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Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Live” and pastor of Saddleback Church was recently interviewed by Beliefnet.com, which is a spiritual smorgasbord website of feel good spirituality. The beliefnet.com website offers inspirational articles for followers of every religion or spiritual preference. If you don’t have a religion then you can use beliefnet’s “Belief-O-Matic’ 20 point questionnaire to identify the religion that is best for you. (I am not making this up)
Being interviewed by a website like Beliefnet provided Pastor Warren an opportunity to tell the confused and lost readers of this website about the saving work of Jesus Christ, to share the Gospel message of the free-forgiveness of sins because of Jesus' shed blood on the cross, and to share the message that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and the only way of salvation. Did Warren do that? Not even close!
Rather than share the gospel, Warren instead shared his desire to create a 2nd Reformation, a reformation of deeds instead of creeds. Yup, that’s right. In Warren’s own words, it doesn’t matter what you believe, what matters is what you do. Here’s exactly what Pastor Rick told this new age spiritual website, “I’m looking for a second reformation. The first reformation of the church 500 years ago was about beliefs. This one is going to be about behavior. The first one was about creeds. This one is going to be about deeds. It is not going to be about what does the church believe, but about what is the church doing.” Click here to hear this in Rick's own words
Later in the interview Rick made a point of talking about the five things Jesus did here on earth. Sadly, Jesus’ atoning death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead didn’t make Warren’s list. Here’s Warren’s list, “It's the five things Jesus did when he was here on earth. The first thing he did was he planted a church. The second thing he did was equip leaders. He spent three years training these disciples. The third thing he did was he cared for the poor. In fact, in his very first sermon, he says, "I am here to preach the good news to the poor.” He cared for the poor. Fourth, he healed the sick. One-third of his ministry was a health ministry. The fifth thing is he taught. Particularly he cared about the next generation.”Click here to hear this in Rick's own words
Warren’s list misses the whole point of Jesus life and message to the world. First of all I think that feeding the poor is a noble thing to do. But, filling people’s bellies with food is only a short-term fix to a far more serious problem. In Matthew. 4:4 Jesus said, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” In other words, the world’s problem is not a lack of food but a lack of belief and trust in the One True God. If one truly desires to ‘live’ then it takes more than food, it takes the spiritual food of God’s word, which can only be consumed through faith and belief.
The greater problem that every person on the planet faces, regardless of their economic status, is the fact that they are sinners who will someday stand before God and have to give an accounting of their deeds. The good news is that Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, has already paid the penalty and price for the sins of the whole world through his atoning death on the cross. Therefore, God has made peace with mankind and provided for the salvation of every man, woman and child who has ever lived or will live. This salvation is free, which means that even the poorest people on the planet can afford it.
Pastor Warren, you’re missing and distorting the whole point of Jesus’ purpose for coming to our planet. Please get back to the message of the cross.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
1 Corinthians 2:1-2 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Philippians 2:5-11 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.