By Paul Proctor
June 23, 2004
If I have learned anything about human nature in my near half century here on planet earth, it is that a lie is acceptable, even pleasing to our ears, if it is what our heart wants to hear. The truth is, our ears love sweet lies as much as our tongues love sugar. It is why Eve took of the forbidden fruit and why you and I, her offspring, are so inclined to indulge in them whenever we stray from the Lord and His Word.
Like all addictions, we tend to underestimate or disregard the hold sweet lies can have on us until some unfortunate incident occurs forcing us to face reality. I didn’t realize how much a slave to sugar I was until I began a low carb diet last year that allowed for little or none. After a couple of days, I was so sick that I couldn’t even hold water down. Not experiencing any fever or other flu-like symptoms, I finally came to the conclusion that it was, in all probability, my body reacting violently to the abrupt absence of that treasured sweetener I had ingested all of my life.
Believing the sweet lie of sugar, I went from wanting something desirable yet destructive, to needing something desirable and destructive – and in greater and greater quantities. The more sugar I ate, the more I wanted. The more sugar I wanted, the more I ate; all the while dismissing the damage it was doing to my body.
It is no different with words. Once we contemplate sweet lies and then partake of them, we become, over time, increasingly dependent on them to get us through the day and maintain the same level of satisfaction. Suffice it to say; entertaining sweet lies is a slippery slope; which is why we are commanded in scripture, time and again, to avoid anyone who repeatedly adds to, subtracts from or contradicts God’s Word.
“A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject” – Titus 3:10
And, as many reading this can attest to; discovering suddenly, the bitter truth about someone you loved and trusted who had you on a steady diet of sweet lies, is like coming off any other addiction, cold turkey. It too can, for a time, leave you feeling extremely ill.
For this reason, many often can’t bring themselves to face the facts, even when the truth is right before their eyes. They know that accepting that truth comes with much pain and the embarrassment of admitting they were played for a fool. Like a hopeless addict, they’d rather remain wrapped in the velvet chains of illusion than struggle down the streets of sobriety a free man. But, only then can we truly appreciate the company of our Blessed Lord and Savior. (Psalm 23)
Liars come in all forms. To their own undoing, Christians and conservatives today tend to believe that the most dangerous liars are the loudmouth liberals they eagerly contend with on a daily basis, when in fact, the deadliest snake is the viper that has no rattlers who blends in with his surroundings. It is the snake you don’t hear – the one you don’t notice – the one quietly curled up next to your feet, that poses the greatest peril.
This should explain why I don’t waste much time railing against liberals and stating the obvious in this column. Day after day, I skim over countless articles online by Christians and conservatives going on and on about all the liberal rattlesnakes shaking their tails high up on the hill, unaware of the conservative copperhead in their own bedroll.
Just as liars come in all forms, so do lies. And again, to their own undoing, Christians and conservatives tend to believe that the most lethal lies come from the fangs of angry liberals spraying their godless toxins from outside the church’s door, when in fact, the most noxious venom is frequently found on the lips of those with whom we share the communion cup. And, the tendency is to believe that it is the negative lies shouted from our enemies camp that cause us the greatest harm, when in fact, it is the positive poison, those sweet lies uttered around our own campfire, that can ravage a soul.
On September 25th, 2002, Erin Curry reported in The Baptist Press that Rick Warren said his goal for writing The Purpose Driven Life was to “help people develop a heart for the world” – not a heart for God or a heart for evangelism or even a heart for the lost, but “A HEART FOR THE WORLD.” Millions of sugar addicts from every denomination took the bait and popped his delicious candy into their mouths to savor its sweetness, forgetting scripture’s dire warning about loving the world.
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" -- 1st John 2:15-17
I warned my readers on October 3rd, 2002 in an article entitled, “The Purpose Driven Lie.” Of course, a few sugar addicts wrote in spewing their angry objections because I had contaminated the candy they craved with acerbic scriptures, spoiling the sweetness of Warren’s offering. “How could you cast dispersions on such a humble and loving pastor who speaks to my heart?” they asked. “And, tell me sir, just how many souls have YOU saved?”
So, instead of comparing Warren’s words to God’s Word, the sugar addicts did exactly what religious relativists do; they compared me to him, using a self-made soul winner’s scorecard of ecclesiastical accomplishments.
“…but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” – 2 Corinthians 10:12b
I tried to explain that just because someone is numbered among Warren’s many followers, it does not mean his or her name is in the Book of Life. If someone has received a false gospel and a false Christ from a false prophet, they have received a false salvation, as well. Though pragmatic preachers and their sacred scorekeepers rush to tally them among the “reached,” scripture reminds us:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” – Matthew 7:21-23
The faithful are not to tolerate such farce, even though most of us in the postmodern church do. This was one of the Apostle Paul’s greatest concerns; something that goes largely ignored in the pulpit today for the sake of tolerance, diversity and unity.
“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” – 2nd Corinthians 11:4
My point is this; just because a tree bears much fruit, that doesn’t mean its fruit is good. If the tree is bad; so is its fruit. This renders all of the surveying, polling and assessing that CGM leaders are fond of, an exercise in futility.
Many pastors believe the Purpose Driven lie because it is what they WANT to believe. They see and hear the stirring stories and staggering statistics and are envious, often peer-pressured into participating. Some give in and take the bait in a desperate attempt to try and raise revenue in a hurry because the church’s numbers are down and debt has become a growing concern, adding to a string of poor choices that, at one time, may have seemed wise but weren’t in keeping with scripture.
And, once they join the apostasy, they NEED to believe it because their reputation and ego are now at stake and the flock is watching. And it’s all because they willingly exchanged the Word of God for the words of Warren and others like him, assuming their fruit was good, since there was so much of it.
“Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” – Matthew 7:17-18
And, just for the record, lest there be any confusion, we should remember that where Paul lists “the fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22; there is no mention of soul winning or church growth – point being; not every believer is a great soul winner, nor has God gifted every Christian or church to be such. To teach or imply that we are is to devilishly direct one’s focus away from humble obedience to humanistic outcomes – the type of social engineering inspired by transformational Marxists – now hidden behind a Christian veneer.
In keeping with his Purpose Driven agenda to “reach” 15,000 additional churches this year, Rick Warren is now inviting pastors everywhere to join him for a weekly conference call to share the numerous “success” stories of his 40 Days of Purpose program, (compare themselves among themselves) that they might, in turn, begin teaching their flocks from the new RWV bible called The Purpose Driven Life and partake of its sweetness. But, does the end justify the means?
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” – Proverbs 14:12
Many young couples discover to their dismay that they are unable to bear children. Some accept it as God’s will and move on with their lives. Others compassionately seek to adopt unwanted children and in doing so, mirror the very love and grace that grafts a number of the world’s discards into the family of God.
But there are still others who, in their arrogance and rebellion, ignore God’s sovereign will and set out on their own to get the children they want, when they want them, the way that they want them. So, they buy or steal the offspring of others for a variety of disturbing reasons.
And, there are homosexuals who try and adopt children because they cannot reproduce with the partner they’ve chosen; at least not in the manner God designed. Soon, we may even be able to clone the children we desire and ignore God’s plan and purpose altogether; this after decades of aborting millions of children we DIDN’T want.
This is what the church growth movement represents to me – Wolves cloning sheep for their own purpose and pleasure; teaching and applying psychological formulas and devices concocted out worldly wisdom, human imagination and personal experience, without regard to God’s sovereign Word and will; growing the church artificially, like stem cells in a Petri dish, to try and obtain carnally what God has denied them spiritually; all for a utopian vision they blasphemously call “The Kingdom of God.”
“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it…” – Psalm 127:1
Rick Warren book calls Christians to seek a ‘Purpose Driven Life’
Rick Warren: ‘Join me for a conference call’
© 2004 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved
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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print. Paul may be reached at email@example.com
Liars come in all forms. To their own undoing, Christians and conservatives today tend to believe that the most dangerous liars are the loudmouth liberals they eagerly contend with on a daily basis, when in fact, the deadliest snake is the viper that has no rattlers...