mega-pastor Rick Warren has joined a group of 100 church
leaders calling for interfaith dialogue and the building of
"common ground" with Muslims, he has a slightly different
outlook toward Christians with whom he disagrees.
In his latest missive to
fellow pastors, he writes: "You've got to protect the unity of
your church. If that means getting rid of troublemakers, do
"As pastors, as shepherds of
God's people, it's our job to protect our congregations from
Satan's greatest weapon – disunity," he writes. "It's not
always easy, but it's what we've been called to do."
I may not be pastor of a
mega-church, but, I've got to tell you, Rick Warren's
priorities and sensibilities and his biblical literacy and
standards are upside-down, inside-out and twisted beyond
anything remotely connected with Scripture. And I'm not afraid
of his threats of ex-communication from the new papacy he
apparently seeks to create.
Warren cites Paul's advice in
II Timothy 2:23-26 as the basis for when and how "pastors"
should draw the line on disagreements among the flock.
However, Paul was addressing Timothy not as a "pastor" or
"priest," but rather as an itinerant evangelist doing his
utmost to spread the Gospel to non-believers.
"But foolish and unlearned
questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
"And the servant of the Lord
must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach,
"In meekness instructing
those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give
them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
"And that they may recover
themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken
captive by him at his will."
That happens to be excellent
advice for anyone attempting to evangelize unbelievers. It is
not, however, a call for church "professionals" to declare
themselves as founts of unlimited wisdom and infallibility in
Likewise, he quotes from
Titus 3:10-11 as the authority for getting rid of
"troublemakers." Yet, that Scripture is not referring to
people contending for the faith. It is referring to heretics.
"A man that is an heretic
after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he
that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of
Has it ever occurred to Rick
Warren that pastors have been wrong? Has it ever occurred to
Rick Warren that pastors might teach unbiblical principles?
Has it ever occurred to Rick Warren no earthly pastor is the
recipient of all Divine revelation? Has it ever occurred to
Rick Warren that pastors have led entire flocks into grave
error that may have
Has it ever occurred to Rick
Warren that he, too, might be capable of such mistakes?
Rick Warren makes a
spiritually fatal error when he proclaims, without any
biblical authority, that Satan's greatest weapon is disunity.
That is simply not true. The Bible reveals over and over again
that even one spirit-filled believer can stand up against
Satan. God is not impressed with numbers. He doesn't need
numbers for victory. He doesn't care about big churches. He
doesn't care about the cathedrals of men. He wants numbers
only because He is "not willing that any should perish, but
that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
No, Satan's greatest weapon
is hardly disunity. His greatest weapon since his fall and
since the Garden of Eden has been deception. In fact, Satan
loves unity – as long as those unified are knowingly or
unknowingly serving him. He'd love for all of us to "go to
hell in a handbasket."
Are more people led to death
by debate within the body of Christ or by spiritual leaders
who demand absolute obedience to themselves?
Paul warned us about this,
too, in Acts 20:29-30: "For I know this, that after my
departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not
sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise,
speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."
For heaven's sake, nothing
could be clearer from Scripture than that no man has a
monopoly on truth. That is why Paul even had to correct Peter
(Galatians 2:11-14). Besides worshipping God, this would seem
to be one of the principal purposes of the church.
The church is warned over and
over about false teachers throughout the Bible. Surely Rick
Warren is familiar with those warnings. Why would he assume
all pastors to be righteous and assume all lay dissenters to
And, equally curious, why
does Rick Warren eagerly seek to find common ground with
Muslim leaders while, at the same time, so ruthlessly
advocating the disfellowship of Christian believers?
What are your thoughts on this?