I will place some comments in between:
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2006
A better handle on evil
Mr. Farah: My name is Clint Grimes. I am 46 years old. My wife and I have been members of Saddleback Church for almost 17 years. I have known the Warrens that long. I am part of the guest relations ministry, a group of law enforcement professionals that protect the Warrens at public events in Southern California, including Sunday services at Saddleback. In addition to my job as a Long Beach Police Officer, I am a commander in the Navy Reserve. I write you from Kuwait Naval Base, where I have been stationed since August. I am a Christian and I would like to say that I love and admire Pastor Rick and Saddleback Church. I would also like to say that I believe that I am intellectually honest. I have been deployed to the Middle East twice. I have read and seen a lot. As it stands I receive an in-depth intelligence brief three times a week. Regarding Rick's comment about Syria being moderate, you are right, and he was wrong. The government of Syria is not moderate. They do fuel insurgency, put limits on religious expression and are openly anti-Semitic. I also would like to acquaint you a phenomenon of which you may be aware. Many people, mostly Christians believe or at least act like they are protected by the force of their good will and do not recognize many of the evils of the world as well as situations in which they may be in danger. I guess this is naivety. Many people at Saddleback are like this, especially the staff. Living in the upper, upper middleclass community of South Orange County also feeds this mentality. The staff thought we were nuts when we suggested that he, Kay and the other preaching pastors have protection on campus about 10 years ago, and it took a couple of incidents before the staff realize that we knew what we were talking about. In conclusion, I would like to say that Rick is a great man and a great pastor. He has and will continue to do a lot of good. I don't know you, but I have read enough to know that you are a great editor of a magazine that tackles the issues head on. I believe that you and I just have a better handle of what evil is, what it looks like, and how it manifests itself. May God Bless you and your work throughout 2007.
Cdr. Clint Grimes
Unfortunately, as a long-time member of Saddleback Church, I think that the loyalty that Cdr. Grimes has towards Rick Warren prevents him from recognizing the heresy that his pastor is involved in. However, I do think that the commander was absolutely correct when he stated:
Many people, mostly Christians believe or at least act like they are protected by the force of their good will and do not recognize many of the evils of the world as well as situations in which they may be in danger. I guess this is naivety. Many people at Saddleback are like this, especially the staff. Living in the upper, upper middleclass community of South Orange County also feeds this mentality.
I have found that many Christians (usually of the liberal side of the equation) do not see the evil in the world as something that needs to be confronted and battled against by believers. They seem to think that the "battle is the Lord's." Well, that's true, but we are his "army," so to speak, here on the earth and we are not to just sit around and wait for the return of Jesus and do absolutely nothing to combat evil whenever, or wherever we see it!
David faced Goliath in the Old Testament. God was with David, but David also needed to confront Goliath by taking action through hurling that stone at him! Please understand the context of what I am saying, I'm not saying that we are to literally "throw stones" at our opponents. But we are not supposed to just stand by and allow the damage to our morals, ethics, and values to continue, unfettered, in this nation either!
There needs to be balance.
I think that Bill O'Reilly lays out such balance in the last chapter of his book, Culture Warrior.
Although O'Reilly doesn't limit culture warriors to the term "Christian" outrightly in his book, it is increasingly obvious that we need more traditional Christian culture warriors to speak out against the secular progressives that would want to change our nation so that it is unrecognizable as a nation that was originally built on Judeo-Christian moral, values, and ethics!
Pastor Warren is in love with himself. His ego is tremendous and I really can't listen to him anymore. He is in the line of Tammy Faye and Jim Baker. It's all about him, not Christ. His book, "The Purpose Driven Life," is for people who have no clue about faith or life. The media has anointed him until they find some dirt and knock him off his pedestal.
Ave Maria Bacher
I can certainly see why Ave said that. "The Purpose" book has value for those who are already saved by the cross of Jesus Christ. But it is not a book that will lead the unsaved to salvation.
Unfortunately, the cross of Jesus Christ is barely mentioned in Warren's book. I have also seen two additional occasions where Warren's salvation prayer had no reference to the need for confession and repentance!
That (repentance!) is essential to being saved and it is missing in his version of the "prayer for salvation."
Warren's church is going in the direction of the emergent church movement, that unwittingly or not, presents a crossless gospel.
People need to read the book, "The Way of the Master" first, become saved, and then they can read the "Purpose" book.
"The Way of the Master" covers what "Purpose" is lacking.
Who's been co-opted?
Rick Warren's claim of membership in the Council on Foreign Relations and jumping on board the Evangelical Climate Initiative makes me suspect that if anyone has been co-opted by politicians it's him! Not only that, but by implication, Warren appears to be distorting the action of every Christian in the U.S. who has been moved by personal conviction to take a political stand based on morality.
Warren appears to be distorting the action of every Christian in the U.S. who has been moved by personal conviction to take a political stand based on morality.
Very well said! This is so true! It actually defines the difference between what the liberal left form of Christianity calls for (ignoring personal conviction for sin and avoiding taking a stand on morality) and what Biblical Christianity professes!
Purpose-Driven study called 'new-age'
I used Warren’s book TPDL as a study guide for my Christian study group 2 years ago. What I read disturbed me. It sounded almost like another gospel. It was very new-age and Pelagian. Warren’s subsequent press has reaffirmed my original thoughts about his gospel. His ecumenical message fits better with the World Council of Churches mission statement. Warren’s gospel is not The Gospel in my opinion. Only the Holy Spirit can make the difference, not works.
Funny how things become much more clear as we do research!
The truth about the "World Council of Churches."