For millennia, Satan’s Dream has been to be like God (see Isaiah 14:12-14), and his Vision is that of a deceived world following him in interfaith unity rather than following God in the faith. Scripture prophesies that Satan’s Plan to turn his Dream and Vision into reality will climax in his two global leaders, the Antichrist and the False Prophet, who will rule over the three segments of society -- government, business, and religion. Their ability to work signs and lying wonders will easily convince the world to follow the Antichrist (e.g., see Revelation 13; 17; 19:20 and 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9).
A multitude of details to complete his Plan are already in place, and many more are coming together on a regular and frequent basis. His Plan will be the greatest deception ever to befall mankind. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself warned that this deception would be great enough to deceive even His own people (see Matthew 24:24 and Mark 13:22; also see 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and 1 Timothy 4:1). Obviously, in order for this to be the case, the deception would have to appear “scriptural” and as a way of “light” rather than darkness.
This masquerade is no problem for Satan who can transform himself into “an angel of light” and whose ministers can transform themselves into “ministers of righteousness” (see 2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Satan is adept at misusing Scripture to make things seem as if they are right. This Master Deceiver has had thousands of years to perfect his deceptions and to practice craftily leading people into questioning and rethinking what God has really said.
Christianity, a once vocal mouthpiece for God’s absolute truth and obstacle to the completion of Satan’s Plan, needed to be neutralized. Its warnings needed to be silenced. To do this, Satan needed to lure it away from the truth and into a new way of thinking so it would become deceived along with the world.
You may question, “How can the Master Deceiver accomplish such an ‘impossible’ task without Christians realizing what is going on and fleeing the deception?” We are often reminded of the lesson of how to boil a frog in a pot of water. The secret to keeping him from jumping out of the pot to safety is to ever so gradually transition the water around him from cold to the boiling point. Only in this way will he fail to notice the life-threatening situation.
Likewise, the purpose of the transition stage is to process man’s thinking far enough so that he loses the ability to recognize that the transformation is not what he wants. Barring getting pulled out of the fire, he will be unwilling and then unable to flee or undo the process. As a result, the damage is done and the transformation becomes complete.
The Master Deceiver’s devices include surgically extracting the truth out of today’s Christianity, ultimately replacing the truth with error. The following transformations are included in this process:
• Gradually Transform God’s Absolute Truth into Relativism. Entice Christians to question and rethink what God really said. This is easily done by producing books and “Bible” versions that incrementally change what God said. This way they won’t notice they have been deceived into changing the message and following lies rather than the truth.
• Gradually Transform Obedience to God’s Truth into Pragmatism. Entice Christians to believe that whatever “works” is acceptable to God. This way they won’t notice they have been deceived into rethinking the world’s ways as obedience rather than the disobedience God’s Word says they are.
• Gradually Transform the Gospel of Faith into a Gospel of Service. Entice Christians to believe that service is the most important aspect of faith. This draws them into the zealousness of serving the world’s temporal needs. This way they won’t notice they have been deceived into devoting a dwindling amount of time and resources toward preaching the Gospel of Christ and bringing those in the world to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
• Gradually Transform the Faith of the Narrow Way into a Faith on the Broad Way. Entice Christians to believe that judging truth and error is unloving, divisive, and intolerant. This draws them into silencing those exercising discernment rather than those spreading heresy. This way they won’t notice they have been deceived into a pursuit of unity with the world that has truly united them with the world.
• Gradually Transform Man into “God.” Entice Christians to rethink the nature and role of both God and man and blur the distinction between them. This way they won’t notice they have been deceived into encroaching upon that which belongs to God alone.
Top all this with presenting the broad way as the “Christian,” “scriptural” way of living for God’s purposes and bringing global transformation and peace to the world. The end result is the post-truth “paradigm shift” metastasizing throughout today’s Christianity.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Itching ears have turned everything upside down:
• Lies are called truth, and truth is called error.
• Heresy is called faith, and uncompromising faith in the truth is called heretical.
• Claiming we can only know very little about God (a denial of the abundant knowledge of God revealed in His Word) is called humble, and being faithful to the revealed knowledge of God is called egocentric.
• Learning “truths” of foolishness from the world is called wisdom and staying relevant, and following wisdom from God’s Word of truth is called quarrelsome and irrelevantly old-fashioned.
• False prophets are called vision casters, and God’s watchmen (who speak God’s Word rather than a vision of their own heart and who warn of sin and judgment) are called false prophets, doomsday prophets, and neo-Pharisees.
• Heretics are called recovering fundamentalists, and fundamentalists (those who believe in the fundamentals of the faith, i.e., that God said what He meant and meant what He said in His Holy Scriptures) are called false teachers.
• Disobedience is called serving God, and obedience is called sin and elicits public rebuke from compromised pulpits.
• Affirming the Body in its worldly disobedience is called building up, and admonishing the Body to live in holy obedience is called tearing down.
• A gospel of works is called a gospel of faith, and living the true Christian faith is called elitism.
• Ungodliness is called righteousness, and godliness is called legalism.
• Living for self is called living for God, and living for God is called self-centered.
• Worshipping God in relativism and the unholiness of the flesh is called faithfulness to Christ and becoming all things to all people, and worshipping God in truth and the beauty of holiness is called the last gasp of Christendom and aesthetic snobbery.
• Unifying with the world is called fulfilling God’s Great Commandment of love, and faithfulness to God and His Word is called unloving divisiveness.
• Quoting the world is called teaching, and quoting the Holy Scriptures is called your opinion.
• Unbelievers are called Christians, and true Christians are called unchristian intolerants.
• Putting community above Christ is called Christianity, and putting obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ above the local church is called Churchianity.
• Humanistic teachings are called God-centered and not about you, and true theology of God is called self-centered dogmatism.
• The word of man is called truth, and the Word of God is called metaphor and stories.
• Learning “truth” from other faiths who follow false gods is called humility, and preferring to learn spiritual truth only from the faith given in the true God’s Holy Scriptures is called pride.
• Believing that every different perspective of Jesus is right is called a celebration of Jesus and a celebration of mystery, and believing only in the Lord Jesus Christ as set forth in the Holy Scriptures is called mediocrity and narrow-mindedness (although meant as criticism, it is accurate -- the Lord Jesus Christ’s way of truth is called the narrow way for a reason).
• Believing that everyone has the right to interpret Scripture, doctrine, and faith in their own way (which is relativism and places Scripture under the ‘authority’ of man) is called a celebration of diversity and humility, and believing that these things are not of private interpretation but set forth by God through His Holy Spirit as absolute truth is called intolerance and self-righteousness.
• Denying the faith in favor of interfaith conversation and experience is called love and grace, and standing on the understandable certainty of the Lord Jesus Christ (i.e., believing the Word of God is true and contending for its truth) is called hatred and religious bigotry.
• Interfaith unity is called a spiritual awakening, and faithfulness to the faith is called spiritual blindness.
• The broad way is called a way of light and world service, and the narrow way is called a way of darkness and selfish individualism.
• Unity with the broad way is called passion and holiness, and separating from the broad way is called fanaticism and cultism.
• Uniting light and darkness is called the way of love and service and truth, and discerning the difference between light and darkness, truth and error, and right and wrong is called negative judgmentalism, heresy hunting, and a critical spirit.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!… Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!” (Isaiah 5:20-21, 23)
This upside-down deception is devouring today’s Christianity, through big churches and little churches, best-sellers and not so best-sellers, big movements and little movements, national conferences and local seminars, popular theologians and pastors and students, and so on and so forth. This deception is no respecter of status, size, or popularity. Rick Warren, who like everyone else is not immune to deception, just happens to be the founder and perpetuator of the largest and most popular and influential of the group. His Purpose-Driven Paradigm is even assimilating many of the other movements into its own.
In addition, his global Paradigm is even seeking purpose-driven “men of peace” from any religion and no religion to participate in the purpose-driven works of his P.E.A.C.E. Plan. His goal is to fight five global giants (which include “spiritual lostness”) through interfaith unity. This upside-down deception is the result of falling for the broad way’s method of synthesizing light and darkness into a new reality -- a “paradigm shift.”
This new way of thinking about God and the world resembles the Angel of light’s interfaith (New Age) New Spirituality. It attempts to unite the broad way with the narrow way but at the dire cost of increasingly disobeying and departing from the faith of the narrow way.
The narrow way of light that leads to life and the broad way of darkness that leads to destruction are the only two ways in life. These two ways are eternally separate and can only be synthesized into a counterfeit way of “light” and “life” that profanes God.
The Paradigm’s purpose-driven interfaith unity cannot be separated from its “blueprint,” The Purpose Driven Life. Definitions of basic purposes have been enlarged to facilitate a more inclusive and less offensive world view. Inevitably, this has laid the foundation for interfaith unity in the P.E.A.C.E. Plan.
Rick Warren may be highly regarded as “America’s Pastor,”1 but he is still a pastor in need of earnest prayer and true scriptural counsel from men of God. He has fallen for the enticing, deceptive “light” of the world’s teachings and ways. Yet instead of trying to show him the error of his ways, today’s Christianity has put him on a pedestal, made him out to be an untouchable, and followed him into his deception hook, line, and sinker.
In the name of purpose, truth is being sacrificed on the altar of unity.
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25 & 14:12)
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:6-11)
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” (Jude 1:20-23)
Return to Note to the Reader Proceed to Chapter 1
1. About Rick Warren, RickWarren.com, http://www.rickwarren.com/about.html.
Copyright © 2006 Tamara Hartzell. All rights reserved.