In this video I refute all arguments in support of tithing (mandatory giving of 10% of monetary income), to include the prosperity preachers’ latest scam that Jesus is the High Priest receiving our tithes just as Melchizadek/Melchizedek received tithes from Abram.
Tag Archives: Rick Warren
Spiritual Abuse Survey: Is YOUR church a safe place?
Take the survey from wickedshepherds.com and see!
Here is a questionnaire to determine just how healthy your church really is. To find out how well it ranks, answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions:
•Does your church tightly control the flow of information within its ranks?
•Does the head of your church, along with the other “leaders”, use public shaming as a method to gain the compliance of followers?
•Does the head of your church and his “fellow elders” appear to be intolerant or consider it evil persecution when criticized or questioned?
•Are you discouraged to associate with former members, being warned that they are “evil” or “defiling”; a “danger to your spiritual welfare”?
•Is leaving your church to join another church that “is not approved by the elders” equal to leaving God?
•Do you fear being rebuked, shunned, or ignored for expressing a different opinion?
•At church, is there a sense of control, rather than support?
•Is there a relentless obsession of reminding the sheep of “who’s in authority”?
•Are you told not to ask questions as to why others have left? Are you told to accept the statements that the “elders” give you?
•Are books, tapes and CD’s, speakers, music, etc., carefully controlled to keep only the belief structure of your church before your mind?
•Is there is a relentless campaign to keep you around the activities of your church, expecting you to be at all the stated meetings, except if providentially hindered? And if you are absent, is your spirituality and dedication sometimes questioned?
•Is the concept ever so subtly present that, “when you please the “pastor”, God is pleased and when your “pastor” is not pleased with you, God is not pleased with you?
•Is there present, the breaking of even the closest family ties, to “guard” the flock?
•Is there the constant using of guilt and shame as tools of control?
•Is there present at your church the encouragement of the members to spy and report on each other, lest sin be found in the midst?
•Is there present at your church the dominant climate of fear in the group – fear of failing to keep one of the rules, and fear of being held up to public humiliation and rejection?
•At church, are the normal lines between what is private and what is public knowledge broken, and members confess the most personal, and the most minor sins, as the conscience is being surrendered to the “leadership”?
•Are many (if not all) of the results from voting at “congregational business meetings” announced as….. “it is unanimous!”?
•Is questioning condemned as “whispering, back- biting, vicious slander, gossip, nit picking, signs of a proud rebellious spirit, being disaffected and divisive?
•Are those who dissent publicly punished? Are their reputations murdered by veiled, or not so veiled “revelations” of “sins”; past and present, as confidentiality is broken for the benefit of the leaders?
•Is there a misplaced loyalty from Jesus and God onto the leadership, which is idolatry?
•Is there harsh preaching and full of condemnation for your failures and are you deliberately being kept wounded and off balance by the haranguing and condemnation from the pulpit?
•Is “Persevere or be damned” and “listen to YOUR elders; obey YOUR elders”; “submit to YOUR elders” preached over and over again?
•Is paranoia the “very air you breathe”? Paranoia of falling from grace; thinking for yourselves; breaking the many unspoken rules as well as the clearly spelled out expectations of the leader?
•Are you becoming paranoid – carefully watching your every word and even gesture, lest someone report your faults?
•Does a code of silence reign at your church? Is no one to divulge the business of the church, or the faults of the leadership?
•Do the spiritual leaders at your church seem to give you the impression that either covertly or overtly, they have the right to tell you how you should manage your own family; presuming that they know your own family better than you know yourself?
If you answered “no” to all of the above questions, your church is relatively healthy. If you answered “yes” to a quarter or more, your church is showing signs of being unhealthy. If you answered “yes” to half or more, your church is very, very unhealthy. If you answered “yes” to three-quarters or more, your church is an authoritarian cult.
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The Saddleback Community Church in Lake Forest, California started with just two families in 1980 has more than 15,000 baptized church members today with an average Sunday attendance of 19,000. Rick Warren attributed this rapid growth to his magical formula now written in the book “The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?’ (A Campus for Christ and Zondervan Publication 2002)
The book has taken the world by storm; more than 2000 churches around the world used it in 2003 as part of 40 days of purpose. These congregations commit to read one chapter of the book a day and participate in an rigid program of worship, fellowship and mission. More than 1,500 churches in the 50 states in the U.S. and 1000 churches in 10 nations participated in the pilot program in 2002. As projected, more than two million people will have joined a 40 days of Purpose at end of 2004.
According to The Purpose Driven Life (PDL) God created individuals with five distinct eternal purposes, namely worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and mission. Warren missed God’s perfect plan of grace for the imperfect man, distorting the doctrine of grace, imputation and divine essence. Warren has a distorted viewpoint of sin, confusing it with guilt and which caused Cain’s separation from God (pages 23, 28 and 54). Guilt then, is the failure to give God the glory. We must understand that the glory of God is eternal. He is the Source and Cause of all the glory.
. The original sin of Adam is not the failure to glorify God, the sin of Lucifer was not his failure to glorify God. According to PDL the greatest problems of man are lack of purpose, guilt, resentment, anger, materialism, fear, need for approval, and lack of drives, unused potential, stress and unfulfilled life (page 30). Warren did not view the biblical concept of sin as man’s greatest problem.
Warren presented the Gospel in nine words (58) without telling the reader why he needs to accept the free gift of salvation and why Christ has died for his sin. Warren presented another gospel empty of God’s holiness and man’s depravity, missing the grace of God and the atoning work of Christ. He presented an ecumenical gospel acceptable even to the cults. Warren is making Christ likable and His Gospel very friendly to everyone, giving the reader the impression that the access to heaven and earthly greatness is the nine magical words he formulated, “Jesus, I believe in you, and I receive you”. Warren missed the truth of 1 Corinthians 1:23-25.
Warren has introduced phraseology that sounds biblical especially to those who are ignorant of Bible doctrine. The discerning (those with Bible doctrine in their souls) may agree to about 30% truth but can easily discriminate and classify the 70% lies he formulated. In general, Warren is “world-class writer” who was able to capture his readers with his articulation of fictitious ideas (like J.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter), but he is bad Bible expositor for distorting the truth of the Scripture (Matthew 15:7). Like a master cultic apologist, Warren uses excessive proof-texts of unusual paraphrases from 15 Bible translations (14 of which are questionable).
Warren has driven the truth from the PDL and masterly reversed the truth of the Bible. He is dynamically serving Satan by deceiving people with his gospel. To make his point, Warren has mastered the art of making Reversed Translation of the Scriptural text he used. For example his version of Matthew 16:25 is Self-help is no self help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self (page 19). In Appendix 3, Warren reasoned that he wanted the reader to see the meaning of the Scripture in new, fresh ways. He has forgotten that Christians has the indwelling Holy Spirit who is responsible for teaching the Word of God. We do not need the unusual paraphrases which he invented.
Most of Warren’s supporting verses are out of context and vaguely applied. That is because he diminishes the importance of the Scripture in the life of the believer. For him, “the purposes” becomes the standard you use to evaluate which activities are essential and which are not (31).
To become best friend of God one maintains constant conversation with God (89). Abraham became a friend of God by living according to divine protocol, which is possible only when the believer has the maximum Bible doctrine in his soul. For Warren, service is the pathway to real significance (234), in effect; he was trying to manufacture “great servants” driven by wrong purposes and distorted motivation. For Warren God’s purpose for creating man is part of His “planned of pleasure” (63). It seems that Warren is totally ignorant even of the most basic Bible doctrines.
He missed God’s eternal, perfect, sovereign will for creating man. PDL is a gallery of “Christian phraseology” enjoyable for nominal believers but nuisance for those who are studying the Bible systematically. Most of the phrases he invented are non-sense and has no biblical basis. For example, “The best expression of love is time”, “the greatest gift you can give someone is time” (127). You can be with someone for 20 years without leaving his side but it does not mean you love him.
Warren misinterpreted almost all the passages he used in PDL. For example, he advocates public confession of sin (212), using James 5:16 as basis of his teaching. There is nowhere in the Bible that we are commanded to confess our sins publicly. The context of James 5:16 is between two party who have sinned against each other and who are instructed to reconcile. In interpreting the Scripture, we need to use four basic approaches: namely, categorical, grammatical, historical and exegetical. In few part of PDL, Warren used a little of historical approach not for clarity of the passage but just to bring out his point to the attention of the reader.
Warren’s formula for defeating sin and temptation is to direct your mind or feelings to something. “Don”t fight the thought; just change the channel of your mind and get interested in another idea” (209-210). He confuses the temptation of 1 Corinthians 10:13 with the sin of the believers. The context of 1 Corinthians 10:13 is undeserved suffering or testing of the spiritual mature believer not the sin of the carnal believers.
Warren confused spiritual maturity with religious involvement, mission, ministry, fellowship and worship. Spiritual maturity is measured by maximum Bible doctrine stored and functional in the soul of the believer. The growth of any church is measured by the quantity of Bible doctrine in the souls of the church members, not by 40-days of purpose. Rick Warren’s, Saddleback Community Church is full of pseudo and infant Christians whom he had deceived with another gospel. I am not criticizing God*s method of blessing, (as he had warned in his book Purpose-Driven Church), since that cannot be considered blessing from God.
The impact of PDL to the churches is not the work of God since He cannot compromise His Holiness with humanistic and heretical lies of man. The popularity of PDL and Rick Warren and the numerical growth of churches is not from God. All the cults create the same “impact”. The Lord Jesus Christ, the genuine Gospel, the true Bible doctrine are not that popular like all the cultic leaders and their teachings!
“Test every spirit” (every teacher, every preacher, every teaching),…”because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
PDL is the sum total of humanistic, man-centered, mechanistic approach to pseudo Christianity, pseudo spirituality and pseudo blessings. PDL is fake map to greatness that the Grahams are alluring the readers to bite. PDL could better stand for “Program for Deception of Lucifer”. I agreed with Billy and Franklin Graham when they said, “Make sure you’re not missing the point of your life” but I edited their statement and add, “Do not read the Purpose-Driven Life!” so that you will not miss the point of your life.
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This past week, Lighthouse Trails learned that a Saddleback apologist contacted IPOWER, the web hosting company for Apprising Ministries (a Purpose Driven critic), threatening IPOWER with legal action. This resulted in IPOWER notifying Apprising Ministries that they would shut down the website if a request to remove certain material was not complied with in 48 hours (by Saturday night). IPOWER has a policy statement on their website, which states they will take “corrective action” against websites that post “controversial” material.
As a private company, IPOWER has the right to refuse service to anyone whom they wish; however, given the controversial nature of many websites and blogs and with a customer base of over 700,000 sites, IPOWER will need to shut down thousands of websites, if they treat all of them in the same manner as Apprising Ministries.
There is growing concern among many Christian believers that the time is soon coming, largely because of hate crime legislation, when websites and ministries that challenge and critique popular and non-biblical religious movements (e.g. Purpose Driven, the emerging church, the New Age movement) will be shut down. A prime example, which has warranted growing concern, is that of MacGregor Ministries in Canada, who was recently informed by the Canadian government that they were being stripped of their non-profit status because they violated Canadian regulations that state non-profits cannot say other religions are wrong (constituting this to be hateful behavior).
Because the long-term implications of IPOWER’s actions could set a precedent with other hosting companies (a precedent that could ultimately affect many voices who stand for the truth and the Gospel), Lighthouse Trails considers this current action to be of a very serious nature. Lighthouse Trails wrote a letter on July 25th to IPOWER, expressing our concerns. (Click here to read.)
Update: On July 26th, Apprising Ministries website was shut down.
I don’t want to be an alarmist or anything but you all know that new “hate speech” laws have recently went into effect in America and around the rest of the western world. We often here of Pastors being censored in America and Canada. It has been about a month since I listened to the Jay Sekulo (ACLJ) show but he was harping about new laws that may be used to shut him and similar radio ministries down. I assumed it would be while before this affected the WWW.
But because of new pressures to web hosting companies, an apologist for the Saddleback Church was able to levy this new law to silence and censor one it’s critiques. Saddleback is Rick Warrens Church. Ya’ll all know him as the author of the “Purpose Driven” series of Christian book. If you have not done any study about the purpose driven material, you may be surprised to find out it is not very Christian and that it’s doctrines are more NEW AGE than anything. This mussling of their critics proves the Spirit of the individual and the movement itself. You may also know that the “purpose driven” material is classified as part of the “OUTCOME BASED RELIGION” or the “EMERGING OR EMERGENT CHURCH MOVEMENT“.
The shutting down of this Christian apologetic site could just be an isolated incident or it could start a trend. The way in which this happened is very unchristian like. Read the following article to show the motives. Poof! Apprising Ministries Online is Now Dark
I spent about 6 hrs making a page for outcome based religion and gathering related articles, video and book links. I will be working a couple of more hours on it as I found many more articles that I need to sift through and put on the page. I will be putting a “send this page to a friend” hot link for you to forward to anyone, if you wish. There is more info here than you need so I will be put them in order from most important to least soon. You can visit the page @ http://www.how2becomeachristian.info/outcomebasedreligion.htm
If you don’t know about “outcome based religion”, please study some of these materials and tell others about the false doctrine and politically correctness aspect of this worldly ecumenical movement.
Sincerely, IJN, IHS
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