Cause and Effect

by Mike Ratliff

I have been in a fascinating discussion today with members of our discernment team at CRN. It brought back a lot of memories of those early days of this ministry when those wounds and bruises from the battle at our former church over whether it should go Purpose Driven or not were still very evident along with the inherent resentments over how our supposed brothers and sisters in Christ simply brushed us aside not caring that we left since we would not conform to the PDC takeover. From that I learned much. I became determined to find the smoking gun, the mechanisms behind what makes the PDC paradigm and Rick Warren seem so monolithic and impossible to resist while at the same time, so shallow and unbiblical and able to sidestep nearly every very direct and valid doctrinal issue about his theology, ecclesiology, and epistemology. On these issues, he has been like the “Teflon Don,” able to deflect and seem untouchable no matter how well we show what he says and writes is questionable at best when lined up with Christian doctrine. 

It was as we had our discussion today that it became clear that, at least back when I first started this ministry, I was running myself ragged going hard after the effect of the PDC paradigm, using every resource I could find showing the damage it was doing and had done. I had dozens if not hundreds of people hitting my posts about this who were also victims of PDC takeovers of their churches and were now churchless. We were focusing on these things and fighting back by going after the symptoms much like trying to deal with cancer by taking Aspirin.

However, I never stopped looking for the cause. Oh, we knew where Rick Warren got his Worldview, which was of course Peter Drucker and his theology, which is from C. Peter Wagner at Fuller Theological Seminary. From a corrupt root only a corrupt plant will come and it will only produce corrupt fruit. However, how all this precisely fit into Rick Warren’s worldview and his own goals and purposes for “the church” as he sees it, were not clear.

If we look at Brian McLaren and see his worldview, we have no problem seeing that his Post-Modernism rules all. I once told my son that it was a total waste of time for him and his friends to try to interest me in anything having to do with Post-Modernism. I was not even a Modernist, but a Pre-Modernist in my thinking. Of course, I was not totally serious, but I really have an issue with Post-Modernism. Why? I am a rational person. Reason is what we are called to in God’s Word. Some would cry foul on that and claim the opposite, but it is not so. We are called in God’s Word to come and reason with Him over His Truth. The Gospel is a message of the completed work of Christ for those He came to save. The Gospel also tells us what that cost him and what it takes those who are saved to become partakers of God’s grace and, therefore, be saved. You see, this is what the Church is to be about. This is what the Church’s worldview must have at its core.

However, Post-Modernism is virulently anti-rational. For those of us who grasp that God gave us reason it is a good thing because through it we grasp the good gifts he has provided through his common grace for all such as individual rights and, of course, God’s transcendent truth, however, Post-Modernism is the opposite. It is anti-individual. It pushes experience over reason, the immanent to the exclusion of the transcendent. It teaches that people experience truth while in conversation with a community.

Rick Warren and all who emulate him are Post-Modernists for the Purpose-Driven paradigm and, of course, all other seeker-sensitive models such as that of Bill Hybels, are no different. At their core is a worldview that does not have the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as their core. Instead, they have their own version of the gospel that is not biblical. It is social while at the same time having the World Dominionism goals of the NAR whether they even admit that to themselves or not.

Here are some other indicators of it that came out of our discussion. Because of their Post-Modern, anti-rational mindset, they have the view of Sacred Scripture that it is insufficient so there is a great need for supplemental revelation. We see this throughout those in the NAR movement with their emphasis on visions, hearing directly and audibly from God, et cetera. In this mindset, evangelism is not what we would think of, but is the influencing the culture for good, that is, “making a difference.” This is what they mean when they use the term “Missional.”

The absolute leader of this movement is Rick Warren. Within his mindset, his beliefs are binding on the whole church, and he is at war with anyone in the church who disagrees. Here is a link to an interview with Peter Drucker, Warren’s mentor concerning Evangelism. Remember Rick Warren got his worldview from Peter Drucker. Just like Drucker, Warren denies the existence of the individual in this world while believing that in this world the Organic/Authentic Community is what exists, not individuals. Rick Warren like Peter Drucker, exalts experience over reason, therefore, his worldview is irrational. This irrational worldview allows him to hold contradictory doctrines as being true. This is why we were astounded at John Piper’s embrace of Warren as a fellow Calvinist, while we knew that he also claims to be Charismatic, et cetera.

Rick Warren’s leadership principle is that each church as a hierarchy of leaders where every “pastor” leader receives a direct vision from God as to how to “do church” in a way that appeals to a particular “culturally conditioned community” (sub culture) and the leader demands absolute obedience and allegiance from those below him and answers only to his superiors (other more experienced Seeker-Driven leaders and coaches). From this they adhere to the following, “To question the vision of the leader is to question God.”

I just scratched the surface. However, as we worked through these things today it answered a lot of old unanswered questions for me about why these “Christian leaders” act the way they do and say what they say, especially when they are called to task and told that what they are doing or saying isn’t biblical and we prove it to them exegetically. I listened to a podcast today by Perry Noble titled: The Evolution of Criticism. You can go here and download it. I suggest you pray for wisdom and discernment first. If you listen to it, please listen to the whole thing.

What have we learned? We have seen the effect for years and have often been baffled about what is going on. Do you see the cause now my brethren? Now, do you see their goals? Do you also see how widespread this is? I have been told that Rick Warren is very frustrated right now and sees all who oppose him and what he is trying to do as his enemies who must be overcome. I remember when I first started this ministry having “hand-to-hand combat” here and at other sites to assist my friends against some very determined people who simply would not listen as we tried to warn them that what they were calling Christianity was just Purpose Driven deception. It was from that that many of us were labeled as “haters” and were written off as not worthy of their efforts. It was from those battles that I learned a great deal of how dark and hard a deceived heart really is. They will not listen no matter what truths you show them from God’s Word. These we are dealing with here are beyond all that. They still think they are the chosen ones of God and have his vision while we are the Pharisees, but if you examine what they preach and teach it is still unbiblical garbage so we must continue to expose them as long as God allows us to do so.

Is this the beginnings of the one world church that will persecute the Genuine Church?

Soli Deo Gloria!

26 thoughts on “Cause and Effect

  1. Thanks Mike, I really enjoy reading your posts. Not sure of your eschatological perspective, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that we are not just in the ‘end times’ in the general sense, but literally at the door. Ultimately I believe Rick Warren’s goal, whether he’s conscious of it or not, is to lead millions within the global ‘church’ to embrace the False Prophet who will claim to be Jesus. After studying Islamic eschatology and marveling at the parallels with biblical eschatology, I was horrified to revisit Rick Warren’s inaugural prayer for Barack Obama in which he invoked the name of ‘Isa’, the Islamic name for the Prophet Jesus found in the Quran, as opposed to ‘Yasu’, which is the term used by Arabic Christians for Jesus Christ, the son of God. Prior to my family leaving our home church and happily enduring the commute to Grace Community Church, I couldn’t convince a single person amongst the elders or within our small groups of Rick Warren’s questionable theology. May our Lord continue to pour out His Spirit on you brother, and keep fighting the good fight!

  2. Yes it is brother, yes it is…

    We are the cancer that must be cut out, so that dominion and new order can be established before their jesus manifests himself. The occult streams are coming in at the same time as the eastern mystery religions, as are the Jesuit lead Catholic, the Jewish kabbala, and Muslim Immadhi. For we are the ones that will not compromise His Truth for a global smile as we become like gods. They will accept jesus who is a way, but NEVER Jesus Who IS the (only) WAY!

  3. Can you guess where this quote came from?
    Humanity, The Deciding Factor
    I would remind you that even the Hierarchy of spiritual and liberated souls, the Church of God invisible, knows not the way that humanity will choose to go. General trends are watched and possibilities are considered; the energies pouring into the human family are directed and manipulated, and conditions can frequently be adjusted, but men decide for themselves direct action; they make their own choices and exert unimpeded the free will with which they may at any time be equipped. I prophesy not, because I do not know. I can, however, say that the issues at stake are now becoming so clear that right decision is more possible than at any other time in human history. Unless, therefore, emotional stresses are too acute, humanity will decide upon right action eventually. Emotions are, however, running high and the spiritual people of the world are not sufficiently aroused as yet to handle them. It is the arousing and the awakening to the critical nature of the time and to the world problems which is immediately needed, and this all men of goodwill should regard as their paramount duty.

    Could it be Rick Warren? Mike Bickle? C. Peter Wagner? Bill Bright? Billy Graham?…or the devil himself?

    http://www.lucistrust.org/en/arcane_school/quote_of_the_month

    How about this?
    Many now expect the return of their awaited Teacher, whether they call him the Christ, Messiah, the fifth Buddha, Krishna, or the Imam Mahdi. Millions now know that the Teacher who fulfils all these expectations is already living among us.
    Maitreya, the World Teacher, has not come alone, but with a group of wise Teachers who have long guided humanity from behind the scenes. They are returning to the everyday world to help us solve our most critical global problems. Maitreya is not a religious leader, but an educator in the broadest sense. He can only guide; we have to act to save our world.
    He is here to inspire us to create a new age based on sharing and justice, freedom and peace, so that all may have the basic necessities of life: food, shelter, healthcare, and education, in a world free from want and war.
    His open mission in the world has begun. As Maitreya himself has said: “Soon, now very soon, you will see my face and hear my words.”

    Same question who said it…Satan himself through his minions…

    http://www.share-international.org/index.html
    Amazing how much they all sound alike isn’t it?!?!

  4. Sean you said, ” Prior to my family leaving our home church and happily enduring the commute to Grace Community Church, I couldn’t convince a single person amongst the elders or within our small groups of Rick Warren’s questionable theology. ” Boy can I relate to that! We warned our former church of the same thing. I called Warren a false teacher and I was called hyper-critical. Asked what I thought was Warren’s motivation, I said money. He’s a huckster. They considered him a “brother in the Lord’ although they “disagree with his methodology”. Interestingly a year later the seminary graduate that was in our meeting admitted to a mutual friend that he now sees some of the serious problems with Warren. But that phone didn’t ring with an apology. We had to leave that church over doctrinal and shepherding issues. Sadly two of the men teach at a seminary. =( We were at that church for 16 years.

  5. Denise, that tolerance is part of what R.W. takes advantage of in what he does and why he has been able to do all of this. People are just ignorant and don’t want to be bothered with anything controversial.

  6. Peter Drucker was a communitarian which merges communism with corporate fascism into the so called third way so when these folks mention community and training leaders we know where they are really coming from.
    From http://www.thirdgreatawakening.org/communitarianism.htm
    “If the Christian is to be transformed, then he must participate in the dialectic process or a change agent-led small group. This personal transformation process is continuous (continuous change) and without end. The global planners call the personal transformation process “life-long learning” (cradle to grave transformation and control).
    What does God have to say about change agents and a process of continuous change in His Church? “For I am the Lord, I change not…” Mal. 3:6. “My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change. For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?” Prov. 24:21-2
    In churches infiltrated by the church growth movement, each small group leader/change agent (also called a facilitator) is Satan’s agent in the group. And the small group he is leading or facilitating is actually functioning as a dialectic brainwashing session. The reason for the term “brainwashing” is because it is the goal of the facilitator to remove from the minds of all the individuals in the group those things that are hindering the individual’s ability to reach group consensus, group harmony, and a collective group mind. It is the job of the facilitator to remove an individual’s standards and beliefs and morals and anything else that he or she may be holding on to (like God’s Word) that prevents that person from agreeing with the feelings of others in the group. This is called “reaching consensus.” The facilitator wants everyone to be unified with one mind”

    And that one mind is from satan. Praise the Lord for showing us the real truth about these decievers and brainwashers from Satan and that only Jesus is the way and the truth.

  7. The Lord was kind to me and provided a reformed Calvinist Sunday School teacher when I moved to Houston and joined a Warren satellite church – not having heard of the man. When 40 days of madness swept through town (with dozens of churches performing Warren’s 40 day program) I was given a copy of Purpose Driven Life by literal wild-eyed Warren fanatic. I read it and wept. Read it again and wrote up a critique (graciously posted here: http://www.biblebb.com/files/PDLreview-SB.htm ) and started confronting my “pastors” about the Warren influence in my church.

    I was not the senior pastor’s cup bearer, but I was in leadership within the men’s ministry program. None the less, I was instructed that the anointed ones on the payroll made doctrinal and theological and programmatic decisions (which was right and proper) and that the church was and always would be seeker sensitive. I began to see them as hirelings and ended up taking two men with me to confront the whole “leader team” about the worldliness in the church. The “senior pastor” was shocked at my perspective and it was not long after that my wife and I fled that place to a church that is Christ exalting and rests on the sufficiency of Scripture.

    And our souls continue to rejoice in the Lord.

  8. Manfred, This pattern seems to repeat, with variance in some details, as those with discernment refused to become part of the 40 days of purpose and so had to flee. I was not exagerating when I said that that event was what God used to begin this ministry. I did something similar to what you did Manfred in putting together a thesis paper on why our church should not go Purpose Driven. The outrage within the core group of leaders over that paper made it clear who was really behind it, who was pushing it. Most of the blind in that church were simply going along not wanting to be offensive. We weren’t the only ones who stood up, who stood against it and refused to be assimilated. Over the next several weeks, most of those in my former Bible Study class left as well. As we started looking for another church we kept encountering them doing the same thing. In any case, I am convinced that God allowed this and caused me to go through it so he could use me in the upcoming truth war all for his glory as he did with you as well. Look at the core of our CRN group that has remained intact through it all, we all were brought up from various ugly encounters with apostasy and through that we learned how to contend for the faith and so we continue to do so. However, I pray everyday for Our Lord’s Kingdom to come into fulfillment. Let it be soon.

  9. I have witnessed everything you mentioned in the original post as well. I smelled a rat when the PDL stuff first surfaced. Some years after, I went back to school for my MBA and low & behold I found the basis for the PDL foundation…Ries &Trout, Blanchard, Drucker. Marketing and the huckstering of a commodity!

    Another thing though. Don’t think this can’t also happen in the reformed area. Many young people think they’re so spiritual because they align with some of the stuff taught many years ago. There are some bad teachers and ‘leaders’ uder the reformed name as well.

    There are no safe areas except to be in the Bible ourselves and not just depending on what others tell us the Bible says. Keep discerning, folks.

    Wallace aka Truthinator.wordpress.com

  10. I began reading Francis Shaeffer’s book, “The God who is there”, which addressed the rise of this post modern worldview that you speak of. It is enlightening because this worldview prevalent in the culture has affected theology. One one hand there was the idea that the non-rational and non-logical affected theology in that faith was seen as an optimistic leap without verification or communicable content, and on the other hand there was the rational and logical side that viewed the Scripture as being full of mistakes. Theology was subsequently affected via mysticism, in which there was the blind optimistic hope of meaning based on a non-rational leap of faith pitted against the rational and the logical which gives no meaning. This little bit of reading sheds some light on post modernism, in that faith is somehow antithetical to the historical events recorded in Scripture. Instead of people affirming the truths of Christianity based on belief in a historical record (which could only happen if God supernaturally regenerates them), professing Christians are quick to say that they know that Jesus lives because “He lives within my heart”. It is my understanding that Peter Drucker is one of the men involved in using the Hegelian Dialectic (thesis, antithesis = synthesis) to produce a “paradigm shift” in the Christian worldview. This is one of the methods that has given rise to the post modern worldview as we know it today. Anyone influenced by Peter Drucker and his methods is best to be avoided.

  11. Mike, reading this post, and some of the comments….has made many things much clearer to me!
    I can see why my only son, so precious to me, is so Post-modernist in his thought..and why it is so hard to get through to someone who idolises Jim Wallis and such as he! I can only cast the whole of my concern over this and the future of my two grandkids on the Lord, and petiton Him with tears to open their eyes..in His time!

  12. Wallace, yes, you are right, the PDL and all its knockoffs are nothing more than these repackaged business models meant to create a commodity out of marketing techniques; hence why our economy is so anemic. In any case, you are also right about the Reformed theology side of things. The YRR crowd is full of the NAR teachings and so we have Dominionism and a paradoxical worldview that claims to be Reformed (God is Sovereign) yet is man-centered and must work and reclaim the world (man-centeredness and works-righteousness) that can only be consumed and believed by those who are simply religious not regenerate. Jesus says we can tell them by their fruit. His people will produce good fruit but those who only claim to be Christian, but are false are unable to do so and will produce only worldly, ungodly fruit. Hence, we must keep discerning and praying that God will draw His own from that darkness.

  13. Stephanie, yes that is right and Francis Shaeffer was right too. The Christian message, the Gospel is an account of events, a message that is believed by faith and that faith is a gift from God through regeneration. However, the Christian walk and our life of faith is entirely rational, not a leap of faith into mysticism or darkness. How do I know if I am a true Christian. Is it through feelings? Is it subjective? No it can’t be. It must be based on objective truth, God’s truth that is based on the promises of God that all who believe in the LORD JESUS CHRIST in repentance and faith are saved and justified and are His forever. We believe that because God said it. Now, this faith is supernatural and I have it and I can read the Word of God and understand it whereas an unbeliever cannot do that. Why? I have the Holy Spirit and they don’t. The Postmodernist will look for evidence in experience only. We say the evidence is external to us and is found in the promises and work of God. He did it all. If it is in us and is subjective then it is also variable and we can lose it. However, if it is based in God’s unchangeable objective transcendent truth then all who are His are His forever. I cannot understand why anyone would prefer to base their salvation on their own self will instead of the perfect all powerful will of God.

  14. Thanks for that Mickey. While CW is not my favorite music style, his lyrics, especially on “The Show Must Go On” were piercing. I hear from more and more people now who seem to be waking up to this just as Trevor Baker did, just as I did in 2004. God uses some blunt force trauma if that is what it takes to get us to turn in repentance to him and away from the world. I look back on all that religiosity and while I know that there were some good Christian folks in those churches, there were also large numbers of pretenders. Sadly, many I hear from are broken hearted because of loved ones who are in the darkness of Postmodernism and WILL NOT listen to them about anything pertaining to the Absolute Truth from God’s Word. Our enemy has blinded the hearts and minds of these people and only God can draw them back.

  15. So true, Mike…For all those who just can’t “hang with the twang,” they can read the lyrics of a song here:
    It’s All In Place
    © Trevor Baker 2010

    If we didn’t see it coming we do now
    It was quiet for some time
    But now it’s loud
    Like a train you faintly heard
    So far away
    The picture’s getting clearer
    Everyday

    The house of God
    Where steeples used to ring
    Has morphed into
    A strange peculiar thing
    The Lord said all these things
    Would come to pass
    But who knew it would happen
    Quite this fast

    Friends we knew
    Who were so strong before
    Now stand in line
    At each new open door
    Not questioning the outcome
    Or the source
    They can’t be deterred from heading
    Down this course

    The feelings this drums up
    Can’t be described
    Some days all you want to do is hide
    I’ve been through my Bible
    With a fine toothed comb
    And all the signs are sayin’
    Soon we’re goin’ home

    Chorus

    We’re going home
    The signs are all in place
    It’s moving quickly now
    It’s picking up the pace
    We’re going home
    It’s time to grab your coat
    The chances of the days extending
    Are remote

    They say that where there’s smoke
    There’s always fire
    You can tell the end
    By what has happened prior
    The Bible’s clear
    On how things will unfold
    And all these things
    Have clearly been foretold

    If the days were not cut short
    None would be saved
    And there’s little said
    About the free and brave
    The proud have all been given
    Ample choice
    Only the broken and the humble
    Hear His voice

    Chorus

    And they’re going home
    The signs are all in place
    It’s moving quickly now
    It’s picking up the pace
    They’re going home
    The ark’s about to float
    Fulfilling every word
    That Jesus spoke

    Bridge

    It’s countless all the names
    That will be scratched
    All because they lived
    With strings attached

    Chorus

    But we’re going home
    The signs are all in place
    It’s moving quickly now
    It’s picking up the pace
    We’re going home
    It’s time to grab your coat
    The chances of the days extending
    Are remote

  16. Yes, but what about his description of the largest seminary in Canada putting out men who hate and ridicule the gospel at the +/-1.03 mark!?!?

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