Tuesday, December 23, 2008

...when civility in the marketplace causes amnesia concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ

"Can't we all just get along?" No. Because there is an offense in preaching the cross of Christ inherit in faithful gospel proclamation.  Rick wants to be liked and accepted by gays ad straights; Muslims and Buddhists; Jews and Hindus; Dems' and Reps', etc.  If "Pastor" Warren was being faithful as a man of God preaching an uncompromised gospel, then those various political and religious groups wouldn't be applauding him, they'd want to stone him.

There is only one thing more sad than an elected official forgetting his constitutional charge and compromising his office for the sake of widening his own constituency and influence; and that is a pastor of the Lord Jesus Christ forgetting his biblical charge to preach the Word in season and out of season, dumbing down the gospel for the sake of widening his own constituency and influence.

How nice for Rick; both Obama and Etheridge really like him and accept him. Isn't that special... But mean while around the world Christians are being persecuted day and night, losing life and limb for simply saying, "I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ." 

Rick's not a bad guy, he's just forgotten his purpose. Any good books on finding your purpose that anyone could recommend to him? Here's a few that come to mind: the books of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, the pastoral epistles, the gospels, Acts, Galatians, etc. (well, you get the idea). Remember beloved, a man doesn't go soft by reading his Bible; he goes soft by reading everything else but his Bible.

The Apostle Paul at Corinth
"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. -1 Cor. 1:18-25

"I sought to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified." -1 Cor. 2:2


Anonymous said...

Great words and ones we ought to take to heart every time we are tempted to become entangled in politics.

donsands said...

He's not a preacher, nor a pastor, as I see him.

I wonder since this speech was cut, did he ever mention loving Jesus Christ.

I was telling my Mom today that there are two things that are essential for the Christian: To believe in Christ, and the Gospel is first and foremost. We trust Christ with all we are. We trust in His death for our sins, and in His resurrection for our justification. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
And second, we need to love Christ. The genuine believer will love Jesus, because Christ first loved us.
If someone says they believe, but doesn't love Christ, their faith is a devils faith.

If someone says they love Jesus, but don't trust in His truth, which is God's Word, then they have a nominal faith, which is no faith at all.

I think it would be difficult to speak the truth in love to a Muslim crowd, but the true pastor of God would have the burning in his belly, and he wouldn't not be able to speak the truth, and hopefully in love.

It's not enough to say, "I love everybody." We certainly must love everybody, even as we love ourselves. And we need to love Christ far above even our wives and children, let alone our neighbor.

I would have liked to hear Rick say , "Let me get this over with. I love Jesus Christ more than any other person, even myself, and I am unashamed of the Cross He died on. And I love my wife and kids, and my church, and the Church, and I also love the lost, and even my enemies."

Oh well. I'll be praying for him.

A very Merry Christmas to you Campi, and your family!! May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you this Christmas, and may he be greatly pleased with us, as we honor Him. Amen.

Kurt Michaelson said...

Rick Warren is good at showing how ecumenical he is regarding his theology.

He's become more political than pastoral these days and I'm afraid he's going to stray further away from the Truth.

Rick Warren is not the spokesman for the evangelical population in these United States. He definitely does not speak for me.

gigantor1231 said...

S.J. and Y'all

Mt. 7: 15-20;

15  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Warren's words and the fruit that he he bears is rotten!

Mt. 12: 33-37;

33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Warren has continually denied the son both overtly and covertly in order to please those who are ungodly and/or have itching ears, in short he is a man pleaser!

32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Those of the world listen to Warren because he speaks what those of the world want to hear. Warren has the ear of presidents, royalty, politicians, corporate leaders and the list goes on, as well as his influence is increasing. Why? Is it because he is a man blessed by God because of his righteous biblical stand? I do not think so. As I have said before if Warren is a brother in Christ he is very deceived and he is deceiving others into deception via his own deception. From what I have seen though Warren is just a false prophet, and a very prolific one at that.

1 John 4: 1-6;

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Look, there are so many things that Warren has done and continues to do that is antithetical to the Word of God, as well as being out of character for one who truly loves the one and only living God Jesus Christ. The fruit that Warren bears just does not stand up to the word of God, good guy just does not cut it when we really use the word as the standard, Warren and his ministry come up lacking and the lack is in no small measure! It is time to contend for the faith, read Jude, 1 John, 1 and 2 Peter, read your bibles in depth and call a spade a spade, a false prophet a false prophet.

Psalm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Sheeres said...

Wow. Lighten up. Don't you understand? Jesus loves Muslims! Jesus loves Hindus, too! Jesus loves gays, straights, Jews, everybody. "For God so loved the WORLD..." Why is okay for God to love the entire world, but when Rick Warren expresses love for the world you pounce on him. You are like the Pharisee who can not understand God's love for the Samaritan. You are so blinded by doctrine that you betray the spirit of Christ's message, which is LOVE.

gigantor1231 said...

Mark Sheeres

I speak from following Warren, reading his writing, listening to his teaching and interviews for the past 3 years. My words were not directed at Warren's claim that he loves gays, straights, Muslims, Buddhists or the whole world! I am simply saying that he is either a deeply deceived Christian, or he is simply a false teacher. Warren does not speak for God in Christ or the body of Christ, rather he speaks according to his own self interests and philosophies, this most recent video was a good example of his self serving attitude. He certainly displays a worldly, man pleasing love, which is no love at all. If this were not true he would speak the truth, the word of God but he does not.
Now, out of the love of your heart comes your accusation that I am a pharisee! You are accusing me of doing what you are doing, the difference being that you do not know me at all. I, on the other hand, have not spoken the words that I have without careful consideration, much observation and study.
In the spirit of Christ-mas what you should do is read your Bible, the perfect Word of God. The season is about Christ, it should be centered around remembering why He, God, took on the form of a man to save us utterly depraved and hopeless men. Do you understand that? It is all about Him, it is all about what He wants, not what you or Warren want!

Jeffrey said...

As I read these comments and the tone of Steve Camp in posting it I find there is a lot I want to say in rebutal, but I will direct everyone to read Brad Jersak's book 'Kissing the Leper' instead.

I can see Brad making statements similiar to Rick Warren's but there is no way anyone can accuse Brad of not being scriptural, on the contrary, he has developed his theology by reading scripture, taking God at his word and acting on what he read and seeing what the result is. Then he took it one step further by visiting Burma where he tried to see if it really does work in one of the most violent places on earth.

Brad can be summed up as, 'My job is to love them all and let God sort out their sin' and sort it out he does.

SJ Camp said...

I thought my tone was godly and generous considering Warren's ecumenical and universalist approach by giving flattery to appeal to his audience, rather than call them to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

My question for you is: why weren't you offended?

Mr. Warren is a pastor of a church; and by definition one who is under heavenly charge (2 Tim. 4:1) to preach the word in season and out of season; to not tickle his listeners ears; to reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching; to shepherd the flock of God; and to pray for all those in his care. This is to be done with fear and trembling and great joy as one who will have to give an account as to how he has watched over the souls that the Lord entrusted to his care (Heb. 13:17).

IOW, he is not to be a politician or a promoter, but a pastor and proclaimer of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 4:5).

My older brother Norm who went home to be with the Lord two years ago, was a faithful minister of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ for 35 years to the Muslim people. He saw many who lost their lives for simply publicly trusting Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives for salvation. It cost them dearly. My brother would always talk to me about an easy believism American gospel and how ashamed most missionaries felt when famous preachers like Warren would speak and not be bold about the things of the Lord concerning salvation.

So here in this video clip, Warren is being politically correct trying to win the favor of the audience and doing this bear the title of a pastor who is supposed to represent the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel he is representing Renee is not that of sola fide and the cross of our Lord (1 Cor. 2:2).

John the Baptist would not have lost his head with Warren's approach; Paul would not have been hunted down, persecuted, beaten and scourged, put in prison, head split open, and ultimately beheaded for the precious gospel if he had adopted a Warrenesque approach; Jeremiah would not have been in a pit; Isaiah buried alive; Peter crucified upside down; etc. if they all had embraced the pragmatic "if they like me maybe they will Jesus" approach that Mr. Warren does.

Let's be honest here friend; Warren is not about the gospel these days - he is about global warming; a PEACE initiative; cleaning up the environment; curing world hunger; AIDS research; and being civil.

He should resign as pastor and become a politician or promoter. He will be more at home in that world then being contra mundum.

This is said with love and grace in case you want to make this about tone rather than about truth.

What say ye?
1 Cor. 9:16

Anonymous said...

Okay I wonder what world "Pastor" Warren is living in. "How do we work together?" Worked together for what? World Peace? So who is waging all the wars? Who seeks to put the whole world under Islam? Who is trying to force the exceptance of a very sinful and unnatural style on on the US and the Churches of Christ?

Warren says in working together we must "Start with the hand, move to heart, then with head." The religion of is Islam a religion of hate. In this religion it is okay to cut off hands. Cut out hearts, and cut off heads. So what world is "Pastor" Warren he living? Certainly not the real world. How many beheading do Muslim have to do before people see that?!

What is this let's work together stuff? To "eradicate" Poverty and AIDS?

First, Rick Warren is worth 30 million. Now, how much poverty could he eradicate if he'd. Let's say, sell all he possessed and used it to "feed the poor and clothe the naked". And when will this guy ever start? Just do and be quiet about it.

Wait- Since when do Muslims want "eradicate" poverty and AIDS? They want eradicate something. Israel. Christians. But not Poverty.

First, the Muslim nations should stop all trafficking of slavery and women. Second, they have a lot of poor among their own. So, why do the Saudi Kings not feed and clothe them?

If "we" have to work together to "eradicate" AIDES. Then, why does "Pastor" Warren not tell them to stop committing sexual sin. With exception of the off chance of receiving a tainted blood transfusion, it is impossible to contract AIDES if you are not engaging in illicit promiscuous behavior.

So, why does "pastor Warren not preach Christ Crucified, and abstaining from sexual sin?

How many times will "Pastor" Rick Warren get away with being called a true Christian Pastor. Rick Warren is a deceiver. And very dangerous one. True Christians need to be vocal and denounce him.

donsands said...

"He should resign as pastor and become a politician or promoter. He will be more at home in that world then being contra mundum."-Campius

I agree. The Lord knows His own. And the Lord told us to chek the fruit, and see if there's genuine fruit.

A person can give all his money to the poor and even his body to be burned, and without the love of Christ, it's empty.

Rick's love, to em, is a human love, a niceness, where we can all get along, and perhpas Jesus will secretly save some unbelievers.

Whereas Christ's love "rejoices in the truth, and not iniquity". A Christian may be timid at times, and not speak the truth in love as he should, but his heart will be burning to speak the gospel fisrt and foremost.

Sure we can have friends in the world, but these same friends will know we love Christ first, and that Christ is the only way to the Father.

And especially if someone is a pastor of Christ, he will be speaking about Christ, and the Gospel. It will be his highest calling an priority.

I was thinking if Alistair Begg was called to speak to this group, would he not talk about Jesus Christ His Lord, and the good news of the death and resurrection of our Savior? He most certainly would declare the truth with humility and grace, no doubt about it.

Those are some thoughts I had for what they're worth.

Anonymous said...

The Lord, says if you love you me will obey my commandments and my commandments are not burdensome.

But, Mr Warren does not obey the Lord, by his fellowship with unbelievers. As a Pastor he does not preach the gospel to the lost. Because the Gospels is offensive to those who are perishing. He does not preach Christ Crucified, more that. Rose from the dead. Warren will not tell them there no other name under Heaven which one can be saved. So where is the love he says he has for them in this in this.

This hanging out with movie stars, listening to Lesbian Rock, or fellowshiping with foul mouthed Irish Rock Stars who sings songs like "Jesus, Buddha, Muhumand all good."

Then, these summits with Homosexuals and Pro- Abortions candidates in his Church. Not to mention making a business out his Church with partnerships with Star Bucks and Ted Turner. This is all a Whoredom. Where is the love of God in this? We must love God with all our hearts and all our souls and with all our strength. How can we say we love God and not obey Him?

Again, this "working together" diatribe. This earth is perishing. Only Christ is eternal. This building on temporarily things profits us nothing. Every soul rich or poor needs Jesus. He will not saying to these things to lost people because he loves the praise of men. And his love can not be genuine, because he will not telly them the about what must they do to be saved. Not even "Nicey Nicey". Just phony phony.

Also, this benevolence to the poor and needy, is feigned. Warren sacrifices nothing of his. Well, nothing of his own that he does not advertise for all the world to see. Then, he seeks to get governments to pay for all this Charity. So there is no real sacrifice at all. Where the true love in this? It cost him nothing. But makes him look like a hero. Do Christians do good works for all the world to see?

Rick warren gets a lot of praise. All the while trying bridge the Christian Church with Islam. Oh, but we are not supposed to see this under all that circus.

Jeffrey said...


What you posted is out of context.

I watched the video again and it is clear it is news footage, which means unless you have seen the raw footage you do not know what he said that was left on the cutting room floor.

That aside, I know that your point is that what is on the clip is indicative of what you perceive as a dangerous doctrinal direction and you could be correct. However I only recently learned something that indicates to me that much of the American evangelical vanguard is operating from a very dangerous position also.

As a prison chaplain I dream of a restorative rather than penal system and what I found out was that, according to Jimmy Carter, it was the politically active evangelicals that demanded that the restorative justice system he presided over as governor of Georgia be replaced with an increasingly vengeful penal system, which is also an easy sell to vengeful pagans. A system and a philosophy that as far as I can tell (I am not an American) has spread like a cancer across the United States and has unfortunately polluted the thinking of evangelicals, and therefore voters, in other nations as well.

Now the point of my last paragraph is not the attack I made, but rather that you, or some of your readers, may be just as guilty of betraying the gospel as you are accusing Rick Warren of being. We claim that the gospel makes a man a new creation, the old man is dead and a new man lives. But the United States has policies in place that are used to punish many new men, rather than disciple them with the goal of returning them back into society as new men, for the crimes of their old man and this is done at the behest of many evangelicals. I see this as something that is a clear betrayal of the gospel in both word and biblical demonstration - by modern standards Paul was a serial killer and yet God used this evil man mightily. This is something that the average evangelical appears to be oblivious to.

I should also add that some of the penal policies make it harder, not easier, to do the work of an evangelist in a prison. Rick Warren may be guilty of neglecting to clearly present the gospel but I am currently being threatened with a new policy that could bar me from having access to certain inmates period, which would mean I would be prevented from sharing the gospel with them. And this new policy finds it roots in a penal rather than restorative justice system. A philosophy, that as I stated earlier, can apparently be traced back to the ideas being espoused by American evangelical thinkers and writers, ideas that are very palatable to unregenerated citizens . Pagan men confuse vengeance with justice, but so have many Christians and on that point I direct you back to your Dec. 27 quote from Martin Luther.

But my point was not go off on a tangent about the penal system, but to point out a blind spot that is just as destructive and in practical terms opposed to the gospel as your issues with Rick Warren.

In closing, I sincerely wish it was possible to discuss these matters face because I know that much is being lost in this medium but that is also the price for a man such as myself to have direct access to a prominent brother such as yourself.

SJ Camp said...

I appreciate your words you just posted here. I have ministered in prisons for many years and what a joy to proclaim the gospel to the inmates - men just like you and me that need to hear of God's grace and freedom for eternity through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I also completely agree with you that the current penal system doesn't rehabilitate at all. May the Lord bless you in what you are trying to do for the kingdom in that area of tremendous need.

Having gone through a divorce eight years ago, I have come to realize just how unfair the legal system is against husbands and fathers in that arena. I have had friends locked up from anywhere from two days to two months for really the most arbitrary or in some cases out and out right silly things their x's complained about. Justice later occurred in their early release, but initially the sting of injustice really hurt these guys. (I have told some of these friends, if I am ever incarcerated for something along the same lines, I will just continue the ministry from the inside out!)

Crazy times we live in.

As to Rick Warren... his comments are not taken in isolation. I have read hundreds of articles and listened to many interviews in their entirety to know that what this video represented in the snap shot is evident is what his beliefs are in the video. IOW, Rick is an eternal pragmatist and will say most anything to "fit in" to another demographic he is speaking to. So for him to affirm what he did was politically calculated, not an opportunity for the gospel.

I have been in front of those same groups as well, and ultimately they don't respect someone who kisses up to them. They want people to be honest and genuine - especially when it comes to issues of faith.

"Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel..." May that be the supreme desire and passion of every man of God in ministry. We must always remember that the Lord, not the audience, is sovereign. And therefore our duty is to an audience of One - Amen?

Thank you again my brother. Grace and peace to you. And praise the Lord for the ministry you are doing in prisons.

God be glorified.

SJ Camp said...

I agree with you that many days I do need to lighten up. No argument there.

But in this case I would have to slightly modify your exhortation to me: for God's salvific love is only extended to the ones He came to save and redeem (cp, John 17; Eph. 1:4-14; John 6:35-44; 2 Tim. 1:9).

So I don't believe that Pastor Warren's words could be considered as synonymous with God's Word.

Though the sentiment behind them is nice, I don't know how beneficial they are to the efficaciousness of the gospel.

What do you think?

logos1 said...

I just got off a recent post by Chris Hitchens? who obviously is not a Christian ("I do not believe that there is any supernatural supervisor who lends an ear to any prayer.")
He is very critical of Rick Warren, but not for the reasons that you and I would have issue with. He is outraged that RW would publicly tell a Jewish person they are not going to heaven. Here's the link. http://www.slate.com/id/2207554/?GT1=38001 Interested in your thoughts.

Unknown said...

The religious systems of the world would fully embrace the methodology and message that Rick Warren uses whenever addressing a “non-Christian” crowd. The coming one world religion and the Antichrist would as well.

Can you imagine having an opportunity to address Presidential candidates, an Islamic conference, or the nation (such as will happen with the inauguration) and NOT using the time to present the gospel?! I just don’t get it…It really is very telling as to where his heart and his priorities are…

Matthew 10:34-38 Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.