See also The Changing Church
Picture: Saddleback Worship Center is on the right side; the special interest booths on the left. The tall building in the back is the Terrace Cafe. More pictures
Purpose Driven Churches
Your responses to Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan & UN Goals - Part 1 of 3
From Rodrigo Osorio (Temuco, Chile). "A couple of years ago I became disillusioned with the charismatic experiences I've had and the current fads going through the churches, and went back to "simple" Christianity, to my Baptist roots and sound doctrine, because the Lord had mercy of me and opened up my eyes.
Thank God my local church did not embrace the Purpose Driven concept, even though I was one of the convinced few who, having read Warren's books, thought P.D. was "the" future of the church. Your website has opened up my eyes and helped me know the truth.
Thank God the Chilean church has not been affected by new age and the emerging church concept yet, but in time it surely will be, since it usually takes about ten years for a movement or ideology from the U.S. to reach my country.
The whole concept of new age/emerging church/contemplative spirituality is virtually unknown here in Chile, but last year Brian McLaren was one of the guest speakers in a workshop held in Santiago. As far as I know there aren't any materials about this theme in Spanish.
Since the Lord gave me the opportunity many years ago to live in the U.S. and learn the language, daily I search the web to keep myself informed and learn from good Christian websites such as yours. Unfortunately very few of the brethren are able to do that in my country (we speak Spanish). There is a great scarcity of good Christian websites in my language. Could we hope for a Spanish section of Crossroad in the future?
From a Christian concerned about religious marketing: It's all about YOU!
You have a purpose!
God can be your helper! He can help you be what you were born to be!You can realize your destiny!
The music sounds like commercial jingles. It's easy to learn, fun to bounce to.
God exists in order to help you get what you want, what you need, what you deeply desire. FAST!
Get the book, the CD, the DVD, the coffee mug with the logo on it, the towel with the logo on it , the kid's book, the kid's CD, the kid's DVD, the kid's blanket with the logo on it!
User friendly God..... your servant! Do what you want. Look, act, speak like the world! You can have God as part of your life, but you don't have to be religious (like people used to be). >UHG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From James Sundquist: Did you hear the Rick Warren interview on Nightline two nights ago? He said,
"When you're preaching and teaching the good news, you walk a very fine line where you're taking the world of the Bible and the world of today, and you're building a bridge between those [worlds].... Now, it's easy to be biblical if you don't care about being relevant.… And it's easy to be relevant if you don't care about being biblical. I happen to want to be both."
Contrary to what Warren said on the show, there is NO balancing relevance to the 21st Century with the Bible. The Bible and the same false teachings warned about in the End is equally relevant to First Century as it is to the 21st Century. Furthermore, Warren's balancing concept reminds me of the same Yin-Yang balancing that is embedded in his SHAPE Personality Profiling Divination that he derived from Carl Jung's occultic teachings which he obtained from a spirit-guide named Philemon.
Warren ends the interview by blaming the victims of his invasion and theft of their churches. If this is not the height of arrogance. It is they who are blessed. This reminds me of the Southern Baptist Press (Warren propaganda tool) article which reported the ousting of 165 members of Gardendale Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, TX, which effectively said they deserved it. Disposable Christians that's the mantra from a despot! Think it can't happen you? Think again!
Standing firm in Utah: I wrote to you in the past regarding leaving a Purpose Driven/Emerging Church, however, now there is something in the body of Christ that is concerning me. It is a person named Barak Obama. A lot of Christians that I know are falling for his smooth-talking charisma and double-talk. I recently sent some information to a Christian friend of mine that I have known for over 20 years, and apparently I struck a nerve when the information was not what she wanted to hear. She has completely bought into his lies! My heart is grieved! I pray that the Lord will open her eyes to the truth. This is becoming increasingly more common in my experience with Christians though.
I thank you for your ministry and pray God's blessings over you and yours.
FromPaul Proctor: It appears that we are seeing more mainstream comments challenging the PDL hype. Warren may well have outlived his usefulness to the new spirituality much like the first stage of a three stage rocket launched from Cape Canaveral just burns long enough to carry it so far into space before the next stage (Emergent Church) takes over.
The Top 10 Religion Today Stories of 2006: "Not everyone agreed with the themes of The Purpose-Driven Life. But neither could anyone have foreseen the polarizing effect the Saddleback pastor could have following his success. Consider for a moment the results of a poll we recently ran on Crosswalk, which asked: 'Do you find yourself more in agreement or disagreement with Rick Warren's stances and actions?' Out of 282 respondents, 63 percent said they tend to disagree with what Pastor Warren says and does. Only 27 percent tend to agree with Warren right now."
From George: In the article "Rick Warren Talks about HIV/AIDS, Celebrity Status and the Upcoming US Elections," Rick Warren talks about local credibility of the church being a necessary element "to solve issues like poverty, disease, illiteracy, corruption, trafficking, all these other things,,," I would like to ask him, since when does he think it is the responsibility of any collective element in society, church or welfare agency of otherwise, to be responsible for fixing these problems. I admit that there are places in the Bible that deal with hospitality and the local group of sincere Christians having a responsibility to the infirmed and elderly and widows; but Warren severely begs the question when he suggests that this can be applied across large numbers of peoples. The very Biblical definition of the word "hospitality" confines the behavior to a handful of close friends and family. The historic traditions have been for families to take care of their own (no matter what the religion).
Rick Warren needs to choose whether or not he wishes to be an overseer of a local body of believers, which position requires hospitality under the Biblical definition, and be an ambassador for Christ; or whether he wants to be of this world, not just in it, and be an ambassador of the United States of America to foreign countries. Typically, the U.S. has only appointed one ambassador to one country at a time. As far as I know, Rick Warren holds no official U.S. Ambassador position; and could be subject to prosecution for misrepresenting the United States Government, and especially in times of war. Mr. Warren better cool his heels and be content to sell his deceitful purpose driven gospel. He has done enough damage with that book already. He is fixing to bring not only the wrath of God upon us, but the wrath of world along with it.
From Cathy Ladbury: ...thank you so much for your ministry. You have helped us as we "fight the good fight of faith" to stand firm. Our church has thus far avoided the 'seeker-sensitive' movement; although at one point we did do the "purpose-driven life", which brought very mixed feelings from the congregation. However, there is a 'push' from the leadership to become more 'seeker-sensitive' and people like us are not appreciated and in fact, we know they would be very glad if we left.
A handful of men, (my husband being one of them), and women are standing against this emergent and seeker-sensitive movement, but I fear a time is coming when we will either choose to leave or be forced to leave. Where has the discernment gone? Of course, if all one is served is the 'milk' of the Word and little to no meat, then discernment and maturity fall by the wayside.We are at a real "crossroads" (no pun intended) and our church seems to be standing on the precipice. We are currently without a pastor and are searching, so depending on the kind of pastor we get could determine what happens in our church body.
From Phil Wolf: I just wanted to write a short note after reading your article on this morning's NewsWithViews. I have been printing out and giving these to my pastor who does not have a computer. I appreciate all of your hard work put into exposing false teachers of the Word. Please keep up the good work. I am looking forward to more of your articles. Events and processes around the world provide evidence of the forces working to establish a one world government, along with the necessary one world religion. Christianity is under incessant attack from without and within, and it should be obvious to all whose eyes have been opened by the Word. The most recent and obvious is the corruption in the U.S. government and the way that our individual liberties and freedoms are being taken from us, daily. The United States Constitution boldly proclaims that man's rights come from the Almighty, and is a guarantee of those same unalienable rights. Therefore, the Constitution stands in the way of those who would rebuild the tower of Babel, and must be subverted and nullified. It is obvious to me almost daily, that we are no longer living in a nation whose government is by, of and for the people. The very positive side of all this is, that in seeing the disastrous results of secular man, we have the eternal hope of glory.
Amen! All the more I thank God – as you do – for His sovereign grace and unquenchable hope. How blessed we are to belong to Him at a time such as this!
From Kit Carson: This is my first time in contacting you but I wanted to say that the article on Oxford / CFR / and R. Warren smells sinister. I have recently completed a 4 part preaching series on the "imminent appearing of the anti-christ." And as such, I am convinced that Warren is a key figure, if not THE key figure in helping to prepare the way for the appearing of the anti-christ. People need to be made aware of this.
From G. C.: Nothing but the full armor of God can be used to fight this battle against Purpose Driven Deception. Remember the apostle Paul's warning: "Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called." (1 Timothy 6: 20).
From George: I'm sorry to say that I think Rick Warren will probably be applauded by most of the people in mainstream American Christian religions. Most of these folks are going to view the interview of Warren and the Syrian president as a missionary effort no different than any other missionary effort their church groups already have been involved in.
There is mucho denaro $$$ behind this world peace movement, not only from the Warren bunch, but from the Bono bunch as well. I think most of the Southern Baptist Convention churches secretly like Rick Warren, even if they don't actively use his 40 days of purpose. Zondervan and associates wield much dollar power in that same purpose driven direction, even though slightly different.
We, as disciples of Christ, should know that we cannot collectively fix this Satan ruled world. We have been called INDIVIDUALLY to be a witness for Christ. Jesus will sort this mess out in God's time. We can't afford to allow our frustration to get in front of Jesus. Remember what Jesus said when Peter rebuked Him for saying He would be killed: "Get thee behind me Satan, thou art an offense to me: for thou savorest not the things of God, but those that be of men." (Matthew 16: 23). Remember what Jesus said to Pilate just before the crucifixion: "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews..." (John 18: 36a).
We can find consolation in all of this because: "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to HIS PURPOSE (not Rick Warren's). (Romans 8: 28).
From Chris: There is a problem in the Bible!!!!!
“Purpose Driven??” Noah lacked insight and should have built a purpose driven ark, that is why only 8 people made it and the other poor critters had to succumb to drowning.
If only Jesus could also have learnt this “Purpose Driven” gospel, He would never have made a statement: “Many are called, but few are chosen” Matt.22:14.
The Vision John had and recorded in Revelation 7:9-14 was a mistake. God should have given him a “Purpose Driven” revelation which is to be more seeker or user friendly. The multitude here with Jesus, need not go through the time of Jacobs trouble also known as the Great Tribulation. All they need to do is to change their negative self image into a positive one!
Reverence to Rock ‘n Roll promoted by Rick Warren is more effective, than reverence to the Rock of ages. C’mon guys and gals lets be more positive!
From a Christian friend: Only God can save South Africa now! Virtually every church is PDC in SA!! A Christian bookshop, where I left 7 of Bob DeWaay's book, "Redefining Christianity", as well as 6 "Deceived on Purpose" about 2 months ago, says the customers flatly refuse to buy any of the two books!! (But Warren's book, as well as Munro and Joël Osteen, are selling very well!!). Please don't forget us in your prayers; it's getting worse by the day, and the tragic thing is, the "frog-in-the-water"-syndrome has proven to be astonishingly successful in this once christian country!! And what's worse; I'm starting to see "steam and bubbles" appearing!!
From Nathan D.: I have read a number of articles including the ones about Warren's PEACE plan. About that, I wanted to ask you a couple questions if you have a few moments...
I was discussing the Warren ministry (PDL, PEACE, etc) with a close friend of mine last week and we were talking about the very slim possibility that he will share anything Jesus-related on his apparent upcoming trip to N. Korea. The conversation then transitioned into the P.E.A.C.E. plan and I was sharing with him that I've read quite a bit of good, critical commentary regarding his plan.
Then, we looked at this site: www.thepeaceplan.com. All looks legit there. Warren even uses Scripture about the Great Commission. To say the least, we left the conversation at that point - that Warren and his P.E.A.C.E. Plan ministry all look legit, according to Scripture.
What's your take on this and that web site specifically?
I did look at this site: www.thepeaceplan.com, but all does not look Biblically "legit" to me. It sounds more like a secret society with an agenda that only be shared with those who are indoctrinated with the "right" vision and worldviews. Consider this question and answer:
"How do I get access into the PEACE system?
"At this time churches must attend a PEACE Training event to obtain access to the PEACE system. For a small group to use the PEACE System they must be a part of a church that has been given access to the system."
Warren's leadership trainers (or coaches) are the "gatekeepers." No one participates unless they have been trained in "the new way of thinking," which puts the gospel into a new context. (See Who defines the Kingdom of God? ) That new context includes new definitions of "healthy" church and God's will and purpose for us. See this chart showing Warren's five "purposes."
Please read these articles about his goals and leadership programs:
Spirit-led or Purpose-driven : Part 2: Unity and Community
Part 3: Small Groups and the Dialectic Process
Part 4: Dealing with Resisters
Part 5: Spiritual Gifts and Community Service
Creating Community (Part 1 ) ...through Transformational Leadership
Creating Community (Part 2) ... Through a New Way of Thinking
I suggest you also review Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan and UN Goals: Part 2: Equipping Leaders to 'Lead like Jesus'?
Second letter from Nathan D.: Thank you for your response. One thing that struck me while looking at this site is that it appears or looks legit, but there is an obvious and uncomfortable "mystery" that is hiding depth of the plan or Warren's ministry.
I do know myself that Warren's so-called gospel as he presents in books like PDL and 40-days is a prime example of the watered-down "gospel" of today's modern evangelical church - which is really not a gospel at all.
From Jeff W.: I know that in your articles and critiques you have addressed this most likely.... but this statement is amazing and very troubling coming from Mr. Warren. This statement almost openly admits, that the process is about 1) getting people to show up to your church and 2) preach in such away they stay there because you find or create a comfort zone for them. This is an amazing admission and shocking to boot.
Warren states that it is his "deep conviction that anybody can be won to Christ if you discover the key to his or her heart." (p. 219) After you discover the key to a person's heart he or she will be drawn to your church. Once that person is attending, it is the pastor's job to preach to his or her felt needs. This is based on "the theological fact that God chooses to reveal himself to man according to our needs! Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with examples of this." (p. 295).
Neither statement is true or factual, but it fits right into the new church management -- and the identical strategies used by today's secular and business gurus. That church leaders such as Rick Warren is promoting this manipulate sheme is a travesty! You know these Scriptures which remind us that conviction of sin and Spiritual conversion are God's work, by His grace! We are not "born again" by human strategies that appeal to the flesh (human nature), but by the amazing work of His Spirit.
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" John 14:6
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:44
"I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep." John 10:9-11
From Kathryn: May God Bless you for exposing the fraud, Rick Warren. Our Lord warned us over and over about those who would come in his name.
The last church I attended a couple of years ago was doing this 'program' church wide and we never went back. It was alarming to me that those who were the elders of the church and leading the study in Sunday school saw nothing wrong with the introduction of Purpose Driven Life. If only they had truly read the intro, they would never have finished the book.
The passage I am referring to (one of many) is on page 11, "Real spiritual growth is never an isolated, individualistic pursuit. Maturity is produced through relationships and community." (their emphasis)
It was hard to keep back the tears it was so heartbreaking to watch 'Christians' read right over it while taking it to heart...hard to hold my tongue because of anger at the enemy and the devastation spiritually being caused by this ignorance. The nerve someone has to tell me I cannot grow spiritually without the group! I do not remember my Lord saying 'Study with the group to shew thyself approved unto God'! I don't remember the Lord telling Jeremiah, Ezekiel or any of the other prophets to be sure they kept community with others to reach spiritual maturity!
Of all the issues that wage war against us, I believe this one to be the worst one....
From a concerned Christian: My church has been for the past 7-8 years making changes which reflect the influence of Bill Hybles and Rick Warren.
Seeker sensitive language, the use now of a worship band, no adult choir - just a worship team, multimedia presentations, small groups and other aspects are not a part of who we are as a church. The church has even launched a building program (We're small - 350 members) which will need a loan of well over 500K!!. All this is telling me something is not right.
Then recently I received an invitation in the mail to join the new adult Bible study - SHAPE. I found out - 1) That this was going to be the only adult study on Sunday mornings and 2) This is Rick Warren material.
When I confronted out leadership, including my pastor, I was told we were not going to use the material as is - but were going to modify it!!
Modified or not - it does not change the focus. When I pleaded with my pastor to not use this study and return to the Word of God - he basically told me to leave the church.
I've read about the SHAPE study and see its dangers. Do I remain and fight (I've been a member there for 21 years), or do I move on to a new church.
I wish there were simple answers, but there aren't. People tell me week after week that they cannot find a new church in their community that still teaches God's old truths. I only know of two churches that have actually reversed the process. It's so sad!
Could you start a Bible study in your home where a small group of faithful disciples could encourage each other with His Word? Then it would probably be easier to stay and encourage others. (One testimony is posted on this page.)
It's interesting how quickly Biblical faith is being set aside -- even despised. But it fits God's warnings such as John 15:18-21.
All the more thankful I am that God has opened our eyes to know Him and love His Word, so that we might also share in His suffering and
From George: Thank you for exposing the "forty days of purpose" espoused by Rick Warren and so readily being embraced by so many church houses around the world. We must weep for those who have subjected themselves to Warren's version of purpose.
"As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him… beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in Him…" (Colossians 2:6,8,9a)
Everything God has done, is doing, and will do is aimed at bringing us deeper into Christ, to finish what was begun in us when we first received Him. God is the One Who brings us through the Gate, and God is the One Who leads us along the Path. Everything God has done, is doing, and will do has the same purpose, and that purpose explains everything you have been through, everything you are going through, and everything you will go through.
Jesus is the Alpha from Whom all things in God are initiated, and Jesus is the Omega unto Whom all things of God find their purpose, their meaning, and their reason for being. Everything begins in Christ, and everything ends in Christ. He is the Beginning as well as the End.
Real spiritual growth occurs when we realize that God has only one goal for us, and that is, the full, mature, complete, and experiential knowledge of Jesus Christ. To the extent that we discard "things" and become focused wholly on Christ, to that extent we will make progress.
Compare these purposes with those of Rick Warren.
Thank you, George, for helping us make that comparison. We only have a short, incomplete comparison on this page: www.crossroad.to/articles2/05/peace-un.htm#purpose
From a concerned Church member: We have attended Germantown Baptist Church in Germantown, Tennessee, for over 18 years. One daughter was baptized there and both were married there. We have loved this church, and and have felt secure in what we thought were Bible-based teachings and Southern Baptist doctrines. There are so many fine, Godly leaders and teachers.
Our church called a new pastor 8 years ago and things started to change -- rock music, a traditional and a contemporary service, Sunday evening service cancelled, smaller choir, no solos, casual dress, graphics, pictures of members hanging all over the church, no more newsletter, emphasis on the internet, marginalization of the "over 55 group." The Purpose Driven Life & 40 days of Purpose in 2004 followed by 40 days of Community in 2005. Then the punitive church discipline (Matthew 18) of former leaders who had served the church for decades -- some disciplined for attending a meeting called by the pastor. The pastor caught in lies and deceptions. Suddenly all "ministers" are pastors, and we hear Hebrews 17:3 over and over and over. One sermon was "Straightening it Out" -- about identifying divisive people and getting rid of them.
The first weekend in February, the pastor announced that the entire staff wanted a new Constitution & By-Laws and Elders because the "current system wasn't working" and the "committees could not get along." A secret team that was supposed to be the pastor's accountability group had totally re-written the constitution. It is the most punitive document and completely elder-rule by as few as 6 elders, including the pastor & executive pastor. The congregation will only be able to vote on items approved or recommended by the elders. Members can be disciplined or removed for not tithing, not attending regularly, or not supporting programs. It is a nightmare!
Those of us who oppose are called divisive, resistant to change, cry-babies, troublemakers, and even Satanic! Our vote is May 7 -- please pray for us. You can read about what is happening at HYPERLINK " http://www.savegbc.com. You may be interested in seeing what the by-laws look like and if they are part of a pattern. This is a 6,500 member, 170-year old church, (which, interestingly enough, had 6,500 members in 1998 when this man arrived)!
I wish we had known what was happening sooner. But I have been reading so much & found your website in James Sundquist's book, Who's Driving the Purpose Driven Church? It is now obvious to me who is driving. I would never have believed that my own church would sink into apostasy and heresy before my very eyes, but we are fighting back. Nevertheless, come quickly Lord Jesus.
From a concerned Christian: I left my former church because of "Purpose Driven" deception and my husband was miraculously brought out of the same church 10 months later. We have been in another church for over a year now and I am seeing material from Brian McClaren, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, etc. being implemented. The church is very small and not postmodern or seeker-friendly, so it is perplexing to me how they can use their teachings.
When I confronted the leadership, I was basically silenced (again...1st church). They told me I'm focusing on the wrong things, and are not very concerned with these peoples teachings. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone! I'm tired of changing churches and am praying for wisdom in what the Lord wants me to do. Do you have any advice?
I have never encountered so many people who seem to just want to bury their heads in the sand...they tell me that I should not be "naming names." When I referred one of them to your website, they told me it was too 'dogmatic.' My heart is saddened, because these false teachers are like a cancer that is slowly eating away at the body of Christ. I appreciate your ministry and am grateful for your boldness in proclaiming truth! I don't think you're 'negative' or 'dogmatic.' I would call it, being a 'watchman!' Thank you and God bless you!
I’m not surprised we are considered too dogmatic. “Christians” who don’t take a stand on His Word will always be offended by those who do.
Rejection seems to be part of following Jesus, doesn't it? Being a watchman these days means speaking His truth. Sad to say, many "Christians" are offended by same truths that the world despises. And when they reject God's Word – along with the reality of absolute truth -- they leave behind both the anchor for their minds and the facts they need to think logically.
But “thanks be to God who always leads us in His triumph in Christ!” No matter what we face, He is our resting place and the all-sufficient One! I’m praying that He show you what to do and say. He is such a wonderful Shepherd!
Second letter: Thank you. ... It's nice to have a support system of like-minded believers who care about the precious Word of Truth! I will trust in Him as I persevere and endure to the end!
From James Sundquist: I wanted to commend you for posting Linda Nathan's expose on Martial Arts on your site.
Well I though you would be particularly interested in knowing that John Jackson, one of the major speakers for Rick Warren's Global Peace Plan runs Martial Arts Classes at his church in Nevada. I mention this in my documentary below which I just released.
Thought you might be interested in my commentary on the recent Purpose Driven Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya entitled: HOW RICK WARREN IS MASQUERADING AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT TRANSFORMING YOUR CHURCH AND COUNTRY.
Upon receiving many emails around the world from concerned Christians that their church or country is being taking over or “transformed” by Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Church model and his Global Peace Plan, and others asking me how does one know their own church has become Purpose-Driven, I felt compelled to write this article in response to these distress SOS calls for help. There is a recent article posted on this very transformation and how to identify it entitled: Are you in the throes of Transformation?
The article was so brilliant, I decided that it would be very constructive to the body of Christ to build on that very theme as well as clear up a lot of confusion. What follows is both an update and a case study of how Rick Warren is taking over churches and countries. One of the main presentations of Warren's Saddleback Church staff was given by Todd Hudnall, who is also Senior Pastor of the First Assembly of God Church in San Diego, California, who will also be a featured speaker at the Purpose Driven Conference in Florida in April 2006: http://www.purposedriven.com/en-US/Events/PurposeDrivenPentecostalCharismatic-LakeForestCA/Uncompromised_speakers.htm
TODD HUDNALL: In behalf of Rick Warren... "The message we are sharing you could call an operating system for the church. Without the Intel chip, the computer would not work. I believe that the Purpose Driven Church model is a processing chip for the Church of Jesus Christ. I believe it works whether it is in San Diego, California, or Kenya Africa. It works because it is God's purpose. It is God's plan...."
More information will be added.
From Jetze van der Meulen: I am writing this to you, because your website contains a number of material concerning Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven Madness. I host a website where I review Reggae Music and promote what I call "consciousness". I am a non-denominational Bible believing Born Again Christian, so obviously I have great concerns with the Purpose Driven madness. I have already written much about the Purpose Driven movement, the CCM, and basically everything what I call the Christian Industrial Complex.
Last Monday, January 30th 2006, I went to a presentation about Rick Warren. the presentation was held in the Bethel Church in Drachten (NL). This is not so special, given the fact that Rick Warren is everywhere so it seems. But the Pastor of the Bethel Church in Drachten in a national figurehead in the Netherlands, and he could very well be called the Rick Warren of Europe or at least the Netherlands. the Pastor is a personal friend of Rick Warren even from before the man became America's Pastor according to Time Magazine.
Bottenbley exposed the Toronto blessing in the 1990's, but a decennium later he seems to have crossed over to the Pupose Driven paradigm while the Dutch people still think that Bottenbley (that is his name) is an icon of Bible-believing Christianity in the Netherlands.
Anonymous: Thank you for being a light in the darkness. I recently left a church that I attended for seven years. We did "The Purpose Driven Life" program right before I left, and as I read the book, I started to notice discrepancies, and things that weren't right. The Holy Spirit was giving me "red flags."
I approached the pastor and he told me that this program was a good "tool." Previous to all of this, for several years, I had been noticing an influx
of the occult into the church and when I tried to speak out against it, I was met with extreme resistance, even from the leadership.
As a member of the prayer team, at the time, I prayed according to the leading of the Holy Spirit... but when I approached the leadership with my concern over the issue of a large number of the congregation being on anti-depressants, I was told to "be careful what I said when I prayed." I was not supposed to "offend anyone" by telling them about pharmakia.
While I was in the process of leaving, I was made to feel divisive and labeled a "troublemaker." The worst part is, my husband took
the side of the pastor and is still attending the church. (He was discipled there). It was a very, difficult, lonely time for me, but the Lord carried
me through with the help of several friends who also left the church shortly after I did. I still keep in touch with several dear people there that I love, but I am deeply concerned over this whole "New Age" gospel that is penetrating our country.
Your article, "Dealing with Resisters" ministered to me at that time and helped me see that I wasn't losing my mind. Thank you.... In Christ alone~
From Bob: ...thank you for your work in getting the truth out. Jesus did not come because we were good, but because we are in need of a Savior. He came that in the transforming power of his sacrifice for us on the cross that we would be free from condemnation.
In the transforming power of the Holy Spirit He has given us meaning and purpose and it is not something we need to find. We are all called in him to proclaim the gospel and stand for the truth. The truth is His Word, the Bible, whether people want to believe it or not.
It is so sad to see what is happening in America. We have been programmed to follow a new mindset: that we should never tell truths that make someone else feel bad. Even in sports this has come into play. We do not want to shatter self esteem by having winners and losers. I am saddened because there are winners and losers in eternity. When we depart from the reason Jesus came and deny the truth of what is really in our hearts, we have already lost the game. Many today are being swept away by false teaching and supposed short cuts to faith. That is why I appreciate what you are doing. The road to hell is paved with good intentions but the road to heaven can only go through Jesus and the cross. Keep up the good work and may the Lord Jesus bless you and keep you.
Your words remind me of an important message Jesus spoke to His disciples, Bob:
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. " (John 15:18-21)
From a concerned Christian: This weekend I picked up a CT mag (Christianity Today) which I have not looked at for at least 17-18 years. I had time to kill before a social event and went to the bookstore for an hour and looked at what was on the magazine rack.
I could NOT believe it at all!!! It reads like a propaganda rag for the emerging church and the UN Millineum Goals!!! It featured the RW PEACE plan, explaining it all, promoting it, and outwardly admitting it is the implementation (getting churches on board to help part) of the UN Millenium Goals!!!!! They were talking about it openly as if everyone knew it and was fine with it!!
You have to read these quotes!!!! I don't know if it is online but if not you must go to the bookstore and read this issue. It was truly frightening. It is about creating the kingdom on earth, solving the earth's problems, and using churches to do it, and working for world peace!!!
From Mary: I just finished reading the massive amounts of information on your site and I am sitting here feeling relieved and affirmed. My husband and I are two of those "resisters" who have just gone through the 40 Days of Purpose study and uncomfortably kept throwing in the "buts". We finally ceased reading the book at the point that Rick Warren stated that -
"The last thing many believers need today is to go to another Bible study. They already know far more than they are putting into practice." (page 231)
I told my husband that he might as well tell his boss that he didn't need to go to anymore training sessions because he had already learned more than he would ever use. The concept of God as our best friend really bothered me as well. It reminded me of the problem that so many parents have today as a result of trying to be their child's best friend... no respect, no discipline, no accountability and no obedience. In Job, the Hebrew word that is used to refer to Job means "servant" and yet Warren uses "friend".
We are to look at the Lord with fear and trembling, awe, respect, reverence and love. He is not on our same level, as a friend would be, and He is our authority, not our best "bud". But I think that my husband hit the nail on the head with the issue of "This isn't about you. It's about God [so don't argue]" He said that he felt like the protestant church was returning to the Catholic Church of old, when the "rabble" didn't read or research scripture, couldn't challenge those in leadership and had to accept without question, the theology taught by that leadership. It led to absolute corruption of God's word and acceptance of worldly aspects that led to complete bondage.
What I see happening with the Purpose Driven movement is that congregations are trying to isolate the "feelings" and "experiences" and "numbers" without the hard work of discernment, deep and searching scripture study and prayer and letting go and letting God. One of our elders said this to me when I suggested that we don't need gimmicks to bring people to the Lord... that God's Word is quite capable of doing that...he said, "Well, God doesn't seem to have 'em knocking down our door and we need more people so we are going to have to do it ourselves." What a sad statement. I noticed that one person asked why this movement has swept churches and conned so many pastors. There were two reasons that were left out:
1. Debt - Churches have gone horribly into debt to build bigger buildings or Family Life Centers and are having trouble meeting their payments (our church) and
2. Pastor's Egos - The temptation to leave the legacy of a huge congregation that hangs on your every word is very hard to ignore. Pastors are human and want it said that they accomplished something big in God's name. The concept that as a church grows, it should divide and start smaller churches to remain community oriented is one that isn't even considered because a pastor can't claim numbers.
Thank you so much for your in-depth, discerning coverage of this movement and we ask God's continued blessing on your speaking truth. You have helped this family tremendously....
From David McElroy: I just read your article on "Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan" ... My own church has recently gone thru Warren's "Purpose Driven" book, and I had a few reservations about it. You really flesh out those issues that have often caused me to feel the church is now chasing after the world rather than leading it. I have been shocked at how so many so-called Christian churches have embraced things the Bible clearly prohibits--and abandoning the things God has prescribed for righteous wholesome life.
The effort to be "inclusive" will undermine the Church if it will not "draw the line" to exclude certain things, as the Church is composed of those "called out", of the world, not deeply imbedded!
From Lee and Rita: My wife and I have printed a large amount of your material and have found it answering many of the questions we believe the Spirit of God has been troubling us with. Recently we attended a home fellowship group from a large church in The Woodlands, Texas just outside of Houston. You guessed it they were studying “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. Even friends of ours that we used to go to church with have begun buying into the new paradigm.
I discovered, and was unsettled about the concept of changing paradigms when I was working on my master degree 20 years ago. It was once said that when you see the crowd moving in one direction that is when you, as a Christian, better take a quick step backwards. Churches down here have grown to mega proportions such as “Lake Wood Church” at 16,000 people attending church in the Compaq Center in Houston.
My wife and I have been in a holding state for four years because of numerous disturbing trends we keep seeing in the institutionalized church. I have not, however, taken the time to really study the PD church movement until now.
I have been pegged as a dissenter and that has left us out side the organized church and even on the outside of our extended family. This is not to say we have argued with people or even tried to push our decrements on others. We have only questioned questionable trends we have seen. We have desperately sought out other, like minded, believers who still stand on the word of God. We have found a few, a very few but as scripture says “few will find the way”, and we rejoice in God’s wonderful grace in our lives and his unwavering protection in these turbulent times. Thank you for being obedient to His will and if you hear of other believers from the Conroe, Woodlands, well let’s just say Houston area, please let me know we would love the fellowship! [Emphasis added]
P.S. My son and I are working on a web page called “Opposing The Legend” (not on the web yet) that you might find interesting. Also another one of the few believers I mentioned has a web page www.truthorchains.com that is trying to stand in the gap as well so be encouraged God is at work and the day does draw near!
Thank you so much for your thoughtful letter. Yes, this is a hard time for those who truly love our Lord and His Word – and refuse to compromise. But how wonderful it is to sense His presence and comfort as He guides us through those lonely and confusing times! This seems to be a time of learning as well as loneliness; a time of training as well as testing. We need it all in preparation for the rising hostility toward those who resist the new unity or solidarity that joins the compromising church to an unholy world system. But God’s grace is wonderfully sufficient! See God's wonderful Comfort
From Megan: We have been members of a Purpose-Driven Church for over two years and have signed their covenant. We plan on asking to have it back and shred it once we’ve confirmed that they are happy in their deception.
Having been a pastor’s kid, I am ashamed that I was so readily deceived. But we (my husband and I) were just like the others who have come out so far…you knew something just wasn’t right but you couldn’t put your finger on it.
Thank you for your faithfulness to the Word of God!
From a concerned Christian (Subject: Another term for "resister"): A friend introduced me to some of your Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Installments, and I printed the series out and am wading through it. I appreciate your from-the-brain-and-not-the-gut critiques.
I just finished reading TPDC by Warren, and it scared me to see some of the techniques and philosophies driving our church. We are "officially" moving to a contemporary venue, and the pastor said to consider it a lab. Shortly thereafter, I read the article about calling change an experiment. Yikes!
To keep it short, I just wanted to share a term or two with you. We have a monthly all-staff time of prayer and devotion. During the latest one, our pastor announced the change (there's more to it than that, but nothing you haven’t already heard, so I won't take your time). We were to pray for those who are resisting based on "preferences." Basically, a preference is something you believe that the leadership doesn't. Those who don't go along are immature, blockages to unity, and, my favorite, "maggots in Aaron's beard." Makes me feel really comfortable as a staff member! And, oh yes, I'm over 50 years old! Horrors!
Some of the books that I think are classics in this battle are "Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement" by Dan Lucarini (we've become pen pals), "Will Evangelicalism Survive Its Own Popularity?" by Jon Johnston, and "Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down" by Marva J. Dawn. There are lots of others, and I'm sure you're familiar with them. It's funny how so many philosophies and isms converge to bring down the church: music, business models, psychobabble, worldliness, and on and on.
Thank you for your thoughtful letter. What a challenging place you are in! May our wonderful Lord continue to lead you by His Spirit and awaken those who have “ears to hear” and “eyes to see.” Our times are beginning to look more and more like the times of Isaiah and Jeremiah.
From Geoffrey D. Flahardy: I have written to you before about our struggle with the PDL in the churches. We were hoping that remaining in our congregation would work out, but it didn’t. The concern of leadership was that by our non-involvement in ministries and activities that were purpose-driven, or that were teaching psychology rather Scripture, we were condemning by our lives these things, even if we didn’t open our mouths about them. Well, praise God. Many of those things need a condemnation, like an old house that is good for nothing but to raise it to the ground and build something new.
I want thank you for being there, especially to post the struggles of others. I read how many have been “church hopping” so to speak, not because they want to, but because they are seeking the Word of God and finding the teachings of men. Just knowing that others are going through has brought great comfort to my heart. My wife and I have wept over this because we find a good place and then they change, or we didn’t realize how involved they were in man’s methods.
I testify to you that I have not found a church yet that is unaffected by the PDC/PDL or church growth movement in some way in our community. The nearest congregation we know of is over an hour away. We hold to a form of doctrine, the Scriptures, that we believe is best described in the 1644 and 1689 London Baptist Confessions of Faith. We live in Acworth, GA. If there is anyone near us that would like to meet for fellowship and prayer we are very interested in hearing from you.
We have begun attending a small church plant in the area. The pastor of this church is a humble and honest man of God. We have been meeting for prayer each morning to cry out to God for souls and the work of the ministry. I am hopeful that we may be able to labor in this place for the Lord and help reform the church where it needs reforming.
Rick Warren is claiming a second reformation. I still think we need the effects of the first one, and now all the more. May the Lord bring another Great Awakening to our homes, churches, and nation through the humble prayers and preaching of the Word of God throughout our land.
God bless you in your part in building the Lord’s House.
From Scott: I attend a Lutheran church. It is the best Church I've found around here although I differ from it theologically somewhat. The Pastor has a very humble spirit (a rarity these days) and isn't afraid to speak with me on controversial subjects. I nearly left this Church because as I told my pastor in private that this Church doesn't have any fire and seems lukewarm. He encouraged me to stay, telling me that maybe my purpose was to help light a fire here. (very humbling). One of my concerns is that my Church is a PDL church, not heavily yet, but it's there. The Lord seems to have given me a gift of discernment and I'm a watcher.
I pray the Lord to keep me humble. It's hard, as I am new in this congregation and play guitar in the band. I decided to play after looking over the music (Only you Jesus, Amazing grace, etc..) stuff that glorifies Jesus. I must confess that I'm extremely nervous about all of this. I could use your prayers. I guess the point of this letter is, YES! God can use you to change a congregation and possibly a pastor away from apostasy, however, you must be CAREFUL and PATIENT and HUMBLE in what God uses you to do! And it is NERVE WRACKING. I love the Pastor and people here and I'm tired of "Church hopping". This could still go wrong, but whatever comes of it will be Gods' will, not mine. Any helpful suggestions or guidance GRATEFULLY accepted!
From Francisco Ruelas: I truly enjoyed reading the article you wrote on the Purpose Driven Movement (Spirit Led or Purpose Driven). You have great points in this article that I would agree, and many points in which I would disagree.
My reason for writing this article is not debate, but it is just to let you know a little bit about my testimony. It has been through Rick's teaching (Spirit backed) at Saddleback Church that I first felt compelled to accept Christ four years ago. I was one of the thousands of people that have prayed that "simple" prayer to accept Christ as "CEO" of my life. It has been through God's spirit and this "Purpose Driven" paradigm that my life has been changed forever.
I'm passionate to come to a church that loves to worship God in many different styles of music - contemporary music that engages the listener's ear, mind, heart and soul. I love coming to this church, because it's filled with people who are imperfect and even people who are not believers.
I am a "Purpose Driven" child. I accepted Christ in this church, I'm being sanctified in this place, I love Purpose Driven Life, and I love the rest of my imperfect brothers and sisters that call Saddleback Church - home. I love my Pastor for all he does for this church, for other churches across the world, but most importantly, for the Kingdom of Christ. He always pushes us to step out of the box; to not take ourselves seriously, but to take God seriously; to reach one more for Jesus; to step out of the Christian bubble and make a difference in the world; to bless other, because we have been blessed; to love those who are unlovable; to attract those who the church pushes away and to accept the sinner and not the sin.
I love God over all things on this earth - this church and my pastor have thought me that. I know that God is working through the book, this pastor and this church (its members) - I have seen it and I have been a part of it.
I appreciate your testimony, Francisco. But I'm concerned that you might not fully understand how this new "positive," "pleasing" and "inclusive" version of Christianity is changing the meaning of God's Word, reinventing "fellowship," and eliminating some vital Scriptures from usage -- thus hiding "the offense of the gospel." Have you read my articles on these topics?
From Lester Giesbrecht: I'll admit I have considered the issues you pointed out, and as a Christian I have a holy fear to keep my walk pure and uncluttered. I guess you can say I'm very sensitive to the things of the Spirit, and instead of just ''writing off'' your view, I found it interesting but troubling. Allow me to explain and I'll keep it brief:
I'm a musician, a guitarist that has played in a various Churches throughout the years with various ministry teams. With Christ as the center and complete reason to play, I have experienced open rebuke from some, that ''the style I play music does not belong in the Church'' of course that might be a narrow view, considering God created music, and it should ultimately be God being worshiped. It's evident to me that -- what is totally unacceptable to one, will be used of God in any way He chooses....
With Purpose Driven Life, of course, there are vital points that could have been said, and points that should have been left out, but God is big enough to use a Christian book to draw the masses and reveal whatever He so desires as we walk with Him. I didn't ''arrive'' perfect and ''ready for service'', I'm still changing and learning to walk closer on a daily basis. I hardly think that Purpose Driven Life is a deterrent to what God wants to do. I came to the conclusion that there are people and ministries that can find fault in anything with a good purpose.
There was a ministry team from Florida that came to Canada that our Church hosted and I later found out that there's a whole critic internet site on their faults.
Some people who call themselves Christian just take pleasure in finding fault....to the point of being no earthly good. We are pursuing and serving a Wonderful God. None of our lives, including yours can measure up to what Christianity should ultimately be, even the Paul a devout man of God was hard on himself as to how he measured up!
With all due respect, I pray that your view on the Purpose Driven Life isn't the stumbling block. After all, The Bible is the ultimate source of wisdom...and it's available to all who may have been mislead by The Purpose Driven Life.
Thank you for your thoughtful letter, Lester. I do share your concern about "fault-finding" and unfounded criticism. But I'm also concerned about today's unconditional tolerance for all kinds of entertainment and contemporary corruptions of the good that God created.
The most serious distortion of God's good gifts to us is the twisting of His Word. For when we adapt His guidelines to our pragmatic visions or politically correct purposes, we lose any true standard for right and wrong, good and evil, or light and dark. If you remember from part one of the series on "Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven," my greatest concerns were (1) the use of paraphrases like the Message and (2) using Scriptures out of context to validate a point. When we distort the light of His Word (the "lamp to our feet..." Ps. 119:105), we will surely lose sight of His way.
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things..." 2 Timothy 4:2-5
From David Pearson: "As usual, Rick said some good things the other night in his interview with Larry King - but there were also confusing statements like below:
KING: You can, though, Rick, have a purpose-driven life and be an agnostic or an atheist, can't you? Still do good, still help others, still have purpose?
WARREN: Absolutely, you can help other people. I believe that we were made for a purpose, and that purpose is really to know God and to serve God and to love God, and to serve other people by -- serve God by serving others. You know, you can't really serve God directly, Larry, not here on Earth. The only way you can serve God is by serving other people.
KING: Since you believe in God, if an agnostic or an atheist is doing good, God appreciates it, according to you, right?
WARREN: God wants us all to be loving to each other, there is no doubt about that. In fact, Jesus wouldn't have made any distinction between someone who was of a different background. The issue was, do they love him and do they have a purpose? Are they following his purpose? See, I believe that we were made by God and that we were made for God. And that until we understand that, life isn't going to make sense. Now, really when it comes to.....
WARREN: "...for the last 50 years we're living in a very narcissistic culture that is me first. And everything in culture has been about me, me, me, me. In fact, all the advertisements are, we do it all for you. Have it your way. You've got to think about what's best for you.
"And I think people have realized, that's a dead end street. That self-centeredness leads to loneliness. And we're a very lonely culture. We're very isolated from each other. There isn't a sense of community. I recently spoke at the Harvard University, at the Kennedy School of Government, and also in the law school.
"And meet with Robert Putnam, who has written this book called, "Better Together," about the need for community. And I think the need for community and the need for God go hand-in-hand....."
This conflicts with the prophets standing alone in the OT - or even Jesus - all alone - before the mobs and Pilate...
Yes, you are right, David. And in the first paragraph, Pastor Warren admits that his purpose-driven movement is not necessarily Christian. It fits any organization. It's simply the world's new management system, and Warren has adapted it to the Church.
Scriptures tell us that God does not appreciate the "good works" that people do apart from Him. Unless it's done in faith, by His Spirit working in us, it is futile. For example the first one equates man's "good deeds" with "filthy rags" when not done for or through Him -- or in according to His ways:
"You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—
In these ways we continue; and we need to be saved.
But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;" Isaiah 64:5-6
"God will say, 'I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks. For he says: 'By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent." Isaiah 10:12-13
“And they... offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands." Acts 7:41
A continuation of David's link to Rick Warren's interview with Larry King:
KING: We have about four minutes left, Rick. Go ahead. You were saying?
WARREN: ... And so we came up with the plan called the PEACE plan, p-e-a-c-e. Plant churches, equip the leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
And we're right now doing a test pilot of the PEACE plan in 67 countries. We're about a year and a half into it. It's a two-year test plan. We plan to go public with it -- well, now, it's going public on LARRY KING -- but we plan to go public with it in 2006, which is to mobilize hundreds of thousands of small groups that have done the 40 days of purpose in churches and communities and civic groups and corporations -- churches that have done 40 days of purpose in groups to do these five things around the world. And that's really why I was in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, to test that. ...
CALLER: I'm calling because basically two and a half years ago, my son passed away of a genetic disorder. And I keep asking Christian people basically, what's the reason for my son being here? And looked for scripture, and it's hard for me to comprehend. I'm kind of like a picture person.
WARREN: "I don't know. And I wish I did know.... We do know, as I said, it's not a perfect world, but some of those answers aren't going to come until we get to heaven.
KING: And you believe his son is there?
WARREN: Oh, absolutely. The Bible says in Proverbs, "the Lord preserves the simple." That means those who aren't competent enough to understand what it means to make a commitment of your life to Christ or to open their life up to his love, they are safe in the arms of God."
Once again, Pastor Warren is proof-texting -- using a Scripture or paraphrase to prove His point, but conveniently giving that text a meaning not intended in the original. Ponder these Scriptures below. The first one uses the words Warren spoke, but it comes from the book of Psalms, not Proverbs. The others show that the world "simple" does not refer to "those who aren't competent enough to understand...." -- and therefore not held responsible for their sin. The "simpe may be gullible, but they are able to become wise through God's Word -- His testimony.
"The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you." Psalm 116:6-7 (not Proverbs)
"The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;" Psalm 19:7
"They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke.
Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.” Proverb 1:30-33
"The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps." Proverb 14:15
When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge." Proverb 21:11
"A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished." Proverb 22:3
From Dave and Shaleen Rantala: I will give you a little short history on myself and family.... I was already homeschooling our last two children when I found your book, Brave New Schools. We had been watching the demise of the educational system and were aware the outcome based approach. As for church we had begun what would turn out to be our experience in "church hopping".
The last church we attended provoked much prayer and fasting on our part with the same old nagging question of why the Bible isn't preached and lived. Naively we believed this was the acknowledged church's calling and were greatly perplexed and discouraged that it was so elusive.
God answered prayer in May of 1999 in the form of His servants Dean and Karen Gotcher. We traveled about 70 miles one way to this meeting that was advertised on the radio as more information on the educational system. It turned out to be the watershed event in my husband's and my life, that of our three adult children and their two spouses.
To make a painful story short, our attempts to share the Truth with knowledge were no better received than our heretofore attempts to just share the Truth. The current church we were attending was steeped in Saddleback being a sister church. Suddenly all the conflicts from ridding worship service of "blood songs" to preaching the Word in Truth made sense. After a meeting with the board and pastor of the church, we knew we had no choice but to leave. We were not given the opportunity to address the congregation ( the next step of Matthew 18) but were told they (the pastor and board) would handle it with love.
As the LORD would have it, a few months later, we obtained a copy of this "loving" letter that was sent to the body of that church. Now it was very clear why people would not talk to us. ( I will fax a copy if you are interested.) Since May of 1999, we have been home-churching having exhausted the avenues here. The LORD has been so good and faithful. It is profoundly humbling how merciful and gracious our great GOD is. We have prayed that He would give us ministries to serve that we might still further His work and He has been answering.
There are so few voices out there with the Truth but somehow just as the LORD kept us from error, He has also given us confirmation and comfort through those ministries and servants who stand and speak the Truth and that includes your ministry. Thank-you for speaking, thank-you for standing , thank-you for your encouragement but most of all thank-you for being those faithful servants.
We continue to speak in the LORD and suffer both the marginalizing and mocking but we know we are in Christ and pray that He continue to give us strength.
I've never written anyone in ministry before, but was moved today to let you know that in spite of the many voices the enemy raises against us, there is only ONE that matters and He says today, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant".
Thank you so much for your testimony of faithfulness to Him! And I thank God for the fellowship we share in Christ!
May I share your letter with Dean and Karen Gotcher? They know, better than most, the small size of the remnant that hunger for truth and knowledge– and your letter would encourage them.
“…many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another…. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved." Matthew 24:10-14
Follow-up letter from Craig T (see next letter): I know the article has a few areas that are disconcerting. The problem with some areas of Traditional Catholicism is that they have an almost anti-Semitic flavor. This is one of the reasons why it has such a hard time attracting more followers. They confuse the cause and the symptoms of a disease of the mind.
Lenin once said the Liberalism is an infantile disorder of communism. I paraphrase that as anti-Semitism is an infantile disorder of conservatism. What many people in the "conservative" movement do not realize, as far too many people do not research history, is that several socialist front groups posing as conservative groups passed out anti-Semitic literature in America in the early 20's. This was purposely done to disenfranchise the conservative movement and to make it "unappealing" to many.
The worst thing anyone can ever do is to go along with the auto destruction of the very thing they love, all the while merrily doing it believing they are actually advancing the opposite position. That is why the Purpose driven church movement is so satanic. It changes people into happy change agents (destroyers) of the very thing they think they are building up. Like heroine addicts they inject themselves with the very euphoria enhancing poison which in the end will kill them.
Secularism and Christianity are antithetical. They are opponents forever locked in mortal combat. The minute that Christians make a peace with secularism they have lost their battle position and are readying themselves to be completely overrun and occupied. Secularism cannot live in peace with its enemy, it must remake her in his foul image. Marrying the Church to atheistic secularism is the same as marrying the bride of Christ to Satan. Yet far too many Christians are acting as groomsmen and bridesmaids, helping this wedding along. Saddleback church should be cordoned off as a contagion, a deadly virus within the body of Christ. No method would be too tame to eliminate this deadly disease from among the lambs of God. The early Church martyrs died rather then render one pinch of incense to the image of the emperor. Yet today's Christians cast truck loads of perfume on the brazier of World Global Control/Socialism masquerading as Christian capitalism!
Is it no wonder these wolves in sheep's clothing disparage Job and Isaiah? Both of whom show intractable faith and loyalty to GOD! They don't want loyalty to faith or God, they want loyalty to the system of continuous and unending change! The eternal revolution of Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin. What dupes, what foils, what obedient frogs to ferry the scorpions of World Order on their backs to the other side of the stream. And then like all useful idiots they will scream in surprise and horror as the scorpion stings them to death once they reach the terminus. "Why," they will cry "have you stung us? Haven't we gone along? Haven't wee carried your banners and sung your songs and carried you to victory?" And the only reply the scorpion will give is, "it is in my nature to sting and kill!"
To allow this Socialist Trojan horse into ones church, is the same as handing Gods precious ones to Satan for instruction! Any pastor, minister or churchman who allows this for one minute is ineligible to lead, guide or direct a flock. They need to be immediately removed from the pulpit!
If they are more interested in becoming mega church's and making more money, then they are very poor bible readers, Christ said you cannot serve both God and Mammon, yet they have changed this verse to YOU CAN Serve both God and Mammon! Let them kiss Satan... in the New World Order, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord Our God!
A fitting illustration of what you describe, Craig, might be this poem: The Church Walking with the World
From Craig T: I love your articles, especially against the Purpose driven church. I find that there is still a disconnect between what you are fighting and a complete understanding of it. You're fighting an evolved form of communism.
ex: A full generation before Vatican II, the techniques this so‑called “pastoral” council recommended for updating the Church had already been perfected by Communists working in the Church in China. There it was shown how the dialoguing “study club" (small prayer group) could be gradually transformed into the “parish council” which would take over the direction of the parish and eventually the entire diocese. Religious activities were systematically used as pretexts for disguised Marxist indoctrination (We are all one, Change agents, etc.) or ecumenical meetings where real Catholics driven farther and farther “out into the field” (Elimination of those who do not go along with the program, marginalizing) were always outnumbered and finally excluded. This need not surprise us, for it was in China, with Mao Tse‑Tung, that Communism attained its Pentecost..
What you are fighting moved through and captured the Catholic Church, it is now the Protestant church's turn. Read this article for some background information: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/remnant/comm.htm
The small groups, the continuous and evolving revolution. Change agents et al. all were tested in communist countries, perfected and brought to America. Sal Alinsky of IAI was paid to put these horrible precepts into place throughout the Catholic Church by Cardinal Bernadine and the Catholic Campaign for human development.
Protestantism, the last bulwark against the New World Order, is being cleansed and prepared.
Thank you, Carl, for sharing these insights. I read the article, and found it very interesting. I was a little troubled by the background of the author and by the way the way Communism was associated with Judaism. (Many historical villains who claimed a Christian identity have also mocked His truths and shamed our Lord.) But it certainly contained many thought-provoking statements that describe what is happening today. God calls us to be "alert" and "watchful," aware of the "schemes of the devil." Therefore, I appreciate these warnings:
on his own initiative, (3) and a completely conditioned initiative at that, (4) pepper, which he hates. ....
COMMUNISM and The Evolution of the 'Errors of Russia': "Marx’ philosophy has always hinged on the fomentation of constant change and evolution. Today, Communism is not so much 'dead' as it is evolving into its next stage....
"How does one get a cat to eat pepper, a condiment as unpalatable to him as Marxist doctrine is to healthy human nature? The first answer to present itself, says the primer, is obvious: Force open the cat’s jaws and cram the pepper in. Wrong, the student is told, because the cat’s willing cooperation is lacking. The second answer – to conceal the pepper in a tasty fish – is equally inadequate, because as soon as the cat detects the pepper he simply regurgitates it. The correct answer: Sprinkle the pepper all over the cat’s mat. When he lies on it the pepper will cling to his fur and sting, so that he will soon be licking himself to get it off. This method assures perfect assimilation because (1) the cat is actually ingesting (2) entirely
"There is actually no common language between Communism and Christianity, but by pretending there is, Communism can plead for 'dialogue.'So indispensable is dialogue to its offensive, that wherever it meets with real resistance, it is suspended temporarily so that it may be resumed safely later, for without this 'service of the word' no conflict could be whipped up and exacerbated.
"Never attacking religion on its own dogmatic ground [since it must avoid absolute truth & factual thinking], Communism sets out to destroy it as Cain did Abel, by inviting believers 'into the field,' non‑religious ground where the battle is already lost. Proceeding almost exclusively on the moral, practical plane, Marxism first lures its victims to acts of which they have become doubtful....
"Dialogue is rigged to produce dilemma from which the only escape always appears to be the Marxist [or compatible, pre-planned] solution....
"By refusing dialogue at the outset as we would any other temptation, we refuse dilemma and all its consequences. The timid take refuge in the enemy’s ambiguous propositions to salve their consciences, being encouraged to accept Marxist theses in Christian dress which are later interpreted and executed in the full Marxist sense."
From Shelley Childs: I found this link at www.erwm.com and I'd like to place it in the Purpose Driven Churches Comments section, as it is one family's account of the abusive nature of the growth-at-any-cost mentality that has alarmed so many of your readers: http://www.woodandsteel.net/pd-diversion.html
Thank you, Shelley!
From Jeremiah: Actually, the "purpose" movement is nothing more than authoritarianism dressed up in a new slick suit. It is simply an attempt to usurp the Holy Spirit's authority in the individual believer's life and control people from the top down by human means.
Unfortunately, the one world religion (the harlot of Revelation) must arise and I think we are now witnessing how she will achieve global obedience from the protestant denominations.
The fallout of this, as you are already seeing, is that many wounded believers will be contacting you.
As you help them understand that this is nothing new and what it is really all about, you may wish to consider recommending Gene Edwards writings, like "Letters to a Devastated Christian". Gene was once an authoritarian Pastor himself, but repented of it and has since written to comfort and encourage those who felt shipwreck or discouraged in their faith. He helps people put their eyes back on Jesus and untangles the web of authoritarian deception weaved within the Church.
One last thing for your consideration, it might be a good thing for true believers to get a good underground network organized because of the coming persecution (Matthew 24:8-12 and Revelation 17:6).
This should be done through snail mail only, as e-mail and phones are now all monitored. I will leave you with my address to give to others to snail mail me for fellowship and encouragement if you so choose.
From Jeff: Reading "Templeton Foundation - Merging Religion & Science" reminded me of the book, "Billy Graham and His Friends" by Dr. Cathy Burns. She spent (as I best recall) quite a bit of time on his relationship to the Templeton Foundation. It would appear that Graham's relationship to that goes well beyond just being one of the past recipients of the award, and she expounds on that in some detail in her book. I find myself from time to time saying a prayer for Billy Graham that he is truly okay. We all have sin, and all have things we should have done differently or better, but his many connections to the apparent one world spiritual community seems to be extensive, and therefore very concerning for him personally and all that might be swayed by it. God be with him I pray.
From Fabienne: I read Robert W's comment [posted below]. It's always good to find another Aussie (or Aussie family) who refuses to be "led by the nose"! What he says about right talk is similar to what Mr. Venhuizen says in his article on Semantic Infiltration, too.
Semantics is the field of linguistics which most interests me, and as a writer the meanings of words are important to me. Real communication becomes impossible if everyone assigns their own meanings to words. If "wicked" now means the same as "good" (this is actually happening here), how will people teach their children what is right and wrong?
And if we change the meanings of words, how will people understand the Gospel? And if they don't understand, how then can they be saved?
In my training as a Bible translator, I learned that the utmost care must be taken to find out the meanings of words and expressions in the target language, lest one translate incorrectly.
In our time in Asia, we actually did come across a translation (from the ASV into another language) which had rendered "flesh" (meaning physical body) as "meat" in John 1:14, and "flesh" (meaning sinful nature) in Romans 8 also as "meat" in the target language. It caused a fair amount of confusion to readers... [Try reading Romans 8, replacing "flesh" or "sinful nature" with "meat" and you'll see why.]
"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17) But if we preach God's Word, yet, because they assign their own meanings to words, people hear something quite different from the meaning of what we preach, how will they be able to come to faith?
Good question, Fabienne. They are more likely to come to a counterfeit or self-made faith, aren't they?
The warnings in the Bible are as relevant today as ever. See God's Word & Deception
Robert W.: We are a home schooling family in northern Victoria, Australia. The purpose driven program is the most dangerous thing I have ever seen and that is saying something. The most dangerous counterfeit is the one closest to the original. In fact when you think about it, it is possible to have an exact replica and the only thing that divides between the original and the copy is the person who authorises it.
I think that there is a monster raising its head that mistakes having the correct definition for having the actual thing. They talk all the right talk about the cross and resurrection life but live under the delusion that what they have is from heaven when, in fact, it is generated here on earth by man himself.
It is amazing what is happening here in Australia and the increasing divide between us and those we once fellowshipped with. I can see the day when "they will kill us and think they are doing God a favour." (John 16:2) That spirit is already there.
I thank God for families like yours that demonstrate discernment and have chosen to homeschool your children. What a difference it makes!
From Eddie: In Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven, Part 4: Dealing with Resisters you write: "6. Establish rules, regulations, laws and principles that silence, punish or drive out resisters." Those are the exact same things you say that "Brave New Schools (Chapter 7: Silencing the Opposition)" do to silence Christian resisters. In this case, it is OK to silence people, in the other case it is not OK to silence people.What's up with that? It's OK because it's in the name of God?
No, Eddie, you have misunderstood the education agenda. What you quoted was the education agenda, not the Christian message. The assaults on resisters are "not done in the name of God." Both are examples of how today's managers -- whether they are leaders in education or in postmodern churches -- follow the same guidelines. Both are part of the same new global management system and leadership training programs. And both are determined to wipe out the Biblical absolutes and values that block the envisioned unity or solidarity.
You say, "1. Identify resisters. In the Church Growth Movement, the resisters are those who question the need for systemic change (total restructuring of all facets), distrust the dialectic process, and criticize the transformational methods." In the "Brave New Schools" movement, the resisters are those who question the need for systematic change, distrust the dialetic process, and critize tranformational methods.
The list you are quoting consists of leadership guidelines promoted by church management consultants and endorsed by Rick Warren. They are not my views; they came from leadership gurus such as Peter Drucker, Bob Buford, the supposedly Christian Leadership Network, and various secular writers in the field of social change and psycho-social manipulation.
2. Assess resisters and determine the degree of resistance. Negative or uncompromising attitudes will be tracked using the sophisticated data systems that monitor each member. "Continual feedback" from these high-tech systems (made available to many large churches through Bob Buford's Leadership Network) provides the data needed to make necessary adjustments. It's all part of Total Quality Management. As we read in The Change Agent’s Guide, "Resisters should be judged for relative sophistication and influence." [2, page 122]
Why is identifing resisters and going after them bad for "Brave New Schools" but good in this case?
Again, both examples illustrate the same transformation. Both the Brave New Schools and the new church management must identify resisters and deal with them according to the worldwide guidelines for social transformation.
5. Vilify those who "stay and fight." At this stage, negative labels, accusations and slander are permitted, if not encouraged, to circulate. Resisters — now labeled as divisive troublemakers — are blamed for disunity, for slowing the change process, and for distracting the church body from wholehearted focus on its all-important vision, mission or purpose. Ponder the subtle suggestions and negative labels Pastor Warren attaches to individuals who question his purpose-driven management system:
Is it all OK because it's for a church? Is it all OK because it's for God? What is this "God" you speak of?
Thanks for asking about our wonderful God. You can read about Him in these sections. They describe Him better than I can summarize.
From a concerned friend: I thank you for the scripture Col 2:6-8.
I studied Jude last night to be sure I am not like Cain, Balaam, or Korah. Everything has been so twisted that I am considered to be the person who despises dominion, and speak evil of dignities because I defend the Word of God and the Authority of Jesus Christ against Rick Warren's "empty philosophy."
They are calling evil good. They have been "taught" that evil is good and after reading your article I am convinced of it. We know that God has provided The Way, and has warned us about adding to or deleting from His Word...but they insist that 'a' way is the same as The Way. They have become "good stewards" of their storehouses, and they pride themselves with the "number" of people they gather to themselves.
The 40 days of PDL: can you imagine Jesus spending his forty days being tempted by Satan with nothing but the "wisdom" of Rick Warren? It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (Luke 4:4) What don't they understand? There is a famine in the land!
All Glory to our King of Kings!
It’s a strange time, yet very reminiscent of the days of Isaiah and Jeremiah. The people would call on God, but they didn’t really know Him. They thought they were following His way, but they persecuted the prophets that tried to correct their path and lead them back to truth. And they called evil good and good evil….
Everything is being turned upside down. God warned us not to love the world, but now the people love the world so much that it’s enticements are central to church life and activities.
I am so glad God has given you discernment to see the problems and willingness to speak out in spite of the cost. May He continue to guard and guide you as you follow His narrow way and delight in His wonderful presence.
From Michael Shevlane: Thank you for your illuminating articles on Rick Warren and the church growth movement. The irony of this movement is how close it gets to the truth at times, yet it is subtly and insidiously different when it matters.
The whole ‘community paradigm’ (or whatever you want to call it) has it’s basis in the glorious truth of the Body of Christ, yet what they fail to mention is that though every part of the body is joined together and One, every part must take direct orders from the Head. They leave this out because they want to play the part of the Head. Just like the old rabbis and teachers of Jesus time, they love their impressive titles and places of honor.
One of the problems most well meaning Christian leaders have today is that they often seem to think it’s all about the model. For the longest time I have been involved with house churches, because they seemed more ‘Book of Acts’, but I have realized that the leaders of this ‘movement’ spend most of their time congratulating themselves on being ‘non-traditional’, rather than truly lifting up Christ.
I now realize that there is no ‘model’ of church, but the body manifests itself in a variety of ways, and there is nothing wrong with public meetings, if they truly glorify Christ as Lord. This is a huge challenge, though, as there seem to be 1001 temptations to take ownership of anything God does and turn it into your own conquest.
I say all this because a group of us in Las Vegas are starting a church, which will hopefully incorporate house churches, public meetings, and street church. We are all against much of what goes on in the system, but have a huge burden to be part of the simple solution, which is to preach the gospel in faithfulness, and say the hard things that need to be said to a compromised and comfortable people, lifting up Jesus Christ and Him alone. I would appreciate your prayers. We are going to be going under the name of Holy Fire Christian Fellowship.
From S.A.M.: The pdc sounds a lot like the team building going on at work. It is called ways of working, another change agent for the New World Order. So it started with the work place and now the churches. Rejection is nothing new to me though, being an ex-drunkard. Jesus found me!!!
I understand now what the prophets of old felt like but its funny what you get used to.
Yes, as Jesus reminded His disciples, those who spoke the unwanted truth were despised -- just as Jesus warned us in John 15:20-21
All the previous letters on this topic have been archived here:Purpose Driven Life-1
That page is very long, so you may not want to print it.
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