Saturday, June 7, 2008

Purpose Driven Disaster

The name Rick Warren has become well known among evangelicals. Thousands of churches have joined the “Forty Days of Purpose” parade. While he may have the best of intentions, his driving force seems to be more directed by pragmatism than truth. Most disturbing is his ecumenical approach to the Gospel. Now he has launched what is called the P.E.A.C.E. plan which is an acronym for, Promote reconciliation; Equip servant leaders; Assist the poor; Care for the sick; and Educate the next generation. According to a recent article in Christianity Today it is “a massive, long range effort to mobilise (sic) one billion Christians in local churches around the world to copy Jesus' model of ministry.” He plans a giant computer network of churches working together in the Great Commission. Warren says, "For followers of Jesus, one of the most important words in our vocabulary is the word 'Go!' Jesus repeatedly commanded every believer to go; you can't spell gospel or good news without 'go' -- ours is an active, not passive, faith."

What is Rick Warren's understanding of the Great Commission? Is not the focus of the Great Commission making disciples? While teaming up with various groups with a common goal of feeding the hungry is a worthy task, teaming up with thousands of churches regardless of creed to spread the Gospel spells disaster. Ecumenism almost always means forsaking truth for the sake of unity. Warren’s premise is every church is a legitimate church. His position of “deeds, not creeds” reveals his willingness to abandon doctrine for pragmatism. According to our Lord, more is required of a person than simply identifying with Christianity – “Not every one who saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. . .” (Matthew 7:21). According to the Assist News Network the P.E.A.C.E. Plan has long term plans to “mobilize one billion Christians in local churches around the world.” I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but to pretend that one out of six people upon the earth is a Christian is blind naivety, and to pretend to mobilize them together in the Gospel endeavor is lunacy. Christianity is a narrow way with few followers. The Gospel isn’t some loose collection of various beliefs but a narrow message of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ with His absolute demands for discipleship.

Ecumenism fits well with our modern love for tolerance, but the Bible is not a tolerant book. Christ is presented as the only way of reconciliation with God. His words are presented as absolute truth. As Christians we must unite together for the common cause of the Gospel but we must never forget that we are a separate people. A network of one billion Christians may sound wonderful but it doesn't describe reality. The truth is, most of these billion people in Warren's network would despise genuine Christianity. “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Purpose Driven Disaster" I love that title! This platitudinous drivel that continues to flow from prominent ecumenical leaders is really tiresome. If Rick Warren is truly interested in promoting the Gospel then he should simply focus on the last "E" in his P.E.A.C.E. Plan. When believers are being properly discipled the Equiping, Assisting, and Caring will naturally follow. And tell me, is there anything more loving and caring than educating someone on the truths of God? Furthermore, true believers understand that reconciliation is not on the agenda. "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" -2 Cor. 6:14 (ESV) It is Christ who facilitates our reconciliation with God. We have not been granted this authority. It is our job to simply share the Gospel and teach the Truth. And PLEASE! If I am wrong or if have have mis-understood something, then educate me. I do not want to be ignorant of God or His commands.