by Mike Ratliff
τὸ δὲ τέλος τῆς παραγγελίας ἐστὶν ἀγάπη ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας καὶ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς καὶ πίστεως ἀνυποκρίτου (1 Timothy 1:5 NA27)
But the aim of our charge is love out of a pure heart and a good conscience and faith without hypocrisy. (a personal translation of 1 Timothy 1:5 from the NA27 Greek text)
Before you read this post, if you have not read last night’s post, The Knowledge of God, please do so. It is also imperative that you listen to Chris Rosebrough’s and Phil Johnson’s analysis done to the interview of Rick Warren done by John Piper which I linked to in that post. I have read the posts and articles out there from quite a few well-meaning brothers and sisters in Christ who deeply desire for the controversy or rift resulting from the negative response from many of us who cannot accept Rick Warren’s ecclesiology and his friendship with the world and its ways to be healed. They view the efforts by John Piper to be the very thing to “heal” Rick Warren’s image with us. However, they are overlooking something that a commenter on last night’s blog said very well. He said:
“These “interviews” are meaningless and are usually not an accurate revelation of a person’s unvarnished beliefs. Watch what a person does apart from staged interviews and you will see more accurately, what he believes. What a person does is what he believes; everything else is just religious talk.”
There you go. Compare that with what the Apostle Paul said in the passage I placed at the top of this post. The genuine Christian walks with a heart that contains the love of God and that love flows outward. Our part is to walk in repentance so that our conscience is good. We do that by walking and relating to others by faith and that means without hypocrisy. If a person professes one thing, but his or her actions are quite different then you have a case of hypocrisy. That is our charge against Rick Warren in this case. He can do all the interviews with John Piper he wants. He can say he loves Jonathan Edwards and John Calvin all day, but that changes nothing. If he is not willing to turn from being ashamed of the Gospel and offended by the Cross of Christ and thereby not preaching the Gospel instead of promoting ecumenicism with partnership with Roman Catholic mystics, among countless other things that I do not have the space to go into here, then I will not relent.
Most of those who are asking for us to relent and seek peace with Rick Warren like Tullian Tchividjian in this post, say we cannot “judge” anyone unless we know them. Wrong! If a person is teaching heresy, I do not have to know them. I just have to know what they are teaching. I compare that to what God’s Word says and if it fails the test, then I follow Biblical protocol and expose them to the Church if they do not repent of it. Honestly, as I read Tullian Tchividijan’s post I was simply amazed at how thickheaded his reasoning was. How could anyone who admits to knowing what the Gospel is and what true biblical ecclesiology is say they like Rick Warren who has done more damage to both in the visible church than anyone in this age?
I also read a blog post by another man that I have a great deal of respect for that I will not name who asked for prayer for that interview. I have no problem for that. However, his post was from the position that we should pray that both men, being highly influential men in the Southern Baptist Denomination and the worldwide Church, we should pray that this interview would bring peace and make both of their ministries even more influential. I did not take that very well. I did not pray for that. I prayed for God to take that interview and open the eyes of God’s people to His truth and how the ministries of both men were outside of the clear bounds of what He commands of the leaders of His Church. Therefore, I will repeat what I said way back when Rick Warren’s keynote speech was given at the Desiring God conference. I said that this was a gift from God because Rick Warren had finally exposed himself to us for the heretic he really is. Since then John Piper has worked very hard to resurrect Warren’s image with us. This interview has done absolutely nothing to cause me to say things like, “I like Rick Warren now, despite the fact that I disagree with him on many things.” No, sorry, I cannot say that.
Soli Deo Gloria!