By their fruits you shall know them? I’m not sure why David Forsmark believes that Rick Warren is naïve, in light of the green science-y pastor’s penchant for twisting scriptures out of recognition.
Maybe he’s too generous:
Also, the letter that was the jumping off point for Ben-Peter’s column has a LOT worse violators of scripture than Rick Warren—and some actual “leftwing evangelicals.”
But if some Christians allegedly violate more scriptures than Pastor Warren, can we then breathe a sigh of relief? This is an odd argument or the equivalent of saying, “Yes Judas was out of line, but did you hear how Ananias betrayed the faith?”
Warren, the pop theologian, is very good at using the “guilt card” through twisting scriptures, in order to gag dissenters. He will even compare you to Satan’s little workers if you dare challenge him. And you know what? That appears cult-y. It doesn’t sound healthy.
Notice how Warren rails against critical-thinking skills in The Purpose-Driven Life to protect his brand of leadership (p. 164):
The Bible calls Satan “the accuser of our brothers.” It’s the Devil’s job to blame, complain, and criticize members of God’s family. Anytime we do the same, we’re being duped into doing Satan’s work for him. Remember, other Christians, no matter how much you disagree with them, are not the real enemy. Anytime we spend comparing or criticizing other believers is time that should have been spent building the unity of our fellowship.
So don’t shine a light on his hypocrisy, or you’ll be considered to Satan’s henchman? Here, Warren is handpicking words from an out-of-context verse (Revelation, Chapter 12, “The Woman and the Dragon,” 10) to sell this idea. Ironic, of course. Why? Because the book of Revelation was written by John and stems from the apostle’s anti-totalitarian visions on the small rocky island of Patmos, in the Aegean.
Do healthy pastors use verses like this to gag dissent? True Christianity encourages dissent and questions, as long as it is aimed at finding the truth. At any rate, isn’t it odd to accuse brothers of accusing – and just plain inconsistent to criticize people for criticizing?
But Warren’s no-talk rule also contradicts other Bible teachings. You see, Jesus praised John the Baptist for criticizing the leaders of his time. He even warned about wolves – but how can one expose a wolf without comparing him to a sheep? And, moreover, why did the Apostle Paul praise the Bereans for questioning him, if questioning is unchristian?
The reality of the situation is that Warren’s denomination was built by rebels – men willing to question leaders they disagreed with. You see, the unfolding Protestant revolution was built on protest. By their fruits we know them.
Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and cartoon lover. His works have been posted on numerous sites from American Thinker (California) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia). For more information see, Pizza Trays and Beer Bottles.