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Comments

Susan R

We fail before we start, if we think the point of a theological argument is to win it, when it's always and only about identifying and correcting error, and building one another up in truth. It's for the neighbor.
Seems more like an episode of Crossfire or Hannity and Colmes, all this racing to get in the last word, instead of revealing the word of life, and that done for the sake of our neighbor.

Plankman

Chris, thanks for your thoughtful and reflective words. I appreciate the patience and maturity displayed in this post in the face of some harsh criticism. I'll be interested in the discussion that ensues.

I can't help but think, again, about some of the posts/comments on A Little Leaven in light of what you've written. Maybe this is what you mean when you say "I know I have been guilty of the very behavior I am decrying in this post..." or maybe not. Either way, can you comment on what you're thinking regarding some of the exhibits and vitriolic comments posted at A Little Leaven? Has this caused you to rethink that site at all (or at least the spirit in which it is presented)?

For me, some of the posts and comments there have pushed me towards a point of "irreconcilable contradiction." I have really struggled to understand how those claiming to know Christ can be as angry, vicious, cocky, and demeaning as they are. I can't imagine what it must look like to a visitor who does not know Christ and whose only representation of him are the posts on A Little Leaven.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts...

Richard Abanes

Thank you.

R. Abanes

John Draper

God bless you Chris. I look forward to your critique.

Peace,

John Draper

catransplant48

I am standing up and applauding you, Chris, for I, too, am guilty of exactly what you admit to. I've been given an incredible gift with words but I have been as guilty as anyone of hacking people to shreds with a biting "wit" that is all too often in reality nothing more than masked sarcasm. And God knows exactly what I'm thinking and what my motives are when I write, even if no one else "gets it". You've given all of us a lot to think about.

Bless you, Chris, and bless your desire for truth above all.

Becky

God bless you, Chris. This is your blog, afterall! I had been reading the comments with utter surprise, waiting to hear your reassuring response. Looking forward in great expectation to your report.

Eric

It strongly appears to me that Chris has officially converted from LCMS to Purpose Driven Southern Baptist. I hope that you find what you are looking for spiritually, Mr. Rosebrough. Good Luck and God Bless

Tom

Richard, in that you were quick to agree with Chris Rosebrough's thoughtful call to gentleness, I'll be looking forward to seeing an end to the vicious "satire" your have written about Ingrid Schlueter and others at CRN.info. We'll be watching to see how real your turnaround is and we rejoice at your new found emphasis no gentleness.

jeff

I am new to this blog, enjoying reading it... This may have been covered before if so, point me there and I will read it. Two questions on (RW):

1. I have looked at video on youtube that talks about us as Christians reconciling and finding a “common ground” with other religions. RW said something to the sort, “… I don’t care why you do good, as long as you do good…” The part that concerns me is, we (different religions) all have a different God, how do we reconcile that?

2. Second, To me the RW PEACE plan seems like a big “Social Plan”, that’s great but it doesn’t really take care of the larger problem of helping sinners stay out of hell. I don’t think Jesus fixed one “social problem” when he walked the earth. Should RW have the same goal & approach to the world as Jesus did?

Jinkies

Our Lord Jesus called those who were misleading a "brood of vipers," so I don't think attacks are unheard of in Christianity. Nevertheless, it certainly doesn't seem useful to resort to that, even in the case of somebody who is (1) perfectly well informed and (2) unrepentently preaches a false gospel.

My concern is that, in speaking sweetly of either Rick Warren or Joseph Stalin, you run the risk of giving implicit currency to his teachings.

catransplant48

Jeff:

The PEACE Plan doesn't replace the gospel. That's where most of the "theological arguments" against it derail. Tell me where the people of Louisiana and Mississippi (after Katrina) and the people of Indonesia (right after the tsunami) would have been without the church (Rick Warren's Saddleback Church included) reaching out and lending a hand to help? Do you seriously believe the gospel message was not extended to those disaster victims, as well as the offer of physical assistance? Yet having said that, do you think any church worker stopped - while the need to help people simply survive was so immediate - to ask other people who were pitching in to show them their "Christian credentials" before they would allow them to assist?

Can anyone post any solid proof that Rick Warren preaches what so many on this blog are quick to label a "false gospel"? I want specific examples of his teachings that prove that as fact. I'd love to see solid evidence instead of pontificating. Anyone can pontificate.

jeff

Cat…- I would say that RW preaches a "watered-down gospel", when you water it down, or subtract from the entire council of God it loses it’s offense & power. I would say that the danger is because it's soooo subtle. When a person mixes some truth in with untruth or compromises on truth that is a problem. To me it seems like RW wants to be “all things” to all people, like a politician, he doesn’t want to come down firm on ANY biblical doctrine, in fear of offending anybody. Wasn’t the Apostle Paul “unashamed of the gospel”? The gospel is intended to be an offense on the unconverted, and what RW does is remove the offense, thus changes the gospel message, so maybe it is a “false gospel” because the offense is removed???

Eric #2

Disclaimer:

The other Eric above doesnt speak for all us Erics.

Lords blessings Chris, your repentant heart is more of an example than 1000 street preachers crying out against thier brothers and sisters. May the Lord richely bless you as you seek His face on this.

catransplant48

Jeff, can you point out anything written here that goes against biblical doctrine?

ABOUT GOD
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Genesis 1:1,26,27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14

ABOUT MAN
Man is made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. He is the supreme object of God´s creation. Although man has tremendous potential for good, he is marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin". This attitude separates man from God.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1,2

ABOUT ETERNITY
Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are places of eternal existence.
John 3:16; John 2:25; John 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; 1 John 5:11-12; Matthew 25:31-46

ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven´s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords.
Matthew 1:22,23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13

ABOUT SALVATION
Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God´s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin´s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1

ABOUT ETERNAL SECURITY
Because God gives man eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives this security.
John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5

ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under His control daily.
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1

ABOUT THE BIBLE
The Bible is God´s word to all men. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5)

Jason

I don't condone personal attacks, belittling comments, etc. done in "defense" of truth. And your readers will have to examine their own hearts and writings to determine if the shoe fits. But I wanted to offer two thoughts.

First, I wanted to warn of the flip side of this coin. Personally, when I get in an emotionally charged argument, I'm far more likely to shade what I say to avoid offense. Even when doing so essentially robs what I say of clarity or even relevance. It is possible to say things in a way that *seems* to make the critique you want (or need) to make yet actually doesn't, at least to any fair-minded listener.

Another Scripture often invoked in these sorts of discussions is Eph 4:15 re: speaking the truth in love. Just as the overly offensive claim "truth" as their mandate, the overly accommodating claim "love." I would argue both are equally wrong, equally sinful, though they aren't seen that way in today's culture of tolerance.

Second, and more directly relevant, I want to provide a more empathetic perspective toward those who have come down so hard on Dr. Warren (and you in collateral damage) in the past week. Consider this:

1) Many people reading this blog and/or following the reports of Bob's and your meeting with Warren have gone through substantial person pain and heartache as a result of churches moving toward a PD model.

2) You and others have written much on the "transitioning" of a church to the PD model. Part of that process is to build consensus in the power brokers within the church before ever presenting the transitioning plan to the congregation. In the examples I personally have seen or experienced, this plays out in part with efforts to "defuse" those who ask questions or challenge the transition, at least until things have progressed to the point where PD is a fait accompli and the objector can be easily marginalized. Often, this is done by meeting to "discuss" concerns, but without any action to evaluate, let alone address, those concerns. Again, at least some of the people reading your blog have observed or been the target of such behavior.

3) More than any other passage, Matt 18 is invoked by those trying to undermine the validity of theological concerns (or the legitimacy of presenting them). This isn't unique to PD, but it definitely occurs there. And certainly, some reading your blog have had the Matt 18 sledgehammer swung at them.

Given the above, consider what's been posted the past week:

1) A note thanking Dr. Warren for the receptivity with which he heard what you and Bob had to say, *part of which* was a comment that while the meeting was recorded, the recording wouldn't be public.

2) A comment invoking Matt 18 in a way that I (at least) found unclear at best, even after you posted more about it.

3) Nothing else about what was said/discussed mentioned at all in the past week.

Now, I understand that you blogged a bunch of stuff from the conference, and that you said you'd be putting up a more structured critique as you were able. But be realistic. People who already are extra-sensitive to PD and PD transitioning methods involving secrecy and Mt 18 to marginalize dissent see you meet with Dr. Warren, say there's a tape but they can't hear it, and invoke Mt 18 in a pretty hot comment thread. I may not agree with what they did, but I have to say I can understand why they felt the way they did. Throw into the mix some PD apologists who were explicitly saying what people feared *you* were implying, and the comments turned into a feeding frenzy that reflected poorly on everyone. Yuck.

Paula

Chris. I think you might like this comment from Marl Keilar called "blessed are the peacemakers"

I'll transcribe a bit for you.

"Another case in point Jesus himself. Jesus walked into the temple of God in his day, and he said a true thing to the people who were very religious in his day. He said this: 'woe to you teachers of the law and pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers of the law and pharisees, you hypocrites, you travel over land and sea (cough cough PEACE plan) to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are!'

now if Jesus just wanted outside peace, he would have done what? "you pharisees you guys I love you. You're nice wolves. You're nice wolves.' That's what he would have did [sic]. But he didn't do that did he? No, you know he didn't. He didn't want just outside peace, he wanted inside peace too. He wanted real peace. Do you know what happened? He paid an enormous price."

"...They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots."

Was Jesus mean to those men, is that why they nailed him to the cross? Was he harsh and unloving? No you know that's not the case. The fact of the matter is Jesus is the ONLY one who truly loved those men. He loved them enough to tell them the truth. And because he did that, for their sake, he paid the ultimate price for telling the truth. They crucified him."

"You know what this seventh beatitude helps us to understand? It helps us to understand that the only people who really love people who are locked in sin are the people who are not so self centered that they're willing to tell them the truth. The people who have the courage and the self-abandon to say what Christ did when he confronted the pharisees. "

Paula

catransplant, that's all nice that there is an orthodox statement of faith. Many liberal churches still have those.

Paula

re the gospel

catransplant, what is the gospel, just for reference? We need to agree on the gospel (i.e. the definition of how a person can attain salvation and why they must) before we say whether or not the gospel is being replaced or added to by the PEACE plan.

catransplant48

Paula, SPECIFICALLY, where does one thing that I posted err from Scripture or point to "another gospel"?

ABOUT SALVATION
Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God´s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin´s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.

Please tell me where and/or how you find this statement to be in any way a "liberal" viewpoint of the gospel message or how it challenges the truth of the gospel: Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ's sacrifice for sin.

Paula

So when are you going to have a nice tea with president Kieschnick so you can come back and strike a conciliatory chord regarding what he's doing? Surely you and Bob have lots of theology in common with Kieschnick, even more so than with Warren.

Paula

You are missing the point entirely catransplant. If the church does not teach and preach those doctrines, it's just a piece of paper in a file cabinet or back of a hymnal somewhere. methodology betrays one's REAL theology. People always DO what they really believe. They can say anything they want however.

paula

your summary of the gospel there is very short on details.

catransplant48

Maybe the definition of the gospel I posted is simple because the gospel message is simple enough for even a young child to understand.

Becky

Surprised again, although I shouldn't be, at people's comments. It would be good of us to wait until we hear what Chris's actual opinions are instead of making assumptions. Let him say his piece first, please. It is certain to open eyes, and may those with ears hear.

Know that I am praying still, Chris. I don't think I'll post again - at least as long as the comments continue making premature accusations.

Bill

My main concern with the critics and detractors or Rick Warren is not so much that they have sinned for not being gentle and respectful. I mean if somebody is a false teacher or apostate and it's pointed out I don't think that it is a sin. With that said my concern is mainly that people don't give credit to Rick Warren where credit is due.

First of all I believe Rick Warren is a false teacher, and I'm saying so not only because of his writings (which are man centered instead of Christ centered or gospel centered) but also because I've been to a few seeker sensitive, purpose driven churches, and I felt the spirit of Christ just wasn't there. It wasn't in the preaching, it wasn't in the seekers that attended the church, and it goes on and on. A good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree produces bad fruit, that's just it.

Second, I believe Rick Warren needs to be acknowledged for the good he has done. irst and foremost the man is an organizational genius, he knows how to delegate and empower people, he involves many people in Ministry, and pioneered a decentralized leadership model that needs to be imitated. Peter Drucker was the greatest management thinker of the 20th century, and Warren learned from him. Second, Rick Warren made church for the people, took out all the pharisaic formality of wearing a suit and tie to church or dressing formally for church. Somehow I get the feeling that Jesus, Peter, John and all the other apostles were not big on dressing up (since they were very humble people) and would probably wear jeans to church if they were living today. The third and most important area where Rick Warren deserves praise is that the man is a peacemaker. Blessed are the peacemakers for they will inherit the kingdom of heaven said Jesus Christ in the beatitudes on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5). Rick Warren's respect for other religions and his trip to Syria that was much criticized, is really commendable. For Christ said we ought to love our enemies and bless those that persecute us. Rick Warren reaching out to other faiths and leaders of countries that are enemies of the United States is commendable. And you can do that without compromising your faith, acknowledging that there are differences in the faith, but we still ought to respect and love those that don't have the same faith that we have. This is a biblical command, love our enemies and those that persecute us. This is why it concerns me immensely when I see people like Ingrid Schlueter defending the war in Iraq, the use of force should be either avoided altogether or used in self defense situations alone. Pre-emptive attacks on countries (the Bush doctrine that the US had never embraced prior to Bush) is incompatible with the peacemaking biblical teachings of Jesus Christ.

Daniel Chew

I agree with Jason. This entire "fire-storm" comes about when two separate issues are twisted together and interpreted any number of ways by different people trying to second-guess and therefore talk past each other. Maybe we should all take a step back and settle the issue another time after the storm has died down.

Steve Newell

catransplant48,

I would like to point out just one area what you and I might disagree and that it is the nature of man. You wrote:

Man is made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. He is the supreme object of God´s creation. Although man has tremendous potential for good, he is marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin". This attitude separates man from God.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1,2

My concern on your statement is that it could make it appear that our issue is one of attitude that separates us from God and if we just get our attitude correct, then we can do good things for God.

I would say the even though we were crated in the image of God, we cannot be like God. Due to the sin of Adam, we are all now born spiritually dead to God and we are enemies of God. Sin affects not only you and I, but all of creation as well. We cannot do a single good thing deed since they are just filthy rages before God. Sin is more than just an attitude that separates us from God, but it effects our entire being. Every aspect of our natural being is sinful.

Every Sunday, Christians around the world confess that they are sinful in thought, word and deed, by things they done and things that they have left undone. They acknowledge that even is a state of grace, they are still sinful creatures fully desiring of God's present and eternal judgment. We must continue to acknowledge that sin still is a part of our existence and it will remain so until our death. We cannot stop sining nor can we stop being sinful. We live as both Saint and Sinner.

We must use the strong and harshest words to describe how sinful we truly are and how must we are separated from a Holy God. Sin also must be described in the same type of terms as well. Our sinful state is so bad that God has to give us the ability to believe by through the gift of faith.

As St. Paul wrote in Eph 2, we are all dead in our sins but made alive by God. Our salvation is God's doing and we play no part in the process. Even our ability to believe is a gift that comes as part of our salvation.

The more we understand how bad we really are, the more amazing is that Christ came to die for us and to reconcile us with God through his death. I wrote a pointing on this blog call "Born Dead" back in Nov. 2007 that explains our natural spiritual state.

We can have disagreements on theological issues while at the same time being respectful and gentle. Jesus was at times respectful and gentle with his critics and other times he was down right blunt and condescending.

Another Bill

Bill,

That was a confusing post. In the first part RW is a false teacher, which I get. No amount of courtesy or peaceable commentary will change that in the slightest unless PDL is rewritten to include the true gospel. Pages 57 & 58 do not constitute a peaceable solution with God whereby one gains entrance into the family/kingdom of God. Since we're all on the peace topic how about centering back on a peace that honors God which is humility to the truth of His word?

The second part is all fine and dandy if you want to honor a man in the business world, but when it is an effort that is destroying churches, fellowships and friendships I would contend no accolades are appropriate. Let me see if I can analogize it for you:

It is much like teaching a man to fish and walking off to congratulate yourself only to have a brother in Christ raise the point of all points which is; "So you saw fit to overcome his temporary need by teaching him to fish but couldn't care less about his eternal soul so you said nothing about the gospel of peace?"

I would ask RW and RW supporters one simple thing, as I ask JW and Mormons and Catholics alike: "What is the gospel?" If the don't understand the gospel essentials/basics, it is another gospel they are sharing. A good starter on this topic is "The Gospel According to Jesus" by John MacArthur or "Hard To Believe".

catransplant48 - statements of faith mean nothing if they are not what is preached from the pulpits - therein lies the problems with many churches in this land.

Rick Frueh

Chris - the issue you raise in this post is every bit as Biblical as the virgin birth. Having issue with others does not absolve us from attempting to speak truth with love and humility. And if that dilutes our conviction for truth, then it is us that needs correction because we are tossed about and not secure in the Word.

You have done much good here.

Tom

The verse about speaking with gentleness is referring to dealing with brothers in Christ. Chris has spent hours posting YouTube videos that clearly demonstrate just how far from the true Gospel Rick Warren is. If Warren isn't preaching the true Gospel, he is preaching a false Gospel, and as such should not be treated with gentleness but in the manner demonstrated by Jesus Christ towards the religious leaders of his day who led people astray. Christ's harshest words were reserved for those who placed unbiblical burdens on people's backs, or what Chris would call, "the law". Now Chris tells us that we must be gentle with those who lead others astray. Spurgeon's quote that we must "take no traitors to our bosoms" comes to mind. These men (Warren) are traitors to Christ because they deny his cross by leaving it out of their messages. This is time for clarity and Holy Spirit power to speak boldly. We've had enough gentleness towards false teaching and that is why this poison has spread, as the LCMS disaster demonstrates.

Paula

"simple" and "half missing" are two different things, catransplant.

paula

Tom -- Amen. How do you call someone a viper, whitewashed tomb, child of hell, gently and with respect?

Although, I am not sure that the gentleness and respect only applies to believers because it says "to everyone who asks the reason for the hope that is within you." E.g. to those who want to know the truth.

It does not say to do this to people who want to know why you oppose their false teaching, especially when they have just as much opportunity to READ the theologically sound critiques as we all have.

In addition, I am sure that they treated Rick with genteleness and respect. But what they are doing now seems... like spin. Almost as if Rick's M.O. has rubbed off on them.

Paula

Yeah rick Frueh, that's why you have departed and gone out from among those who speak the truth and hang around with the emergents at CRN(mis)info. The conciliatory approach must be more important to than truth. Although I don't see the conciliatory nicey nice approach being taken at CRNmis.info either.

I just can't get over the fact that Jesus must have sinned by calling certain people vipers, whitewashed tombs, and sons of hell (etc). tsk tsk. All this while I thought he was sinless.

Paula

We must use the strong and harshest words to describe how sinful we truly are and how must we are separated from a Holy God.

Steve, I totally agree. That's also simple enough for a child to understand. My father did not hesitate to give me the whole truth when I was little, and I knew from early on that sins as simple and commonplace as disobedience to my parents and using the Lord's name in vain was enough to send me to hell justly. Then the story of Jesus stepping down from heaven, as a man, suffering pain humiliationm rejection and crucifixion at the hands of sinful men would make me weep. If I had not known all that was for an undeserving person (myself) none of that story would have made sense ...

the only other option, in the absence of the teaching and preaching of the law, would be to tell me, (as a young child) Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life! (OK... well so did my mom and dad I guess!)

Chad

Paula,
It is one thing for God in flesh to speak harshly to the religious elites of the day who thought they had "religion" all sewn up in a neat little box. You fail to take into account the reason behind Jesus' harsh words - it was because the Pharisees were making religion less justice, mercy and peace and more about proper procedure and doctrinaire - thus, they were making converts twice the sons of hell as they themselves already were. Remember, it is the whores and the tax collectors who are entering the kingdom of God before they.

Who would Jesus aim his harsh words at today?

Furthermore, let us not forget that Jesus is God in flesh. He commands us to love our neighbor and pray for our enemies. He commands us to be a servant to all. He commands us to be humble and meek. He commands us to speak in love and notes that the world will know is by our love (NOT by how well you argue or defend your faith or by how completely you make your opponent look bad). Rather, Jesus would have us lay down our lives for the very people we rail against.

So I disagree with you that as Christians we get carte blanche to speak however we please as long as it is about "defending truth." Jesus doesn't give such free license.

peace,
Chad

Mike

Wow, I mean just wow. I want to quote Chris's post:

The battle for truth or the 'truth war' as some have called it, has taken a bad turn. Some segments of the battlefield have degenerated into ad hominem bickering and biting and toxic vitriol. This is not what Christ has called us to. In fact, that behavior is contrary to the clear teachings of scripture which call us to defend the faith with 'gentleness and respect'.

Chris has not given up the 'truth war'. He is just calling for 'gentleness and respect'. Another quote:

In the days ahead I will be posting my Biblical critique of the material I heard at the Purpose Driven conference. I am not doing this in order to personally attack Rick Warren, nor am I interested in slicing Rick Warren up into little pieces so that I can feed him to a hungry school of 'theological pirana'. Instead, I will be posting these critiques as part of an ongoing debate and dialog.

Chris seems to have some concerns or questions about some of the things that he saw at the conference, but he wants to take a little time to write his responses. However, a few of you have decided that he has become a purpose driven convert and needs to be run out of town on the same rail as Rick Warren.

Relax a second, take a deep breath, quit "Devouring one another". (Galations 5:15) Go watch a comedy on TV or a funny movie (good luck with that...most stuff in both places is pretty lame), and let's see what Chris has to say in a few days.

-Blessings

PS: Man, there really is nothing on TV... guess I'll watch Rambo instead, LOL

Robert Olson

Well put. Pastor Feuerhahn had similar wise words for us at the Sussex catachetical conference last June.

Chad

By the way, Chris, thank you for saying what you said here. That took courage. If only the entire church, all who profess Jesus as Lord, would take on such a posture towards others, the world, their neighbor and even their enemies. We might then actually be Christ to the world, as we are called to be.

grace and peace,
Chad

Bill

OK, to the other Bill, just to clarify what I meant.

1) Rick Warren's teachings are unbiblical.

2) Rick Warren has many strong areas that are worthy of recognition. Just because Rick Warren's gospel is not the gospel that Paul preached it does not mean that we ought not to learn from him. We may not be able to learn the gospel from Rick Warren, but we can learn other things from him. There are areas where the children of the world can teach the children of God something, the gospel is not where we ought to learn from Rick Warren, but he can teach us many other good things. Two areas to highlight are Rick Warren's management skills and his making the church for the people (like making wearing jeans acceptable in church). The third and most important area where Rick Warren has to be praised and recognized is that he is a peacemaker. He reaches out to everybody, look guys he invited Chris Rosebrough to this purpose driven conference, he visited with Syria's president, he meets with leaders of other faiths, Rick Warren, like other leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and Barack Obama, is one of those people that is a bridge-builder, tries to unite people, to end bickering and strife. Christians can learn a lot from Rick Warren in this area, let's face it a lot of church splits and bickering among christians are uncalled for, and reformed churches have a bad history of splitting up that is not pleasing to Christ. Calvin may have been a great theologian, but his execution of Servetus is a great sin. Let us be very clear it is better to love those that disagree with our faith than kill them. And Rick Warren can teach us something when it comes to religious tolerance.

iggy

I really appreciate your post Chris...

Blessings,
iggy

jeff

Steve, Bill & Tom "great truth, great posts" I loved the last part of Bill's comment, that was where I was going to go, so I second that...
amen

catransplant48

CHRIS R. WROTE:
What I find ironic almost to the point of irreconcilable contradiction is that there are some that claim to share a passion for the gospel yet they employ the most demeaning and vicious forms of personal slander and ad hominem attacks in their "defense of the gospel". I don't see how this contradiction is even possible because the gospel message is the good news of how "God so LOVED the world" that His only begotten Son died for my sins and yours on the cross and thereby reconciled us to himself in one supreme act of LOVE. Furthermore, God has entrusted us with this message of reconciliation...

I know that I have been guilty of the very behavior I am decrying in this post and I am deeply sorry for committing this sin and repent of it. That being said, I am appealing to all of my Christian brothers and sisters who have a passion for defending the truth and defending the gospel to repent of ad hominem and personal attacks and let your actions and statements and debates always be seasoned with love, compassion, gentleness and respect.

Just restating this very important part of his post, for those who seem to have missed it.

Daniel Chew

I think Chris's post was on being gentle and respectful in the sense that we do not attack people unnecessarily just to be spiteful. Please guys, cool down. You are only making us the laughing stock of CRN.(mis)info. Don't be controlled by emotions in responding to the provocative remarks of people like Richard Abanes and the Warrenites.

And no, I am not becoming Warren-friendly or Abanes-friendly. Warren is still a heretic who denies the Gospel by his actions, for the record, though I sure desire that he repents and so be saved.

http://puritanreformed.blogspot.com/2008/05/on-fire-storm-going-on-over-chris-r-and.html

Janine

Chris,

This is just great. You go on a trip to Saddleback and come back preaching that the dissenters are the ones with the problem. Thus far, you have written NOTHING to assuage our fears that you've been swayed by Warren.

We have watched Warren. We have lived Warren. The facts are, Rick Warren is preaching a watered-down gospel. As such, it is really not the true gospel. Observe how much respect Paul had towards the Judaizers in Galatians when they began tinkering with the gospel.

No, we do not have to use inflamatory language when we stand against the areas where Warren is wrong. However, that doesn't mean we have to mince words either.

Warren teaches heresy, twists Scripture, and has done more damage to the body of Christ than anyone that I can think of in the past century. His teachings are causing a scattering of the flock and the "blessed subtractions" that Christ calls "his lambs" are not being fed.

He will be held to an account of what he has done, as will those who gently stood by and allowed it to happen.

jeff

Being a peach maker = making friends, helping, "giving them fish"

Preaching the true gospel = pleasing God, a chance for God to work saving souls from hell, loving them, "teaching them to fish"

corey

'Being a peach maker = making friends, helping, "giving them fish"

Preaching the true gospel = pleasing God, a chance for God to work saving souls from hell, loving them, "teaching them to fish"'


Therefore...being a peacemaker is not compatible with the true gospel...

Jesus stated, "Blessed are the peacemakers..."

Therefore...those who do not preach the true gospel are blessed, while those who preach the true gospel are...cursed???

Hmmmm....

jeff

Let Bill Gates work on the "five global giants", RW needs to work on the one eternal giant, "sinners on their way to hell!"

corey

'Let Bill Gates work on the "five global giants", RW needs to work on the one eternal giant, "sinners on their way to hell!"'

Is God not interested in things like poverty and disease? Wouldn't you rather have the church be involved in meeting those needs so that the presentation of the Gospel can be an integral part of the compassionate aid instead of just leaving it up to the Bill Gates' of the world who are not interested in the spiritual needs of the people they help?

Chris Rosebrough

Janine,

My question for you is why do you have these fears? What do you fear?

Are you afraid that I have gone "Purpose-Driven"? Let me assure you that I have not gone Purpose-Driven. In fact, after spending 3 days at Saddleback I have become even more convinced that there are serious errors at the heart of the Purpose-Driven Church.

Are you afraid that Rick Warren used the "jedi mind trick" on me and that our families now vacation together in Bermuda. Again let me assure you that my face to face meeting with Rick Warren has not silenced me nor has it clouded my Biblical judgement regarding his errors and scripture twisting. However, I respect Rick Warren for taking the time to meet with me, one of his harshest critics. He didn't have to do that and it allowed me to personally appeal to him to 'repent' of his errors and clearly preach Christ Crucified for our sins (a message that is conspicuously missing from his public preaching).

I have good reasons to take my time to post my critiques. First, there was a lot of material and good Biblical research is not done in a day. I needed time to analyze the data, develop good Biblical counter arguments, PRAY, get a second and third opinion on my analysis and counter arguments, clean up my grammar and make edits.

While I was doing all those things I was personally attacked and had my Christian integrity called into question because I committed the "sin" of thanking Rick Warren.

This opened my eyes to a another problem. That problem is that some have lost sight of the fact that ad hominen attacks and vitriol are not in keeping with a sound defense of the Gospel.

The fact that people would be fearful because I was polite and respectful to Rick Warren in thanking him is just more than a little troubling.

I don't mind when people 'beat me up' when I've done something wrong but when I get BBQ'd for being kind and respectful... well that's when I think it is time to again remind people of Lord's kindness and love to us and His clear calls for us to share His love and His forgiveness with others.

For clarification...

I do NOT believe that critiquing someone's doctrine and theology is wrong or hateful. In fact it is necessary and LOVING.

I do NOT believe that calling someone to repentance either for bad behavior or bad doctrine is wrong or hateful. In fact, it is necessary and LOVING.

AND I DO believe that vitriol and ad hominem attacks are not in keeping with the Gospel. Therefore, I will be loving and respectful while Biblically critiquing Warren's doctrines and ideas. But, I want to appeal to those people who want to use my critiques as an occasion to personally tar and feather Rick Warren and challenge them to compare their behavior and approach with the clear teachings of scripture and see that they also have errors that they need Christ's forgiveness for.

We are all sinners here and all of us are in deep need of Christ's grace, mercy and forgiveness for the many sins that we commit each day. Let us then make our appeals to those in error from a stance of service and love to those who have fallen or are in error.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are to be used in service to the body of Christ. I am an apologist and a teacher. I dare not use these gifts from God for my own ends or to put notches in my belt. Instead, I think the scripture is clear that all of us are to use the gifts God has given us in service to our neighbor and in building up the church. Therefore, I MUST always strive to remember that even when I am critiquing someone's doctrine that I am doing that IN SERVICE to that person and to the Body of Christ. Therefore, it is not enough to show how someone's doctrine is false (that is the easy part) but I must also build people up in the One True Faith and loving call people to repent of their bad doctrine and in faith obey Christ.

Too many have become 'demolition apologists' and far too few remember that we are called primarily to be 'builders'. Therefore, when we tear down a false doctrine or a false teaching we must build correct doctrine in its place.

When I was attacked for thanking Rick Warren it became my Biblical duty to call those who attacked me to repent of the bad doctrine that would justify such uncharitable and unChristian behavior.

Furthermore, and most importantly. I want everyone who has attacked me for thanking Rick Warren to know that I forgive them and extend to them the same forgiveness that Christ has given me and I am here to serve them and build them up in Christ by calling them to bring their behavior in line with the gospel.

Chris L

Thank you very much for this, Chris. I look forward to reading your further thoughts and impressions.

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