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Mike is the general manager of Q90 FM and co-host of Stand Up For The Truth. His new book, "The Suicide of American Christianity" published in May of 2012.

Watchman or Pharisee?

Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church.

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Earlier this week Warren Smith shared his concerns for New Age teachings he believes are infiltrating the minds and hearts of many Americans and some Christians.  When he discussed Rick Warren we knew there would be some strong reactions.  And I want to sincerely thank Chad for sharing his thought with us on the subject of Pastor Warren.

It is difficult to look at an icon like Rick Warren, known as America’s pastor, and share information that is very concerning.  No one can deny that many Christians first learned about a relationship with Jesus through Rick Warren’s church and teachings.  But it is his recent actions and alliances that cause us some concern.  Signing on to “A Common Word Between Us” that seeks common ground between Muslims and Christians is simply wrong.  Muslims believe Jesus is NOT THE SON OF GOD.  This is in direct contradiction to the foundation of our Christian faith.  Nothing good can come from this.

Having teachers at your church who promote New Age spirituality and who partner with others who promote communicating with the dead is simply dangerous and wrong.  And supporting the work of Tony Blair and his global spiritualization movement is dangerous.  As the Word of God says:  “What can light and darkness have in common?”

Chad rightly points out in his email that it is a fine line between being a Watchman on the Wall and a judgmental Pharisee.  Believe me I am well aware of this and spend a great deal of time in prayer and seeking the counsel of strong Christian Pastors and Men of God.  As our Board of Directors here at Q90 FM prayed and discussed airing Stand Up For the Truth, we knew we would be tackling difficult issues.  But we were determined to sound the alarm and share information on threats to our church.  We are also committed to always pointing you to the ONLY SOURCE OF ABSOLUTE TRUTH–The Word of God.

We will continue to tackle challenging issues on Stand Up For the Truth.  And we want your thoughts even when you disagree with the host.  Iron sharpens iron and if the issues we discuss help wake Christians out of our slumber and lukewarm attitude toward our faith, than we are blessed.  We will also encourage you as Paul encouraged and commended the Bereans—to take no man at His word but to always go to the Word of God.  Will I be right on every issue?  I can guarantee the answer to that is NO.  But I will point you to the one who is never wrong—God in His Word.

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25 Responses to “Watchman or Pharisee?”

  1. Chad Misovec #

    Mike, Amy and Jeff,I was not able to listen to the broadcast in its entirety today, but was able to listen to a couple of segments. I want to say I appreciate the humbleness/gentleness of your tone when discussing my thoughts and comments. I felt I was given a fair shake. I'm glad no one took my words as attacking. My intent was not to be judgmental. It will be very interesting to talk with Jeff this weekend at service! As for the comments above that nothing good can come out of finding common ground with Muslims because they do not believe Jesus is the Son of God, that just doesn't make any sense to me. Jewish people do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and there are many Christian/Jewish groups, organizations and coalitions doing a great deal of good in our world today. More importantly, many Jews have come to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior through these connections.Also, I think you should be very careful and give more thought to presuming the heart of Christians by their affiliations and what websites you can get to through their websites. For instance, "Bible Gateway" on the right of this very page listed as the first "Resource", sells books by Dr. Oz and books like "The Shack" in their General Store which one can arrive at in just a couple of clicks. It would be absurd to believe Q90 is yolked with every author's beliefs or book's message that is linked to its website. Jesus didn't share every belief or condone the behaviors of the sinners he ate with.Last, I believe and respect the amount of time you say you dedicate to prayer and seeking wise council for this ministry. I'd suggest that you consider the amount of time a prominent, highly publicized and criticized Christian leader like Pastor Rick spends in prayer and receiving council before making decisions that he discerns to be God-sent. Again, I hope this discussion can continue to be taken in the tone of respect it is being written with. I will never claim to be the most knowledgeable person when it comes to the Word, or spend the most time in prayer so I'll be wrong a lot of the time too. Do I think Rick Warren is above being questioned? Of course not. We all need to be, but his personal relationship with Jesus shouldn't be attacked and whether or not Saddleback is Bible-based is really beneath comment.-Chad

    April 21, 2011 at 11:11 AM Reply
  2. Mike #

    Thanks <st1:country-region><st1:place>Chad</st1:place></st1:country-region> and no I do not at all take your comments as an attack.  They are the words of a Brother who loves Jesus and is being a Watchman in his own way.<o:p></o:p> The comment on the Jews is a good one, and yes, they do not believe Jesus is the Son of God.  But they do worship the same God and even in spite of their unfaithfulness to Jesus, Paul writes that they are still the chosen people of God into which we are grafted as believers.  The Jews will pay a terrible price for their disavowing Jesus but a remnant will be saved.<o:p></o:p> On the connection of websites, great point.  However again, the issue is Pastor Warren allowing teachers to teach and preach who are in to New Age spirituality.  I think if you look closely at Dr. Oz’s website you will see some areas of deep concern.  And regarding places like Bible Gateway having connections to Dr. Oz’s books, much of this information on him is just becoming known.  My hope is that all Christians, including me and us at Q90, will start to take more time to pray and investigate who we partner with.<o:p></o:p> I enjoy and welcome the discussion <st1:country-region><st1:place>Chad</st1:place></st1:country-region> and would welcome getting together for coffee and continued discussion.  And please know I do not question Pastor Warren’s place as a Christian—judgment on the issue of who is and is not a true Christian lies solely in God’s hands.  But all of us are subject to pride and power and need to be accountability for what we teach—including me.<o:p></o:p> Thanks, Mike.  <o:p></o:p>

    April 21, 2011 at 11:50 AM Reply
  3. Chad Misovec #

    Sure let's talk about it more some time. Here's a great message about what Pastor Rick teaches at Saddleback that ties in with the conversation :http://www.saddleback.com/mc/m/8b3e/Can't wait to talk to Jeff at church on Sunday. Have a great Easter!

    April 21, 2011 at 2:42 PM Reply
    • I was really confused, and this answered all my queistons.

      June 27, 2011 at 3:09 AM Reply
  4. Jon Henegar #

    I would just like to commend the way the above discussion is being handled. You both are treating each other with love and respect as we should be, if we are to call ourselves Christians. Thank you for being great people of God. I fall into the camp that is very wary of Mr. Warren. I am very concerned about the path that he and many other EC leaders are going. I also think that we must keep this discussion alive and healthy and you are doing just that. I just wish many more of us would do the same thing. God Bless both of you.

    April 23, 2011 at 5:33 PM Reply
  5. Mike #

    Thank you Jon.  We try hard to give information and opinions that will cause people to check things out and look to GOD'S Word.  Rick Warren has done much in the past to lead people to Jesus.  It is a short step for any of us to start exceeding the authority God has given us and partner with organizations that force compromise of His Word.  I pray that Pastor Warren will see how he is being used and return to the purity of the salvation gospel.  I believe he is sincere in wanting to do that but is being used by universalists to water down Jesus' message.Thanks for commenting.Mike.Sent from my iPad

    April 23, 2011 at 5:40 PM Reply
  6. Chad Misovec #

    Thanks John. I really appreciate a good, civil, respectful discussion.I agree with Mike about "short steps". As I said, I believe no one is above being questioned, and I am far from an expert when it comes to all of the groups Pastor Rick has aligned himself and his congregation with. That said, I also believe it can be a very "short step" to read a few press releases, click on a few websites, read some blog opinions and then say with all certainty that God's higher purpose is not being accomplished. No one can possibly presume to know that hearts are not being transformed, good is not being accomplished, and that God's will is not being followed unless he or she is personally involved. I guess my biggest stumbling point (besides not following these affiliations closely enough over the years) is that it seems as though no consideration appears to being given to the prayer, fasting, and seeking of council that a guy like Pastor Rick would be expected to do before making the decisions that he is being vilified for. This discussion did lead me to do some extra Bible reading last week, and John 8:7 hit me like a ton of bricks. Have a great week!-Chad

    April 25, 2011 at 10:09 AM Reply
    • Elizabeth Topel #

      I only have one thing to add…Chapter 16 of 2 Chronicles…King Asa started out strong also…but in the end he forgot to call on the Lord and the rest of his years as king were filled with WAR and physical suffering because he relied on the counsil of men.
      In Christ,
      Elizabeth~

      November 1, 2011 at 6:34 AM Reply
  7. Chad Misovec #

    SORRY!… "Jon" Henegar, not "John" like I wrote – embarrassing but unintentional.

    April 25, 2011 at 10:11 AM Reply
  8. Jon Henegar #

    Don’t worry about the name, it happens all the time. You’re right Chad, when it comes to a matter that requires using discernment, we must be vary careful. The Bible tells us how, when and on what we should judge, but it clearly say’s we are to judge. The penalty for judging wrongly is high so I try to be very careful. My concern for the church is broader than Pastor Warrens ministry alone. The effects of the EC, which includes Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Bill Hybels and many more, on the church concerns me deeply. It’s true that many websites and blogs are nothing more than opinion concerning Mr. Warren, but many are also well documented and researched. It’s also true that I have never attended Saddleback and have never heard him preach, but I’m not sure that is a qualifier to allow one to make an accurate judgment on what is being or not being taught. Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians correcting them and making a judgment on the false teaching that was entering their church, and he had never been there. He was under house arrest in Rome at the time and he didn’t found that church. He was able to identify false teaching, simply because it didn’t align itself with all of God’s Word. Yes, we must be very careful in our judgments, but we must judge. The church is under attack from both outside as well as inside her walls. The battle for God’s truth against false teaching has gone on almost from the day of Pentecost . We must continue to watch and act if and when necessary. God Bless.

    April 26, 2011 at 6:46 PM Reply
  9. Chad Misovec #

    Jon, lots of good points here. I'm far from a expert when it comes to the Word. I decide to be slow to speak when it comes to being critical of any Christian leader. I have to believe they take the necessary time to pray, fast, and seek council before everything they do concerning the Church. I choose not to spend time following the attack on the Church. I expect it because God said it would happen and it is His Will. I guess I don't see the point of watching and acting if I and my family are in relation with God. Man, you can never do enough…. it's like parenthood… you have to choose your battles. Take care.

    April 26, 2011 at 8:04 PM Reply
  10. Mike #

    Great discussion guys.  No doubt we should always be slow before making judgments on other believers.  But when their teachings are contradictory to scripture they must be confronted.  I do not doubt Rick Warren’s heart for God.  However, bringing in New Age Muslims, Buddhists, etc. to teach his church on wholistic health is wrong and dangerous.  Searching for “common ground” with a religion that denies Jesus as the Son of God is wrong.  <o:p></o:p> He may well be doing it with the right heart, but God’s Word calls us to have discernment and test spirits, particularly in those we ask to teach.  At a time when youth need clarity from church leaders, much confusion is being presented.  The tenticles of new Age religion, erroneous teaching watered down and false gospels are on the increase.  I do not and will not stand in judgment of Rick Warren’s faith—I will however continue to point out when he is in error as a teacher.  And I hope people do the same with me as a public figure and teacher.<o:p></o:p> Great discussion guys.<o:p></o:p>

    April 27, 2011 at 4:40 AM Reply
  11. Chad Misovec #

    Guys, I've taken some time to go on the Saddleback website the last few days. I have not been able to find any videos or podcasts of the dangerous parts of wholistic health being taught directly to the congregation. I've watched some of the videos on the Daniel Plan and haven't seen anything that contradicts the Word being taught on there. Do either of you have links to these teachings at Saddleback that are in direct violation? I'd really like to see the proof for myself. The more I try to find stuff and fail to, the more it seems to me like inference and hearsay that people like Dr. Oz are being allowed to get up in front of the congregation there and teach about these evil practices. Thanks in advance.

    April 27, 2011 at 10:06 AM Reply
  12. Jon Henegar #

    Chad, I thought this article might help. It dosn't deal with the new age part, but it shows the concern of a man who seems to want to support Rick Warren but may be rethinking some things. Anyway I hope it helps. http://davidlermy.com/2011/01/14/christian-hype-t….

    April 28, 2011 at 4:47 PM Reply
  13. Paul Lagno #

    If you are "committed to always pointing you to the ONLY SOURCE OF ABSOLUTE TRUTH–The Word of God." you would realize that the "Trinity" is not taught anywhere in the Bible. It is a doctrine of the devil. Study to show yourself approved unto God – a workman, not ashamed"
    Here are the Facts about the Trinity.
    Read it and get rid of the fear in your heart. http://www.biblestudents.net/library/facts_about_

    June 15, 2011 at 12:32 PM Reply
    • Amy Spreeman #

      So you are saying that the divine relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit is not biblical?

      June 15, 2011 at 5:06 PM Reply
    • Trevor #

      Paul,

      a careful reading of the scripture reveals the truth my friend.

      Matt. 28:19 (Jesus speaking) "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

      And in other places in the bible God's Spirit is mentioned, the Holy Spirit, something that comes upon people and prophets, and of course the son of God.

      So, I would have to ask, do you consider yourself a Christian. If yes, then you must believe Jesus christ was the Son of God, and perfect as well, otherwise you would be abandoning the core doctrine of Christianity.

      If you are not a christian, then i can understand that you may not agree with the Bible as you do not follow it nor believe it's full validity.

      Hope truth finds you.

      June 16, 2011 at 7:33 AM Reply
    • Trevor #

      And if you are making the argument that we are saying that there are 3 Gods, i don't believe that is the case we are making. 3 parts of the same God is more what the Trinity is about. But the bible is clear that God the father is greatest, but he and Jesus are one (part of God), and God's holy spirit, another entity that's part of God. No where in the bible do they describe Jesus and the Holy spirit as God's alone, but part of God.

      As for Study, i have studied the bible, been through the entire bible, and the new testament about 5-6 times. I say this not to bring glory to myself for i'm simply doing what every christian should do. To say the idea though that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are part of God is of the devil is, in my opinion, the real heresy, as Jesus himself said although God the father is greater, he and God are one, when he responded to the Jews he said "I am" which is the name God used to describe himself to Moses to give to Pharoh and the people. Tell them "I am" has sent you.

      June 16, 2011 at 7:40 AM Reply
  14. Deb #

    Ahhh. After going to the link that Paul Lagno put in his comment, I found it to be Jehovah's Witness. Now we know why Paul say what he sys. He is a Jehovah's Witness. We all know they are not Christian. Nuff said.

    November 25, 2011 at 12:04 PM Reply
  15. Larry #

    Woa, potential flame war.

    Anyways, Jesus wants to be America's pastor but we won't have Him. As for Rick Warren being America's pastor because he wrote a few best-selling books and controls a few thousand mega-church zombies/zealots, well that's just silly.

    May 4, 2012 at 4:41 PM Reply
    • Mike LeMay #

      Well said Larry. We have such a perverted view on leadership within the church these days. I grow increasingly concerned with each day on Warren's views and agenda, and hope those who follow him will seek God to discern his teachings and affiliations.

      May 5, 2012 at 12:02 AM Reply
  16. Cal #

    It is very concerning too me, as it should to all who follow the Lord, that this man Rick Warren is seducing so many to a false Gospel, and a false Jesus Christ. His associations to persons such as Frank Viola, Leonard Sweet, and all who support and teach the "meditative and contemplative prayer" method are is proof enough that Rick Warren has never met the true Jesus Christ, and he is a plant to assist in the verging of all so-callled Christianity back to the RCC.
    He is a wolf, and we need to call him that as our Lord did, he is a wolf in sheep's clothing, and he cares NOT for the true sheep of the Lord Jesus Christ. The SBC is apostate and true believers must come out from among them.
    As our Lord stated :I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
    Joh 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
    Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
    Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
    Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
    The Lord bless you and keep you.
    In His Eternal Love,

    July 8, 2012 at 3:53 PM Reply

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