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Joined: 2011/1/12
Posts: 1357
Lakeland FL

 Rick Warren - 40 days in the Word

THe church I attend is doing this program as well as using it for the life groups. A leader of one of the life groups expressed some questioning about this program in an email. I don't know much about Mr. Warren but I do realize he has been a topic of controversy for being too contemporary- I think. Anyway, I want to share the contents of the email I got from this leader and ask you to comment on it:


The Bible is the Bible and if Mr. Warren quotes it, then that part is great. There are some areas, however, that are gray, or not so clearly stated. He says for instance that "the best translation (interpretation) of the Bible is our application in our own lives." This comment is in his first segment. I question that because it gives way to personal interpretations of the Word of God, and there is only one way of reading it and this comes through revelation of the HOly Spirit to our lives. If I allow for personal interpretations, then the value of the Word is diluted and becomes a public trend more than a Divine Revelation, as it is also revealed tous and to our Pastors when they teach to us His Word.

There is another area that is not clear to us and it deals with the idea of MEDITATION meaning RUMINATING and cows RUMINATING grass as we should be RUMINATING the Word!!? I disagree completely with the comparison. There are other dictionary synonyms for the Word MEDITATION and another one is SPECULATION. Can I say that I can read the Word of /God and SPECULATE? Absolutely not. MEDITATION is to consider the Word of God and soak in it and seek the Lord's face and seek understanding as revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. RUMINATION on the other hand, leads to believe that the Word of God has areas that are good, which are extracted as we 'ruminate' and then move it from one 'spiritual stomach' to another, until we chew the 'cud' out of the Word and send it to either our 'spiritual small intestine' for keeps or our 'spiritual large intestine' and expel it. The Word of God is all good and all truth and need not ruminate in it, but rather ponder it and seek the Lord's face and the revelation of the Spirit of God. I have nothing to do with it, if I ruminate in it, I would be adding my 'own spiritual/human acids' to 'contaminate it.

John, I am a linguist and try to be cautious when I use words. This does not exempt me from being wrong and if I am, I pray to the Lord that He convicts me as we communicate these thoughts.

Whether this is a 'new trend' or not, we need to make sure that the Gospel is preached as it should be preached.



 2012/2/6 18:04Profile

 Re: Rick Warren - 40 days in the Word

The following article is but one of many that examine the teaching of Rick Warren.

by David Cloud

Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, pastored by Rick Warren, is one of the most influential churches in the world. Warren says, “This is a world class church making a world class impact.” He is right about the impact, but sadly that impact is not encouraging strict faithfulness to God’s Word.

Saddleback is associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, but Warren’s “Purpose Driven” philosophy has spread to most denominations. Called by Christianity Today “America’s most influential pastor,” Warren’s influence is vast. He has taught 300,000 pastors through his church growth seminars and far more through his books and videos. His influence reaches into every sphere of Christianity today, from Catholicism, to liberal Protestantism, to evangelicalism, to fundamentalist Bible and Baptist churches. His latest book, The Purpose-Driven Life, has sold 4.5 million copies.

Many independent Baptist churches are being influenced by Warren’s teaching. Rick Warren and Jerry Falwell (who affiliates both with the Southern Baptist Convention and the Bible Baptist Fellowship) are partnering for a Purpose-Driven “SuperConference” in October. It will be held on the campus of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Simultaneously, a Rick Warren 40 Days of Purpose campaign will be shown by telecast in more than 4,000 churches, including Falwell’s church.

I visited two of the three morning services at Saddleback on August 24, the one at 8 a.m. and the one at 9:45 a.m. The church complex is huge. The main auditorium seats many thousands, and there are dozens of other buildings for various ministries. The overall mood of the services is casual in the extreme. The people dress much as they would for a secular sporting event. Women are dressed in shorts, short skirts, tight pants, and other types of immodest attire. The church bulletin for that Sunday was patterned after the cover to the TV Guide. The words “TV Guide” were replaced with “SC Guide” for Saddleback Church. Television was mentioned several times in the message but there was not a hint of warning about its dangers.

The music was pure rock and roll. There were five singers, two electric guitars, a drum kit, an electric keyboard, 2 saxophones, a piano, trumpet, trombone, and flute. Three special numbers were performed with a pure nightclub effect, complete with swirling lights in the background and attractive female singers swaying and dancing to the music. It appeared to me that not many of the people were actually participating in the worship service. Most were merely watching the show up front.

The message, which was titled “The Potential of a Single Life,” was a witty, motivational challenge to single people to dedicate themselves to God. Rick Warren said, “You are as happy as you choose to be. … You can waste your life on vanities, spend your life on yourself, and invest your life for God.” Mother Teresa was used as an example with no warning about her false gospel. There was no specific mention of the hard things of God’s Word such as sin, separation, judgment, hell, or repentance. These were replaced with general and vague references to biblical truth. No clear gospel message was given. Some of the things that were stated were good, but the error lay chiefly in what was not stated. This is the hallmark of New Evangelicalism, which is characterized not so much by the heresy that is preached but by the truth that is neglected in an effort to present the Bible in a more positive light.

Everything about Saddleback is shallow. Truth has been boiled down to such a low common denominator that not much is left. For example, the Saddleback Statement of Faith has six simple points. Note the following statement on salvation, which we are quoting in full:

“Salvation is a gift from God to mankind. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can we be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our life by faith.”

Note that the gospel is not actually given in this statement. There is nothing about Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, nothing about His shed blood and atonement. Sinners are exhorted to trust Christ but that is not explained in any sense whatsoever.

I talked with one man who told me he has been a member of Saddleback for two years. I asked him when he was born again. He replied, “I have always been a Christian. I grew up in the Christian Church.” By that he was referring to the Disciples of Christ, which preaches baptismal regeneration. He said that his mother took him to church, though his father was a Buddhist. I asked him what he was required to do to join Saddleback, and he replied that he “rededicated” his life at that time. I asked him if that was when he was born again, and he insisted again that he has always been a Christian.

An outline of the sermon was handed out with the bulletin, and six or seven versions were quoted, most of them paraphrases such as the Living Bible, the New Living Translation, The Message, the Today’s English Version, and the Contemporary English Version. I observed on the way into the auditorium that only a few of the people carried Bibles, and the reason became clear when I saw the multiplicity of versions that were used in the preaching. It would have been impossible to have followed 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.

(See What kind of message is The Message?)

In an interview with USA Today that ran in the July 21, 2003 issue, Rick Warren cites Billy Graham, the king of ecumenical “positive onlyism,” as his model. Warren says: “I’m not going to get into a debate over the non-essentials. I won’t try to change other denominations. Why be divisive?” [Also See True and False Unity]

Since Mr. Warren has asked his question, I will answer it.

The reason we need to be divisive is because God has commanded us to preach all of His Word and to “reprove, rebuke, exhort” (2 Tim. 4:2). The emphasis in 2 Timothy 4 is as much “negative” as “positive.” That is the preacher’s divine standard.

God has commanded us not only to believe sound doctrine but also to earnestly contend for it (Jude 3). That means we are to fight aggressively against that which is false. This is exactly what we see in the uncompromising ministry of the Lord’s apostles. Their epistles contain strong and clear warnings about false teaching. Paul often named the names of the false teachers. Such a ministry naturally causes divisions between those who are committed to the truth and those who are following error. Paul made no effort whatsoever to avoid doctrinal controversy.

See Thou Shalt Not Judge and The Christian and Knowledge on THIS Page

The apostasy of our time is much advanced in comparison with that of the days of the apostles (2 Tim. 3:1-13; 4:3-4). The Holy Spirit warned that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13). That is the story of church history. The apostasy that was just beginning in the days of the first churches grew quickly as the centuries passed, eventually producing the Roman Catholic Church, and it has continued to grow and spread throughout the age. The Bible warns that just prior to the return of Christ, the apostasy will be almost complete.

Thus preachers today are obligated to be even more aggressive and more divisive, if you will, than the apostles! See Power From The Pulpit

That, Rick Warren, is why we should be divisive, and you will give an account at the judgment seat of Christ for promoting your unscriptural “positive-only, avoid divisiveness” emphasis. And in that day the Word of God will wash away the strong wall of church growth philosophy that you have built up to defend your methodology and by which you have duped so many.

I believe this with all of my heart. And I weep over the damage that is being caused to the churches of Jesus Christ by a methodology that is breaking down the wall of separation between God’s people and the world but that is doing it under the guise of holiness and love for the truth. This philosophy of rejecting strict scriptural separation destroyed Israel of old and it will destroy every church that goes down the same road.

Our day is described plainly in Bible prophecy:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

This generation has itching ears, and it will not hear the preaching of God’s Word that plainly rebukes its sin and forthrightly condemns its heresies; but it eagerly hears -- yea, flocks in droves to hear -- those soft-speaking teachers that are willing to be non-divisive and tickle ears with a positive-only, non-offensive message. The same generation that hates the uncompromising, plain-spoken, “old time” fundamentalist-style preaching, dearly loves the preaching of the Billy Grahams and the Rick Warrens and the Robert Schullers.

Rick Warren claims that he has not compromised the Word of God with his principles and methods, that he has only modernized them; but when I look into the book of Acts and the Epistles I see a different kind of Christianity, a different kind of church there, than the one that Rick Warren has devised. Thus I must reject Warren’s Purpose Driven methods and I must warn those who have an ear to hear, regardless of how small that crowd may be, that they not heed the siren call of the contemporary church growth gurus.

It is fearful that this church is influencing thousands around the world.

 2012/2/6 19:01

Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


hi, this article writen by a man noone is talking about because of what he has done carries more weight for you than a ministry that is trying to turn the world upside down. this ministry has made many mistakes for those who do not make mistakes are not doing anything to make mistakes. why don't we write an article like this: jimp is a man who as a youth fought for his sanity every day because he was tormented by demonic activity and was arrested many times but because his grandfather was mayor of that city he sas raised in and his father was a police officer he never went to prison. he married and had children and the demonic attacks continued so that his wife left him and went to her home in new orleans. jimp never met anyone who claimed to be a christian and was never told the gospel. he moved to new orleans and reunited with his wife and went to work next to the new orleans bapt. sem. for a year i was witnessed to every day.and one day i knocked on the door of bob harrington aka the chaplain of bourbon street.. i received Jesus into my life that day... ending up auditing classes ath the sem. and going into the ministry where i lost my mothers fellowship for years and my wife for leaving the catholic church. i have backslid and been annointed remarried anddivorced more than once and sit here typing fully in love with Jesus.the Lord has used me to lead hundreds to salvation and the baptism in the Holy Spirit and many healing miracles and other miracles have happened in my life but i sit here typing as a failure to do the full will of the Lord in my life. i have walked with great men and realize that i am a total failure for all the things done stupidly by me in my life and without the mercy of the Lord i am nothing. i am now old and resting in the love of Jesus and His mercy and have no right to critisize anyone else.jimp

 2012/2/6 19:42Profile


""trying to turn the world upside down""

That's an understatement.

Do we understand what "Reconstructionism or Dominionism" is?

The internet has something we've never had before. A Search engine to research any man, on any issue or belief that they may have.

Search engines can be a spiritual life saver.

 2012/2/7 8:26


Can you at least praise God that R. Warren is encouraging people to get into the word. If they get into the scriptures then their lives will be transformed.

Blaine Scogin

 2012/2/7 9:02

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


Search engines cannot search the heart. Not defending anyone.

Just need to keep in perspective that search engines are not omniscient.

 2012/2/7 9:03Profile


churinga... Anyone who has been here for any length of time understands that I am not a Rick Warren fan or of his books, teachings, methods, etc. In fact, I consider him to be a heretic. Much for the same reasons that are mentioned in the article you posted by David Cloud.

I cant fault Mr. Warren for encouraging people to dig into the Word for 40 days. My question would be, “Why stop at 40??”. Perhaps Mr. Warren will read scripture and be transformed, who knows?

But on the flip side, I would caution you about David Cloud too. I was big on David Cloud a few years ago until I had some personal interactions with him. I wrote him an email asking a few innocent questions about something he had written, asking for more clarification of what he was trying to say, and to my shock his response was over the top. He accused me of personally attacking him, hating him, being of my father the devil, etc. I was convinced he read someone else’s email and got mine and another person’s mixed up. But no, that was not the case.

So I attempted to clarify that I was in no way trying to attack him, I had some honest questions about something and thought he could HELP me understand. He again responded with an incredibly arrogant and abusive email, again accusing me of all manner of evil hearted intent.

He even went so far as to end his email by writing out for me how an apology from me to him should be worded for even attempting to “correct” him… (even tho I was not trying to correct him! I was trying to understand him!)

I tried to just end the conversation and give up, but he continued for THREE days sending me 2 and 3 sentence emails with snide insulting comments. It was close to being harassment. I finally blocked him from emailing me.

I then proceeded to google and see if others have ever had similar experiences with him. Perhaps I caught him on a bad month or something. Come to find out… HUNDREDS of people have had similar experiences with him. I was just one more in a VERY long line.

I can tell you from experience that David Cloud is an arrogant, mean-spirited, prideful and hateful man… who claims he loves people. He has a funny way of showing it.

Beware of David W. Cloud.


 2012/2/7 9:19

Joined: 2010/5/17
Posts: 1175


Can you at least praise God that R. Warren is encouraging people to get into the word. If they get into the scriptures then their lives will be transformed.

Yes! And maybe they'll realize that the stuff they're reading doesn't line up with the stuff that Mr. Warren preaches, writes, and advocates. I can see some good coming out of it as well.

 2012/2/7 9:28Profile

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


This is a strange statement.

“This is a world class church making a world class impact.”

What does "world class" mean in this context? Choreography is perfect, band is professional, singers are world class? I don't know. Just strange.

 2012/2/7 9:32Profile

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


Yes! And maybe they'll realize that the stuff they're reading doesn't line up with the stuff that Mr. Warren preaches, writes, and advocates. I can see some good coming out of it as well.

That does happen. Many here can attest to the fact that once they started reading their Bible, they then started seeking the Lord and He began to speak to them and open up the Scriptures to them which eventually caused them to make changes in their lives.

 2012/2/7 9:34Profile

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