Rick Warren endorses book that calls
pastors who resist Purpose Driven...
LEADERS FROM HELL?
Are you a "Sanballat?"
Changing a church from traditional Bible teaching
to the Purpose Driven approach isn't always so easy. This is especially
so with many Evangelicals who have more awareness of the Scriptures. But
Rick Warren, as capable as he may be at convincing pastors to forsake
their old ways for the greener pastures of Purpose Driven, does have
other outside help in accomplishing the task. Enter one Dan Southerland, the founder of Church
The Church Transitions, Inc. website boasts that he
and his associates have led thousands of churches to transition to the
Purpose Driven model. Southerland's bio states that he has trained over
100,000 pastors on how to change existing churches into Purpose Driven
churches. My research indicates that Southerland has spoken at many
leadership gatherings including Southern Baptist ministers conferences
and has done "transitioning" work with the Florida Baptist Convention.
For the past seven years he has also been a regular speaker at Rick
Warren's own Purpose Driven Church Conference held at Saddleback.
According to the Church Transitions, Inc. website, half of the events
they take part in each year are actually co-sponsored by Warren's Purpose Driven
Transitioning: Leading Your Church Through Change, is
promoted and sold through Rick Warren's Pastors.com website. In the
book, Southerland outlines the plan to bring a church into the Purpose
Driven camp. Chapter six is relevant to our discussion here. Its aptly
titled: "Dealing with Opposition."
On page 116 of
Transitioning Dan Southerland states: "We have
experienced two major sources of criticism during our transitions. The
first is Christians from more traditional backgrounds. They sometimes
struggle with transitions in the church. Not all of our traditional
backgrounded Christians have been critical - just the ornery ones.
Our second source of criticism is traditional church pastors. Again, not
all traditional church pastors - just the meaner ones. I believe
that is because they do not understand what we are doing. I hope it is
not out of jealousy of our results...." It isn't brain surgery to
correlate this statement with Warren's recent and repeated statements about
getting rid of troublemakers (see "Handling
Disunity Rick Warren's Way"). By the way Dan, if I have a choice
between "results" or standing for Biblical truth, guess what's most important to me?
The Church Transition, Inc. website states "We teach a
process for leading change that is biblical - based on the book of
Nehemiah." Dan Southerland's book repeats this theme as well. On page
115 Southerland writes of Nehemiah's evil adversary, Sanballat,
likening him to Purpose Driven opponents in our day.
"If you have read Nehemiah recently, you will
remember that Sanballat is Nehemiah's greatest critic and number one
enemy. Let me put it plainer than that. Sanballat is a leader from hell.
We all have some Sanballats in our churches. This is the guy who opposes
whatever you propose.... You cannot call this guy a leader from hell
to his face - but you could call him Sanballat."
Think carefully about what is being said in that
statement. Southerland is encouraging pastors to think of those who may
be their brother or sister in Christ as actually "leaders from hell!" Why?
Because they question the validity of a church growth program which
Scriptural basis to support it. Talk about
demonizing your opposition because you don't have a solid argument with
respond to them except "Everybody's doing Purpose Driven" or
"it gets results." I guess this motes
operandi is not reserved for pundits and politicians alone.
So, let's get this straight. According to Church
Transitions' Dan Southerland in a book endorsed and sold by Rick
Warren, Purpose Driven opposers are equated to filthy,
demonic, unbelieving pagans - which is exactly what the real Sanballat actually was. I think we've
discovered a new depth to which the Purpose Driven proponents will stoop
to in order to have it their way. I wonder what lengths will they go to
Southerland's treatment of Nehemiah is truly
Warrenesque eisegesis. Just as in The Purpose Driven Life,
the appearance of credibility by the mere use of Scripture seems to
preside here over context, historical truths and sound extrapolation of
information from the Scriptures. We need to ask just who the "leader from hell"
really is? Is it the traditional, biblical Christian with their Bible's
open pointing out
the fallacies of
the Purpose Driven philosophy and thus refusing to
walk the plank or is it actually leaders like Southerland (with Warren's
approval) leading the church away from the mandates of
Southerland recounts a deacons meeting at his
former church in Florida when an angry deacon accused him of not
preaching the Gospel. The deacon went on to say "We
need to go back to the way we used to do church!" Southerland says
he responded "This is where
I have to go. I must do church for the unchurched; I canít go back to
doing church for the already convinced. If you want to go with me,
please do." Though I do not know exactly how the church in
church" before Warren infected Southerland, I'll guess that the deacon
It appears from Scripture that no matter how
desperately Warren, Southerland, Hybels or anybody else may want it to
be, the Church is never to be designed for the LOST. Instead, Church is
for the strengthening and training of the FOUND.
The very founders of the Church gave
us an unchangeable mission statement to follow.
continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in
breaking of bread, and in prayers." - Acts 2:42
Contrary to Purpose Driven thinking, if the
unchurched attend our services they should be exposed to the real gospel
which, according to Acts 2:37-38, pricked people in their hearts and was
followed by Peter's insistence that they should repent. He didn't strive
to make the lost feel particularly warm and fuzzy by being non-confrontive
and ultra positive did he? If the LOST do happen to get FOUND while in
our meetings then Praise the Lord! However, just getting them in the
building doesn't win them unless we clearly present solid preaching,
teaching and testimonies.
Do we want the lost saved? Of course. Should we mix
evangelism into our services? Without question. But in the end, it is
not our job to save anybody. That is the Holy Spirit's business. Its our
job to be absolutely faithful to the message of the New Testament. The
Church who still cares about following God and honoring His word needs
to concentrate on preaching the cross, repentance and holiness instead
of buying into the latest market survey indicating what the lost might
prefer that we present. Perhaps then, God might bring His favor and
anointing back to us.
first time, I am making our original 30 page research paper available
FREE OF CHARGE in a downloadable/printable PDF file. Included is the
information that compelled me to speak out in opposition to the Purpose
will be a very useful document for those wishing to warn the
unsuspecting about the unbiblical nature of Rick Warren's teaching.
free PDF -
Examining the Purpose Driven Philosophy
Purchase a hard copy -
the Purpose Driven Philosophy
support enables us to give copies to Christian leaders!
For more on Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven
Take A Stand! Ministries - Taking biblical stands and providing
information on Spiritual Warfare, the Cults and World Religions, the
Occult, Popular Entertainment and Troubling Trends in Today's Church.
Send Eric your comments
"Take a Stand!" Seminar dates for 2008 are
filling up fast!
214-289-5244 or email us today to
schedule Eric for your church, conference or community.
Click here for scheduling information!
Receive Eric's printed "Take A
Stand! Report" - mailed to you FREE !!!
Just give a gift to the ministry or purchase a product from our
bookstore and receive a free two year subscription.
Visit our Online Bookstore!
We need your
continued financial support - ESPECIALLY coming out of December!
CLICK HERE to Contribute
A MONTHLY PLEDGE OF SUPPORT
or send your gifts to:
Take a Stand! Ministries
PO Box 1485
Rowlett, TX 75030 USA