My dear friend,
Heresy. Heresy. Heresy. Rick Warren strips Jesus of His King's robe and clothes Him in a savvy business suit. Just listen to what Warren says on page 186 of The Purpose Driven Church:
The secret of effective evangelism is to not only share Christ’s message but to follow Christ’s methodology. I believe Jesus gave us not only what to say but also how to share it. He had a strategy. He modeled timeless principles of evangelism that work today if we’ll apply them. Matthew 10 and Luke 10 are two revealing accounts of Jesus’ strategy for targeted evangelism.
And then on page 187, Warren writes:
When Jesus sent his disciples out on their first evangelistic campaign, he defined the target very specifically: They were to focus on their own countrymen. . . .There may have been several reasons Jesus narrowed the target, but one thing is certain: He targeted the kind of people the disciples were most likely to reach- people like themselves. Jesus was not being prejudiced, he was being strategic. (Emphasis added.)
Surely this greatly troubles your spirit. Warren strips Jesus of His divine nature and dresses Him as a mere clever human strategist. Listen, friend, this is heresy. Heresy. Heresy. Heresy. Warren divests Christ of His divine power and invests him with merely using human strategy. Heresy. Heresy. Heresy.
According to The American Heritage Dictionary, strategy is the art or skill of using stratagems in politics, business, courtship, or the like. And the dictionary defines a stratagem as:
1. A military maneuver designed to deceive or surprise an enemy.
2. A deception. - See synonyms at artifice.
And in the list of synonyms under artifice: “Stratagem implies carefully planned deception.” Read that again: “Stratagem implies carefully planned deception.”
And that’s what’s deeply troubling about Warren’s so-called purpose-driven theology. It’s not theology, it’s man-made methodology. It’s a deceptive strategy to bait the lost into coming to church by using gimmicks, trickery, and other unholy strategy with the hope of getting some saved. His strategy is to treat the lost as consumers to be baited into coming to church and buying into his New Age consumer-friendly religion.
Friends, we’re not selling a product called “Christianity,” to ungodly consumers. These lost souls are not customers shopping around for the best deal among religions. They’re lost souls who need to be led to Christ.
One of the most disturbing aspects of The Purpose Driven Church is that the work of the Holy Spirit in drawing the lost to Christ is rarely mentioned. And the Bible makes it very clear that the Holy Spirit empowers us to be effective evangelists to win lost souls to Christ. In other words, it is the power of the Holy Spirit working through us that draws the lost to Christ. To teach contrary is heresy. Heresy. Heresy. Heresy.
But though we, or an angel from heaven,
preach any other gospel unto you than that
which we have preached unto you,
let him be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again,
If any man preach any other gospel unto you
than that ye have received,
let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:8, 9
Warren clearly teaches another gospel. Warren denies Christ’s divinity. Warren denies the power of the Holy Spirit. Warren teaches heresy. And the Bible tells us we must reject heretics.
But there were false prophets also among the people,
even as there shall be false teachers among you,
who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,
even denying the Lord that bought them,
and shall bring upon themselves swift destruction.
And many shall follow their pernicious ways;
by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
And through covetousness
shall they with feigned words
make merchandise of you:
whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not,
and their damnation slumbereth not.
II Peter 2:1-3
On page 225, Warren pitches his strategy for baiting potential customers of his New Age consumer-friendly religion: “A good salesman knows you always start with the customer’s needs, not the product.” And on page 247:
In almost every seeker service, we include a real life testimony from a person or couple who have been dramatically changed by the power and love of Christ. This weekly parade of “satisfied customers” is hard for skeptics to argue with.
Unquestionably, Warren degrades man by making merchandise of us. Warren uses business strategy to target the lost. And this is heresy.
We won’t take the time now to discuss the way Warren deliberately takes the Scriptures out of context and forces them to fit his strategy.
And we won’t take the time now to discuss Warren’s self-adulation. The book bursts with egoism.
And we won’t take the time now to discuss how Warren causes Christians to violate the Christian Sabbath by forcing them to attend church on Wednesday so the “unchurched” can attend a pagan “Christian” service on Sunday. This is heresy. Look at what Warren writes on page 245:
At Saddleback, our believers’ service is on Wednesday night and our seeker services are on Saturday night and Sunday morning. This way you can use different preaching styles, songs, prayers, and other elements appropriate to each target. (Emphasis added.)
Sunday is the Lord’s Day. Warren wrests the Christian Sunday from believers and hands it over to unbelievers. This is heresy.
We can’t be led astray by heresy. Read the Bible daily. Meditate on the scriptures. Pray for spiritual discernment. Reject heresy.
Never, never, never, never – never submit to heresy.
Faithfully serving our Lord Jesus Christ,
Karen Pansler-Lam, J.D.