The Purpose-Driven Church (2007-2008)
See also A purpose-driven seminary for the 21st century church
Rick Warren: "Annoyed" with Critics Serving Two Masters Not Working: "Warren's distaste for fundamentalist Christianity was revealed in January 2006, when a Philadelphia reporter, attending a Saddleback service, stated: 'Warren predicts that fundamentalism, of all varieties, will be 'one of the big enemies of the 21st century.' ... 'Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism - they're all motivated by fear. Fear of each other." In 2005, at the Pew Forum of Religion, Warren told the mostly liberal audience: 'Today there really aren't that many Fundamentalists left.... Now the word 'fundamentalist' actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity." See Fundamentalism and God's eternal, unchanging Word
3-Legged Stool Teetering in Rwanda: "Rwanda is the first 'purpose-driven nation' on Earth, an experiment in the 3-legged stool concept developed and promulgated by the late management guru Peter Drucker. Rick Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan has been using Rwanda as a template for Dominionism. Working hand-in-hand with NGOs, the United Nations, charitable foundations, multinational corporations, and churches, Warren has been trumpeting his 'transformation' of the nation of Rwanda.... [But] 'the evidence seems to be growing that Rwanda is meddling again in Congo’s troubles." See Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan & UN Goals
Saddleback founder Warren driven to expand his reach: "The founder of Saddleback Church, the Lake Forest, Calif., megachurch (22,000 in attendance on Sundays), seems to be in the pulpit one minute, in Washington or Rwanda the next. His work is in every bookstore, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club. Online. On CD. On DVD. Indeed, tell him about any new mode of communication, 'and I'll be there,' he said in a recent interview. The conversation at a Capitol Hill hotel was sandwiched between an event where he presented President Bush with a newly created medal honoring Bush's efforts to combat AIDS and a New York media swing to promote his newest inspirational book/CD....
"The very word 'purpose' is part of the Warren franchise.... The Purpose Driven Life, has sold 30 million copies and financed Warren's ever-expanding goals. These include his civil forums and his international PEACE Coalition (Promoting reconciliation [used to be "Plant Churces"], Equipping servant leaders, Assisting the poor..." See Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan and UN Goals - Part 2
: "According to a press release issued by Rick Warren's media outlet, Rick Warren has formed a partnership with Reader's Digest, which will be launched early next year.... Warren says the Purpose Driven Network began in 1985 and was a service to pastors, but the new Purpose Driven Connection 'will service the general public.' This service will come in the form of a quarterly magazine, The Purpose Driven Connection." See Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan and UN Goals
Rick Warren, Readers Digest Join Forces for New Publication
Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health to honor President George W. Bush on World AIDS Day: "Dr. Rick Warren will present President George W. Bush with the first 'International Medal of PEACE' from the Global PEACE Coalition in recognition of his unprecedented contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS.... The 'International Medal of PEACE' is given... for outstanding contribution toward alleviating the five global giants... including pandemic diseases, extreme poverty.... The Coalition is a network of churches, businesses and individuals cooperating together to solve humanitarian issues through the PEACE Plan." See Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan & UN Goals - Part 1
Rick Warren on his upcoming presidential forum: "Senators Obama and McCain will be appearing August 16 at Saddleback Church in California to take part in a 'Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion' moderated by Pastor Warren.... The two-hour forum is co-sponsored by Warren's Saddleback Church and the liberal social justice group Faith in Public Life, whose board president is Meg Riley, a Unitarian Universalist minister who previously ran the denomination's homosexual advocacy office. The group's board members include other theological liberals, among them a pro-abortion Muslim leader and a Jewish rabbi.
"Warren says he is not troubled that a left-wing advocacy group will be co-sponsoring the forum at his California church. 'Really we just are...co-hosting [the event],' says the pastor. '[T]hey came up with the original idea.'[But that's not what he said in the next link's interview]...
"[Warren] says he does not believe the biblical gospel is compromised when he teams up with non-Christians in efforts to promote the 'common good.'... In convene an interfaith meeting at the church for approximately 30 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders to 'discuss cooperation in projects for the common good of all Americans.'...
"Evangelical pastor Bob DeWaay is author of the book Redefining Christianity ... says Warren wants the ear and influence of any world leader he can get to back his P.E.A.C.E. plan. ... 'Some years ago he was already saying that this P.E.A.C.E. plan didn't need Christians necessarily to work.'" See God's Way versus Our ways
McCain and Obama Agree to Attend Megachurch Forum: "Rick Warren has persuaded the candidates to attend a forum at his Saddleback Church... on Aug. 16. In an interview, Mr. Warren said over the weekend that the presidential candidates would appear together for a moment but that he would interview them in succession at his megachurch.... 'I’ve known both the guys for a long time, they’re both friends of mine, and I knew them before they ran for office, so I just called them up.'”See The Emerging Global 'Church'
Conference Alert: Lead Like Jesus Revolution: "Best known for his One Minute Manager top seller, Blanchard professes to have become a Christian in the late 1980s. However, he has been promoting and endorsing books, authors, practices, and organizations, which have an eastern religion emphasis, consistently for over twenty years.... A recent example is a book titled Little Wave and Old Swell, in which the author of the book says it is 'inspired by Hindu swami Paramahansa Yogananada.' Blanchard also sits on the board of advisors for a New Age group called The Hoffman Institute.....Blanchard, who will be co-hosting the CCN Lead Like Jesus event with John Ortberg, is considered a leading influencer in today's Christian world at large. ... CCN represents today's most popular Christian figures: Beth Moore, T.D. Jakes... Rick Warren, Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren, and Erwin McManus." See Equipping Leaders to 'Lead like Jesus'? and Teachers who mislead the flock
Gays seek dialogue with Saddleback Church: "Finch and other families in the gay community will gather at Saddleback Church, part of an effort to initiate dialogue with mega-church congregations across the nation about religious attitudes toward homosexuality. Members of the project — The American Family Outing — have visited five other such congregations so far. This is their last stop in an effort that began in May.... Jeff Lutes, executive director of Soulforce — a gay rights advocacy group that organized the project — said the issue of homosexuality has divided the American faith community. ... Lutes said Christian literature talks about homosexuality in a very theological way that tends to dehumanize the gay community." See Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan, Part 3 and Why "Hate crime" laws would ban Biblical Christianity
Rick Warren and 1,700 leaders launch The Peace Coalition at Purpose Driven Summit: “A number of magazines including ‘TIME,' 'Christianity Today,' 'Reader’s Digest,' 'REV,' 'The Christian Post' and 'Outreach,' were allowed to attend the by-invitation-only summit and witness the birth of the P.E.A.C.E. Coalition." See The Emerging Global 'Church'
An Invitation and A Response: "Hi Ingrid, On behalf of Pastor Rick Warren, I would like to personally invite you to attend this years Purpose Driven Church Gathering (May 20-22) at our wonderful campus in Lake Forest, California. Pastor Rick would not only like to invite you, but pay for you to come out and spend three days with this group of national and global leaders. We are anticipating close to 2,000 leaders will gather to learn from our guest speakers.... Sincerely, Erik Rees, Saddleback Church....
[Ingrid's response] "Dear Erik, I am in receipt of your invitation offering an all-expenses paid trip to Saddleback’s worship conference. I cannot accept your invitation. In the world of live church webcasts, book publishers, websites and so on, it is no longer necessary to travel to see a church to understand what it is all about.... One of your speakers, Pastor Mark Batterson, recently referred readers on his website to the writings of New Age teacher, Eckhart Tolle, featured by Oprah Winfrey. He said that Tolle’s book, Practicing the Power of Now, was instrumental in the way he thought about life.... Also featured... is Pastor Jentezen Franklin. ... who featured a Michael Jackson Thriller dance on his church platform at a Halloween-themed service, complete with a haunted house set-up on stage....
"Additionally, you have Pastor Mark Driscoll... and I’m not about to subject myself to his disobedient use of coarse jesting in the name of ministry. It does not comport with the Scripture’s requirements for conduct in the office of the ministry. Pastor Mark Beeson of Granger Community Church will also be there... [He] claims personal responsibility for the sex-sermon-campaigns by churches across the nation. These campaigns have brought complaints even from the unregenerate who are sick of their children getting hit with lewd materials in public places. Any pastor who is responsible for this kind of filth has nothing to share on the subject of worshiping our holy God." See Forgetting "the fear of God"
Wired - 2008 Saddleback Small Group Conference: "Prepare your church for spiritual growth and connectivity If you're looking to build a healthy, growing church, mark your calendar... You won't hear vague theories and 'what ifs'--you'll get Saddleback's own proven small groups model and strategy for plugging in new members and creating disciples that are prepared for ministry. This year's plenary speakers are: Rick Warren, Leonard Sweet...." See Small Groups and the Dialectic Process and read about Leonard Sweet's New Age beliefs here: Leonard Sweet
See Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan & UN Goals
Megachurch Pastor Rick Warren Visits Rwanda: "The P.E.A.C.E. plan is an attempt to mobilize 1 billion Christians to attack the five global giants of our day.... "P" stands for promote reconciliation; "E" for equip servant leaders; "A" for assist the poor....
"'This week we are launching a Biblical way of living in Rwanda...' Warren said to nearly 20,000 people gathered in the hot African sun.....
"[Rwanda's President Kagame:] "What is unique about this initiative is that the P.E.A.C.E. plan combines the talent and energy from three sectors of society - public, private and faith... This model can be replicated.... More importantly, more Rwandans of faith need to adopt this mindset."
See Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 4: Dealing with Resisters>
Banned From Church: "On a quiet Sunday morning in June... Pastor Jason Burrick grabbed his cellphone and dialed 911.... Half an hour later, 71-year-old Karolyn Caskey, a church member for nearly 50 years who had taught Sunday school and regularly donated 10% of her pension, was led out by a state trooper and a county sheriff's officer. One held her purse and Bible. The other put her in handcuffs....
"The charge was trespassing, but Mrs. Caskey's real offense, in her pastor's view, was spiritual. Several months earlier, when she had questioned his authority, he'd charged her with spreading 'a spirit of cancer and discord' and expelled her from the congregation.... Her story reflects a growing movement among some conservative Protestant pastors to bring back church discipline..."
"Shortly after the church hired Mr. Burrick in 2005... Mrs. Caskey asked him to appoint a board of deacons to help govern the church, a tradition outlined in the church's charter. Mr. Burrick said the congregation was too small.... Mrs. Caskey pressed the issue at the church's quarterly business meetings and began complaining that Mr. Burrick was not following the church's bylaws. 'She's one of the nicest, kindest people I know,' says friend and neighbor Robert Johnston...."
Purpose-Driven Church. Betrayal of Christ by Christian leaders continues: "...instead of sharing Christ with his Jewish audience, Pastor Warren shared 'tips on how to build a community?' The article went on to say this about Warren's visit: The 'Purpose-Driven" pastor spoke to thousands of Jewish leaders Thursday night at the Union for Reform Judaism's biennial convention in San Diego. With the holiday season in mind, Warren urged clergy to take advantage of crowded events to publicize other programs so people can get involved in the community through smaller groups.
"OK - I'm confused - We have a Christian pastor addressing a Jewish audience - so which holiday are they talking about here - or does it even matter?... After Warren spoke a few minutes at the podium, he sat alongside two popular Southern California rabbis for a casual talk about strengthening congregational life.
"What? Jesus Christ rose from the dead and this 'Christian' pastor talks casually to rabbis about 'strengthening congregational life' around the synagogue? There is no life apart from Jesus Christ!" See Purpose-Driven Deception
Postmodern spirituality & Global PEACE Plan. First-Ever Saddleback AIDS Youth Summit: "...more than 5,000 teens participated in the event, including more than 4,100 via satellite uplink to 200 locations in 35 states and Canada. Related activities included a kick-off concert Friday evening by Disney musical sensation Jordan Pruitt and a high-flying motocross demonstration by Riders for Christ.... 'Nothing has taken so many lives and is so incurable as AIDS,' Dr. Rick Warren said....
"First Daughter Jenna Bush shared her experiences in Panama working for UNICEF ....'You are probably asking yourself how can I make a difference, what can I possibly do?' Ms. Bush continued. '...First, get educated on HIV/AIDS and know the difference between myths and facts. Then start a dialogue with your friends and families and at school. But the most important thing you can do is to protect yourself and others.'"
With condoms? What about sharing God's warnings concerning promiscuity? Apparently, that's too offensive. See Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan - Whom do we serve?
Global Summit on AIDS and the Church: "The HIV/AIDS initiative of Saddleback Church is a key part of the P.E.A.C.E. plan, an overarching humanitarian strategy launched three years ago. This goal of this worldwide effort is to mobilize one billion church members to Promote Reconciliation, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick and Educate the next generation....
"This year's conference features more than 90 speakers.... Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., is the first candidate to accept an invitation extended to the presidential frontrunners to address the Summit attendees. Video messages are forthcoming from Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Barack Obama, D-Ill., John Edwards, D-N.C., and former Govs. Mike Huckabee (R) and Mitt Romney (R)....
"Following the Global Summit, the first-ever Youth Summit will take place... with video messages from Bono... and a personal appearance by First Daughter Jenna Bush." See The Emerging Global 'Church'
Sen. Clinton first to confirm participation at [Rick Warren's] Global Summit on AIDS: "The HIV/AIDS initiative of Saddleback Church is a key part of the P.E.A.C.E. plan, an overarching humanitarian strategy launched three years ago. This worldwide effort is to mobilize 1 billion church members to Promote Reconciliation, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick and Educate the next generation....
"'I commend Rick and Kay Warren for their work to fight HIV/AIDS,' Clinton said. 'Our churches have a powerful role to play in raising the consciousness of the nation and the world to this pandemic and urge compassion for the sick and the suffering. When we come together, seeking the common good, we can find solutions to our biggest challenges and reinforce our faith [not in God, but] that a call to action can change lives." See Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan & UN Goals - Part 1
Speakers at this Global Summit on AIDS and the Church
Five Tools to Develop Spiritual Maturity - Saddleback Style: "1. Commitment cards.... 2. Classes. -Well, that’s not bad - but wait, there’s more! These classes are based on Warren’s redefined five purposes of the church! 3. Covenants. So the New Covenant Christ made with his blood is not enough - we need more! By the way, didn’t Jesus say something against making vows and to just let ‘yes’ mean ‘yes’? 4. Small Groups. Because we can’t grow spiritually by ourselves. True, but… well I’ll get to that in a moment. 5. Campaigns - as in spiritual growth campaigns....
"Notice anything odd about the above list?... 1. Not one of Warren’s five tools of spiritual growth are prescribed in the Bible!... 2. The omission of God. All the tools center on man and what he can do." Spiritual Gifts and Community Service
The Lord’s Day at Saddleback San Clemente: "Saddleback’s satellite church in San Clemente hosted an event for the community yesterday.... [Slideshow] A tanning booth, an energy drink promotional display, video game tents, BMX bikers, yes, it was Sunday at Saddleback. Secular L.A. rock station Star 98.7 even showed up so that the sounds of Red Hot Chile Peppers and Madonna could be heard on the wind." See Unity and Community
Warren’s Spin Doctor Tells Half-Truths About the CFR to Save Warren’s Face: "In case you were not aware, Rick Warren has retained the services of a Media/PR spin doctor. (Since when do Pastors need spin doctors??). His name is Mark Kelly and he writes a blog that is dedicated to cleaning up Warren’s media image. Mark has a new piece on this blog designed to dispel any controversy regarding Warren’s membership in the Council on Foreign Relations. Mark employs two very interesting tactics in his piece. The first tactic is ad hominem attack. The second is half-truths about the CFR’s global agenda." See Purpose-Driven Deception and The Revolutionary Roots of the UN
CNN Live: What Would Jesus Really Do? "MARTIN: Jesus, of course, lives in the spirit but if he was walking this earth today, what would Jesus be focusing on? What would be his agenda?
"WARREN: I have no doubt about it that 23 Jesus were here today, he'd be hanging out with people who have HIV/AIDS. There's no doubt in my mind about that because they are the lepers of the 21st century.... Jesus hung out with people who had leprosy in those days.... In Luke chapter 4, he gives his agenda and it's basically I'm going to meet the needs of the people around me."
Jesus' main purpose for coming was to die for our sins. But on the way to the cross, he did heal lepers and give sight to the blind. While He forgave the adulteress, He also called her to repentance: “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:11) To suggest He "hung out" with homosexuals or others who chose to continue in sin makes a mockery of His hatred for sin and His call to holiness: 'Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) See The Emerging Global 'Church'
Rick Warren and Purpose-Driven Strife: "Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California may be the best-known pastor on the planet... He says he has trained 400,000 pastors worldwide to start purpose-driven churches.... But Warren's 'outside in' approach to church growth is now causing rumblings. This past fall, The Wall Street Journal published an article titled 'Purpose driven' methods divide: Some evangelicals object to 'Madison Avenue' marketing of churches that follow author's advice.'... Is the purpose-driven method simplifying Christianity in exchange for church growth?
"Warren said that if some churches may suffer as a result of applying some of those principles, then 'that's the price.'… When asked if he thinks that some of these splits are actually because Christians themselves are indulgent and refusing to change, Warren said, 'Oh, without a doubt.' And when asked if he blames them, he replied, "I do blame them."See The Emerging Global Church
Purpose-Driven Confusion. The ABCs of Rick Warren: "I guess it helps to have powerful friends at The Council on Foreign Relations.... What about those who have been thrown out of their churches over him and his programs? Warren said that if some churches may suffer as a result of applying some of those principles, then 'that's the price.' Let me see if I've got this straight: Suffering for Rick's PDL principles is a good thing? 'Every church has to make the decision.… Is it going to live for itself, or is it going to live for the world that Jesus died for?" Jesus died so we could 'live for the world?' Is that your gospel, Rick?"See Purpose-Driven Deception and God's purpose for us
The spiritual spokesman: "PR man A. Larry Ross has a new client in Rick Warren and a new mission: 'to influence the influencers.'... Ross' client list includes Mel Gibson... T.D. Jakes and, most notably, the Rev. Billy Graham....
Since the launch of the PEACE plan last year, Warren and his team have engaged in a public-relations campaign remarkable for its strategic cultivation of the world's famous and influential – all in the name, Warren says, of promoting the message of Christ.... " [In contrast, Jesus sought those who were needy, humble, repentant and longing for freedom from sin.]
'"The numbers are the influencers,' Chrzan says. 'We'll decide to go to a meeting where there are 25 CEOs and one or two billionaires. That's a pretty hefty meeting....
"Ross has traveled the world with Warren, helping to manage both his media relations... (Ross intervened earlier this year when a Saddleback staffer tried to ask The Orange County Register to sign a document limiting the scope of its reporting on the church.)...
"Such an expressed pursuit of publicity has occasionally elicited squirms among even Warren's professional associates. Some expressed... a concern about his style, which they say runs counter to a Christian tradition of modesty. Warren is known for peppering his interviews and speeches with celebrity names and events. In one interview with the Register, Warren mentioned encounters with actor John Cusack, U2's Bono, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.... Warren's 'friendly' critics declined to speak on the record, fearing repercussions to their career...." See Purpose-Driven Deception
Body-Count Evangelism: "Here’s something Warren wrote for the Mar. 16, 2004, Leadership Journal:
'Three key responsibilities of every pastor are to discern where (and how) God’s Spirit is moving in our culture and time, prepare your congregation for that movement, and cooperate with it to reach people Jesus died for. I call it ’surfing spiritual waves’ in The Purpose Driven Church, and it’s the reason Saddleback has grown to 23,500 on weekends in 24 years…. You don’t criticize a wave; you just ride it as best you can. When Mel Gibson showed me his film, The Passion of The Christ, last year, I…knew a huge wave—a spiritual tsunami—would hit when the film debuted on February 25 , and we began praying and preparing to surf it.'
"When I read this passage, I was taken aback. The celebrity name dropping, the appeal to size as an indication of God’s blessing, the propagation of an extra-biblical theory (”spiritual waves ”) as a sign of God’s working, the pre-emptive strike against critics – these are heresies and logical fallacies pervasive in the evangelical church today, all rolled into a single paragraph. Warren continues:
“We booked 47 theater screens for members to take their lost friends to. Kay and I personally invited over a thousand lost community leaders of Orange County to a VIP premiere showing, including every mayor, congressman, superintendent of schools, other community leaders, and four billionaires. The results? Over 600 unchurched community leaders attended our VIP showing; 892 friends of members were saved during the two-week sermon series. Over 600 new small groups were formed, and our average attendance increased by 3,000. [That may not be true, according to this article] That’s catching a wave!'"
Bill Gates Fund$ Rick Warren: "Bill Gates is funding Rick Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan.... The two men have been in the same places at the same time, working on the same things in Africa. So it seemed inevitable that there would be an outpouring of funds."
Conservatives for Change: (The overriding purpose is "measurable results" -- ie growth) "...the Laws and Standards Committee of the Conservative Jewish movement sought to address the Jewish status of homosexuals.... One of the committee's rulings reiterated the prohibition of homosexuality on the basis of Jewish law. Another affirmed homosexuality as an acceptable Jewish option, meaning that even rabbis and cantors may be openly gay. Yet a third ruling said that, while homosexuality is acceptable, it is not desirable; thus all effort should be made to treat it therapeutically.... These incompatible rulings capture the strains of the Conservative Judaism. It is trying with difficulty to hold within it members whose sentiments and beliefs are moving in opposite directions."See Reinventing the World
How seminaries are changing for the better: "In the past, seminary education was viewed as a necessary credentialing step before entering full-time ministry. Today, more students are interested in personal ministry development rather than credentialing for a specific ministry position. Their learning goal is to become better equipped to fulfill God's calling in their life whatever the ministry position. ... In response, seminaries are working more intentionally with students to help them process their calling and S.H.A.P.E.... Research shows that adult learners prefer to engage the learning process instead of being passive participants on the receiving end of a knowledge dump." Dialogue and relational experience is fast replacing Bible teaching and vital knowledge about God and His ways. See Spiritual Gifts
[P-D Global Diplomacy] A Back-Channel for P.E.A.C.E.: “What does it mean when Rick Warren says he is a 'back channel for peace'?...This term “back channel” – most often associated with international diplomatic missions – raises some perplexing questions about precisely what Rick Warren was recently doing in Syria, what he was supposed to do in North Korea, and, of course, what he is currently doing in Africa with his Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan....
"This 'peace' process entails strengthening the voices of moderates and, at the same time, building 'social networks' as an 'infrastructure for peace.' In this context, it becomes necessary to ameliorate the extremes. And, according to some definitions, fundamentalist Christians could be considered to be extremists...."See Purpose-Driven Deception on a global scale
For previous links on this topic, go toThe Purpose-Driven Church - 2005-2006
Links to earlier articles on the Purpose Driven Movement
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