Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I agree with Rick Warren!

I do! Seriously!

Rick Warren believes that the church is in need of a second reformation. I agree with him on this matter! However, this is exactly where my disagreement with him comes to a grinding halt!

Warren thinks that the church needs a reformation of deeds and not creeds!

"I’m looking for a second reformation. The first reformation of the church 500 years ago was about beliefs. This one is going to be about behavior. The first one was about creeds. This one is going to be about deeds. It is not going to be about what does the church believe, but about what is the church doing."

When I look at the church today, I can see it getting involved in all kinds of good deeds in all kinds of places. There are myriads of social projects going on in many churches.

There are prison ministries, social upliftment programs, HIV/AIDS care facilities, orphanages, skills training for the unemployed, feeding the poor, and many other programs that are doing exactly what Warren is speaking about. Yet, he speaks of it as if it is some new revelation from heaven! The church has been involved in these things for almost 2000 years! Maybe Warren has stepped out of some time warp, and he hasn't seen all the ministries involved in the "deeds," but "deeds" ministries are nothing new!

The fact is that these programs are good! They bring relief to many people.

Yet, for Warren to think that the church is in need of a reformation of deeds and not a reformation of creeds, simply shows that (1) he is either out of touch with what is going on in the church theologically, or (2) he does not think that the theological issues are important! Either way, it can lead to a heap of trouble!

If option 1 is his problem, it would certainly show his ignorance of what is going on the church today. It would show that his call for a reformation of deeds is based on a pure thumb-suck, and that it does not square up with the reality of the modern church!

If it is option 2, then he is in bigger trouble than we could have imagined! If theology is not that important to him, then it would be easy to imagine why he would call for a reformation of deeds instead of creeds. Furthermore, it would also be easy to see why he shared his pulpit with Barack Obama--uber-liberal! It would also explain the five points of his P.E.A.C.E. plan!

Warren came up with his
P.E.A.C.E. plan:
P - Plant a church or partner with a church if there is one there. It always starts with a church... in, through, and to the church.
E - Equip servant leaders.
A - Assist the poor.
C - Care for the sick.
E - Educate the next generation.

According to Warren, "[i]t's the five things Jesus did when he was here on earth." Are these really the five most important things Rick Warren could pick out of Jesus' life to make his
P.E.A.C.E. acronym? What about the death of Christ to atone for the sins of His people? Or, perhaps the atonement is not such a big deal to Warren. I would like to see that cleared up! Further, does the resurrection from the dead of Christ even make a blip on Warren's radar screen? Did Paul not say that without the resurrection, we had no hope! That would make the resurrection more important than all of Warren's five points!

There is another point that I agree on with Warren. Seriously, I do! With his Purpose-Driven books and in the article linked, Warren makes it clear that he believes that each person on earth has a purpose. I agree with that! What that purpose is, is where we would part ways. In Warren's mind, God's purpose for every person on this planet is good, according to human measure. And, that purpose includes salvation for every person!

With this in mind, I would like Rick Warren to explain Romans 9:10-18!

[10] And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,
[11] though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call--

[12] she was told, "The older will serve the younger."

[13] As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

[14] What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!

[15] For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

[16] So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

[17] 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."

[18] So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

(Rom 9:10-18 ESV)

1 comment:

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Warren explain Romans 9? Ha! I would love to see that one.

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