Archive for the 'PD/SS' Category

OK, I openly admit that I have not been a huge fan of Rick Warren.  A few years ago, I participated in a 40 Days of Purpose Bible Study, and at many times, I was underwhelmed.  It wasn’t that I thought that things were outright wrong as much I just thought it was very surface-level stuff.  That being said, one thing that does stick out in m memory is Warren’s assertion on the very first page of The Purpose Driven Life that “life isn’t about you”.  Apparently, that assertion flies over some people’s heads.

When I see an article like this, complaining about the video here, it honestly saddens me.  When I read this statement:

Can you imagine calling on this individual at 3am when your loved one is dying or seriously ill? Can you imagine Mr. T-shirt holding the hand of an elderly saint as she passes into eternity?

a few things come to mind.  First, I wonder how often it is really necessary to call someone at 3am.  I’m not saying it should never happen, but this makes it sound like a reoccurring event.  Secondly, I wouldn’t really care what someone was wearing when they came to visit me.  But, hey, that’s just me…

Now there’s nothing about either of those things that’s inherently bad, but in a large church is it really realistic to expect the lead pastor to perform these functions?  To me, the thing that’s amazing is that these aren’t just expected, but they’re demanded.  It’s the attitude that says the pastor is there is serve me, and I expect him to meet all of my expectations.  It’s ironic that the piece is referring to Perry Noble as a “hireling”, because, in reality, the kind of pastor Ingrid is describing seems more like a hireling – a person hired by the church members to meet their needs.

Now, I don’t deny that a big part of being a pastor involves caring for people and being involved in their lives.  But I will also say that as a church body, we are to minister to one another’s needs and there are many things that can be done by the average church member to help the pastor.  Have the critics volunteered their time to visit the sick and help other members?  Have they spent time and energy to be a blessing to their pastor?  If not, then they really have no room to complain.  Coming from a pastor’s family, perhaps I am more sensitive to these complaints, because I know that there are some people who will take and take but never give anything.  And these people most of the time simply need to grow up.  I think these are the type people the author of Hebrews had in mind when he wrote:

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.

So perhaps, the fact that Warren’s book starts with the basic premise, “it’s not about me” is a good thing.  It seems that some of us need reminded of that fact.

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…smoke gets in your eyes” – so the song goes.  In a recent set of posts the editor of CRN? attacks a youth pastor for asking a tactical ministry question: “Have you ever taught a dedicated lesson to your whole group on stealing or have you limited it to when it comes up in other contexts” – [my paraphrase].

The point of the fire and smoke metaphor is emotion can cloud your judgment.  I hope this has happened to the Editor at CRN?, either that or this post is premeditated deception.  Those are the two options I came up with; either the editor is purposefully (pun intended) twisting and misrepresenting what was written in the pastor’s blog, or his/her disdain for anything Saddleback has so clouded the mind that clarity of thought and true discernment is no longer possible.  When your heat is on fire smoke gets in your eyes.

The title of the post shows the deception or confusion: Saddleback Youth Pastor Uncertain If He Should Teach Against Stealing.  A casual reading of the title might make you think that Joshua Griffin, youth pastor at Saddleback, is uncertain whether or not stealing is a sin, or if this sin should be taught against.  In the article itself the editor asks “Has Youth Pastor Josh ever heard of the Ten Commandments?!?”  And goes on to scold him since “Apparently the Biblical mandate against stealing was not enough to convince Youth Pastor Josh from Saddleback Church that stealing should be addressed to the whole ministry.”

Of course, a simple reading of the original blog, which is only one paragraph long immediattly dispels any issue.  It is simply a question of tactics in teaching… nothing more.

This is either a case of gross misunderstanding (smoke in eye) or a gross case of pure deception… for the sake of the editor and the cause of Christ, I hope it’s the former.

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This was posted on Slice today

Imagine asking a pastor for advice and Bible verses on dealing with a specific problem. He isn’t your pastor, but it’s someone you respect, and you ask for advice. Within a short period of time, the pastor decides that the news is so juicy, it just has to be told publicly. That’s what happened to Sarah Palin when she returned a September 6 phone call from Rick Warren and asked him for Bible verses on dealing with pressures she is facing. (He stated it as though she had called him out of the blue for advice.) Rick Warren’s apparently insatiable need to hang with the movers and shakers and to puff his ego was bigger than his respect for Mrs. Palin’s privacy.

Uh… I am pretty sure that Warren knows when it is appropriate and unappropriated to share information with the public. This is hardly a case of a pastor breaching the clergy confidentiality agreement. Growing up in a pastor’s home, information was often leaked to us via overheard phone conversations, impromptu counseling sessions in the living room and poorly placed mail. We learned very quickly what was appropriate to share and what had to be kept confidential. Telling the press that someone called for Bible verses is hardly a problem. And, since the Palin campaign said nothing about the incident, one would assume this would be fine.

Once again — ODMs trying catch Warren in any snare possible. I found it funny that this was under the section of “purpose driven madness” on the Slice Site.

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Mike Ratliff does a fourth part in his series of blogs called The Abomination of Easy-Believism. Here is his rebuttal to our earlier post.

My brethren, is this passage of the thief on the cross an example of what we are calling Easy-Believism? No, it isn’t All along we have been saying that God will save His people even when the one sharing the Gospel with them messes up. The tragedy of Easy-Believism is the validation to untold numbers of professing Christians that they are really saved even though they are not surrendered to the Lordship of Christ nor are they able to walk in repentance. Those who are doing this will have to answer to the Lord about this. Let us not make that mistake. [emphasis mine]

So this means that when Rick Warren “messes up” on his gospel presentation, God still saves people and they come to faith. Plus, Rick Warren does tell his congregation that Jesus needs to be Lord of their lives, we should assume that he has done all he can to help get people to the place of salvation. Just thought I would make that clear. And, since we cannot sort thru who is really saved and not in that moment, we should validate all of them are beleivers after they have made the commitment (i.e. acknowledging that 500 came to faith at Saddleback this weekend) and let the spiritual cards fall where they may. Glad we cleared all that up.

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More trash talking on the Granger survey from the ODMs. This time it comes from Way of the Master Radio. Once again, I love how these guys spend so much time critiquing everyone else in the world. As if it was their mission from God to inform the world on the shortcomings of once church in Indiana. They are little better than paparazzi.

It all comes back to this (and I completely agree with Bill Hybels and the pastor at Granger over these results), the job of the pastor is not to feed the sheep. The job of the pastor is to make self-feeders. Here are just a few things going on a Granger in a given week that I picked up from spending one minute on their website:

* Midweek Bible Studies at 6:30pm
* Four Services on Sundays & Saturdays
* Weekly Small Groups
* Core Classes
* Ministry Teams to serve with

Are the ODMs really going to expect me to believe that if someone connects with these services that the church offers, they are NOT going to hear once that Jesus is the only way, or that the bible is the word of God? That there is just fluff and happy feel-good sermons at each of these things. Really folks? Use some logic here. It seems like there are more than enough opportunities to connect to the Word of God and to good Christian people with these events.

Todd asks the question of who is the shepherd and who are the sheep in his broadcast. It’s not the pastor and the congregation, it is Jesus Christ and His people. The truth is that there is a lack of self-motivation and self-initiative in ALL churches today, regardless of theology, style or tradition. While Granger is struggling get people’s theology straight, traditional First Baptist Boondocks may be ignoring the alcoholic father, the apathetic mother, and the kids that do all kinds of nasty every night with their girlfriends. I see it all the time when I travel, and those of you in small town, USA can probably testify to that.

The disconnect between church attendance and biblical living is certainly not reserved for those in seeker-sensitive, purpose-driven, emergent, circus churches. It’s a problem we all face. And, until we get past all of our nice church facades and trying to save the Christian masks we hold so dear, our buildings will be filled with people who hear the Word, but are not transformed.

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With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries. – Revelation 17:2

There you have it folks! Revelation 17:2 has called out Rick Warren’s political show down between Barak and McCain. The great prophesies of the end times are being fulfilled, and the final pages of history are finally being revealed! I am so glad I recently purchased my license plate frame letting everyone know that “in case of rapture, this car will be unmanned.” At least the guy behind me will have had fair warning.

Two serious thoughts…

First off, I find it extremely odd that CRN just bashed Bell for loose interpretation of the scriptures and suggesting that cultural context must be looked at before making conclusions on biblical interpretation. Here is a pastor that interprets revelation via sermon and video to show that Saddleback is apostate because of the political connection. If that isn’t loose handling of the Word of God, I don’t know what is. This is a perfect example of isegesis — inserting one’s agenda and preconceived notions into the text. Who’s the one that should be accused of bad exegesis?

Lastly, the ODMs are constantly harping on the fact that seeker sensitive churches never give real meat to their congregation. They just give good advise and stick some scripture in here and there. There is no meat and no spiritual substance to what is being given to the people. But now I am confused. Here Pastor Jamey Day preaches on how evil Saddleback is from the Sunday morning pulpit. I mean, this whole thing was a huge hit piece on a church and pastor that is 2,631 miles away from them, and the ODMs post it on their blog! Did the congregation walk out saying, “Man! That was some amazing meat from the Word today. I am so glad to know that Revelation 17 shows how apostate Saddleback is, and that I should never get involved with purpose driven. I would never have known how much the Lord detests Rick Warren.” Mr Kettle, Mr. Pot is on line two.

Now, I will say this for those who will try to make excuses for the whole thing… Yes, the pastor did not mention Rick Warren or Saddleback by name. However, the examples he used were overtly pointed to them. Also, it appears that the video was posted under the Watcher’s Lamp YouTube account. So, it seems that the video was not made by Grace Fellowship of Chester Virginia. However, the principles remain the same

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Mr. Silva recently published a link on CRN to this article. Now, there are those who have legitimate beef with the purpose-driven movement. These arguments usually talk about a lack of strong doctrine, a focus on methods over theology and pastors that have gone off the edge with the PDL campaign. These people would usually not call Rick Warren or his program apostate, semi-pelagian or man centered, but they would pass on the PDL for legit reasons for their church community.

Then there are those who have jumped on the anti-Purpose Driven band wagon and have abandoned logic in their arguments. Sandy Simpson has created a chart to help people figure out if their church is Warren Driven or Bible Driven. She automatically shows her bias with the title, as if they were in contrast.

I really don’t have much to say about the article. Here are some quotes — you decide for yourself.

Warren Driven
Is your church participating in Rick Warren’s “P.E.A.C.E. Plan” to “solve” the world problems of “Spiritual Lostness, Lack of Godly Leaders, Poverty, Disease, and Lack of
Education.”

Bible Driven
Does your church recognize that “The poor you will always have with you” (Matt. 6:11) and that making boasts (James 3:5) like Warren makes proves that he does not understand what the Bible teaches on these things?

Hmmm… does Ms. Simpson truly believe that the scriptures say we should not care for the poor, or share about what God is doing around the world with believers caring for the orphans and widows based off of these two verses? She doesn’t sound too bible-driven to me.

Warren Driven
Does your church believe, with Warren, that “Today, most local churches are sidelined and uninvolved when it comes to missions. The message from most mission and parachurch organizations to the local church is essentially “Pray, pay, and get out of the way.”

Bible Driven
Has your church continued to do its own mission work in its local area and support mission groups and efforts in other areas of the world? Does your church believe that most bible-believeing Christ-centered churches are NOT “sidelined” and “uninvolved” in mission work?

Um, are they not saying the same thing? Rick Warren is frustraited with churches have passed off their responsibility to do mission work in its local area and have an active part in global evangelism? Also, Warren did not say that Bible-believing, Christ-centered churches are bing sidelined. He said most church are. Oops, looks like Ms. Simpson may be more Purpose Driven than she thinks.

Warren Driven
Does your church “Statement of Faith”, like that of Saddleback, simply state regarding the Trinity that “God is bigger and better and closer than we can imagine”? (Note: Saddleback has since added another doctrinal statement to their site stating an orthodox view of the Trinity. This does not negate the fact that the above “dumb-downed” statement about God is basically useless, and in fact could be very misleading to people who already have a false concept of God.)

Bible Driven
Does your church doctrinal statement contain the concept that God is One God eternally existing in Three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

for the record, the complete “dumbed-down statement” from Saddleback’s section called Bible Q&A is as follows

The Bible teaches very clearly that there is one God not two or three or seven. It also teaches clearly that the Father is God and that Jesus is God and also that the Holy Spirit is God. The fact that there is only one God and yet three separate persons are called God leads us to the truth of the “Trinity” of God. This means that God is one in being, and he exists in three persons. That’s why Jesus can talk to the Father and be sent by the Father and yet they are still one. This is a difficult truth to grasp. I tell people that it’s one of the truths about God that reminds us that he is bigger than we are.

I’ll let you decide on the agenda here. It’s unfortunate that some have to go to this level to prove a point.

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There has been a series of posts across the web that have made their way to Slice. They deal with the issue of whether or not God dreams. The general consensus of the ODMs is a big NO. God is all powerful and has no dreams of the future. This is especially true if it involves a dream that God gave Rick Warren to help cure aids and feed babies. It is even more true if Brian McLaren or Robert Schuler have a dream that God has given them

Well, that’s all good if you are a fatalist. If everything is set in stone, and the road map of eternity is unchangeable, then there is no need for God to have dreams for the future of humanity. But, in my world (and from what I pick up from scripture), God has so many dreams for the world. He dreams that no man should perish, but that all should come to salvation. He dreams that we would not resist the work of the Holy Spirit and would look more and more like Christ everyday. He dreams that his bride would be spotless for Him. He dreams that our true religion would be helping widows and feeding orphans. There are lots of dreams that I see.

Jesus himself wept over the city, because he knew that the sin of the people was moving them further and further away from the dream that God had for all humanity.

The truth is, even ODMs believe that God has dreams. They too believe that God dreams of a pure and undefined church. In fact, they see themselves as dreamkeepers and dreammakers in the grand scheme of thing. They are going to assure that the dreams of God take place with their wittings and warnings.

On a related note… one of Ingrid’s links was this post from Herescope. I didn’t agree with most of what the writer had to say, but found this quote interesting on a pretty cool prayer and fasting movement that is taking place.

The context for much of this activity is through food deprivation (fasting)

Funny how we change perspectives around for our enemies. If John MacArther called for a global prayer and fasting movement, the words “food deprivation” would have never been used. While the author did put “fasting” in parenthesis, I find their word choice very telling of their agenda.

Herescope only gives this as “the truth.” You tell me if this shows that God doesn’t dream

“Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:3

2)

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Thought this was an interesting quote from a recent interview of Ken Silva on CrossTalk

“What needs to be understood, Ingrid, is I am a pastor, that’s my function in the body of Christ. Whether I’m good or not, people can make up their own minds. I’m just stating a fact…
I’m using Richard Abanes as an object lesson, teaching here’s the fruit — this man is attacking a pastor!” (6:56 into video clip)

So, if people attack pastors, the fruit of their ministry is bad? Interesting. I wonder what that says about ODMs and Calvinism (since we’re making blanket statements that tie select people’s actions to a ministry ideology). Mr Pot, the kettle is calling.

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purpose?I woke up this morning to this. I have to say it wasn’t the best thought as I sipped my extra dry cappuccino at Pete’s Coffee and Tea. I actually began to feel incredibly sorry for the many people who read this and will actually believe it. I mean, imagine walking through life wondering if the purpose God has for you is a good one, or one that will lead to total destruction. How would that change how we live… in complete and udder fear of the future. I mean, life becomes one big turn of the dice. Will God give me a good purpose in life, or will He not?

You see, this is the God of illogical predestination. He randomly chooses some to have a good purpose in life, and randomly chooses some who will not. And, you will / can never know which one he will choose for you. We are simply pawns on some divine chess board.

Now, we may not have the ideal life by human standards. I am sure that Jim Elliot was not planning on being speared to death, leaving his family behind at such a young age. But was his purpose still good? Sure. Hundreds came to the faith. And, if you ask Elisabeth Elliot if she has any regrets over the situation, she would probably tell you the same. His life had a beautiful purpose. Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. was probably not planning on being assassinated. But the good and blessed purpose of His life has left ripples in eternity. For those that follow the Lord, there is a great purpose for our lives (and Rick Warren would agree that following God is the prerequisite for having a good purpose in life).

If course, the ironic thing is that most of the people who would hold to this view probably believe that they all have a good purpose in life. This poster and ideology would only apply to anyone other than themselves and their pack of Christian friends.

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