The September 2009 issue of Truth Magazine carried one of my In The News articles titled, “Megachurch ‘Pastor’ Rick Warren Abandons The Savior.” It detailed how Rick Warren, author of Purpose Driven Life and many other books, spoke to the Islamic Society of North America. In his speech he said Christians and Muslims must work together to combat stereotypes, promote peace and freedom and solve global problems. Not one word about the need to believe in Jesus as the Savior or lose their souls.
One of Truth Magazine’s readers sent the article to “Pastor Rick” and received a response from his chief of staff, David Chrzan.
One of the paragraph’s stands out above the rest.
Except for his own church, Pastor Rick does very little speaking to Christian groups of believers. Instead, he invests his time speaking to groups of unbelievers that most pastors don’t have the opportunity to share with. He carefully considers the opportunities that God has given him to address these audiences. These folks that Jesus died for, but would never enter a church to hear the Good News. Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Luke 5:31 (NIV) Rick believes strongly that if you want to actively demonstrate the love of Christ to others as He commands us to, then you have to reach out to a variety of audiences. No one is ever convinced of God’s love by labeling, condemnation, or anger. Rick strongly believes that if we want to behave in a Christ-like example, we must not waste any time judging others (Jesus didn’t), but instead, do everything we can to build relationships of love and respect and trust with others.
Wow! Can you believe Warren actually pretends to be a Christian, let alone a “pastor”?
There is no problem that a person would choose to speak to non-Christians as opposed to Christians. Peter labored among the Jews while Paul focused on the Gentiles (Gal. 2:8). The problem is with everything else.
To say that Muslims or anyone else “would never enter a church to hear the Good News” is just false. Congregations all over the world have non-believers visit services. Paul admonished the Corinthians to conduct their worship decently and in order so that the non-believing visitors would not think they were crazy (1 Cor. 14:20-25, 40).
“Pastor Rick’s” chief of staff is a deceiver for sure—or is totally deceived himself. Jesus did not say, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” He said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31, NIV). You see, the former quote by Chrzan is false, the latter true. If Warren actually believed what Jesus said, he would have called on the Muslims to repent of their sin of false religion, believing a false prophet, and following false scripture. However, Warren did not do that. Rather, he served up nothingness to the Islamic Society of North America (transcript available online ).
“No one is ever convinced of God’s love by labeling, condemnation, or anger.” Really? If that is true, the every parent, employer, commanding officer, teacher, and preacher needs to quit right now.
Jesus Christ on labeling: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!…Serpents, brood of vipers…” (Matt. 23:29, 33).
Jesus Christ on condemnation: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you” (Lk. 10:13, 14).
Jesus Christ on anger: “When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables” (Jn. 2:15).
Labeling, condemnation, and anger all have their place in the religion of Christ and life of a true Christian. Error must be clearly identified, exposed, rebuked, and condemned (Rom. 16:17, 18; Eph. 5:11; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; 1 Tim. 1:3; Titus 1:10-13). People will not always like it, but our charge is to “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2).
It is because of love that they are labeled, condemned, and righteous anger is stirred. God chastens those whom He loves (Heb. 12:5, 6). The same emotions and similar actions are taken by every parent, employer, commanding officer, teacher, and preacher who loves those in their charge. Can you imagine a military commander not being angry and condemning a member of his unit who endangered the lives of all others or in rebellion endangered his own life?
Jesus did judge others. He judged all of mankind to be in sin and headed to hell unless He gave Himself on the cross. He judged the Jewish leaders to be in sin and headed to hell (Matt. 15:1-14). Because of this judgment, He warned His disciples not to follow them (Matt. 16:5-12). For anyone to claim that Jesus did not judge is either extremely ignorant of God’s word or willfully deceitful to push an anti-biblical agenda. Whichever it is, doom awaits.
“Pastor Rick” is a pathetic excuse for a preacher. He does not have the conviction or courage to “convict the [Muslims] of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (Jn. 16:8). He is the blind leading the blind. Men and women with respect for the Lord will not follow “Pastor Rick.” Rather, they will follow the great Shepherd of our souls, Jesus Christ—and rebuke and reprove all who do not.