Saturday, August 13, 2005

Seeking to Save?

In February of 2004, the movie, "The Passion of the Christ" came out and was a mega-hit at the box office. I remember so much about the rhetoric that heated up before, during and after the movie's release. I remember our own church's campaign to invite non-believers to view the movie with us. Our church even bought up and reserved seating at a small theatre in the next town! I still remember the sobering impact the movie had on me and the joy of those few moments depicting the resurrection of Christ. I remember our pastor speaking both before and after the showing that I had attended. Many hands were raised to receive Christ as Savior.

In addition to this, our church started up another home Bible study series based on the book, "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. I excitedly signed up to be a leader and actually ended up having both a Friday morning and Monday evening group! It was an awesome study! We learned so much and developed lasting friendships amongst our group.

But I have to admit that I was disheartened to hear some of the statistics that came out of the Barna Research Group regarding the impact with the unsaved through both of these incredible recent events. What went wrong? What is happening within the contemporary Church that is making it less effective? Why was this so? I wondered.

I think I know now. It came as a revelation to me after reading the book called, "The Way of the Master." Before I get into that book, I first want to share something that happened at our leaders training class when preparing for "The Purpose Driven Life" Bible study.

All the leaders gathered to view a video done by Pastor Rick Warren as an introduction to the study course. When the video came to the portion where accepting Christ was involved, an alarm went off in my heart and mind as I noticed something missing from Pastor Warren's prayer. There was no mention of the need to confess personal sins and repent of them. I had arrived late to the meeting so I thought that perhaps I missed that part in the beginning. During the question and answer time, I raised my hand and brought this up to the assistant pastor leading the class. He said he would "look into it" and quickly called on someone else with the next question. His lack of reaction and abrupt answer was close to an outright dismissal about my concerns!! I was shocked! Two other women sitting nearby said they felt the exact same way about that prayer! I was hoping that this would be brought out to the general congregation (because my pastor ALWAYS SPECIFICALLY EMPHASIZES THE NEED TO CONFESS SIN AND REPENT BEFORE RECEIVING CHRIST AS SAVIOR) but I don't think it was ever brought up.

As a leader of two study groups, I felt that it was my obligation to be sure that the sinners prayer was included in this study so I led such a prayer myself to give people the opportunity to receive Christ at any time during the 8 week study. If I had to criticize the "Purpose" book for one reason, it would be its lack of this important point within its pages.

This is why the book, "The Way of the Master" SHOULD ALSO BE READ BY EVERY BORN-AGAIN BIBLE-BELIEVING CHRISTIAN. It picks up where the "Purpose" book is lacking (IMO). This post will begin to tell you why.

An excerpt from Chapter 2 of "The Way of the Master":

"In 1994, the Barna Research Group found further evidence that all is not well in the contemporary Church. A survey revealed that one in four
American adults who said they were born again also believed that Jesus sinned while he was on the earth. Think for a moment of the implications of such a theology. Here we have millions of "believers" who supposedly confess that Jesus is Lord, and yet they think He sinned. They either don't know what the Bible teaches about Jesus or they believe it is inaccurate when it says that Jesus "knew no sin" (2 Corinthians 5:21), that He was "in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15), and that He "committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth" (1 Peter 2:22).


Furthermore, if Jesus sinned, it would mean that He wasn't the spotless Lamb of God the Scriptures say He was (1 Peter 1:19); that His sacrifice wasn't perfect; and that when God accepted Jesus' death as an atonement for our sins, He sanctioned a "contaminated payment" and therefore corrupt by nature. Sadly, the multitudes who profess faith in Jesus yet deny His sinless perfection appear to be strangers to true regeneration. "

The book goes on to say that the Barna Research Group found that 62 percent of Americans claim to have "a relationship with Jesus Christ that is meaningful to them" yet only 10 percent in a Gallup poll stated that they were, "a breed apart." There are millions of people in America who insinuate that they belong to Jesus Christ, but their lives don't match their claims! A staggering 92 percent own a Bible, but only 11 percent read it daily. Other sad statistics show that 87 percent do not believe in all of the Ten Commandments! 61 percent don't think premarital sex is morally wrong. Some believe in reincarnation. Half believe a person can earn salvation based on good deeds even without accepting Christ as the way to eternal life!

There is something very wrong with this picture!

Today there are many who name the name of Christ but who never "depart from iniquity" (2 Timothy 2:19). They are false converts who "ask Jesus into their heart" but are actually unconverted because they have never truly repented!! The truth is that if someone's heart is still in the world - if he is a "Judas" at heart - he will find any excuse to stay there. It is important that we examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). Those who allow sin in their lives are actually opening themselves up to demonic influence, just as Judas did.

Here may be some likely justifications that Judas would have had for his betrayal of the Savior:

1. He was publicly humiliated by Jesus when he suggested giving funds to the poor.

2. He felt a deep sense of rejection because he was not part of the "inner circle."

3. He needed the money.

4. The chief priests made him do it.

5. The devil made him do it.

6. The responsibility of looking after the finances became too much for him.

7. He was abused as a child.

8. He had a betrayal syndrome.

9. He lacked a father figure.

10. He didn't think his actions would have the grisly repercussions they had.

There are some who believe that Judas had never even been a believer. There is good reason for this, because Jesus said of him, "One of you is a devil" (John 6:70). That's not something Jesus would likely say about one of His true followers.

Please read Mark 4:3-8 which is the parable of the sower. Pay particular attention to this verse:

And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.

If there is one message that comes from the parable about the stony ground, the thorny ground, and the good ground, it is this:

When the gospel is preached, there will be true and false conversions!

Judas, for example, was a false convert. He was a hypocrite - a pretender - whose desire (it seems) for riches and power choked out his affection for Christ. He was actually a thief who so lacked a healthy fear of God that he was stealing money from the collection bag (John 12:6).

If one grasps the principle that true and false converts will be alongside each other in the Church, then the other parabolic teachings also make sense: the wheat and tares (Matthew 13:24-30), the wise virgins and the foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), and the sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31-46).

Look at the parable of the dragnet:

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels. but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Jesus said to them, "Have you understood all these things?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord." (Matthew 13:47-51)

Notice that the good fish and the bad fish were in the net together. Notice also that unbelievers are not caught in the dragnet of the kingdom of heaven; they remain in the world. The "fish" that are caught are those who hear and respond to the gospel - the evangelistic "catch." They remain together, the true and the false, until the Day of Judgment.

False converts do have a measure of spirituality. Judas certainly did. He had apparently convinced the other disciples that he truly cared for the poor. He seemed trustworthy so he was the one who looked after the finances.

Notice that the "God has a wonderful plan for you life" message often doesn't include the "whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:26-27). Do you notice what's missing? Do they faithfully preach against sin? Do they preach righteousness and judgment (as Jesus did)? Do they speak about true repentance (not simply a "change of mind") , and warn about the reality of hell (as Jesus did)?

Quote from Kirk Cameron in book:

"If you have an ear to hear, you will find that many of today's preachers fill their churches by teaching legitimate life-changing principles. However, although these principles are helpful for daily living, they fail to unmask the villians of sin and self-righteousness that keep vast numbers of false converts sitting in a fool's paradise, comfortable in the pews, thinking they are friends with God when they are still His enemies.

Psalm 53:2-3 tells us that "God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. Every one of them has turned aside; they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one." If the Bible tells us that no man naturally seeks after God, what then is the typical "seeker" seeking? No doubt most are seeking after peace, joy, happiness, and fulfillment (a wonderful plan for their lives). Not surprisingly, that is precisely what the modern gospel message offers them. This method of evangelism is also known as "felt needs" evangelism.* Find out where a sinner hurts, and tell him Jesus will make it better. Remember the old advertising principal: "Scratch 'em where they itch"? Well, the modern gospel does it.

The problem is that sinners aren't itching to crucify their flesh. They aren't hungering and thirsting for righteousness. They're itching for a more enjoyable life and thirsting for sin. The Bible says they drink it in like water (Job 15:16). What unregenerate sinners really seek is a life change that brings positive results, won't cramp their style, and won't cost too much.

Does that not sum up the promise of much of contemporary American Christianity? No wonder some churches are so full they're bursting at the seams."

*Footnote: Should we not address the legitimate "felt needs" of the lost? To answer that important question, let's look at an analogy: A child who was running through a wooded area fell onto a sharp stick and cut his jugular vein. His father immediately swooped him us and pressed his thumb to the boy's neck in an effort to stop the gushing blood while he rushed him to the hospital.

In the emergency room, when the surgeon arrived, the child showed him a small splinter he had received in his thumb when he fell. He wanted the surgeon to remove it. Of course, the surgeon ignored the child's plea, and began work to stop the life-threatening injury to the boy's neck.

Modern evangelism preaches a message that calls sinners to come to God for their "splinters" rather than for that which is life-threatening. It tells the world that God will heal marriages, drug problems, alcohol problems, etc. when the real reason they should come to the Savior is that their life's blood is gushing from their throat. They are in debt to eternal justice.

It's like a devious criminal saying to a judge, "I know I'm guilty of rape and murder, but I have an important personal problem that I think the courts should deal with first."

God's priority is to deal first with the fatal wound of sin before He even looks at the splinters of our personal problems. We are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Biblical evangelism deals with the eternal issues first; all else is temporal.

***to be continued***

18 comments:

Saltnlight said...

Christine:
This is so good and so true. And there isn't much time left. This addresses so well the problem of the bandaide affect over sin.

I am not perfect. Never have I let anyone think that I was. There are things that I find myself doing that I seem powerless over, I believe that Paul spoke of this very problem: Romans 7:15-20. The difference here is that Paul has confessed his sins and was born again on the road to Damaskas. Paul is saved. Even so he is still a sinner. Not a slave to any of them though.

I have a study resource that claims this:
Man can sustain no other relation to salvation than to believe God's message to the extent of turning from self-works to depend only on the work of God through Christ. Believing is the opposite of doing anything; it is trusting another instead. Therefore, the Scriptures are violated and the whole doctrine of grace confused when salvation is made to depend on anything other than believing. The divine message is not "believe and pray," "believe and confess sin," "believe and confess Christ," "believe and be baptized," "believe and repent, " or " believe and make restitution." These six added subjects are mentioned in the Scriptures and there they have their full intended meaning; but if they were as essential to salvation as believing they would never be omitted from any passage wherein the way to be saved is stated (note Joh 1:12; 3:16,36;5:24;6:29;20:31; Act 16:31; Rom 1:16; 3:22; 4:5, 24; 5:1; 10:4; Gal 3:22). Salvation is only through Christ, and men are therefore saved when they receive Him as their Saviour.

I have trouble with this teaching because:
ACT 20:21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

ACT 26:20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.

2PE 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Many do not want this part because they love their sin more than Christ.

Stephen said...

Great post Christine! I am one of those who are not fond at all of "The Purpose Driven Life." It lacks ALOT - to say the least.

"The Way of the Master" is right on target - an unbelievable book - calling sin exactly what it is - SIN.

You see, I NEVER KNEW I was a sinner - until a faithful Christian preached it to me. I was told I was involved in sin (homosexuality) - needed to confess, repent and become a new creature. I was a sinner on my way to hell. I did that 13 years ago - and today I'm happily married 12 yrs to Irene, the father of our two children - and happier and more fulfilled than I have ever been. I've been born again.

God is truly working through you so strongly!

It brings to mind a few cyber "aquaintances" who by their own mouths show they have absolutely no idea what sin, confession, repentance and being born again really means. They call themselves Christians - Paul says we are to JUDGE those who claim to be Christian - God will judge those who are not.

You are correct - there is a lot of rotten fruit out there, a lot of wheat and tares - both will grow together. God forbid the day of the harvest when Jesus says to these individuals... "Get away from me ye workers of iniquity - I NEVER KNEW YOU."

Susan Smith said...

I am glad Stephen mentioned the wheat and the tares. It is not easy to tell them apart when they are just beginning to grow. The golden wheat fields are beautiful here in Israel at Pentecost. When the wheat and the tares are babies and as they begin to grow, it is very difficult to tell them apart. As harvest nears, it is very easy to tell the wheat from the tares.

The tares (weeds) stand up tall in their arrogance, but the mature wheat bows down their heads in humility.

Stephen said...

Susan - wow. What a literal visual! I can't believe the Lord allowed us to meet. I am so blessed. Women and wisdom. And I married to one of the most godly ones of all!

God bless you sister!

Stephen

Susan Smith said...

We will give God all the glory for giving you a godly wife who brings you good and never harm. A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. She has a husband who is respected. Many religious Jews quote from Proverbs 31 to their wives every Shabbat and I know you cherish Irene as your beloved wife. I look forward to the fellowship God is planning with you both, as the Lord directs. God desires to bless us with more than we ever think to ask for, far beyond our imaginations and I consider meeting you and your family a great blessing in my life.

Christinewjc said...

saltnlight,

Thanks for all that you shared here. It really added to the post!

saltnlight: "Many do not want this part because they love their sin more than Christ."

I think that sentence sums it up quite well! Those who do not WANT to truly repent and want to hold onto their sin do so precisely because they do not want to give it up to God.

Repentance is a humbling experience. Pride of self in this life can prevent people from seeing that we are ALL sinners desperately in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Lord is so patient with us! As the verse in 2 Peter 3:9 states: "He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

I was one of those people who took a long time to "get it" as evidenced by my testimony post, so I do have a heart for those who may be difficult to reach. However, what I have found is that it is often the people who are initially put off by the Gospel message; those who are initially very hurt by the exposure of sin in their life and resent what I have shared (at first) who, eventually, are more likely to come to repentance! It may takes days, months or even many years, but I have seen such people eventually "get it" because they have been convicted of their own personal sin within their own conscience and realized that our message is truly one of love, not condemnation. As the analogy about the boy's cut jugular vein emphasized in the original post, they realize that 'the real reason they should come to the Savior is that their life's blood is gushing from their throat. They are in debt to eternal justice.'

Saltnlight said...

Christine:
You have said a mouthful here:
"it is often the people who are initially put off by the Gospel message; those who are initially very hurt by the exposure of sin in their life and resent what I have shared (at first) who, eventually, are more likely to come to repentance! It may takes days, months or even many years, but I have seen such people eventually "get it" because they have been convicted of their own personal sin within their own conscience and realized that our message is truly one of love, not condemnation."

In fact if you listen to the cd by Stephen he fits that mold. He was told over and over and finally he got it. (Don't mean any harm Stephen but it is p[ublic knowledge.)

I was the same way and nearly everyone who has come to Christ has hated to hear that what they are into is sin. For some it takes much more than just a few words to jolt them out of their comfort zone.

As I have said before, sin is comfortable for a time, Sin is nice, it feels good and smells good and tastes good. If it did not no one would do it.

As blind men walking we do not see the mysteries of God's Kingdom. This fact is the one that led me to write what I wrote on the SBM private forum, go read it.

Christinewjc said...

Stephen,

Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate your comments here! Each time you post you add so much to the topic!

Your testimony has given so much hope to those caught up in the sin of homosexuality. To see how your repentance and born-again experience through Christ led you to become a 'new creature' in the Lord and gave you complete release from that sin gives hope to so many who are, or were, also trapped in that deception! You have been blessed with your beautiful wife, Irene, and two adorable children who are being raised up in the knowledge of Jesus Christ by two godly parents....what could be better in life?

I can understand your feeling that way about the "Purpose" book. However, I still think it is a great book to help those who are already born-again to realize the reasons and five purposes that God put us on this earth for. It does cover evangelism, but I think that Pastor Warren should have devoted at least an entire chapter, if not more, (in the beginning of the book) so that non-believers who read it would know the extreme importance of confession of their personal sin and their need for repentance. I think that there was only one paragraph on that in the book and that is surely not enough!

I feel kinda bad. I have given that book to MANY people over the last 2 years! From now on, I am going to package up "The Way of the Master" along with the "Purpose" book and suggest that they read the "Master" book first. I will tell them that the "Master" book will probably shock them and may even anger them, but they need to read the entire book. Then, they will be ready for the "Purpose" book.

You made such an important point when you stated:

"It brings to mind a few cyber "aquaintances" who by their own mouths show they have absolutely no idea what sin, confession, repentance and being born again really means. They call themselves Christians - Paul says we are to JUDGE those who claim to be Christian - God will judge those who are not."

Yes! Those who claim to be Christian are to be treated differently than those who are not! Scripture instructs us well when we need admonition (Lord knows that I have often fallen into THAT category!!) from fellow Christians and how we are to handle it. Scripture also informs us that we are to build each other up in Christ, focusing on Him and His Word, not on ourselves. I think that this means that we shouldn't be quarreling with each other about some small differences (e.g. denominational differences, traditions etc.). Personally, I really dislike arguing with other Christians (e.g. like when the Rapture will occur, pre, post, mid-tribulation etc.). When we keep our focus on the Gospel and preach "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" and especially WHY Jesus was crucified, then ALL Christians SHOULD be in agreement on that central issue!

Christinewjc said...

Susan,

Thanks so much for sharing that beautiful and poetic fact about the wheat and the tares! I learned a great lesson from you today! I love to hear the details behind the parables that Christ spoke in the Bible...it adds so very much to the reasons Christ taught in parables!

Love in the Lord,
Christine

Jojo said...

Hello All,
I started to post here yesterday and got into some research on Rick Warren and never got my post finished.

Our church has not done "The Purpose Driven Church" but many churches near us have. We have two Sunday School classes that have studied "The Purpose Driven Life". I have the book and have read some of it but not all, or in sequence. All I have read there is good and some of it, I consider great. But still, I keep hearing other Christians whom I respect, have reservations on some of Rick's teachings. I am glad to hear you give specifics Christine.

I received an email a few months ago, accusing Rick Warren of teaming with a "new ager", Ken Blanchard. I read some links about this and was concerned myself. I finally received an email back from Saddleback Church (but not personally from Rick) refuting the claims against him. I kinda just dismissed it - but then yesterday when you said that he did not include repentance in his prayer, I decided to look again at the email and links I had received earlier.

I ended up listening to a sermon from Pastor Warren - giving his "peace plan". I observed several things that made me uncomfortable.

I agree that his book "The Purpose Driven Life" is valuable in helping Christians see the call for service - but this again reminds me of how important it is to BE IN THE WORD, so we can discern what is truth and what is not.

Satan loves to take something good and distort and reconfigure just enough to be out of alignment with God, yet subtley, so we don't always recognize.

I think we must view "The Way of The Master" in the same light. It helps us to realize something - but it is not the Bible. We can't be promoters of "people" instead of Jesus. If Satan can get us as Christians, to pass judgment on something Rick Warrn does or doesn't do then he has succeeded in taking something good and tearing it apart.

All of this makes me think of what Paul says in 1 Cor. 1:10-17 "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brohters, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, 'I follow Paul'; another , 'I follow Apollos'; another, 'I follow Cephas'; still another, 'I follow Christ.' Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. (Yes I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel-not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power."

So I think it is good to share what God teaches us and it is good to discern truth from error. But it all boils down to what God's Word says and His teaching is what we should strive to follow. Satan cannot tempt God into sin or change His focus. Satan cannot take God's truth and turn it into error. Praise be to Jesus that He alone is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

Christinewjc said...

Hey Jojo!

I've missed you!

Yes. I have a friend at my message board who expressed the same concerns regarding Rick Warren's affiliation with Ken Blanchard.

You made many excellent and valid points within your post and you are absolutely correct here:

Jojo: "So I think it is good to share what God teaches us and it is good to discern truth from error. But it all boils down to what God's Word says and His teaching is what we should strive to follow."

God's Word is the standard by which we are to judge all and any Christian publication. We realize that none of us is perfect and therefore no book (except the Bible) is ever perfect, either.

Jojo: "Praise be to Jesus that He alone is Lord of Lords and King of Kings."

Amen!

Saltnlight said...

PHI 1:15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill.
16 The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.
17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.
18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,.

Out of the NIV Study notes it says:
We do not stand in judgment over the motives of others. We rejoice that people hear the gospel.

When we faithfully proclaim the gospel, God anoints that proclamation. He fills it with power (Mic 3:8; Luk 4:17-19; 1Th 1:4-5). What God commands us to do, He enables us to do. God does not call the equipped. He equips the called. We experience great joy when we sense the anointing of God upon our lives. When we rest wholly on Him and are in obedience to His Word, He fills us with His presence and power. Compare Act 4:31-33; 1Co 2:1-5; 2Ti 4:17. Some proclamation is without this anointing. Even this kind of proclamation is not without effect (Phi 1:14-18) because the Word of God is alive, powerful, and as sharp as a two-edged sword (Heb 4:12). How tragic it is, however, for God to have to work through sin and rebellion in the life of the proclaimer. The anointed proclamation of the prophet was directed to groups of people often ignored by society's power brokers. Proclamation has content bringing hope to people in need.

So with that said we need be very careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water. Christ must be preached and if it takes a Rick Warren who may slant the issue a bit, at least someone has taken the mantle.

Christinewjc said...

My hope is that Warren's book encourages people to WANT to read the Bible!

In a recent Barna Research poll, it was found that only 11% of evangelical Christians actually get into the Word every day! That's a pitifully low percentage!!

A strong Christian friend of mine and I had a long discussion about Benny Hinn one day over the phone. I had recently seen a report about the extravagant spending for his ministry trips and it upset me that he was wasting donations on hotel rooms that cost over $2,000 and sometimes even $4,000 a night! My friend shared similar insight with me as you have shared, Saltnlight, and I think it can be a valid point in some cases.

But in Hinn's case, I am very wary and concerned that this unnecessary spending places a huge blemish upon Christianity, in general. And, I am suspicious because of his "healing" practices and the "slay in the Spirit" actions on a stage filled with an arena with thousands of people.

What are your thoughts? Are Hinn's practices biblical?

I always like to focus on what Jesus did. When Jesus healed people, he went to them and healed them individually.

Susan Smith said...

God works in mysterious ways and I know many people have been blessed by Rick Warren's book. I have been guilty of calling it a "fluff" book or a "feel good" book, but I had to repent after making those statements. Jesus said He would build His Church and He is doing it His way. I dare not touch the Lord's anointed, including Benny Hinn.

Saltnlight said...

Susan:
There need be some discernment in who the annointed of the Lord truly are. The verse I posted is proof positive that even the heathen can preach the Christ and people be saved under them. That does not always mean they are God's annointed. By their fruits you will know them.

Hinn has been bouncing around pushing people over with "slayings in the spirit" for ages. There is no where in Scripture, other than the day of Pentecost, in Acts where this kind of thing is seen as having taken place. And even then they fell forward not backward as do the persons who are touched in this way by Hinn and others.

Just because the bible makes clear to us that even the false teacher can preach Christ, Does not say we should follow after them.

Now please do not get upset with me but rather go to Apologetics index and put in the name of Benny Hinn and read what they have to say. This is run be Ankerburg and others who are highly respected in the field of Apologetics.

Yes there is much in Rick's book that is beneficial for the believer but there are also things in there that would be injurious to a new born babe in Christ.

By the way, Being Born again is what Jesus Himself said was Neccessary to even SEE the kingdom of God. This last statement is not to you Susan but to someone who told me that a member of their family can't stand people who claim to be born again.

Christinewjc said...

Hey Stephen,

It seems I found someone who agrees with your assessment regarding the "Purpose Driven Life" book.

Greg Koukl is a man whom I deeply respect and I have learned a lot from him. He has a website called "Stand to Reason" which is filled with excellent articles defending Biblical Christianity against all opponents (including Darwinism, relativism, immorality etc.). He wrote an article entitled, "What's Wrong With Being Seeker-Centered?" It is quite long and if you want to read it in its entirety, go here:

http://www.str.org/free/
commentaries/misc_topics/
seekerce.htm

Here are some quotes where he makes some valid points:

*******
Koukl:

"I've talked with a number of churches who have gone through "Forty Days of Purpose." The problem is that there is no Gospel in those forty days of purpose. It's used as a technique to get to non-believers to the church but they hear a message of good news without any bad news."

" The church is the place where the Christians are discipled so they can go out and do the works of ministry and go into the marketplace and have an impact for Christ. That’s what Jesus taught, that’s what He modeled. That’s what the early disciples taught, that’s what they modeled. The message in the marketplace was not a message of purpose; it was a message of sin and salvation. Bad news, good news. They turned the world upside down with that message."

"Here is the solution to the church's problem. We have to abandon the seeker model and we have to adopt the Biblical model. Ooh, that sounds so arrogant. You are saying what they are doing is not Biblical? Yes! This is not rocket science. Find me anywhere in the Scriptures where the church gathers as Christians for the purpose of watering down the Gospel message and getting people to come into their church congregation. The church gathered for training and edification of believers, then they went out with the message of sin and salvation so people could get right with God before they could even begin to think about whatever purpose God had for their lives. First things first. That is the consistent model in every single time in the book of Acts where the Gospel is preached."

*******

His premise that it is a mistake to teach the Good News without the bad news first is similar to the message of "The Way of the Master" book.

Just thought I'd share that with you! Hope you are having a great day and week!

Love in Christ,
Christine

carla said...

I came across this post through a google search on "God has a wonderful plan for your life". Good blog.

I realize you posted this some time ago, but I would like to add my two bits, if I may.

There is much more amiss beneath the PD surface. Every church who has done the 40 Days of Purpose has has problems. It was only the beginning of many errors that entered our church, which we finally had to leave. In Purpose Driven language, we were 'resisters'.

Rick Warren was mentored by business man Peter Drucker. He has had ties with the beginning of the emerging church, with futurist Leonard Sweet, and Robert Schuller (mentored by Norman Vincent Peale, 33rd degree freemason). Warren has also been to Syria to talk peace with Israel's enemies. He told Joseph Farah of WND that he is a member of the CFA, who only handpicks those who fit with their global agenda. RW's PEACE plan certainly does match theirs. Sincere or not, RW has deceived many into accepting the watered down gospel, and is helping the church head down the road to Rome with his Purpose Driven Catholics.

Rick Warren's business called the seeker friendly gospel is deceiving thousands of people into thinking that they are saved. It is also convincing many to be part of the global social gospel that will also not save souls. It makes me sick.


Enough said. I could write all day, but there are better things to do with the time I have left.

Thankyou for recognizing and writing the truth!

God bless you!

Christinewjc said...

Hello Carla,

Thank you for your comment. It seems that more and more Christians are realizing the errors and heresy inherent in Rick Warren's "Purpose" ministry. It is so unfortunate. If only Warren had stayed with, and included, the cross of Christ as the focal point in his book (and subsequent ministry), things may have turned out better.

Thanks for sharing that additional information. I didn't realize that Warren was affiliated with those people (Drucker, Sweet, Schuller). I knew about the trip to Syria and that was another alarm bell. Genuine, evangelical born-again Christians are in support of the Holy Land of Israel. We know what the Bible says about this! (i.e. those who bless Israel will be blessed; those who curse Israel will be cursed.)

I was sorry to read that so many churches who presented and followed "the 40 days of purpose" had suffered set backs. It just shows that they were headed in the wrong direction!

Thanks again for posting! Please return and share some more insight!

In Christ,
Christine