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Ed

Another problem is the Mulligan is a violation of the rules of golf. There is no provision in the official rules of golf for a Mulligan. GOD forbid He should ever break the rules or, for that matter, change them.

James

I saw this message in its entirety and it was just an abomination. Aside from Warren's mulligan gospel and his constant twisting of the Bible there were blatant commercials for the Purpose Driven Life and Kay Warren's new book IN THE SERMON. No wonder Fox News broadcasted this sermon, Rupert Murdoch want to insure good sales for these books.

Christinewjc

I saw that sermon on Fox News and got the same sinking feeling that I originally felt the first time I heard Rick Warren pray his "mulligan" false-gospel-prayer of "salvation" several years ago. He preaches a cross-less gospel and doesn't call for people to repent.

The fact that he uses a "mulligan" analogy in his sermons shows just how far from the true gospel his preaching is. As commenter Ed mentioned, a "mulligan" is a violation of the rules of golf. It is evident that Warren is also guilty of violating the true gospel of Christ, too. His mulligan prayers are meaningless. What's worse is that he is leading people astray. The book of Jude warns us about such men who would pervert the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our former church home (where we attended and served for over 10 years!) went astray (IMHO) shortly after the movie "The Passion of the Christ" came out. The main culprit (IMHO) was that our pastor slipped into the emergent church movement of Rick Warren after we did a study of The Purpose Driven Life book. You can read about my experience with that in the first link here:

More Rick Warren Bad News

The other blog post links listed below demonstrate how, as time went on, I realized why the Holy Spirit "woke me up" at that first PDL leaders meeting when Warren's prayer to "accept Jesus" didn't include the need to confess sin and repent. More and more I see his "movement" as headed towards a cross-less gospel.

2. Many Now Recognizing the Heresy of Warren

3. The Most Important Question Answered

4. The Cain Method

5. Make Your Own Jesus

Ron

It is more like having to shoot a hole in one for every hole on the course. Jesus did that - no one else can do that - not Tiger or Phil or anyone else.

larry

Rick Warren is almost too easy. Rick Warren is a sincerely self deceived deceiver. But Rick Warren is simply the natural and logical out come of an arrow that was only off a few degrees when first shot. His is the natural and logical outcome of a “theology” that started LONG before himself only a degree or two off. As soon as men start a spoonful of third law dirt preaching as the standard “to motivate” ever so dustingly over the Gospel, like the first shovel of dirt on a grave coffin, its then just a matter of time before one has several feet of Gospel covered up under “law” and generations down the road (similar to “a little yeast of the Pharisees). Shift worship from receiving from heaven to earth TO “moving God” earth to heaven, shift the Gospel message to a form of “doing”, shift the sacraments from Gospel to opinions of the law ordinances (ordinance used in the wrong sense of the term, that is according to the opinion of the law), a moralism here and there about dancing, alcohol, movies and etc…, baptism becoming ones “badge of faith” rather than the objective work, name and seal of God, the Supper a mere memorial, the Supper just every once and a while, pride in DOING our missions, sermons on Christian living, how to live the “gospel” (as if that’s gospel), lose the benediction, gain an alter call, change the music from giving fame to God’s work on the Cross to “what I’m a gonna do”, etc… - Rick Warren is merely the champion of a theology started LOOOONG ago by many other “sound minds”. Would those sound minds be appalled by Warren? Sure so gross and removed from their initial degree or two off. But we should never forget, the theological off trajectory arrow was shot long ago. Warren is just being excellent at what he was taught, he’s taken the ball and run harder and further that started loooong ago.

Luther warned that the Gospel is in danger EVERY hour of being lost, he was not being hyperbolic but deadly serious. Luther, and few after him really saw this, saw an acute connection between Rome and the Anabaptist of his time, and he warned against it, a rose is a rose under ANY other name – he saw the root of both theologies like no other.

While Warren may be the most gross and obvious offender in our day, and others like him – they are merely the theological children and great great great grandchildren of many of the past who are even considered champions of the Gospel. Sure some of them yielded some good things, but their base theological trajectory was waaay off and they retained some man centered theology though they had a God centered tendancy.

PHW

I was absolutely dismayed by Warren's failure as a preacher. Why is the world and FoxNews, which has aired his travesty of a sermon two years in a row, so infatuated with this man?

I synthesized his sermon into one line..and it would have been better for him to just say this and not waste 30 minutes (I couldn't listen to the whole thing): Jesus invaded Earth to give you a Mulligan. Amen"

BTW...do you know where the entire video or audio can be found? The producer of Issues, Etc. would like it for a potential sermon review.

James

Warren has an attack dog name Richard Abanes who is out trolling the internet looking for anyone who says anything negative about Rick Warren.

I was just on Kim Riddlebarger's blog and this Abanes fellow actually defends Warren's mulligan metaphor. http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/the-latest-post/2007/12/26/some-links-of-note-on-the-day-after-christmas.html

Chris I'd watch out for this guy.

Richard Abanes

It is so terrifically disheartening to see an article like this one come from a fellow Christian -- especially after I have taken so much time to explain the infamous "mulligan" analogy to Chris through personal emails and public posts (see my blog at http://richardabanes.blogspot.com/).

Chris, I am so disappointed in you..... :-(

I am almost at a loss for words as I scan the way he has dissected & analyzed a simple/superficial analogy as if Warren were intending it to be a spoken/written doctrinal dissertation at some seminary. Such a response is unbelievably sad, and to be honest, not in keeping with the spirit of apologetics.

I shall not beat a dead horse, but for those who care at all to hear my explanation as to why this whole "mulligan" outcry is going way over the top, I invite you to read my blogs on the issue that can be found here:

http://richardabanes.blogspot.com/

OR

http://richardabanes.wordpress.com/category/blogroll/rick-warren-saddleback/
(click on "Read Full Story")

For anyone to actually start delving into golf rules, and legalities of mulligans, etc. etc. etc. is absolutely absurd in the extreme. Or for someone to try and set up Warren's use of the "do-over" term as some kind of intimation that it is his way of saying that we are getting a chance to literally "do-over" our lives and get it right on our own effort thru God's laws is preposterous.

I mean, really now, can none of you step back at see the what Warren was actually saying? It was just a little analogy to unbelievers and the unchurched -- a simple illustration to help those who are unfamiliar with theological-speak. Stop with the witch-hunting, already! All he was trying to convey -- albeit in a very superficial way -- was that in Christ (through salvation), all things are new, just as if you're starting your life all over again. Old things have past away. Sins are wiped out. It is, in a sense, a do-over, a mulligan.

As with ALL analogies, it falls short. So what? The general point came across loud and clear -- not only to me, but also to those who perhaps needed to take a baby step toward understanding God's love for them.

People - for God's sake (and I mean that literally), lighten up. This kind of nit-picking is not apologetics, nor is it defending the faith.

Richard Abanes

Chuck

Interesting thread. While I took notice of Warren's metaphor, I simply credited it to the manner of the whole Crystal Cathedral/Seeker Sensitive/Emergent dilution of Truth. In other words, I was not the least bit shocked. My expectations were met exactly, as I really did not expect any more or any better as I watched the show on Fox News. All that said, I do have a relative who on Christmas day commented that the show had a postive effect on them. So perhaps a seed has been planted that will need some careful watering from a another source with the hope that God will bring about the harvest.

And I notice it only took 24 minutes from James' warning, to Richard's scolding.

Chris Rosebrough

Richard,

Correct me if I am wrong here, but didn't you shut down our email conversation? I’ve done nothing but reach out to you in an attempt to discuss and dialog about the Rick Warren issue. Yet, you continue to skirt the issues that I bring up. In fact, you’ve never once dealt with the very REAL problem of how Rick Warren twists God’s Word both in his books and his sermons.

I’ve made the charge, and I stand by it, that you are far too emotionally invested in defending Rick Warren and that you are not objectively and Biblically dealing with Warren’s very REAL false doctrines.

That being the case, I'm a little surprised that you would now show up here and comment.

1. I stand by what I said in this article. In fact, I refuse to give Rick Warren a Mulligan on this one.

2. I have no issue with pastors using analogy and metaphor as a way of taking a complicated Biblical truth and making it easier to understand (I did that very thing in this article). But, when a pastor or teacher uses analogy or metaphor it is incumbent upon him to make sure that his analogy and metaphor conveys correct Biblical doctrine. Warren’s Mulligan metaphor fails to do this.

When teaching the 'un-churched' (that's Robert Schuller's term) about Christianity it is more important, not less important, to be doctrinally precise with our analogies. The reason for this is so that people don't draw the wrong conclusions about Christianity, the gospel and how one is saved. Your argument makes it sound like we can utilize any doctrinally faulty analogy that we like as long as it helps an un-churched person make a baby step in their understanding of Christianity. Richard, this argument of yours is laughable and absurd. In fact, I would claim that It is IMPOSSIBLE for an un-churched person to make any progress in their understanding of Christianity IF THE ANALOGY USED TO EXPLAIN THE CHRISTIAN FAITH DOESN’T CONTAIN ACCURATE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE.

This falls under the principle of you reap what you sow. You can’t sow the seeds of tares and expect them to produce wheat.

Rick Warren clarified his Mulligan Metaphor through the terms 'second chance' and 'do over'. Those were HIS terms not mine. The Biblical Gospel in no way, shape or form teaches us that Jesus is giving us a ‘second chance’, ‘do-over’ or Mulligan. Those terms have a common meaning and understanding in our language and culture and the implication that those terms convey is VERY clear. If I am given a second chance or a do-over regarding something that I have failed to do correctly the first time then I understand that it is my responsibility to make the best of my ‘second chance’ and ‘do over’ and get it right that second time.

Richard, WORDS HAVE MEANINGS, and the words ‘Mulligan’, ‘do-over’ and ‘second chance’ mean that I am responsible to get things right the second time. As a result of this fact, those terms teach a gospel of works which makes our salvation dependent upon how well we perform our second chance. Therefore, I stand by my assessment.

3. I also maintain that this is NOT the first time Warren has taught a gospel of works. Please listen to this episode of my podcast for another clear example.

http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2007/11/rick-warrens-go.html

Furthermore, as a Christian Apologist, Theologian and teacher in the church it is my Biblical duty to warn the church about false doctrine and false teaching.

As soon as Rick Warren stops twisting God’s word and uses analogies that correctly convey the Biblical Gospel then I will stop warning people about his Bible Twisting and False Doctrines.

Richard Abanes

Chris,

> Correct me if I am wrong here, but didn't you shut down our email conversation?
ME: My disappointment has nothing to do with the ending of our emails, but rather, with your unwillingness to listen to anything I said in those emails and your willingness to rush headlong into your heresy-hunting tactics. It is truly grievous to me.


> I’ve done nothing but reach out to you in an attempt to discuss and dialog about the Rick Warren issue.
ME: You have reached out to me, but not to learn. Your desire, it seems, is to fight and argue and win a debate based on preconceived ideas about the proper way to preach the proper gospel -- and you are not open-minded at all to learning another approach or seeing an alternative explanation.


>Yet, you continue to skirt the issues that I bring up.
ME: Here is proof that you are not listening. You raised this very same argument, almost verbatim, in one of your emails, and I pointedly addressed it.


> In fact, you’ve never once dealt with the very REAL problem of how Rick Warren twists God’s Word both in his books and his sermons.

That is a totally separate issue from the "mulligan" analogy, and whether or not Warren is a heretic, and whether or not he is preaching a false gospel. That particular topic (scripture use) would have to include a wide survey and discussion of:

1) other pastors/preachers;
2) human inadequacy;
3) the mperfection of all of us (including Warren); and
4) an in-depth excising of literlaly hundreds of passages and the latitude for interpretation of such verses based on one's denomination, philosophy of evangelism, and a host of other issues.

To be honest, I shudder at the thought of trying to dialogue with you about such things. However, I do congratulate you on being someone who always, in every situation, in every way, uses every single scripture in the Bible perfectly, without any personal bias, or human error coming into play (yes, read with sarcasm).


> . . . you are far too emotionally invested in defending Rick Warren and that you are not objectively and Biblically dealing with Warren’s very REAL false doctrines.

And this is exactly why I cut off our emails - no point in continuing dialogue. I would, however, ask that you somehow prove your accusation about me being "far too emotionally invested in defending Rick Warren" to be objective. It's quite an insult.

Rick Warren is man. Only a man. An imperfect, sinful man saved by grace, who trying to do his best, in the best way he knows how, to get unbelievers to know Christ. I agree with him on many things. I disagree with him on other things. He's wrong about some things, just by the sheer fact that he is human. But you refuse to allow him his humanity, or his fallibility - you offer no grace, no view of the bigger picture, no allowance for error/mis-steps. Again, I congratulate you on being perfect.


> . . . when a pastor or teacher uses analogy or metaphor it is incumbent upon him to make sure that his analogy and metaphor conveys correct Biblical doctrine. Warren’s Mulligan metaphor fails to do this.
ME: No metaphor is perfect. Again, I repeat myself. Proof once more that you are not listening, but simply talking AT me, and pushing forward in your own direction.


>When teaching the 'un-churched' (that's Robert Schuller's term) about Christianity it is more important, not less important, to be doctrinally precise with our analogies.
ME: Schuller, Schuller, Schuller. Again, with the Schuller, despite evidence that Schuller had a minimal impact on Warren's doctrine and philosophy. Once more, you are not listening. The documentation surrounding the Schuller rumors remains in my book for all to read ("Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him"). And I talked to you about that, too. But you're not paying attention.


> Richard, this argument of yours is laughable and absurd. In fact, I would claim that It is IMPOSSIBLE for an un-churched person to make any progress in their understanding of Christianity IF THE ANALOGY USED TO EXPLAIN THE CHRISTIAN FAITH DOESN’T CONTAIN ACCURATE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE.
ME: Congratulations are again in order - you are also apparently able to find analogies that are 100% accurate. That's quite an accomplishment.


> Rick Warren clarified his Mulligan Metaphor through the terms 'second chance' and 'do over'. Those were HIS terms not mine. The Biblical Gospel in no way, shape or form teaches us that Jesus is giving us a ‘second chance’, ‘do-over’ or Mulligan. Those terms have a common meaning and understanding in our language and culture and the implication that those terms convey is VERY clear.
ME: Sigh. Explained. Not listening.


> If I am given a second chance or a do-over regarding something that I have failed to do correctly the first time then I understand that it is my responsibility to make the best of my ‘second chance’ and ‘do over’ and get it right that second time.
ME: You are effectively saying that no one else can view anything or interpret anything in way different from how you view something or interpret something. All I can say is, unbelievable.


> Richard, WORDS HAVE MEANINGS, and the words ‘Mulligan’, ‘do-over’ and ‘second chance’ mean that I am responsible to get things right the second time.
ME: TO YOU!!!!! That's what it says TO YOU - a seminary grad interpreting t through smeinary-trained ears. But it may say, and indeed I know it did say, something diffent to others -- i.e., those who are not obsessing over it and picking it apart like some theological treatise. Can you not see/accept that? Dude, with all due respect, get your head out of seminary and get it into the real world.


> As a result of this fact, those terms teach a gospel of works which makes our salvation dependent upon how well we perform our second chance. Therefore, I stand by my assessment.
ME: That, my friend, is an absolute lie. Sorry, but you cannot put words in Warren's mouth, and extrapolate from his superficial analogy that he is teaching salvation by works. That is YOUR agenda to make him a heretic, and it has nothing to do with what is taught at Saddleback.

> I also maintain that this is NOT the first time Warren has taught a gospel of works. Please listen to this episode of my podcast for another clear example. . . . Furthermore, as a Christian Apologist, Theologian and teacher in the church it is my Biblical duty to warn the church about false doctrine and false teaching.
ME: You are not warning the church -- you are misleading it, dividing it, and accusing the brethren falsely. Sorry, I have to call it now as I see it.


> As soon as Rick Warren stops twisting God’s word and uses analogies that correctly convey the Biblical Gospel then I will stop warning people about his Bible Twisting and False Doctrines.
ME: You'll only see that when you see him believing exactly as you believe, teaching exactly how you teach, and using the exact same words you use to communicate with others.

I shall pray for you. I stand behind the personal cautions I have given you about the course you are on.

peace in Him,

R. Abanes

Mary

Mr Abanes-
For Gods Sake, and I mean that literally also, Mr Warren better start preaching a gospel of repentence and drop the convenient clever and ear tickling analogies and phrases. I once belonged to a church that went the way of Mr Warrens PDL methodology and it is now on the broad way to destruction- I am in no way placing 100% of the blame on Mr Warren, but I do know what our pastor did in an effort to grow our old church following Ricks methods. Examples: Our church purchased the "Purpose Driven Church" book and "Purpose Driven Life" and encouraged the congregation to read both sometimes more than the bible. We went through "40 days of Purpose" and "40 days of Community". The following was also instituted:No corporate prayer for members during services- remember how in "Purpose Driven Church" Warren recommends that "...pastoral prayers are to be kept short in your seeker services. It is not the time to intercede for sister Bertha's ingrown toenail.!" (pg 256, "Purpose Driven Church") This was a horrible piece of advice, especially for the sick in our church. I remember one woman stricken with breast cancer, had to formally request that our pastor pray for her. He WOULD NOT do so during service- only during a private session with the elders. Imagine the entire congregation praying for this woman and placing her on their individual prayer lists.
The word SIN was replaced with "mistake". No message talking about Gods anger towards man and the eternal punishment without Christ was preached. "Vacation Bible School" was replaced in title by "Summer Camp" so as not to offend unbelievers with the word "Bible". Overall a cavalier attitude displayed during seeker worship to make people feel "comfortable" as instructed by Warren. I know this was our pastors decision- but do you see the kind of influence Warren is having through his awful advice????? The downgrade is underway.
The article above is just another example of Warrens awful incomplete gospel message. Why would Warren present an incomplete gospel? Or for that matter, why would Warren speak to a gathering of Jews about the Purpose Driven methodology and NOT take the opportunity to present Christ? Why would Warren invite politicians and social activists on church property who do not support the Bible and the mandates of God that he represents? To look good in front of the World for the sake of a social gospel??
I dont think lightening up is the answer Mr Abanes. The answer is the truth of the gospel - the ENTIRE gospel. Not feel good messages with half scripture quotes. A gospel that includes the fall, sin, repentance, justification, salvation, heaven, hell, etc... ALL OF IT for the churched and unchurched. Church isnt about feeling comfortable with the message presented, its about hearing the truth.
I dont need to say anymore. The info about the false gospel that Mr Warren preaches is out there to read in the blogosphere. If one reads Mr Warrens books and compares what he says to the Bible, your eyes will be opened-God willing. I lived through this methodology being force fed through our church by our pastor and rejected it through the power of the Holy Spirit and am thankful to God for it.
I am thankful for articles like this for it further exposes Mr Warren for what he is by using his own words and his own horrible analogies.

Richard Abanes

CHUCK: So perhaps a seed has been planted that will need some careful watering from a another source with the hope that God will bring about the harvest.
ME: Exactly. A bit of the picture emerges.


CHUCK: And I notice it only took 24 minutes from James' warning, to Richard's scolding.
ME: lol. Well, what can I say, I have too much time on my hands. However, it is odd that when I use the same appoach and arguing style with mormons, or atheists, I get appaluded by Christians. But when I call fellow belivers to task and correct them, it is called 'scolding." Odd.


MARY: [misc. arguments]
ME: I suggest you carefully read thes posts I have made, including my much lengthier discussion of teh Christmas services at my blog, which is here - http://richardabanes.blogspot.com/

peace all around,

R. Abanes

James

Wow! Richard's ears must have been ringing. Maybe he has Spiderman senses. It took him only 24 minutes from the time I warned Chris about him for him to show up here and spout off his lame defenses and justifications of Warrens bad doctrine.

Maybe I am a prophet! :-D

Chris, I think this article and your defense of it is right on the money and your commitment to sound doctrine and the Biblical Gospel is an example to us all.

You are also in good company! Kim Riddlebarger also has serious misgivings about Warren's Christmas sermon and even went so far as to say that he didn't hear the Biblical gospel preached during the sermon at all.

Richard, you have no credibility here. You are defending the indefensible. It is time for you to deal with Rick Warren's bible mangling. That is something that is mysteriously missing in your defense of Rick Warren both online and in your book.

Chris Rosebrough

Richard,

You said: “That is a totally separate issue from the "mulligan" analogy, and whether or not Warren is a heretic, and whether or not he is preaching a false gospel. That particular topic (scripture use) would have to include a wide survey and discussion of:

1) other pastors/preachers; 

2) human inadequacy; 

3) the mperfection [sic] of all of us (including Warren); and 

4) an in-depth excising of literlaly [sic] hundreds of passages and the latitude for interpretation of such verses based on one's denomination, philosophy of evangelism, and a host of other issues.

Me: You are out of your depth here. By this comment you show that you don’t know the first thing about Biblical Hermeneutics. To know what the scriptures say and teach begins with grammar and the original languages (that is why using a good translation is a necessary practice for proper Biblical interpretation.)

Biblical hermeneutics can be boiled down to the words of that “great theologian” Bill Clinton who once said, “It all depends on what Is, Is”

It doesn’t matter a hill of beens what other pastors say, or how inadequate or imperfect human beings are. What matters is WHAT THE TEXT SAYS.

Your approach turns the Bible into a wax nose that can be twisted and shaped into anything you want it to say. Sorry but hermeneutics doesn’t work that way. Your ideas sound EXACTLY like how the cults defend their scripture twisting and bizarre doctrines.

Here is another short podcast that gives a great introduction to Warren’s misuse of scripture.

http://cicministry.org/audio/radio/20061030_cic_radio.mp3

Please take the time to listen to this.

Luke

I just don't understand why people feel compelled to try to defend Rick Warren. I have learned that PDL has been given to each convict in S.C. State Prisons. Wow, I hope that they don't use up their mulligan on me or my family?

Richard Abanes

James: Warren has an attack dog name Richard Abanes who is out trolling the internet looking for anyone who says anything negative about Rick Warren.
ME: Actually, Rick has no idea what I do. I am not his anyhing. I post on all kinds of blogs, discussing everything from Mormonism, to Mitt Romney, to Harry Potter, to occultism, to cults in general, to defending the faith, to a variety of issues I have wriiten on in my books. But your unfounded assertion is in line with how rumors start. This particular one, in fact, has been repeated again and again. So often that I have had to deal with it on my rumors page under "RICK WARREN" (see http://abanes.com/rumorcontrol.html).


CHRIS: [generalized comments]
ME: Again, proof you are not listening. And unfortunate that you could not even fathom how those enumerated points might relate to the topic. I suggest you perhaps attend a few more Mars Hill meetings w/ Gretchen, if she is still holding those (I hope she is).

CHRIS: You are out of your depth here. By this comment you show that you don’t know the first thing about Biblical Hermeneutics.
ME: Tell that to my publishers. Tell that to Norman Geisler. Tell that to H. Wayne House. Tell that to Gretchen. Tell that to . . . oh, never mind. Oh, my brother, what can I say?


CHRIS: Your approach turns the Bible into a wax nose that can be twisted and shaped into anything you want it to say.
ME: Strawman. I never said that.


CHRIS: Your ideas sound EXACTLY like how the cults defend their scripture twisting and bizarre doctrines.
ME: Ah, well, and now you're just trying to insult me, my ministry, my mind, my heart for God, etc., etc., etc. I wish you all the best. You need to study more about cults. I suggest a few of my books.

R. Abanes

Art

Let me summarize Mr. Abanes' last argument for everyone.

I am the great Richard Abanes, Rick Warren doesn't twist God's word because I am so great and mighty that I know important people and have written books. You Chris Rosebrough know nothing about hermaneutics because I am the great and powerful Richard Abanes.

Steve Newell

Richard,

I have enjoyed your interviews on Issues Etc in regards to Mormonism and your book on the same.

I believe that there is a basic difference that separates you from the criticism that both Chris and Todd Wilken have on Rich Warren. Both Chris and Todd approach this issue from a Reformation theological position. Pastor Warren is not part of Reformation theology or Reformed but more Armenian theology. There in lies the rub. The Armenian places the focus on man's ability to make a decision for Christ while Reformation focus is on Christ since the Reformation position is that man is dead and cannot make do anything about their condition.

If you have an issue with Chris, then do you also have an issue with Lutheran theology? There are many Lutheran theologians and pastors who have taken a similar position on Rich Warren's theology.

Chris Rosebrough

Richard,

I think the solution here is for the two of us to have a public debate on whether or not Rick Warren twists God's Word.

I would be happy to ask Gretchen to moderate the debate.

You in?

Karen B

I don't need a "do-over." Bumbling, sinful idiot that I am, I will just mess things up again. What I need is complete forgiveness, and righteousness before a holy God. I'm glad Jesus doesn't just give me a "do-over" by whatever name, but instead saves me completely from my sin.

Chris Rosebrough

Richard,

Tell me if this quote sounds familiar.

"Ignorance could be the outcome of reading an organizations materials rather than independently studying God’s Word. It could also be the consequence of being poorly schooled in biblical truth. Such ignorance opens the door to confusion. This is of course why the Christian should be educated not only in biblical knowledge but also in systematic theology (the systematic study of God and related concepts), apologetics (the branch of theology dealing with the defense of the faith, hermeneutics (the art of interpretation) and logic (correct thinking or reasoning).

When we fail to use proper hermeneutical techniques, the conclusions we draw from Bible study may actually be unscriptural. The Holy Spirit does help us understand God’s Word; however, this does not minimize the responsibility of the believer to “rightly divide the word of truth.” There are three main principles to be used in Biblical interpretation. The first is that Scripture should be used to Scripture: clear Scripture helps us to interpret the unclear Scripture. Second we need to examine the context of a given passage, for this is key to understanding the meaning the author intended. The third principle is that that Scripture should be understood in a plain sense, giving due consideration to grammatical structure, figures of speech, literary genre and cultural-historical background. People may well be vulnerable to unorthodox teachings because thy have never learned about hermeneutics.

Another aspect of dangerous ignorance is that many people are comfortable where they are - or have been led to believe that questioning their group’s teachings is wrong.

Yet we must not explain away all adherence to unorthodox teaching as based on ignorance. For it is possible to see the truth but respond with willful denial and disobedience. The truth seeker will search the Scriptures daily, with much prayer for the help of the Holy Spirit.

This quote ought to sound familiar to you. It is from a book that you co-authored called "Doctrine Twisting: How Core Biblical Truths Are Distorted"

Since you believe that Rick Warren is not guilty of twisting God's Word and think I am on a witch hunt please show us from the hermeneutical principles laid out in your book how Rick Warren correctly interpreted God's Word in Day One of the PDL and in this Year's Christmas Sermon.

Richard Abanes

ART: I am the great Richard Abanes, Rick Warren doesn't twist God's word because I am so great and mighty that I know important people and have written books. You Chris Rosebrough know nothing about hermaneutics because I am the great and powerful Richard Abanes.
RA: Why so hostile? I never said I was great. In fact, let me make it clear, "I am not great." But when someone declares that I know nothing about biblical hermeneutics, or that I am hardly any different than a cultist - well, then, it's time for me to simply state, "No, you're wrong, and here are my credentials and references." Some of you seem so terrifically angry that I am a bit taken aback by it all.


STEVE: If you have an issue with Chris, then do you also have an issue with Lutheran theology?
RA: I have no problem with Lutheran theology. Luther was awesome - very, very insightful. I have no problem with Calvinism. Calvin was awesome -- very, very astute. I also have no problem with Baptists or Pentecostals. We all love Christ, and believe in Him crucified for our sins, so that by grace alone through faith alone we who come to him are saved.

Long ago, A.W. Tozer said, ""Christianity is rarely found pure . . . The truth is so vast and mighty that no one is capable of taking it all in. . . It requires the whole company of ransomed souls properly to reflect the whole body of revealed truth." A.B. Simpson noted, "No single doctrinal principle is important enough to displace the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as the one name that alone should dominate His Church."

These two quote very well express my position when it comes to division and unity in the body of Christ over doctrinal principles, denominational distinctives, and approaches to evangelism. I think Tozer and Simpson have said it clear enough. We should not be dividing over non-essentials of the faith. I recommend the statement from CRI on essentials of the faithm

http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0041a.html
http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0071a.html

and the excellent book "Heresy & Orthodoxy" by my friend, Rob Bowman,

http://www.amazon.com/Orthodoxy-Heresy-Biblical-Doctrinal-Discernment/dp/0801010241/ref=cm_lmf_tit_6


CHRIS: I think the solution here is for the two of us to have a public debate on whether or not Rick Warren twists God's Word.
RA: Why? So you can just repeat what you've already said to me a dozen times, or so I can repeat myself to you? So that your side can say, "Amen, Amen, he's a heretic," or so my side can say, "Yes, Yes, see, that's the truth"?

Uhm . . . no thank you. I'd rather use that time posting to a Mormon message board about Joseph Smith, or going to a college study and counseling a twenty-something about how he/she needs Christ, or tbh, playing a video game or watching a movie with my wife.

Public debates are bad enough, let alone a public debate about an issue like this, when more than enough information has been exchanged to bring clarity. Besides, you can't even see how the points I've enumerated in previous posts might even apply to the issue you want to debate. We'd be speaking on two entirely different levels of understanding. That equals no communication at all. Sorry to say.

R. Abanes

Richard Abanes

CHRIS: Tell me if this quote sounds familiar.
RA: In reality, this isn't my book. I was originally supposed to do it with Wayne House, which is why my name appears as an author. However, by the time it actually got written and published, I had since moved on to other projects, and Gordon Carle took my place (note that my name is NOT on the cover). So, ask one of them to explain the passage. Nice try, though. :-)

I took the material I had contributed to the volume, and used it to write, "Defending the Faith: A Beginner's Guide to Cults and New Religions." If you want, feel free to ask H.Wayne House what he thinks of me, my abilities, my heart, my faith, and my committment to God, scripture, and the Gospel.


R. Abanes

Richard Abanes

OH............BTW, Chris, I found the explanation at the top of your website to be most interesting:

"Dedicated to the proclamation and defense of the most extreme religious claim of all time; that Jesus of Nazareth IS the ONE TRUE God in human flesh, He died for the sins of the world, rose victorious from the grave and is coming again to judge both the living and the dead."

- that Jesus of Nazareth IS the ONE TRUE God in human flesh
CHECK, Warren/Saddleback teaches it

- He died for the sins of the world
CHECK, Warren/Saddleback teaches it

- rose victorious from the grave
CHECK, Warren/Saddleback teaches it

- and is coming again to judge both the living and the dead.
CHECK, Warren/Saddleback teaches it

Hmm, looks like both you and Warren are heretics since you pretty much teach the same thing on these very important doctrinal issues.

R. Abanes

James

Mr. Abanes said>>more than enough information has been exchanged to bring clarity.<<

I couldn't agree more. It is more extremely clear from what Chris has posted here that Rick Warren is a scripture mangler and he teaches false doctrine.

From the information that Chris has posted, including information from your own book it very clear that Rick Warren does not use proper hermaneutics when he quotes scripture to support his ideas in either the PDL or his sermons. The clarity about this fact is overwhelming.

Chris Rosebrough

Richard,

You may want to let Amazon know that you're not an author on that book.

So let me ask you, do you agree with Wayne House's synopsis of Hermeneutics and the principles that he laid out for Biblical interpretation?

Chris Rosebrough

Richard,

This discussion is not about Saddleback's posted doctrinal statement. This discussion is about Rick Warren's Bible Twisting and False Teaching.

Here's how I would summarize our positions thus far.

Me: I stand by the original statements made in this post and claim that Rick Warren's mulligan metaphor is doctrinally incorrect and conveys a gospel of works.

You: You claim that the mulligan metaphor, although problematic, is nothing more than a simple way to explain the gospel to the un-churched.

Neither of us is convinced by the other's arguments.

Me: Rick Warren is a scripture twister. Warren breaks ALL of the basic rules of hermeneutics. He rips verses from context, quotes them from bad paraphrases and by ripping them out of context and misquoting them Warren is guilty of teaching false doctrine by inserting his ideas and teachings into God's word. I even provided you with a link to a program that clearly deals with this issue (no comment from you about this program has shown up in this discussion)

You: You've argued against the basic principles of hermeneutics in an effort to defend Warren against the charge of Twisting the Bible.

I claim that your efforts show that you don't know the basics of hermeneutics. To clear this subject up I mistakenly quoted from a book that Amazon lists you as the author of, but is actually written by a friend of yours named Wayne House.

I agree with the basic hermeneutical principles that Wayne lists in his book.

Anyone with a basic under standing of hermeneutics and a good translation of the Bible is more than capable of concluding that Warren is a scripture twister.

Richard Abanes

CHRIS: I claim that your efforts show that you don't know the basics of hermeneutics. . . . Anyone with a basic under standing of hermeneutics and a good translation of the Bible is more than capable of concluding that Warren is a scripture twister.

ME: As Emperor Joseph II in Amadeus so often declared, "Well, there it is."

I wish you the best of everything always,

R. Abanes

Richard Abanes

One last thing, btw, since you seem to respect Gretchen so much, I would imagine that you also respected her late husband, Bob Passantino. Here's what he said about 2 of my books that he reviewed for Answers In Action
http://www.answers.org.

DEFENDING THE FAITH
is a good book to read cover-to-cover or chapter-by-chapter. Most books on the cults examine the cults one by one, repeating essential biblical doctrine in each chapter in response to the doctrinal teachings of the specific cult in that chapter. Abanes, however, organizes his cult evaluations within a framework of essential doctrines, in each chapter presenting an orthodox summary of a particular point of doctrine, and then contrasting that to what various cults and new religions believe on the same subject. The unique appeal of this approach is that the careful reader will learn essential Christian doctrine as the foundation for evaluating the differing claims of the cults. The focus is on truth rather than on error. As Dr. Walter Martin used to say, the best way to recognize the counterfeit is to be thoroughly familiar with the genuine. Defending the Faith is a compelling example of this important principle.

CULTS, NEW RELIIOUS MOVEMENTS, AND YOUR FAMILY
is a good complement to Defending the Faith. Most Christian books on the cults deal first with the two most well-known in this country, the Church of Jesus Christ - Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (the Jehovah's Witnesses), and then cover other smaller, less well known, or newer cults. Abanes examines those two cults last in this book, perhaps assuming that many Christians already know something about those cults but not much about the smaller, newer, and less well-known cults. Since his treatment of these two cults is fairly comparable to other good Christian resources, the unique value of this book is its careful examination of the "minor" cults. This is one of the few Christian cult books available today that covers Scientology, Christian Identity Movement, the Nation of Islam (the Black Muslims), and The Family (formerly known as the Children of God). Other chapters are on the more familiar New Age movement, general occultism, satanism, and the Unification Church (the Moonies).

Chris, yeah, right, I am out of my "depth," and I "don’t know the first thing about Biblical Hermeneutics," and I "don't know the basics of hermeneutics." uh huh. :-)

Kathy

It appears that this Blog discussion has been hijacked by a Rick Warren adherent and his lengthy comments.
There are those of us in the Body of Christ who have evaluated this entire subject, and have come to a conclusion.
Rick Warren is old, very old as a subject. We have moved on in the Lord's work.
Stuff like the above attempt to eliminate opposition to Warren's activities, only reminds one of the activities the cults use to control peoples' minds.

Richard Abanes

KATHY: It appears that this Blog discussion has been hijacked by a Rick Warren adherent and his lengthy comments.
RA: I was just responding to a blog. I'm a writer. I love to write.


KATHY: There are those of us in the Body of Christ who have evaluated this entire subject, and have come to a conclusion.
Rick Warren is old, very old as a subject. We have moved on in the Lord's work.
RA: I didn't start this blog. If Rick Warren is old news, why is Chris bringing him up again.


KATHY: Stuff like the above attempt to eliminate opposition to Warren's activities, only reminds one of the activities the cults use to control peoples' minds.
RA: Then you need to study cults more. I'm not trying to stop opposition, I am trying to explain my opinion on a subject, based on my area of study and respected work: i.e., apologetics, discernment, counter-cult, and world religions.

Oh, and I love blogs.

Richard Abanes

Kathy

Richard:
I have personal experience with cult activity, having been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ out of one.
And there is indeed activity to control what people do, and also actions taken to prevent successful opposition to what they intend to do.
I'll give you a few examples : legal actions threatened against those who decide to leave the cult (because you will "damage" their influence or business activities); extracting loyalty promises from the parishioners, then pressuring for financial "donations" (or labor in their pet projects); even following people to and from the restroom in order to prevent their leaving the pressure event.
You can include continued phone calls and mailings, even when a person requests not to receive any more.
Even one's "friends" who have not left yet will help by providing info on you, and attempting to get you back into the movement.
I personally have read and heard of too many church members that were told not to come to church any more, and were arrested when they continued to come. My personal opinion is that this is a fascist handling of the "Lord's Heritage" (KJV), which is a violation of principles laid out in the New Testament by The Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul. So are "contracts", "covenants" and "Pastor Loyalty Agreements".
So those of us who have escaped domination by the PD crowd don't intend to let our personal Faith life or Church activities be contaminated by violations of Almighty God's Holy Scriptures.
This will end right here for me.
My son tells me that what you are doing above is called "Flaming"
(which is spam)in the online game that he plays. {:'

Steve Newell

Richard:

One can admire Luther and still reject Reformation Theology. There are many Baptist who like Luther, but disagree with Lutheran theology. There are import differences in the theology that Rick Warren teaches and Reformation theology. Many of these differences cannot be reconciled. Either Rich Warren's Purpose Driven theology is correct or the Reformation Theology is correct on many aspects. I see no Gospel in the Purpose Driven theology, only Law. Purpose Driven is a theology system, just as Reformation or Reformed theologies have a system to them.

Chris Rosebrough

Richard,

Bob Passantino was a dear friend and a guiding force in my own studies. I miss him terribly.

His endorsement of your books does not prove that Rick Warren properly handles the scriptures. Nor does it prove that your understanding of hermeneutics, especially as it pertains to Rick Warren use of scripture is worth more than a slug nickel.

Seriously Richard, since you are such an expert in hermeneutics please share some of your expertise on the subject with us. Show us how Rick Warren's use of scripture in Day One of the PDL is in accord with sound hermeneutical principles and in agreement with the Biblical texts in their original languages.

I've already given you resources that show that Rick Warren twists the scriptures. Did you listen to DeWaay's podcast?

Seriously if you're going to linger here then flex your hermeneutical muscles for us rather than tell us how many brownie points you've gotten from other apologists.

Richard Abanes

Kathy: I have personal experience with cult activity, having been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ out of one.
RA: I am glad that you were freed by God's grace and mercy. But none of the things you go on to describe take place at Saddleback. Nor is there any wish on my part to control you or anyone else, or silence anyone. This is a blog - a forum for discussion, interaction, and debate.


KATHY: My son tells me that what you are doing above is called "Flaming"
ME: Then you didn't explain what is going on to your son. Flaming is "are posts which are designed to personally berate or insult another [i.e., personal attacks]." That is from the TERMS OF SERVICE agreement from the online videogame I play. My posts here have not been flames, nor spamming, which is defined as, "repetitive posting of the same text again and again or nonsensical posts that have no substance and are often designed to annoy other forum users."


STEVE: One can admire Luther and still reject Reformation Theology. There are many Baptist who like Luther, but disagree with Lutheran theology. There are import differences in the theology that Rick Warren teaches and Reformation theology. Many of these differences cannot be reconciled.
ME: True, true, true, and true. And this is why we have denominations, which I understand, and accept as part of this world in which we live. And yet Jesus has called us to unity. Clearly, you are not saying that non-Reformed believers are not Christian. And I agree with that. You are Reformed, and Southern Baptists (including Warren) are Southern Baptists.


STEVE: I see no Gospel in the Purpose Driven theology, only Law.
ME: This is so fascinating for me to hear. Because others have criticized Warren for the very opposite -- i.e., for easy-believism, or rather, not respecting God's moral laws, or calls to righteousness at all! Interesting. Warren's soteriology is down the line Southern Baptist: Saved by grace alone through faith alone. We are not saved by the law -- indeed, we cannot be saved by the law. Biblically, any works of righteousness completed by us are mere outward expressions/signs of our internal transformation (see James). Oh, and Purpose Driven is NOT a theological system. It is a re-stating of Southern Baptist theology in an easily memorable 5-step outline. It's a tool. That's all (see pp. 61-66 in my book on Warren).

Richard Abanes

Ken Silva

RICHARD: "I'd rather use that time posting to a Mormon message board about Joseph Smith, or going to a college study and counseling a twenty-something about how he/she needs Christ, or tbh, playing a video game or watching a movie with my wife."

Right. Which, of course, Chris explains why he spends so much time posting here. And why Richard, as usual, ignores the actual substance of your arguments and then does exactly what he has accused you of doing - repeating the same old things over and over.

This is why, it would appear to me, that Richard won't deal with someone as sharp as Bob DeWaay and why he seems afraid to meet you in a debate setting where there would be no choice but to focus on the actual issues. People would be able to see right through his smoke and mirrors red herrings. But at least you offered him the chance.

Richard Abanes

Chris, Chris, Chris --

> Seriously if you're going to linger here then flex your hermeneutical muscles for us rather than tell us how many brownie points you've gotten from other apologists.

Oh dear, me. I am flexing nothing. Sorry you would think so.

And as for me telling you how many "brownie points" I have, it was you who, by use of various comments, assaulted: 1) my apologetic reputation, 2) ability to rightly divide God's word, 3) theological objectivity, and 4) intellectual prowess and experience in handling apologetic issues. So, as I explained above (which you apparently missed), "when someone declares that I know nothing about biblical hermeneutics, or that I am hardly any different than a cultist - well, then, it's time for me to simply state, "No, you're wrong, and here are my credentials and references."

But this shows me how you view my thoughts, my perceptions, my analysis of issues, my objectivity, and my reputation -- and how closely you are listening to me. So, I shall not "linger" any longer.

And, btw, I spent long hours with Bob Passantino, often well into the night, discussing hermeneutics, apologetics, and doctrine. I grew to love him and trust him and admire him as few others in this world. We were friends and co-apologists for many years. He NEVER responded/acted how you are acting, nor did I ever hear him speak to anyone in the way you have spoken. You may have known the man's mind and learned a great deal -- but I wish he would have been around long enough for you to have been able to know his heart and learn from that as well. I wish he were here today. Perhaps you would have listened to him. You're not even seeing the issues all around you that go far beyond Warren and your disagreements with him.

This is my final post here. I bid you all peace, best wishes, and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

In Christ,

R. Abanes

Mary

Richard, if your dodging of the issues and telling us how many other scholars think your a smart guy is an example of your heart then I don't want no part of what you are selling. You seem to me to be a very arrogant man. I wouldn't buy one of your books even it was free.

Karen B

Richard, I know you said you wouldn't post anymore, but knowing human curiosity if not you personally, just in case you come back for a look - please answer Chris's question, about RW's "use of scripture in Day One of the PDL is in accord with sound hermeneutical principles and in agreement with the Biblical texts in their original languages."

The question was posed here on this forum, if it is an easy thing to answer then it won't take too long for you to do. I am willing to read what you say (or try to before my computer breaks down again) as I have not seen you answer this question before (and have not the time to try to google-find your every post on the internet) as I don't read the blogs you all are mentioning.

thanks

Chris Rosebrough

Richard,

Sorry to see you go.

Regarding your comments about Bob and me not being like him. I consider your comments to not only be way off the mark but yet another attempt by you to change the subject and not deal with Rick Warren's scripture twisting. I will take your silence on this issue as a tacit admission of guilt regarding Warren's misuse of the scripture.

As for your so-called hermeneutical expertise, I stand by what I've said. When you attempted to obfuscate the fundamental principles of hermeneutics by saying that when discussing Warren's Bible twisting we'd have to include a discussion of things that have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with hermeneutics it became all too clear that you were not interested in the truth but only interested in blindly and cultishly defending Rick Warren and making excuses for his deceptive practices. I've re-posted your list of "hermeneutical" principles below.

1) other pastors/preachers; 
 2) human inadequacy; 
 3) the mperfection [sic] of all of us (including Warren); and 
 4) an in-depth excising of literlaly [sic] hundreds of passages and the latitude for interpretation of such verses based on one's denomination, philosophy of evangelism, and a host of other issues.

This list of 'hermeneutical principles' looks NOTHING like the list your friend Wayne House lays out in his book. Wayne's list correctly guides people to rightly divide the word of truth. Your list is a smoke screen laid by you in order to blur the real issue and make excuses for Rick Warren's inexcusable behavior.

I also want you to know Richard that Bob Passantino is one of the people whom I credit for steering me into Lutheranism and away from the Southern Baptist Convention. If he were alive today and the three of us were to sit down and work our way through day one of the PDL, Bob would side with me regarding the fact that Warren is twisting, mis-using and misapplying God's Word.

If you don't like the tone I've taken with you then consider this. Greater minds than me have attempted to reason with you regarding Rick Warren, his false doctrines and his scripture twisting and you refuse to be reasoned with. I've seen you malign and impugn those who would dare take the time to Biblically critique Rick Warren. Yet your apologetic arguments in Warren's defense regarding his false doctrines and scripture twisting have not been scholarly nor Biblical.

Here is the bottom line.

Until you can show me from scripture that Jesus Christ died to give us a 'do-over' then I stand by my assesment of Warren's anology and metaphor...

AND MORE IMPORTANTLY...

Unless you take the time to lay out a Biblical and Scholarly defense of Rick Warren's use of scripture in the PDL and can definitively demonstrate that his use of scripture is in accord with sound hermeneutical principles and correctly conveys the actual meanings intended by the Biblical authors from the original Biblical languages...

...then my assessment of you is that you are no longer a Christian Apologist but instead you've become a very dangerous member of a cult and have become an enemy of Christ and His church. I base this assesment on these two Biblical facts ..

1) Scripture commands all teachers in the church to teach what is in accord with sound doctrine (Titus 1:9, 2:1)

2) all teachers in the church are to 'rightly divide the word of truth' (2 Tim 2:15)

Since, Rick Warren twists God's word and teaches false doctrine and you blindly defend him in an unscholarly and unbiblical manner, then for the sake of the Body of Christ, I must treat you as a wolf in sheep's clothing and an enemy of the cross.

Chris Rosebrough

For those of you who have followed the 'dialog' between Richard and myself and would like to see his non-response, you can do so by going to his blog

http://richardabanes.wordpress.com/2008/01/02/rick-warren-and-the-mulligan-wars-pt-2

You will notice 2 very important things.

1) He only gives half of the story and even misquotes me.

2) He is still avoiding the Rick Warren scripture twisting issue and has not addressed it.

Please pray for Richard Abanes.

kim

Mr. Abanes,

I am a member of the Southern Baptist denomination. I am just a layperson, and since I'm not a theologian, I'm sure you and others here could run rings around me in this area. I do know one thing though...Rick Warren, as unintentional as you and others seem to think it is, is still confusing at the least, and decieving at the most, many folks out here.

I know that he has been informed of the statements, affiliations, teachings, etc. that has been causing so much concern for many, and I have yet to see an explanation from him that doesn't just add to the confusion or changes the subject. I know that he says the right Biblical words, and his website says all the right things. Please help myself and others understand these, in my opinion, very important contradictions then:

1. Telling Jewish synogogues how to grow in numbers and not even mention Jesus Christ. Why would a Christian pastor want a Jewish synogogue to get more people in their place that don't believe in Jesus? It broke my heart to read a jewish journalist's account of this event, and be so excited that Mr. Warren didn't even mention Jesus once, and to think that was so nice and considerate. I know something about this, because a similar thing happened in my area. A gathering of Jews and Christians took place, only the Christians could not speak of Jesus and had to agree to this ahead of time. This was put on by a southern baptist church. It was explained to me that it was so we could make friends and maybe be a witness later. I highly disagree. We do not deny Jesus even for a minute, just so folks will like us later.

2. Working with and promoting folks who clearly deny the very things Mr. Warren says he believes. Folks like Brian Mclaren who says the atonement is false advertising for God. Leonard Sweet, who really is considered a new age teacher, even to pastors I've spoken with. Easum and Bandy, and their book Growing Spiritual Redwoods, who say so many outrageous things, one being that folks who believe that Christ guarantee's personal security are human neurotics. He also gives credibiliy to folks like Bernard Shaw and Bernie Siegal by quoting them favorably in books and articles. He talks about them like they are believing in the God of the Bible, and they clearly are not if you read any of their writings.

(just a side note: you may not think it's a big deal to quote folks now and then to make a point. If he's quoting them to advance the Gospel, and the quote is put out there as if these folks are talking about the one and only God, but they are not, don't you find that deceptive? Also, many pastors like and trust Mr. Warren and look to him as someone trustworthy to get material from. They will think the folks he quotes are trustworthy and that reading their material is not a problem because Mr. Warren is a Christian, surely he wouldn't point me in the direction of a new age teacher. I know this because it happened to my pastor. Then they find out that these folks quoted by popular folks like Mr. Warren aren't who they thought they were.)

3. Participating in the National Pastor's Conference where not only were there speakers there, who again, deny core beliefs, but activities like a labyrinth, an ennanegram, yoga, etc. If he had spoken out against these things and the wrong beliefs, that would have been great, but he didn't.

I don't have time or room to put everything here that concerns me, so this is just a small sample. At the very least, Mr. Warren is irresponsible, and it is not helpful to respond back to me, with where's the grace, or no one is perfect, or we all make mistakes and disagree with each other. He is a pastor. Even though he is not perfect, and we all get that, there is still some responsibility that comes with this position, just like I have a responsibility that comes along with being a Christian. He can't just push all these concerns aside, and make us out to be crazy and divisive because we don't understand what he's doing.

I believe there is no reason for a Christian pastor to promote, endorse, and in some cases work with people who slander God's Word, deny core doctrines, and decieve others by putting out materials that surface wise sound Christian, but when you research you find out it's a different god. That to me is confusing and cruel. I know of folks who have been in false belief systems, and then were rescued and God saved them. What do you tell them when so much material out there labeled Christian mimics many items they remember from their false religion? We've got to be able to tell the difference, and if I have to go digging, researching, etc. because your books and materials send me in all sorts of directions, something is wrong. Thank you all for your time.

Luke

From all of this blogging. What I gather, being a Christian for 44 of my 52 years..All I can gather is that Rick Warren is a Politically Correct American Christian..The woods are full of them.
They are extremely hard to discuss the REAL love of Jesus Christ with. They all think we are judging them and are hateful to even suggest that there is only ONE way to heaven. Very frustrating..but mr Abanes..remember...the BIBLE not ME says that the road to heaven is narrow. That, as a Christian tells me that God is a God of Love...but he is also full of Wrath! That is the simple message Jesus came to tell us...to love and protect us from Eternal Damnation..I love it when the post modernists say that Jesus didn't come into the world to condemn it..Like the world is ok..and Jesus must have thought so if he didnt need to condemn it..That is a twist ..The world (meaning all peoples) is already condemned..he came to save us ..And we are wasting our time judging other Christians..because my bible says we are already prejudged! Why is this sooo hard for Mr. Abanes and others like Rick Warren to Defend and say..Jesus said it over and over again..he definitely wasnt politically correct and only had a couple people attend his funeral!
Oh, people! God is full of love..but he is a jealous and just God!
There is only ONE Gospel..and ONE plan of salvation...to try to read into it with a cultural twist is blasphemy. People since Jesus was crucified..have tried to apply this message to their culture instead of applying the culture to the message..maybe ...because so many people want to have it "their way"..they will not make it into heaven..thus...the road is narrow. A shame. I wish I could make it better for all of you warm fuzzies...but If God doesnt send the people to hell who do not accept him as their ONLY Lord and Savior and live their lives in TOTAL commitment.(NOT PURPOSE..that is self!)unlike Rick Warren (whose politically correctness abdicates any respect I have for him as being someone I need to follow as a "Godly Man" ...then when he sends those who have sacrificed self and lived by the scriptures to heaven..what have the righteous gained by self sacrifice.?
You know Mr. Abanes..I guess I am just an old Christian..been one for a loooong looong time..lived through the 60's and 70's. Saw alot of this coming.People like Rick Warren in college 30 years ago..You are just like the people I try to convice as this Chris fellow is doing...You just can't have it YOUR way ..to gain access into heaven is doing it God's way..Heaven isn't Burger King! And unfortunately..we seem to live in a spoiled Burger King like culture.

Paula

OH yes we didn't miss it -- wouldn't have missed it for the world. For some reason I keep HOPING (not sure why!) I'll actually hear the gospel from this guy. But again, I was disappointed.

Even my two older kids (ages 14.5, & 12) can recognize his heresy now.

Paula

Richard Abanes' is one reason many don't have time to open their blogs up for comments.

Richard, we all know you're full of the Saddleback Koolaid and you really can't say anything that Rick Warren hasn't already publicly said in order to defend what Rick Warren is saying. Scripture says let your yes be yes and your no be no. You are to be the same in public as you are in private. Stealth Christianity is not real Christianity. So if Warren is telling you something different than he presents to the world, we'll rightly judge that as evil as well.

No one ever said he isn't a nice guy.

Ingrid

Chris,
Richard Abanes has been appointed internet defender of Rick Warren for years. When he got carried away a while back and decided to put together a ridiculous and childish parody of Slice of Laodicea he very suddenly disappeared off the map for a while. Apparently his adolescent behavior was too much for even Rick Warren. He's clearly back at it.

Robert Shields

Hi Chris and Richard,
My family has been attending Saddleback Church for 4 years. Having been raised Catholic, my wife Methodist, we have found a church home. Our lives have improved dramatically and we have seen a wonderful improvement in our family lives.

What is missing from the contentious dialogue are some simple facts:
1. Rick Warren reaches a lot of people.
2. Rick Warren is not perfect and has his own interpretation of scripture.
3. I have not seen an interpretation of scripture that is universally agreed on. (Catholic vs. Mormon vs. Methodist vs. Baptist, etc.).
4. What is truly sad is the wasted energy of both of you, judging each other beliefs and conclusions. How many folks looking for answers to their questions have seen this type of dialogue, and many others on the internet, and have been turned off spiritually?

Most of the people at Saddleback are fairly intelligent and understand that Rick loosely translates sometimes and we do not take his word for gospel. His specific instructions are to read the Bible for yourself. We are not Koolaid drinkers, and that is a very gross analology for a 'Christian' debate given what happened at Jonestown; it is also diminutive to the tens of thousands of people who attend Saddleback.

But my main comment is that both of you are wasting energy here. Move on, help someone who has no faith find the path to Jesus.

Best regards,
Robert Shields

just a mom

If these are Rick Warren's tactics, and those of us that have been booted out of churches know them well, I want to know if Mike Huckabee is a Rick Warren cloned pastor. Can we have some real facts
on this please?


http://california-christian-news.com/cms/index.php?option=comon _content&task=view&id=125&Itemid=1025

http://www.newswithviews.com/PaulProctor/proctor139.htm

http://kevinmccullough.townhall.com/blog/g/3fd7c5aa-0e05-4c88-984d-df0748f51f14

James

Robert,

I attended Saddleback for over two years and I couldn't disagree with you more.

You say that Rick Warren reaches a lot of people. The Mormons reach a lot of people so what. The issue is whether or not Rick Warren is reaching a lot of people with the true Biblical gospel. That's a bit tough to do if you don't even correctly teach what the Bible says. Bible preaching isn't like playing horseshoes and hand grenades where the only thing that matters is that you are close to the mark or in the general vicinity of the truth.

When warren twists God's Word, rips verses from context and quotes from bad paraphrases as a means of proof texting his own ideas and his own points then he has cross the line from exegesis to isogesis. He has stopped speaking God's truth and has begun speaking lies. The scriptures do NOT give any leeway for pastors and teachers in the church to do this.

This is a fact that my wife and I had to come to terms with. I challenge you to take out a good translation of the Bible and open your copy of the PDL. Everytime you come to a verse that Warren quotes, open to that passage then read 3 verses before and then 3 verses after what Warren quotes. Then ask if Warren has correctly conveyed what the Bible actually says.

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