Response to Rick Warren

This clip was posted on as a response to Rick Warren’s question, “What on Earth are you here for?”

Thanks again to Teddy for the clip.

11 thoughts on “Response to Rick Warren

  1. I had a look at the clip, and he’s definitely implying that the cost of following Christ is high, and is not being preached. The implication is that people who pray the type of prayer that Rick Warren did in the earlier video posted on this site, may not realise they also need to repent – the evidence of which is ongoing repentance in life.

    He also says that churches like the purpose-driven ones have one thing right – getting all their members to work hard in the church.

    From my view, I still think he has a point about the need to emphasise repentance when someone is making a decision to follow Jesus, because its not going to be easy all the time. But there seems to be a weight of doom and gloom about this that puts me off – maybe that’s just me. It seems that we have this huge burden to carry when we become Christians.

    Jesus said to take up our cross and follow Him. But He also said, ‘My yoke is easy and my burden is light’. So even though this preacher is very eloquent, I am not entirely convinced by his message either. I think there could be a sense of condemnation and religiousness that could result from being under messages like this, that I think also goes beyond what God wants for those He loves.

  2. Well, it’s all valid preaching. Just different ways of saying much the same thing. The shame is for one to say another is wrong for doing and saying the same things differently. One from a choleric standpoint, another form a sanguine, others from melancholic or even phlegmatic and any combination of the above.

    I think there is a degree of gift projection involved when a minister with a,say, choleric bent, such as this dude, says his is the way that a message should be preached. Gift projection is where one person thinks their gift is the gift everyone should operate under, and can’t see he real value of other’s giftings and callings.

    He’s tough-guy in the pulpit, almost cajoling his congregation unsmilingly into good works. A provoker from he point of view of wielding a big stick, whereas Warren is far more melancholic/sanguine in his approach, clearly workaholic, and obviously an ADHD child (I think he owns up to this somewhere), and tirelessly organising and encouraging people along (Purpose Driven) in favourite uncle sort of way.

    He provokes by showing a sinner how to be saved, how to change, how to repent, with a gentle approach, leading them softly to the saviour, always with a voice of hope, and charged with possibilities. He spells it all out, plans it, arranges it, writes it out, shows people what to do how to do it and when to do it with whom and where.

    In some ways, Warren is the small church pastor’s nightmare because it’s impossible to carry out everything he sets out for them, so what do you leave out? But he is effective in his own way, and basically preaching the same message, but from a standpoint of “You an do this. God wants you in, and all he wants is for you to want in, so come on in!”, and “I’ll organise everything, show you how to get in, what to say, do, think, etc!” In a respect he does make it easy for people, but that’s how he’s wired, and that’s his call.

    Washer preaches the same gospel, with heavier emphasis on repentance, and obviously wants it to be hard for people, so he says so, and convinces them that they have to go through the hoops to make it. Presumably his church is wired for this as well, and so it is, in his way, effective in its own right.

    I don’t think it’s acceptable to weigh one up against another.

    Just as Wilkerson is convinced preaching hellfire and brimstone, judgement and fury at people, so others, like Bonnke, preach love, mercy, grace and God’s desire for people to come to his Christ for salvation – the Door is open, and Christ awaits the sinner for salvation, so come!

    All preach repentance, but from a different perspective, and with different calls to do so, just as James was much stronger than Paul in some ways, even having a completely different angle on faith and works.

    Jesus doesn’t limit us anywhere to one means of reaching the lost. One Gospel Message, one Saviour, one Holy Spirit, One God, On Baptism, yes, but multiple voices, callings, gifts, graces, personalities, means, characters and methodologies, working at the same time on the same planet to achieve the same end.

  3. Paul Washer has been called the “John the Baptist” to this generation. He is very hard hitting and I believe that comes from his missionary work in South America. He has quite a few significant health issues which arose from mission work. I guess if you have had a young man die in your arms from bullet wounds for refusing to deny Christ, you would take life very seriously.

    I initially found him very hard to listen to (lots of sermon online but over time he has had a profound effect on my walk. I remember reading Keith Green’s story “No Compromise” years ago and see that same passion.

    The pendulum has swung so far the other way with preaching these days (especially
    in seeker-friendly churches) that we are no longer appreciate or handle the tough

    By the way, I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard a message on repentance at church. But I know how to have my “best life now”.

  4. Sorry Facelift, but PLEASE don’t start that sanguine/choleric stuff! I just said a rude word when I read your post. Just as well my husband was watching that footballer king hit someone on the news and didn’t hear me. (My rude words aren’t too bad!!)

  5. OK well what do you want me to say, then? Washer is big bossy-boots who bullies people into heaven, whilst Warren is a workaholic favourite uncle who organises and loves people in.

    I agree with Mark Kelsey actually on this when he says that in Christ we’re to be whatever is required at the time, so the choleric/sanguine/phlegmatic/melancholy thing is redundant for those who have the Holy Spirit and walk in His anointing.

    The thing is that it is in the language, and people understand where you’re coming form when you use familiar words and ideas about a subject.

    Perhaps you can help me rephrase what ‘m saying, but it seems to fit in this case.

  6. That’s funny Facelift , good to see that. Perhaps sometime you can see Paul Washer talk about the Holy Spirit, and the power in his life, he’s like a child overwhelmed by it. Quite Charismatic. When he talks to bible college kids, he is very down-to-earth and practical, with a sense of humour – quite a lot of bible college stuff available online.

  7. Yes, the subject of whether the church is the new Israel is another one for a good post.

    Just so you all know, not many people actually click on the videos. Although personally, I’ve found them pretty interesting. If we can find good summaries, or short text blurbs that sum things up, that’s going to be helpful.

  8. I’m not a believer in replacement theory. God has a place for Israel, which is very much in his plans.

  9. Also agreed!

    Teddy, thanks for the background on Paul Washer.

    I agree with your point about hard messages.

    As far as seeker sensitive goes, I think it may be a wrong conclusion to think that people don’t want to hear hard messages, at least for a portion of the time. Having to always have an up or positive spin becomes no different from listening to motivational speakers after a while.

    Neither would I want to hear a heavy message every week. Particularly if it’s berating a large percentage of the congregation for not putting enough of their effort into things directly involved in church. He seemed to scorn parents taking their kids to sport on the weekends. I hope that was just an exaggeration for the sake of making a point in this context.

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