Humanism Achieves Immense Popularity
Many Driven into the Alluring “Light” of the Broad Way
In spite of the book’s reported use of “over 1,200 scriptural quotes and references,” The Purpose Driven Life has been founded very firmly on unscriptural man-centered theology, philosophies, and traditions. Yet Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Paradigm and its “manifesto” are sweeping hundreds of thousands of churches around the world. A favored argument in support of this extremely popular Paradigm is: How can millions of people and church leaders and churches all over the world be wrong?
The subjectivity of man, rather than the absolute objectivity of God, is the basis of this man-centered argument. We are to prove all things according to the light of God’s Holy Scriptures, not according to whether or not something is popular. The fact that hundreds of thousands of churches, tens of millions of people, and hundreds of millions of dollars are part of this movement says absolutely nothing about it being of God.
That a humanistic movement which twists Scripture in order to align with worldly “wisdom” is enjoying global popularity in churches is merely a sign of our times regarding the tremendous lack of knowledge in today’s Christianity. Humanism has become so commonplace and accepted that not only are its teachings not even recognized as such any more, but they are actually believed to be centered around God instead of man!
To follow the majority simply because it is the majority leads to destruction.
• The majority -- every single person on Earth, excluding a mere eight people -- died in the global flood of God’s wrath.
• The majority -- every Israelite over the age of 19, including the religious leaders and excluding a mere two people (the two faithful spies) -- died in the wilderness and were forbidden to enter the promised land. (This was the consequence of choosing to rebelliously listen to the word of the majority of the spies instead of to the two faithful spies telling them to trust and obey the word of God.)
• The majority of religious leaders -- “all the chief priests and elders of the people” -- “took counsel against Jesus to put him to death” (Matthew 27:1).
• The majority of the multitude followed the persuading of their religious leaders to ask Pilate to “destroy Jesus” -- “They all say unto him, Let him be crucified” (Matthew 27:20, 22).
Ultimately, to follow the majority is to follow the broad way that leads to destruction -- many are on this road, and only a few are on the narrow road that leads to life (see Matthew 7:13-14). Tragically, the broad way of destruction also includes many who call Jesus “Lord” and obviously believe they are Christians and that they are serving Jesus with their lives (see Matthew 7:21-23). This would clearly include church-goers of local churches.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)
These many “Christians” (in name only) were wrong about the single most important thing in life. They believed they were following and serving the Lord Jesus Christ. But they were condemned by Him for all eternity because they were wrong about how the Lord Jesus Christ wants to be followed and served.
The many in this condemned group no doubt believed doctrine didn’t matter. They no doubt believed they could pragmatically use any means that worked which were right in their own eyes to accomplish what they thought the Lord Jesus Christ wanted them to do. On the contrary, the Word of God is clear that we can only follow and serve the Lord Jesus Christ by believing the right things and by doing things His way (obedience). Matthew 7:21-23 clearly proves beyond all shadow of doubt that the end does not justify the means.
How can millions of people and church/religious leaders and churches all over the world be wrong? Very easily, as seen throughout Scripture. Along with the frog, they are boiling in the pot of transformation.
Not every transformation that occurs in life is a good thing.1 Following the Purpose-Driven Paradigm, churches are pragmatically implementing change away from behaviors and teachings that are deemed exclusive, intolerant, divisive, and restrictive, in order to be attractive to the world. Rick Warren and his purpose-driven followers appear to be totally oblivious to the fact that their changes are increasingly uniting them with the broad way’s another gospel and another Jesus and another spirit, and leading them away from the true Gospel of the true Jesus Christ.
The true Jesus Christ is the exclusive and divisive Rock of Offence and Stumblingstone that the world will never unite over but, rather, hates and stumbles over (e.g., see John 7:7; John 3:19-20; and 1 Peter 2:6-8). He is inclusive in the sense that all are welcome to come to Him, but they must come to Him in faith via His narrow way, and only a few are willing to do so. Many are they who hate Him and His narrow way which excludes all who refuse to believe and obey.
Contrary to what is being taught in the Purpose-Driven Paradigm, the world does not reject Christianity because the churches are doing a poor job of presenting Christ. The world rejects true Christianity because it is founded on Christ. Change Christianity to center it around the world, and the world will jump right in. But then what you are left with is no longer Christianity but merely an extension of the world into the churches.
Because the Rock of Offence is offensive to the world, neither He nor His Gospel will ever be popular. To take away what offends in order to preach an all-inclusive, tolerant, nonjudgmental Jesus is to preach another Jesus. We don’t have the right to positively recreate the Rock of Offence into someone that pleases the world. Truth is positive and negative. To take away the “negative” is to take away truth. He tells us Who He is, and we either believe or we don’t.
The Rock of Offence Himself said that He came to bring division. God’s Word is a sword of absolute truth that divides those who are for it from those who are against it -- those who believe and obey it from those who do not. It divides the few who are on the narrow way from the many who are on the broad way.
“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.” (Luke 12:51)
“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” (1 Peter 2:6-8)
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
Many today “stumble at the word” because they do not believe that God’s unchanging, absolute Word is an eternal, living and powerful book of truth and wisdom that is equally alive and powerful in each and every generation. They especially do not believe that God’s Word is equally alive and powerful in today’s so-called “postmodern” generation; a more accurate term for today’s world is “post-truth.” This lack of belief drives many to find their meaning and purpose of life not in the pure, unadulterated Holy Scriptures written by God but, rather, in popular and corrupt man-centered books written by men that appeal to the flesh and the world.
Return to Chapter 1 Proceed to Chapter 3
1. See “What Is Transformation?” by Lynn and Sarah Leslie, August 15, 2005, NewsWithViews.com, http://newswithviews.com/Leslie/sarah.htm; “Are you in the throes of Transformation?” posted March 9, 2006 at http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/03/are-you-in-throes-of-transformation.html.
Copyright © 2006 Tamara Hartzell. All rights reserved.