Christians: Fear the Lord, not Rick Warren!
by Donald Hank
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me. Mat. 25:45
Some will certainly ask why my campaign against Rick Warren. They say it seems so personal at times.
It is. Let me try to explain where I am coming from.
300 years ago, my Anabaptist ancestors, gentle, godly men and women, were persecuted for their faith and their plain talk. Here is how it happened.
My people had been living in the mountains of Switzerland and had been holding house church services there, perhaps for centuries – no one knows – much like the Chinese Christians today, reading contraband German translations of the Bible (which was supposed to be in Latin only) and teaching against child baptism, when Martin Luther managed to throw off the yoke of the Catholic church for the first time. Now they knew that up until then, had the Catholic authorities learned of these “heretical” activities, they would have been in mortal danger. But seeing Luther as their liberator, they decided it was safe to come down and come out. They went into the public squares and preached their new doctrines. Amazingly, they could quote the Bible in German, something ordinary people couldn’t do, because the Catholics had taught that only higher ranking church people had the right to do that. And their words seared men’s hearts and consciences, because it thundered like the truth of prophets. Unadorned, unflattering truth that tore away centuries-old facades and hypocrisies in a flash, leaving sinful people naked before man and God.
But if Luther was a liberator for some, he was not their liberator, far from it.
For the followers of Luther had their own doctrines shaped as much by their leader as by the Bible. Luther was indulgent. He didn’t preach much about sin or hurt the feelings of his flock. After all, they were his bread and butter. Many were rich and influential. So he liked to make his flock feel good about themselves. Sound familiar?
Luther’s reformers decided to take action against my ancestors. Soon the more outspoken ones were rounded up and persecuted. The tortures were unspeakable. Some were loaded with weights and thrown into rivers to drown; some had their cheeks burned open with red hot irons, leaving hideous gashes in their faces. Some were burned at the stake. Even young girls were not spared the torture and execution. Yet they marched to the place of execution singing hymns of praise to our Lord!
Faced with extinction, the Anabaptist church elders soon decided their only hope was to emigrate. But where to go? Who would take them? Many of those living in the East went to Russia, which then was a godly country. But for most, there was only one haven: America. A certain William Penn, a godly man himself, had acquired the rights to a vast territory in the Eastern part of the new land and invited the Amish and Mennonites, as they came to be called, to settle there.
Praise be to God. They were free at last! And they brought with them a new concept of government: separation of church and state.
But good things like this never last forever, at least not without a fight. But the Anabaptists didn’t believe in fighting.
In the 20th century, their children were exposed to wicked ideas, from the same places that had expelled them. From Charles Darwin in Europe. Darwin’s idea that people could live without God, that they were no longer His children but accidents of nature, spread like a miasma over the land, suffocating good religion and righteous people who resisted evils like homosexuality and abortion were soon the target of ridicule and even threatened with imprisonment.
A new “church” rose up under the influence of the new ideas. The new church taught a new doctrine: civility. But what that meant was that the old believers were not to speak. The new believers were allowed to say what they pleased as long as they did not sully the new church’s elders. And they could embrace the evil condemned by God himself. For the new leaders were wicked and secretly hated God and his plain words about these evils.
A new leader emerged among the false prophets, a man named Rick Warren, who quickly became famous because he flattered the evil doers and said nothing about their sins. Not only that, he punished those who spoke out against the evil. Rick was well liked among the licentious because he provided cover for them by silencing dissenters, called them “uncivil” if they criticized same-sex marriage and abortion.
Meanwhile he devised a scheme known as the “Growth Covenant,” and urged churches to sign this, promising them growth and wealth if they did. Many foolishly believed that they would become prosperous even without God’s blessings. Yet some, the wiser and older believers who knew the Bible, resisted. Rick told the pastors to simply kick out these older people, whom he derisively called fundamentalists (a name that had been shrewdly used by non-believers to denote Islamic radicals, making it seem as if all traditionalist Christians were every bit as bad as terrorists). Through this sleight of hand, he was able to discredit real Christians.
Do you see what had happened? The nation that had taken in the downtrodden was now persecuting them. And Rick Warren was the new Martin Luther, ruling with an iron fist – and a smile.
An old believer named James Sundquist documented the abuses suffered by these poor unfortunate Christians, in a book entitled “Who’s Driving the Purpose-Driven Church,” and later in another one entitled “Rick Warren’s Global Peace Plan.” For his pains, Brother James was also persecuted, receiving vicious attacks from the followers of Rick, who called him vile names. The hypocrisy was evident. These people who talked so much about “civility” were anything but civil.
It was a sham.
And this is the America we now live in. Anyone who dares to criticize Rick Warren is threatened with lawsuits, attacked viciously or treated as a pariah in the evangelical community. Almost no churches will tolerate a dissenter. Even the most traditional ones have adopted a code of silence. I spoke with some of the victims on the phone, who said they were threatened with the loss of their livelihood if they dared speak out against Rick. Others hung up as soon as they realized I was investigating Rick. I have spoken with otherwise traditional pastors who immediately jump to Rick’s defense when confronted with the truth, saying “I still believe Rick is saved,” as if being saved were an excuse for doing evil! And they hurry to get away. One man I spoke with said was escorted out of a church by the police because he had criticized Warren to his pastor earlier that week. It is surreal, like something straight out of Kafka.
But recently there have been stirrings. After Rick’s minion Richard Abanes had Ken Silva’s web site taken offline, I prayed earnestly about this intolerable situation and, seeing that no one else had the courage or understanding to intervene, finally stepped out in faith and took up the cudgel. I started exposing Rick’s shenanigans. And then, God stepped in as He always does at such times. Well-known and influential commentators started opening chinks in Rick’s armor, criticizing his leftism, something good Americans cannot tolerate when its mask is pulled away.
Below I present citations from respected and well-known serious commentators. Now, Randy or Hunt or Richard Abanes, or whoever is running interference for Rick today, please note that now, I am only quoting for a change.
But even so, don’t even think about harassing my friends here, because I promise to make you even more infamous if you do.
From what I have said about my ancestors, you can understand that I do not abide bullies well – especially religious bullies!
America is the last stronghold for religious freedom. If we fail here, there is nowhere left to go. All good people must fight. Please, fellow Americans, don’t be afraid. God will protect you, and bless you, if you stand up for what you know is right.
Now is the time to shed forever your purpose-driven shackles and shout a resounding NO to the rich and powerful bullies who have usurped America’s pulpits!
Institute on Religion and Democracy
Rick Warren: Evangelical Statesman
August 18, 2008
“Rick Warren will not endorse either candidate. Nor has he abandoned his convictions about abortion and homosexuality. But he does Obama a great favor simply by presenting him on the stage of Saddleback Church alongside John McCain. Assiduously avoiding the issues where evangelicals differ most sharply with Obama also aids the Democrat’s cause. (One wonders whether it will be possible, at an event in California, to pretend that the court-imposed redefinition of marriage is a matter of little concern to evangelicals.)” [my emphasis here and hereafter]
Read more here.
That, of course, is essentially what I had said back in February in my column “The purpose-driven left Turn.” No other columnist had mentioned this back then.
Star Parker echoes this same concern. Have a look:
Pastor Warren: Stop politicizing religion
“For whatever good intentions Pastor Warren may have, by posturing as a neutral broker between different points of view, many of which have profound moral and religious implications, he contributes to the moral ambiguity we’d expect a pastor to be combating.
We have institutions for civic and political forums. The press, universities, town halls, etc. If they’re not delivering well, let the marketplace work to improve what we’re getting. But this is not the job of pastors or churches. If it is, where do we go to learn about good and evil?”
“The pretense of neutrality is really a left-wing illusion. It’s a sleight of hand to buy into relativism, and somehow Pastor Warren seems to have fallen into the trap. [Star is very diplomatic, falling short of calling Warren a leftist-DH]
When a pastor hosts a political candidate that has a 100 percent rating by NARAL Pro-Choice America and a 0 percent rating by the National Right to Life Committee, he gives legitimacy to that candidate. When legitimacy is given to a line of reasoning that says that poverty and AIDS are symptoms of anything other than moral breakdown, the relativist views of the left are justified.”
Read more here.
Finally, for those who have not read the numerous blogs and the books by James Sundquist, here is a letter from one of the victims of the Purpose Driven Mafia, which I received from this courageous author.
Brother James says:
Kaycia Key is wife of Pastor Ron Key who was driven from a well known PDC church in Dallas, TX. I published her letter in my book on Rick Warren’s Global Peace Plan. Here is her letter as cited in “Rick Warren’s Global Peace Plan vs. Scriptural Teachings on Peace.” page 114-116, ©2006 Bible Belt Publishing, Southwest Radio Church and Rock Salt Publishing:
December 14, 2005 and January 9, 2006
Our newly founded church, Cornerstone, is doing very well, has such a sweet spirit. We have over 250 members and we are meeting in facilities provided by Dallas Christian College.
We have to use the gymnasium for worship services because it’s the largest area to meet. We’re too big for their chapel. We also have refugees from a myriad of other churches.
Ron and I are having an Open House this weekend to try to thank everyone for all the love and support we’ve received . . . so that has kept me pretty busy.
I finally got to get a little further into your book and another one that someone else sent which echoes the same concerns you have. I am so grateful to you for identifying some of the causes of my fear and concern for the Lord’s church. The Deceiver certainly has come as an “angel of light” in these days.
I recently read an article in Christianity Today, five pages of Rick Warren’s Global Plan to end world poverty. It was sad and frightening to read all those pages and only one mention of Jesus . . . a mention about how Rick Warren was there to restore the hands and feet to the body. And as you point out, his theology is definitely skewed. Have seen numerous articles corroborating your book. . . . Many who left Valley View Christian Church did so in great part because the leadership had developed an irrational and irrecoverable rupture in our common faith, belief and vision of Christ’s church after we studied and implemented the Purpose Drive Life by Rick Warren.
The church had been experiencing problems between the elders and the congregation and people were quietly (and some not so quietly) beginning to leave. When the elders brought in a new preaching minister [who supported Warren’s view] people grew more unhappy and then after we did, the purpose-driven programs the rift developed into the rupture of faith and our vision for Christ’s church to the point a “re-visioning” even the foundational charter. To try to overcome this growing rift the elders, and Ron and I, agreed to submit ourselves to a biblically-based reconciliation process under the direction of a professional Christian reconciliation group to try to overcome this mindset which had come upon the church.
But three days later the elders reversed their decision and asked Ron to resign, with six months severance or be fired and receive two months severance. Ron, my husband and senior minister, said that under these circumstances, they would have to fire him, because he said he could not resign when he had lived up to his end of the agreement. Ron Key did not, as some may thought (or been erroneously told) start a new church, but was asked to become the minister of the new church, once it was founded.
Since then the church has grown to about 275-300, several of whom were refugees from other churches in the area who were also leaving because of many of the same issues with
leadership that had developed in their respective congregations after purpose-driven programs. We are also now being able to share in love with more people about the perils of Warren’s programs. Believers, who sensed something amiss, but were not aware of the dangers in his teachings and who knew nothing (like me) of the congregations that have developed splits after having implemented his “purpose-driven” ideas. As one of our
members and past elder at VVCC stated, “The question is not whether the congregation will obey their elders, but whether the elders will obey Christ.”
-Kaycia Key [reprinted by permission]
Folks, if you are still not quite convinced, I recommend you go out and get James Sundquist’s books, which document the purpose-driven reign of terror that I have tried to briefly depict here.