's Review (Todd Friel)

Roma Downey on Being Catholic

The History Channel’s Bible Miniseries Mishandling of God’s Word (Mike Ratliff)

Touched By An Angel, But Which Kind? (Berit Kjos)

The Bible Miniseries Board of Advisors

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Psalm 46:10 and Hearing God Speak

Posted by Christine Pack

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Writes Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren in his Daily Hope blog (1/17/13):
"You say, 'I want to trust God, but I don't hear him.' To hear God, you have to get near God. You don't hear God when your mind is filled with a thousand other distractions. You've got to get alone with God and be quiet. The Bible says, 'Be still and know that I am God' (Psalm 46:10 NIV). That means sit down and shut up. That's how you hear God and get near to God. You have to sit alone and just be quiet with your Bible and say, 'God, is there anything you want to say to me?' You read God’s Word, and you talk to him about what's on your heart. Pray this today: 'God, I want to listen to you, not the voices of doubt. I want to hear you, and I promise to then obey you. I want to be one of the people that you can use and bless in the next 10 years. I want those years to be a decade of destiny for me and my family.'" (source)
Is this true? Do we need to get still and wait for God to "speak" to us, as Pastor Rick Warren teaches? Absolutely not, and Marcia Montenegro of Christian Answers For the New Age has written a great article in response to this now commonplace (but incorrect) teaching in today's church that Psalm 46:10 is about getting still and "hearing" God speak to you. Marcia, a former New Ager/professional astrologer, is now a born again Christian in full-time ministry, and is devoted to exposing how many of the things she once believed as a New Ager (such as the oft-misinterpreted Psalm 46:10) are coming into the church.

From Marcia's article:
"God's word teaches us to think and use our mind. Rational thinking and reason flow from the nature of God. We can be still or quiet, of course, in order to contemplate God and His perfect love, justice, and mercy. We can be still and appreciate His might. But we do not need to numb our brains or create a mystical experience to do so; in fact, these techniques will hinder us from practicing true contemplation."
Continue reading Marcia's article here.


photo credit: Connor Tarter via photopin cc


 Additional Resources 

Christian Answers For The New Age

What Is Mysticism?




Mysticism: Who Needs Crack?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Quotes (and A Few Random Thoughts) From Rick Warren's Interview with Oprah

Posted by Christine Pack


Saddleback pastor and Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren (dubbed "America's Pastor" by Time magazine) recently joined Oprah Winfrey on Friday, October 5 on her livestreaming Lifeclass. Below are a few comments by Rick Warren taken directly from his interview with Oprah, along with some of my commentary.
Rick Warren: “I highly recommend you make God the most important person in your life. Because He loves you unconditionally.”
What about the biblical proclamation that the wrath of God abides on ALL men, unless they come to him in the way He has ordained....through the shed blood of Jesus?
Rick Warren: “If you build your security around a man, he can die. But if you build your security in your relationship to God, that can never be taken from you.”
But no mention of Jesus or how to be in a right relationship with God to this audience.
Rick Warren: “All of us have things we want to change in our lives......If you want to change the way you act, you have to start....with your thoughts.”
This is a Christianized version of something called "New Thought" which is a New Age practice. This is a practice in which one believes, and acts upon the belief, that their thoughts have God-like power to change circumstances. This belief is also what undergirds the Word of Faith movement.
A woman from Norway called in and said: "Who is God? What does that mean? I was raised Catholic....."
In response to this woman, who was clearly receptive to hearing from a pastor about how to be in relationship with God, Rick Warren did not give the gospel. He is response was something along the lines of, you've got to find God and find God's purpose for your life (paraphrasing). As they were cutting away to break after that segment, Rick Warren leaned over and asked Oprah about that caller, and indicated that he had been expecting a different caller. Oprah and the producer replied to him that this caller's question had seemed more urgent, and that's why they put that caller at the front of the line.
Rick Warren: "God is love."
This reason this bothers me is because so many professing Christians today, when asked about God, will say exactly this: that God is love, as if love is the most important attribute of God, and somehow trumps all of his other attributes. But the truth is that all of God's attributes (love, mercy, grace, justice, wrath, sovereignty, omnipotence, etc.) are in perfect, balanced proportion. I'm not saying God is not loving....but that in this interview (and what I hear at large from most Christians) is that God is love-love-love......like the Beatles song.

Rick Warren is addressing this audience as if they all know and affirm what he means by God (as in, the God of the Bible).
Rick Warren: “When God wants to do something great in your life, the first thing He does is give you a dream.” 
Rick Warren: "God is more interested in your character than your career......You're not taking your career to heaven, you are taking your character." 
Really? I hope I'm not taking my character to heaven.....I need the imputed righteousness of Christ. That is the ONLY way I will stand faultless before the throne.
Rick Warren: "It's all about service." 
He has said this a few times. This is pure LAW-based teaching. But this is NOT what "it" is all about. "It" is all about knowing God rightly as He is revealed in his Word, and responding in humble obedience to his command to repent and believe on Christ for the forgiveness of sins. This is works righteousness.....this is a false gospel.
Rick Warren: "God never wastes a 'hurt." 
He's completely mischaracterizing Rom 8:28-29 to this audience....those promises are for believers only. Is he somehow under the impression that he is addressing Christians?

The only thing Rick Warren said that came even close to a gospel message was when he said something like, Jesus loved you *this much* (stretching out hands so they're in the hanging-on-the-cross position). Warren paraphrased Jesus's message for us thusly: "I love you so much I'd rather die than live without you." That last part is a direct quote, even though it's Warren paraphrasing, because, well, Jesus never said that. Jesus said "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." But to hear Warren tell it, poor needy Jesus is up in heaven, wringing his hands, just hoping you will let him come and live in your heart. That is just an abominable way for a pastor to describe the Lord of this Universe. Jesus is NOT some needy stalker girlfriend who's emotionally overwrought at the idea that you don't want to be with Him.


 Additional Resources 

Rick Warren and Joel Osteen Join Hands With Oprah

Rick Warren Get's John Piper's Stamp of Approval?



Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rick Warren and Joel Osteen Join Hands With Oprah

Article by Christian researcher and apologist, Marcia Montenegro. Marcia is a former professional astrologer and writes at Christian Answers for the New Age-CANA). Reprinted with permission.



On October 5th, along with others on Facebook, I watched 3 hours of live taping of Oprah’s Lifeclass online. This included an hour of Word Faith preacher Joel Osteen with Oprah and 2 hours of megachurch Pastor Rick Warren with Oprah. These programs will air later on the OWN network (Rick Warren’s two shows will air in early 2013).

 God's Word First 

Before discussing this, let’s look at God’s word. First of all, we are told to handle God’s word correctly: “Be diligent to (present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).

It is important not to take scripture out of context, or to misapply it. Reading a passage in context and in comparison to other scripture on a similar topic or theme solves most mistakes or deliberate misuses of scripture applications.

Both Word of Faith teachings (Joel Osteen) and New Thought (Oprah) use scripture and claim Christianity, but take the Bible out of context to prop up false teachings. One of the most widely misused passages is Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” This is quoted by almost every New Thought teacher who has ever lived to support the view that your thoughts determine the reality of your life. The deeper belief here is that your thoughts can alter reality, and that positive thoughts attract positive events while negative ones draw negative events. This is actually a principle of sorcery.

How do we know what Proverbs 23:7 really means? It’s easy to discover if one examines the entire passage. Then it becomes obvious that the text is denouncing acting outwardly one way while inwardly thinking another way. Starting at verse 6, we read: "Do not eat the bread of a selfish man, or desire his delicacies; for as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, 'Eat and drink!' But his heart is not with you." Rather than buttressing New Thought principles, this passage is condemning selfish, hypocritical behavior!

The subtle deception of New Thought is that renewing one’s thinking can be done through techniques and self-effort. This is Satan’s counterfeit of the putting on of the “new self” and renewal of the mind by the power of the Holy Spirit, which only happens when one has believed in Christ and been regenerated by the Spirit (see Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 4:16; Eph. 4:23; Col. 3:10; Titus 3:5).

 Joel Osteen 

Osteen gave his usual Word of Faith teachings that words have power over our lives and this is the way to change our lives. He gave the same kind of affirmations that are taught in New Thought and the New Age, so Oprah was totally on board with this. Affirmations are statements that one repeats, verbally and/or in writing, so that they will become true.

Oprah was spiritually influenced by Unity minister Eric Butterworth’s teaching that Jesus came to show how to achieve Christ Consciousness (the realization that we all have an inherently divine nature). I was not surprised at anything Osteen said, nor that Oprah found him in line with her views.

 Rick Warren 

However, although Rick Warren has had New Age Dr. Oz at his church (along with a supposedly Christian doctor who also endorses some New Age practices), I was hoping he (RW) would somehow give the gospel in the midst of his motivational advice, but he never did. He used the imagery of a poker game to explain we are dealt certain cards, and then gave a teaching on this that sounded like moralistic self-help programs I’ve heard so many times, throwing in a few Bible quotes taken out of context or misquoted. It was something almost any New Ager could accept. God becomes a tool for self-improvement and success.

Warren referred to Jesus, but took scripture out of context and applied things said to believers to everyone. He also misused the Proverbs passage that says “as a man thinketh, so is he.” This passage is a famous passage misused by New Thought proponents and is used in “The Secret.”

What was really hard to watch is when a woman in Norway Skyped to say she realized she needed God but wanted to know who God is and she asked, “What should I do?” It was clear that she was ripe to hear the gospel and needed Jesus! It was a great opportunity to share the gospel with her, and at the same time, for Oprah to hear it. Instead of giving the gospel, Rick Warren seemed uncomfortable and finally just said something like, ‘Go to God and find your purpose.” It was a terrible moment! The woman looked surprised and sad, like she was expecting something else. I prayed for her later and am hoping that the many Christians who witnessed this will pray for her.

Not only that, but when Oprah referred to God, as she often did, Rick Warren agreed with her as though she was referring to the biblical God, which she was not. He even said a few times, “Oprah has a good point.” No, she never did! She was speaking totally out of her New Thought/New Age beliefs. I am grateful that RW recommended that people read the gospel of John. That was the best thing he said.

 A Different God and The True God 

New Thought followers and New Agers will refer to God and Jesus, but it is a god who is a tool for self-betterment and success, and a Jesus who inspires as a human example – not the righteous God who has wrath on sin nor the God-man Jesus who through is death and resurrection is found forgiveness of sins and eternal life to those who believe.
"He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18

"Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” Acts 10:43

 Additional Resources 

New Thought: Making the Straight Ways Crooked - A Warning For Christians

Rick Warren Get's John Piper's Stamp of Approval?



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mark Driscoll Proud of the Dead Bodies Behind The Mars Hill Bus?

Posted by Christine Pack

Chris Rosebrough, host of the Fighting For The Faith radio show, recently ran a program in which he has documented the spiritual abuse being done at the hands of well-known megachurch pastors, including:
■ Creflo Dollar (pastor of World Changers Church International) 
Eric Dykstra (pastor of The Crossing Church, Elk River, MN) 
 Steven Furtick (pastor of Elevation Church, Charlotte, NC) 
Dan Southerland (pastor and author of Transitioning) 
■ Mark Driscoll (author and pastor of Mars Hill Church)
Here's Mark Driscoll, addressing a group of Acts 29 church planting leaders, talking about what he does when somebody in the church is not in step with his "vision" for the church:
"Here's what I've learned. You cast vision for your mission, and if people don't sign up, you move on. You move on. There are people that are gonna die in the wilderness, and there are people that are gonna take the hill. That's just how it is. Too many guys waste too much time trying to move stiff necked, stubborn, obstinate people. I am all about blessed subtraction. There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus (chuckle), and by God's grace, it'll be a mountain by the time we're done.... ‎You either get on the bus, or you get run over by the bus. Those are the options. But the bus ain't gonna stop." (audio here)
I just finished listening to this program yesterday, and I can't even express how thankful I am that this important program about spiritual abuse was done. I even got a little emotional during the segment in which talk show host Chris Rosebrough talks about the need for the Christian men of today to rise up and say "Enough!" and take a stand against false teaching. As a very new Christian, I remember sitting in my pastor's office and pleading with him about false teaching, specifically "Christian" yoga and Roman Catholic mysticism. You have to remember, I came OUT of eastern style mantra meditation and mysticism....this was precisely what God had saved me out of. And yet, here it was coming into my church! And so I pleaded about this with my pastor, saying to him very plainly, "Listen, I want to be protected, I'm looking to you for that. I'm just a new Christian. But I know that stuff is wrong, from my own personal experience. I need a pastor who will stand at the door and say, you will not bring that false teaching into my church!" Well sadly, this pastor continued down that path for a season, and my husband and I eventually left the church. (That pastor has since come back to solid, expository preaching, and for that I am thankful, as I still have friends at that church.)

I cannot recommend enough this important program which exposes the cult-like, domineering, and controlling techniques that many (not all) megachurch pastors, including Mark Driscoll, employ to keep their flocks in line. And lest we lose sight of how a church should be pastored, let's look to what an undershepherd's responsibilities are, according to God's word:
"So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly." (1 Peter 5:1-4, my emphasis)
"An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it." (Titus 1:6-9, my emphasis)
It's time for leaders in Evangelicalism to figure out the problems with Mark Driscoll (and other pastors who use cult-like techniques to keep their flock in line), and as Chris Rosebrough exhorted, stand up and say, "Enough!" 

You can listen to the program in its entirety here.

 Additional Resources 

Mark Driscoll: A Timeline of His Downfall (Sola Sisters)

Paul Petry, Former Mars Hill Elder, Speaks Out (Sola Sisters)

An Elder's Wife Gives Her Testimony About Mars Hill Church (Sola Sisters)

Documenting the Problems with Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll [UPDATED]

Mark Driscoll's Church Discipline Contract: Looking For True Repentance At Mars Hill Church? Sign On The Dotted Line (Matthew Paul Turner)

Another Fired Mars Hill Elder (Bent Meyer) Breaks His Silence (The Wartburg Watch)

Freedom For Captives Blog (Blog of Former Mars Hill Elder Bent Meyer)

Mark Driscoll: "What do you do with someone who is rebellious, hard-hearted, stiff necked and stupid? You break their nose." (The Wartburg Watch)

Mark Driscoll: The Face of Contemplative Calvinism (Sola Sisters)

Mark Driscoll: "Look, I had this vision. Let me tell you about it." (Sola Sisters)

Mark Driscoll speaking to demons: "I want to know who all is involved here and what we're dealing with." (Sola Sisters)

The Cult-Like Hostile Takeover Tactics of the Purpose-Driven Church Transitioning Seminar (Fighting For The Faith)

Resistance Is Futile: You Will Be Assimilated Into The Community (Fighting For The Faith)

What Does Spiritual Abuse Look Like? Former Staff Member Jeremy Rogahn of Crossing Church (Pastored by Eric Dykstra) in Elk River, MN Gives His Testimony (Fighting For The Faith)

Eric Dykstra and The Crossing Church (Apprising Ministries)

Move over, Herr Driscoll

Posted by Christine Pack

Move over Mark Driscoll, with all your talk of running over those pesky troublemakers who have questions. You're not the only F├╝hrer in town. Rick Warren likes to lay down the law, too.

(The below graphic has been verified to be authentic, and can be clicked on for better viewing.)




 Additional Resources 

Mark Driscoll Brags About the Pile of Bodies Behind the Mars Hill Bus (Fighting For The Faith)

Resistance Is Futile: You Will Be Assimilated Into The Community (Fighting For The Faith)

What Does Spiritual Abuse Look Like? Former Staff Member Jeremy Rogahn of Crossing Church (Pastored by Eric Dykstra) in Elk River, MN Gives His Testimony (Fighting For The Faith)

Eric Dykstra and The Crossing Church (Apprising Ministries)

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