ed. Note: I wrote this last week when I first read the “April Fool” post at Wittenburg Church Door. The post and the use of “fool” demanded a response. Since it was Holy Week I decided it best to wait.

I have a colleague who appreciates modern art. He really really appreciates it. I like it, but I’m not sure I always appreciate it. Whenever I question the value, or worse, the talent of the artist of a piece, the response is inevitable; “This says more about you than the artists/art.” He may very well be right.

This response is what came to my mind when I read a blog questioning John Piper’s decision to invite Rick Warren to fill the pulpit at Desiring God 2010. I believe the angst says more about the blogger than Piper. If you have read the comments here for any length of time you are familiar with both the blogger and the arguments against Warren… the sad, tired arguments.

For the record, this is not so much a defense of Warren as it is a critique of this brand of discernment, of Christ and culture, logic, and tiresome accusations. In a recent blog Chaplain Mike at Internet Monk took Warren to task for suggesting Easter can be leveraged for church growth – I think I understand Warren, but it sounds bad. I agree with Chaplain Mike, and if you read his blog you will see the difference in approach.

Apparently the blogger at Whitenburg Church Door does not agree when Piper says “…I don’t think he’s emergent. At root I think [Warren] is theological and doctrinal and sound.”1 That he disagrees is obvious by the first question the blogger suggests Piper ask – “What is the Gospel ? Be as complete as possible with your answer.” Clearly Piper promotes the true Gospel, which is designed to imply that Warren does not… so it makes sense that this would be the first question. But Warren better pay close attention to the condition – he best be as complete as possible. As we have seen, if he assumes anything, is he leaves out a word, if he uses the wrong words – his Gospel will be rejected. If the blogger really wanted to know the Gospel which Warren believes all he need do is read it.

The rest of the list shows a lack of cultural discernment and questionable logic. The list of questions is not supposed to be “an exhaustive list” – oh but it is… it is very exhausting. It is exhausting to see, yet again, the tiresome arguments of “Issa” and “Murdoch” and “Ecumenicalism.” The latter point best illustrates the real issue – guilt by association. Whether it is associating yourself with Arabs, or associating in person with a President, or associating with Catholics – it’s all about outward appearances, about associations, about some perceived endorsement. Fortunately, Piper is not so worried about such tangential things. Piper wants to get to know Warren, to see what makes him tick, because (like many of us) he likes Warren but is frustrated by some of his stuff. This is the respect one servant of the Lord should show another… the respect one brother should have for another brother.

1 Piper quotes taken from Wittenburg Church Door blog transcript.

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169 Comments(+Add)

1   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
April 5th, 2010 at 8:57 am

I found this quote to be most interesting:

I am not, however, going to judge Piper’s whole ministry according this move, or even the Driscoll or Wilson move. As a Pastor, I have personally bungled many things and made poor decisions that I have later regretted (and even had to repent of some). But the whole of Piper’s ministry over time, and the respect he has among peers such as RC Sproal, and Albert Mohler, I personally must cut him some slack concerning this decision.

That means that I will not cut off affiliation with John Piper,

2   Neil    
April 5th, 2010 at 9:12 am

The latter one made m chuckle… as if Piper is worried about ANY of us and our “affiliations” – whatever that means.

But the former caught my attention – if Pastorboy were consistent, I think he would have to write off Piper – since Piper shared a platform with Warren and now invited him to speak… it MUST mean he endorses everything Warren does… including by extension everything Warren allegedly endorses… and so on… ans so on…

3   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
April 5th, 2010 at 10:35 am

#2
Honestly that is what I am wrestling with and a lot of my friends are writing off Piper because he is inviting Warren in. I have connections over at that church and have been invited to share my concerns, as many people are just being very general. I believe Warren is a wolf in sheeps clothing, and I believe it is a mistake to have him at the DG Conference. I will be sharing those concerns with Dr. Piper, and, if need be, with his elders.

4   John Hughes    
April 5th, 2010 at 11:57 am

No need to worry. Where ever Warren speaks, be it to Jews, Muslims, or what ever he will not say anything that would challenge said groups’ base beliefs. So Calvinists have nothing to fear. Warren will not be clipping any TULIPS.

5   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 5th, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Ah yes, because there’s nothing like failing to say something evil about Pastor Warren that brings out the long-knives… And that’s just the Christians.

6   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 5th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Here’s Piper’s video response to people complaining about the invitation:

(By the way, I find it kind of sad that Piper said he’s dedicated his life to “Reformation theology” and “Reformation advance”. Why not just say you’ve dedicated your life’s work to Christ? I will never understand why so many who hold to that particular theology make it the primary thing.)

7   Neil    
April 5th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Pastorboy,

I hope Piper and his elders do not waste one second on your petty and tired objections. If your complaints dad any substance… if they were addressed in the spirit of the body (e.g. Internet Monk)… then maybe they would be worth his time.

Asking Piper to ask Warren if he believes Muslims worship the same Jesus is STUPID!

Asking Piper to ask Warren about abortion is HYPOCRITICAL.

Everything on your list of objections is petty and has been dealt with.
Blog about Warren when you have something substantive to contribute.

Your focus on externals… Your legalism is insatiable.

8   Neil    
April 5th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Phil,

I find it sad anyone doubts him. What foolishness.

9   Neil    
April 5th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

And for the record – this is not a defense of Warren – just waiting for something substantive – which is not found on Pastorboy’s list.

10   M.G.    
April 5th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Neil,

I think it’s commendable that you waited till now to post this. One thing that has struck me was how much discernment chatter there was over the weekend with this issue.

It’s like Christ himself-His death and His resurrection- gets lost in all the petty fights and squabbles.

11   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
April 5th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

For more on the subject: Challies.com

12   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
April 5th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

John,

Why would you want to speak to Piper or the elders of his church concerning this matter? Of what concern is it yours? Do you belong there? Do you contribute there?

And if people don’t like Warren, maybe they should stay home from the DG conference?

13   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 5th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I actually heard Piper was this close to inviting the Jonas Brothers to the conference, but decided against it when he heard that Nick only had half of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God memorized…

14   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 5th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Also, Challies’ reasoning for why Piper should not have invited Warren seems to pretty much boil down to, “because it has the potential to piss people off”.

Aren’t the neo-Reformed folks constantly telling us that pastors shouldn’t be afraid to piss people off or offend their listeners? I suppose they’re not included in the list of ones who should be offended…

15   John Hughes    
April 5th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Phil: I will never understand why so many who hold to that particular theology make it the primary thing.)

It’s simple Phil, for them Calvinism = Gospel. Attack Calvinism and you attack the Gospel.

(However, one way to quickly bring this debate to a halt is to ask “Well, which flavor of Calvinism should I believe?” I favor the supercalifragilistic school myself.)

16   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
April 5th, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Jerry,
I have several friends there and connections there within my circle of influence who have given me permission and encouraged me to write Dr. Piper with my concerns and I have been assured I would be given a hearing.

My concern, as well as thiers is that Warren is a wolf in sheeps clothing and that having his false gospel-lite taught at DG will be tacit approval, sort of like the approval Warren and his buddies Jim Eliss and Tony Campolo and Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt gave to Obama, and thus, by proxy, are complicit in the approval of murder of countless unborn innocents.

17   Neil    
April 5th, 2010 at 7:24 pm

So – if Warren is complicit in the sins of Obama because he prayed at the inauguration – just think of the sins Billy Graham endorsed. All those Presidents, all those sins!

18   Neil    
April 5th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Phil,

I don’t think we need to get caught up in Piper saying he’s dedicated his life to Reformed Theology – that’s just how he talks. It’s not like he’s denying Christ.

19   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 5th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

The real issue is being missed. For those who draw many lines in t5he sand, and who consider Warren an antichrist, why would they give Piper a pass? The answer?

He is a Calvinist. There you have it – hypocrisy at its finest.

(BTW – Your waiting until Monday is consistent with your views, Neil, however God did not consider last week any different than this one. :) )

20   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 5th, 2010 at 10:17 pm

I don’t think we need to get caught up in Piper saying he’s dedicated his life to Reformed Theology – that’s just how he talks. It’s not like he’s denying Christ.

I understand that, but I guess what I see is that by using that sort of language, Piper is actually inviting this sort of silly scrutiny upon himself. If you talk in a way that makes it sound that you equate having Reformed theology with being a true Christian, than those people who follow you will get that idea.

I find it interesting that in the video I posted above, Piper’s defense of Warren seemed to be based on the fact that Warren passed his Reformed litmus test in a phone conversation. What would Piper have done if Warren didn’t answer those questions in a way Piper deemed appropriate? Would he have dis-invited Warren? It seems so. I guess I have a hard time giving Piper a break for being a victim of someone’s arbitrary theological line-in-the-sand-drawing when he seems to have done the same thing to others himself.

21   Neil    
April 5th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

(BTW – Your waiting until Monday is consistent with your views, Neil, however God did not consider last week any different than this one. )

I agree, of course. Though I am not sure what you mean by it being consistent with my views.

22   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
April 5th, 2010 at 11:34 pm

#16,

whatever. i still don’t see what concern it is to you. you don’t even worship there. if you have friends there, let them take their own concerns to The Rt Rev Dr Piper.

jerry

23   Neil    
April 6th, 2010 at 12:00 am

It is an ever closing noose – of sorts. Pastorboy is consistent in his concern, albeit misplaced. And when Piper does not repudiate Warren with enough vile – he too will be added to those who fall short… It is an ever closing noose -of sorts – that just keeps excluding… excluding… excluding…

24   M.G.    
April 6th, 2010 at 12:14 am

It’s interesting to me that there is a subgroup of Christians who believe that every single believer on this earth is accountable to them and owes them some level of explanation and justification for their behavior.

Add to that the soapbox that is the internet, and you have a recipe for discord and petty rage.

25   MRWBBIII    
April 6th, 2010 at 1:48 am

JOHN PIPERS STRANGE REASONS FOR INVITING RICK WARREN TO DESIRING GOD 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSmU8EcbjWk

26   Eugene    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2010 at 4:22 am

It is an ever closing noose – …

Much like this.

27   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2010 at 8:45 am

Rick Warren probably sees himself as a gospel bridge builder and a leader in Christian pragmatism. But there comes a time when pragmatism becomes so profound and so detailed, that it robs the faith of its mystery, richness, spirituality, and in the end its exclusivity and distinctiveness. The controversy over John Piper’s embracing of Rick Warren just proves how painful it is when your human idols are rendered flawed.

I am of Paul; I am of Peter; I am of…

28   Neil    
April 6th, 2010 at 9:03 am

Rick,

Again I agree… as we have all stated it’s not so much about Warren as it is about approach and attitude and pettiness. We could try and have a substantive discussion about pragmatism and it’s limits (I mean, it’s not like the Gospel is anti-pragmatic) but inevitably the same accusation (and inconsistencies) come up.

Substance!

29   Neil    
April 6th, 2010 at 9:04 am

I am of Paul; I am of Peter; I am of…

Except you need to be defined by who you are against, not for.

30   Neil    
April 6th, 2010 at 9:19 am

Eugene,

WOW – that is amazing… I love the “buzz words” reference. It’s like the commenter who tied us to Bell based on us both using “poets” in the title.

I guess, in ODMdom, you are guilty if you use the wrong words and guilty if you do not use the right words.

What a joyless life to lead… unless of course, your joy is in excluding others from the inner circle.

31   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2010 at 9:28 am

I liked the scary music in the video Eugene linked to. I was expecting it to culminate in a lightsaber battle… Unfortunately, no such luck…

32   Neil    
April 6th, 2010 at 9:39 am

Welcome mrwbiii,

Apparently Piper’s hope that secondary separation issues would not overcloud the situation have been ignored.

BTW – no need to shout.

33   nathan    
April 6th, 2010 at 9:39 am

I think it must really suck for Piper to be on the receiving end of his own shtick.

He may do it in a more “irenic” and “poetic” way…but when you lay with dogs, you get fleas.

I hope that his self-imposed “pridefulness parole” helps him see some of these things…

34   Neil    
April 6th, 2010 at 9:43 am

Phil,

The video with the foreboding music was posted by MRWBBIII. I think I have the same song on my I-pod listed under the genre – “Immanent Danger Warning Music.”

35   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2010 at 9:44 am

Oh, yeah, I got the links mixed up there… thanks for the correction. :-)

36   Neil    
April 6th, 2010 at 9:54 am

The music is a nice touch though. I think all of life should have background music, then we could be sure of the situation… or when something really bad was about to happen… or even good for that matter.

37   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
April 6th, 2010 at 10:22 am

#25
@MRWBBIII, Why do you do everything in all caps? You know that is the online equivalent of SHOUTING!!!

38   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2010 at 10:31 am

Here’s what I wrote at the MacArthur post at DTW: “I sure hope at the end of the day, after you have finished exposing all the errors of the church, that Jesus still makes the cut.

Grace and Peace.”

I wonder if I’ll make the cut? :-)

39   Neil    
April 6th, 2010 at 10:35 am

That last piece on Macarthur at DtW was a black-helicopter short of an X-file episode…

40   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
April 6th, 2010 at 10:48 am

Wow. I forgot how out there DTW is. She actually put Paul Washer and Emergents together. That’s like saying…well, I can’t come up with one.

41   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2010 at 11:23 am

I think that publicly proclaiming a sabbatical to deal with issues of pride is a sophisticated level of pride. We all deal with pride, and if God directs you to a meeting with Him to deal with your pride, I doubt He will direct you to announce it.

42   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2010 at 11:31 am

I also think that spreading and applying truth is often sacrificed upon the altar of defending truth. But when you are comforted by knowing that God is only interested in bringing redemptive truth to a myopic few, mostly located in North America, then it all becomes academic.

That is why Warren’s invitation to a Piper conference becomes seismic is a world focused on such things. When my friend returned from Haiti he assured me that none of the 100 pastors even heard of Warren or Piper. American evangelicalism strikes again.

43   John Hughes    
April 6th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Just a reminder. In most instances the advice to let local congregations handle their own, and what business is it of yours some solid, sound advice. This is not necessarily the case for Mr. Warren because his influence is everywhere and he literally markets his brand of Christianity everywhere he can. Mr. Warren has personally put his nose in my business for example who lives 1000s of miles away from him. We are not talking about a local pastor here. What happens at Saddleback is mimicked by RW wannabies all across the nation.

44   John Hughes    
April 6th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

The same can be said for McAuthurites, Sproultites, etc.

45   Neil    
April 6th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

John,

are you saying Rick Warren personally involved himself in your business? I’m almost a fraid to ask how…

46   Neil    
April 6th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

The whole issue of criticizing ministries, such as the ones mentioned so far, is a none-starter for me.

If Macarthur and Warren and Piper et. al. write books speak at conferences and the like – they open themselves up to it.

And when they deserve questioning I say – Go for it!

What I get tired of is the droning of the same old ridiculous chants… He prayer for Obama – therefore he supports abortion… he used the politically incorrect Arabic for “Jesus” – therefore he believes Muslims worship the same God.

[cue the foreboding music]

Blah, Blah, and much more BLAH!

47   John Hughes    
April 6th, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Neil,

“My Business” meaning the church I attended which went Purpose Driven along with many, many others in my area.

I stand by my point. Warren actively and literally markets his program and actively attempts to clone **his** approach to ministry. Therefore, there is basically no such thing as getting into someone else’s business that is none of yours (so to speak) when dealing with Saddleback or Warren because he has willfully franchised the concept and ministry approach all across the USA, especially in Baptist circles and what happens at Saddleback is mimicked across this country down to the sermon notes.

Now of course one can argue whether or not this is a good thing, but they cannot ligitimately argue that this does not occur. One can also argue whether the people who are hurt, ostrasized or excommunicated by pushing back against the conversion of a church to Purpose Driven are just being selfish, or unprogressive, or rebellous against church leadership, etc., etc. and deserve their “fate”, but again, you cannot ligitimately argue that there are not many, many people who **are** hurt, ostrasized and excommunicated for not “getting with the program”.

Rick Warren/Saddleback/Purpose Driven are not value neutral concepts or part of an isolated church. Rick Warren is a product that has been very effectively marketed to millions.

48   John Hughes    
April 6th, 2010 at 6:37 pm

What I get tired of is the droning of the same old ridiculous chants… He prayer for Obama – therefore he supports abortion… he used the politically incorrect Arabic for “Jesus” – therefore he believes Muslims worship the same God.

I agree this type of criticism borders on the rediculous. But is just part and parcel to the marketing of the Purpose Driven product which fits all.

49   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2010 at 7:34 pm

John – Cookie cutter church constructs are not isolated to the PD model. Many reformed churches pride themselves on their verse by verse preaching, their style of worship music, and even their non-altar call service.

50   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Also, many churches wear their complimentarian doctrine as a badge of Biblical conformity. A woman cannot be in authority over a man in the church.

Oh, but any woman can start a blog and eviscerate that same pastor (or any other pastor) as long as she doesn’t have the title “pastor”.

Cookie cutter hypocrisy.

51   Neil    
April 6th, 2010 at 11:10 pm

John,

I am no fan of implementing someone else plan. That said, your comment that Mr Warren personally put his noise in your business is false and inflammatory. He wrote a book – yes. He developed a cookie cutter church construct – no doubt. But he did not put it in your church. He did not “personally” stick his nose in your business.

Again – this is not an issue of whether or not Warren is right or wrong. it is an issue of hyperbole and dishonesty.

52   Neil    
April 6th, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I agree this type of criticism borders on the rediculous. But is just part and parcel to the marketing of the Purpose Driven product which fits all.

I would contend there is a significant difference between marketing a plan with too much zealousness… too much enthusiasm… too much assumption and fabricating heresy and promoting it as relentlessly as Pastorboy does.

53   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 7th, 2010 at 9:40 am

I really don’t think you can hold Warren accountable for all the crappy things people have done under the guise of the Purpose Driven Life. Just because power hungry pastors use that as a cover doesn’t mean that Warren is accountable.

I was at a church that did the whole “40 Days of Purpose” thing 6 or 7 years ago, and it basically fell flat. For whatever reason it didn’t resonate with people. I actually felt that much of the material was boring and generally innocuous – I honestly wondered what the big deal was at the time.

I do generally think that Warren’s intentions are pure, even though I think that much of the stuff he produces is pure cheese. All the stuff about him being a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” is a bunch of crap. I’ve seen plenty of wolf’s in churches, and I don’t see any reason to apply that title to Warren.

54   M.G.    
April 7th, 2010 at 10:33 am

What I don’t get is the argument that someone being a “wolf” means you can use the language Christ used to rebuke the Pharisees.

Weren’t they the ones who committed the unpardonable sin? Is that what people really think of Warren?

That he’s out there simply blaspheming the Spirit?

55   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 7th, 2010 at 10:47 am

It’s been at least 7 or 8 years since I read the PDC, but I recall Warren saying at several points in the book “this worked for me in the community where I was located. It may not work for you in your community.”

He was probably naive if he thought people wouldn’t just try to duplicate it by rote, but even so I’ve seen the concepts he talked about in the book used effectively and used ineffectively.

Did I think that PDL was pretty innocuous and unchallenging? Yes – I was bored to tears when the church we were in demanded that all of the small groups go through the PDL study guide, as written. The pastor at that church was one of the more uncreative and ham-fisted pastors I’ve ever known, so it wasn’t surprising that trying to use a cookie-cutter approach worked poorly. At the same time, the church we’ve been a part of for the past six years went through a modified PD curriculum at the same time as our old church, but they were pretty creative and flexible in how they used PD concepts, and we’ve got nearly 70% of the membership in small groups (when the national norm is in the low 20%’s) and have about doubled in size since then.

I credit Warren neither with the successes or failures I’ve seen in the churches that we’ve been involved with that utilized PD material. The ones that had solid eldership and paid staff were incredibly successful in growing the church in numbers and in maturity. The ones that had crappy leadership to begin with had crappy results in the end.

56   John Hughes    
April 7th, 2010 at 1:06 pm

OK. Neil. Yes Mr. Warren did not personally come to my house and kick my puppy. I made it all up. He has never been “in my business” in the strict usage of the phrase.

However, I find it most interesting that many (most?) here have been directly affected one way or the other by Mr. Warren.

57   John Hughes    
April 7th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Chris – Off topic.

Is that “V” for Christus Victor or for “V” The Visitors who eat us humans?

58   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 7th, 2010 at 1:23 pm

It is “V for Vendetta”

“Remember, Remember the Fifth of November…”

Though I suppose this year, it could be “Remember, Remember, the Second of November…”

59   Robbo    http://goldcoastbereans.blogspot.com
April 7th, 2010 at 3:39 pm

#55,

In other words, “baseball bats do not kill, people wielding them do”

People on all sides can take PD material and turn it into a weapon of mass destruction or, if they can stay awake, they can use it wisely and carefully to hit home runs. No need to outlaw baseball bats and certainly no need to call anyone a wolf here.

60   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 7th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Exactly, Robbo!

61   MRWBBIII    
April 8th, 2010 at 3:40 am

TO DESIRING GOD 2010 RICK WARREN JOHN PIPER ATTENDEES

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcvemw_to-desiring-god-2010-rick-warren-jo_webcam

62   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 8th, 2010 at 5:50 am

#61 – Yes, 9/11 elicited much pulpit theatre around the country, but soon all things were back to normal. The prayer closets are empty and theology is an idol which has very little manifestation.

The fathers still are asleep.

63   John Hughes    
April 8th, 2010 at 8:24 am

Robbo,

You know you have to look at the big picture. Is PD a ministry or a business? Obviously ministers should make their living from preaching the Gospel. That’s a sound biblical principal. But when someone markets their “ministry” ad infinitem (even down to daily twitters for $4.95 a month for example) and hire a public relations firm to manage their “image”, the wise will take a step back and maybe take a second look. Or not.

64   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 8th, 2010 at 8:28 am

This is a very telling video. Rick Warren is a liar, that alone ought to qualify him for public repentance (the lie was VERY public)

65   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 8th, 2010 at 8:50 am

But when someone markets their “ministry” ad infinitem (even down to daily twitters for $4.95 a month for example) and hire a public relations firm to manage their “image”, the wise will take a step back and maybe take a second look. Or not.

I don’t believe anyone can charge for Twitter. I’m not on Twitter, but I just googled “Rick Warren Twitter”, and I was able to see all his tweets for free. He may have some other sort of subscription thing going, though.

As far as the PR firm thing, I’d say that’s just a function of Warren’s position. If you have people constantly critiquing you, it seems to me that hiring someone to handle those communication with the public isn’t an entirely bad thing. I guess none of understand the types of pressures that are on Warren, so personally, I don’t feel inclined to pass judgment on the man. A lot of what he writes doesn’t do anything for me, but I still have ill will towards the man. I just don’t understand the visceral hatred he evokes from people.

66   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 8th, 2010 at 8:54 am

PB. You didn’t link to any video (but I suspect that we’re all better for not seeing it)….

67   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 8th, 2010 at 9:16 am

All you have to do is go to the videos page and type in Rick Warren.

All it is is his words regarding Prop 8- first to his people at Saddleback, then denying that he got involved with Larry King.

Herein lies the problem with Warren: Besides his insufficient gospel, he changes his method AND message depending upon his audience.

Forget being a pastor or CEO, this guy oughtta be in politics!

68   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
April 8th, 2010 at 10:17 am

PB,

You never cease to amaze me with your insights into the psyche of other people.

You bore me to tears with your ongoing crusade against nothing.

jerry

69   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 8th, 2010 at 10:18 am

I can’t get it to work (and took forever to find it, since they don’t make the search function all that obvious).

Regardless, we’ve debunked this crappy accusation before.

There was no lie there at all. Warren was not involved with any of the public campaign against Prop 8 (he repeatedly turned down requests from political and quasi-religious groups to officially endorse Prop 8) – About a week before the election, though, he put out a video message to members of Saddleback with his position on Prop 8 because a number of members were asking him about it (and some wondered if public silence on it was tacit endorsement of opposition). So, to make sure his own congregation knew his position, he put out the video message. This was not put out with a press release, it was a message to Saddleback members.

The ironic thing with the whole Prop 8 fight is that the left was screaming and moaning that Warren was a homophobe who put Prop 8 over the top, and that (somehow) he led the fight to pass Prop 8. Meanwhile, he was attacked from the right for not joining the public fight for Prop 8 and accused (by Ingrid, Ken and the rest of the nasties, like yourself) for being a sell-out to the gays. It was basically a no-win situation, and he probably did the right thing by not joining the public political fight, but by also making sure his own flock knew his position on the issue (since he was fielding all sorts of questions from them).

70   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 8th, 2010 at 10:21 am

I just don’t understand the visceral hatred he evokes from people.

Phil,

When Christians experience any sort of “success” that can be measured by the world, you can bet that there is another group of Christians lining up to stab them in the back for not being a failure…

71   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
April 8th, 2010 at 10:25 am

#61 – Yes, 9/11 elicited much pulpit theatre around the country, but soon all things were back to normal. The prayer closets are empty and theology is an idol which has very little manifestation.

The fathers still are asleep.

No doubt typed from your own prayer closet.

72   M.G.    
April 8th, 2010 at 10:29 am

That “ministry” that PB linked to is the same one that accused U2 of being Satanists because they covered Helter Skelter and because some muffled language allegedly said something about the devil, satan, blah, blah, blah.

I’m usually an even-tempered guy, but stuff like that, when it’s completely made-up, is just total crap.

Worthless.

73   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 8th, 2010 at 11:01 am

I don’t know if there’s anything that makes Christians look more stupid than the pathetic rock ‘n’ roll “exposés”… I remember seeing those when I was in high school, and the bands they talked were for the most part groups that most had stopped caring about 5-10 years before the video was made. The evidence in them was along the lines of “the lead singer once dressed up as the devil at a Halloween party he attended while in college”.

74   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 8th, 2010 at 11:01 am

#71 That was wrong, dude. such animus.

#69 If a lengthy video sent to 30,000 people is not a campaign, it certainly is more than a couple written lines that he spoke about to Larry King.

#72 the video shows quotes from Rick Warren, along with the videos in question. It is not made up.

75   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
April 8th, 2010 at 11:07 am

#74 Why was that wrong? What it makes it different than your posts? I’m really curious here. I’m not sure what the rules are for saying something else is wrong or for calling out something you think isn’t congruent.
From where I’m sitting, if Neil calls your actions legalism, no one says anything. If Rick writes about the putrid decline of the church, no one says anything at least until I disagree.

76   nathan    
April 8th, 2010 at 11:09 am

ooooh, crazy Christian memories!

me first!!!

1. KISS = Kings/Knights in Satan’s Service

2. Backmasking with all the hidden messages from the devil…

3. Dungeons and Dragons was a tool of the devil too.

4. straight pins and razor blades in your halloween candy proves the satanic nature of the day

oy.

77   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
April 8th, 2010 at 11:11 am

:cool:

78   nathan    
April 8th, 2010 at 11:12 am

PB,

i’m so glad you have the ability to know and assess the contents of people’s prayer closets.

ironic since the image is particularly meant to evoke “privacy”.

and such highflown language…

that’s one thing I can give John Piper, he’s helped raise the eloquence quotient of sophists exponentially.

79   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 8th, 2010 at 11:14 am

3. Dungeons and Dragons was a tool of the devil too.

Yes, it was all part of his plan to create a vast army of nerds to carry out his plans! Unfortunately for him, they couldn’t get very far without their inhalers, and it’s hard enough convincing your parents to drive you to the mall yet alone to the local coven…

80   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
April 8th, 2010 at 11:18 am

#79
Does anyone remember when Star Wars was the devil’s tool? It was going to turn all of its fans into New Age devil worshipers. :)

81   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
April 8th, 2010 at 11:19 am

#78
I missed where PB said anything about Prayer Closets. It was another commenter who said that they were empty.

82   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 8th, 2010 at 11:23 am

Maybe Rick’s prayer closet has WiFi, Joe… you shouldn’t be so quick to judge! :-)

83   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 8th, 2010 at 11:36 am

2. Backmasking with all the hidden messages from the devil…

And the guys in the worship band always wonder why I laugh, almost uncontrollably, during rehearsals/warmups when I slip in the “Stairway to Heaven” riff, and they join in…

84   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 8th, 2010 at 11:37 am

If a lengthy video sent to 30,000 people is not a campaign

If your congregation is 30,000 people, then it’s not a campaign. It’s just a large congregation…

85   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 8th, 2010 at 11:39 am

A proper prayer-closet is lead-lined, so as to prevent WiFi and other invisible influences (and so that it can double as a nuclear fall-out shelter).

86   M.G.    
April 8th, 2010 at 11:58 am

PB,

One major problem for me about the Warren “expose” at the ministry you linked to is that that they have ABSOLUTELY NO CREDIBILITY with me.

It’s interesting to me that you went so far as to call Rick Warren a liar (which is a serious accusation), and you provided proof in the form of a bunch of people who, at best, have a tendency to stretch the truth.

Why don’t you call them out too?

87   John Hughes    
April 8th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I for one do not hate Rick Warren, nor get a visceral reaction when reading about him. But I can see where others do and are unbalanced in their attacks.

Some people may attack “success” but I attend a mega-church in Houston which is also “successful” by secular standards so no foul from me on that issue either. I have read PD, researched and studied PD, and experienced PD. I find it shallow at best and destructive at worst. Whether or not Mr. Warren is directly responsible for its is debatable. Because of my experience and research I warn people against PD and I belief such warnings are defensible and appropirate on many levels.

Side Note: If any one here has a prayer closet I would dare say it would be Rick. If anyone cannot see the shallowness of USA Christianity (and I am including myself in that assessment) they need glasses.

Reality check: people like us who blog on these sites and care about theology, orthodoxy and orthopraxy and such things are a small, small, small minority of the Christian populace.

88   Neil    
April 8th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Re 61,

Again, no need to shout.

I followed the link and was immediately met by and advertisement for BMW – and someone bitched bout warren and commercialism. I also saw a link to a video entitled “C. S. Lewis hated the Psalms” – what a waste of logic, and bandwidth… what a crock of putrid slop!

If Lewis said he hated the Psalms – I did not hear it. And the title is unabashedly inflammatory and misleading. Does this guy write for the National Enquirer as well?

It’s one thing to disagree with Lewis. We may even recoil at his interpretation of the precatory parts opf the Psalm. But to jump from there to he hates the Psalms is a stupid leap of logic at best or an intentional slander of a brother in Christ at worst.

89   Neil    
April 8th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Pastorboy,

I tried to find the video of Warren but gave up. I did find an article that blamed CA wildfires on the Supreme Courts decision to set aside the ban on gay marriage.

This kind of twisted logic always amazes me – for two reasons 1) it is wildly speculative and 2) even more wildly inconsistent.

Chris L. explained the non-issue and you dismissed it based on the numbers? I suspect he just sent it to those on a subscription list.

You arguments are consistently vacuous, shallow, and petty.

Have you anything substantive to accuse him of?

90   Neil    
April 8th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

If anyone cannot see the shallowness of USA Christianity (and I am including myself in that assessment) they need glasses.

I find such comments laughable – as if 1) we can make blanket statements against a whole nation of churches that are spread across a spectrum of depth and lack-thereof, 2) thing were soooo much better at some previous time in our history.

What we need are not glasses, we need true discernment, a moratorium on cliche broad-brushed stereotypes, and a better grasp of history.

91   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
April 8th, 2010 at 12:40 pm

If any one here has a prayer closet I would dare say it would be Rick

Why is that?
I’m not picking on Rick. I’d ask this question if it was Chris L, or Neil, Christian. I’m fascinated how we make decisions about people based purely on online interactions. I’m not saying that those guys don’t have a prayer closet. I’m asking why you would make that statement.

92   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 8th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

If anyone cannot see the shallowness of USA Christianity (and I am including myself in that assessment) they need glasses.

Somehow I’m reminded of this post we linked to last year.

93   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 8th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I also saw a link to a video entitled “C. S. Lewis hated the Psalms” – what a waste of logic, and bandwidth… what a crock of putrid slop!

That’s really funny considering this… Lewis probably hated lions and wardrobes as well. :-)

94   John Hughes    
April 8th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

a better grasp of history

only goes to bolster my point. When I read the devotional books of 18th and 19th century divines it brings me to shame. When I look at the absolute sh*t I just brush off from all the movies and TV I watch because my conscious has been seared and I have forgotten how to blush, when I see what we accept today with just a “ho-hum” that would have caused riots in the street just a few decades ago, when I look at the mentality of the Church in the USA as compared to the persecution of the 3rd world churches of the 21 Century I take an unapologetically broad brush stroke against the state of the Church in the USA today and feel completely justified in doing so (again, myself included).

We will see how strong the visible Church in the USA is today when our economy comes crashing down around us as seems will be the case sooner than we expect.

95   John Hughes    
April 8th, 2010 at 5:33 pm

91 – Joe my assessment is admittedly only based on our interactions here on line as I don’t know any of you personally. My statement was made in response to your jibe against Rick.

People, at least myself, tend to make statements online that they would think twice about if talking face to face, so if anything comments made on the internet shows what is in the heart as we typically don’t filter them as much as we would if talking in person.

For example, the exchanges between Chris L and “He Who Must Not Be Named” reveal much about what is going on, on the inside.

I’m really a nice guy adored by 1000’s 10’s of people, but you might not know it from my interactions here.

96   John Hughes    
April 8th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

My standard for church piety and maturity is the 1st Century Church in Cornith.

Do the math.

:-)

97   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 8th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

For example, the exchanges between Chris L and “He Who Must Not Be Named” reveal much about what is going on, on the inside.

Actually, they don’t, because most of the accusations tossed by he and Chris were either 99% fabricated, paranoid, or both.

98   John Hughes    
April 8th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

#97 – to my point and why are you speaking in the 3rd person?

99   John Hughes    
April 8th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Chris L (or whoever is signed in under your name) are you saying that your responses to HWMNBN were calculated fabrications spiced with intentional hyperbole and did not reflect your true thoughts or emotions at the time?

100   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 8th, 2010 at 6:51 pm

My assessment of the evangelical prayer closets was based upon:

* My own pitiful and many times lethargic efforts in that room.

* The lack of concern over the state and continuing spiritual decline of the western church.

* The seeming ambivalence over the desperate situation of the lost around the world.

* The insatiable need for wealth and entertainment that has captured the western church.

* The dismantling of the core redemptive truth of the exclusivity of Christ and the necessity of being born again.

* Our time engulfed lives that have significantly have pushed prayer – elongated and fervent prayer – to the curb.

I personally and publicly claim no platform of observable practice from which to shoot at any individuals. I only believe I have insight from the Spirit.

101   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 8th, 2010 at 7:21 pm

I’m referring to the paranoid ramblings about how he was supposedly being blackballed, etc. behind the scenes (which was what I thought you were referring to)…

(And I was not talking about myself in the third person – note the missing “L”).

102   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
April 8th, 2010 at 8:54 pm

#95. I’m not sure I agree that we say all that much that we wouldn’t say in person. I don’t. I’m sure that people do. If that conversation happened in my living room, I guarantee you I would have said the same thing and probably most would have laughed.
The internet gives us an illusion of being heard some times, and I admit that I get tired of seeing people slam the church 24/7/365 without actually looking all that different when they come across people they don’t like. Especially, when those people are me. :cool:

103   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
April 8th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Chris L (#101): (And I was not talking about myself in the third person – note the missing “L”).

Yeah, when Chris L wants to talk about himself in the third person, he uses the phrase “The Big Chahuna”. ;-)

104   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
April 8th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

#95. Have you heard about social imprinting? I wonder if Neil signed in under my name for a week and simply disagreed a few times what would happen.

105   Neil    
April 8th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

John,

OK – I get it, today’s society evil… 19th century society pious. 19th century would not put up with sin or evil, today’s society will.

Therefore; homosexuality, promiscuity, etc. = evil. And slavery, child labor, etc = uh… not evil?

106   Neil    
April 8th, 2010 at 9:11 pm

My standard for church piety and maturity is the 1st Century Church in Corinth.

My point exactly… the more things change, the more they stay the same.

107   John Hughes    
April 8th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Neil,

Every generation has its demons. The 19th seems to have exorcised the worst of theirs. Is tolerance for homosexaul activity decreasing or increasing? Is toleration for promiscuity increasing or decreasing? Is pornography (in the church) increasing or decreasing? Is greed (in the church) increasing or decreasing?

Humans have not changed since the fall. The propensity for sin has remained constant throughout mankind’s history. It is just that in this age the opportunities to do so have geometrically increased.

108   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 8th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Is tolerance for homosexaul activity decreasing or increasing? Is toleration for promiscuity increasing or decreasing? Is pornography (in the church) increasing or decreasing? Is greed (in the church) increasing or decreasing?

Well, homosexual activity has always been around. I’d say that it’s acceptance in the church is a relatively new, although, the church accepting behavior once deemed sinful isn’t new. As far as toleration for promiscuity, I’d say that’s really a toss-up. Humans are promiscuous creatures. Perhaps we’re more open about it now, but it’s hard to say if there’s more overall. Pornography has been around as long as humans in one way or another. I guess it would be hard to get an accurate reading of its impact on Christians. I’d suspect the level of greed is about consistent.

I guess I tend to look at things from the opposite perspective. More people have heard the Gospel today than in any other time in history. People groups who had never seen a Bible in the 19th century now can read Scripture in their own language.

I guess in one sense you could say whenever opportunity spreads, it gives people more freedom. They can use that freedom for either good or evil. The amount of good a person can choose is often inversely proportional to the evil he can do. So yes, the internet can be a tool of evil, but it can also do great good.

109   Neil    
April 8th, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Humans have not changed since the fall.

Again, my point exactly.

110   Neil    
April 8th, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Up until the 1960’s an African American would not have been accepted into my seminary.

So did the 19th Century really exercise their demons?
Is the cultural acceptance of homosexuality really a sign things are worse?

111   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
April 8th, 2010 at 11:56 pm

#108
Great points.

112   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
April 9th, 2010 at 8:14 am

This is the video I was refering to Neil. Hope you enjoy the show. You cannot deny that he lied, unless you desire to be a part of the cover-up.

113   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 9th, 2010 at 9:01 am

I guess I desire to be part of the cover-up…

That video is full of so many half-truths that it’s not even worth my time trying to go through them all. The main thing is that words like “support”, “endorse”, and “campaign” are not synonymous in politics. They all have specific meanings. Giving your opinion on a subject and even trying to persuade people to vote a certain way does not automatically qualify as endorsing or campaigning.

The funny thing is that Warren is being attacked for actually having a position that the people making the attack video would support. It’s pretty obvious that he does not think gay marriage should be legal. He’s been consistent in that. But because he’s, well, Rick Warren, anything he says is used against him by these little peon bloggers.

I find it funny that at the beginning of that video, the narrator mentions something like, “people are holding Warren’s feet to the fire”, as if it’s a good thing. Is that really what Christian accountability is? Holding people’s feet to the fire? That gives the impression “behave the way we want or you’ll get what’s coming to you from us.” It’s just so warped.

114   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 9th, 2010 at 9:19 am

Surprise, Phil, I guess I do not agree.

Regardless, Warren is not allowing his yes to be yes and his no to be no. He may not be emergent, but he acts like one with his stands on the same topic changing according to the audience.

Doug Pagitt will be happy to know that there will also be a preacher outside of DG2010 sharing the good news of the Gospel, because they will not get it inside with Rick Warren.

115   Neil    
April 9th, 2010 at 10:01 am

Pastorboy,

Thank you for that wonderful illustration of vomitous putrid slop.

I find it saddening that your rage (and others) against Warren is so vile and deep that you overlook his clear and correct stand on a biblical issue – in favor of parsing words and picking knits in a twisted attempt to say “HA! We got ya.”

First off – I too could give a rats derriere about how the State defines marriage. Christian marriage is the domain of the Church, not the State. When given the opportunity in my state, to vote for an amendment that defined it as one man and one woman – I did. But if the state decided otherwise I would not see it as an issue for the church. Who cares what they think?

When asked I gave my opinion. But I am not an activist. So, am I liar too?

This is a distinction that you fail, in your blind rage, to see. Repeatedly Warren talked about not being an activist, about not campaigning, about not attending meetings – yet nothing in the video or King interview contradicted this.

Being an activist or a campaigner are completely different than releasing a statement of position.

If Warren oversold this on King – so be it. Accuse him of exageration.

But to lambaste him as a liar… to question his stand… to put so much effort into destroying a fellow servant of God, a brother in Christ, is to bow to the spirit of antichrist.

This disgusts me!

Words fail me to describe your accusation about the DG2010. You are a small man… a petty man… a man who would rather see a brother in Christ destroyed.

Yeah, I know… you’ll stand on the street corner and employ people to repent. And I applaud you for that. But let that penitent person wear the wrong clothes, listen to the wrong music, or walk the wrong geometric pattern on a floor… let them dare drink coffee while they worship or talk to a Muslim without calling him a lost sinner… let them perform some external behavior that is not within your narrow interpretation of what it means to be one of His… and your kind will turn on them with a vengeance the worldliest would be proud of.

Of course, this is all done in the name of Christ – so it is acceptable.

116   Neil    
April 9th, 2010 at 10:26 am

“See that hilltop” the Bosiak Muslim said to me through an interpreter while pointing to a hill with a huge cross. “That is where the Christians put their guns and shelled our children.”

Killing in the name of Christ is a vile and most un-Christ-like thing.

Character assassination in the name of Christ pales in comparison… the former is a much much worse and vile sin.

Yet they are born from the same mothers.

117   M.G.    
April 9th, 2010 at 11:10 am

PB,

Let me break something down for you, yes is yes, no is no, style.

Mr. Warren, are you personally for Prop 8?

Yes.

Mr. Warren, have you ever endorsed Prop 8, or otherwise engaged in political activism on behalf of its passage?

No.

Does that make sense? I hope you are charitable enough to understand the difference. It’s really not that complicated.

118   John Hughes    
April 9th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I guess I tend to look at things from the opposite perspective. More people have heard the Gospel today than in any other time in history. People groups who had never seen a Bible in the 19th century now can read Scripture in their own language.

I was referring to USA Christianity. I have already stated 3rd world Christianity puts us to shame. That is a major component to my argument about the shallowness of the US Church. Thanks! :-)

Re Pornogrpahy: when has pornography EVER been so easily available and so universal? We are only one click away from the most heinous visuals. How can anyone say with a straight face that USA’s Christian’s exposure to and use of pornorgaphy has not exponentially increased over the past 10 to 20 years?

119   Neil    
April 9th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

You say “US church” as if it were some unified whole, some monolithic entity that can be defined or broad-brushed with ease. I think that overly shallow.

I think both extremes are naive – thinking there is something special about Christianity in America, or thinking that there is something inferior with it as well.

It’s a human condition, not a cultural condition.

120   John Hughes    
April 9th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

“See that hilltop” the Bosiak Muslim said to me through an interpreter while pointing to a hill with a huge cross. “That is where the Christians put their guns and shelled our children.”

Yes, it’s all so blackand white isn’t Neil, cause for sure Muslims never do any of that in the name of their god.

121   Neil    
April 9th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

For every “things are so much worse just look at…” there is an equal and opposite “things were so much worse just look at…”

It a human condition, not a temporal condition.

122   Neil    
April 9th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Yes, it’s all so blackand white isn’t Neil, cause for sure Muslims never do any of that in the name of their god.

Which of course completely misses the point… and sounds a lot like “Well, they did it too…”

The point is it is never right to kill the body or assassinate the character in the name of Christ.

123   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 9th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

“Who cares what they think?”

My life verse. :cool:

124   Neil    
April 9th, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Rick, I thought of you as I typed it…

125   Neil    
April 9th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

speaking of how Christians at other times were sooooo much deeper…

LINK

126   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 9th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Re Pornogrpahy: when has pornography EVER been so easily available and so universal? We are only one click away from the most heinous visuals. How can anyone say with a straight face that USA’s Christian’s exposure to and use of pornorgaphy has not exponentially increased over the past 10 to 20 years?

Well, yes, that type of pornography is certainly more accessible now than it was before, but the heart of man is still the same. You can find examples of pornographic material in virtually all ancient civilizations. Of course a photo or movie is more realistic, but in essence, looking at pornography is about the fantasy world a person creates in his or her mind more than the actual pictures or objects. It’s not as if people did not have lust in their hearts before they had the ability to paint or produce photographs or movies.

The issue of the actual quantifiable amount of sin in the world isn’t really what we are to be concerned about. We are to live like people of the day, as Paul puts it. We are to live in contrast to the those deeds. So, yes, it does appear that the church at many times has not lived up to this standard, but I see no reason to say that it’s worse than it’s ever been.

127   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 9th, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I do not see pornography, or homosexuality, or divorce, or most other labeled sins as the main problem with the western church.

The main problem is the love of money which affects our entire mives including our twisting of Scripture.

128   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
April 9th, 2010 at 7:52 pm

#127–I see people as the problem with the ‘western church’…especially since I am one, and have known a few.

129   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
April 9th, 2010 at 7:55 pm

OK, I’m gonna be serious with this question. I watched some of that video that John keeps pointing us to (about half of it to be sure). Now here’s my question: what exactly is the complaint against Warren?

Obviously he was supporting the traditional definition of marriage. So what’s the complaint? I’m being serious because I doubt that Rick Warren is stupid enough to forget that he made a video and send it out to his congregation. His ‘handlers’ surely had reminded him.

But seriously, what is the complaint and why is this video relevant to Rick Warren being at DG?

Thank you,
jerry

130   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
April 9th, 2010 at 10:50 pm

#120
The problem is, even though Neil is such a syncophant to see it is that Warren LIED.

I never campained for Prop 8- what he says to the world

I urge you to vote yes on prop 8- Sent to 30,000 plus people, not all of whom were in his church.

Look, he sings a different tune to different people. He is so adept at changing his tune that he was able to even fool Piper. He will say what he is expected to at DG2010, and will then procede peddling his false easy believism gospel to whoever will listen the very next week at Saddleback, or wherever in the world he finds himself.

If I didn’t believe Rick Warren is a Christian, and if I didn’t believe that he knows the Bible extremely well, I would not be nearly as frustrated with him as I am. This man could be a force if he would stick to the Bible and preach it. He may lose all the Saddleback Sams out there, but he would be honoring and fearing God above men.

131   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
April 9th, 2010 at 10:57 pm

And yet what you say about him directly contradicts what he says about himself, what he writes in his books, what he preaches in his sermons, etc., etc., ….

132   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 10th, 2010 at 6:43 am

PB – By using the word “campaign” Warren meant he did not do any real political work on its behalf. Of course he encouraged his parishoners to vote yes. To say he lied is a little strong.

He is very slippery as are others. He does overly pragmatize the Scriptures and has made the born again experience a perfunctory verbal equation (say this prayer).

On paper, he is orthodox, but it does seem odd to see him and Piper together. I must admit a bit of carnal delight to watch the writhing of the ODM network as one of their own has invited the fox into the hen house!

133   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 10th, 2010 at 6:50 am

BTW PB – I would at least view the venom as discernment and correction within the body if many same ODMs spew the same venom toward Obama and others.

So the venom is just the ammo of the heart.

134   Tom    
April 10th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

A proper prayer-closet is lead-lined, so as to prevent WiFi and other invisible influences (and so that it can double as a nuclear fall-out shelter).

135   nathan    
April 10th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

@132:

or a chicken into the fox den.

136   Neil    
April 10th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Sycophant – a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite… this one fits you less PB, since I have never heard you flatter or fawn anyone. You gift is criticism. In fact, the only people I can recall you complimenting – are other criticizers.

Now, since I have repeatedly stated that my intent is not to defend Warren but to point out your foolish logic – it does not fit me either.

I guess, if showing your faulty logic, you inability to discern between campaigning and taking a stand when asked… well then, I guess it is easy to see why you would also mistake the correct use of “sycophant.”

I assume that is the word you meant…

137   Neil    
April 10th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Look, he sings a different tune to different people. He is so adept at changing his tune that he was able to even fool Piper.

So who should be believe is the better mind… you or Piper?

138   Neil    
April 10th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

I feel more pity for Warren than envy or even as a source or celebrity.

If he does not take a stand – he is attacked.

When he does take a stand (say comparing homosexuality to pedophilia a sins), and it is misinterpreted (all homosexuals are pedophiles), his detractor take the clarification (that he was not equating the two) as a twist a change – and attack.

It s petty little man who does that.

139   Neil    
April 10th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

The problem is, even though Neil is such a syncophant to see it is that Warren LIED. – Pastorboy

I think what you meant was “Neil is such a sycophant he is unable to see that Warren lied.”

I guess maybe I am just sycophant of… not Warren… but allowing words to mean what they are intended to mean.

Did he campaign for Prop 8. No not in the manner that that word is used in political contests. Did he come out for it, did he encourage those on his mailing list to vote for it – yes.

If refusing to twist the obvious meaning of words into something nefarious makes me a sycophant – so be it.

140   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 10th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

“…he was able to even fool Piper.”

That statement includes a subtle suggestion that Warren was intentionally deceptive in his dealings with Piper. The Christian Tarot Cards have become so accurate in reading men’s hearts. :cool:

141   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
April 10th, 2010 at 7:46 pm

A lie is a lie is a lie.

IF Warren is a Christian, then he knows the truth, and when he changes it even slightly to please man, that is at the least a lie, at the most blasphemy (because he is misrepresenting God)

He has lies about what he was doing in Syria. He lied about aligning homosexuality with pedophilia and beastiality. He lied about writing two lines in a newsletter about Prop 8. HE HAS LIED ABOUT SALVATION AND THE GOSPEL.

142   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 10th, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Hmmmmm… Who do I trust, Rick Warren or Pastorboy?

Seems like PB’s primary language is lies and untruths. I’ll go with Rick Warren.

FYI: The Christian Post and other sources often cited by Ingrid, Ken and their spawn ran this AP article waaaaaaaaay back in 2008:

The pastor chosen by President-elect Barack Obama to give the inaugural invocation backed Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in his home state of California. But he did so belatedly, with none of the enthusiasm he brings to fighting AIDS and illiteracy.

When other conservative Christians held stadium rallies and raised tens of millions of dollars for the ballot effort, there was no sign of Warren. Neither he nor his wife, Kay, donated any of their considerable fortune to the campaign, according to public records and the Warrens’ spokesman.

In fact, his endorsement seemed calculated for minimal impact. It was announced late on a Friday, just 10 days before Election Day, on a Web site geared for members of his Saddleback Community Church, not the general public.

So, do I trust history, or do I trust PB’s lies?

I’ll take the AP’s version (which jibes w/ Warren’s comments)

143   Neil    
April 10th, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Re 141 – more vacuous, shallow, petty, unsubstantive accusations with no basis in fact. I do not call them lies – since I know you believe them to be true. Therefore I do not call you a liar… just wrong and vindictive.

144   Neil    
April 10th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Re 142: Another accusation resolved and shown to be false. Time to switch to another…

145   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 10th, 2010 at 11:24 pm

To call someone a compromiser is one thing, but to call them a serial liar is quite another. Although I will admit a certain responsibility when one is perfect.

BTW – John Piper said Warren is orthodox. Piper is a liar and I expect PB to write a post and call him one…unless PB is a compromiser. :cool:

146   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 11th, 2010 at 7:31 am

Every once in a while God gives us a gift to enjoy and relish. The upcoming histrionics concerning the nomination of a new Supreme Court justice will provide ample hours of verbal battles, character assasinations, and an overall parading of the familiar “We believe the constitution” brand of self righteousness.

What will not be so pleasant and entertaining is to see followers of Jesus Christ punch their card and show up for work in that carnal and hate-filled arena.

My personal choice is Judge Judy!

147   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
April 11th, 2010 at 7:40 am

#145 Piper is making a lapse of judgment, which I hope will soon be rectified.

Otherwise, we might soon expect Rob Bell there at DG2010. Where would they fit the giant ego whiteboard?

148   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 11th, 2010 at 8:19 am

I do not believe there will be much desiring God at that conference.

Warren = serial liar

Piper = lapse of judgment

There will be a test.

149   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
April 11th, 2010 at 8:22 am

Ego? Have you any clue of what you speak, John? Rob is one of the most unassuming, humble men you’ll ever hope to meet. It comes across in his self-effacing sermons, in his demeanor, and when you speak with him one-on-one. You, dear brother, seem to be the one with the large ego, pointing out that Piper was fooled by Warren, but not you. You continually elevate your opinion to the level of fact, blasting anyone who disagrees with said opinion as if they were questioning the very Scriptures themselves.
Please stop assuming that you know the motive of men’s hearts. That is someone else’s job.

Shalom

150   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
April 11th, 2010 at 9:04 am

Rob Bell? Humble?

hahahahahahahahahahahhahahaa

Have you really ever seen any of his Noomas?

sheesh.

Thanks for the laugh.

151   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 11th, 2010 at 9:12 am

When compared with someone like RC Sproul, Bell looks like the most humble man in America.

BTW – I wrote the most comprehensive treatise on humility in college. :lol:

152   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
April 11th, 2010 at 9:18 am

Yes I’ve seen the Nooma videos.
And?

153   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 11th, 2010 at 9:24 am

PB – The video link on your blog makes the stretch that Warren lied about endorsing Prop 8. And then it quotes the verse that says that all liars go to hell.

You guys play as many games with Scripture as do some emergents. You seem to use them as personal proof texts against anyone but yourselves.

Liars go to hell? See you all there!

154   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
April 11th, 2010 at 9:28 am

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, Rick! So Revelation 21:8 is reasonable. We all deserve hell, because we are all liars. That is why we need saving.

155   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 11th, 2010 at 9:32 am

#154 – That is not what the video was suggesting. By using that verse as a benediction to tghe Warren is a liar issue the suggestion is obvious.

I hope you admit that and do not lie about it. :cool: (Remember Rev. 21:8)

156   Neil    
April 11th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Still waiting for an accusation against Warren with any real substance… not based on the parsing of words that cannot hold up to scrutiny… not based on ripping something out of context… not based on some gba…

Still waiting for some accuser to rise above the pettiness – as the Chaplain at Internet Monk did.

157   Neil    
April 11th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

At the risk of allowing another diversion… none of the few Nooma videos that I have ever seen appeared ego driven.

Pastorboy, considering how often you misread and misinterpret things that are new or different from your norm and comfort zone… considering you distrust and condescension toward doing things differently – I suspect you are projecting.

158   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 11th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

“Still waiting for an accusation against Warren with any real substance…”

He is observably overweight. :cool:

159   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
April 11th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

As far as the accusation regarding ego and Nooma, there is zero grounds for such. The only thing I can think is that Rob is the writer, producer, as well as the narrator and main character. But that’s what creative people do. Authors put their names on the front cover of their books. Painters sign their work. Musicians use their names.

But if you already hate someone, any semblance of what you hate about them is magnified by the beam in your own eye.

160   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 11th, 2010 at 7:00 pm

I am thinking of the arrogance in ‘the gospel according to….that was taken from a nooma- calling himself the Gospel. Another one is Bullhorn- where he has single-handedly straw-manned a method of preaching the Gospel which is Biblical, saying it just isn’t working- second guessing the very Word of God and because Rob Bell said it isn’t. Accusing people of false motives, evangelism as a notch on a belt. These are just a few examples. He is, like Warren, a proponent of a false Gospel.

161   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 11th, 2010 at 7:13 pm

The difference being I have never heard Rob Bell give a clear gospel. Warren has.

162   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 11th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Accusing people of false motives…

The irony meter just exploded. The pot-calling-the-kettle-black-meter has reached code red status.

163   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 12th, 2010 at 9:27 am

Observe.
http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-radio/episode.php?episodeid=16201

164   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 12th, 2010 at 9:48 am

From Watcher’s Lamp:

* Warren endorses Roman Catholic mystics in his PDL book
* Warren embraces New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet and Red Letter Christian Tony Campolo, both by definition, hold heretical positions on a variety of subjects.
* Warren advocates the removal of church members that will not conform to the PD church growth model which turns a congregation into a crowd for the sake of unbelievers.
* Warren asked the god of Islam for forgiveness.
* Warren’s Celebrate Recovery program is a Christianized version of Alcoholics Anonymous, whose founder was steeped in bondage to spiritualism and communed for decades with unclean spirits.
*Warren’s PEACE plan is communitarianism / religious socialism
*Warren’s SHAPE program is based on Jungian psychology. Jung practiced
necromancy, and had daily contact with disembodied spirits, which he credited as the source of much of his writings. Jungian philosophy also impact A-A’s 12 step program.
*Warren believes that Roman Catholicism is a legitimate expression of Christianity.
*Warren declared that the future of the world is not secularism, it’s religious pluralism.
*Rick Warren’s worldly approach to ministry and his famous Scripture twisting, by default, denies the sufficiency of Scriptures.

How much evidence do you need, or will you continue to say “Thats GBA” or some other dismissive term…

165   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 12th, 2010 at 9:52 am

What a bunch of paranoid crap you post PB. For people who prattle on and on about the sovereignty of God, you sure do come up with a lot of made up stuff to worry about. But hey, you gotta do something to keep those donations pouring in! Sites like that almost make me start believing that I’m actually a liberal.

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
having a conservative in the White House and the strength of the American military.

166   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 12th, 2010 at 10:39 am

Let’s see… so once the facts don’t fit the (false) accusations you’ve made, you just go cut/paste another round of utter crap (just as easily disproved).

* Warren endorses Roman Catholic mystics in his PDL book

Hmmmm….

Mysticism (noun):
A. Immediate consciousness of the transcendent or ultimate reality or God.
B. A belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible by subjective experience.

There’s nothing wrong with this view of seeking God, unless you’re invested in hard-core modernism.

So, yes, this is just a stupid GBA attack (which you accurately diagnosed, but then ignored, missing the one little bit of discernment that flickered in you)

Warren embraces New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet and Red Letter Christian Tony Campolo, both by definition, hold heretical positions on a variety of subjects.

Aside from “embraces” being a highly subjective term which can pretty much mean anything from “he quoted the guy once without damning him in the same breath” to “he lives with the guy and wants to bear his love child”, this too is pure crap and GBA.

Warren advocates the removal of church members that will not conform to the PD church growth model which turns a congregation into a crowd for the sake of unbelievers.

Hey, this one’s NOT GBA. Congratulations. Granted, it is false, but it’s not GBA (we’ve got to look at the positives, if we can).

Warren advocates removal of church members who gossip and openly rebel against the eldership of their churches. I’d advocate the same thing, as well. I’ll admit that there have been leaders who’ve used PD methodologies in a ham-fisted fashion and have banished members for questioning them. A) That’s not Warren’s fault; and B) that happens all of the time when carpet colors change, when the worship band ditches the hymnals, or when the church gets too big for a potluck to fit in the fellowship hall.

Warren asked the god of Islam for forgiveness.

Pure and utter bullcrap. Refuted a thousand times over except to petty, nasty unChristian gossips who enjoy lies and tearing apart the body of Christ because it is not made in their image.

Warren’s Celebrate Recovery program is a Christianized version of Alcoholics Anonymous, whose founder was steeped in bondage to spiritualism and communed for decades with unclean spirits.

Wow – we’re back to the land of Led Zeppelin and backmasking. This is, like, Guilt-by-Associating-with-Guilt-by-Association. It’s not secondary separation, but tertiary separation from Fred Phelpsville. I’ve seen people involved with CR who have escaped from the destructive cycles of addiction, who are now strong disciples and believers in Christ.

I’ll believe my own lying eyes before I’ll believe your lies on this one.

Warren’s PEACE plan is communitarianism / religious socialism

False.

Watcher’s Lamp really needs to take a course in political philosophy (maybe the lamp’s oil has run dry?) . To categorize PEACE this way, you pretty much have to define any charity work done by the church in this manner.

Warren’s SHAPE program is based on Jungian psychology. Jung practiced
necromancy, and had daily contact with disembodied spirits, which he credited as the source of much of his writings. Jungian philosophy also impact A-A’s 12 step program.

Wow. Guilt-by-associating-with-guilt-by-associating-with-guilt-by-association. This is nearing a record for Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon territory.

I’d note that Jung’s observations (used in Myers-Briggs and other tools) are simply organized observations of natural human behavioral patterns. It is no more “evil” or “suspect” than giving a taxonomy to the animal kingdom (homo sapiens; canis familiaris, etc., etc.). I use it all the time in HR and the business world, because it shows personality traits and behaviors that are often interlinked with one another, and often predict the types of work a person will be good at and will enjoy.

Warren believes that Roman Catholicism is a legitimate expression of Christianity.

Good. I happen to believe that, even with its plethora of problems (nearly as many as with “Reformed” theology), Roman Catholics are Christians, as well.

Rick Warren’s worldly approach to ministry and his famous Scripture twisting, by default, denies the sufficiency of Scriptures.

Ah yes, the catch-all category of “I disagree with him and the way he does X, and therefore he denies Christ”. It’s not GBA, it’s just crap.

167   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
April 12th, 2010 at 10:54 am

Have you guys read Frank Turk’s thought’s on blogs that offer us “discernment”?
Here’s a great quote

Maybe “discernment ministries” would be better off talking about what they believe and what the consequences of those things are rather than how many times Rob Bell sticks his foot in his mouth.

You know: we get it. Now what? What if everyone stopped going to Rob Bell’s church, and stopped buying Ann Lamott (sorry: I meant Donald Miller) books, and took all their PDL/PDC books back for a refund. Now what?

From here

Oh, how some of the discernment ministries get all fired up when people post things about them, which is ironic given the fact that their entire *ministry* is built around writing about other people.

168   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 12th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

#167 – Yep, I caught that as well. How do you deal with discerners at war with each other?

Simple: I’m rubber you’re glue, whatever you discern about me bounces off and discerns you! No comeback discerns and an unmoveable discernment period!!

169   M.G.    
April 14th, 2010 at 12:02 pm

PB,

One accusation that I think Chris L. neglected to address was the comment about secularism and religious pluralism.

It’s actually these kinds of accusations that I find the most confusing.

Warren stated that the world wasn’t getting more secular, but rather that the world was growing more religious, and that people were finding more ways to express their religious beliefs.

Those are *descriptive* statements.

They are not *normative* statements.

Do you know the difference between descriptive and normative statements?

More importantly, insofar as they are descriptive statements, they are largely correct. Marx was wrong about religion. It’s not some drug offered top-down to repress the masses. Religion is rather a fundamental reality for most humans on this earth. And efforts to stamp out religion in the name of secular ideologies are always doomed to failure.

In the end, I get that people disagree with Warren. But what I don’t understand is that they do so in such stupid, ill-informed fashions.

Being an idiot for Jesus gets you (and everybody else) nowhere.