Home > Apostasy, Collateral Studies, Heresy > PURPOSE DRIVEN MOVEMENT



EDITOR’S NOTE: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 John 4:1). Scripture commands us to be discerning in respect to what we believe and who we follow. By necessity, this includes the doctrinal beliefs of popular author and speaker Dr. Rick Warren. Warren’s springboard book, Purpose Driven Life (PDL) has sold well over 20 million copies spawning several other “purpose-driven” enterprises while giving him a voice of influence for people around the world. Today he peddles his influence as the facilitator of an unholy alliance between Christianity and Islam known as Chrislam. His influence is growing. CNN heralded him as America’s Pastor which many believe provides him with unlimited numbers of squandered evangelistic opportunities. And while Warren often speaks to Muslims, Jews,  and most recently New Agers [in his unholy alliance with Dr. Mehmet Oz] about cooperative humanitarian projects, his purpose driven desire to be non offensive invariably overshadows his sense of divine destiny causing him to remove the Name above every name- Jesus Christ our Lord-  from his well crafted speeches and prayers [think back to the invocation at Obama’s inauguration]. Therefore, after observing the fruit (Matt. 7:20) and trying the spirits (1 John 4:1) of the PDL movement, PMI cannot endorse Rick Warren or his Purpose Driven anything!

“Pastor Rick” Warren is merely one of a cabal of modern-day false prophets whose message can be boiled down to, “I’m okay, you’re okay” when the clear message of scripture is, “I’m not okay, and neither are you. But guess what? God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life!”

While he is but one man, the global reach of his ecumenical church of deceit and of his Devil Driven machination gives “Pastor Rick” an unprecedented opportunity to rend the flock.

“Pastor Rick” is joined in his man-centered false gospel boy’s club by the likes of Joel Osteen who preaches a sticky sweet “Gawd luuuvs you” bubble-gum theology that’s utterly devoid of the offense of the cross and Brian McLaren whose version of the “McGospel” is being endlessly “reimagined” by the post-modern neo-liberal emergent/emerging church movement.

Notoriously missing from the message of these “Evangelicals” – a term I use advisedly – is the evangelium, i.e. the Gospel itself! Think about for a moment and ask yourself when is the last time any of these very prominent – supposedly Christian – pastors publicly called for repentance or spoke of sin, judgment or hell? I’m guessing those subjects would be quite unpalatable to their worldly followers and would serve to vaporize their fawning media coverage and alienate many of their most generous “prayer partners”. Tsk, tsk . . .

The not-so-curious thing all of these “men of God” (so-called) have in common is the acceptance, adoration and love of the world. I seem to recall something in the scriptures about the love of the world; can anyone help me out with those pesky chapters and verses?

And though it’s unfortunate and saddening to watch these ravening wolves rend the flock it is simultaneously heartening to see in the midst of this present darkness that there are still those willing to speak out against the spiritual adultery committed by these men and their kind. There remains a remnant of true believers within the Body who are empowered by the Holy Spirit with discernment and love of the true Gospel message of Christ crucified; the one and only Truth. These few stand as sentries in the darkness shining forth their candles of truth and light; the teachings of infallible scripture. While others question the validity and relevance of the Bible these few hold fast to their first love, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.

This discerning remnant is constantly pilloried and ridiculed by the co-opted church for their failure to collectively bow their knees to the church growth Baal of Rick Warren and his ilk. They often are accused of being hateful, spiteful, legalistic and highly Pharisaical. The paradox is that these few bastions of Christian truth are relatively powerless when contrasted against the Devil Driven . . . er, um . . . I mean Purpose Driven organizations surrounding the likes of Warren, Osteen, McLaren, [Rob Bell] et al. These “watchmen on the gate” don’t have gigantic media relations teams, near limitless funds, book deals, powerful friends in high places or legions of hirelings at their beck and call. What they have instead is the inspiration of scripture and a simple boldness and love of the truth which they derive from the Holy Spirit. With those odds there’s no reason for dismay on their part for as it’s been rightly said, God is a majority.

At the end of the day Rick Warren is another fence-riding charlatan who wants to have his cake and eat it too. He enjoys rubbing elbows with the world’s elite and relishes in the prerequisites of his worldly fame [this includes Muslims]. In the private sector Rick Warren would be a great asset to any company, smart, savvy, and possessing natural leadership skills and enthusiasm. In the Church he’s an abomination who has sold his spiritual birthright for a bowl of worldly porridge.

Sadly for “Pastor Rick” he and his ilk surround themselves with gutless yes-men, sycophants and hangers-on who will never tell him the truth he so desperately needs to hear; that he has strayed from the path of righteousness and become self seeking, self serving and man-centered and is in need of a contrite and repentant heart that the Lord might be merciful and restore him. But why would they? Why would these blind followers of the blind point out to Pastor Rick the error of his ways? He’s their meal ticket, their golden goose if you will, and it’s been proven time and again that men will go to great – even drastic – lengths to preserve their positions and material wealth.

But even more disheartening than Pastor Rick’s self-sustaining delusions of grandeur is the fact that he has proven himself unwilling to use his visibility and fame to perform the very task to which he ostensibly was called: to preach the Gospel. This means that, not unlike Pastor Rick himself, his audiences are also not hearing the truth they so desperately need to hear; the truth of the cross.

The church doesn’t need more P.E.A.C.E. plans, programs, AIDS summits or rallies, instead we need more men of God who will stand up and tell the world that it’s going to hell except for repentance and salvation via the shed blood Jesus Christ alone made available through the everlasting mercies of the One True Living God. [1]

The following 7 problems with Warren’s Purpose Driven Philosophy are excerpted from Dennis W. Costella, Editor of the FOUNDATION, a magazine published by the  Fundamental Evangelistic Association. [2]

Problem #1: Sloppy Hermeneutics (Interpretation of Scripture). Warren cites over 1,200 Scripture verses in his book. Yet The Purpose-Driven® Life is seriously flawed, hermeneutically speaking, in three ways: First, Warren completely misinterprets and misapplies certain texts; second, Warren presupposes his own ideas and beliefs and then “proof-texts” his points rather than exegeting the Scriptural text in order to discover its true meaning; and third, several paraphrases and translations used by Warren may prove his points, but they fail to relate even remotely the true meaning of the underlying Greek or Hebrew text. Example: “Wonderful changes are going to happen in your life as you begin to live it on purpose. God says, ‘I know what I am planning for you … I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.’ (p. 31). Warren cites this text (Jeremiah 29:11 from the New Century Version) several times in his book, but this verse is not informing the believer that wonderful changes will happen in his life once he lives out his purpose, as Warren would have one to believe. This text contains God’s personal message to the Israelites who were enduring the Babylonian captivity.

Problem #2: Integration of Psychological Speculation and Application. The Purpose-Driven® Life cannot claim to be a Scripture-only approach to living the Christian life. Throughout the book, Warren supplements Scripture with psychological principles and speculation in order to allow the reader to better analyze and understand human behavior. Example: “Many people are driven by guilt … guilt-driven people are manipulated by memories. They allow their past to control their future. They often unconsciously punish themselves by sabotaging their own success” (pp. 27-28).

Problem #3: References to Untrustworthy Sources for Spiritual Guidance. When embarking upon a spiritual journey, one should obviously exercise discernment and discrimination when determining who should be consulted and trusted for advice and inspiration and who should be shunned. Of course, Bible-believing Christians should seek instruction and advice from those who, first of all, possess a relationship with God and who have subsequently demonstrated through their lives, ministries or writings a dedication to God and a love for Him—a dedication and love demonstrated by faithful obedience to Him and belief in the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture. Yet, in The Purpose-Driven®, Warren frequently quotes men and women of the past and present who cannot be trusted in any spiritual sense by believers today. In fact, several of Warren’s quotes come from the lips of those who are not only unregenerate but who are (or have been) active opponents of Biblical orthodoxy. Consider several individuals to whom Warren refers and quotes in a positive manner in order to support his own principles: ie, Brother Lawrence and Madame Guyon, both Roman Catholic mystics; Aldous Huxley—a proponent of humanistic atheism who published an influential study advocating the use of mescaline to expand perception and consciousness; Anais Nin—a 20th century feminist writer of erotic literature; William James—a 19th century philosopher and psychologist of religion and an advocate of pragmatism and religious pluralism. James wielded a pervasive influence in American religious liberalism as he denied the reality of absolute truth; and Henri Nouwen—cited several times in The Purpose-Driven® Life, Nouwen was a Roman Catholic priest, ecumenist, educator and psychologist; one of the leading figures in introducing psychology into the Roman Catholic Church.

Problem #4: Absence of Important Spiritual Truths for Anyone’s Spiritual Journey—Holiness and Separation. According to The Purpose-Driven® Life, the second purpose of a believer’s life is to learn to love others (p. 125). Warren says believers have been formed for God’s family, and as part of that family, they must experience life together, cultivate community, restore broken fellowships and protect their church. Certainly these aspects of the Christian life are important, but God is just as concerned about personal holiness and the purity of His church. Sometimes this demands separation or a word of reproof and rebuke, which then leads to broken fellowship and disharmony at times. Noticeably absent from Warren’s book is any emphasis on the need for personal holiness and purity of doctrine. Certainly, in any believer’s spiritual journey, pure doctrine is vitally important, for the only truths anyone knows about God and the process of living the Christian life stem from the teaching (doctrine) of God’s Word. In fact, any acceptance of false doctrine or those who propagate it actually hinders one’s relationship with God and usefulness for Him (Psa. 66:18; 2 Cor. 6:14-17; 2 Tim. 2:16-21)—certainly something to consider when embarking on a spiritual journey. Warren, however, never warns the believer to watch out for false doctrine or harmful fellowships—in fact, he minimizes the need for doctrinal purity by stressing the importance of “love” and “unity” above anything that would cause strife or division. He emphasizes that believers should refuse to let anything divide them and castigates any judgmental believers or those critical of the beliefs, actions or teachings of others. In other words, he believes “love” and “unity” should take precedence over “doctrine” and “purity” in the church—despite the fact that God’s Word frequently links true, Biblical, agape “love” with “obedience” to the commandments of Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:15; 1 Jn. 2:3-5). This is a serious flaw. Example: “God warns us over and over not to criticize, compare, or judge each other (Rom. 14:13; James 4:11; Eph. 4:29; Matt. 5:9; James 5:9). When you criticize what another believer is doing in faith and from sincere conviction, you are interfering with God’s business. ‘What right do you have to criticize someone else’s servants? Only their Lord can decide if they are doing right’ (Rom. 14: 4 CE V)” (p. 164).

“Paul adds that we must not stand in judgment or look down on other believers whose convictions differ from our own: ‘Why, then, criticize your brother’s actions, why try to make him look small? We shall all be judged one day, not by each other’s standards or even our own, but the standards of Christ’ (Rom. 14:10, New Testament in Modern English)” (p. 164). God does love His church and paid the highest price for it, and He does want us to protect it. However, believers do not protect it by clamoring for peace at any price and minimizing important doctrinal differences for the sake of a false unity. According to Warren, God wants His church protected “especially” from damage caused by division, conflict and disharmony. According to the Bible, however, God wants His church protected “especially” from contaminating agents such as false teachings, false teachers and wicked behavior (Acts 20:27-31; Rom. 16:17; 1 Thess. 4:1-3; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14; 1 Tim. 1: 18-20; 2 Tim. 2:16-22; 1 Jn. 4:1-6). The church is protected when believers in the church exercise discernment and judge all teachings, philosophies and programs by the Word of God and subsequently separate from any that conflict with the doctrine of the apostles as given by God Himself.

Problem #5: Doctrinal Error Regarding Important Biblical Truths. The Purpose-Driven® Life contains other doctrinal problems that could adversely impact the life of a believer who truly purposes to glorify God in his daily Christian walk. Several problems arise, including his interpretation of the Judgment Seat of Christ. He claims God will ask us questions, one of them concerning what we did with Jesus. That is unscriptural. The fact is, the Judgment Seat is for believers so God knows what we did with His Son (please see 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Cor. 3:13; 4:5). This will be a time when our works will be tested in the fires of judgment and rewards will be meted out by Him. 

Problem #6: Premise/Thesis of Book Inconsistent With Scripture. The purpose of Warren’s book is to answer the age-old question: “What on earth am I here for?” According to Warren, believers have been placed on the earth to fulfill five purposes. He writes, ” [God] has clearly revealed his five purposes for our lives through the Bible” (p. 20). These purposes, according to Warren, are to bring enjoyment to God (p. 63), to learn to love others (P. 125), to become like Jesus Christ (p. 17 1), to serve God (p. 23 1) and to fulfill one’s mission (p. 28 1). Yet it can be argued that Warren’s thesis itself—that these are the believer’s five purposes for existence as “clearly revealed” in the Bible—is not entirely consistent with the teaching of Scripture. The Bible only declares one purpose for mankind’s existence: to glorify God. This is man’s purpose. From the beginning of a believer’s spiritual life in Christ until he is with Jesus Christ forevermore, he is to live “to the praise of [Christ’s] glory” (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14). Throughout all eternity God’s children will glorify Him (Rev. 4:11). Because the believer is “bought with a price,” he is commanded to “glorify God in [his] body, and in [his] spirit” (1Cor. 6:19-20). This is man’s sole purpose and reason for existence.

Problem #7: Promotion of the Entire Purpose-Driven Philosophy. Some believers who use The Purpose-Driven® Life may disagree with Warren’s Purpose-Driven® church philosophy as spelled out in his book The Purpose-Driven® Church yet still feel as though they can follow and recommend The Purpose-Driven® Life program. But Warren’s book The Purpose-Driven® Life and his 40 Days of Purpose campaigns are integrally linked to and intentionally promote his entire Purpose-Driven® philosophy—including his Purpose-Driven® Church program (for a Biblical analysis of Warren’s Purpose-Driven® Church program, request a copy of the FEA publication “What About the Church Growth Movement?”). Throughout The Purpose-Driven® Life, Warren encourages his readers to read The Purpose-Driven® Church, to implement Purpose-Driven® ministries in their churches and to purchase several other Purpose-Driven® resources. In fact, Warren includes an appendix at the end of The Purpose-Driven® Life that lists additional resources for the reader. Every resource mentioned is associated with Warren’s Purpose-Driven® program.

[1] Copied from http://defendingcontending.com/2008/08/07/rick-warren-false-prophets-and-the-remnant/

[2] Copied from http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Doctrines/purpose_driven_heresy.htm

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