Part 3: Counting All Things but Loss for the

Knowledge of Purpose




Chapter Nine:


“There Is One Thing You Could Do Greater

than Share Jesus Christ with Somebody”






Starting a Purpose-Driven Church

 

Nothing matters more than knowing God’s purposes for your life, and nothing can compensate for not knowing them.” (PDL; p. 30; emphasis added)

 

“The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose.” (PDL; p. 30; emphasis added)

 

“Living on purpose is the path to peace.” (PDL; p. 35; emphasis added)

 

“Knowing your purpose prepares you for eternity.…

 

“One day you will stand before God, and he will do an audit of your life, a final exam, before you enter eternity.” (PDL; pp. 33-34; emphasis added)


These are not comments with a view to eternity. There are multitudes of people who have plenty of purpose in life but still die unsaved because they don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ. Subjective “living on purpose” cannot save anyone or help anyone pass the so-called “final exam” or give anyone peace with the true God.


There is no greater tragedy than someone who dies without Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Jesus Christ does not become our Lord and Saviour merely because we believe we know God’s purposes and are trying to live them. Jesus Christ becomes our Lord and Saviour because we know Who He is and believe in Him and then He lives His life in us (e.g., see Galatians 2:20).


People have gotten so purpose-driven in life that they have lost sight of the greatest privilege in the universe and the most indispensable knowledge -- knowing the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Absolutely nothing compares to knowing our infinitely wonderful and awesome Lord. And when we know the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, everything else falls into place, including eternity. Self-significance, one of the goals of the purpose-driven life, is nothing but dung compared to winning Christ Himself!

 

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” (Philippians 3:8-10)

 

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)


It used to be obvious that the greatest thing we can do is tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ so they can have eternal life and the priceless privilege of knowing Him in this temporal life on earth and throughout eternity. Yet contrarily, although consistent with the previous quotes from his book, on November 2, 2003 Rick Warren actually stated the following in his Saddleback Church Service:

 

Now you’ve heard me say many times that the greatest thing you can do with your life is tell somebody about Jesus and invite them to come to know him. If you help somebody secure their eternal destiny that they spend the rest of their life in heaven, not hell, your life counts. Your life matters because nothing matters more than helping get a person and their eternal destiny settled. They will be forever ever grateful and thank you for the rest of eternity—thank you for telling me about Jesus Christ. And I’ve always said that that was the greatest thing you could do with your life. I was wrong. There is one thing you could do greater than share Jesus Christ with somebody, and it is help start a church. Because a church is going to outlast you and everybody else.” (Emphasis added)1


The Purpose-Driven Paradigm’s primary focus is not the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In spite of adamant claims to the contrary, this is proven over and over throughout this Purpose-Driven Paradigm which commonly contradicts and negates any truth that has been given. Since purpose has become the be-all and end-all of life, today’s Christianity has lost sight of the greatest privilege in the universe -- knowing and helping others to know the Lord God.


In a Paradigm in which purpose is preeminent, of course the churches started in lieu of giving the Gospel of Christ must be purpose-driven. Please do think about that:

 

“I was told this last week by our international director, we now have purpose-driven churches in every nation in the world. Every nation. Think about that.” —Rick Warren2

 

“The purpose driven DNA is implanted in every cell of the Body of Christ.” —Rick Warren3


Purpose, not God, is the center of purpose-driven. And whatever a person’s or church’s focus is, that is what they preach and teach.


Sharing the Message of Purpose with the World


In support of his belief that telling others about Jesus Christ is not the greatest thing we can do, Rick Warren instead requires his followers to tell others about his message on the purpose of life. And to give added authority to his own required message he even throws in verses, which he extracted from their context in Scripture.

 

“Now that you understand the purpose of life, it is your responsibility to carry the message to others. God is calling you to be his messenger. Paul said, ‘Now I want you to tell these same things to followers who can be trusted to tell others.’ [endnote: 2 Timothy 2:2b (CEV)] In this book I have passed on to you what others taught me about the purpose of life; now it’s your duty to pass that on to others. You probably know hundreds of people who do not know the purpose of life. Share these truths with your children, your friends, your neighbors, and those you work with. If you give this book to a friend, add your personal note on the dedication page.

 

“The more you know, the more God expects you to use that knowledge to help others. James said, ‘Anyone who knows the right thing to do, but does not do it, is sinning.’ [endnote: James 4:17 (NCV)] Knowledge increases responsibility. But passing along the purpose of life is more than an obligation; it’s one of life’s greatest privileges.” (PDL; pp. 309-310; bold added)


Rick Warren makes it clear that he believes God is calling us to be His messenger specifically in passing on his message on the purpose of life which he has been taught by “others,” which he has now passed on to us in his book. According to him, this is our duty, responsibility, and obligation. He is so completely focused on his own understanding of purpose that he even goes beyond saying it is our duty and obligation. By putting James 4:17 where he did, he is clearly saying here that if we do not pass his message of purpose on, then we are sinning.


On the contrary, we are not to pass on unscriptural leaven from his book or any other source! The apostle Paul specifically wanted people to teach the truth about Jesus Christ, which he learned directly from Jesus Christ Himself. Yet Rick Warren would require us to teach the unscriptural, humanistic leaven of the world which he learned from “hundreds of writers and teachers.”


What he is doing is scriptural malpractice, which is further evidenced in what immediately follows the previous quote regarding our “obligation” in passing along his understanding of the purpose of life:

 

“Imagine how different the world would be if everyone knew their purpose. Paul said, ‘If you teach these things to other followers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus.’ [endnote: 1 Timothy 4:6 (CEV)]” (PDL; p. 310; bold added)


First, knowing your purpose has no power to change the world. It is being delivered from sin through knowing the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and subsequently receiving the Holy Spirit to live in and through us that does indeed change people.


Second, Rick Warren is clearly trying to make the point in this section that we will be a good servant of Christ Jesus if we teach these things—what he learned from hundreds of people about the purpose of life—to other people. He has “the key,” so according to him it is our “responsibility” and “duty” to pass it on.


Third, rightly dividing the Word of God does not consist of pulling out a phrase that seemingly supports your point when it is removed from its context. 1 Timothy 4:6 actually says:

 

“If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.”


Rick Warren’s Paradigm goes way outside the boundary of words of faith and good doctrine, which is inevitable when learning “a lot of truth from different religions.” His “blueprint for Christian living” contains such a generic message of purpose that even those in other religions (faiths) have embraced its message of purpose-driven living. If his book was grounded in “the words of faith and of good doctrine,” it would not be acceptable to other religions or be popular in the world.


Nevertheless, he is so convinced his message is “the key” that near the end of his book he even summarizes teaching and modeling a purpose-driven life as the work of Jesus on earth. Yet the world hated Jesus and loves Rick Warren and his message.

 

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” (John 3:19-20)

 

“The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” (John 7:7)


The Lord Jesus Christ brought light into the world, and the world hated His light and loved darkness. Now Rick Warren is bringing purpose-driven “light” to the world, and the world loves his “light.” Think about it.


To cater to the world, the light of the Lord Jesus Christ must be removed to avoid His light’s reproof, which is the very thing the world hated in the first place. This new message with the removed light is the message the world has opened its ears to:

 

“The religious vision is uncomplicated and accepting: ‘God wants to be your best friend.’ Warren’s Christianity, like his church, has low barriers to entry.…

 

“It is tempting to interpret the book’s message as a kind of New Age self-help theology. Warren’s God is not awesome or angry and does not stand in judgment of human sin. He’s genial and mellow.” —Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, 9/12/05 (Emphasis added)4


To remove the judgment of God is to remove the throne of God, and thus His Lordship; one does not exist without the other. It also removes Who the Lord God is in holiness and righteousness and justness and truth, among other attributes.

 

“But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.” (Psalm 9:7-8)

 

“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me.” (John 16:8-9)


What the world sees is not the true Lord God or true Christianity because too many holes have been cut in the man-centered message it is being given. (By the way, Gladwell’s article is clearly supported by Rick Warren’s website Pastors.com which obtained permission to reprint it.5)


The world may be very pleased with the holey message and new way of “doing church” in today’s Christianity, but only temporarily. Its reaction will be quite different when it finds itself standing before the holy Lord God Who isn’t anything like who it was led to believe in, and Who requires more than “knowing your purpose.”

 

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:6-11)

 

“Jesus cried and said, … I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (John 12:44, 46-48)


Knowing the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word is clearly the most indispensable knowledge. Yet in purpose-driven living, knowing your purpose and sharing your message of purpose have priority, even if your message of purpose opposes God’s purposes and truth.

 

The True Purpose of Life Is “Becoming One with that Passive

Spark of Divinity Longing for Actuality”?

 

“When I wrote The Purpose Driven Life, I never imagined so many people would respond to its offer of hope and challenge. Using the book as a guide has enabled millions of people to discover the answer to life’s most important question: What am I here for? I ended the book by asking readers, ‘When will you write down your purpose on paper?’ At that time I had no idea an essay contest about purpose would soon be established and provide the vehicle for exactly what I hoped for. Join me in celebrating this opportunity by writing an essay to share your message of purpose with us.” —Rick Warren (Emphasis added)6


God’s purpose is for us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). Nevertheless, in 2004 Rick Warren joined the “distinguished panel” of five judges for The Power of Purpose Awards,7 the worldwide essay competition to which he was referring in his previous quote.


This competition was sponsored by the interfaith, metaphysical John Templeton Foundation, which has the following objective:

 

The objective of our Religious Foundations is to teach people that they are hurting themselves when they say they believe something. What we should realize is we know almost nothing about God and therefore we should be eager to search and to learn.” —John Templeton (Emphasis added)8


This Foundation of John Templeton is eager to learn from all religions. It funds projects such as “science research to supplement the wonderful ancient scriptures of all religions” (emphasis added) because Templeton believes that “relatively little is known about God through scripture.”9 Although he claims to be Presbyterian, his beliefs deny the Word of God:

 

“Differing concepts of God have developed in different cultures. No one should say that God can be reached by only one path. Such exclusiveness lacks humility because it presumes that we can and do comprehend God. The humble person is ready to admit and welcome the various manifestations of God.” —John Templeton (Emphasis added)10


True to his belief that there is more than one way to God, Templeton has written the book Wisdom from World Religions, which is subtitled, “Pathways toward Heaven on Earth.” His Foundation’s website gives the following description of this book:

 

“One of Templeton’s most recent books, Wisdom from World Religions, assembles spiritual principles from sacred writings and from the teachings of Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism, Taoism, Zen and Zoroastrianism.”11


That he believes these religions are all pathways to heaven is only the beginning. His “wide-lens view of spirituality and ethics” also includes Metaphysics, such as “the New Thought movements of Christian Science, Unity and Religious Science” that “espouse a non-literal view of heaven and hell” and “suggest a shared divinity between God and humanity” (emphasis added).12 Indeed, he has written about “our own divinity”13 and has also said:

 

“‘The idea that an individual can find God is terribly self-centered. It is like a wave thinking it can find the sea.’

 

“‘The question is not is there a God, but is there anything else except God? God is everyone and each of us is a little bit.’” (Emphasis added)14


Templeton is “the visionary behind The Power of Purpose Awards.”15 And what is his goal? According to The Power of Purpose Awards website, “Templeton’s goal has been nothing less than to change mindsets about the concept of divinity …” (emphasis added).16


Also according to this website, Templeton’s essay competition was “a worldwide call for compelling and insightful essays to spark a new understanding of Purpose and unleash its Power to achieve noble goals.”17 Actually, it was not a “new” understanding of purpose that was ignited. It was a very ancient one, with roots in Gnosticism and Metaphysics, that seeks to unleash the power of the inner divinity and Oneness of all. Yet this is not at all surprising given the (New Age) New Spirituality beliefs and objectives of Templeton and his Foundation.


On The Power of Purpose webpage “About This Competition,” the “divine spark” within is mentioned three times.18 The “divine spark” is panentheistic and gnostic, among other things. It refers to the pagan belief that nature and mankind are all a “spark” or a “fragment” of the ONE “God;” thus all of creation is divine since “All is in God and God is in All.”


Even if a person was to read this synopsis of the competition without knowing this information ahead of time, enough information is given within it to convey this. The synopsis itself lets the readers know that “the divine spark” is “the idea that there is something of God’s presence in each of us” and that it is in both humans and nature.19


This pagan concept is also referred to as “immanence”—a term Christians are deceptively being led to believe means merely that God is active in His creation. “Becoming one” with this inner divinity is the goal of Eastern enlightenment, which, not surprisingly, was presented as “the true purpose of life” in the essay that won the competition’s $100,000 Grand Prize. The winner, August Turak (founder of the interfaith Self Knowledge Symposium), wrote in his essay:

 

We must commit to becoming one with that passive spark of divinity longing for actuality

 

Working toward this miraculous transformation, re-birth, or inner alchemy is the true purpose of life. This transformation is what the West calls ‘conversion’ and the East ‘enlightenment,’ and is the fruit of our commitment to the authentically purposeful life that Father Christian described so well.” (Emphasis added)20


Turak was introduced to his spirituality by the Zen Master he studied under. His “teacher, mentor, and life-long inspiration” is Richard Rose, who “always said that he found great wisdom in the writings of Theosophical Society founder Madame Blavatsky.”21 Turak’s winning essay “Brother John” was a true story of his contemplative retreat at a Trappist monastery.22 The monks there are “living a life of contemplative prayer according to the arduous Rule of St. Benedict”23 (an arduous Rule of works that must be perseveringly followed to deserve salvation).


Contrary to Turak’s claims, Eastern enlightenment is not in any way, shape, or form similar to the conversion or new birth of a new believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. The former is by the power and deceptions of Satan. The latter is by the power and truth of God. The contemplative process of “becoming one with that passive spark of divinity” is an occultic “re-birth.”


As noted earlier in chapter six, contemplative prayer is an occultic tool of the spirit realm designed to entice mankind into believing in this Oneness. Its underlying belief system is the pagan cousins of pantheism and panentheism -- God is/is in everything. This belief system teaches that “God” is not outside creation because he is not separate from anything. He is within creation giving Oneness to all.


Christian author Warren Smith was delivered from the New Age and has written books warning the Body of Christ on its dangers. In Deceived On Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church, he writes:

 

“When I was involved in New Age teachings and studying A Course in Miracles, I was taught that the concept of ‘Oneness’ is inextricably linked to the understanding that God is ‘in’ everything.” (Bold added)24


In his book, he discusses Rick Warren’s own use of this teaching in his choice to quote Ephesians 4:6 from the New Century Version and also in the description of God in Saddleback’s Foundations curriculum.

 

The Bible says, ‘He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything.’ [endnote: Ephesians 4:6b (NCV)]” (PDL; p. 88; bold added)

 

“The fact that God stands above and beyond his creation does not mean he stands outside his creation. He is both transcendent (above and beyond his creation) and immanent (within and throughout his creation).” —Foundations Participant’s Guide (Parentheses in the original; emphasis added)25


First, Ephesians 4:6 actually says, “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all,” referring to “the saints” at Ephesus and “the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). Second, these quotes, regardless of the intended meaning, are foundational tenets in paganism and should never be used in a “Foundations” course at any church or in any Paradigm claiming to be Christian (or in any book claiming to be a version of God’s Word). In spite of the arguments that the intended meaning behind these two quotes is that God’s “hand” is in everything or that God is “present” everywhere, that is not what these quotes say.


True to the Angel of light’s purpose, churches today are presenting a synthesis of God immanent and God transcendent. And as they do, teachings on the “divine spark” (the “fragment” of God within all) are becoming more accepted.

 

The Eastern faiths have ever emphasized God immanent The Western faiths have presented God transcendent … Today we have a rapidly growing emphasis upon God immanent in every human being and in every created form. Today we should have the churches presenting a synthesis of these two ideas which have been summed up for us in the statement of Shri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita: ‘Having pervaded this whole universe with a fragment of Myself, I remain’.” —Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul (Bold added)26

 

“… ‘having pervaded this entire Universe with a fragment of Himself, He remains.’ God is immanent in the forms of all created things; the glory which shall be revealed is the expression of that innate divinity in all its attributes and aspects, its qualities and powers, through the medium of humanity.

 

“On the fact of God and of man’s relation to the divine … the new world religion will be based.… a fresh orientation to divinity and to the acceptance of the fact of God Transcendent and of God Immanent within every form of life.

 

“These are the foundational truths upon which the world religion of the future will rest.” —Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul (Bold added)27


Although The Purpose Driven Life has undergone numerous printings, as of its 46th printing no corrections have been made to Rick Warren’s panentheistic declaration. His purpose-driven “manifesto” still reads, “The Bible says, ‘He [God] … is in everything.’”


It used to be obvious to Christians that God is not immanent in everything. Even Richard Abanes, Rick Warren’s biographer, has acknowledged in one of his books that “immanence, or the concept of divinity residing in all things” is a belief of pagans.28 Apparently there was enough outcry over Rick Warren’s lack of discernment in this area, that Abanes addressed it in his biography of him. Yet Abanes offers as a defense, “Warren’s use of Ephesians 4:6 in The Purpose-Driven Life is an attempt to teach God’s immanence”!29 Then after discussing God’s “omnipresence,” he continues his defense with a quote from a 1997 sermon in which Rick Warren himself even acknowledged:

 

“God is not in everything. You hear this all the time. Everything is in God and God’s in everything. That’s a bunch of baloney!… God is not in everything and everything is not God. That is called pantheism.” —Rick Warren30


According to Rick Warren’s own sermon, the verse that he chose to quote from the New Century Version contains pantheism. So what happened? Why choose a perverted “Bible” version that quotes “baloney”?! What changed in him that led to his undiscerning choice to use an unholy “Bible” that sets forth a pagan tenet rather than Holy Scripture in this verse?


Abanes offers as a further defense that Rick Warren doesn’t refer to everything as “divine” and isn’t deliberately trying to teach pantheism. That may be true, but these statements are only rationalizations to cover the apparent refusal to make any retractions. At the same time, there’s Rick Warren’s choice to judge a competition that clearly presented these beliefs in its synopsis, not to mention in the beliefs of its visionary.


If the goal truly is to be scriptural, rather than a bridge between Christianity and the false beliefs of the world, then why is it that his actions are being defended and excused instead of corrected? Why is it so difficult to acknowledge the error and then make corrections in the new printings of the book? Why are Christian leaders and authors so willing to go against what they have previously believed and taught for the sake of defending error in this “whole new way of thinking and acting”?

 

“When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest.” —Unknown


The contradictions and changes continue. This is one example of many how teaching sound doctrine is becoming increasingly irrelevant in today’s double-minded Christianity that speaks out of both sides of its mouth. People would be far better served contending for the faith than spending their time skirting the real issues and spin doctoring sin and error for the purpose of defending it.


Contrary to man’s “baloney,” neither God nor His divinity is in everything. Divinity, the essence of God, belongs to God and God alone. Some Christian leaders have fallen for the New Age teaching that our soul is a “divine spark,” but our soul is not divine. Nor is being made in the image of God the same as being divine.


When God indwells believers of the Lord Jesus Christ, believers become “one in Christ Jesus” (see Galatians 3:28), but neither God nor His divinity becomes part of our nature. We are His temple, and He indwells us as a separate Being Who lives His divine nature through us, thus making us “partakers,” as stated in 2 Peter 1:4. God did not become “One” with the temple in Old Testament times, and He does not become “One” with us now.


The Almighty God shares His divinity with nothing and no one. Thus He alone is God and there is no “Oneness” with God for any part of His creation. No part of us ever has been nor ever will be divine. God alone is God. The belief that any part of mankind is divine or can become divine is a continuation of Lucifer’s grave error who said that he “will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14).


Yet these beliefs are increasingly accepted in today’s Christianity as the practices of contemplative spirituality become ever-more popular. And these beliefs are inseparable from the objectives of John Templeton, his Foundation, and his essay competition. Templeton must have been very pleased with Turak’s winning essay in which “the true purpose of life” is to contemplatively transform ourselves by “becoming one” with our inner “divinity.” His purpose of “chang[ing] mindsets about the concept of divinity” was served well by his five selected judges.


According to Milestones, a publication of the John Templeton Foundation, Turak’s winning essay “was the unanimous first choice of the five judges in the essay competition” (emphasis added).31 This winning essay had no mention of the Lord Jesus Christ or His Gospel. In fact, from Rome’s false gospel of works to the (New Age) New Spirituality’s false gospel of Oneness this winning essay opposed the Gospel of Christ. Nevertheless, Rick Warren voted for it. Nothing matters more than knowing your purpose.


The Power of Purpose Awards said in one of their e~LETTERs:

 

“If our greatest global problem is spiritual emptiness—living without meaning and purpose—raising awareness through this new prize has been worth it tenfold.”32


Rick Warren has similarly defined spiritual emptiness:

 

“Spiritual emptiness -- billions of people don’t know their purpose in life.” —Rick Warren33


Apparently it doesn’t matter which belief system your purpose in life is founded on. The message of purpose that he voted on sets forth a “true purpose of life” that is inseparable from the belief in immanence—i.e., that “God is in everything.”


Even if Rick Warren had not voted for this essay, he still sat as one of five judges over the competition at which this essay won. His presence as judge for a metaphysical Foundation endorses the metaphysical winner. Which one of his five purposes did he fulfill in his fellowship with Templeton’s unfruitful works of darkness:

 

         Was God worshipped or pleased by his endorsement of this interfaith Foundation of darkness?

 

         Was he helping anyone become part of God’s family by supporting a Foundation that’s working toward unifying the world’s religions in interfaith unity?

 

         Was he becoming more “like Christ” by voting for a metaphysical essay espousing the inner spark of divinity and occultic inner alchemy as “the true purpose of life”?

 

         Was he serving God by serving the Foundations’ godless objective of changing people’s beliefs in God and divinity?

 

         Was he introducing anyone to the true God by promoting a competition whose visionary believes God cannot be found by individuals and that “God is everyone and each of us is a little bit”?


Where is the pastor who said:

 

“Fundamentally, my role in life is to get people into heaven. And so I am spending all my time and energy on that, getting people into heaven.” —Rick Warren34


Or does “getting people into heaven” have a broader meaning behind it that as yet remains under wraps? Using the broad way to reach people on the broad way does nothing for getting people off the broad way and into heaven! The immense popularity of this practice, which is the antithesis of the Gospel of Christ, reveals the dire state of today’s Christianity. All this practice does is validate the broad way in the eyes of those on it as “another way” to God.


Is this what he wants to cooperate with and start doing? Is this what he wants to stop criticizing? Is this what he wants to be known for being for? The Milestones article that announced the “unanimous” vote closed with Rick Warren’s comment as its final words:

 

“Competition judge Warren added, ‘I ended my book The Purpose Driven Life by asking readers, ‘When will you write down your purpose on paper?’ I had no idea that an essay contest about purpose would soon be established, and provide the vehicle for exactly what I hoped for.’” (Emphasis added)35


In large letters across the top of the back cover of Richard Abanes’ biography of Rick Warren is the following question that deserves a straightforward answer: “What Purpose Drives Rick Warren and His Message?” Although Rick Warren claims to be about God’s purposes, God’s eternal purposes are inseparable from the narrow way of the Lord Jesus Christ and His truth.

 

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ephesians 3:9-11)

 

“For I am the Lord, I change not …” (Malachi 3:6)


 

Return to Chapter 8            Proceed to Chapter 10




 

1.  Rick Warren, Saddleback Church Service, November 2, 2003; transcribed from http://www.saddlebackfamily.com/peace/Services/110203_high.asx.

2.  Ibid.

3.  “11 characteristics of a PD church” by Rick Warren, Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox™, Issue #205, 5/4/2005, http://www.pastors.com/rwmt/?id=205&artid=8227&expand=1.

4.  “The Cellular Church” by Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker magazine, September 12, 2005, http://www.gladwell.com/2005/2005_09_12_a_warren.html.

5.  New Yorker article on the ministry of Rick Warren” by Malcolm Gladwell, Pastors.com, http://www.pastors.com/article.asp?ArtID=9636.

6.  As quoted in “Rick Warren,” The Power of Purpose Awards, http://www.powerofpurpose.org/judges_warren.html; (now at http://www.templeton.org/powerofpurpose/judges_warren.html).

7.  The Judges, The Power of Purpose Awards, http://www.powerofpurpose.org/judges.html; (now at http://www.templeton.org/powerofpurpose/judges.html).

8.  The Quotable Sir John, On Life and Spirituality, John Templeton Foundation, http://www.templeton.org/sir_john_templeton/quotes.asp.

9.  “Biography: Sir John Templeton,” John Templeton Foundation, http://www.templeton.org/sir_john_templeton/index.asp.

10. John Marks Templeton, The Humble Approach: Scientists Discover God (Radnor, Pennsylvania: Templeton Foundation Press, 1995), p. 46.

11. “Biography: Sir John Templeton,” http://www.templeton.org/sir_john_templeton/index.asp.

12. Ibid.

13. Ibid.

14. The Quotable Sir John, On Life and Spirituality, http://www.templeton.org/sir_john_templeton/quotes.asp.

15. The Power of Purpose Awards Backgrounder, http://www.powerofpurpose.org/backgrounder.html; (now at http://www.templeton.org/powerofpurpose/backgrounder.html).

16. “Sir John Templeton,” The Power of Purpose Awards, http://www.powerofpurpose.org/aboutsjt.html; (now at http://www.templeton.org/powerofpurpose/aboutsjt.html).

17. The Power of Purpose Awards, http://www.powerofpurpose.org; (now at http://www.templeton.org/powerofpurpose/index.html).

18. About This Competition, The Power of Purpose Awards, http://www.powerofpurpose.org/whatispurpose.html; (now at http://www.templeton.org/powerofpurpose/whatispurpose.html).

19. Ibid.

20. “Brother John” by August Turak, The Power of Purpose Awards, http://www.powerofpurpose.org/winners/printer_turak.html; (now at http://www.templeton.org/powerofpurpose/winners/printer_turak.html; and also at http://www.selfknowledge.org/whoweare/templeton_augie.htm).

21. See under the description of the links Rose Publication and The Theosophical Society in America, Self Knowledge Symposium Resources, http://www.selfknowledge.org/resources/resources.htm; and also “Five Years with a Zen Master” by Self Knowledge Symposium founder Augie Turak, http://www.selfknowledge.org/events/fiveyears_TapeInfo.htm.

22. 2004 Essay Winners, August Turak, The Power of Purpose Awards, http://www.powerofpurpose.org/winners/essay_turak.html; (now at http://www.templeton.org/powerofpurpose/winners/essay_turak.html).

23. “Brother John” by August Turak, http://www.powerofpurpose.org/winners/printer_turak.html; (now at http://www.templeton.org/powerofpurpose/winners/printer_turak.html; and also at http://www.selfknowledge.org/whoweare/templeton_augie.htm).

24. Warren Smith, Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church, Second Edition, (Magalia, California: Mountain Stream Press, 2004), p. 84. (Available through various ministries on the Internet and Amazon.com.)

25. Tom Holladay & Kay Warren, Foundations: A Purpose-Driven Discipleship Resource, Participant’s Guide, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2003), p. 46. See also the section “Immanence: the ‘God’ Within,” pp. 155-159, in the book Deceived on Purpose, Second Edition, by Warren Smith.

26. Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul, Problems of Humanity, Chapter V - The Problem of the Churches, I. The Fact of God, Immanent and Transcendent, (Caux, Switzerland: Netnews Association and/or its suppliers, 2002), http://www.netnews.org -- http://laluni.helloyou.ws/netnews/bk/problems/prob1057.html.

27. Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul, The Reappearance of the Christ, Chapter VI - The New World Religion, (Caux, Switzerland: Netnews Association and/or its suppliers, 2002), http://www.netnews.org -- http://laluni.helloyou.ws/netnews/bk/reappearance/reap1043.html.

28. Richard Abanes, Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menace behind the Magick (Camphill, Pennsylvania: Horizon Books, 2001), p. 159; quoting Susan Harwood Kaczmarczik, et al, “Alt. Pagan Frequently Asked Questions,” January 25, 1993.

29. Richard Abanes, Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him, p. 95.

30. Rick Warren, as quoted in ibid., p. 96.

31. “Of Monks and Mushrooms: Prize-winning Essays on The Power of Purpose” by Bill Newcott, the October 2004 issue of Milestones, a publication of the John Templeton Foundation, http://www.templeton.org/milestones/milestones_2004-10.asp.

32. “OVER 7,000 ESSAYS FROM 97 COUNTRIES and all 50 United States Caps Contest Closing!”, The Power of Purpose Awards e~LETTER, July 2004, #9, http://www.powerofpurpose.org/newsletter/July012004.html; (now at http://www.templeton.org/powerofpurpose/newsletter/july012004.html).

33. As quoted in “Evangelism Gone Entrepreneurial,” BusinessWeek Online Extra, May 23, 2005, http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_21/b3934015_mz001.htm.

34. Transcribed from Josh Mankiewicz’ televised interview of Rick Warren that aired on NBC’s Dateline, October 3, 2004.

35. As quoted in “Of Monks and Mushrooms: Prize-winning Essays on The Power of Purpose” by Bill Newcott, http://www.templeton.org/milestones/milestones_2004-10.asp.




Copyright © 2006 Tamara Hartzell. All rights reserved.


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