GATHERING OR SCATTERING?
By Paul Proctor
April 23, 2005
I suppose I should rename this column �The Warren Report,� since so much of my writing time these days seems to be spent rebuking much of the spiritual whiskey he pours his patrons in the name of Christ, rendering them drunk, delusional and unable to distinguish right from wrong, good from evil and sacred from sacrilegious.
Like alcoholics, the more his regulars drink, the thirstier they get; the thirstier they get, the more they drink, until they all begin sounding brilliant to each other and yet silly to the sober souls around them that fear God. Oblivious to His Word and the consequences of their carelessness, most end up laughing, crying, hugging and high-fiving each other while bragging about all of the great things they�re going to do for God, which frankly turns my stomach.
There are, of course many parachurch organizations and movements that have evolved over the years, some new and some not so new, from the Alpha Course, to the Promise Keepers to the Willow Creekers to the Purpose Driven to the Mosaics to the Emerging Church; each with their own set of false prophets and demonic doctrines steadily steering their respective groups into the coming one world religion of tolerance, diversity and unity, having forsaken the Word of God for the seductive will of men in an ancient occult effort to undo the confusion and separation the Lord inflicted upon the world under the rule of Nimrod. Though they are many and varied, they are all related in some way or another and are empowered by the same spirit that the Bible says will emerge in the latter days to make war with God.
There are numerous books, web sites and writers today that address these men and their movements; but for now I will continue to focus on the one that is currently deceiving the greatest number from among my own denomination, Southern Baptist.
On his church�s 25th anniversary, Rick Warren launched what he calls his Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan to �eradicate five giant problems that oppress billions of people� around the world with �five smooth stones of (P) - Planting Churches, (E) - Equipping Leaders, (A) - Assisting the Poor, (G) - Caring for the Sick and (E) - Educating the Next Generation.�
The Baptist Press reported on the event held at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California on April 17th before a crowd of 30,000 Saddleback Church members.
�Billions of people suffer each day from problems so big no government can solve them," said Warren, Saddleback�s pastor. "The only thing big enough to solve the problems of spiritual emptiness, selfish leadership, poverty, disease and ignorance is the network of millions of churches all around the world."
So, we need a �big thing� to solve the worlds problems, huh; or does he consider the Lord to be a large inanimate object? No, I believe he�s just preaching churchianity: salvation by cooperation.
In typical Saddleback style, Warren twists the biblical account of David and Goliath (�five giants and five smooth stones�) into a useful tool of deceit that stirs emotions while teaching the exact opposite of what the Lord intended us to learn; proclaiming that the answer to the world�s "giants" is a �church network,� even though it was a �network� of faithless Israelites who cowed before the great warrior Goliath.
Rather than empowering King Saul and his trembling �network� to bring down the giant, the Lord raised up one small shepherd boy named David, who couldn�t even wear the armor of the king and took no sword with him but only five rocks and something to throw them with as accessories to his fearless faith. The lesson here is, of course, when you go into battle for a righteous cause, it doesn�t matter what weapons you carry or how many of you there are or how trained you are; the only thing that really matters is your faith in God. He and He alone will deliver you in time of need.
So, what is Warren teaching his followers by invoking selective parts of the David and Goliath story to sell his Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan? Here are a few revealing quotes Berit Kjos found in some of Warren�s 40 Days materials that she included in a recent article of hers entitled: Creating Community (Part 2). They will illustrate quite clearly how he uses socialist slogans to teach Laodocian lies.
Warren: "We is more powerful than me.�
Warren: "There is power in partnership.... Evangelism is always a team effort.�
Warren: "There's no such thing as a lone ranger Christian.... We're better together and we belong together.�
Warren: "The Bible says we're better together. We were created for community."
He's Teaching that bigger is better, more is mightier and you can�t win by going it alone using, of all things, the story of a small shepherd boy who single-handedly whipped the Philistines while the Israelites watched in amazement from a nearby hill.
If it hasn�t dawned on you yet, he�s using the Bible to teach humanism or, to put it another way; he�s using truth to frame lies. You know, it�s bad enough that he twists scripture into his own deceitful device; but I find it rather alarming that so many professing Christians cannot see him doing it or don�t care that he does.
According to the Baptist Press, the anniversary event in Anaheim included greetings from President Bush and Billy Graham. This, like many other church celebrity endorsements and appearances, adds a perceived legitimacy to the movement while distracting participants from the unbiblical nature of the man and the plan. Chuck Colson was also there to give Warren his support; but these men, like all Warren supporters, should know that the Bible has stern warnings about strengthening the hand of evildoers.
�Warren used the occasion to announce his vision of a spiritual awakening that would sweep the world as Christian churches tackle the problems that Jesus Himself confronted during His ministry.�
�Go ye therefore and tackle the planet�s problems?� Is that the Great Commission? Did Jesus die on a cross to fix a broken world or deliver us from it? If you�re not sure, you may want to refer to James 4:4 where scripture says: �friendship with of world is enmity with God.�
"The Scripture shows us that Jesus shared the Good News, trained leaders, helped the poor, cared for the sick and taught the children," Warren said. "Our P.E.A.C.E. plan will just do the five things Jesus did while He was here on earth."
So, if you bring good news, train leaders, help the poor, care for the sick and teach children, you are fulfilling the Great Commission? Isn�t that what the U.S. is doing right now overseas, bringing good news, training leaders, helping the poor, caring for the sick and teaching children? Isn�t this also what the United Nations and many of its non-governmental organizations say they�re all about? Isn�t it what liberals, socialists, communists, Marxists, Fascists and every other corrupt leader, regime and revolution throughout history claim they were all about, as well? I�ll bet even Fidel Castro believes he accomplished all these things and more down in Cuba when he took over.
If that�s the case, then what�s the difference between the church and the world? Could it be that something else is being taught amid all the pomp and circumstance of Warren�s grand coming out party? Could it be he is suggesting, ever so subtly, that when it comes right down to it, there really isn�t much difference between the church and the world; that his Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan is just another upgraded form of humanism and socialism, better packaged, better managed and better marketed with better people and better technology all wrapped up in Christmas paper to be presented as his glorious gift to the world?
And, just for the record, Jesus came to preach the Gospel, make disciples, comfort the poor, heal the sick and teach God�s Word to anyone who would listen. If you�ll notice, that�s markedly different from Warren�s P.E.A.C.E. Plan.
Warren: �The emphasis calls for church-based small groups to adopt villages where spiritual emptiness, selfish leadership, poverty, disease and ignorance keep people from experiencing the kind of life God wants them to have��
�Spiritual emptiness, selfish leadership, poverty, disease and ignorance, huh?� We have all of that and more here in the villages of America! If the Purpose Driven Lie isn�t working here (read the latest Barna reports and government stats) what makes him think his P.E.A.C.E. Plan will work in Rwanda or anywhere else in the world? OR, is there another agenda behind the Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan? Draw your own conclusions�
�There are thousands of villages in the world that have no school, no clinic, no business, no government -- but they have a church," Warren said. "What would happen if we could mobilize churches to address those five global giants?"
Is that what Jesus did? �Establish schools, clinics, businesses and governments� in countries that didn�t have them? No, that�s nation building. In fact, its amazing how much his plan sounds like Bush�s plan to import �freedom, democracy and prosperity� to the rest of the world. As I recall, God allegedly gave Bush much the same vision. The only differences I can see between Warren�s plan and Bush�s plan is the way it was funded and the president's use of the military to expedite it all; but, if Warren's Plan qualifies under the guidelines of some future version of Bush�s �Faith Based Initiative" that extends the "hand of compassion" to cover "charitable" endeavors abroad, it may well end up being at least partially funded by U.S. tax dollars; and, why not? These two renowned �Christian� men seem to share many of the same publicly stated goals even though they obviously chose different sectors of society with which to achieve them. But then, it's all about unity, isn't it? Bringing people together...
Let me just say this: There are two types of Marxism: Traditional Marxism and Transformational Marxism; one uses force and weaponry while the other uses flattery and gradualism. One is quick and brutal, the other, slow and seductive.
I am not suggesting that Bush and Warren are Marxists; but I am saying that they use many of the same tactics and strategies Marxists have employed throughout history; and the humanistic values, ambitions, methods and goals they share are certainly not supported by scripture even though they ARE generally supported by the church at large; and I fully expect to see their agendas align publicly along with the agendas of other religious leaders from around the world, including those of the Vatican, in the not-too-distant future. After all, world unity is the goal here and peace and prosperity is the bait; and those leading the charge toward a new world order from the spiritual front to the political front, to the economic front, will admittedly stop at nothing to achieve it. They just can�t say who�ll actually be in charge of it all when it's finally accomplished. That�s OK; the Bible gives us a pretty good idea.
�The P.E.A.C.E. plan will be a "revolution" for global Christianity, Warren told the congregation.�
And you thought all of the hippies, peaceniks and flower children from the 60�s had gone away. Hardly� They�ve just been blending in and waiting around for another sunny opportunity to bloom. Guess what? Its spring and the church grounds are bursting out all over with them; and, believe it or not, many of them have W stickers on their cars!
Assist news reported that before Pastor Warren spoke to the crowd at Angels Stadium, he broke into an impersonation of Jimi Hendrix singing his big hit song, Purple Haze with the help of his church�s band. You know what they say: �Impersonation is the sincerest form of flattery� and Warren is, as many folks know, a frustrated rocker. You remember Jimi, don�t you? the occult led, drug laden guitarist who choked on his vomit after an apparent overdose of illegal drugs a few decades ago? Ah, there�s just no business like show business, is there? Yes sir; give �em what they want and leave them begging for more! I heard the crowd in Anaheim went wild. Go figure�
Warren: "I stand before you confidently right now and say to you that God is going to use you to change the world."
�Change the world?� Isn�t that what John Lennon sang about in his song �Revolution� with Yoko Ono by his side? Are you seeing a pattern here yet? No, you won�t find any directive in the scriptures where Jesus or any of the disciples ever instructed us to �change the world.� In fact, the Bible teaches something completely different:
�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. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.� 1st John 2:15-17
And let�s not forget that back in September of 2002 Warren told the Baptist Press �the goal of The Purpose Driven Life is to help people develop a heart for the world."
Warren: "I'm looking at a stadium full of people who are telling God they will do whatever it takes to establish God's Kingdom 'on earth as it is in heaven.�
So, doing his impersonation of Nimrod, pastor Warren stands before thousands of cheering fans telling GOD what they�re GOING to do. Quite the antithesis of Biblical obedience and humility, wouldn�t you say? Especially since he doesn�t really say what God he is referring to. I was taught that it was intended to be the other way around; that God was supposed to tell US what to do. I guess that�s the price we fundies pay for choosing old-fashioned scripture over new age, help-yourself books like The Purpose Driven Life. In fact, the Old Testament speaks of another individual from long ago who became infamous for his many proud �I wills.� By the way; he also has a plan for a kingdom on Earth.
�How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.� � Isaiah 14:12-15
If you�ll notice in the earlier Warren quote, he also stated that they will do �whatever it takes� to establish God�s Kingdom on Earth. Excuse me, but that�s lawlessness; the only code violent criminals and desperate men recognize. You simply cannot obey the Word of God and do �whatever it takes.� But, those were Pastor Warren�s very words; so again, draw your own conclusions.
And while you�re at it, please tell me; when was the church ever commissioned to establish God�s Kingdom on Earth? Once again, Warren bastardizes scripture by inappropriately tying on a segment of the Lord�s Prayer ("as it is in Heaven") to his own words ("establish God's Kingdom 'on earth") to try and authenticate and accommodate his global agenda. What Jesus actually said in Matthew 6:10 was:
�Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.�
Jesus wasn�t talking about the church building a kingdom on Earth; he was talking about people obeying God on Earth, something we certainly don�t see much of these days, in or out of the sanctuary.
The truth is: Jesus Christ came to DELIVER US FROM this fallen world, not contract us to repair it with church covenants, promises, programs, creativity, imagination, human initiative and dynamic donators. Deliverance is and always has been His Plan for us even though we presently occupy this wretched place in His name. He never told us to build Him a kingdom here or change the world as best we could by doing �whatever it takes.� It is only the spirit of antichrist that desires to "change" this rotting planet into a kingdom.
The Lord is not going to rapture His church out of a world He is changing for the better. Helloooo???? He is not returning to conquer and claim a kingdom built with human hands. God is not remodeling the globe for the new millennium any more than he remodeled the first temple in Jerusalem into the second temple or remodels the lost to look more Christ-like. Ye must be born again! That�s the plan; and the process is not going to be any more peaceful than it ever has been. In fact, in spite of Warren�s grand vision of P.E.A.C.E. it�s going to be a lot like Hell on Earth in the coming days. Whether we realize it or not, in the great hurricane of history, this age of grace we've been enjoying is merely the eye of the storm; and it is quickly passing over us, ready or not.
�For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh...� � 1st Thessalonians 5:3a
The Baptist Press article closes with a couple of amazing questions posed by Warren that speak volumes about his beliefs and the makeup of his movement:
"What will happen if the followers of Jesus say to Him, 'We are yours'?" Warren asked. "What kind of spiritual awakening will occur?"
Apparently, the good reverend doesn�t understand that one is not a follower of Jesus Christ UNTIL he or she has completely surrendered their life to Him. You may be Purpose Driven; but if you are NOT His, you are NOT a follower of Jesus. The only person I�ve ever heard of that followed Jesus and was not His, was Judas Iscariot; and we all know what became of him.
This is why there is so much confusion and prideful disobedience in the Purpose Driven movement because even its leader doesn�t seem to be able to grasp what being a Christian really is. It�s as if he thinks we�re all just a bunch of Starbucks junkies looking for some clever way to make God happy by building Spiritual Supercenters around the world to meet everybody's felt needs with our dreams, visions and filthy rags; when, in reality, we�re only gratifying ourselves.
So, while appearing to be gathering the sheep, he's really only scattering them.
�Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD�Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD�.Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you�I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal� Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.� � Jeremiah 23:1,2b,16, 25-27, 30-32
1 Rick Warren,
At 25-Year Point,
Launches Global Initiative
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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.
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This is why there is so much confusion and prideful disobedience in the Purpose Driven movement because even its leader doesn�t seem to be able to grasp what being a Christian really is.