Challenging the Face of Religion “Is Your Envisioned Belief the True Spiritual Path?
People such as yourself make up society, including everyone else in it, all with a relatively common perspective. So then, the question here becomes, what is your belief? We all have one. Most know of God, some have idols, others see things for what it is while a selected few share universal views. Uniquely, there are followers of “inner me” perspectives, New Age mentalities or even more emerging thoughts. Thus, our societal woes have shaped traditional and cultural ideals into a worldly non-biblical nation.
Unfortunately, more of those things are continually being stripped away by the many ordinances, resolutions, and laws forced upon us with no alternative recourse, not to mention worldly influences from all spectrum of media. Consequently, countless religious leaders, at least for those who view them as such, are contributing to outlawing true Christianity in the biblical nature of God’s word and provisions. Moreover, any conceivable thought or action of instilling past values we were established on are overshadowed by a Post Modern nation where everything is relative and all viewpoints become valid. "But even if God’s Gospel is shielded, it remains blanketed from those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded." Before I go any further, disclosures contained throughout chapters of this book are not personal attacks on anyone's religious belief or followed leader. This is merely a factual insight to the many false misguided religions, misleading teachings ,and beliefs that continue to lead so many amiss. More importantly, exposing an orchestrated trail of deceit into a loose religious faith. For this purpose, the “psychological seduction” of Christianity has led us through sequences of sorrow, family destruction, world separation, and indoctrinated heretical doctrines.
A New Movement for Social Acceptance
Accordingly, our central forms of Government have removed the vital rock we once stood on and replaced it with foreign cultural deficiencies. No wonder many are confused about their core identity. Seemingly, the only time America comes together is in grief, disaster or loss. History from mid-first century AD has brought conflict between truth and what is not. Sources of those beliefs have been stripped away and replaced with triumphant adherents, at least in the eyes of idealists, especially biased media conglomerates. Christianity was once occupied with a sound orthodox interpretation of salvation and faith. However, contrarian opinions have defined new ways in presenting contradicting doctrines. Incidentally, influential figures play a confounding role of sharing prevalent false ideologies. In naming your most influential person or spiritual adviser who would that person be? Billy Graham, Robert Schuller, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, what about Dalai Lama? This may surprise you, but none are as successful and more influential than Oprah Winfrey who drew 12.4 million viewers daily. Why am I including the former queen of daytime television? Not only because of her promotion during the last program in contribution to a social charge and what appeared as some new-found idiocy which apparently seduced millions, but also conglomerate networks support towards conforming Winfrey’s audience.
As a guide for you the reader in understanding many dangers of these foreign beliefs, this opening chapter introduces those abstractions because ‘how artful homily can sway a desiring heart away from that which is right’. Accordingly, our central forms of Government have removed the vital rock we once stood on and replaced it with foreign cultural deficiencies. No wonder many are confused about their core beliefs and identity. Seemingly, the only time America comes together is in grief, disaster or loss. History from mid-first century AD has brought conflict between truth and what is not. Sources of those beliefs have been stripped away and replaced with triumphant adherents, at least in the eyes of idealists, especially biased media conglomerates. "People often ask me, 'what is the secret of success of the show? How have we lasted 25 years? I non-jokingly say, my team and Jesus, because nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me." (http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/The-Oprah-Winfrey-Show-Finale 1/1). "I'm talking about the same one you're talking about. I'm talking about Alpha and Omega, the Omniscient, the Omnipresent, the Ultimate Consciousness, the Source, the Force, the All of everything there is, the One and Only G-O-D"
Aside from how great her speech sounded, about this "One and Only G-O-D," let me clue you in on the deity Oprah spoke of. What should be clarified, is the "Jesus" and "God" she described is undoubtedly not biblical according to Scripture, but it may be clear for those who share her views. True Christians on the other hand, may feel otherwise. No matter how you phrase him, only God is omniscient, no other so called divinity concocted can adjure to his sanctity. Oprah Winfrey’s widespread influence on spirituality can be attributed to the “New Age Movement” of which she chiefly promoted, by featuring self-called gurus like Shirley McLane, Marilyn Ferguson to include Marianne Williamson.
Specifically, Winfrey featured psychotherapy as a solution for life’s problems. Through self-help theology and practices, she dished up to audiences daily, based on what was served, the courses were superb. America has accepted Oprah’s spiritual teachings, however, crediting the slightest ability to make even Hindu/Buddhist concepts fit within Christianity should not be complemented or taken seriously. This has been human’s wandering mind for centuries, and mixing counterfeit religions she deluded viewers for years including professed Christians who have been largely ignorant of these teachings.
Provided that the goal effectively disabled watchers ability in deciphering non-realism from realistic revelation, their door to the body and authority of spiritual truth allowed brews of thoughts, opinions, speculations, guesses, or whatever a person "feels" about God’s nature to be doubted. Oprah Winfrey’s own "Mind Science" was evident when she denied God on national television making clear a made up “New Thought” Christianity. In fact, these incorporation of strategic theories are structures of Eastern mystical religions. Although they bear pious names, they’re opposed to Christian character as defined in the bible. Oprah’s exploitation of faith is a packaged theosophy laced with hidden knowledge that offers enlightenment and New Age Philosophy.” Clearly, her Baptist background was lost somewhere between stardom or possibly self-realization theories.
Later in the broadcast, Oprah made some astonishing revelations; “My eyes were opened to the fact that "God" was bigger than the doctrines I had been taught,” and was excited when she discovered views that taught her there were many ways to God besides through Jesus. she continued by stating, “the Cross to her was not a matter of Jesus reconciliation of man to God through His payment for the sins of the world, but rather a preeminent lesson in overcoming the obstacles in one's life.” “I recall that transition period in my life when I began my search for more than Bible doctrines.” What a shocking yet seemingly spiritual teaching that sounds acceptable. Without a doubt, Winfrey’s outlying pitch made the real estate auction list, put up for sale, passed escrow, then sold to the highest bidder. Simply put, it is promoting the deification of common good and salvation through self-reliance. Most interestingly, we’re inviting theories and humanistic philosophies (Humanism) fashioned beyond rationale. Oprah Winfrey continued, "What if “there are many paths to what you call God? Her path might be something else, and when she gets there she might call it the Light, but her loving and her kindness and her generosity, if it brings her to the same place it brings you, it doesn't matter whether she calls it God or not." Those are Winfrey’s words as she considered her Christian view against a non-Christian woman’s path to God? Christianity has apparently turned into a marketable commodity with an ad strategy based on “ideological thinking and works salvation.” Be that as it may, “All roads do not lead to the same place.” Jesus Himself said, “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6 (NET).
So as to sway “the following” with her empirical drive, she took it a step further. On October 18th, 2015 seven billion people, searching for connection, redemption, and meaning. Oprah Winfrey presented a seven-night event titled "Belief," the media dubbed it a “groundbreaking television event exploring humankind's ongoing search to connect with something greater than ourselves”. Journeying to far reaches of the world, “places cameras have rarely been.” The television event took millions of viewers on a ride, searching origins of diverse faiths to the heart of what they felt really matters. “From epic to intimate, webbed throughout each hour are stories of people on spiritual excursions that took them to sacred spaces.” Uniquely riddled, how can anyone not be enticed? In light of thousands, Oprah have aided over the years, what she has attained and things accomplished, there is nothing but admiration in my heart. In the long run, however, it won’t count for anything without the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Every one of us has been given an unimaginable gift to spend eternity with God, certainly mind blowing; to say the least. In fact, from the book of Genesis through Revelation, scripture explains how you can make this a reality. Oprah on the other hand, noted, “the purpose of religious faith is generally tethered to the big and imponderable questions, why are we here? What does this all mean? Is there a divine order to the mystery of our lives”?
Surprisingly, she admitted we possess some Godlike nature that is mysterious. To explain, in her quest for meaning, questions arose through a variety of ways by first venturing on a pilgrimage to Mecca where a skateboard whiz converted welcoming Islam as his spiritual path, then it was south pacific islanders who shoulder death-defying leaps of faith postulate it by lending to the bounty of their harvest. Particularly, the television event was bent on exploring how ordinary people find meaning. Stories included an Evangelical believer who searched for spiritual strength when her faith was tested. There were segments however that acknowledged violence publicized through news sources and perpetrated in the name of religion. But mostly, “Belief” tackled religion in a more elevating fashion, sort of ‘Refashioned exciting TV. As the show continued, “Winfrey’s narration points out, “Life is a “journey we are not meant to take alone.” In like manner, devoting some portions of the event to how love figures into various religions. Hence, other topics like death and dealing with tragedy followed, but there we are repetitious prompting formulated around targeted themes. To that end, Oprah Winfrey leveraged her wealth and platform to promote her personal crusade. So that her social charge of “do good works” and self-empowerment phenomenon reaches an untapped world, the program’s forthrightness towards different sects may not have appeared to be such a huge deal. But “Belief” lacks credible support and is dubious. However well intentioned, the program was fitting for a start-up brand known as OWN.
Read more at http://www.oprah.com/belief/Oprah-Winfrey-Presents-Belief
Notwithstanding, In God’s revelation of Himself through Christ, we have come to know His attributes. Without it, we would be left to speculate about an infinite God. Consequently, this is often the case. Unfortunately, deities, self-prosperity beliefs, word faith movements, self-realization, reincarnation, Buddha concepts, and universalism are all fallacious, Atheists especially are products of an unproven ideology. Like Oprah Winfrey’s persuasion, people decided to muddle in mythology and society is sold on this. As a result, professed biblical Christians including baby one’s and pastors are being bamboozled as a fallen human race gets tangled into a web of delusion. Many are being hurled, muddled if you will in their thoughts about God by counterfeit-biblical sources, specifically best-selling Christian books, current Christian television programming, in like fashion, Oprah, and her conjured up beliefs. In order to keep this world down a spiral descent, God’s holy character is vilified by disseminating appealing ideas that usually pleases lusts of the flesh which lacks discernment. Even more, contributions of misleading superficial relationships embodying false imaginable deities and “self-realization” theories stemming from “inner me” perspectives are transforming gender specifics. John, the beloved Apostle, in his epistle, explains how believers love God because he first loved us. (1 John: 4:19). Have we turned away from an understanding of the simple Gospel that God became a man in order to reconcile us to himself through His life, death, and resurrection? He provided a free gift of salvation for all. As a reminder, those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution because “evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:12-13).
A perfect example of Winfrey’s ambiguous guidance leads us to Evangelical leader Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest California. Pastor Rick Warren’s Church averages a weekly attendance of roughly 20,000 people. Mr. Warren becomes a brief focus point of this first chapter, because more than any other Evangelical (Emerging) pastor, his marketing campaign for popularity and notoriety has him on just about every major media forum. In addition, his most publicized book titled "The Purpose Driven Life - What on earth am I here for? Published back in 1997 then re-released for a younger generation has attracted millions.
First, bringing your attention to an interview on national television that aired Christmas morning December 25, 2012, on “CBS This Morning” where host Norah O'Donnell asked pastor Warren about his support of and defining marriage between a man and woman. She started her interview by quoting the second greatest commandment - "love thy neighbor as thyself" – followed by asking "Why do you oppose same-sex marriage?" Warren responded by saying "We're in a democracy, where nobody wins all the time okay. For instance, I happen to believe life begins at conception. But that's not the law. We have a wide spectrum in America, and we have to work for the common good, and that means, sometimes, what I mean being 'co-belligerent'. For instance, “I don't agree with everything that the National Organization of Women supports. But when they are opposing pornography, that objectifies a woman's body, I'm a co-belligerent with them. So, I don't happen to agree with everything that my gay friends believe, but when they want to end AIDS, I'm a co-belligerent with them." Let me ask, how many people do you think knows what "co-belligerent means? Well, co-belligerence is waging war in cooperation with another against a familiar enemy without a formal alliance. Comparatively, the term indicates remoteness and differences between the co-belligerent parties although jointly pursuing common objectives. In Christianity, it refers to an alliance between denominations normally opposed on doctrinal grounds for a uniformed social goal. (Theopedia: An Encyclopedia of Christianity).
Different from previous positions, Rick Warren has flip-flopped so many times on how he really feels. See his reverse by visiting the following link. (http://christiannews.net/2012/12/04/rick-warrens-regret-over-making-video-suppor...),
In spite of Warren’s views, concerns arise with his stance. Evangelicals and church leaders like himself spend too much time attempting to reform current culture. Because of this, distraction lays hold, clouding their responsibility commissioned by their congregation. Different from what Scripture commands; “Watch out for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after I am gone fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Even from among your own group men will arise, teaching perversions of the truth to draw the disciples away after them” (Acts 20:28-30 (NET).
To be clear, no one can be moral apart from God because as created beings we possess selfish evil hearts. With this in mind, daily through our thoughts, actions and selectiveness, people sin. So basically, what leaders such as Rick Warren who millions idolize is truly saying, women are guilty of committing the sixth commandment. Also, how can any group or society have a cultural impact when Christ is brought down to man’s level? Christians along with church leaders alike should focus on preaching the “Word of God,” not practicing cultural amelioration.
In view of the fact that changing our laws will not fix this corrupt immoral world, only a personal relationship with Christ can gift such an unadulterated accomplishment. Co-anchor Charlie Rose asked Rick Warren "you have to be tolerant of other people's views. And so, if they differ with you with respect to Christianity or with respect to some of the things you say, you are tolerant and accepting that they came to their beliefs in a genuine way and have to be respected for that." Warren responded by saying "the left has changed the meaning of the word "tolerance" to further their agenda." Rick Warren went on to state “the problem is 'tolerant' has changed its meaning, the word used to mean I may disagree with you completely but I'm going to treat you with respect, that's what tolerance means.” "Today, to some people, it means you must approve of everything I do. That's not tolerance, that's approval. There's a difference between acceptance and approval. Jesus accepted everybody no matter who they were. He doesn't approve of everything I do or you do or anybody else does either. So, you can be accepting without being approving. That's an important point." Sadly, Rick made a few major errors explaining Jesus’s act of kindness, what he did, especially those he received. To point out, Rick’s analogy is "Ecumenism" (this mainly refers to initiatives aimed at greater Christian unity or cooperation with all denominations).
At the same time, it explains why he does not have issues working alongside Buddhists, Muslims, Mormons, Catholics or any other religious sect. Jesus did not come to condemn the world, this I agree with, but as Paul, himself said in (John 3:17) “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”. Moreover, if someone walks into an assembly, or anywhere falsifying truth, upholding all that is against your core beliefs and strictly valued upbringing, are you saying Jesus would be fine with that? Given that, (2 John 1:10-11) tells us "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works." Of course, there are those who will deny God and harbor deceptive beliefs. For this reason, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Furthermore, disagreement of God’s truth will continue, which is why Paul the apostle emphasized! "be diligent to present yourself approved unto God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). In agreement, tolerance has been applied and redefined to 'every belief, tradition, even lifestyles. Truth no matter derivative value especially claims are equal' because we are living in a world built on diversity. Denying this according to world leaders especially those holding parallel views on Christianity classifies someone as 'intolerant', for some, dismissing of their views thereby making them worthy of contempt.
While this may be true, the argument remains illogical, self-refuting, and clearly opens a visual portal to how media manipulate Anti-Christianity in television programming, especially family presentations, specifically daily events civilization plays out. With this intention, children are being raised in a colonization compelling acceptance of rationalism. Practical Christians are promoting these concepts "anything can be done through one's own thought or opinion." Must be remembered, two thousand twelve (2012) Presidential nominee Mitt Romney vied for the White House seat. Christians voted in favor yet ignored the fact Romney’s spiritual following is Mormonism. Unknowing to most, LDS’s do not acknowledge Christ as God’s only begotten son, but rather a prophet, also the brother of Lucifer. In hopes President Obama not in support of their non-biblical positions was then removed, by doing so, at least they stood a better chance of "outlawing Christianity altogether. Again, turns out none of this really mattered as this emphasis has overtaken public education. Even more alarming is how it has permeated all parts of society to include churches.
Religious leaders should get away from focusing their attention on building relationships with unbelievers or anyone preaching another Gospel denouncing the word of our Lord and Savior, but instead be stewards of God bringing people closer to Him by employing better comprehension. (Colossians 2:8) states "See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." The core elements of what this world was created and built on are today’s new world order. According to Rick Warren, why can't we all just get along? Because current generations view things differently, from their attitudes to embellishing selfish goals, folks fashion in idealistic persona.
Simply put, we are part of a universe occupied by unsettling creatures with unforgiving ways incapable of differentiating what is biblical truth versus what is not. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:3). Regarding Warren’s comment about Jesus accepting everyone. Although he healed, fed, mended broken hearts and offered salvation through his infinite sacrifice by dying on the cross. Christ expressly said, "For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12: 43:50). Welcoming those who followed other beliefs, on the other hand, is nowhere within new testament teaching, instead, a path was paved for repentance. Neither did any other gospel of acceptance preached. In fact, sharp disapproval and criticism explains how God addressed it; “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler, not even to eat with such one” (1 Corinthians 2:11).
Surely, if the world does as God says, "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God" (1 Corinthians 2:4-5), accordingly, people would not be led into a belief of contradiction with scripture by fostering false ideology. Christianity should not be looked at as some "blind faith" because it is not. As faithful followers, we must “preach the word, be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).
In no way do I intend to take away from what RW good intentions may have been, but there are real serious implications with contents in “The Purpose Driven Life” which leads readers away from God’s intended purpose, and desire for all men to give up their evil ways. An honest overview of Rick’s book follows. Warren’s book acts as “a guide to this forty-day spiritual journey that will help discover answers to life’s most important question: “What on earth am I here for”? (p. 9). Warren argues that an extended time period is a biblical precedent for life-change (p. 10), “Why am I here”? Here are five life-purposes he outlines
1.You were planned for God’s pleasure [Worship]
2. You were formed for God’s family [Fellowship]
3. You were created to become like Christ [Spiritual Growth]
4. You were shaped for serving God [Spiritual Service]
5. You were made for a mission [Evangelism]
Non-Biblical Theological Perspective
FIRST, GOD DID NOT CREATE MAN FOR PLEASURE. Secondly, Fellowship is sharing ideas, interests, and fun time with each other, millennials idea of Fellowship comes from a “Post Modern” perspective. Here all viewpoints are equally valid because society has now led to relativism (the idea that all truth is relative). Basically meaning what is right for one denomination or group may also be true for others. In Christianity, Postmodernism claims that this only applies to us Christians, and not to those who do not follow Jesus Christ; therefore, sexual morality, remarriage including risky lifestyles (Luke 16:18) have become acceptable. Warren’s third purpose completely steers away from doctrine. Individuals are impervious to spiritual discernment because our unrighteous nature finds civilization more appealing than God’s precepts. Rick’s assertion of becoming like Christ misses all Biblical meaning (see Mormonism and New Age Concepts). Genesis 1:26 "Then God said, let us make man in our image, according to “Our likeness;” let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Certainly, being God’s of ourselves is inconceivable, however, as Christians, “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:6). Additionally, our hearts are naturally evil; “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies (Matthew 15:19 KJV). Spiritual growth on the other hand according to modern day preachers can be obtained through his (Jesus) divine power, supplying us with everything we need for life and "godliness" through our knowledge of him. Under those circumstances, by acknowledging God’s essence and escaping corruption this world perpetuates through perseverance, brotherly love, and kindness, he will more than likely keep your life from being ineffective.
Unfortunately, this imaginary concept is considered "humanism." pastoral leaders like Rick Warren try leading their followers with "temporal" ideas that are unrealistic false promises of hope, encouragement, and carries an “inner-perspective” view into “self-realization theories.” Another familiar phrase used is "walking in the spirit," where do they get this stuff from? Well, 2 Peter 1-11 actually. The apostle Peter outlined steps one must follow to obtain entry into God’s Kingdom. He mentioned nothing about your spiritual growth, but instead "Fruitful Growth." Peter said, "For if you add these things 2 Peter 1-8; 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the "knowledge" of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To explain, Peter is saying be diligent, adding to our faith the Knowledge required in having a better understanding of Jesus Christ whose blood broke the chains for our sins when slain. But, if we fail verse 9 states: "For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins." Furthermore, countless people are misled into believing they can achieve such consciousness by emulating Christ. Anyone who acts as their own counsel follows the wrong Gospel. Consequently, new born Christians, in particular, may fall away from their faith at some point, even start despising churches when things go amiss while a small percentage fall back on questioning God’s inspired word. “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; “The poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eye” (Romans 3:9-18 KJV).
Actually, if you are a new follower, longstanding Christian or an unbeliever wondering where to begin your journey, there are no number of essential steps in moving forward. There is only one way, through the Lord and Savior. "For it is by God’s grace we have been saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8}. Even more, the importance of knowing how much "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16 KJV). Thus, remaining life’s most important essential in acceptance and faith. Repentance of sin and relying on Christ for everything offers a renewed life. What if you are posed with the unthinkable challenge, sacrificing sons or daughters to prove your faith, trust, and belief? He did this for us. Also, giving credence to ideas of “being shaped for serving God" as RW suggests in his fourth concept produces "Positive Thinking" conjecture, especially when you comparatively associate it with Spiritual Service. Such framed theory claims our thoughts positive or negative, influences the body, mind, personality and health. Thus, influencing the world and other people around them. As a result, success or failure is allegedly created by power generated from one’s mind. To this end, giving back and serving others is human’s gift to God. Truly, Rick warren’s nonsensical. service is contrary to faith in action, neither is it the works our Lord and Savior speaks of. Faith without works is dead; a man is justified by works, spiritual deeds defined biblically unlike faith. Catholics, Emerging Church followers, including Lutherans have taken what James spoke and turned it into a working creed, engulfing themselves with missions, feeding the hungry and loving on others. Can this “being Christ-like” encouragement be heaven’s road?
By all means, "He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done" (Proverbs 19:17 KJV). "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered." (Proverbs 21:13 KJV) "A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor" (Proverbs 22:9 KJV). Expect no reward, in turn, God will grant those things you are deserving of. Indeed, he knows your heart, how partiality circumvents inner worth, condemnation of others as many churches’ do and grudging to others. Lastly, Warren writes "In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world." John 17:18, (quoted from Message Bible). "The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me.” (Acts 20:24 NCV). Finally, Rick Warren tells his readers that “God is at work in the world and He wants you to join Him. This assignment is called your mission, and it is completely different from your ministry. Your ministry is your service to believers in the Body of Christ, while your mission is the service to those unbelievers in the world. God created you for both. Your life mission is both shared and specific. One part of it is a responsibility you share with every other Christian, and the other part is an assignment that is unique to you. Our English word "mission" comes from the Latin word for "sending." Being a Christian includes being sent into the world as a representative of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
To enumerate, there are serious implications here and readers should be concerned. Not only has Warren quoted writing from ‘the Message bible’ translation which is wrapped in paraphrases as the author Eugene Peterson diligently mentions, but throughout RW’s book, he misrepresents God continually. Even more, scripture cited are out of context with his relative views, misguided and goes far beyond misrepresentation. God did not create us to serve unbelievers. This was explained earlier about our creation. Neither is ministry a service to believers. (John 17-18 KJV) Jesus was praying for his disciples, glorified in them asked his father to keep through his name to them because they believed. Verse 17: Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth. 18, as you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. Christ is expounding preach the true Gospel. But Rick Warren like many other mega church pastors negate John’s passage (v 19); “and for their sake I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth,” “sanctify” means “to consecrate, or set apart persons to God” (Ex. 28:41; 29:1, 36; 40:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). Christ uses the Word and his father to do His work within us. Sanctification is not the eradication of our sins, or of "old selves" without human ideas or speculating, God takes his word and sets us apart from the world to Himself. This means that as a follower and true believer, a person’s behaviors and actions are distinct from others, (at least it should be) those who do not believe and are not followers of Jesus Christ. God’s word sanctifies us thru everything we do in our daily lives. Faith grows in His grace through the knowledge of His word which is the truth, and as in obeying, we are sanctified by him through our acceptance of him. Jesus prayed to His Father already set apart to God.
This was the night before His death on the cross. He was dedicating Himself “that they too (his Disciples) may be truly sanctified.” Jesus’s death eternally separated believers to God and his kingdom. “Sanctify them in truth; Your Word is truth” Just as Jesus was set apart, so are believers. “The truth” is the “Word, and the word is truth.” Romans 10:17 "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." we hear the Word, understand the truth and obey it. This changes everything about a Christian’s behavior, their giving, and forgiveness of others. God wants us to have a personal relationship with him. His purpose is for us to live by and in his word. This is the meaning of sanctification according to Scripture. Concerning Warrens disturbing claim (pg. 10) "The next 40 days will transform your life." Sadly, enough, the book is divided into forty brief chapters he says, where readers are urged to read one chapter a day so they'll have time to think. Thinking involves the implications for your life. Then he goes on to say "The bible says, "Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think, then you will know what God wants you to do" Romans 12:2. Here again, the Bible is misquoted as he takes writings from the "Message Bible." The Apostle Paul in all the letters he wrote, expressed his gratitude for those who would receive it in 1 Corinthians 1:4, except of course in his letter to the Galatians, who turned from the true gospel and caused him to refrain from using any opening commendations (Gal 1:6-12). Romans 1:11-12, “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established.
Paul continues in verse 12 that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” Context is very important to the understanding of scripture. Knowing the analogy plays an important role in how it's interpreted. Specifically, Warrens verse comes from Romans 12:1-2, 12 "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Jesus is not saying, "you will know what he wants you to do. God wants you to renew your mind with his word because we are weak, poor in spirit, uncertain, undisciplined, unfaithful and sinful. Most importantly, God would like you to understand and apply his principles in your life. One simply cannot receive his promises and deliverance if you do not renew your mind through Jesus and with his word. This is a basic foundational principle in order that you may live a more fruitful abundant life promised in the gospel of John. Romans 12: 2 warns us; “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” God does not want you to be 'conformed' to this world. Why is that? Who do you think the ruler of this world is, knowing there is only one God (2 Corinthians 4: 4,) in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them, which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
That God of this world he speaks of here is the devil, the adversary, and thief. Read John 10: 10a where you’ll learn what this thief does. Satan’s ministry is to steal, kill and destroy. Don't let this world shape, mold, deceive, or control all you do because it will eventually decimate you. Those are the secret to the devil's success. Concluding on a Spiritual gift, it comes from the Greek word "charisma," which means “gift of grace,” a spiritual enablement with our Lord and Savior. Romans use this term to describe Christ and general blessings from God (1 Tim 6:17). Also, specific spiritual gifts given to members of the body (1 Corinthians 12:1-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11), Paul intentions here are to encompass all three. Mutual refers to Paul’s genuine humility 1 Peter 5:3-4). Warren then tells readers "The entire city of Nineveh was transformed when God gave the people forty days to change" (Jonah 3:4). From a city of evil ways to one that believed in God, "So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 6 Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, let neither man, nor beast, herd nor flock taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?
As I mentioned earlier and will once more, Rick Warren is no doubt a sincere and genuine Christian leader, and his book is filled with important, practical truths; truths that many believers often times seem to either ignore or forget. For example, Warren reminds us that "time on earth is short and our fruitfulness now will count for eternity." He also emphasized in this book the importance of humility and servant-hood in your life, something many customary Sunday attendees and Biblical fundamentalists should heed. He also effectively addressed the matter of temptation, and I'm assuming he means spiritual victory over everyday temptation. Although there are many positive aspects of his book, we should also keep in mind that Warren is guiding millions of readers who believe his teaching or may turn to it on a "spiritual journey." Therefore, any error, lack of Scriptural soundness, misinterpretations, and misleading terminology need\ to be addressed and brought to light as was done here.
Overall, an alarming number of churches publicly endorsed Warren’s book. Some have hosted their 40 Days of his Purpose driven campaign, among them are the United Methodist, Nazarene, Baptist, Free Evangelical, Presbyterian, Seventh Day Adventist, Lutheran, Assemblies of God, Calvary Chapel, Vineyard, International Pentecostal Holiness and many others. Unfortunately, countless Televangelists that have passed religious leader status by their followers such as Billy Graham, Bruce Wilkinson, Max Lucado, Franklin Graham and Lee Strobel have endorsed and recommended Rick Warren's book. So why does this book have such strong appeal among such a diverse spectrum of denominations? Apparently, they've ignored its content and feel it poses no threat. Likewise, the book stays silent regarding the dangers of false doctrine and minimizes the importance of sound doctrine and differences altogether. Intentional un-spiritual guidance is never noticed if you’re the common bible reader or modern day follower. Neither is there a reason to question whether or not the same spiritual journey embraced by Rick Warren’s church and other leaders alike is a spiritual journey that is faithful to God's Word and thereby worthy of his calling. Overstepping a person’s "free will" is not something God does. He inspires you to do things, but in the end, it is you who make choices, God never forces anyone to do anything. If you feel that something in your life is not in line with the “word of God" then act and overcome it by following true scripture, not the message Bible or a book claiming to be a guide leading one towards spiritual growth and a better life. There is only one-way to that, and it’s through Jesus Christ not charismatic words of men.
To put it briefly, Rick Warren’s "The Purpose-Driven Life" contains sloppy Interpretation of Scripture, too much Integration of Psychological speculation and Application. Pastor Rick supplements Scripture with psychological principles which people today more so Christians have embraced in and out of the church, there’s also speculations throughout his book that the reader can better analyze and understand their own human behavior. There are references to untrustworthy sources for spiritual guidance, an absence of Important Spiritual truths to help anyone on a Spiritual Journey, Holiness, and Separation, including Doctrinal Error Regarding Important Biblical Truths. Incidentally, the books Premise; Thesis is Inconsistent with Biblical Scripture. The Bible is very specific and declares only one purpose for us and includes women's existence, to glorify God and accept his son as our Lord and Savior in the acknowledgment of our sins. Abiding to His law, accepting the gift that promises eternal life. “The Purpose Driven Life” seems to be a book promoting a possible guide to everyday living rather than a spiritual one. As Warren ends his book on (pg. 309, he expresses to the reader, "In this book, I have passed on to you what others taught me about the purpose of life; now it's your duty to pass that on to others." First, let me put this all into perspective: (2 Tim. 2:2) reminds us "stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our (the apostles') epistle" (2 Thess. 2:15). The Word of God is sufficient enough to equip the believer "for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
I agree, the Bible is sufficient and of course, God does use pastors and teachers to minister and teach us in the truths of Scripture, but He also uses you as well. Never “put your faith in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (2 Corinthians 2:5). To emphasize, pick up the bible yourself and see if it’s true. The Purpose-Driven® Life is inconsistent. Whatever spiritual journey Warren speaks of is misleading. Acceptance of his insights suggests you’re just looking for something to believe in, a good read possibly and is thereby lost and taken in by the seduction.
Note that when a Christian leader like Rick Warren reduces the importance of well-founded Biblical interpretation, they convince the reader the Bible says whatever he the writer may have said as in this case. Secondly, anyone who argues or disagrees with Warren’s interpretation becomes either a hater or bad talker because interpretation in today's society has become relative and irrelevant. Warren specifically states in his book to the reader that focusing on "Interpretations" of Scripture results in division (p. 162). Therefore, any criticism towards The Purpose-Driven Life for faulty interpretation of Scripture will be labeled "divisive." Lastly, not only is this a defensive fault, but blasphemous and leading the flock astray. Any serious discerning Christian or believer should be concerned and question Rick Warren’s purpose. The book is not consistent and does not teach the faithful words of God, as such it should never be taken as a biblical standard for a spiritual journey and everyday living.
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