Rick Warren is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, an evangelical megachurch located in Lake Forest, California, currently the eighth-largest church in the United States. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, spawned a series of conferences on Christian ministry and evangelism. He is perhaps best known for the subsequent devotional, The Purpose Driven Life, which has sold over 30 million copies. making Warren a New York Times bestselling author.
Warren holds traditional evangelical views on social issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and stem-cell research. During the 2008 United States presidential election, Warren hosted the Civil Forum on The Presidency at his church with both presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama. Obama later sparked controversy when he asked Warren to give the invocation at the presidential inauguration in January 2009.
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:
- Rick Warren is a strong advocate of contemplative prayer, and encourages the use of Breath Prayers. He has spoken at many conferences where Yoga, Labyrinths and Contemplative Prayer are used and promoted.
- New Age proponent Leonard Sweet, who calls himself an emergent church leader, trained many of Warren’s church leaders and pastors at the 2008 Saddleback Small Groups Conference. Sweet’s view of the value of small groups lines up more with the New Age and Alice Bailey than it does with biblical Christianity. In his book, Quantum Spirituality, Sweet states: “The power of small groups is in their ability to develop the discipline to get people “in-phase” with the Christ consciousness and connected with one another.”
- Warren also uses The Message Bible translation for much of his writings.
- Warren is promoted on the “speakers corner” of the Islamic Society of North America, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood and a financier of the Hamas terror organization.
The next phase of the game plan of the new evangelical gurus is “God’s plan” to change the world through the purpose driven seeker-friendly churches that buy into Rick Warren’s global peace plan that Warren says WILL HAPPEN.
P.E.A.C.E. stands for:
Promoting reconciliation (changed in 2007 from planting churches)
Assist the poor
Care for the sick
Educate the next generation
He also signed on to “A Common Word Between Us” that seeks common ground between Muslims and Christians. 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?”