My Problem With Rick Warren

Oh I know, I am entering dangerous territory.  I am about to criticize one of the darlings of the mainstream media and a pal of Oprah's and Obama, but I feel a genuine need to call out some false teachings Rick Warren has in his books.

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.  Mr. Warren has made millions of dollars selling books, including The Purpose Driven Church, The Purpose Driven Life, and The Purpose Driven Fellowship which have all become #1 New York Times Bestsellers.  There is nothing wrong with that, and I have no problem with that.  There is much good material in Rick Warren's book, as with John MacArthur's books; but they are misleading.  That is what I have a problem with.  Do we need a purpose driven life, church, and fellowship?  Or do we need a Christ driven life, church, and fellowship?

I argue on the side of Christ.  You may have a purpose but if it is not centered on Christ I do not think it is much of any use.  Good your purpose is to get rich, now what is your purpose for Christ?  See, there is a dichotomy there. 

My problem with Rick Warren is my problem with almost every Christian in the mainstream, Lordship Doctrine and Prosperity Theology.  Both are plain and simple heresy.  One does not need Jesus to be Lord of their life.  One must repent of their sin and be saved.  Having lots of cash and a big house does not prove one is saved.  All it proves is that the person is shrewd with money.

If someone were to place one drop of sewer water into a gallon of milk, would you drink any?  If you are wise you would say, "No way!"  Rick Warren is part of the Ecumenical Movement which replaces love for truth, and compromise for holiness.  I believe in ecumenism, but when I am expected to avert my faith in Christ to be accepted I always say bye bye.  I stand on the Gospel or on nothing at all.  I wish I could see that in Warren.
On the back of Mr. Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life, it states...
"This book will help you understand why you are alive and God's amazing plan for you--both here and now, and for eternity... This is a book of hope and challenge that you will read and re-read, and it will be a classic treasured by generations to come...The Purpose-Driven Life is a blueprint for Christian living in the 21st century..."
SOURCE: Zondervan Publishers, 'The Purpose Driven Life,' by Rick Warren, ISBN: 0-310-21074-7
Did not God give us the Bible, His Word, to answer these questions?  Yes, God did!  You don't need to read Rick Warren's books, all you need to read is the Bible.  All you need to do is just look at Revelation 4:11...
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
We were created to PLEASE GOD!  The Bible tells us how to please God--by faith (Hebrews 11:6).  The Bible is our blueprint, not Rick Warren's book or any other book.  No bestseller book can replace our need for the Word of God.  It appears that everyone is publishing books these days on HOW TO live the Christian life; BUT, all we need is the Bible.  God's Word is sufficient by Itself to guide us...
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2nd Timothy 3:16,17)

Rick Warren Avoids the Subjects of Repentance, Sin, Guilt, Judgment, Hellfire, and Damnation.  These make him uncomfortable, "The church must always show compassion, always."  Wrong, the church must show it is the body of Christ by being in the Spirit always and that is all Christ requires of the church: You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. Romans 8:9

No methodology, or level of religious commitment, can substitute for repentance towards God (Acts 20:21).  Rick Warren's books are filled with lots of religious  anecdotes that would appease any person who is a secular progressive.  To no surprise, the back cover of the book quotes Billy Graham, as saying...
"The Purpose-Driven Life will guide you to greatness--through living the Great Commandment and the Great Commission."
SOURCE: Zondervan Publishers, 'The Purpose Driven Life,' by Rick Warren, ISBN: 0-310-21074-7
It would be nice if preachers today would say the same thing about the Word of God.  Cannot God's Word guide us to greatness?  I would rather seek greatness in the inspired Word of God, than from a flawed book written by a sinful man.  Who are you going to trust--God or Rick Warren?  Rick Warren claims to guide people into the purposes of God, but he butchers the truth by leaving out judgment, Hell, condemnation, repentance, the blood of Jesus, et cetera.  God's Word is the answer my friend.  If you want to find purpose in life, then you'd be wise to go straight to the source--the Bible!

Rick Warren's Book perverts the Gospel message

Rick Warren speaks of the Great Commission, but he never explains or defines the "Great Commission."  In fact, he doesn't even explain the Gospel in his book.  On page 58, in the chapter, The Reason For Everything, Mr. Warren gives his version of how to have a relationship with God (notice that he refrains from using such terms as being "born-again," or "saved").  He states...
"Real life begins by committing yourself completely to Jesus Christ."

Wrong! You cannot show me one Scripture from the Bible that requires a person to make a commitment to Christ to be saved.  In sharp contrast, Romans 4:5 states...
"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
Real life begins by coming to Jesus Christ as a guilty, condemned, sinner.  Romans 3:19 states, "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."  Galatians 3:24 states, "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."  There can be NO salvation without the Law of God.  Rick Warren has his doctrinal priorities backwards.  

Romans 6:23 states that eternal life is a "gift."  Now, I'm no rocket-scientist, but a gift means that there are NO strings attached.  Salvation is NOT a swap, or an agreement, or an exchange; rather, it is a free gift, paid for by the precious blood of Jesus.   On page 58 Rick Warren further states...
"Receive Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior."

There is much confusion today about the word "Lord" in the Bible concerning Jesus.  The New Testament Greek word for "Lord" is KURIOS, meaning, supreme in authority, i.e., God Almighty.  Lordship Salvationists have perverted the meaning of "Lord" to mean making a commitment to Christ, or surrendering one's life wholly to Christ.  These interpretations of the word "Lord" are heresy.  There is NO controversy if you believe the Bible.  To receive Jesus as one's Savior is to receive Him as God.  No true Christian would deny the deity of Christ.  Howbeit, this has nothing to do with surrender or discipleship, which comes with growth in grace (1st Peter 2:2).  

Romans 12:1 states, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."  Paul was asking these Christians in Romans 12:1 to "present" their "bodies a living sacrifice" to God.  Clearly, they did not surrender or commit themselves to God at the time of salvation.  Lordship Salvation is simply not Biblical.
On page 58 Rick Warren further states...
'Receive his Spirit... I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity: "Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you." '

James 2:19 reads, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."  Many false religions today believe in Jesus.  Look at Benny Hinn's official website... he presents the basic elements of the Gospel; BUT, Benny Hinn is a false prophet, who exploits Christianity to make hundreds-of-millions of dollars.  Benny Hinn believes that there are 9-members of the Godhead.  Hinn professes he is a lifelong Catholic, and he is a leader in the apostate Ecumenical Movement, yoking Charismatic evangelicals together with Roman Catholicism.  

Obviously, salvation is more than a mere prayer, and all the prayer in the world cannot save a person who hasn't repented.  Rick Warren focuses on a prayer, as if some magical form of a charm is taking place.  Salvation is of God, NOT man.  Salvation is a supernatural act of God in responses to our faith in the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Every hellbound Catholic and Mormon believes the basic Gospel, i.e., that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again.  Obviously, there is more to being saved than just acknowledging some facts.  

Mormons deny the deity of Jesus; thus, they have a false Christ.  Catholics ADD the sacraments, reciting the Rosary, baptism, holy communion, et cetera, to be saved; thus, going outside the Gospel.  The Biblical Gospel excludes all forms of self-righteousness.  The Gospel has been subtly perverted by many false prophets today, including Ray Comfort, who insists that sinners forsake their sins in order to be saved. 

Salvation requires genuine repentance, which false prophets don't mention.  Many televangelists today, and other imposters in the pulpit, lead people to believe that salvation is nothing more than "inviting Jesus into one's heart."  That is not true!  Show me that in the Bible?  There MUST be Biblical repentance!  A person must realize their guilt before God, and their condemnation under God's Law.  It is only then that a person can turn in faith to Jesus Christ, believing on Him for forgiveness.  

Rick Warren is eerily silent concerning the issue of sin, which can only lead to false conversions.  The average person today doesn't recognize divorce, feminism, abortion, gambling, booze, smoking, lust, cursing, pornography, gossip, or immodest dress on women, as sins.  It's not enough for preachers to simply refer to wrong doing as "sin" anymore.  The world has redefined "wicked" to mean something "strikingly good."  Preachers need to CALL SIN BY NAME!   Abortion is cold-blooded murder!  I mean feminism is straight from Hell. Harry Potter praises and encourages witch craft.  Oprah Winfrey is a false prophet.  Rick Warren is giving a very false concept of salvation.  Rick Warren's books are a praise to his personal doctrine and method not to the name of Christ.  I love the Bible, because God gives us the cold hard facts, like 'em or not!  Rick Warren, like the rest of modern-day liberals, speaks of love, love, love; BUT, the Bible states in Psalm 7:11, "...God is angry with the wicked every day.

Spirit Led or Purpose Driven?
The Bible states in Romans 8:14...
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
The Word of God teaches that Christians are LED by the Spirit, NOT driven by a purpose.  As believers, we are to OBEY the Word of God as our Final Authority.  The Holy Spirit ALWAYS leads a believer using the Word of God.  God DOES have a purpose for the Christian's life (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:11), but you won't find it in a #1 New York Times Bestseller.  Rick Warren is correct to say that God has a purpose for our life, but you would be foolish to expect to find it in Mr. Warren's book.  Rick Warren's book is ecumenical.  He quotes from FIFTEEN different bible versions (see Appendix 3: pg. 325,326).  

Rick Warren wrote The Purpose-Driven Life in such a compromising manner, that most false religions today would readily accept, read, and promote his apostate book.  In sharp contrast, the Word of God declares... "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2nd Timothy 3:12).  Something is very WRONG with a professed "Christian" who writes a book, that becomes a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and sells millions of copies, in apostate nations that have all forsaken God.  My website and my Facebook postings anger many people.  I get cursed all the time.  It just means that I'm doing something right, because the Bible says that Christ-like believers would be persecuted!  

I'm tired of all the "experts" who claim to have all the answers to our life.  Romans 8:26-28 states, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."  Hindsight is 20/20; but the future is uncharted territory.  Oftentimes, we will not know what to do next in life.  

What decisions should we make?  What do we do?  Romans 8:28 states that there will be times when we won't even know what to pray.  All we can do is seek God's wisdom from His Word, ask the Holy Spirit to guide us, make the best decisions we can, and then trust upon the Lord.  The Word of God teaches us to seek guidance from the Holy Spirit (John 16:13), not expect to be DRIVEN by a purpose.  Although God does have a purpose for each believer, there is nothing in the Scriptures which would lead us to expect to be driven by it.  The love of the truth may compel us, but it is ultimately the Spirit of God that drives us as believers (Zechariah 4:6).

This world is filled with people who THINK they are doing God's will, but they are serving the Devil (Matthew 7:21-23).  Just because you THINK you have a purpose in life doesn't legitimize your cause or means.  Psychic medium, John Edward, will tell you that his purpose in life is to help others; yet, he is a child of the Devil, and is deceiving people about spiritual matters through his demonic familiar spirits.  The same is true concerning Oprah Winfrey, James Van Praagh, and all the other New Agers today, who believe that there are MANY paths to the light (but it is not the Light of Jesus Christ). 

As believers, we understand that our purpose here on earth is to PLEASE GOD (Revelation 4:11).  Hebrews 11:6 tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith.  Faith unlocks the windows of Heaven.  Faith is what causes us to do things for God.  If anything, the Christian life is a FAITH-DRIVEN life, not a purpose-driven life.  It is our faith in Jesus Christ that causes us to OBEY the Word of God, as the Holy Spirit leads us. 

Rick Warren Doesn't Believe We Have God's Preserved, Infallible Word Today
Rick Warren quotes from FIFTEEN different bible versions (see Appendix 3: pg. 325,326).  It appears that Rick Warren is being blown about by every wind of doctrine... "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Ephesians 4:14).  

Bible-believing Christians use the King James Bible.  All modern versions are corrupt!  I'm sick and tired of hearing preachers attack the King James Bible.  Those 54 scholarly men knew what they were doing when they prepared the King James Bible in 1611.  Things are not as they seem today.  In Psalm 12:6-7, God promised to PRESERVE His Word unto all generations.  Rick Warren errantly states on page 325...
"No matter how wonderful a translation, it has limitations.  The Bible was originally written using 11,280 Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words, but the typical English translation uses only around 6,000 words."

Rick Warren is WRONG!  Here's the truth...
There are 8,674 different Hebrew words in the Bible, 5,624 different 
Greek words, and 12,143 different English words in the King James Version.

Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
The King James Bible contains 12,143 different words Mr. Warren.

In addition, of all the Bibles being sold today, the King James Bible is the ONLY one that still uses italics to show which words were ADDED by the translators for clarity.  For example: Psalm 14:1 states, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."  In the authorized King James Bible, you'll notice that the words "There is" are in italics, meaning they were not in the original Hebrew.  The translators added those two words because they felt it necessary to convey the true meaning of what the Scripture was saying.  Thus, a fool denies the existence of God, which is quite different from saying "no" to God.  The translators were honest enough to allow us to look over their shoulders and see what they did.  This is genuine scholarship which is unequally in modern times.  In comparison, the New 
International Version (NIV) contains NO italics.  God has blessed us with the King James Bible. 


After reading Mr. Warren's book on The Purpose Driven Life, I have concluded that he is an  Modernist, a Humanist, and his book is just another smokescreen on the market today, designed to inoculate people from genuine Christianity.  He speaks about spiritual matters; but fails to proclaim the power of the precious LITERAL blood of Jesus Christ, the woefulness of sin, and the damnation in hellfire awaiting all who reject Christ.  Warren is a fad and his books are geared toward creating a method outside the scriptures.  It generates tremendous wealth for him and his small group of hand picked clique.  

Apostasy is all around us today!  Beware of anything that Franklin Graham endorses!  The Purpose Driven Life is not Biblical, because it gives readers the impression that love, good works, and dedication to Christ are all that is required to have eternal life.  Wrong, repenting your sin and turning to faith in Christ is what is necessary and anything else is outside the Gospel.  

 NO amount of religious commitment, love, good works, dedication, prayers, Bible study, or self-improvement can help you get into Heaven.  In fact, placing your faith in any of those things will guarantee you a place in Hell.  You need Christ's righteousness (2nd Corinthians 5:21).  Rick Warren won't tell you these things, but I just did.  

You don't need a Purpose-Driven Life.  What good is that?  What you need is a Spirit-filled life (Romans 8:9,14), which can only begin by becoming a born-again believer, by way of the LITERAL blood of Jesus...
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." -1st Peter 1:18,19
"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." -Hebrews 9:12
"...and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." -1st John 1:7


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