Is It Too Late For That?

by Mike Ratliff

And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” (Revelation 22:10-11 ESV)

Every time I see or hear the phrase having to with Rick Warren being described as “America’s Pastor” there is a part of my me that I have to get help from my Lord to get control of because he most certainly is not my pastor nor do I consider him a genuine pastor of the Body of Christ at all. He seems to be everywhere. He is an expert in a process called Diaprax, which uses the Heglelian Dialectic to create compromise and change in the direction he desires within the visible church. He calls this transformation when it is nothing more than a form of works righteousness. What continually mystifies me, however, is how well known Christian leaders continually line up to be his friend or at least be part of the circus that is going on around him. The Word of God, Sacred Scripture tells us to not be yoked together with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). We have plenty of evidence that the Leadership Network and those “pastors” it has sponsored and let loose on the visible church are anything but genuine believers and this includes Rick Warren so what business do pastors like Dr. John Piper have in fellowshipping and participating in ministry with him? 

We know about Dr. Piper’s invitation to Warren to speak at his conference. A few weeks ago I heard of Dr. Michael Horton participating in the 12 Cities / 12 Conversations tour sponsored by the Lausanne Movement. I was sent the video of the “conversation,” but I have never had the time to really listen to what was said. I asked the one who sent it to me to tell me what Dr. Horton said. Did he compromise? Did he agree with the stuff going on in the Seeker Sensitive, Dominionism movement? I believed at that time that if he went there and stood firm against that stuff then I would really like to watch that. Here is a link to the video. In addition to Horton, other panelists include Skye Jethani, Jim Belcher, Jena Lee Nardella, Miles McPhereson, Soon Chan Rah, and Kay Warren. FYI, the discussion doesn’t get rolling until around 16 minutes into the video (after all the introductory remarks).

Today, I got this quote from Dr. Horton about the conference:

“I had a great time at the Lausanne “Global Conversation” held at Saddleback Church and hosted by its pastor, Rick Warren.  It was a privilege to be part of a distinguished panel of evangelical leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds.  Before the panel discussion, Rick Warren interviewed me for his Purpose-Driven network.  In the first interview he focused on my books and the work of White Horse Inn.  In the second, he focused on the question, “What is the Gospel?”  I appreciated the generous spirit in which Rick asked the questions and encouraged me to lay out the case we have for a new Reformation.  It’s great to be able to discuss our differences as well as our common convictions in a spirit of friendship as well as mutual challenge.  Our mission at White Horse Inn is to go to any forum that invites us where we have a chance to clarify what we are convinced is the proper message and mission of the church.  Thanks for your prayers—and for making such opportunities possible.  May God continue to open doors for an ever-wider hearing!”

Let me say here that I think Dr. Horton is an extremely gracious man.  I agree with him in what he said here, but there is one thing that is very disturbing to me and everyone who reads this seems to overlook. That is that Rick Warren never does anything like this outside of the context of the Hegelian Dilaectic. He seeks common ground. He seeks compromise. He is not moving from his position one bit. Do not be deceived about that. He is not budging one degree towards the Reformed Theology that is held by Dr. Michael Horton and the efforts of the Whitehorse Inn to recover the gospel in the Church in our time. No, if anything, he is out to destroy all of those things for if the church went that way, he would be out of business. The issue I have with Dr. Horton going there to do what he did is that he assumed that he was dealing with other Christians while, as we have seen in our last several posts, that is seriously in doubt.

On the other hand, I think that Dr. Horton did stand firm here, never wavering, and did present the proper message and mission of the church. However, is it too late for that with this bunch? Our God is Sovereign. He can do what He wants any time He wants. If He desires to bring us a revival and turn the tide of apostasy back on Rick Warren’s head then I am all for it. I suppose Dr. Horton going to that “conversation” may have been a bit like Paul going before all those philosophers at the Areopagus in Athens. There were a few converts from that and from there he traveled to Corinth and planted a significant church there. Whether Dr. Horton’s participation in this conference will bear eternal fruit or not is in God’s hands, not ours. It will be revealed in repentance from within that apostate camp. Let us pray for that and for God to continue to open doors for an ever-wider hearing. Let us also pray for God to give Dr. Horton the needed wisdom and discernment.

Soli Deo Gloria!


24 thoughts on “Is It Too Late For That?

  1. If Mr. Warren (who is not my Pastor, either) does not respond with true, Godly sorrow and repentance over his apostacy after being confronted by Dr. Horton, then it will be one more thing over which he will face Judgement.


  2. Praying that the Lord would give Dr Horton great discernment. Asking in Jesus’ name, amen.

    Thank you for this article, Mike.


  3. There are a lot of experimental and arm-chair missionaries trying to re-invent means and methods that God has clearly demonstrated for us in scripture. It is difficult to watch and listen to folks struggle with their confusion and disappointment they experience when they opt for extra-Biblical, or even anti-Biblical methods for ministry. The “tension” that they generate because they believe it will bring the answer as they discuss and discuss….it all seems like a waste of time. Apart from the opportunity to encourage trust in God and His word, it is an exercise in futility. When they believe that the scriptures are not sufficient and trustworthy, they will struggle with each other doing what seems right in their own eyes – as they keep looking for an answer or magic formula – but never finding it. After seeing first hand the results of that church trying to “do” missions but sending people who did not understand the Bible or cross cultural ministry, and many even misunderstanding the gospel, we tried to talk about these things directly with their leadership. We wonder if they will eventually listen. With a miracle of God’s saving work in opening their eyes, it is possible, and we will continue to pray for that. God is certainly using this situation for the good of some as He shows many regenerated and true Christians that innovative methodologies of sinful aspects of American culture are not God’s answer for the American church, nor are they God’s will for ministry in other places in the world. May the Lord use these sad situations to alert and even discipline His church to trust and obey Him according to His word. Pragmatic methods will certainly continue to attract those who don’t (and can’t) love God’s word, and they will continue struggling to find the “key” in world “missions”, trusting in man’s cleverness and seeking for the answers with long discussions and fleshly theories and experiments. But, God provides Hismeans for ministry and He blesses them when we trust and obey Him.


  4. Sounds to me like Mr Warren was just patronising Dr. Horton. The subtlety is what makes it so dangerous.
    Good article.


  5. I felt the same way as DG, it was a bit
    disturbing that Dr. Horton even attended
    the conference, but I supposed if he was
    invited he should seize the opportunity to
    proclaim the TRUTH. But, then he should just
    stand on it, unwavering, letting the chips fall…
    It will be interesting to see if there is some bit
    of compromise on his part in the near future.
    Most people are too fearful to really make a stand
    and stick to it. The cost is very great. This is true,
    the cost is great in more ways than one.
    I wouldn’t trade the peace that passes understanding
    that comes from being obedient to the Spirit of the
    Lord Jesus Christ for anything or anyone on this earth!!


  6. The sifting continues….It is very sad to see so many Christian leaders falling to the fleshly system. Praying for men like you, Mike, who continue to expose the false and hold fast to teaching the truth of Scripture.


  7. Fiona, yes, and Dr. Horton is extremely gracious. I tried to put myself in that position. First, I would never have been invited because they know I wouldn’t play ball with them and second, who am I? In any case, I did watch Dr. Horton in the video and he actually did quite well, but I didn’t see anyone really listening.


  8. We are praying that if God desires to have mercy and grace upon His people and continue with His patience, that He would allow us to continue proclaiming His saving truth in our generation, for His glory. According to 1 Cor 3: 19-20, May He show His power and glory in “catching the wise in their craftiness” because He “knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless”. I pray that many will see and grow in discernment from these examples. May God be worshiped as THE only wise God, THE worthy and unique Savior, and may mankind be shown for who he is as well – depraved, blind, and foolish without the light and wisdom of God. And may the foolishness of the world be shown for what it is, even when it is cleverly hidden within cultural Christianity’s worldly methods.


  9. “It was a privilege to be part of a distinguished panel of evangelical leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds.” – Dr. Michael Horton

    This statement is the problem in a nutshell.
    People want to be a ‘part’ of something it seems no matter what. They pridefully want to belong, be associated with, loved by even the fasle teachers… why? Fame, more exposure of themselves to more, more what? Money, prominence, titles, praise, respect. They always say they are ‘doing it’ for God. All the false teachers say the same thing and those who associate with them.
    There were false teachers in Paul’s day, he knew their actions were not right, he only put up with them but never associated himself with them, matter of fact…he separated himself from them and called them out by name.
    Unless Mr. Horton called Rick Warren to the carpet for his associations with false teachings and the teachers of it… Mr. Horton is now just caught in a web from his own desire to be accepted by Rick.
    The original lie in the garden appealed to man’s desires and it was told by the most ‘subtle’ in the garden and nothing is knew.
    2 Peter 2:1-3 (English Standard Version)
    2 Peter 2
    False Prophets and Teachers
    1But(A) false prophets also arose among the people,(B) just as there will be false teachers among you, who will(C) secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master(D) who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth(E) will be blasphemed. 3And(F) in their greed they will exploit you(G) with false words.(H) Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.


  10. Brent has a good point, as do you, Mike, in pointing out that the very involvement with Warren is perilous.
    “but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath concieved, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
    James 1:14-15 KJV
    Perhaps it isn’t a good thing to keep stroking men’s vanity by calling them “Doctor”, etc, and elevating some up above others of the bretheren, when the Lord has stated, “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.”
    Matthew 23:9-10 KJV


  11. I agree Mike.
    The very first few minutes of the above video link was all I needed to see that this was typical ‘social gospel’ which is not God’s Gospel at all.
    Same old ingredients, new technical packaging, new guest list of honor ( we finally have ‘made it’ will think some ) to help ‘save’ the world. But it is only a temporary saving of the flesh because it comes from the flesh of works and desire.
    If only men could see that our Master took the no title, only the non position of servant and never gained anything in this world but the cross and if only we would see that this is our fate in this world so that we would reject titles, fame, and the false works of building our personal towers of babel, whether they be called “Saddleback Churches”, “Whitehorse Inn” or any other name or denomination or association.
    God’s people will not be liked by the world. Only the Elect will hear the call and repent, the others will not speak well of us.

    Luke 6:26 (English Standard Version)

    26″Woe to you,(A) when all people speak well of you, for(B) so their fathers did to(C) the false prophets.

    The world’s children and those who love this present world love Rick and his plan, because his plan (not God’s) makes them feel good in their lost state.

    Rick is the product of and the highest fruit bearing of a false, so-called gospel of easy believism, sinner’s prayer ( works ), make a decision ( mental regeneration with no work of the Holy Spirit ) and it is no surprise they are trying to reproduce the works of Billy Graham and his fellowships with false teachers and false teachings and now another is falling into Ricks line for the coming one world, apostate religion. These are just the steps, in order to cull the so-called sheep over to the tares so they can fulfill their own desires with little to no voice of opposition.
    Sounds harsh to those who love this world and the fellowships of it.

    2 Corinthians 6:16-18 (English Standard Version)
    16What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For(A) we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

    (B) “I will make my dwelling among them and(C) walk among them,
    and(D) I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.
    17Therefore(E) go out from their midst,
    and be separate from them, says the Lord,
    and touch no unclean thing;
    then I will welcome you,
    18(F) and I will be a father to you,
    and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
    says the Lord Almighty.”


  12. Kathy, I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote, “Perhaps it isn’t a good thing to keep stroking men’s vanity by calling them “Doctor”, etc, and elevating some up above others of the bretheren”.
    The false teachers have DR. and Professor and Senior Pastor, Reverand in front of thier names but what do they teach? Titles are not in the New Testament, only gifts of the Holy Spirit are given by God to help the Body of Christ.


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