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Mike Keith

Now that is funny.


One day I was listening to my pastor, preaching on the human body as an analogy of the Church. I started wondering... Hmmm - who's the ass****? I wonder if it's me?

That's stuck with me ever since. I'm so ashamed... :)

Mike Keith


That is even funnier!


Chris: Wow.....this is supposed to be funny?

Tell me you are not seriously implying that Rick Warren is an (expletive)?

I'm speechless and sad. Not what I expected from you at all.


Oh, that's too funny! I'll have to remember that one.


I don't think the line was implying anything about any specific individual. We must examine our selves, as Brian did.

The poster's great, Chris, funny and a sober warning at the same time.

Rick Frueh

If the person is what you imply, God made him that way according to Calvin. A very base and coarse post that stoops to a level about which you would object to in others. If Rick Warren had told that story many blogs would post it as proof of his compromising lifestyle.

Chris Rosebrough


I am a Lutheran and this has nothing to do with Calvin. I think it is interesting that the boyz at .info interpreted it in that light.

If you want a better lens to interpret it through think about the guy who spends his entire life cleaning up pig crap, or is a slave and spends his entire life in degrading servitude, or the guy who starts several businesses and the all fail and he dies a failure. (oh and everyone of these people are Christians)

What "purpose" should we say that each of these people had?

The reason I bring this up is because I am sick and tired of all these purpose-driven pastors promising EVERYONE that God has a 'great purpose' for their lives and it sounds like a 'lite version' of the prosperity Gospel. These PD guys have turned 'purpose' into and idol and are literally creating delusions of grandeur in their listeners.


" I am sick and tired of all these purpose-driven pastors promising EVERYONE that God has a 'great purpose' for their lives and it sounds like a 'lite version' of the prosperity Gospel."
Chris, I'm just sick and tired of PD anything. I sat through too many me-driven sermons poorly disguised as Gospel. Ugh! Upon reading, researching, quoting, sharing PDL drivel, many deemed me devisive, but many listened to God's clear and Holy Word.
I love the following text and quotes that reveal the importance of doctrinal purity:

God, as found in His inerrant Word in II Corinthians 13:8
"For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth."

Luther's commentary on this passage
II Corinthians 13:8 This is so great a good that no human heart can grasp it (therefore it necessitates such a great and hard fight). It must not be treated lightly, as the world maintains and many people who do not understand, saying we should not fight so hard about an article and trample on Christian love; rather, although we err on one small point, if we agree on everything else, we should give in and overlook the difference in order to preserve brotherly and Christian unity and fellowship.No, my dear man, do no recommend to me peace and unity when thereby God’s Word is lost, for then eternal life and everything else would be lost. In this matter there can be no yielding nor giving way, no, not for love of you or any other person, but everything must yield to the Word whether it be friend or foe. The Word was given unto us for eternal life and not to further outward peace and unity. The Word and doctrine will create Christian unity or fellowship. Where thy reign all else will follow. where they are not no concord will ever abide. Therefore do not talk to me about love and friendship, if that means breaking with the Word, or the faith, for the gospel does not say love brings eternal life, God’s grace and all heavenly treasures, but the Word.-Martin Luther 1531: W.A. 34 II. 327

C.F.W. Walther, the first president of the LCMS:
Many say, 'Instead of disputing over doctrine so much, we should much rather be concerned with souls and with lead them to Christ.' But all who speak in this way do not really know what they are saying or what they are doing. As foolish as it would be to scold a farmer for being concerned about sowing good seed and to demand of him simply to be concerned about a good harvest, so foolish it is to scold those who are concerned first and foremost with the doctrine, and to demand of them that they should rather seek to rescue souls. For just as the farmer who wants a good crop must first of all be concerned about good seed, so the church must above all be concerned about right doctrine if it would save souls. -- C.F. W. Walther, "Our Common Task: the Saving of Souls" 1872


Chris, you wrote: "If you want a better lens to interpret it through think about the guy who spends his entire life cleaning up pig crap, or is a slave and spends his entire life in degrading servitude, or the guy who starts several businesses and the all fail and he dies a failure. (oh and every one of these people are Christians). What "purpose" should we say that each of these people had?"

Well, I'll tell you. The guy cleaning up pig crap makes me think twice about the luxury I live in and makes me examine my own excess, spurring me to give to those less fortunate.

The slave who lives in degrading servitude all his life gives me pause to think about and cherish my freedom; makes me think about how I treat people - like the grocery clerk, the server in the resturant, the cleaning lady, the gardener. It makes me think about devoting myself to a ministry that fights against human sex-trafficking.

The guy who fails again and again at a business and "dies a failure"...maybe he was a failure in his own eyes but an example of persistence in others....maybe he inspired someone to try to start a business or take a risk but he never knew about it....again, making me realize the importance of encouraging people and telling them something I admire about them before I'm sitting at their memorial service...

And individually, if every one of these people is Christian, they may not be interpreting their own lives the way you have. We make huge mistakes when we attach our own feelings about things to people or interpret their lives through our individual socio-economic or cultural filter.....

So for example, the guy "cleaning pig crap" is a Christian and gives his service to the Lord and may go home filthy and smelling to high heaven, but may have a family that thinks he is the most wonderful man in the world because he works hard and provides for them. He may lay down in bed dog-tired each night but happy that he has worked hard all day and did something that (while we interpret it as disgusting) needed to be done. Where would this world be without people who are willing to do these kinds of jobs?

The slave may pray every day for rescue from their situation. Will rescue come to all who pray? No. Does that mean the person should stop praying for rescue? No. And if this person is Christian, just remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man(Luke 16:19-26).

As for the failing businessman, I personally know several Christians who are living from paycheck to paycheck, "failing" in job after job, unable to secure stable employment....to the world, yes, failure is written all over them, but to those who know them we see incredible spiritual growth and reliance upon the Lord. And when some of these folks have laid on the floor, broken, and finally surrendering themselves to God, pursuing not THEIR dream anymore, but surrendering to what God would have them do, I have seen blessings pour out from Heaven.

So, Chris, to get back to your comment. Where I think many people err is by incorrectly assuming that promoting anything that encourages people to find purpose and meaning - discovering the difference between living and not just existing - is promoting something that serves as a replacement for the Bible. That's where a lot of critics of the PD Life err, as well. Nothing could be further from the truth. It wasn't written to be a Bible or replace the Bible but many people criticize its content while holding it up that way.


That poster is so hilarious.

steve martin

A couple of more minutes and that unlucky crew (maybe they were sunk by some 'Christian pirates'...I hear they are in these waters)
will be 'porpoise diven'.

steve martin

A couple of more minutes and that unlucky crew (maybe they were sunk by some 'Christian pirates'...I hear they are in these waters)
will be 'porpoise diven'.

Chris Rosebrough


The point I am making is that the central message of the scriptures is NOT finding your "purpose". Nor is that even a close second.

The scriptures are about Christ rescuing us by dying on the cross for our sins. Fact is, few if any of us really will ever know our 'purpose in this life'. But we know Christ's purpose, why He lived and why He died.

Purpose-Drivenism and this silly pipe dream of learning your purpose is a distraction. It distracts us away from Christ and gets us focusing on ourselves.


Have to disagree with you on that, Chris. As I'm sure you know, the first sentence of the Purpose Driven Life is "It's not about you." The focus is not on us but on living our lives for Christ.

I know my Bible. I know that Christ died for me and I know why. What's the reason He left me here on earth instead of just zapping me into Heaven and sparing me all the pain that comes with life? To tell people the good news that Jesus saves. To live my life as an example of His love. To use my life experiences and my unique God-given personality to help others facing similar challenges.

All this is and more is touched on in the Purpose Driven Life book. I'm amazed how critical people are of those who would like to put such fundamentals of Christian living into action.


cat says: "As I'm sure you know, the first sentence of the Purpose Driven Life is "It's not about you." The focus is not on us but on living our lives for Christ."

Unfortunately many latch on to that and ignore the reality of the rest of the book, in that it is all about YOU, not God. It is all about finding your purpose and ignoring the one purpose that we have in this life above all which is to glorify God. I have dealt with far too many PD mided people whom you cannot separate from their self-centered mindset and where they can profit from "spreading the gospel". That is not to present them all as anything less than sincere or genuinely desiring to serve God, but merely that they have likely not even heard the truth of the gospel, do not understand that the way up is down, that in dying to self we receive life in Christ, that God's will is that He be glorified and that we be obedient to His word, esteem Him above any worldly pursuits and that is not the message one would find in anything PD.

Is 66:2 - "For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being," declares the LORD
"But to this one I will look,
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

RW does not tremble at His word, nor do many outspoken adherents to the PD way which is clearly evidenced in his willingness to twist it and use any translation or paraphrase that suits his agenda - no worthwhile Christian author that I am aware of has ever used as many "versions" of the Bible and predominantly a paraphrase of God's word like RW has.

Too many red-flags with PD and the movement to cavalierly ignore it as simply preferences - and not expose the wickedness that it cultivates in a person when left unabated.


Bill, may I respectfully remind you Chapter 7 of the PDL is all about what you say it isn't.

How Can I Bring Glory to God?
-We Bring glory to God by worshiping Him.
-We bring glory to God by loving other believers.
-We bring glory to God by becoming like Christ.
-We bring glory to God by serving others with our gifts.
-We bring glory to God by telling others about Him.
What will you live for?
-"It's time to settle this issue. Who are you going to live for - yourself or God?"

Pretty subversive stuff, huh?


Yet this shows precisely that PDL is all about you. Who is carrying the verbs in your quote? Is it you or is it God? You are the one carrying the verbs, the book is all about you. Even when it talks about God it talks about what you do for God and not what God does for you.


V.A., respectfully.....That's a real stretch. This is just how Rick Warren wrote his book. He could easily have written it in another tense with different verbage and it would have had the same meaning and impact. He just chose to write it as if he were having a one-on-one conversation with the reader. He could have begun the book by saying "It's all about God." He does make that point throughout the book but he chose to open it this way: "It's not about you." He's the writer; that was his perrogative.


On page 53 of chapter 7 in his Purpose Driven® Life book Rick Warren shortens Proverbs 16:4 to "The Lord has made everything for his own purposes." (NLT)

Rick Warren added a full stop at the end of the word "purposes" leaving the impression that that is all there is to that verse. Rick Warren conveniently leaves out; "even the wicked for a day of disaster." How many Christians will check that out and diligently search and study the Scriptures to see what Warren has done with that verse? That portion of the verse does not fit into Rick Warren's Purpose Driven® Plan. Rick Warren has no right to tamper with God's holy word like that. But that doesn't seem to faze Rick Warren, twisting and tampering with God's word, does it? Distortions of God's holy word are a common theme throughout Warren's teachings. Sury he is not ignorant of this glaring fact?

Proverbs 16:4The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster. (NLT)

Proverbs 14:4The LORD (D)has made everything for its own purpose, Even the (E)wicked for the day of evil. (NASB)
D. Gen 1:31; Eccl 3:11
E. Rom 9:22

"It's not about you?" Isn't it? On the front cover of PDL it says "WHAT ON EARTH AM I HERE FOR?" The focus is upon "YOU" the reader. On unnumbered page five of PDL it says "This book is dedicated to you" the reader. The focus is upon "YOU" the reader. Each of the forty chapters ends with "THINKING ABOUT MY PURPOSE." The focus is upon "YOU" the reader. The focus is upon "YOU" and what "YOU" should be doing all through the Purpose Driven with God helping "YOU" to find "YOUR PURPOSE." The Purpose Driven® Life is a Christianity that has been craftily redefined by Rick Warren. The Purpose Driven Life is a "bondage maker." It leaves people in bondage to all its programs and covenants and oaths, so on and so forth. The Purpose Driven® Life IS all about you and about "YOU" finding "YOUR" purpose and S.H.A.P.E. and this and that and on and on it goes. Even the S.H.A.P.E program contains unbiblical advice. Getting in S.H.A.P.E. for C.H.U.R.C.H. and PAGANISM in the PURPOSE DRIVEN TEACHING. Did Judas find his purpose? His purpose was settled in heaven before time began. Judas fulfilled his purpose didn't he? Judas' purpose was to betray the LORD Jesus Christ, the greatest act of treachery in human history and Judas couldn't do a thing about it. Even if Judas prayed Rick Warren's example prayer on page 58 of PDL for all eternity that prayer would still not save him as it still doesn't save anyone today. People are saved by God through the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit of God in conjunction with the word previously proclaimed and sown in their lives resulting in repentance and belief, fruit of the new birth, gifts from God alone. One does not repent and believe and then they are born again. Dead people cannot repent and believe. Regeneration precedes faith. The Holy Spirit of God brings to life the seed sown, man only plants and waters the seed, God gets all the glory for the growth. On page 9 of PDL Rick Warren says; "This is more than a book, it is a guide to a 40-day spiritual journey that will will enable you to discover the answer to life's most important question: What on earth am I here for." That is NOT life's most important question, life's most important question is the same one Saul asked: Acts 9:5 "And he said, “Who are You, Lord?
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.[a] It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” Rick Warren's 40-day journey is spiritual alright, spiritual deception, period.

The Christian life is NOT purpose driven. The Christian life is Holy Spirit led and guided. The Christian life is about knowing God's purpose and nothing else.

This is Not about YOU, or is it?

"Rick Warren begins the first day of his journey by saying, “It’s not about you” (Warren: 17). Yet the entire book “feels” like it is about you and reads like self-help literature. He dedicates the book to “you” on the first page after the copyright information and uses the pronoun “you” continually throughout the book. Consider the following from day eight:

You were planned for God’s pleasure. The moment you were born into the world God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at your birth. He wanted you alive, and your arrival gave him great pleasure. God did not need to create you, but he chose to create you for his own enjoyment. . . . Bringing enjoyment to God, living for his pleasure, is the first purpose of your life. When you fully understand this truth, you will never again have a problem with feeling insignificant. It proves your worth. If you are that important to God, and he considers you valuable enough to keep with him for eternity, what greater significance could you have? (Warren: 63). (Italics in original; bold emphasis mine)

His statement that this is not about “you” is disingenuous (insincere). His style, word usage, Man-centeredness, distorted Bible translations, and many overt statements show that the book is about you!

Here is one more example of how obtrusive the personal pronoun “you” is in Warren’s writing:

Your unspoken life metaphor influences your life more than you realize. It determines your expectations, your values, your relationships, your goals, and your priorities. For instance, if you think life is a party, your primary value in life will be having fun. If you see life as a race, you will value speed and will probably be in a hurry much of your time. If you view life as a marathon, you will value endurance. If you see life as a battle or a game, winning will be very important to you (Warren: 42). (italics in original; bold emphasis mine)

Here we have sixteen instances of “you” or “your” in one short paragraph. Notice also how Warren speaks what is no more than his own personal opinion as if it were God’s truth. He claims a “life metaphor” determines much of who we are. By what authority does he make such a claim? This is nothing but human wisdom. Warren started out this section saying, “The way you see your life shapes your life. How you define life determines your destiny” (Warren 41). Why should I believe these statements? Warren speaks from his own self as if he were God’s authoritative spokesperson. This is Christianized humanism. Our thoughts and metaphors have nothing to do with the gospel. We need to deny self, not set up the right thoughts and life metaphors to assure a wonderful destiny.

In researching this article, I had to read Warren for long periods of time. This was difficult for me. I found his material disturbing. To cleanse my mind from Warren’s continual assaults on my thinking I took breaks to read John MacArthur’s Hard To Believe. MacArthur got my mind and heart back on the gospel and away from me (where Warren keeps wanting to put it). Let me do the same for my readers. Listen to MacArthur’s version of what to do with “YOU”:

Jesus set the standard as total self-denial. In Luke 14:26, a great multitude was following Him and He turned and spoke to them: “If anyone comes to Me” – meaning those who wanted to be His true followers—“and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” Self-hate? What a powerful truth! . . . Following Jesus is not about you and me. Being a Christian is not about us; it’s not about our self-esteem. It’s about our being sick of our sin and our desperation for forgiveness (MacArthur: 10).

MacArthur points us to the clear teachings of Jesus, not some questionable idea that a “life metaphor” determines our destiny. We need to die to self, not discover self.

Warren would have us believe that something is furry, meow’s, has four legs, and likes to chase mice, but is not a cat. He tells us that his book is not about “you” and then spends over three hundred pages making it about you, over and over. This doesn’t just look like self-help, read like self-help, sound like self-help and feel like self-help, it is self-help and it is about you. That doesn’t help me. I need the gospel to solve my sin problem. I don’t need Warren aphorisms—and certainly not thousands of them." - from The Gospel: A Method or a Message?
How the Purpose Driven Life Obscures the Gospel
by Bob DeWaay

The Purpose Driven® Life does obscure the gospel, the true full-orbed doctrinally sound biblical gospel that is.

The New Covenants

"Churches which have come under the influence of Rick Warren, Lyle Schaller, Bob Buford, or any of the other church growth business-model experts, have undergone profound changes. They will have adopted a Mission Statement, Core Values, and Vision, often through a “consensus” and “dialogue” technique. In order to become a member of these churches, parishioners are required to sign an oath to uphold their church’s covenant. The word “covenant,” which used to have biblical significance, is now applied liberally to this new church structure, apparently to give it credibility."

"The new oaths and covenants put a pressure on church people – a pressure that comes, not from God but from man. Peer orientation, fear factors, and the demands to conform or meet expectations prevail. The focus is on self-mastery, not God-directed discipline. Some will do the bare minimum just to “get by.” For others, good deeds that were formerly done in secret, arising out of love and compassion, are now done openly and boldly so that leaders will see and approve."

"Oaths and covenants are a new form of legalism entering the church like a flood. They require more of us than Scripture requires. It is a horrible new form of bondage, accomplished in the name of a new church for the 21st century. This is a “transformation” not a “reformation.” It would return the church to the dark ages of oppressive State Church. This movement did not arise from God, but from the rapacious desires of evil men." - The Shepherding Movement Comes of Age

The Purpose Driven® Movement is rife with oaths and vows and covenants. One virtually has to sign their lives over to the whole pragmatic Purpose Driven® Movement. I believe the Purpose Driven® Organization is far more binding and legalistic than the Roman Catholic Organization. No thank you.


"How Can I Bring Glory to God?
-We Bring glory to God by worshiping Him.
-We bring glory to God by loving other believers.
-We bring glory to God by becoming like Christ.
-We bring glory to God by serving others with our gifts.
-We bring glory to God by telling others about Him.
What will you live for?
-"It's time to settle this issue. Who are you going to live for - yourself or God?"

Mr. S.C. Mooney does an excellent work of critiquing Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life.

Here is his critique of Day Seven

Day Seven - The Reason for Everything

For the rest of Mr. Mooney's critique start here:


Do not be put off by Rick Warren's unwarranted threat of "never criticize what God is blessing."

"Third, never criticize what God is blessing, even though it may be a style of ministry that makes you feel uncomfortable." - Rick Warren page 62 "The Purpose Driven Church."

God blesses the faithful proclamation of His word, the faithful preaching of His Gospel. Styles come and go, the Word of God abides forever. Rick Warren's teachings will pass away but the Word of God is the solid Rock we build our foundations upon. If a style makes you feel uncomfortable go to a Church where the style doesn't make you feel uncomfortable, you have the freedom in Christ to do so. You are not bound to Rick Warren's say so. Some styles in the 21st Century church are so worldly minded that they are no heavenly good. Some churches are more like rock and roll, heavy metal entertainment centers these days, rather than the a place where we can worship and praise God in spirit and in truth, the place where we can be fed the pure, unadulterated, unleavened word of God.

Rick Warren is a false teacher, flee him.



God blesses a lot more than just the proclamation of his word. But I think you miss the point. The point that Warren is making is that we are not in a position to criticize what God chooses to bless. An example of this might be something like racial integration of churches, something that many would hate and despise and in your model, be perfectly free to "flee" because it doesn't suit their personal tastes.

Church is not about making you happy. It is about worshipping God. Proper worship OUGHT to make us feel a bit uncomfortable. You are not "free in Christ" to treat church like a window shopper.



"It distracts us away from Christ and gets us focusing on ourselves."

Not so, Chris. Certainly in a secular setting that might be true. But not this. Rather, it helps get us focused on others, which as I recall, is who Christ was focused on. Finding your purpose in a biblical context is about finding how you can spread the hope, joy, peace and love that we have in Jesus Christ to a world that is broken and lost.


Amen, Chad.

And as God's perfect timing would have it, for all of you who think Rick Warren is so terribly off the mark, Saddleback is starting a month long series called Great Creeds of the Church this weekend. Why don't you check it out and see for yourself (not based upon anything anyone else has written or said about Rick Warren) if what is preached at Saddleback Church is out of line with the Bible.



A sobering truth is spoken in the subscript of the poster – it’s biblical – “It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.”

The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. (Prov. 16:4)

Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (Rom. 9:21-24)

This came right after Paul shocked them with this:
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (Rom. 9:17-18)

On a side note, Chris, please reply to my email from Monday if you got it.


Chris wrote: The scriptures are about Christ rescuing us by dying on the cross for our sins. Fact is, few if any of us really will ever know our 'purpose in this life'. But we know Christ's purpose, why He lived and why He died.

Pages 112-13 of PDL give a graphic description of the crucifixion and lay out the hope of salvation that can only come through the risen Christ.

It's beyond me why so many people are so quick to criticize this book but at the same time leave out the portions that really get down to the essentials of Christianity.

Yes, this book contains a few inaccuracies and wasn't written on the high theological plane many of you would have liked, but it's not the Bible and never pretends to be. Through it's converstaional tone the author has certainly spoken to many hearts, resulting in a great harvest of servants of the Lord Jesus who as a result will be spending eternity in His Holy Presence.

That's quite a legacy, and I doubt God is going to fault Rick Warren for his heartfelt desire to see people accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and live forever.


Stephen and Chris,

I would not be so quick to use one verse from Proverbs to form a doctrine. And Stephen, perhaps you missed Paul's conditional words, "What if" in the Rom. passage you cite.

Catransplant - Amen.


Stephen - I didn't recognize you at first. How are things over at BT? Are you still banning and censoring people with whom you disagree and without explanation? Don't worry, I wasn't planning to return.

jim claybourn

"It's not about you" is merely how Warren introduces the concept of where to go to find YOUR purpose. He says we start with God, he will show us our purpose. Nothing wrong there, but from that point on it IS all "about YOU".

What YOU need to do to find YOUR purpose so that YOU can make a contract with God so the he will be YOUR friend and be happy with YOU.

Chapter 1 of PDL begins with the above quote, then goes on to use the words you, me, we, our over 20 times on the first page of the chapter alone!

Yes the name/term God is used frequently (generically?), but the name Jesus or Christ are only used by Warren three times in the first three chapters.

Where then is the focus??


Don't you think you are splitting hairs? Do you really want to say that Christianity has nothing to say about us in our present condition and why on earth we are here? Is God completely irrelevant to our lives?

To open a book about finding one's purpose presupposes that it will be in large part about people. To ensure that no one will think it is ALL ABOUT YOU (as most secular books on similar subject are about) he opens with a chapter to disabuse us of that notion. Perhaps he wasn't writing this book with eternal critics like Extreme Theology or Slice in mind and didn't see a need to appease everyone.

Why not praise God for the good that has come of it? Why not praise God for leading men and women like Warren in the work of ministry as they feel God's leading? Are you and everyone else here so sure of your own position that you can judge another?

And by the way, as you no doubt know, Jesus Christ is God. So kudos to Warren for establishing Jesus Christ in the beginning and then saying with frequency (your word, not mine) "God" throughout the rest of the book.



Couldn't have said it better myself, Chad. Blessings.


OK. I get the poster. But was the coarse, crude joke by Bill Cosby really necessary?


"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'.

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 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."

The above are excerpts from Chris R's "With Gentleness and Respect" own posting on May 30th. So Donna, the answer is....no. This was a below the belt, backhanded swipe at Rick Warren, someone Chris disagrees with theologically yet who showed him nothing but respect and kindness and the utmost of hospitality when they met face to face.

I really don't know what to say.

jim claybourn


If, as you say, Pr Warren writes that "Jesus Christ is God", then why not use the name "Jesus", instead of "God" more frequently in the book? Is it a stumbling block? Does it offend people?

Jesus is the way. "God" can mean many things to many people.

Jesus tells us who He is and that He, alone, is the way to the Father.

Pastor McCain has an entry with a "word cloud" on his blog that makes the point that I was trying to make above.




Indeed God can mean many things to many people. No doubt "God" takes on many meanings even among us who call ourselves Christians and yet find ourselves bowing to numerous idols numerous times (nationalism, consumerism, church-ism, doctine-ism, to name just a few).

I am not sure why you ask if Christ is a stumbling block. It is not the "name" of Jesus Christ as it appears on a page that is a stumbling block but the WAY of Jesus Christ. You need to keep in mind Warren's audience. It is not JUST the church of Jesus Christ. He is a minister to all peoples and in order to get the message to all peoples he becomes all things to all peoples (didn't someone else do that?) Opening with Jesus Christ is a powerful way to say, "This is where I stand and where my hope lies." To say God throughout the book is a way to assert that Jesus is God while removing a stumbling block from those who are on milk, not meat. Paul said we are not to BE a stumbling block to others.

In the end, Jim, it comes down to who you trust. Do you truly believe that the Holy Spirit is convicting the world of sin and drawing people to Truth? Do you really believe that it is God who saves, not us, our books, our sermons, our tapes, or whatever? If you do, than I can't see why you or others would have such a problem with this. By insisting that there is a "one-size-fits-all" approach to drawing people to Christ is to insist that salvation is up to us and our design rather than God's.



Jim: I get the distinct impression that you have not actually read The Purpose Driven Life. In skimming through it I find Jesus and Jesus Christ mentioned and referenced throughout the entire body of the book and in many scriptural sidebars. It's all there, in black and white. If you're just looking at the chapter headings, you are missing the fact that Jesus Christ is fully acknowledged as God and Savior: the One we live our lives for and the One who we should aim to live our lives like.

Sorry, but if you check it out yourself you'll see that your argument simply doesn't hold up.



Here is a brother who posted a prayer request for his mother who is battling cancer. This blog is critical of "PD' and "seeker-sensitive" methodologies. Check out how this reformed blogger is taunted by a "seeker-friendly" comment? I know most "PD" people would not do this, but this is sad.


I'm not quite sure how one blogger's unsolicited (and to be honest, quite hateful) comment ties in with what this discussion has been about........



Read Bob DeWaay's "Redefining Christianity" just one time and get back to me. I personally dialogued with pastor's at Saddleback who read it and PROMISED(i have it in writing) to respond. They never did.

You can also use this discernment tool:



Oh, believe me, I'm more than familiar with Bob deWaay's essays and books. His obsession with tearing down Rick Warren is tragic.

As far as the pastor at Saddleback, I don't know who he is but I do know that nobody's perfect. I've promised people to do many things, too, and they have slipped my mind. But I do follow up when reminded. Maybe you should just try to contact him again.


I personally dialogued with pastor's at Saddleback who read it and PROMISED(i have it in writing) to respond. They never did.

Perhaps they didn't respond because they saw it for what it is and had better things to do than waste their time with such nonsense.

Ken Silva

"Perhaps they didn't respond because they saw it for what it is and had better things to do than waste their time with such nonsense."

If they have any spiritual brains they'll abandon the doomed ship Saddleback before its bow is completely torn to shreds by the evangelical iceberg of apostasy.


lol Ken. At least you didn't begin that spew with "Thus saith the Lord."



We, who have received the Gospel, have a fearful obligation to deliver it. This obligation is not only to God, but also to our generation and the generations to come. Although the Gospel can be corruted in an instant, it may take the Church years, even centuries to recover it. If Church history teaches us anything, it teaches us that though heretical movements abound, there are few genuine reformations. There is something worse than holding our silence while the lost world runs headlong into hell. It is the crime of preaching to them....NOW GET THIS CAT.........THIS IS WHAT RICK WARREN AND THE LIKES DO......preaching to them a watered down, culturally carved, truncated Gospel that allows them to hold to a form of godliness, while denying Him with their deeds, and to call Jesus "Lord,Lord", while not doing the Father's will. Woe to us if we preach not the Gospel, but even greater woe if we do so incorrectly!!



Wow, Karen. It sounds like you are saying you have the power to know what's in Rick Warren's heart and read his mind. That's quite a claim.

I might add "Woe to anyone who passes judgment on someone they don't know" because if you knew Rick Warren you'd know that what you have insinuated about him and his preaching and the way he presents the Gospel is about as far from the truth as the east is from the west.


"Oh, believe me, I'm more than familiar with Bob deWaay's essays and books. His obsession with tearing down Rick Warren is tragic."

That is godless a lie, Pastor Bob Dewaay is NOT obsessed with tearing Rick Warren down. You need to repent of that awful sinful lie. Bob DeWaay is not even obsessed with tearing down Rick Warren's deceptive false teachings. As a faithful pastor Bob DeWaay has done an excellent job in exposing Rick Warren's insidious false teachings and Scripture twistings so that we can be aware of what Warren has done. I am truly thankful to God for Bob DeWaay and others that have dared to boldly confront Rick Warren's false teachings. There are over a hundred Critical Issues Commentaries by Bob DeWaay and only several of them have something to do with Rick Warren or the false church growth movement. You are so blinded by your loyalty to Rick Warren and his Purpose Driven Empire you just cannot see the Scripture torturing and false teachings of Rick Warren. Bob DeWaay shows far more compassion for lost souls than Rick Warren ever will. Rick Warren thinks that lost humanity who join his Purpose Driven Movement have become Christians when in actual fact the majority that sign up to the Purpose Driven Church are not even born again. He has a lot to answer for and all his loving niceness will not help him one bit on Judgment Day. Rick Warren is a radically corrupt sinner worthy of nothing but death alone and to be cast into thew lake of fire forever, it is what all of us deserve. If Rick Warren is not born again and dies in that state, that is where he will end up. Rick Warren needs to renounce thoroughly his Purpose Driven Movement and repent of the sins of deceiving so many millions of people and the terrible sins of twisting, distorting and torturing of God's Holy Word. Just think for a moment how often Rick Warren tortures the Word of God. Awesome (fearful & dreadful).


Douglas....I'm with you on Warren but not to the extent you have taken this. And "cat" .....you do not need any higher power to judge Warren? Did you watch his christmas special on the Fox channel? Millions of unregenerate people were invited to say a prayer with a very enemic gospel message. Whether you like it or not, this is what Warren does. This is the thing you must understand....to tell half a truth is more dangerous than an outright lie.


"It seems that for the most part, impassioned preaching has gone out of style. It has been deemed by many to be lacking the refinement and sophistication that are necessary to be effective in this modern era. The passionate preacher proclaiming truth boldly and unapologetically is now considered an obstacle to post-modern man who prefers a bit more humility and openness to other points of view. The majority argument is that we simply must change because it just looks foolish to the world.
Such an attitude toward preaching is proof that we have lost our bearings in the Evangelical community. It is God who has ordained the "foolishness of preaching" to be the instrument of bringing the saving message of the Gospel to the world. That is not to say that preaching should be foolish, illogical, or outlandish, but the standard by which all preaching should be compared is the Scripture and not the contemporary opinions of a fallen and corrupt culture that is wise in its own eyes".

"Paul Washer"



Prove to me that Bob de Waay has done what you say - ("Bob DeWaay has done an excellent job in exposing Rick Warren's insidious false teachings and Scripture twistings so that we can be aware of what Warren has done") - in a Christian manner. Go back on this blog and re-read Chris R.'s "With Gentleness and Respect" posting (dated May 30, 2008). What I've read by Mr. de Waay concerning Rick Warren has not been backed up by fact and is laced with venomous personal attacks on Warren's character.

You write: "Rick Warren thinks that lost humanity who join his Purpose Driven Movement have become Christians when in actual fact the majority that sign up to the Purpose Driven Church are not even born again." So now you're telling me you have the ability to know whether people are saved or not. Truly amazing. The rest of your allegations towards Rick Warren are so ludicrous (and disturbing, frankly) that they don't even merit comment. It's a very reckless thing to cast unfounded judgments on a man who has done nothing but show compassion for countless people in third world nations (and in his own backyard); whom I have never heard utter an unfounded unkind word against anyone in nearly 20 years, and who happens to be one of the most generous, kind, caring and giving human beings I've ever met. You are way off the mark and God is watching and examining your heart, too, lest you have forgotten.

And Mark: At Christmas many unsaved people heard about Jesus for the first time. I know because some unsaved people I know were present at that FOX taping and they told me for the first time they didn't feel like "some preacher was talking down to them" (remember those are the words of the unsaved, unchurched... "seekers") They appreciated Rick's style and the conversational manner he spoke with. There were plenty of opportunities, materials and people ready to pray readily available before and after that taping. Just because you didn't see something happen on camera doesn't mean people weren't saved that night. What's "anemic" in your eyes may be the exact way the Holy Spirit chooses to move a person's heart and mind to be open to the gospel and ultimate salvation. God's timetable and ways, not ours.


"God blesses a lot more than just the proclamation of his word. But I think you miss the point. The point that Warren is making is that we are not in a position to criticize what God chooses to bless."

God does not bless the man made styles or methods of delivery, God blesses the proclamation of His word, even when it is twisted and distorted by false teachers like Rick Warren and it is God alone who adds to His church those who are being saved. Boring presentations of the Gospel is not sin. That is a man made law Rick Warren has added to Scripture. Man made styles or methods of delivery have no bearing on the preaching of the gospel, it is God's message contained in Scripture that God blesses. Rick Warren not only changes the message he spends far too much time experimenting on methods. God has clearly revealed the method he blesses and that is the preaching of His gospel.

Illustration: "I think of Jonathan Edwards. He was the primary instrument that God used to kindle the fires of the Great Awakening. In Enfield, Connecticut, he preached a message entitled, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, which may be the most famous sermon in American history. Yet, Jonathan Edwards was marked by physical weakness. He was a very frail man. He was asthmatic. It was not unusual for him to wheeze, cough, and hack while preaching. He read his sermons from a prepared manuscript. He read them at a very low volume because his voice was so weak. People often had to strain to hear him. He had horrible eyesight. His eyesight was so poor, that not only did he have to wear thick glasses, but to read his sermons aloud, he had to hold his message about an inch from his nose. Yet, in spite of his disabilities, when he preached, the power of God fell in such a manner, that people often writhed in conviction. He, as much as any other, was the instrument that God used to bring revival to America in the mid 1700's. You may be weak, but God does not reject the weak. He can and will use you."

Jonathan Edwards would be classed as boring according to Rick Warren's methods if one preached in the same manner as Mr. Edwards. Rick Warren's methods are fulling the church with tares.

"An example of this might be something like racial integration of churches, something that many would hate and despise and in your model, be perfectly free to "flee" because it doesn't suit their personal tastes."

We in New Zealand here generally have no problems with racism the same as America has, we are a fairly integrated society, so for me that is a non-issue. And racism is straight out sinfulness isn't it, it has nothing to with styles, methods or personal tastes of how the gospel is preached. Paul's preaching (Acts 20) caused one bloke to nod off and fall out the window and hit the ground stone cold dead. Lovely. Good thing the fellow was healed, eh? Paul would have really gotten a bad name for himself, "the preacher who preaches boring messages, so boring they will put you to sleep." Paul the preacher who sins by preaching boring sermons. Nonsense. I can just see the headlines. As Christians we are all one in Christ and all of humanity originally derived from Adam and Eve. Adam was made by God from the dust of the earth, dirty brown, and Eve was made from a bone, white, of some sort, apparently from the side of Adam. That's where you get the mixture of colors I reckon but that's just my thoughts there. BTW, where did Cain get his wife from? I'd tell ya if I was able. But I aint Abel, sorry.

Who sets himself as the spokesperson to confirm what God blesses and what God does not bless? What is the guideline to test what God is blessing or not? What is the criteria to discern what God is blessing or not? How do we prove what God is blessing or not? Just because Rick Warren says so? Because there is a huge increase in numbers in a professing church then it must be of God? Is that how we test God's blessings? 3000 souls added to the Church in the book of Acts was a record of what God does, not what man does. Man does not add one single soul to the Kingdom of God, man does not add one single person to the Church, only God has the power to convert a soul.

"Church is not about making you happy. It is about worshipping God. Proper worship OUGHT to make us feel a bit uncomfortable."

Proper worship of God OUGHT NOT to make us feel uncomfortable, it OUGHT to make us more worshipful and thankful. Subjective feelings of happiness may or may not follow proper worship of God. If proper worship OUGHT to make us feel a bit uncomfortable then heaven would be hell. Proper worship of God OUGHT to make the unbeliever who happens to attend Church that day uncomfortable, we should not be making the worship of God comfortable and pleasing to the unbeliever, the unbeliever is dead in his trespasses and sins and hates God. The unbeliever needs to hear the proper gospel, both law and grace. Rick Warren does not proclaim the proper gospel, both law and grace, on a consistent basis. Rick Warren waters down the true full-orbed doctrinally sound biblical gospel to tickle the ears of his hearers. Rick Warren preaches a weak gospel, if at all. As Christians we continually need to hear the full gospel ourselves so that the light of God's word shines upon the sin and darkness that remains in our own deceitfully wicked hearts so that we may confess it to God and renounce it and continue on the way.

"You are not "free in Christ" to treat church like a window shopper."

Where does it say that in the Bible? I am "free in Christ" to find a church that preaches the whole gospel. Rick Warren doesn't. I would not attend a Purpose Driven Church even if it was the last professing man made church on the planet. I would either "window shop", look, search for a church that is NOT Purpose Driven, a truly biblical doctrinally sound church, that proclaims the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth or stay at home and/or go underground. I have listened to and read enough of Rick Warren's teachings to discern that he is an unrepentant false teacher who bulldozes all oposition to his Purpose Driven Model out of the way. He criticizes others but he doesn't like his false teachings critized. What a hypocrite. That is why he says; "never criticize what God is blessing," he thinks that just because his Purpose Drivwen Movement has spread all over the world in leaps and bounds that it must be God that is blessing it, when in actual fact the whole Purpose Driven Movement is a man-made idea using Scriptures, often twisted and distorted, and many of them out of their intended context to shore his ideas up. Rick Warren comes up with an idea and goes to the one of the many translations or paraphrase of the bible to confirm his ideas. Crafty. Clever, very clever indeed.

The whole Purpose Driven thing has spread like wildfire around the globe because of man made "PyroMarketing."

Purposeful Interference

Time Magazine recently listed the “The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America.” Predictably, topping that list was Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Community Church in Saddleback Valley, California, and author of the bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life. The Purpose Driven Life is a phenomenon that defies comparison. In two years it sold over 22 million copies and easily became the best-selling hardcover book in American history. Hundreds of thousands of pastors have been trained in Warren’s Purpose Driven seminars and tens of thousands of churches have participated in his programs. Time gets it right when they say, “Although Franklin Graham is heir to the throne of the Billy Graham organization, many believe that Warren, 51, is the successor to the elder Graham for the role of America’s minister.” Continued in the above link.

Purposeful Interference - An Update

Some time ago I wrote an article entitled Purposeful Interference in which I claimed that Rick Warren and his representatives within the Purpose Driven organization had suppressed the publication of the book Pyromarketing: The Four Step Strategy to Ignite Customer Evangelists and Keep them For Life by Greg Stielstra. The article coincided with another brief article dealing with the same subject that was published by Publishers Weekly. The article was widely-read and talked about within other blogs. Continued in the above link.

Purpose Drivenism is even spreading through the Lutheran Church the same denomination Mr. Rosebrough is member of.

Here is an example of "PyroMarketing" in full swing at this Lutheran Church:

Is this only for current members of First Lutheran? No. In fact, because so many FLC members already have the book, it looks like we’ll have over 100 free copies to share with guests and visitors. So please invite friends, co-workers, neighbors and relatives to join us. It’s a great time for inquirers to “check us out” and get a feel for the First Lutheran faith community. - 40 Days of Purpose - a Congregational Emphasis Synod Resource Centers

A forty day study of Rick Warren's deceptive Purpose Driven Life book rather than a forty day study of God's book, the Bible. That particular church purchased over 100 of Warren's books and then handed out copies for free to share with guest and visitors. Notice the terms "guests and vistiors." Not "lost and blind sinners." Oh no, one cannot use those terms regarding the lost and radiclly depraved, evil, wicked sinner can we? Handing out free copies of Warren's book is the major way how the whole Purpose Driven Movement has spread so quickly. I have talked to many people and many have said that within the first several days or so they have given up on it because of all the error's, worldy wisdom, humanistic pyscology and philosphoy and the terrible Scripture twisting that is in the book. It takes years to study the Purpose Driven Life and that is just to weed out the weeds and leaven of false teaching that is in it. It is like jello, it is so hard to nail down, it is so difficult to show how Rick Warren has redefined Christianity and the methods he has used to do it.

"Warren is a pragmatist. As such he believes and teaches that the result is more important than the method. Probably the most startling statement in the entire book is "never criticize what God is blessing." (p. 62) He makes several such statements in The Purpose Driven Church but fails to provide a system to properly discern what God is blessing, other than the results. To place ultimate importance in the results is a grievous error. Numbers are not necessarily indicative of God's blessing. We need to refer everything to God's Word. Only by using the Scripture as the ultimate test can we have complete confidence in God's will." - The Discerning Reader.

Ridicule of the "old fashioned": Warren mocks churches which "seem to think that the 1950s was the golden age, and they are determined to preserve that era in their church" (p. 55). He later makes it clear what he means by this. He encourages young pastors to leave behind that old fashioned church music in favor of jazz or rock or whatever turns your people on! He encourages churches to imitate the culture and "dress down" for church. On the one hand, he states that "there are those who, fearing irrelevance, foolishly imitate the latest fad and fashion; in their attempt to relate to today's culture, they compromise the message and lose all sense of being set apart." Yet Warren and those who follow his methodology practice exactly what he says is "foolish." He is desperately trying to be relevant, and in the process has lost all sense of being "set apart." Walking into church with food and drink, dressed down as if at the mall, and hearing rock & jazz music may be relevant, but it is NOT much different from the world. On page 62, Warren attempts to shelter himself from criticism on this issue. He says, "Never criticize what God is blessing, even though it may be a style of ministry that makes you uncomfortable." In other words, the new rock music, the new dress down look, and all the "cultural changes" which make many fundamentalists uncomfortable should be overlooked -- IF IT WORKS! - Biblical Discernent Ministries

Pragmatism is the overriding theme of Warren’s ministry. He says, for example, “If I didn’t believe that pastors can change the world I would be something else.”18 God’s servants need to pursue God’s purpose for our lives, not what may seem to produce results. Some of the Lord’s servants never see the results of their work, but those who follow after do. Twice he says, “Never criticize what God is blessing.”19 But he can be quite critical of others.20 On page 164 of PDC, for example, Warren says, “God warns us over and over not to criticize, compare, or judge each other . . . . Whenever I judge another believer, four things instantly happen: I lose fellowship with God, I expose my own pride, I set myself to be judged by God, and I harm the fellowship of the church.” This is not the place for a discourse on judging, but there are times to judge and there are times not to judge. In order to protect his pragmatic philosophy, Warren chooses to ignore clear scripture. - Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International

Like Dave, many find it hard to resist the popular consensus, especially when Pastor Warren's "rules for growth" tells us to "never criticize what God is blessing."[3] Implying that church growth and changed lives prove God's delight in our human strategies, it cancels His call to "be on guard" and discern deception. While only God can judge the heart of a person, He tells us to help each other follow His guidelines, not be driven by today's new management systems. [see Driven or Led?] - Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 1

"God blesses churches that are unified. At Saddleback Church, every member signs a covenant that includes a promise to protect the unity of our fellowship. As a result, the church has never had a conflict that split the fellowship...."[6, page 167] Emphasis added

"Rick's Rules of Growth.... Third, never criticize what God is blessing, even though it may be a style of ministry that makes you feel uncomfortable." [1, page 62]

Who determines what God is blessing? Does the growth come through the Holy Spirit or through the latest strategies in behavior modification? The assessments that measure progress toward pre-planned outcomes don't discern spiritual influences — whether from God or other forces. Like public schools, they measure personal change toward collective thinking and readiness to cooperate, but they can't test the heart or measure obedience to the promptings of the Spirit. So the question remains: are new members added because they were seeking God or because they liked the feel-good fellowship, the sense of belonging and the unconditional respect?

Listen to the words Jesus spoke to the crowds fascinated with His message and healing power. “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life....” Matthew 6:26-27

Peter Drucker's unbiblical emphasis on success by man's standards should stir great alarm among Christians. What happens to people who don't fit his blueprint for productive human resources? Sarah Leslie, co-author of The Pied Pipers of Purpose, a vital document that makes the complexities and connections behind the new management systems understandable, wrote:

"We've come across numerous references in the Purpose-Driven literature to a concept called “abandonment.' It is a Peter Drucker concept that has to do with businesses abandoning parts of their business that don't make money. In the private sector (churches) it translates into churches abandoning projects that don't produce pre-defined 'results' (the measurable kind, 'outcomes,' etc.). This also means abandoning people who don't go along with the flow -- the 'laggards' who won't participate in the transformation. A church split is seen as a good thing, in that it gets rid of those people who are blocking progress towards church restructuring." - Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 4

Rick Warren is famous for saying, “never criticize what God is blessing.”[xxix] Warren uses his congregation’s mission success to justify the sloppy doctrine in his books:

I knew that by simplifying doctrine in a devotional format for the average person, I ran the risk of either understating or overstating some truths. I'm sure I have done that. …But I decided when I planted Saddleback in 1980 that I'd rather reach large numbers of people for Christ than seek the approval of religious traditionalists. In the past eight years, we've baptized over 11,000 new adult believers at our church.[xxx]

For the Bible-believing liberal, all means are neutral —even “understating or overstating some truths.” The mission (and its apparent success) justifies it. George Barna likewise urges the Church,

It is …critical that we keep in mind a fundamental principal of Christian communication: the audience, not the message, is sovereign… our message has to be adapted to the needs of the audience.[xxxi]

Therefore, Barna sees anything but the most pragmatic concerns as a waste of time:

…it behooves us to not waste time bickering about techniques and processes, but to study methods by which we can glorify our King and comply with the Great Commission.[xxxii]

And C. Peter Wagner, father of the church growth movement, agrees:

… we ought to see clearly that the end DOES justify the means. What else possible could justify the means? If the method I am using accomplishes the goal I am aiming at, it is for that reason a good method. If, on the other hand, my method is not accomplishing the goal, how can I be justified in continuing to use it? [xxxiii] - Todd Wilken: "Bible-Believing Liberals"

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