The Blind Hypocrisy of Just Doing Church

by Mike Ratliff

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:25-34 ESV)

To be honest, I never thought that I would ever end up in the part of the battle that I have found myself. For the first 19 or so years after my salvation, I was just your typical church member who “occasionally” found my faith peeking through into my work week. As I matured, I became a Bible teacher and a Deacon. I did participate in Evangelism Explosion training and used that training as a counselor on Sunday mornings at the altar. However, the rest of the time I was not exactly giving God much of my time. That changed in 2004.

For the first 8 months of 2004, God drew me closer and closer to Him. By August I was in the Bible or in prayer or in theological study or worship nearly all day every day. I just could not get enough of my Lord. Still, being in the battle that Paul describes in Ephesians 6 was not on my radar. However, I began to experience some “push back” later that year. I was at a Deacon’s meeting one Saturday morning. My Pastor was depressed and despondent because several of our small church’s long time members had left our fellowship. They had not moved away. They had moved to other churches. I listened as he lamented.

Some of the Deacons gave him advice on changing how “church was done.” I listened for awhile and just couldn’t take it anymore. I asked, “Where is your faith?” He looked at me with eyes wide open. I then told him that his job was not to build a big church or even a growing church. His job was to be obedient to his calling. He was to preach the Word and pastor his flock. God would bless that.

I overheard him telling one of our other Deacons as we left that day that he could tell that I had been spending a great deal of time in prayer. I began to think that God was going to use me to help our Pastor and our church as He led. However, that was not what happened at all. The more I worked at changing the focus of our men from “doing church” to “obeying God” by being with Him in prayer and Bible Study as much as possible, the more resistance was “pushed backed.”

About that time my first book came out. If I were to rewrite my two books, I would change a great deal because I have learned so much since then, however, it was through the experience of being published and then dealing with people who knew me well that I no longer felt that I was welcome in that church. I had two good friends in that church that ministered to me during this time as I ministered to them. Both “got it.” However, it soon became apparent that the Purpose Driven Church model was going to come in and I had to stand against it. Only a few of our friends in that body of believers saw it for what it was and left when we did.

Just because God has called us to walk closer with Him and that our lives must become living sacrifices in everything we do, say, and think does not mean that other believers will be on the same page. In fact, those on this path have learned that the cruelest darts are those from our brothers and sisters in Christ who believe that their denomination, or Pastor, or favorite preacher, or favorite writer, or their church’s way of understanding the Bible, which is their personal religiosity, outweighs the clear meaning of Sacred Scripture.

As I studied for those posts on spiritual warfare and persecution, a lot of my experiences from that period in 2004-2006 came back into my mind. What I experienced then was quite mild compared to what those Christians in other parts of the world deal with even to the point of being martyred. However, it opened my eyes to how spiritually blind most professing believers are. Some do not want to “give up” their favorite sin so they resent calls to repentance and obedience. Others are deceived by wolves in sheep’s clothing like Rick Warren.

When I stood against that I became a pariah very quickly. Why? They had fallen for the lie that to stand against the Purpose Driven Church is to stand against evangelism. No one wanted to hear how Rick Warren had watered-down the Gospel, removing the cross and why it is necessary in any preaching of it. There is no dependance on simply preaching the Word and the genuine Gospel that God will save people who repent and believe as He gives them faith to do so by His Grace. Instead, they gear church to be popular with unbelievers by NOT preaching about the Fall of man and his hopelessness before our Holy God to save themselves from His wrath. Instead, church becomes a constant push to be a fun place to be on Sunday mornings hoping that those unbelievers will feel at home and join their fellowship.

Those who believe this way are focused on just “doing church” instead of serving God according to His will. So far I have not encountered anyone who thinks this way who really knows their Bibles very well. When our former church went through this, those who left were those who were serious Bible students. When my wife and I began attending another church near where we live, we found that some who left before us had preceded us there. In any case, those who resisted what I was “teaching” at my former church could not refute what I was saying from scripture. On the other hand I used scripture to show how corrupt the Purpose Driven Church model was in relation to what the Bible teaches. That period was one of the most painful times I have ever gone through.

This piece is not one against local churches. Some are wonderful, like the one my wife I attend now. However, when they devolve into what we have described above in being geared to the world and the flesh instead of being focused totally on serving our Holy God, worshiping Him, and hearing His Word preached and taught, then they have ceased being Biblical churches.

God is sovereign. He is immutable, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. When we serve Him we must rely on His grace to do so. We must walk and serve by faith. Our role is not to build His Kingdom. He is doing that and it will come in fulfillment according to His will in His timing as He works through us. We must seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness not build our own kingdoms by our own righteousness and efforts.

The emergent movement, the seeker-sensitive movement, and the New Perspective on Paul, for example, have one thing in common. They all seek to nullify what God’s Word clearly teaches about the Gospel. In the small skirmishes I have had in this battle I have found that their usage of scripture to make their points is out of context and, therefore, not based in God’s truth. Their attacks against orthodoxy cannot be based from scripture because genuine orthodoxy is based entirely in it. The deeper we dig into the Word of God the more we see the truth and the more we see it the closer to orthodoxy we become because God’s Word changes the hearts of His people. Therefore, the attacks against orthodoxy take the form of Straw Man attacks. These battles can be quite heated and painful and I have learned that there are some that are not worth taking on.

The mindset that says that God’s desire for His people is that they be religious, just “doing church,” without any emphasis on discipleship and spiritual growth, is hypocritical and spiritually blind. People are naturally religious so the trends and tendencies within us all to believe that we earn our salvation by being religious are hard to break. However, God is able to shatter our hard hearts, circumcising them and changing them radically. Those whose hearts are growing more and more tender towards God can never be satisfied with man-made religion. They seek first the Kingdom and God’s Righteousness so they will always be at odds with the simply religious. However, the spiritually blind hypocrites love their religiosity because it puts them in control. Those with circumcised, tender hearts know that they are in control of nothing, but are in good hands. Their spiritual sails are constantly being filled by the wind of the Holy Spirit as He controls and guides them into obedience.

Soli Deo Gloria!

43 thoughts on “The Blind Hypocrisy of Just Doing Church

  1. “Their spiritual sails are constantly being filled by the wind of the Holy Spirit as He controls and guides them into obedience.”

    A great word picture, Mike. I believe the purpose driven teaching will one day be recognized as the most expansive tool of deception ever invited into the church. Americans are hungry for convenience even when it comes to their Christianity and the PDL teachings offer that in spades.

    You mentioned your time in prayer, Mike, and the first thing that jumped out at me when I read the PDL book was the absolute miniscule mention of the importance of prayer. Warren is friendly, affable, well meaning, and compassionate, but he is dead wrong in his approach. I harbor no ill will toward him personally but I reject completely his pragmatism at the expense of cross centered discipleship.

    If we accept these new techniques that make friends with the world systems, we need to throw out the Foxe’s Book of Martyrs as extremism. To say nothing of the Bible!


  2. Well said Rick.

    I agree with your assessment of R.W. I do not hate him. I think he is deceived. He is blind to the damage his pragmatic has done and is still doing to the Church. Instead of discipling Christians to become separate from the world and its ways, he is bringing the world into the Church. The pragmatic uses the appeal of the flesh to try to make the Gospel more palatable to the lost. I see that as tragic.

    When I encountered the resistance to the truth at our former church I was stunned. Those doing the resisting were all about doing instead of all about drawing near unto God. I could not reason with them. Spiritual blindness is incredibly dark.

    You are right about prayer. I actually feel that I need to spend MORE time in prayer. I find that prayer needs to be closely tied to being in the Word.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  3. Greetings Mike,

    I am a frequent reader of your posts and I can’t tell you how much your writing has impacted my faith. If you were to change the date from 2004 to 2006 you would have written my story. The Lord be praised, we have found a Bible-teaching and preaching church for our family. Thanks again for your posts.


  4. This is so very well written. We run across these very same situations here in Ukraine — not surprising, I suppose, because the westerners who come to “save” Ukraine only teach and practice what they know…and many have come out of situations like you describe. LOTS of deception. And we tend to be the bad guys who are clinging to the cross, to sound doctrine, to Truth…and the need for proper discipleship. Thank you for this post


  5. I just read one of your older posts titled, “Not Peace, But a Sword.” I had a similiar experience as yours with the Purpose Driven movement. I was treated much like a leper too. I noticed how people began to withdraw from me when I “rocked the boat” so to speak. I am glad to hear of others on this blog who do the same, and have all experienced similiar trials.

    Yea, I can’t deny that I fell on the “church membership /attendance” religiousity bandwagon. Believing that the more often I showed up or the more activities I enrolled in made me more holy and spiritually mature. I was a “works” based church goer, who believed the Bible was a big set of promises which guaranteed paradise on earth because I believed that my attendance and my busy-ness in sponsored activities won me salvation or even more blessings. It was not until God brought me into intense persecution and rejection mixed with some hardship that he was able to call me out of “Babylon.” It was a painful experience, but it was extremely necessary to open my eyes to the apostasy. The wrong Jesus is in the megachurches nowadays. Popularity, worldly status, material wealth and riches– all the lusts of the megachurch….. Think about what Moses went through when God brought him out of Egypt. He didn’t bring him from royalty into royalty to make him a servant. He brought Moses into an undesirable place away from everything that the world (Egypt) had to offer. This same kind of work happens to God’s children whom he calls out of apostate Christianity. He may turn the majority or mainstream against them, but his purpose is to bring them out, make them whole, absent from the unclean thing. The unpleasant fire removes the old dross which once made us unclean continually.

    I have recently ministered to former church members which support the Purpose Driven Movement. They just won’t hear anything different. I guess that if God does not call them out, then there is nothing more that we can do.


  6. ukrainiac,

    “And we tend to be the bad guys who are clinging to the cross, to sound doctrine, to Truth…and the need for proper discipleship.”

    Amen!!! Never stop clinging to the cross and to sound doctrine. Do not listen to anyone, even an angel from Heaven who would teach you any different! Discipleship is where those you were referring to have no clue. We are called to make disciples not church members. That takes work and commitment on both the disciple and the discipler.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  7. Josh,

    The darkness of spiritual darkness is way too dark for us to overcome. It takes God’s good work to come in and shatter it. He must circumcise our hearts. He must draw us into the light. That is why we never stop praying for those who cannot see or hear the truth.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  8. Mike,

    Thanks for your faithfulness!

    You mentioned the New Perspective on Paul in today’s post, and I wonder if you have another post or some recommended resource that I could read about this topic?

    Grace to you!


  9. Amen!

    Mike, I very much agree with your statement that “The mindset that says that God’s desire for His people is that they be religious, just “doing church,” without any emphasis on discipleship and spiritual growth, is hypocritical and spiritually blind.”

    The sad fact of the matter is that when we try to warn others of what their church is becoming and to beware, they turn around and call us unloving and trying to break up the unity though we do do it out of love and with much gentleness.

    It does seem to me that there are many today who are more attached to their church than to God, and that is true even in this part of the world — Singapore. They cite that their church has done this or that, but what is all that when there is no deep root in the Word of God?

    I constantly remind myself that I need to pray for those who are led astray, because we do not necessarily fight against them, but against the dark principalities that direct these things that are happening today.



  10. Yes, it is sad Sicarii. All we can do is pray for them and tell them the truth in love.

    We do not battle against flesh and blood, but against evil powers. Those who are in the pragmatics are in unbelief. They have reached a point of decision to trust God or not. If they choose not to then they take a pragmatic approach. If they choose to trust God then they will take the way of faith and obedience.

    All sin is rooted in unbelief and Christians are not immune.

    Yes, we must pray for God to open their eyes and break their hearts over this.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  11. Just reading this site for the first time. I need clarity about the PDC movement. Have always had suspicion about it, as I am suspicious when writers become multi-millionnaires from proceeds from a book that is supposededly revelatory from God. I would appreciate knowing, if any of you out there know, why the United Pentecostal Church International, a holiness, oneness church, now has Rick Warren’s book as required reading for all students who want to become ministers in this denomination. This church always used to rely completely on the Holy Bible, the Word of God. My church (UPC) taught the PDC a few years ago at bible study and there is a “change” in things I can’t put my finger on. They have lost their compassion, the ministry looks like a hierarchal pyramidic corporation where the head delegates dowward. No longer does the pastor do the visitation, calling, visiting the sick in hospital……..these boring chores are delegated to assistants. The world is cracking up and our church gives us the sense we need to build a kingdom on earch, that the youth are our future. They patronize the elders of the church. Elders are never used in giftings……unless you consider letting them sing one a year, or sending them to cook, clean, etc. Anybody out there relate to this? Thanks. J


  12. Mike—thank you for your post. My husband and I are going through the same thing in our church currently. What’s so frustrating is that people are not seeing the heresy of Rick Warren—which would include what he DOESN’T say (repentance from Sin, the Lordship of Christ, the Atonement, the Wrath of God toward sinners, etc). They see a Christian leader who’s just got a different methodology, and call us judgmental for labeling Warren as a false teacher and huckster.

    Its truly grievous, but Mike, I am convinced that the circle of biblical Christianity is shrinking from what we think it is, to what it truly is—and TRULY the road is VERY Narrow and FEW that find it. Its a war on a massive scale and we cannot shrink back.

    We’ve been asked to find another church where we can be “more like minded”. Instead of holding fast to biblical doctrine and then practice, they rather we go away. Please pray that God would open eyes to His Truth—and that He sustain us and keep us focused on Him. Its making me weary week in and week out to even show up to church, but I know we are called to be in a local body. We need to find a new one, but haven’t so far.

    Also—just a note in general—we need to be checking our church library shelves to see what is being offered there as well. I found a lot of horrible books at our’s and there has not been any elder oversight over the library b/c its not a priority. This is another avenue of heresy infiltrating our churches (my daughter brought home a book by modalist Tommy Tenney and I took it straight back to the senior pastor–still no oversight of the library as yet).


  13. The Lord is calling the true church out of the worlds organized churches. I read a comment the other day that pretty well described the experiance. They said that they climbed up Mt. Dispy/PDC and it was lacking in oxygen so bad that it caused them to hallucinate!!


  14. Thank you for your willingness to share your experience, Mike. We are going through a similar time in our own church. A year ago our senior pastor, who preached the Word faithfully for 26 years, retired.

    Within a matter of months the sermons from the pastoral staff became noticeably thinner and weaker. The Easter Sunday sermon was lacking in any mention of why it was necessary for Christ to die on the cross–the implication left was that it was simply a bad thing that happened to a nice man, and now the good news was that “God is for us.” It was what Michael Horton calls, “Christless Christianity.”

    This church has had a tremendous tradition of biblical preaching and teaching, and has elders who really do know better because they have sat under sound preaching. But, when these concerns were brought to their attention with gentleness and respect, and with clear biblical support, they were essentially ignored.

    It is now painfully clear to us that, to these men, WE are the problem. They regrettably seem to be interested only in “just doing church,” as you put it.


  15. J, Denise and Jeff,

    Look at the what you are experiencing. This is tragic. Your church leadership has reacted in unbelief. They believe they know better and that their way works and they can control it. I am sure you have also noticed the sloppiness of their discernment. It comes and goes and things that should be red flags to them are simply shrugged off. Why? Their god is “just doing church” not the living God who cares not for their corrupt sacrifices and their temporal service. Pray for wisdom and do what He leads you to do.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  16. Dear Mike,

    Thank you for standing firm and sharing God’s truth with all. When I began having my doubts about the seeker sensitive church I was attending, your site was so helpful.

    I, like many others here, attempted to show the pastor the false teachings of PDL, and experierenced the same results as those already mentioned. It was a very discouraging time as it meant giving up friendships of seven years, not to mention how many souls were and continue to be affected, or should I say infected, by this as well as other fasle teachings.

    However, we must keep praying for the leadership in these churches to come to an understanding of God’s truth. Additionally, how humbling is it to think of God’s truly amazing grace in opening our eyes when He did?! What a wonderful thing to always be thankful for.

    Thanks again Mike. Truly only the Lord knows how many of us you have encouraged.


  17. Kathy,

    As you said, the experience is shockingly common. The deception of the PDC is rooted in deliberate unbelief. Idolatry always results in blindness and unbelief is self worship, therefore, those who have “chosen” to “do church” rather than trust in the Gospel while remaining faithful to what a New Testament Church is supposed to be, are spiritually blind.

    When I confronted the leadership at my former church about this, I was amazed at how entrenched the PDC had become in their hearts. Since we have left we have encountered some who stayed and they are always friendly to my wife, but they look at me as if I am the one deceived.

    God’s will be done.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  18. Mike…I understand your misgivings about the “Willow Creek” model on “how we do church” and much of what Rick Warren teaches and this entire purpose driven mentality. I share your concerns. In fact Bill Hybels’ comments on Greg Hawkins and Cally Parkinson’s new book “Reveal” indicate that even he may now have misgivings on the entire focus of their ministry.

    But I digress …to my point … In your article here, you refer to Rick Warren as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, an obvious reference to Matthew 7:15

    “ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

    I may not agree with Rick Warren’s priorities and methods (in fact I don’t) but I don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water either and I certainly think it is unfair to accuse him of being a false prophet.

    I know a lot of people that would read your comments here and cry AMEN! My pastor would be one of them. But I’m going to take exception (well at least sort of).

    Trying to build a ministry with the principle focus on church growth is to ignore the larger mandate of sharing the Gospel of Christ. Here is where it all falls apart. Most seeker-sensitive “purpose-driven” churches today are only telling half the story. They share the truth of God’s love but ignore the truth of his judgment.

    Matthew 10:24 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

    Not everyone is going to get saved and Jesus is not just about love, peace and fulfillment. He is these things, but he is also judgment.

    I don’t think Rick Warren, or Bill Hybels and others like them are necessarily false prophets, just men who have sincerely tried to find a different approach to evangelism and made some mistakes along the way. We might consider that not everything they are doing is all wrong. Some things are working and some things are not. They are getting huge numbers of people in the door. Bringing the world into the church is good thing … that’s what the Great Commission is all about. But we have to disciple them.

    I don’t understand why Christian men and women are always so polarized over these issues. Christ wants a united church not a divided one. The number of replies you have received demonstrates how divisive this issue is

    Thanks for letting me share my view and God Bless.

    Dave Williams


  19. Dave, when was the last time you heard Hybels or Warren exalt the Lord Jesus and tell of His work to redeem sinners from their sin and unto Himself? Probably never. These men dance around the “church thing” like it’s a toy to be played with and manipulated. The Church—the real and only CHURCH—is the Bride of Christ. The Church is His redeemed possession and not something to “be done differently” because “what we’ve done in the past hasn’t worked very well”.

    To put it short and sweet: men like Warren and Hybels and McLaren et al, are much more than wolves in sheep’s clothing, they are false prophets and have the spirit of anti-Christ. They care only for themselves and you will never ever hear them exalt Christ because it is not possible for them to do so. Srong words? You bet!!! Unless and until they are born again by the Spirit of God they will continue as they are now and wax worse and worse.


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  21. Dave, Those guys ARE wolves. They bring another gospel. Its not O.K. to accept all the other religions and call it Christianity. Their gospel is man centered not God centered to put it mildly. The worldly churches are false. Its not alright to teach 1/2 the gospel. Because 1/2 of it makes it no gospel at all and its a lie. These people think they are saved because they said a few words in an emotional gathering and then go live like hell and think they have their ‘fire insurance’. Sorry, but I disagree with you in a major way.


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  23. Dave,

    Rick Warren denies the truth by mixing Jesus with other religions. This denies the blood by implying that salvation comes through other means. Rick Warren is doing what satisfies the carnal nature only. This is enough to be called a false prophet.

    Jesus did not die as an extra curricular activity. His blood is the only thing which can save man. If there be any or means which man can be saved, then Christ has died in vain.



  24. According to Scripture –

    Rick Warren, and the like of him, would be categorized as NOT loving our Lord Jesus Christ, therefore, enemies!

    Warren, and others like him, and there are many – ‘mis’leading MANY to a ‘comfortable’ path to hell. This should make us angry, hurt, and fall on our face seeking God’s will. Jesus would overturn the tables in these churches!

    Warren, and others like him, are against the TRUE meaning of God’s word – and would much prefer a more easily digested form of God’s word – a man-centered paraphrase.

    Partners with OBVIOUS enemies of the cross.

    And of course many things that I cannot seem to come up with – but really the only one necessary is – he is NOT of Christ . As far as Scripture is concerned – and I view it the ONLY source to give me guidance to whom Rick Warren is and whom he serves
    – he is of his father the devil.

    Yes, I realize this will get the darts flying – “Sherry is so unloving.”… Well, I am not here to defend myself, nor do I need to defend my Saviour – – but to have sympathy, compassion, and even think that Rick Warren is a “brethren” in Christ is to me unloving of the worst kind, for it is ‘un’loving toward the TRUTH.

    We are so programmed from birth not to hate, or even say the word hate. If God hates these very things, so should we! We have been programmed wrong – thus, the beginning of this perversion of “love” that we see before us. We simply “love” wrong – but have been in this world system for so long, we cannot recognize the Lord’s original intent.

    Do I pray for Rick Warren? Remember, I do not consider him “brethren”, It is true that the “Christian” is known by his “love.”(Jn13:35) This love, however, is for the “brethren.” (1Pt1:22,1Jn3:14-16)
    I consider him the enemy of the cross. Do we pray for Satan? No. But what I do pray is for God’s will on this earth as in Heaven – and search me O God and cleanse me from my sin, create a clean heart in me and renew a steadfast spirit within me and cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit – as You desire TRUTH in the inward parts O Lord guide me to Your TRUTH, teach me to love what You love and hate what You hate.

    “Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.”(Ps139:21-22)

    “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate. (Pr8:13)

    “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other…” (Matthew 6:24a).

    “I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:104b).

    “I am sick of your sacrifices. Don’t bring Me any more of them. I don’t want your fat rams; I don’t want to see the blood from your offerings. Who wants your sacrifices when you have no sorrow for your sins? The incense you bring Me is a stench in My nostrils. Your holy celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath, and your special days of fasting – even your most pious meetings – are all frauds! I want nothing more to do with them. I hate them all; I can’t stand the sight of them. From now on, when you pray with your hands stretched out to heaven, I won’t look or listen. Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear…” (Isaiah 1:11-15a).

    “I hate your show and pretense – your hypocrisy of ‘honoring’ Me with your religious feasts and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and thank offerings. I will not look at your offerings of peace. Away with your hymns of praise – they are mere noise to My ears. I will not listen to Your music, no matter how lovely it is” (Amos 5:21-23).

    “…There are six things the Lord hates – no, seven: Haughtiness, lying, murdering, plotting evil, eagerness to do wrong, a false witness, sowing discord among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

    “ I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother…not even to eat with such a person..” (1Cor5:11) Do not tolerate them, and engage in friendly ‘dialogue’ with them, nor consent to “fellowship” with them. They are of the world, but pretend to be “christian”. They are of the worst sort! The rest of the world may not know God’s Word, and are in “ignorance” for which “God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent..” (Ac17:30)

    “Therefore, Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” (2Cor6:17) “Come out of her, my people, so that you not share in her sins, and so that you not receive of her plagues” (Rev18:4)

    And please do not mistake this comment for arrogance – – I am broken over this condition of the church, but yet I am at peace for I know our Maker is in control – and though I feel pain and am frustrated – and yes, I feel anger and hate toward these things against our Father, I still consider myself undone with unclean lips – I am not judging Warren with my thoughts, for I am a mere (wo)man that is not yet perfected in Christ, but rather, I am allowing God’s word to Judge.


  25. I hear all your comments and I agree, as I have stated, that they (WCA) have failed to preach repentance and judgment. Having said that, however, I don’t believe their motivation is born out of greed, pride, or any other evil, it is born out of fear…the fear of losing converts to Christ. These guys are actually afraid that if they preach judgment they will drive people away. You know that’s wrong and I know that’s wrong but I am not going to accuse these guys of being false prophets.

    If you look at what’s going on in Willow Creek these days you will know that Hybels and his staff realize they have a problem. They don’t have it right yet but recognizing the problem is the first step. (REVEAL)

    You are not edifying the church though by calling these guys “the spirit of anti-Christ, stoning them to death and calling them ravenous wolves in sheeps clothing…they are not trying to lead people away from Christ (which by the way, is who Jesus was talking about in Matthew 7:15) but exactly the opposite.

    Josh…I admit I am not an avid reader of “everything Rick Warren” but I would be interested to know where he has implied or in any way stated that salvation comes from other than the atoning blood of Christ.

    Also you wrote…”Rick Warren is doing what satisfies the carnal nature only. This is enough to be called a false prophet”. I hear your passion Josh but I’m not sure I agree. If that were the case then every sinner who has fallen to temptation by that definition would be a false prophet.

    Paul you write “Its not O.K. to accept all the other religions and call it Christianity…”

    That is an obvious truth, but it sounds like I hear a little universalism slipping in the dialog here and I don’t think that is what these guys are about at all. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” I think these guys understand that perfectly…they might need to emphasize it better but they certainly don’t deny it in any of their teaching, at least as far as I know.

    Look guys…I realize you may not agree with me here (which you obviously don’t) but please do not doubt my sincerity. These issues bother me a great deal. I love the Lord Jesus Christ with every fibre of my soul and I see His church fragmented, divided and ridculed by the world as hypocrites because our lack of unity. It breaks my heart.

    I realize we must all safeguard correct doctrine, but many of the issues that are fracturing the church today have nothing at all to do with doctrine.

    I will always allow for the possibility I am wrong and will keep an open mind but I have expressed my opinion here and I appreciate the opportunity to do so. God Bless
    Dave Williams


  26. John 10

    I Am the Good Shepherd

    10:1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

    Thank You Father for leading us out..


  27. Dave,

    Most false prophets teach 90 percent truth with 10 percent error. Usually that 10 percent is not just a mistake or a “slip” of doctrinal error. That 10 percent usually will deny the Trinity, deny that Jesus is the only means of salvation, will base salvation on man’s performance, reject God’s sovereignty (see the prosperity gospel), deny judgment and fail to preach repentance of sin, or compromise the basics of the gospel so as not to offend anyone or scare them.
    Forgive me for saying this, but the severity of God must be known to man for there to be reverence for the Lord. Sin is a big deal because it kills. Just because God may delay his judgment or wrath upon the earth, doesn’t mean that sin is no big deal.
    You said that Rick Warren doesn’t want to scare people away. That is exactly his problem. He wants to present a God which does not judge and therefore is not just. Just go on sinning congregation. God will not judge you. Be what you want to be and God will wait on you and meet you according to your standards. Just toss out his standards and bow to the idol.

    Godly sorrow produces genuine repentance. The severity of God still exists even though Rick Warren does not speak of it.


  28. Sherry,

    You are not alone in being broken about the condition of the “visible church.” Sometimes I feel very discouraged, but then the Lord always picks me back up. Your experience with sorrow is just what Jesus felt when his own people were looking for a warlord instead of a meek humble servant to be their savior. Just remember that the apostasy is evident that our Lord is coming. We don’t know the date or time (you know that of course), but we can continue to keep putting oil in our lamps.

    Ecclesiastes 7:3 says, ” Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.”



  29. Dave, If they aren’t pushing universalism then what do you call it? Once again, they are man centered and not God centered. False, false, false. And by the way, Amen Deb. If some are sitting under these so called pastors and they are the Lords, they will hear His voice and come out. There is NO repentance Dave. They go skipping down an isle with a smile on their face, mouth a few words and get on with the rock and roll. Nope. You think God called these men to preach?????!!!!???? Satan may of called them, but God did not as far as I can tell. Judge the fruit. Not good fruit from a bad tree. In fact, I wonder if they have a tree at all!!


  30. Paul,

    I just checked out Willow Creek via website. They are an equal opportunity employer anyway as they have one women as teaching pastor and three women as elders. So much for Biblical discernment. That would be ALL I needed to know to stay clear of that place.


  31. Willow Creek claims to be ‘reformed’. We found this out at Thanksgiving dinner with the family. Luann ask my brother what he meant by ‘reformed’. Did he mean they followed the Heidleburg Catechism, or Canons of Dort, or Belgic Confession or what? He looked at her with this totally blank stare and said, ‘Uh……we follow the Bible?’ To which Luann said, ‘Alot of people say they follow the Bible…….which one do you mean’? He just looked at her like…….Huh?? At that point I sort of ‘cut in’ and said, ‘Dad would you pass the gravy please’. 🙂 Then he (my brother) said, ‘Hey, rock and roll man, that’s what we do there’. So Deb, women preaches and the like sure doesn’t suprise us. In fact, nothing they do would suprise us! We continue to pray for them.


  32. Pingback: You Might Be …

  33. Just one more thing Dave……..Just what if these so called preachers don’t realize that they are being used by satan? What if they don’t realize that venom mixed with sugar goes down alright, but it still kills? They are being decieved big time and someone needs to preach and pray for them……remember ‘Lord Lord, didn’t we………’


  34. To Paul, Josh, Darrel, Deborah and Sherry…Believe me I have heard what you are
    saying and it bothers me greatly…maybe I’m on the wrong side of the fence here. I have to listen when that many Christian Brothers and Sisters tell me I am flat WRONG! What I promise you I will do is two things (actually three): I will pray about my position on this issue and re-examine the Bible. I will also endeavor to learn more about this entire WCA, Purpose driven church issue. I still think we need to reach people where they are at but I agree we have to reach them with the WHOLE truth. Thank you for your advice and God Bless.



  35. Dave,

    I would like to recommend a great book which opened my eyes to the Purpose Driven Movement (for what it really is). The author is Bob DeWaay. It is called, “Understanding the Purpose Driven Movement.” I was enrolled in a Purpose Driven Program myself, until the Lord opened my eyes to the essential issues which it lacks deeply. The basics of salvation, God’s sovereignty, and the severity of God are lacking in Warren’s teachings.

    Although he may mean well, he is misleading thousands because he wants to compromise the gospel. He wants to present it “so as not to seem judgmental or offensive.” With that being said, he unknowingly avoids telling the truth about sin, its consequences, and repentance. He tailors the gospel to appease the unbeliever. That is idolatry which does not save, but gratifies the carnal nature. This only encourages apostasy instead of confronting it.

    It is good to hear that you are willing to put things to the test and examine them. I would like to leave you with this verse for anyone who will accuse you for being judgmental for putting Rick Warren’s teachings to the test.

    “But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” 1 Corinthians 2:15 (KJV)


  36. Mike, ‘You Might Be’…………fruits of the Spirit…….:) I needed a good laugh! And Dave, we hope you really do check all of these points we have all made to you. It is dangerous. Candy coated venom. May the Lord bless your investigations.


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