Proving once again that Rick Warren can’t do anything right in their eyes, our friends at CRN have linked to this article which criticizes Warren for his advice on how to tell children about the removal of a pastor.  Warren’s advice seems pretty level-headed to me in this case.  He says:

Children have a fragile faith and often idolize their leaders. Parents should be careful not to talk about fallen staff in front of children so they don’t lose heart. If asked, you should simply say “They resigned,” That’s all children need to know.

Honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with that advice.  Children probably don’t need to be told more than they’ll understand.  I’ve actually seen situations like this, and if children hear things about people, they will repeat it to their friends. Their friends tell other friends, and soon rumors spread like wildfire.

Warren doesn’t say we need to totally ignore a leader’s sin.  He says we need to handle it with care.  For anyone who has seen churches where the removal a pastor becomes necessary, it makes perfect sense.  There may a time and place where it’s necessary and proper to give more details, but in the heat of the event is probably unwise.

I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that a site that makes spreading gossip a top priority doesn’t advocate using some discretion when talking about other’s sin to children.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2008 at 9:00 pm and is filed under Christian Living, Editor, ODM Responses, ODM Writers, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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56 Comments(+Add)

1   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 9th, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Wow – two articles on the same idiotic ramblings at C?N within minutes of each other – I’m not sure that’s happened before…

Great catch, guys!

2   Ginger Taylor    http://dailydiscernment.wordpress.com
January 9th, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Hi,

I am the woman who wrote the post that CRN linked to. I am also a Johns Hopkins Educated family therapist.

From your post it seems to be that you didn’t read the article I wrote, as you characterization that it “doesn’t advocate using some discretion when talking about other’s sin to children” is the opposite of the point of the advice I am offering.

I would encourage you to read it (and the comments), as it is a lengthy discussion of how to deal with telling a child the truth about a fallen pastor, but telling that truth in a measure that children can handle and will be edifying to them.

I give specific examples how how to do that with out being dishonest to children. I even give an example from our own parenting where we explained a hard situation in the church to my 5 year old son in the measure that was relevant to him, and repeatedly denied him more information when he wanted the dirty details.

These unfortunate events are teaching moments with children, but they must be handled with care so that we do right by them.

My point about Warren is that the article is about pastors that are fired, and he encourages people to tell kids that they quit. That is dishonest and leaves kids open to danger. When I tried to comment on Warren’s blog post asking him to reconsider his unbiblical advice, my comments were not approved, even after personally requesting approval from the pastor in charge of Warren’s web site.

Warren does not seem to be open to correction.

I would encourage everyone to read my blog post and make a judgment for themselves as to whether or not the points I am making are biblical and wise. Not just make a judgment on the based on who linked to it and what they said about it.

http://dailydiscernment.wordpress.com/2008/01/02/false-teaching-rick-warren-encourages-lying-to-children/

Thank You
Ginger Taylor, M.S.

3   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 9th, 2008 at 10:38 pm

Ginger,
In many many churches when a pastor is fired, they all allow him to say he resigned. They even accept a written resignation. To say Warren is advocating dishonesty is a stretch at best.

4   Neil    
January 9th, 2008 at 10:49 pm

“Warren does not seem to be open to correction.”

That’s pretty long leap from “He won’t take my advice” to “not open to correction… ‘course we often see what we’re look’n for.

 

5   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 9th, 2008 at 10:53 pm

Did Warren’s staff die? Why would he take your correction? Who exactly are you that he would have to listen to you? He doesn’t answer to you, I don’t think? I’m just saying…

6   Neil    
January 9th, 2008 at 10:56 pm

Joe,

But she’s John’s Hopkins educated… “I’m just say’n”

Neil

7   Neil    
January 9th, 2008 at 10:59 pm

In seminary I had a prof – my favorite prof – one day he came in and told us that his young daughter’s pet rabbit died. He described the “funeral” they had in the backyard. Of course she asked is she would see the rabbit again in heaven. My prof said: I scanned all my biblical and theological training, thought through the options they gave – then I lied to her…

I don’t think any of us held that against him.

8   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 9th, 2008 at 10:59 pm

Well, if we’re comparing degrees, Warren has a Doctorate from FTS…

9   M.G.    
January 9th, 2008 at 11:00 pm

The post was rather enlightening. I’m inclined to agree that 9 times out of 10, when a pastor sins, the end-game is resignation instead of firing.

That begs the question, what about that 10th time? Is Rick Warren counseling people to lie to their children? Or in those instances where the spiritual leader is fired and dragged from the church kicking and screaming, do you think Rick Warren would want parents to use their best judgment, and say something like, “Well, Bobby, Pastor Smith wasn’t right for the Church, so we asked him to leave us.”

I’m inclined to give Rick Warren *the benefit of the doubt* and assume it’s the latter. (Would Rick really insist, brazenly, that I still communicate a resignation? Would he think it unwise if I communicated to my children, in so many words, that a firing occurred? Unlikely, I think.) Rick Warren is good for advice, but he’s not the Holy Spirit. He will advise me, yes, but he will still leave room for *my judgment* and for *my experience*. I’m neither going to study his words as if they were Scripture, nor parse them in an effort to demonize him or trap him.

And this is where we enter my specialty. In graduate school for philosophy, we discussed the idea of being a *charitable reader*. It means assuming that a person means the sensible thing, the wiser idea, the more coherent thought. We agreed that philosophy is easier when we read charitably and give other writers the benefit of the doubt. Communication is meaningless if we’re engaged in a never-ending game of Gotcha! (And really, isn’t that the whole point of CRN and Slice? It’s just a huge game to trap people. It doesn’t matter, even, if truth gets in the way.)

If you think you “got!” Rick Warren, congrats. I’ll tell you, though, that the whole thing just strikes me as pedantic, pointless, and more interested in bringing him down than raising children up.

M.G., J.D. M.A.

10   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 9th, 2008 at 11:06 pm

What’s a J.D? I’m just a poor farm boy.

11   Neil    
January 9th, 2008 at 11:06 pm

M.G.,

…the idea of being a *charitable reader*. It means assuming that a person means the sensible thing, the wiser idea, the more coherent thought.

This is, as you will soon find out, a foreign concept to ODM’s… beside it would get in the way of a good story.

12   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 9th, 2008 at 11:07 pm

I just saw the eisegesis to end all eisegeses.

For some stupid reason, I took Ginger’s advice and started reading her article. After getting past the martyrdom complex for not having a comment approved on another blog, we get to the actual unapproved comment.

First, Warren makes the point that children “often idolize their leaders”. Yes they do, and that is sin in itself. (1 John 5:21 – Little children, guard yourself from idols.)

Yes, boys and girls. Ginger actually implies that the “little children” reference that John uses means actual non-adults.

I had to stop reading there, because my hair started bleeding.

13   M.G.    
January 9th, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Joe,

Doctor of Jurisprudence. I also have a law degree.

14   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
January 9th, 2008 at 11:09 pm

Ginger,

I have a Masters degree as well, if that means anything.

I read through the whole piece, and I thought that you ignored the whole thrust of the piece and took the one sentence that could somewhat be construed as a negative. Even that’s a stretch.

The fact is we are first and foremost to love one another as Christians. I think a big part of that is being charitable and not assuming the worst. The problems is that with Warren people never give him the benefit of a doubt. He’s always assumed to be the villain.

15   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
January 9th, 2008 at 11:10 pm

I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that a site that makes spreading gossip a top priority doesn’t advocate using some discretion when talking about other’s sin to children.

Who’s gonna run the ODMs in 30 years if we don’t train our kids early to smugly judge others sin?

16   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 9th, 2008 at 11:10 pm

Brendt,
You kill me! What will Jim say?

17   Joe Martino, Grand Rapids Mi (or G-Rap)    http://joemartino.name
January 9th, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Thank you M.G.

18   merry    
January 10th, 2008 at 12:14 am

Jesus is coming again someday soon.

19   Scott Boras    
January 10th, 2008 at 9:04 am

You know, you guys should consider selling out and attacking Warren. Your hits would go way up! When someone disagrees with you, make up a name and say they have an agenda. (This is an excellent way to hide your own agenda). Then Jim from his old truth can create a page about how some guy who didn’t use his name warned you.

20   sarah    
January 10th, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Are you guys old enough to have a blog?

21   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
January 10th, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Are you guys old enough to have a blog?

This is only slightly more useful than one of Chris P.’s standard comments…

Try harder.

22   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 10th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Sarah,
I take it that you are not old enough to have your own blog. Does your mom and dad know that you are commenting?

23   Jim W    
January 11th, 2008 at 5:58 am

“The fact is we are first and foremost to love one another as Christians. I think a big part of that is being charitable and not assuming the worst.”
This thread just drips with loving one another as Christians. Or is that reeks?

24   fred    
January 11th, 2008 at 6:42 am

Do we not undrstand that a lie is a lie even when it is done with good intentions? God’s holiness doesn’t bend to our views of right and wrong. If one sin determined the fate of angels, a higher being than Man, how dare we even try to justify lying to a child. How much do we tell them is one thing, but to lie? Even a little? Do we not fear God?

25   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 11th, 2008 at 7:35 am

Fred,

1) Warren was not advocating lying to children. It was only an uncharitable prooftexting of his article which concluded this.

2) I’m not sure I see anyone in this thread advocating ‘lying’ to children.

3) As someone noted on the other thread, there are instances – like with Rahab – where deception was counted as righteousness (because it was properly weighed against higher laws).

4) Do you have children? If so, when did you disabuse them of the notion that Santa existed?

26   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 11th, 2008 at 7:37 am

This thread just drips with loving one another as Christians. Or is that reeks?

Yes, I realize that leaving comments open will result in some folks coming in and making comments like:

Are you guys old enough to have a blog?

But aside from that, it seems to be a pretty civil conversation…

27   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
January 11th, 2008 at 8:05 am

Do we not undrstand that a lie is a lie even when it is done with good intentions? God’s holiness doesn’t bend to our views of right and wrong. If one sin determined the fate of angels, a higher being than Man, how dare we even try to justify lying to a child. How much do we tell them is one thing, but to lie? Even a little? Do we not fear God?

Way to wrestle with the Biblical examples brought up previously. That’s some real good work there.

28   pastorboy    http://www.thedowngrade2007.blogspot.com
January 11th, 2008 at 8:40 am

What was the point of this thread, anyway?

Tim…great audio…LOL

29   M.G.    
January 11th, 2008 at 8:43 am

I used to really struggle with Kant’s famous murderer at the door example. So I’ll ask Jim and Fred (and anyone else.)

Ten Jews are living in your basement. A Nazi knocks on your door and asks you point-blank “are any Jews living in your basement?” If you say yes, or anything else for that matter, everyone dies. The only chance for saving them is by saying one word, no. What do you do?

Kant said you had to say yes. I used to agree with his stance on this, but have only recently changed my mind. In other words, I used to think the New Testament supported some form of deontology, but now would say that it supports some version of virtue theory.

30   M.G.    
January 11th, 2008 at 8:44 am

Whoops, I meant to write that Kant famously said you have to say yes!

31   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
January 11th, 2008 at 9:08 am

MG,
I fixed it for you since it changed pretty much everything about your comment.

32   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 11th, 2008 at 9:16 am

This thread just drips with loving one another as Christians. Or is that reeks? ~ Jim W

For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

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, 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:That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Better the fragrance of Christ than the stench of self righteousness…

Be blessed,
iggy

33   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
January 11th, 2008 at 9:17 am

I don’t have a degree either, but I’m smart enough to understand the underlying deception of “they resigned” versus “they quit” or “they found another job.”

What would your response have been if John MacArthur was fired and the explanation given was “he resigned?” You guys would have been all over that one like a monkey on a cupcake! Yes, as Joe accurately states: “many churches when a pastor is fired, they all allow him to say he resigned.” One of our former youth pastors “resigned” from his previous church…we later learned that he was a child molester, but that’s OK. At least his former church didn’t tarnish his reputation by saying he was fired.

I have served as an Elder in a couple of churches (won’t ever do it again) and being in close proximity to Preachers I’ve seen some amazing use of the English language and creative logic—especially when it comes to money. One pastor and his wife would go with their children every year to a high end department store and “buy” the entire family a new outfit for Resurrection Sunday. They’d wear the clothes to church then return them the next day for full credit on their VISA. They bragged/justified their actions because they just didn’t make enough money. They never understood why I accused them of lying.

Rick Warren or whoever…I’m somewhat skeptical of ALL pastors.

34   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
January 11th, 2008 at 9:24 am

Rick Warren or whoever…I’m somewhat skeptical of ALL pastors.

I would say I’m naturally skeptical, too. I too have seen a lot of pastors do questionable things. I guess there’s a difference between skepticism and cynicism, though. Skepticism to me is not assuming anything, while cynicism is always assuming the worst.

My problem is that I’ve met too many pastors who are truly genuine and open to be a cynic. Sometimes I do fall into the trap of cynicsim, but then the Lord reminds me that not all is as bad I think.

35   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 11th, 2008 at 9:34 am

Keith,

I ahve addressed the child molester part already…. This is a different situation.

I knew a guy in a church we attended who was arrested as he went to meet a 12 year old for sex. He was pretty well known in our church. I had no issue in that it was already in the paper and that he could have harmed a child. Yet, if he had harmed the child, I do not see that telling my kids or others that how he harmed that child in detail. I do not need to give all the sexual details nor the court proceedings…

In the 80’s I was a youth pastor. At that time in the news was a youth pastor who had an affair with a youth and murdered her to cover it up. The story went on how he stuffed her in a garbage bag and other gruesome details. I chose to only talk to my youth as they had a question about it…. not one asked me about it. It did not need addressing.

If it had been my own church and it was another staff member who did this, I am sure I would have had to speak to the kids about it. Yet, still I would have only stated light details.

I don’t have a degree either, but I’m smart enough to understand the underlying deception of “they resigned” versus “they quit” or “they found another job.”

I am not sure why this is such an issue as I have been given the choice to either be fired or resign… I resigned. In that I realized I should have been fired as I would have gotten more unemployment help… but it did help me get another job faster. This is a common practice even among the business world… The situation I was in involved the Union and other issues and I had to sign a nondisclosure. Though technically I was fired, on paper and legally, I resigned.

I am not sure how gracious I would be over JM being fired… actually I would be saddened…

I would be sickened also how his one time friends turn on him and judge and condemn him also as they did with Haggard. I mean, Steve Camp recently stated some stupid things against Tim Challies over his new book… which Johnny Mac wrote the nice foreword… so these people are not nice people. They love to chew on others and even themselves.

iggy

36   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
January 11th, 2008 at 10:21 am

Iggy:
I may be splitting hairs, but the tone that I perceived was Phil–and others– felt that the ODM’s were being overly critical because the “simply say ‘they resigned…’” statement was made by Rick Warren. Warren said it. It must be wrong. I actually agree with Phil’s statement: “Children probably don’t need to be told more than they’ll understand”—depending how we go about defining “children” (age-wise, that is).

My question is basically the same for this site. If John MacArthur had been fired–it was common knowledge he was fired–would he be given the same latitude to paint the situation as having “resigned,” regardless of the official word from his church/leadership?

37   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
January 11th, 2008 at 10:30 am

Keith,
I’m a little bit confused as to how that question really pertains here. The original post is specifically dealing with what to tell children in the event of a pastor having to leave. It’s not about what to tell other adults. It seems to me that Warren and everyone who commented isn’t advocating being anything but truthful in that context.

As far as MacArthur goes, I don’t see why he would be handled differently than with any other pastor. Usually in the event of a pastor with the public exposure of MacArthur leaving for a moral failure or the like, no one cares if he was fired or resigned. It’s not like he could just go to another church where people didn’t know his past.

38   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
January 11th, 2008 at 10:31 am

My question is basically the same for this site. If John MacArthur had been fired–it was common knowledge he was fired–would he be given the same latitude to paint the situation as having “resigned,” regardless of the official word from his church/leadership?

A lot of this is extremely situation dependent. Did they ask for his resignation? Did he resign when he saw the writing on the wall? Is there some he said/he said? What is the reason for the parting of ways? How old is the child?

I mean, honestly, if McArthur had a personality conflict with several elders and they had a spat and it ended with McArthur leaving the church does it matter how its described to a three year old? Does a three year old really need to know that so and so said this to Johnny Mac and Johnny Mac said that to so and so? Lets also not forget that kids speak rather openly when asked about it. Anything you tell a kid under a certain age is likely to come out at school, to teachers, to parents’ friends etc. Certain things are not for public consumption (although gross misconduct is something that shouldn’t be covered up).

39   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 11th, 2008 at 10:33 am

If John MacArthur had been fired–it was common knowledge he was fired–would he be given the same latitude to paint the situation as having “resigned,” regardless of the official word from his church/leadership?

I would hope so…

40   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 11th, 2008 at 10:37 am

Keith,

Let me repeat : (Quoting myself above. LOL!)

I am not sure how gracious I would be over JM being fired… actually I would be saddened…

I would be sickened also how his one time friends turn on him and judge and condemn him also as they did with Haggard. I mean, Steve Camp recently stated some stupid things against Tim Challies over his new book… which Johnny Mac wrote the nice foreword… so these people are not nice people. They love to chew on others and even themselves.

I will add then that I bet you that they would and do handle it much the same way. The big difference is we have a relativily unknown associate pastor at Saddleback versus a rather well known (at least in some circles) pastor who has national radio show and so on who does a sin such as going to a strip club and having sex with a dancer… In fact that would be great for someone to check out

Be blessed,
iggy

41   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
January 11th, 2008 at 10:39 am

Also, the fact that these hypotheticals are so incredibly detailed and down to teh bullet point specific shows how nitpicky this criticism of Warren is. This criticism is just silly people writing silly things.

42   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 11th, 2008 at 10:40 am

Amen Tim.

43   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 11th, 2008 at 10:40 am

Keith,
I hope you don’t get angry with this but I agree with Phil, and would add one personal thought. Your statement seems (to me) to show your bias against RW. A long time ago I was an Athletic Director at a school in NoVa. I had this one parent who drove me nuts. Her kids played baseball (a sport I love) but because I was the soccer coach, the baseball program wasn’t going to get the attention it deserved. One day she went off on my saying that I was slandering the former A.D. I finally looked at her and said, “Do you know who makes me think that you are used to the A.D. taking care of his ’special sport?’ You do, because if you didn’t have this experience we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
This seems similar to me. I don’t like John Mac–I’m on record for that, but I still don’t see what that has to do with this article.

44   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
January 11th, 2008 at 11:35 am

All: I was tagging off the first line of the article: “Proving once again that Rick Warren can’t do anything right in their eyes…”

Going back and reviewing (quickly) the thread– I think I see the intent and would agree that, at least in the case of small children, there is no need for the gorey details. In the midst of my “speed-reading” the post/comments (stinkin’ Evelyn Woods!) I may have misunderstood/misinterpreted some things. My apologies.

I asked the JM question just out of curiosity, knowing that some around here are not “fans.” Some people like JM; some do not. That’s OK. That’s they’re right.

Joe: No anger here. Being brutally honest, and applying Phil’s rule-of-thumb:

Skepticism to me is not assuming anything, while cynicism is always assuming the worst.

When it comes to Warren, I am admittedly a cynic. Don’t like him. Don’t read him. Don’t watch him. Don’t care for him. Any email referring to anything he says or does is instantly deleted. Now I’m on record, too.
8^)>

Tim: Just commenting here, I think we ALL–myself included–can be pretty “nitpicky” when it comes to our favorite people/causes/doctrines, etc. “Touch not mine anointed!!!”
8^)>

Nothing personal Joe, Tim, Iggy and others…I’m still skeptical of pastors/ministers.

Having apparently stuck my foot in my mouth, I hope this post removes it–at least as far as my original comment(s).

45   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 11th, 2008 at 11:37 am

Keith,
I once got fired and rehired in a span of four days. The pastor told me one of the reasons he was firing me was that I once told him that I didn’t trust pastors. Believe me, I understand that sentiment.

46   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
January 11th, 2008 at 11:50 am

The pastor told me one of the reasons he was firing me was that I once told him that I didn’t trust pastors.

I’m sure this really boosted your confidence in pastors.

:-)

47   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 11th, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Ten Jews are living in your basement. A Nazi knocks on your door and asks you point-blank “are any Jews living in your basement?” If you say yes, or anything else for that matter, everyone dies. The only chance for saving them is by saying one word, no. What do you do?

Kant said you had to say yes. I used to agree with his stance on this, but have only recently changed my mind. In other words, I used to think the New Testament supported some form of deontology, but now would say that it supports some version of virtue theory.

Just to go to the Hebrew context – the answer to give the Germans would certainly be ‘no’ in this case.

One function of sages/rabbis prior to 70 A.D. was to help people understand how to apply Torah to their lives – especially when weighing sins against each other.

Jesus’ classic example is in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, where the Levite and the Priest (who both believed in Torah) chose not to become unclean by touching a half-dead body, but the Samaritan (whose holy book is also the Torah) touched the dying man and his wounds in order to save his life.

When Jesus rendered his opinion that the greatest command was to love God, and that the second was to love your neighbor, he was also rendering a ruling on how to weigh laws against each other.

Similar teaching from the same time period laid out the principle that, if you were faced with saving a life (your own or someone else’s), the only commands greater than preserving this life were to love God (by not blaspheming Him or worshiping other Gods) and to love your neighbor (by not committing a different murder and by not committing sexual sin).

So, in this case, ‘bearing false witness’, you have two neighbors:
1) The one (or ten) whose life you are protecting
2) The one who wants to know if there are Jews in your home.

You have the choice of committing one of two sins:
1) Being complicit to the murder of one neighbor
2) Lying to the other neighbor

Both of these sins are sins against men and fall under “love your neighbor as yourself”. Therefore, because the preservation of life is more important than your own personal holiness (in not lying), the correct answer would be to lie to the German soldier.

48   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 11th, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Phil,
The best part was I told him when he and I were praying together months before. He was and is a real treat.

49   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 11th, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Keith,

I am skeptical also… as a pastor often I am skeptical of myself! LOL!

I am not a RW fan. I just do not see that much that is thrown at him is necessary or true. You might be surprised that I even think some of the debate against Lordship Salvation of those against Johnny Mac was a misrepresentation of him also…

Yet, I see that there are more issues with the theology of LS than PDL… at least PDL points that all people have a purpose and that is to live out God’s good and perfect will and purpose for their lives. I think that core message is sadly missing in most churches today and RW restored it. The issues I have is when programs replace the Holy Spirit and the “purpose” become “program”. I was talking to my wife once in a local restaurant and thought I recognized our waitress. I asked her which church she went to and it was a local PDL church… mind you this was in the midst of a discussion of programs versus Holy Spirit as I mentioned here. The girl went on to state, “They have a lot of great programs at _________ church.” I smiled and stated “Yes they do don’t they.” I laughed to my wife as it was as if God was making the point for me.

I am not against programs, but Christ Jesus must be the center or one’s life… in fact as I state, I literally see Him as our life. This means Jesus is more than my “Lord”. I see so many settle for less and in the sense of LS I see that as settling for doctrines over the very Life of Christ.

So, if I debate I only fight for the Life of Christ to be understood and taught.

To be fair, I have heard JM speak on this… as I have heard it taught in many PDL churches… but often it is negated then with a misunderstanding of the biblical teaching of “obedience”. They negate grace by teaching an obedience that is only works and not the total trusting in Christ Jesus for all things godly… they miss that true obedience is trusting in Christ’s obedience and not our own… for only Christ is and will be pleasing to the Father… and only His works are acceptable to the Father.

Both sides have their failings, yet both sides have a few good points… I will and have never stated that JM is all evil… I just have not had much fun with his followers who are quick to judge and slow to listen…

Be blessed,
iggy

50   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
January 11th, 2008 at 1:43 pm

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Do I get to play?

51   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
January 11th, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Since it’s fine arts, we’ll allow it.

52   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
January 11th, 2008 at 1:59 pm

The money quote from the comments section of one of the posts Ginger wrote:

I’ve seen Richard Abanes doing the “defend Rick Warren” thing for a long time. I’m glad that my ministry from Jesus is to defend Jesus and the Truth, and not just some man.

This was written by someone named “Ken.” In particular, I really like Ken’s “I’m glad that my ministry” phraseology part.

Mike Corley left an interesting comment there. Whether you agree with his assessment of Warren or not, the ambiguity angle is interesting. I don’t feel like there was ambiguity in this particular case, but the concept is interesting:

Rick Warren never tells anyone to “outright” do anything. In other words his ambiguity is unbelievable. At best he gives half truths. As I have written before and shared on the air, why can’t someone as articulate, intelligent, educated and well known as Rick Warren preach the Gospel with total clarity? My only conclusion is that he chooses to be vague, broad and general.

I admit to not being a huge Warren fan which, in consideration, we shouldn’t really be fans of any minister. That’s a weird thing to do. One thing that drives me crazy is a sense of this ambiguity whenever I read something he’s written, or an interview he’s given.

On the other hand, I don’t get that same experience from Rob Bell, when others do. So, probably subjective.

Comment #12 over there is a little melodramatic.

53   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 11th, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Julie,

That quote:

I’m glad that my ministry from Jesus is to defend Jesus and the Truth, and not just some man.

The point seems totally missed by the person who stated it. “my ministry..” as opposed to the ministry we are called fo which is God’s ministry of reconciliation.

Good catch!
iggy

54   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
January 11th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Julie,
I think some of it comes down to a generational difference, or perhaps it is to speak of it in a worldview difference.

I know some people seem to really want a pastor to them exactly what to do. I mean like down to what car they should buy. They seem to equate having strong opinions with being sure of one’s self, and well-studied. Warren, to me, just comes off kind of the opposite of this. He doesn’t seem stupid, he just seems laid back. He’s kind of the total opposite of John MacArthur.

The other worldview (call it postmodern if you like) sees a pastor who’s absolutely sure he’s right as arrogant. It doesn’t really matter what this pastor says, because these people will automatically dismiss it because of the way it’s presented. Someone like Rick Warren seems to be able to disarm these people to some extent.

If I were a cynical marketing major, I would see it like this. I would say it comes down to a generational thing. You have John MacArthur representing the Builders and people who think like that, Rick Warren who seems to get the Boomers, and Rob Bell who speaks to the Gen-Xers and youngers. Of course, speaking in generalities isn’t all that useful most of the time, but I think there is a bit of truth to it.

55   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 11th, 2008 at 4:17 pm

My favorite is how fast they dance over the Rahab issue. Pastorboy, why aren’t you over there decrying their eisogesis?

56   anonymous    
January 11th, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Most people today do not understand the idea of sovereignty – whether of a king, or a nation.

Nations have full authority to Kill, Lie, Steal as they see fit to act in the best interest of their populace. The rulers will be held to account by God of course, but they are not under the same rules as unequal individuals.

This is why nations can have armies and intelligence services.

Rahab was an asset to the Israeli intelligence service at that particular time, and was immune to individual standards of morality, as she was acting on behalf of the state.