and I are greatly encouraged by the inspirational cards, emails and financial support that
God is bringing to us through you. Though the ministry of apologetics is a somewhat lonely
and often misunderstood field, our loyal friends make it so much easier. There is no way
to adequately express our love and appreciation for your encouragement, prayers and
of the continuing and increasing demands of caring for Melanies ailing parents this
continues to be a very trying time in our lives. Please especially lift my bride up in
prayer as she shoulders the emotional and physical burden with our family while I prepare
for what is going to be a very busy season of traveling and speaking nationwide.
of fatigue, stress or just living behind "enemy lines" in a fallen world it is
indeed an awesome privilege and blessing to live flat out for Jesus in these last days!
His strength and peace define the difference between hope and despair each day. When I
look back on the many years I spent separated from Gods love, I marvel at how the
unsaved make it in a world so chaotic? It is no wonder that both illegal and prescription
drug use is rampant in our society. But authentically born-again Christians have the hope
of glory and the courage of the Spirit to depend on. We are, as Paul said, not like the
world who has no hope
praise God! However, many church members today who would
certainly consider themselves Christians have accepted a brand of religion that is
subtly leading them away from the simplicity that is in Christ. (II Cor 11:3)
Feel Good Gospel Lets People Down
Greetings! God bless you as you continue to preach the TRUTH!! I have a question about The Purpose Driven Life series...At first it
seemed good, then the more it was popularized the less I thought about it. I feel that the book is held in too high of regard
and somehow Christ and the Word of God seem to play second fiddle. I did read the book and a couple of months later -
I reflected back on the text and sometimes felt like that book fed more of my flesh than
it helped my soul (spirit) to grow deeper in my relationship with Jesus Christ. Any thoughts on The Purpose Driven Life craze? I also thought that in some ways it appears to be
misleading to the non-believer and makes the Christian life out to be easy. I believe that making a decision for Jesus Christ
to be the Lord of your life is not something to be taken lightly.....and by giving a
"feel good gospel" to unsaved people I feel we are letting them down by not
giving them the whole gospel message.
Anyway, sorry this
is so long, but I think a lot about deception in the Church these days. It seems that more deception is creeping in and
less discernment is being used today. It is
hard to find a Church that is just preaching the TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST these
days. I am not meaning that to sound
legalistic in any way, shape or form. I just
do not want to be deceived in these last days.
Again, may you continue in exposing darkness
and deception. May Jesus Christ be
ever-glorified in everything you do!
disturbing condition that we evangelicals find ourselves in surely didnt happen
overnight. It has been a slow, sometimes unnoticeable slide away from biblical truth and
into spiritual relativism. I and many other bible believers are burdened and grieved by
the condition we find the Church in today. I know how distressed many folks are about the
issues Im about to raise here because I talk to them at my ministry meetings and
hear from them through phone calls, emails and letters. What is perhaps most disconcerting
(yet biblically prophetic) is that it has not been some overbearing sinister human force
from outside the Church that has caused our slide down the proverbial hill toward biblical
ruin. Instead, it has been a constant chorus of teaching, books, programs and formulas all
slickly marketed (primarily to church leadership) as the sure fire answer to fix sagging
attendance and outreach problems. In an effort to put warm bodies in the pews
and often driven to the end of their rope by looming building debts or growing pressure
from demanding elder boards and committees or even a sense of unworthiness due to modest
congregation size, many well-meaning pastors have found the Modern Church Growth Movement. Aided by the support of undiscerning or
biblically ignorant congregants, the MCGM offers what appears to be a cure for their
ailing numbers. But the spiritual results have been anything but positive for now our
churches - our evangelical churches - have fallen headlong for one of Satans
predicted and prophesied end-times trap. (For more about the MCGM see “Christianity:
Extreme Makeover Version”)
many other baby boomer evangelicals who were firmly rooted and committed to biblical
principles, practices and doctrines, I suppose I had misread how widespread our disturbing
spiritual condition had become. I thought evangelicals were resolute and unflappable when
it came to tenaciously holding onto biblical truth. I now admit though I was wrong.
been thoroughly aware of how theological liberalism had invaded the mainline denominations
and seminaries in the last century, I was living under a false assumption that nothing
could dislodge and subvert evangelicals away from the truth. I suppose I had repressed the
fact that 150 years ago 99% of Methodists, Presbyterians and Lutherans were stanch
evangelicals too and look what has happened to those once great movements. Though
some will recoil at the thought, the same sorts of spiritual delusions are happening again
on our watch. Many are in a state of denial and most will feel very uncomfortable with
what I am saying but the truth is that a number of the institutions and leaders with whom
we once thought Gods Word and righteous standards were safe have lost their way.
Evangelicals, Pentecostals and even fundamentalists all need to beware. The biblically
prophetic end-times decapitation and removal of truth is well underway. What we once
presumed to be safe and biblically sound is anything but that. The truth, for those
willing to admit it, is that many of the messages and methods being presented by growing
numbers of churches, Christian publishers and religious media sound Christian but are clearly not biblical. The problem for me in particular is
that anyone pointing this out is immediately deemed the bad guy and is accused of being
judgmental, legalistic and negative. So be it.
really never wanted to be a part of this controversy. However, I knew the day was coming
when I could no longer hold back publicly commenting on Dr. Rick Warrens books The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven
these issues are not going to win me a popularity contest in some circles but please
understand, its not that I want to speak up its that I must. I know its not going
to be pretty because just as when liberalism infected the mainline churches decades ago,
today millions of people in thousands of churches have been led away from the truth and
are now accepting a form of godliness and wed rather not hear
about it. However, as Bible believers are fast discovering, wed best be aware that
if one chooses not to be lethally drugged by the self-centered religious siren song of the
neo-evangelical feel good movement then we had better bring a healthy dose of
discernment to the pew every time we come.
there are plenty of people in plenty of churches content to enjoy the perks of this new
pseudo-Christian religion that are either oblivious to the fact or completely reject the
notion that anything is amiss. Having been fed religious sounding, yet humanistic ideas
and plans - in place of the real thing - many new converts find authentic
biblical Christianity (which cries out for men to repent) a very hard pill to swallow.
Considering that many have been mentored in the Purpose
Driven system (which at no
point challenges its followers to forsake and turn from their sins) its no wonder. Herein
lies the crux of why Dr. Warren and the feel good preachers have done
incalculable damage to individuals, congregations, and to the cause of Christ in general.
Made famous by their ability to draw crowds and grow congregations, we have become
enamored with Dr. Warren and other growth gurus and seem content to accept
their teachings based on sheer results - instead of carefully putting what they
say to the appropriate test of Scripture.
as untoward as it may seem to some, is it biblical to sound a warning and openly
illustrate the dangers of a particular mans teaching inside the confines of what
appears to be The Church? Paul and other New Testament writers thought so.
II Timothy 3:1-5 the Apostle Paul describes this very condition which we are seeing
flourish in the Church in the days just before Christs return.
This know also, that in the last
days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous,
boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural
affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are
good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a
form of godliness, (literally a form of the religion of
denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
he doesnt say the remedy for this is to hang around and see how much common
ground you can find with those preaching or believing error. He says turn away. Why? Because doctrinal error, promulgated
by those who are blind to its evil, has a tendency to spread like a plague to those who
dont vacate from its religious and deceptive entrapments!
wrote: But I
fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds
should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (II Cor 11:3)
begins his short letter to the Church by stating that he intended to write and encourage
them about the great salvation that we enjoy together but instead, he was impelled to warn
them about false teachers in their midst.
Beloved, when I gave all
diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto
you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once
delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old
ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into
lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 3-5)
was also Pauls heart as he warned his beloved Ephesian elders in Acts 20.
Take heed therefore unto
yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers,
to feed the church of
God, which he hath purchased with
his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking
perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch... (Acts 20:28-31a)
echoes these thoughts as well.
But there were false prophets
also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in
damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift
destruction. (II Peter 2:1)
are among those pesky parts of the Bible that the modern feel good preachers
ignore. We are told that they are a detriment to church growth as is any teaching that
exposes our fallen sinful nature, our need for repentance and our utter bankruptcy without
the Cross of Christ. The Modern Church Growth gurus tell pastors that messages bringing
conviction to the hearts of men are bad for business. So instead of embracing the sobering
truth that in the last days there is coming a great apostasy (II Thess 2:3), multitudes - sitting in once sound
have now been brought to crave self-help messages and neat little smooth sounding
sermonettes which never cut through to the quick of mankinds eternal issues. This is
exactly why the theologically weak and erroneous philosophy of Rick Warrens Purpose Driven Life is the rage. It sounds
Christian; gives people a plan to help placate their religious needs; taps into the human
inclination to do good, etc. yet it fails to mold authentic disciples and deceives
those who follow it into accepting a different plan for salvation than that which Jesus
and the Apostles taught.
I am saying here is not the standard Christian bashing where one writer or
preacher ruthlessly bludgeons another due to disagreements on peripheral doctrines and
practice. I happen to detest the gratuitous disputes over nonessentials that weve
all seen arise as of late and folks, this aint it. In fact, if you have heard me
preach, seen my DVDs or read my writing for long then you know that I rarely if ever name names inside what is perceived as the
Christian world. However, I am absolutely convinced that the only way Warrens
writings could have propelled him to the top of the church world is because either the
Church doesnt know their Bibles or dont care to know what the complete council of
Gods word states. I am
equally convinced that Rick Warrens current teachings - even if he may at some
future time back away from particular aspects of it - must be highlighted as spiritually
dangerous and pseudo-Christian at best.
the sake of the Church, Paul instructed Timothy on how to deal with situations such as
Preach the word; be instant in
season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (II Tim 4:2)
and rebuking isnt pretty. However, when error arises no matter
how widely accepted it is we must expose and correct it.
ideas are a cause or a symptom, the fact remains that astounding numbers of churches that
preached the Gospel of Christ in days gone by are now espousing what amounts to the
gospel of Rick Warren. In Dr. Warrens case I cant even give his teaching
the backhanded compliment Ive heard others give it, calling the Purpose Driven system Christianity lite. For
though his gospel has a religious ring to it, employs Scriptures, feels good to the senses
and may fill up the pews it is surely not the REAL gospel. If this is true, and concern over the
Purpose Driven system is indeed more than just a
clash of the differences between one style of church vs. another, could anything be more
deadly to the Kingdom today?
realize that these are strong statements but for those willing to follow the Bible instead
of The 40 Days of Purpose I hope youll allow me to lay out my case. As
you can tell however, this short newsletter will not allow for the details and depth which
many of you may desire. It is for this reason that I have prepared a special report which
underscores in detail the points I have raised here. I encourage you to request this
special report entitled Examining the Purpose
Driven Philosophy. If printed in standard hardback book
format, this thoroughly footnoted resource would be over 60 pages in length (13,000+
words). In it, I outline many pertinent points that clearly frame both the theological and
experiential arguments against the basic premise and teaching found in The Purpose Driven Life by bible believing
Christians. I site eleven key areas of disagreement with Dr. Warrens teachings and
particularly outline that if one was to follow the plan of salvation in The Purpose Driven Life it would result in a
spiritual stillbirth. I also quote Christian leaders as diverse as Chuck Smith, David
Wilkerson and John MacArthur Jr. who have all denounced the Purpose Driven philosophy.
ago I realized that I couldnt take up every cause if I was to be effective in any. I
have genuinely tried to get away from dealing with what I have written about here and in Examining the Purpose
Driven Philosophy. But conflicted as I might be the Holy
Spirit just wouldnt let me off the hook. My friends, I have written, edited, prayed
and researched for this project for over 15 months waiting on specific direction
from God as to when if ever to release it. Now the time has come but I want
you to understand that it has come with a price.
my dismay, I have already been nearly cut off from fellowship from a few due to my mere
suggestion that Warrens
positions were off the mark. In fact, one pastor, whom Ive known and preached for
several times over the past twenty years, has made it clear that he would sever ties with
me if I release this report. Satan has tried relentlessly to intimidate me into silence
even as I have been writing this newsletter.
I keep hearing his ugly voice say, youll lose friends, youll lose
support, youll lose churches where you speak
I just know that hes
a liar, that truth always wins in the end and that regardless of my
own personal emotional and spiritual struggles, I simply cannot remain silent on this any
longer. The truth must be told and for better or for worse I just have to trust the Lord
for the outcome.
I close I want to recommend that you also acquire both of my seminar teachings The REAL Purpose of the Church and The Most Dangerous Cult on DVD and show them to everyone you can as
well. Perhaps order multiple copies of them and the special printed report for friends,
family or your pastor too.
here for information on receiving the Special Ministry Report "Examining the
Purpose Driven Philosophy" and the DVDs, including a preview of "The REAL Purpose of the Church."
tools will assist you in doing what the Scripture implores Christians to do. Lets
remember: our mission as Believers is to bring both the obviously lost as well as the
misguided church member to the knowledge of the truth before they perish.
again for praying for us and for your financial support this month!
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