By Elizabeth Prata
Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church is full of superlatives. The ‘biggest’ church”? Saddleback Church in Orange County, California. The ‘best-selling’ Christian book in the world for years and years in a row? Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life. ‘America’s pastor‘? Rick Warren.
Warren with his wife Kay, founded Saddleback Church in 1980 and held its first service on Easter Sunday with 200 in attendance. He has been its pastor ever since, but not for much longer. Warren announced his retirement, his successor, and his transition timing of stepping down in September of this year after a period of a few months’ transition in his megachurch.
Along the way from the founding till now, 42 years, Time Magazine featured him on their cover, dubbing him the most influential pastor in the world (2008). His self-help book Purpose Driven Life has sold 30 million copies. He was even tapped to open the 2008 Presidential Inauguration with the prayer, viewed by nearly 40 million Americans.
But along the way it became increasingly clear that Warren’s success was all wrong. He was all wrong. He introduced pragmatism to the church in a way that reverberates within it today. Pragmatism is ‘whatever works‘. He is staunchly ecumenical. He abuses scripture, twisting it beyond recognition. He is a Muslim apologist.
He deliberately avoids moral/social issue discussions like abortion, stem cell research and gay rights, and his famous book is not only listed as ‘self-help’ but is Gospel-less. What is there is hopelessly unclear and leaves his reader in a quagmire of moralistic piety, worst of all, without instructions to repent.
And last year he announced that his church will begin ordaining women, despite being affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention which upholds scripture on the point that only men should function as pastors.
Warren and his selection committee chose co-pastors who recently hosted a leadership conference featuring disgraced apostate Mark Driscoll. (Source)
All this is bad, and his influence is bad. His bad impact will last to the detriment of the global church for a long time. But worst of all to me, most hateful and the worst evil, was his prayer.
At the 2008 Obama inauguration, Rick Warren was asked to give the invocation. He prayed the following to end his prayer–
“I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesús, Jesus…”
Warren prayed in the name of Isa.
He prayed in the name of a false god which a billion and a half Muslims believe will return to kill Christians, break the cross and stamp out Christianity. Warren may as well have said “I pray in the name of Baal”.
The inauguration was watched by 37.7 million Americans and many more millions around the world. What an opportunity Warren had! How he wasted it giving glory to satan instead of Christ!
It is NOT that Warren was just using a pronunciation like Jesús-Jesus.
Warren’s next door neighbor is a Muslim, with whom he traveled to Syria to learn more about Islam and his neighbor’s world. He breaks bread with Muslims at their local Mosque on Fridays, he has spent money and effort to ‘build bridges to Muslims’, and he has studied Islam for a long time. Warren knows Isa is not Jesus. No one praying to ‘Isa’ will receive salvation. No one clinging to Isa will come to know the true God. Isa is a Muslim version of a prophet who will actually kill Christians. Warren’s pandering at the critical point of this televised prayer is a terrible mistake and an evil parody of what prayer is supposed to be.
The Bible says we are not to be yoked with unbelievers when doing the work of Jesus. (2 Corinthians 6:14). We are to be separate. Warren bucks the Bible at every turn.
In an interfaith letter to Muslims, seeking exactly the opposite of what the Bible calls for, which is separation from darkness, the letter stated the signatories were seeking to “achieve religious peace between these two religious communities, peace in the world will clearly be easier to attain.” Rick Warren was a signatory. This is not the way to peace says Jeremiah 6:14.
The letter ended like this:
“Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.”
So again, Warren invoked a different God. By the way, Rick Warren was one of the paid consultants to oversee the scriptural integrity of the doctrines presented in the History Channel’s “The Bible” TV miniseries.
When a Muslim says ‘Jesus is coming’, THAT Jesus bears no relation to God in the flesh who died for the sins of the world. A Muslim’s Jesus, or Isa, is satan. Rick Warren’s Jesus/Isa is satan.
Warren recognized, as [false preacher Aimee Semple] McPherson did, that evangelical church services are a species of entertainment.
I bring all this up because it is not just old history. It is part of an apostatizing trajectory. After 42 years, Warren prepares to step down as senior pastor of Saddleback Church. He announced his replacement. Or rather, his replacementS, plural. He and his search team settled on a couple to replace him. They are Andy & Stacie Wood, leaving their tenure as Lead Pastor and Teaching pastor, respectively, at Echo Church in San Jose CA. They will transition to Saddleback over the next few months. It is no surprise that since last year when the open secret became more widely known, that Warren was not only for women pastors but was ordaining them, that the next lead pastor would come as a two-for-one bundle.
How could an ‘evangelical’ pastor be apostate? How could one with such “success”, notoriety, fame, and popularity, be false? How could someone who lasted so long, be so wrong?
It is the ay of things. Even as the New Testament church was born, false teachers flooded in, ravenous wolves on the hunt to kill, steal, and destroy. And so it is with today’s pastors. Outwardly they smile and talk of love and unity, they mention Christ, but they do not know Him. They can’t, if they have the Spirit in them they would never pray to a false god.
So that is why Rick Warren is an apostate, masquerading as an evangelical. Our Lord GOD has said,
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:23)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, (2 John 1:9-10).
Avoid Rick Warren and everything he is about. It is no surprise that he selected a woman to co-pastor in his succession. When one prays to Isa, when one asks forgiveness from Allah, any sin after that is sadly foreseeable.
Phil Johnson: Pragmatic vs. Biblical preaching: Thoughts on Purpose Driven Church 18 years late
SBC committee delays decision on whether to expel Saddleback Church over female ‘pastors’
False Prophet, Rick Warren, Gives Himself Grand Accolades at SBC Annual Meeting
GotQuestions: What is Pragmatism?
Challies: Rick Warren: Three Primary Concerns
Baptist Standard: Rick Warren ordains women, draws criticism