TRUE OR FALSE
(This article was originally printed in April, 2005)
In an interview with Time Magazine on March 29th, 2004 Rick Warren says, “The culture is asking, how do I fill this void in my heart?” Warren further says, “I think religion has the answer.” Warren’s wonderful opportunity to share man’s only hope to millions of readers is lost in his evasive pool of specious rhetoric.
Jesus and Him crucified should have resounded from his voice as the only answer for man’s troubled soul. Religion, on the other hand, has been Satan’s greatest tool to deceive billions of people into believing they’re spiritually okay through their religious regime of good works and false beliefs. Why didn’t he just say, “Jesus said unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man comes unto the Father, but by Me” (Jn. 14:6)? He didn’t because Warren doesn’t want to offend unbelievers by telling them the truth that only Jesus can fill that empty hole in their hearts.
In an article from USA Today, Warren claims that Mormonism is just another Christian denomination rather than the hopeless false religion that it actually is.
Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, now preferred to be called “Church of the Latter Day Saints” by Mormons, claims that a messenger was sent from the presence of God, named Moroni. Moroni, who recorded on golden plates, events that took place 1400 years before Smith, hid them beneath a rock on the Hill of Cumorah (located in upstate New York) and told Smith the location of the golden plates and also instructed him to translate them into English. These writings, according to Mormon teaching, contain the fullness of the everlasting Gospel, now known as the Book of Mormon. Written in the Book of Mormon are the words of Joseph Smith claiming it is “the most correct book on earth.” His supernatural means of translating this imaginary fiction was to place a seer stone into a hat. When he placed his face over the hat the stone glowed and Egyptian symbols appeared with the English translation below. Smith translated the preposterous story of two migrations of ancient people to America, the family of Jared in 2000 B.C., at the time of the Tower of Babel, and of Lehi 1500 years later.
In the first migration, Jared’s brother was instructed to build a barge with no rudders and it was to be made “water tight.” People and animals were to be taken to the Promised Land. Jared’s brother had to ask God for some design modifications so breathing could be possible and to no surprise, God would further instruct him to bore two holes in the top and bottom of the barge. Oh, let’s not forget the shining stone on both ends of the barges to help them see. After being tossed to and fro and “buried in the depths of the sea many times,” according to the Book of Mormon, the barge after nearly a year, made it to the uninhabited Americas only to find the Jaredites perishing due to their wickedness.
IT GETS WORSE
The second migration in 600 B.C. of the Israelites have them leaving Jerusalem guided by a supernaturally provided “brass ball.” From the Promised Land to the Promised Land? These Promised Land hoping Lehites, soon after arrival to America, suffered a rebellion of Lehi’s sons, Laman and Lemuel, and were cursed by God. The result of the curse left them and their followers with “a skin of blackness to come upon them.” The Lamanites are considered by Mormonism to be the ancestors of Native Americans. The followers of Nephi remained white and were considered “fair and delightsome,” according to the Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon claims Jesus came and taught the Nephites after His Resurrection. He taught them the gospel of works salvation, ordained disciples, and provided instructions on the sacraments, communion and baptism. The Lamanites finally destroyed all the Nephites in the Fifth Century A.D. The only remaining people in America were dark skinned. Moroni was the last surviving Nephite and recorded these events on plates.
Mormonism teaches that God has a physical body and lives on a planet near a star called Kolob. God rules his own world while many other Gods throughout the universe rule theirs. God has an untold number of goddess wives who produce millions of spiritual children. These children must be re-birthed through physical beings (non-gods) on earth. This enables them to receive physical bodies necessary to become gods and goddesses who will ultimately create and rule their own world. Mormonism teaches that Jesus was one of those spiritual babies, as was His spirit brother Lucifer. Jesus is not taught by Mormonism to be virgin born, but rather that God had intercourse with Mary. Jesus would later have children through women, such as Mary and Martha, and Mary Magdelene. Mormonism teaches Jesus’ Death on the Cross was only redemptive in that it provided a physical resurrection (bodies) for all. The emphasis for Mormons is to obey the commandments and performing church duties and rituals necessary in order to reach the Celestial kingdom. To those who fall short of such requirements, they may still enter in as Celestial servants or abide in the Terrestrial Kingdom, earth. It is believed by Mormons that Joseph Smith will be seated next to Jesus Christ on judgment day and many other foolish teachings. So how can Rick Warren, or anyone claiming to be saved and Holy Spirit led, say this is just another Christian religion? It is religion, but not Christian. “Who is a liar but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, who denieth the Father and the Son” (I Jn. 2:22).
THE WAYS OF THE WORLD
Rick Warren . . . “Beginning a message with people’s felt needs is more than a marketing tool. It is based on the theological fact that God chooses to reveal himself to man according to our needs.” (The Purpose Driven Church, pg 295).
“And there went great multitudes with Him: and He turned, and said unto them, If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My Disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his Cross, and come after Me, cannot be My Disciple” (Lk. 14:25-27).
It is not a theological fact that Jesus Christ reveals Himself according to our felt needs. Jesus, as proved through the Scripture above, addresses the price one must pay to follow Him and become one of His Disciples.
“And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My Words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He shall come in His Own Glory, and in His Father’s, and of the Holy Angels” (Lk. 9:23-26).
Rick Warren . . . “Anybody can be won to Christ if you discover his felt needs.”
“Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing you lack: go your way, sell whatsoever you have, and give to the poor, and you shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come, take up the Cross, and follow Me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions” (Mk. 10:21-22).
If discovering one’s felt needs is the model to follow to reach the lost then Jesus was not properly instructed by the Holy Spirit on how to reach the lost. Yet, Jesus testified that He only did what He saw the Father doing. Jesus Christ preached man’s need for a Savior, while addressing all of man’s spiritual problems.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to Preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To Preach the acceptable Year of the Lord” (Lk. 4:18-19).
A message preached under the anointing of the Holy Spirit can liberate men from the bondage of sin. That is man’s felt need!
Rick Warren . . . “We have used some film clips, we have used some dramas, we have used some object lessons. One of my favorites is called ‘Point and Play,’ which is to separate the points by music. We always, at Easter and Christmas Eve, do a point and play message. For example, with my Easter sermon, I took every point and divided it up into five sections and we had a song and played a song that went with each point. So there is an emotional punch as well as an intellectual punch at the same time, we layer it, tension/release, tension/release, tension/release. I learned this when I was a consultant on the Dream Works movie, ‘The Prince of Egypt’, to help keep it biblically correct. One day I was in the hall at Dream Works and I noticed something on the wall called an ‘emotional beat chart’ and they actually monitored the emotional highs and lows of the movie. I counted up and there were nine peaks and nine valleys in the 90-minute movie about every 10 minutes there’s a tension/release, tension/release. Well you can do that in a message, you can do it with humor, you can do it with an illustration, you can do it with a feature, but it allows us to keep people’s attention longer in order to give more material.”
By these statements, to me it is obvious that Rick Warren has never preached a sermon under the anointing of the Holy Spirit in his life. His use of psychological techniques to manipulate his listeners, are used by the business world and as well by many cults. Notwithstanding, Warren boasts of his influence and consulting expertise to assure the makers of the movie, “Prince of Egypt”, that it is Biblically correct. However, “The Prince of Egypt” was made following the Koranic version of the life of Moses and not the Bible testimony. The movie has Pharaoh’s wife drawing Moses out of the water and not his daughter. This is in line with the Koran, 28:8, and not the Bible. In the film, Moses’ mother doesn’t nurse the baby for Pharaoh’s wife. The movie shows Baby Moses in a basket adrift on the water. “The Prince of Egypt” shows us the dramatic journey, as it literally escapes the jaws of death and the nets of fishermen. This is not in the Bible. However, it can be found in the Koran 20:23-39 and also from Jewish sources, Talmud mas. Sotah 12b and Midrash Rabbah Ex 1:18, to which much of the Koran borrows from. These ancient sources claim this predicts the future death of Pharaoh by water.
In the next scene Miriam is viewed as a prophetess claiming Moses’ call to deliver the Israelites from Egypt. This is found in the Talmud Mas. Sota 12b, not the Bible. The close relationship of Pharaoh to Moses during his youth in the movie is not Biblical but taken from the Midrash Rabbah Ex.1:26.
Islam has a vastly different evaluation of the life of Moses and the children of Israel than disclosed of in the Bible by God. One of the most troubling is that the Koran gives confirmation of Moses with Pharaoh 27 times in the first 89 Sura’s (chapters) without once mentioning the Passover which liberated the Hebrew children from bondage and slavery. It is a type of our Salvation. The Blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ and His Death on the Cross) applied to the doorpost of our hearts liberates us from the bondages of sin and slavery to the sin nature. As to the idea that we should manipulate the emotions of people to hold their attention? The Bible gives a clear warning with regard to the wisdom of this world.
THE WISDOM OF THE WORLD
“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My Brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my Brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:10-17).
Warren will defend his false Purpose Driven religion, but not the truth of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified as man’s only solution for his need, which is deliverance from sin. He may have gained the wisdom of this world through his education and Saddleback experiments, but that wisdom is not from above, but rather it is earthly, sensual (senses subject to appetite and passions) and devilish (demonically inspired).
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I Jn. 2:15).
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Col. 2:8).
In next month’s article I’ll examine Warren’s so-called seeker sensitive felt need strategy to draw people to Church.