Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Why Atheism will never make sense.

Crucial questions to atheists:
1. What actual evidence or proof do you have to be certain there is no God?
Have you really search the universe out to make sure there is absolutely no God to be found? Have you search outside the universe to make sure there is no God to be found. Scientist have admitted that there is very little in the universe the universe that we have hard evidence of. Scientist have even recently admitted that there are some things that they feel we can’t know. For instance what is the Black matter that runs through the entire universe?

2. How do you explain the universe?
How did the universe get here. How did the universe have scientific laws? How did radiation and energy form? How did matter form? What started the big bang? How did Galaxies form? How stars form? How did planets form? How did life form? Science has yet to have the answers.

3. How do you know truth?
Who determines what is absolute truth. If we do not have absolute truth we do not have an objective point of view. Is it Reason? If so who is the most rational person to establish objective truth? What happens when we disagree? Is it evidence? Some may say because evidence is part of reality. But is reality absolutely true, or is it an illusion? If we can not find objective truth then there is no truth.

4. How can you know right from wrong?
In the past secularist stated that they would stay moral because they ran on logic. However now that secularism has become independent there is no moral order any more. (For secularist) The first secular empires were fascism, Nazism, and Communism. These groups have caused more death in the twentieth century than the rest of history combined. Socialism though not as outwardly violent has secretly caused a great deal of death as well. In the USA alone 45 million babies have been aborted. Morality is attacked on every level. Religion has been attacked in public. Families have been indoctrinated to divorce in the number of millions. Pornagraphy and profanity are acceptable in public. There is no longer such a thing as sexual morality. Patriotism is looked down upon and called fascist. Police officers and military are harassed for fighting criminals and terrorist. Courts are easier on criminals than upon conservative religious and government figures. How can a society survive if it does not have families, religion, and a just government.
5. How do you know that you have free will?
According to naturalism everything is the result of something else. Many Atheist try to find meaning in life through the fact that they have no one to answer to and are in their minds free. However in this closed system, we must realize that we can not have free-will. Your nationality, family, income, opportunities, religion, and education level have all played a part in determine the type of person you would become so ultimately you are simply a lifeless puppet on stage and your life still has no meaning.
6. Why do you have passion over anything?
According to Atheism every thing in the universe came about by accident. Including you. In fact everything in your life is simply an accident and a chemical reaction. So if your life is an accident why care? How can anything matter, when it doesn’t matter by definition?

7. If life is pointless, why live?
This is a question that not only I ask but millions have asked around the world and in the most secular societies there has been no answer. That is why secular states like Oregon and secular countries like the Netherlands have such high suicide rates. I have experienced this with the secular public school system and seen many teens commit suicide.
8. How do we have a mind?
As stated earlier everything we have is the result of something else. Therefore Atheist original stated that we do not have a mind, only a brain. Because mind were non-material. However, if this were true then we could only think according to what is in our environment. But human beings think of things outside our environment all the time. Where did we find language? What about arithmetic and calculus? How did we make heliocopters, spaceships and the Internet?! All of these point to the fact that we have a mind. This mind can not exist in a closed sytem. But, if there is an outside of the closed system, then there is evidence that God could exist out side the closed system and intervene just as much as the mind.
9. What if you are wrong?
If you are right, you have no meaning and you will cease to exist. Ultimately came into theworld nothing and you will pathetically die as nothing.
If you are wrong then you have lived your life ignoring God. The great Monotheistic religions believe that owe God honor. The first for of the ten commandments are related to honor and respecting God. If you were to be Judged by this standard you would be condemned.

Psalms 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Psa 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.Psa 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.Mat 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Mat 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

You can tease and you can taunt, you could get angry and lash out. You could try to obtain every worldly pleasure, and possibly do it. At the end of the Day you will still have to face life.
Now I want you to know that while God is a just judge who will not hesitate to condemn you sin. He is also loving.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.Eze 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Isa 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
Isa 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.Rom 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Rev 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Remember you are without excuse, God used his people to tell you the truth.
Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

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If you want to argue simply respond with a post!

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Case for single elder-congregationalism

The goal of this paper is give a Biblical, theological and philosophical defense of the form of church government known as single elder congregationalism.
When Christians approach the subject of leadership, the question must eventually asked “What is the best way to lead our church?” How should our churches be governed, and by what authority? What is the best way to accomplish the great commission and grow a healthy congregation?
Many Bible believing congregations are willing to debate over the scientific accuracy of the Bible, yet do not even consider Biblical authority in the area of following in the Lord’s ministry. The irony is that the Bible is legitimately argued against as a scientific authority, because the focus of the Bible is not on science. Yet ministry in God’s house is an obvious topic of scripture. But, in our biblically ignorant post-modern world, the subject is easily ignored if not rejected. However, the Bible clearly teaches that ministry is to be done upon the authority of God. (Matt. 15:3,8-9,28:20, 1Cor.14: 33, 40, 1Tim3: 15, 2Tim 3:16-17)
From this point, we should ask ourselves what form of church government is ideal in following the scriptures? This paper will start at the argument for congregationalism and then move to the debate surrounding single-elder verses plural-elder congregationalism. Then, there will be a philosophical defense of Single-elder congregationalism; ending the paper in suggestions on how to achieve that.
Biblical basis of congregationalism
The New Testament gives us several principles that lead us toward democracy in our dealings with one another. First, all Christians were sinners worthy of hell, who have been declared righteous by the very righteousness of Christ. Therefore, we all have equal spiritual standing before God. (2 Cor.5: 14, 16, Rom.3: 27)
Secondly, Christians are called to a lifestyle of humility. The gospel points out on multiple occasions that this implies that we are not to abuse authority over others. (Matt. 20:25-28) Thirdly, the Bible declares Jesus to be head of the church. Since Christ is the head, his authority is direct over every individual without the need for intermediaries.
Fourthly, the Bible proclaims that every believer has priesthood. (1Peter 2:9-11) Therefore, all the church members are directly responsible to God for the church’s actions. We can see this in the Judgements of the churches in revelation as well as judgements on Israel. The entire community is responsible for the sum of its parts.
Fifthly, the nature of the Holy Spirit is given to all believers, giving us all counsel from God. E.Y. Mullins stated this principle as follows:
“Centralized authority is also necessary in the state for the exercise of force, a function always improper for the church. On the contrary, the central authority in Christianity can not be localized. Christ said it was expedient that he go away in order that the Holy Spirit might come. Thus he ‘exchanged His presence for His omnipresence.’ It might be a logical procedure for a given community owning a large body of real estate in common to delegate the control of its mines and the distribution of the coal to a commission. The nature of the case would require some administration perhaps. But it would be absurd to appoint a commission to control and distribute the sunlight. In this respect the inhabitants would only need to keep put of each other’s light. Every man would simply have to avoid building his house or ordering his life so as to obscure the sun from his brother. As the Baptist sees it, papacies and episcopacies are commissions to control the sunshine.” ( Mullins The Axioms of Religion pg119. 1997)

Catholic/Episcopalians argue bishop authority is inherited from the Apostles. First, the office of Apostles has ceased in the sense that the qualifications included those who were discipled by Christ in his earthly ministry and demonstrated powerful miraculous authority. Bishops contain neither attribute. There are no scriptures known that imparted this authority. In fact those who requested it were asked to repent. (Simon the sorcerer) The emphasis upon divine authority was upon the Bible. (2Peter 3:2)
Many have argued for top-down authority based upon the Counsel of Jerusalem in (Acts 15). However, the counsel included the Apostles who had special apostolic authority. The counsel does not even make demands based on force but instead humble request. The body had apostles and elders, but was also composed of the general church of Jerusalem. The action was actually releasing them of the authority of the Judaizers who claimed apostolic Authority over them to change their doctrine. Jerusalem asked them to only abandon obvious acts idolatry, which were most likely universally agreed upon. Therefore, this was an act of encouragement not an abuse of power.
Some have argued that since Titus was commanded to appoint elders that he had top down authority. However, the passage explains the situation:
Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; [emphasis added]
It can be seen here, that saints who acknowledged Paul’s message as godly and democratically elected Paul’s ministry.
Tit 1:3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Savior;
The only ministry performed in the area was the preaching of Paul. Though there
-Were Christians there, churches were not completely established. Therefore Titus was not to rule over churches but help churches to get on their feet.
Single-elder verses plural elder
Many have become confused over the nature of this debate. From the title single verses plural elder churches may seem to be a debate over whether a church should have just one or many ministers. Yet in fact that is not the situation. Most on both sides of the debate would accept a congregation if they had no pastor, multiple elders or just one.
The debate ranges over whether or not we should have a parity of elders or a leading/head elder as the ideal model for congregations.
This debate is of high importance for congregational churches since they believe themselves to be autonomous. If a church can not successfully govern itself on all matters, then it is forced to become dependent on other bodies and lose its autonomy.
It appears this model has become a recently popular alternative to the tradition single-elder congregation for the following reasons.
a. The rise of Reformed theology
The ideas of multiple elders and a top down church government were essential parts to church government. It is interesting to note that until the Baptist most predestinarian church leaders advocated top down government, connected to local government. This could be seen with Augustine in his persecution of the Donatist, Luther in his relationship to Germany and the Peasant Rebellion, Zwingli in his ties to the Swiss cantons, Calvin in his dominance over Geneva, and Knox in his revolution of Scotland.
I believe this is due to the fact that their views of God were that of a God who dominates others, therefore they considered the abuse of power a godly quality. Assuming this not be abusive, but instead an establishment of order. Now that Reform theology is becoming popular in the contemporary market, there is once again the tendency for top down leadership.
b. The rise of the mega-church model
The more people in a congregation the greater need for leadership. The church growth model of the twentieth century emphasized having more people coming to a congregation and then leaving static without ant plans to multiply. This tendency would leave successful the proponents with city sized congregations. This obviously left the idea of a single elder out of the picture. Therefore, came large and larger pastoral staffs. The result was top down church governments, even if these churches were Baptist congregational church governments became almost meaningless. Therefore, multiple elder models have become popular once again.
c. The convenience of multiple elders
It is very relaxing to have a church government structure where you know there are people there to take up for your responsibilities. The problem is that once a congregation loses its responsibilities, it also loses its freedom. Yet like much of America, and more so with Europe, this trend of top down authority has encouraged many to release their authority and slip into lackadaisical Christianity.
d. The rise of ministry calling
By God’s grace Christianity is making a comeback. Atheistic Modernism has run its course leaving a huge vacuum of spiritually hungry people. This has led a lot of people not only back into church but a lot of others who feel called to be full-time ministers. But there is a great deal of sacrifices to be made in following God’s Call you must be ready to leave everything. But it would be so much easier if you could simply stay in your own congregation and get hired on as staff. Therefore, that is what many are trying to accomplish and this is a common tendency in mega churches.
It must be understood that the model of multiple elders can never defend the authority of the local congregation. The work of the multiple elders wedges out the responsibility of the whole of the congregation. If there are many elders, then they need to do work. If they need to do the work, then the congregation doesn’t.
Plural elder congregation proponent Samuel Waldron appears to agree.
“Furthermore it seems to me that biblical appreciation of a plurality of elders in the local churches must logically and practically tend to modify and restrain the radical democratic tendencies of many evangelical churches today. Even if we reject the Presbyterian version of elder rule, there is a kind of tension between a democratic view of church government and plural elder view of church government.” (WaldronPg.189 2004)

Biblical basis of the single elder
The term elder draws back to the elder/judges of the Old Testament. These men were individual rulers of there tribes. Some would refer to the overarching authority of Moses. Yet Moses authority translates in the New Testament upon Christ the Chief shepherd and King of the Kingdom of Heaven. If we understood the position of Moses as translating to Christ and his kingdom, then what authority would be over the elders? (Matt. 23:2, Mark 9:5-8, Acts 3:22,Heb. 3:1-3, 2Pet.1: 17-18)
There are several hints in the New Testament as to single-elder authority. First, the nature of Christ in the Gospels portrays him as the first Christian Single-elder. Although it is a popular belief that Christian churches did not start till the book of Acts, there is little or no proof of this. It is obvious in the gospels; Jesus had a baptized congregation. He referred to the term church twice, and the second time referred to the church as a current reality. Therefore, Jesus was the head-pastor of the first Christian Church. After the ascension, Peter was the second single-elder. After the dispersion of the church at the council of Jerusalem, it appears James took the role of head pastor over Jerusalem.
In the book of Acts we see several plural elder models. (Acts 20:28) However it never states any rule of plural elders, and these were all in the midst of new transitions. It also says that the holy spirit made them bishops, which could have been referring to an inward calling as oppose to an official church ordination. The book of Acts is written in a historical genre. History tells you what happened at a certain time but not what is supposed to happen every time. Luke doesn’t take the time to graph the makeup of the churches in their numbers, nor does he detail how many house churches were established in a city and how many elders per congregation. Most importantly there is no suggestion of a doctrine a specific number of elders per congregation.
Tendency of the smaller congregations
One factor that needs to be in place with these congregations is an attitude of multiplication. If not congregational churches have a tendency to die like physical bodies. Some die through lack of numbers. Yet some can corrode through too much growth. When a congregation gets to large, the authority moves to the upper levels. This happen because there will tend to be more people ready and willing for leadership. They will move to the top while there will be a massive group of immature Christians at the bottom with no responsibilities. Top down models kill off the life of the church because the congregation gets a lack of empowerment.
Philosophical arguments for the model
A. Unity of vision
It is obvious that any organization needs one unified vision. Otherwise the organization would contradict itself. It is also obvious that one of the best ways to communicate the vision is to have someone who personifies that vision.
“Another way the leader communicates a new vision is by consistently acting on it and personifying it. Think of the way Martin Luther King, Jr., embodied and communicated the vision of the civil rights movement, or the way Ted Turner showed by his own personal sense of adventure in the Americas Cup races the extent of innovation and risk-taking he expected in his company, Turner Broadcasting.” (Bennis and Nanus Leaders: Strategies for taking Charge pg100 2003)

A single elder is capable personifying the vision for one church or community. Therefore an effective single elder can effectively communicate a movement better than an oligarchy or group leadership.

B. Deacons are empowered for ministry
Multiple elders tend to take ministry away from the deacons. In many of these arrangements the question comes up, what is the role of the deacons? If elders are in control of the ministry and the teaching, then what is there for a deacon to do?
When a single-elder system is in place, the deacons are empowered with the backbone of congregational ministry. They empower the pastors to teach and rule, while also becoming ministry role models for the rest of the congregation. Therefore they perform the functions of ministry, help the head minister, while leading the flock by example.
C. Empowerment of the Congregation
When the congregation understands their own responsibilities and freedoms, and then understands their role in the church, they become empowered to do ministry. The affect of an entire congregational body changing from the ministered to ministers is staggering. A minister or a ministry staff can only make so much of a difference in the church and community. Yet an empowered congregation can and will make a direct effect on the community. (Romanuk 2006)
D. Greater since of urgency
Multiple elders can have a tendency to let the church feel like it is being taken care of. When the congregation is not doing the ministry, it is not aware of the troubles going on in the ministry. They feel that any problem with the church is not their responsibility, but the problems of the staff. So the congregation becomes lackadaisical in this process. (Bennis 2003)
The initial practice that can harm any organization is a lack of urgency. Because the congregation is unprepared and usually ceases to do ministry of it’s own. Instead it becomes a daycare center were people come only to get there needs met.
E. Disposal of oligarchies
In the world of business it has been shown that two many managers can slow down production. Leadership must be swift and an oligarchy is rarely swift.
“In the kind of benign oligopolistic world that existed in many industries for much of the twentieth century, the relatively stable and prosperous environment allowed organizations to minimize internal interdependence. …
“This way of running a business is disappearing for a number of reasons, particularly because of increased competition. With the exception of a few monopolies, organizations cannot afford big inventories, slow and linear product development, and foreign operation that goes its own way.” (Kotter pg.134 1996)
Kotter speaks about adapting to change in the business world. Apparently Oligarchy styled business are too slow to counteract global economic competition. The same can be easily applied to church government. There has been a great deal of religious competition in America starting in the 1960’s. Top church government is slowing down and fading away. While Baptist congregational bodies have been steadily growing.
F. Accountability of the leader When one leader faces the congregation that is mature, he must live up to high expectations. When a group is ruling, they can intimidate members of the congregation. However if the congregation is fully aware of the church business, then it is hard to live a double life. While the Private life of the pastor should be preserved in some sense, it should not be so private that they are able to pull off a Jekyl/Hyde lifestyle. There is always the need to protect the Pastor from a legalistic lifestyle. Yet, this need, will always be in submission to the protection of impressionable members of the congregation. (Mcneal 2006)
G. Discipleship and evangelism focus on short-term winsIf one is in a smaller concentrated group there is a higher acknowledgement of change. Yet small changes are more noticeable. Therefore, it is more possible to focus upon short-term wins. When people have changed their views it is more noticeable in a more focused environment. When ministries are accomplished, they are more noticeable. If they are emphasized at greater level then small wins can be focused on. If there is a focus on short-term wins then momentum can be built. This can lead to larger wins rather easily.

How as a preacher to go about producing single-pastor congregationalism
a. Find an open minded congregationA congregation needs to find a sense of awareness that they need to become autonomous. They also need to respect the authority of the pastor. If a congregation has respect for the pastor, a pastor can work to develop the maturity of the congregation. If a congregation does not respect the authority of the pastor, it would seem more difficult, yet could be done with patience and sensitivity. Also, when all else fails congregational bodies are easy to start up, since there is no need for any foreign bodies just a group of assembled Christians.
b. Preach strong Biblical sermons
Biblical sermons are always going to mean a great deal for the life of the church. Yet they are especially essential to single elder congregationalism. Good preaching that is well understood helps the congregation to move on to maturity. Also, if the pastor becomes trustworthy as a preacher his authoritative standing in the church rises immensely. He could also preach on this subject in order to win over the congregation. However, just as with a subject like tithing he must be careful not to abuse this right and be seen as using a bully pulpit.
c. Serve the congregation (prayer ministry visitation etc.)The Bible admonition is very clear, Christian leaders lead to serve. If the congregation gets the impression that you desire to acquire power then they will never respect and probably never follow you. The Bible is clear “the first, shall be last”. We must never resort to force. We must never be too proud to serve and we must teach people to follow through our example.
The only way a minister can have authority is if they have respect. The only way to have respect is by earning it. The only way to earn it is to serve. Christ did not only follow this example, but he taught it as well. Specifically, as he washed the disciples feet in John thirteen and general in his life’s ministry and passion.
d. Make sure that the current roster of the congregation has all been accurately evangelized.It is impossible for a congregation to be the body of Christ if their members are not members of the heavenly body of Christ. Salvation connects a person not only to the saving power of Jesus Christ, but also seals them with the presence of the wonderful counselor the Holy Spirit. The salvation of the members of the church is almost as important as the salvation of the individual. We should not be afraid to have confrontational witnessing to members of our congregations in this area. If they are committed to the church they will stay and be saved. If not then at least they heard the gospel and will no longer stand as an obstacle to the movement of the Spirit.
In conclusion, it seems the model of church government recommended by the New Testament is single elder congregationalism. This administration is the most simple, adaptable and bottom up powered of all the presentable models. The New Testament need such a simple model to be able to handle rapidly changing times. Now in our day we are experiencing similar rapid change. Therefore now, more than ever we need to make a return to the values that set Baptist churches on fire. We must stay in tune with single-elder congregationalism.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Christian vrs. Buddhist using ontological argument

This is a presentation of the ontological argument. It has been stated in many ways. And has been argued for and against. Basically it argues that God must exist because it is part of the definition of God to exist not based upon anything else. Here I take the approach against a unusual rival, the Buddhist. So check out this conversation and tell me what you think.
In Christ,

B: You know as a Buddhist I believe in god too.
C: Oh really?
B: Why yes! However I believe instead of contending with god we ought to realize our oneness with god and our oneness with the universe.
C: So if the universe and God are one, then the universe is God, right?
B: Yes
C: Then actually you are not talking about God at all.
B: Sure I am?
C: Well we look at the definition of God. God is infinite. The universe however, is not. As one could observe from the big bang theory.
B: But I believe that matter is infinite. However I do not believe in Science, you see matter is an “illusion” we must over come.
C: Well if matter is an illusion, then God is an illusion too right?
B: Basically.
C: This is outside of God’s definition because God is all-powerful.
B: So our definition’s differ what is the point?
C: If we have two different definition’s then what are we talking about?
B: The illusion of reality
C: So everything is an illusion?
B: Yes.
C: Then is this conversation even real?
B: It is an illusion.
C: Do you even exist?
B: no.
C: Then why are you discussing these things with me?
B: ….. I (sigh)
C: Who has made this illusion?
Plus, if the maker of the illusion is God then why would he lie to you?
B:God is not the maker, God simply is.
C:if there is no creator, then is there an illusion?
B: Their is a creator, which is the creation.
C: What?
B: you cannot aprehend these things with the mind.
C: how do you apprehend then them?
B: you know them with the enlightenment within.
C: Are you the measure of all things?
B: no.
C: the only thing that I know from within is that I am lacking.
B: I agree
C: But if I am lacking then does there exist an example of what is not lacking?
B: I guess.
C: So then what is not lacking must be infinite.
B: ...alright.
C: That which is infinite is God.
B: ok.
C: If God is infinite he must be inifinite in his person.
B: why does God need to be a person?
C: Because I am lacking as a person and therefore that which is not lacking, which is infinite, is not lacking as a person. A god without person is lacking person. But. since God is not lacking God is a person.
B: hmm... I will go and meditate over this farewell.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Warrenism: and the popular worldly gospel

Many Christians who believe in the Bible, are concerned with false teachings. We read in the New Testament, that the Apostles had to deal with several false teachings that would pervert the nature of the gospel. Most believers are familiar with two false teachings. First the Judaizers, Jewish Christians who wanted to following the Law essential to salvation, today we call them legalists. Second we saw the Gnostics who wanted to conform the gospel to Greek Philosophy warping the doctrine of Christ. Today we call them liberals. Less Christians notice the next two but they are still well discussed. In the Revelation it discusses those who follow the doctrine of Balaam which argue that we can live lawlessly and be in good standing with God. Today we call these people anti-nomians or Libertarians. Also it discusses the Nicolaitanes which were Christians who would rule over other Christians. Today we think of the Catholics. Each one of the teachings can so pervert the gospel that they can draw people away from receiving salvation.
Today, I would like to discuss one of the least known Biblical heresies. The heresy of worldliness. Paul confronts this error in the second book of Corinthians when Paul’s Apostleship is challenged against those who have fleshly motivations. It appears that they are Hellenistic Jewish Christians who claimed apostolic authority. They seemed to be well schooled in rhetoric which implies they were probably schooled in Platonism. Much like the Platonist Jewish Historian Philo. Paul understands that this is a perversion of the gospel. Today many have adapted the gospel of Christ to worldliness. This teaching eats away at the local church like termites. Worldliness is underneath the radar of the American church and must be revealed before it is too late. I believe Rick Warren and his teachings are a primary example of the worldly philosophy. Therefore, I will reveal the error of his teachings.
This is not a personal attack I do not judge Rick Warren’s soul nor do I have anything bad to say towards him as an individual. This issue is his philosophy and actions as a minister, which is duplicated by hundreds of thousands of churches around the nation and world.
First, we shall look at the passage in general to identify this teaching. Then we will examine Rick Warren His roots and his doctrine.

2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.
Paul understands that true Christian ministry is not consider about fleshly matters or worldly appearance.

2Co 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
2Co 10:13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.
2Co 10:14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:
2Co 10:15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
2Co 10:16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.
One of Paul’s concerns was that boasting of numbers and trying to credit yourself in ministries that was the work of God and not yourself are not ways to measure our ministry. Paul never gives us any numbers on how many people he evangelized.

2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Paul’s greatest concern with the worldly apostles was that they open the church up to graver and more false teachings.

2Co 11:7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?
The truth of the gospel Paul gave for free yet he was rejected and apparently worldly apostles were charging money.

2Co 11:12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2Co 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
We should remember that these ministers were able to fool supposedly mature believers. They were very able to portray light.

2Co 11:16 I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.
2Co 11:17 That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
2Co 11:18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
The problem with the worldly challenge is that they boast of accomplishments and invite others into the same. Paul must challenge their authority but he must be careful not to fall into the snare of worldly bragging. When Preacher John MacArthur
publicly criticized Warren’s church methods, reporters quickly tried to portray him as a jealous Pastor.

2Co 11:19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
2Co 11:20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
2Co 11:21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
2Co 11:22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
2Co 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
2Co 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2Co 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
2Co 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2Co 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
2Co 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
2Co 11:30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
2Co 12:16 But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.
Paul had every qualification, which the worldly “apostles” possess and more so in the fact that he had endured persecution for Christ. Worldly Christians are very rarely persecuted because they are friends with the world. Paul also had work with the Corinthians personally and they had seen his ministry at work.

2Co 12:17 Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?
2Co 12:20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:
2Co 12:21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
The fruit of Worldly ministry is a sinful lifestyle.

It’s source
Fuller: Fuller Theological Seminary was once a conservative evangelical Seminary. It has since left this standard and left the understanding of an innerrant Bible. It has even taken on Heretical professors such as Nancy Pearcey who is post-modern and denies the factual nature of the resurrection. This has been the breeding ground for the modern church growth movement. This shows it’s roots and this was also the training ground for “America’s Pastor” Rick Warren.

Norman Vincent Peale
Peale formed perhaps the most dramatic and meaningful link between religion and psychology of any religious leader in history. It is the same approachable, therapeutic brand of religion that many mega churches, including Saddleback, put forward today. It is this kind of religion that is so appealing to the masses of unchurched men and women that Rick Warren hopes to reach.”pg.94 GeorgeMair A Life with Purpose:Rev. Rick Warren the most inspiring Pastor of our time.Occult connection.
“Writing in the Lutheran Quarterly, Reverend John Gregory Tweed of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Reverend George D. Exoo of Pitsburgh wrote that many of Peales uplifting affirmations with an “obscure teacher of occult science” named Florence Scovel Shinn.” Pg98-99. GeorgeMair A Life with Purpose:Rev. Rick Warren the most inspiring Pastor of our time.
“Marilyn Helleberg suggest a meditation in which you visualize a white mist filled with myriads of little points of energy that gleam like diamonds. Scientist say this is the life substance, the life force…
“Visualize this mist High above you, around you and at your feet, cascading down like a waterfall of scintillating light.
“Then breath in the white mist, and visualize it as proceeding upward into your throat, into your nasal passages, into your brain, vitalizing, sharpening and quickening your mind, making it alive with a new power…
“I have been practicing this type of meditation for several days and I report that after using it only a half dozen times one begins to feel different. It induces a sense of vital energy; an awareness of God’s presence.
“Who is God? Some theological being? He is so much greater than theology. God is vitality. God is Life. God is energy. As you breathe God in, as you visualize his enegry, you will be reenergized
!” Peale quoted from the book Beyond Seduction: A return to Biblical Christianity by Dave Hunt Peale has a story about how he developed his ideas of imaging from a Christian business man, helping him to raise money, read this excerpt carefully
“… ‘There’s a doctor downtown who will tell you that he hasn’t any money, but I’m on the finance committee at the bank and I know exactly how much he’s got. So we’re going to pray that he will give you the next five thousand dollars. We’ll not only pray, we’ll visualize him doing it. The Bible says that if you have faith even as a grain of mustard seed, nothing is impossible for you. So go downtown and see that doctor and ask for that money and get it!’ (Peale's book Dynamic imaging)Notice the business man’s remark, He asked Peale to visualize the money. Then he compared it with faith. But the questions is, is visualization a part of faith? Not according to scripture.
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
Visualization, the use of imagination and meditation techniques, is in fact the opposite of faith. It is using the power of our imagination to manipulate God (or someone else!) to grant our request.
Warren seems to possess some visualization beliefs as well. On page 43 of PDC he introduces “The Saddleback Vision” which apparently was in Rick Warren’s 1st sermon at Saddleback. He goes through there dreams of setting up missions and ministries acquiring 20,000 and so on. Also his dream includes “at least 50 acres of land, on which will be built a regional church for South Orange County”
“I stand before you today and state in confident assurance that these dreams will become a reality. Why? Because they are inspired of God!”
Now I am actually open to the possibility of private revelation, however inspiration is limited to the books of the Bible. Plus I don’t know any scripture that teaches we are guaranteed 50 acres of land a fresh garden landscapes. It is obvious that Warren is using imaging techniques to realize his dream for Saddleback church.
In a worldly church paganism can many times sneak it’s way in. On Sept 29,2005 Agape press reported “A leading publisher of youth ministry material is being accused of introducing young people to practices rooted in New Age eastern Spirituality…. Cathy Mickels, co-author of the book ‘Spiritual Junkfood: The Dumbing Down of Christian Youth’, is advising youth workers and parents to distance themselves from the conference and Youth Specialties. Mickels claims Youth Specialties teaches youth pastors to introduce students to ancient eastern spiritual practices. ‘Nowhere in God’s Word does it say to take kids on labyrinth walks, that you introduce students to yoga or to contemplative prayer practices where you say a word over and over again to put yourself in what Youth Specialties says is a ‘semi-conscious state’”… Among the featured speakers at the Sacramento conference are Mark Yaconelli, who is the director of the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project, and Doug Fields, the Youth Pastor at Rick Warren Saddleback Church in California.” (www.wayoflife.org/fbns/fridaynews/news/2005/fridaynews051028.html)

False teachings

A. Social gospel) In the mid-twentieth century many churches decided to the emphasis on missions away from the proclamation of the gospel and towards charitable work. Many of the charities had a liberal socialist slant however. Rick Warren recently protested His denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention for withdrawing it’s funding to one of these liberal social gospel organizations, the Baptist World Alliance. He then contributed 25,000 dollars to them. Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. plan also has many social gospel leanings. In his attempt to draw millions of dollars to Africa. Recently, the church hosted a world aids summit. One of the guest speakers was senator Barrack Obama. Obama is part of the liberal “United Churches of Christ” which is pro-homosexual. He is also a very liberal politician is an unapologetic advocate of Abortion on demand as well tax-payer government funding of abortion.

B. Global warming based environmentalism)
Warren made national news signing a document along with other evangelicals recognizing the doctrine of Global Warming and stating that it was a Christian duty to fight this phenomena.
The problem with this move is that the Bible does not command Christians to fight Global Warming. The doctrine itself has many points of debated. Whether Global Warming is happening has been debated. The idea that Global Warming is a new phenomena is under debate. The intensity of Global Warming is under serious debate. The idea that man is responsible for global warming is starting to be overturned as well.
Theologically we must also ask the question, what if Global Warming is God’s will? How could we thwart it? Plus if God is in control of the universe, how could he let it fall apart?
Where is all this money going? Many times it goes to lobbyist who also advocate other liberal causes like abortion.
C. Fundamentalism ignorance
“Now the word ‘fundamentalist’ actually comes form a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity…”(www.wayoflife.org/fbns/fridaynews/news/pdf/2005/fridaynews20050930.html)
Actually it was a twelve volumes series edited by R.A. Torrey called “The Fundamentals”, and it was published from 1910-1915. (you would think that the ‘spiritual son of conservative W.A. Criswell would at least know the facts!)
What was the narrow legalistic views of fundamentalism? That they believe in the trinity, incarnation, the virgin birth, the resurrection, substitutionary atonement, Justification by faith alone & the innerrancy of scripture. They believe that these beliefs are essential to Christianity and therefore they would not partner with those who deny this. Saddleback ironically affirms all these teachings but they have no problem leaving their pulpit open to those who are not teach against it.

False salvation & false church
A. Easy-believism a.k.a. Cheap grace) Core to Warren’s system of ministry is his doctrine of Salvation which we will call Easy-believism. From this doctrine we understand the as important as Lordship is, it is not essential to salvation that we turn from our sins.
In PDC Warren gives a visualization of his strategy the five circles of commitment. A series of rings shaped like a dartboard, show how we are to move from the Community to the core leadership of the congregation. However, some of the steps of ministry do not correlate with a biblical salvation experience. On page 130 we see in the diagram that that one wants to move the crown into becoming baptized into the congregation. Then we want them to become committed members. However, in the Bible repentance is demanded upon baptism.(Acts 2:38) So why would we need them to be committed if they already are? Obviously Saddleback does not expect repentance upon joining and being baptized. “Do you have people in your church who are Godly and growing-people who are serious about there faith-who for one reason or another are not actively serving in a ministry of your church? We call these people “committed.”
Therefore after you become saved and our received in baptism you need to grow to become someone hasn’t even offered their services to the church yet? So what does it mean to be a believer? “The crowd is made up of believers and non-believers”pg.131 Therefore, truly saved people according to Warren are people who believe and regularly attend. While turning from your sins isn’t what actually saves you, It is the product that we must expect if we are to consider anyone to be Christian.

B. Graceless Faith) The New generation of Cheap grace tends to misunderstand the role of Faith in Salvation. They may emphasize that no works are involved in salvation but they forget the real work, which is always necessary for salvation. That is the work of Christ. This fact is either omitted or denied by many contemporary Christians. Yet is the clear teaching of the New Testament.
Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Rom 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Rom 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Rom 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Phi 3:8 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,
Phi 3:9 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:
It is this very doctrine which has in fact separated protestant and Catholic, and in fact millions of Martyrs died defending. So does Saddle back church find this doctrine worth mentioning?
“Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sins penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.”(websight Saddleback Church: What we Believe :Salvation)
Not only does this doctrinal statement not mention us being judge righteous based on the righteousness of Christ but Catholics who entirely disagree with this doctrine, would be entirely fine with the shallow wording of this statement.(except maybe the last phrase) Not only that but many cults can redefine these terms and agree with it as well.(like LDS)
C. Spiritless conversion
Church growth along with purpose driven philosophy doesn’t make room for the work of God in it’s philosophy of missions. As opposed to waiting on the Lord, PDC’s try to lure people to their church with marketing techniques. While this seems to at least put people in the position of salvation. The work of salvation is something that entirely goes on internally.
Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
True rebirth can not be measured by attendance or commitment cards. In fact there is nothing in the Bible that says that ministers can produce salvation in others.
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
We must remember that the Bible teaches us that unsaved people are not true seekers of truth but in fact depraved.
Psa 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
Psa 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
The only way that lost people come to Christ is through the drawing of God.
Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
We only provide sinners with the true Gospel which God uses to save people with.
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
The rest is between them and God.

D. Warrenism’s doctrine of worship
1. God desires our worship, and takes pleasure in it.
“God did not need to create you, but he chose to create you for his own enjoyment. You exist for his benefit, his glory, his purpose and his delight.” Pg.632. Therefore God needs worshippers.
“It proves your worth. If your are that important to God, and he considers you valuable enough to keep with him for eternity, what greater significance could you have? You are a child of God and you bring pleasure to God like nothing else he has ever created.” Pg.63
“We worship for God’s benefit. When we worship our goal is to bring pleasure to God not ourselves.” Pg.66
3. Music is neutral in worship.
“I reject the idea that music styles can be judged as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Who decides this? The kind of music you like is determined by you r background and culture.” Pg. 281
“If I were to play a tune for you without any words you wouldn’t know if it was a Christian song or not,” pg281
“To insist that one particular style of music is sacred is idolatry” pg.282
4. Therefore musical worship is whatever we imagine
“But there is no biblical style!” pg.65
Frankly, the music style you like best says more about you- your background and personality- than it does about God. One ethnic group’s music can sound like noise to another. But God likes variety and enjoys them all. There is no such thing as ‘Christian’ music; there are only Christian lyrics. ” pg. 66
5. Through the use of our imagination and creativity in musical worship, we can grant God the pleasure he needs.
“Likewise, it does not mean giving up rational thinking. God would not waste the mind he gave you! God does not want robots to serve him. Surrendering is not repressing your personality. God wants you to use your unique personality. Rather than it’s being diminished, surrendering enhances it.”pg. 80
“Becoming like Christ does not mean losing your personality or becoming a mindless clone. God created your uniqueness so he certainly doesn’t want to destroy it. Christlikeness is all about transforming your character, not your personality.” Pg. 173
“Our motive is to bring glory and pleasure to God.”pg.66
6. Through our creative worship/work we can win God’s favor
“Every activity can be transformed into an act of worship when you do it for the praise, glory and pleasure of God.”
“Work becomes worship, when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness to his presence.”Equalling Idolatry & works based sanctification.
Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
This philosophy of worship has a mortal weakness in that it implies that God makes us to worship him and therefore if He predestined it this way, then doesn’t God need our worship? We should worship God because it is good and God is worthy of it. But God doesn’t need our worship, because God does not need anything.

Deu 4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:
Deu 4:16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
Deu 4:17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,
Deu 4:18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:
Deu 4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Once we allow the concept of worship to be according to our preference, then we can quickly move to the sin of idolatry. I will cover this topic more later in this article.
Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Melody ) 5567 psallo {psal'-lo}probably strengthened from psao (to rub or touch the surface, cf 5597); TDNT - 8:489,1225; v
AV - sing 3, sing psalms 1, make melody 1; 5
1) to pluck off, pull out 2) to cause to vibrate by touching, to twang 2a) to touch or strike the chord, to twang the strings of a musical instrument so that they gently vibrate 2b) to play on a stringed instrument, to play, the harp, etc. 2c) to sing to the music of the harp 2d) in the NT to sing a hymn, to celebrate the praises of God in song (strong's lexicon)
Here we see a clear command to make not only psalms and hymns but also songs classified as spiritual with instrumental beats in our heart to the Lord. How can a neutral music be spiritual? We know from the context that this is that which causes us to be “filled with spirit” will produce a reaction opposite from drunkeness. This bring us to the necessary inference that spiritual music will produce the fruits of the spirit and fleshly music will bring us to the works of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16-24)
Another issue is the use of the word “Selah”. The Book of psalms uses this word about 74 times in the book of Psalms. What it means is it is a call for a musical interlude. What it says is that there was a specific form and order for instrumental worship. The fact this was worship inspired by God means that according to God there was a timing and order for instrumental worship. This means that there is good and bad musical least in the sense of order and disorder. One may argue for freedom of multiple genres of music, but to act as if music is neutral is simply a doctrine based off of the nonsensical philosophy of multiculturalism.
Besides all this, Warren contradicts His own doctrine of music neutrality in His own writings: “Aristotle said, ‘music has the power to shape character.’ The Rock lyrics of the 1960’s and 1970’s shaped the values of most Americans who are now in their thirties, forties and fifties. Today, MTV shapes the values of most people in their teens and twenties. Music is the primary communicator of values to the younger generation. If we don’t use contemporary music to spread godly values, Satan will have unchallenged access to an entire generation. Music is a force that cannot be ignored.” PDC Pg 280
If the power of Music is so great and secular music has changed us so negatively, then why is the secular beat ok? Plus, why was it ok for Rick Warren to play the anti-Christian John Lennon’s anti-religious song “imagine” as well as the drug-abuse endorsing song “purple haze” by Jimi Hendrix during church services?
Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
What we must keep in mind is that sanctification like salvation is the work of God and not man. In the body of Christ there is no distinction between the righteous and not-so-righteous there is just forgiven. Following God is natural and expected, Fellowship with God is not based on a point system. As we grow in faith the Spirit will change our hearts to be obedient.

Now I know that there are many out there who will probably read Rick Warren and say “What do you mean! Rick Warren just wants to please God in His worship! What’s wrong with centering everything on God?”
The problem is that Rick Warren could not be God-centered as he portrays himself while indoctrinating pastors to be man-centered as he teaches in the book Purpose Driven Church.
“The entire service, not just the invitation, must be planned with the unchurched in mind.” Pg.254
“With all the wonderful translations and paraphrases available today, there is no legitimate reason for complicating the Good News with four hundred year old English. Using the King James Version provides an unnecessary cultural barrier.”Pg.297
With the unchurched, you will not establish common ground by saying, “Let’s open our Bibles to Isaiah, chapter 14, as we continue in our study of this wonderful book.” Pg.295
“The unchurched can’t handle long prayers; their minds wander or they fall asleep. Pastors should be wary of using the pastoral prayer to catch up on their quiet time!” 256
The shape of your building will shape your service.” 264
The temperature can destroy the planned service in a matter of minutes!” 267
For the first time in history, there exists a universal music style that can be heard in every country of the world. It’s called contemporary pop/rock…. This is the primary musical style we’ve chosen to use at Saddleback.” Pg.285
At Saddleback we believe worship is to be a celebration so we use a style that is upbeat, bright, and joyful…..Unbelievers usually prefer celebrative music over contemplative music because they don’t have a relationship with Christ.” Pg. 287
How can this philosophy of running the church worship according to the desires of non-Christians be consistent with this statement: “We worship for God’s benefit. When we worship our goal is to bring pleasure to God not ourselves.” Pg.66 PDL
Obviously Rick Warren wants godless man-centered worship to please God and believes this will please God. This is the theme of idolatry.
Deu 12:30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
Bible-believing Christians should not worship God based on the ideas of unbelievers.

E. Seeker sensitive/polluted church
“If your church is serious about the Great Commission you will never have a completely pure church because you will always attract unbelievers with their questionable lifestyles to your crowd services.” Pg.237
“Are there unrepentant pagans mixed into Saddleback’s crowd of 10,000? Without a doubt!”
Warren goes on to justify this with the following text.
Mat 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
In this text, Jesus gives a parable the wheat are believers and the tares are unbelievers they will be separated on judgement day. Warren concludes.
“We are to leave the weeding to Jesus because he knows who the real tares are.” Pg.237
There are several problems with Warren’s interpretation. First of all this parable is concerning the Kingdom of Heaven. Let’s look at the context:
Mat 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
Mat 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Mat 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
Mat 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
Mat 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
The Kingdom of heaven is representative of all saints in heaven and earth. This is not the local assembly of the saints we call the local church. Second, this activity was done by Satan while the Jesus’s men slept. Third Paul condemns idleness. (2Thess 3:6-10) Therefore, for Saddleback to bring pagans into the church is only helping Satan.
One reason why I believe we can have a totally born-again church is because the great commission does not tell us bring non-Christians into the church at all!. The Great Comission says “Go” out into the world and turn non-believers into Disciples of Christ. When they are disciples then we baptize them which makes them members of the church.

Throughout this issue I want us to end concentrate on God’s Word. It doesn’t matter whether we are disciples of Rick Warren or Bill Hybels or call ourselves any other type of Christian on earth. We need to watch out for the false gospel of Worldliness. It is the most popular lie but it is does not stand for much of anything. A worldly Christian is not necessarily a false teacher, they are not necessarily liberal or legalistic. They are neither hot nor cold. But the color Grey is not light and it is useless look at what the Bible says.
Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Eph 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
We need to get away from the world and make our mindset like that of Christ. We can’t spend our time thinking like the world it just hurts us and doesn’t help them.

1Jo 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jo 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
We must stay away from worldliness. This philosophy is the way of death. We can not be Godly and worldly simultaneously. Godliness is the only way for a Christian.

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Rev 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
God can not tolerate a worldly church because they are useless. Worldly churches are so focused on the material that they do not see the grave spiritual danger that they are in. The Lord cares for real Christians even if they are stuck in these pathetic excuses for bodies. The ones God loves will have adversity. Though those swallowed up by the world will not be.
Have you been seeking the world or Christ?
You get what you deserve, according to who you follow.