What Rick Warren wants on his tombstone

11 10 2006

Preaching Today has posted what Rick Warren would like on his tombstone…”At least he tried”

You know what, this is really consistent with what we have come to expect from Warren (tricky ricky), hopelessly vague and man-centered.

(HT: SFpulpit)

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23 responses

11 10 2006
Lazaro

At least he tried what? to wear every Hawaiian shirt on the face of the earth?

11 10 2006
erik

yeah man, i don’t get it. it seems to ironically debunk the whole purpose driven stuff, read my book, live my life and…well, at the end, at least i tried…curious>

11 10 2006
Travis Carden

I’ve heard about men who “tried”. Matthew 25:24-30

11 10 2006
javaguy

OK, so, I was going to try to refrain from commenting, but can you tell me exactly what the purpose of this post was? Was it to glorify God or was it to bash “Ricky?” Seriously, if it weren’t for the log in my own eye, I would spend a few paragraphs pointing out the timbe in yours. ENOUGH BASHING RICKY FOR THE SAKE OF A GOOD LAUGH. I can’t wait to see how you pass this post off as honoring God. Have a look at the recent comments on the https://asahel.wordpress.com/2006/09/12/the-way-i-see-itricky-is-tricky/ post and either respond or ignore a sensible voice. Your choice, just please don’t be vague.

11 10 2006
javaguy

BTW that was supposed to be “timber” not “timbe”

11 10 2006
erik

javaguy, why don’t you comment on post’s about becoming more impressed with Jesus or glorying in Christ’s humiliation? It is like as soon as i write something about Rick Warren you just come flyin’ out the front door…I’m not discouraging conversation, but it seems like you are ultra-sensitive to Warren.

You asked what is the point? Well, Rick Warren is a major leader in the evangelical movement. Most of the readers of this site are evangelicals. He is the author of the best selling book of the century, perhaps ever and when he says something a lot of people listen. It just so happens that when he says stuff it is extremely vague and man-centered. My point here is to point that out. To be honest Javaguy I did not laugh. My honest response was, a hand on the forehead accompanied by an “oh, man…no.” I hope Christians don’t follow suit and settle for “at least i tried” but instead say, “by the grace of God I still live” or something like that…maybe “I know can see his face!” Or “He became sin for me that I may live eternally” I don’t know man, something that sounds more like biblical christianity than a lyric to a Barbara Streisand song.

re: vagueness…would you then defend me? 8-D

re: timbe vs. timber: I’m from New England, we drop ‘R’s all the time don’t worry about it.

11 10 2006
javaguy

Eric,
I realize I do this alot and I sincerely apologize. I just read something that I think is off and I get a little fired up. Please realize that I am not against you or what you are doing. I just know that from personal experience, reading Warren’s book did exactly what you are claiming it doesn’t: direct my focus to God. And he did it by directing me to Jesus Christ quite openly. He didn’t shy from using Jesus name in his book. He didn’t try to imply that we have it in ourselves to discover our purpose. Every thing he had to say in the book was based on one principle: It’s NOT about me. Thus the title of his first chapter. To be honest with you, I didn’t find that it sparked much discussion in my small group and as a result, I didn’t get much out of it AS A SMALL GROUP STUDY. However, on a personal level, I found it to be motivational, inspirational, and while a lot of the things he said were “common knowledge” to a beliver, the put things together that made me think, “hmm. . . I never thought of it that way,” and it gave me a new insight into something that I have known for years. Most of all, it directed me to God through Jesus Christ his son and that is what I just don’t get about the things that have been said about him on this site. Other than his Starbuck’s quote and his epitaph, the only quoting of him was done by Eric (with a C) and that was simply to tell what his topics were at a seminar. Otherwise, all this talk and discrediting of him has been totally second hand. I am glad you feel called to hold people accountable and help them become more impressed with Jesus, but I honestly think that if you are going to discredit someone, you should actually give your readers some real info and examples to support what you are doing, not just insert a link to an article that may be getting their information second hand as well. Does that make sense? I just simply don’t see how you have come to the conclusion that Rick’s ministry is self-centered and misdirecting people.
Re: commenting on other posts. I have, you just didn’t recognize my name then. I also have become extreemly busy lately so my time spent tapping on the computer tends to be on things that fire me up. I do read other posts and appreciate most of the things you have to say.
Re: Defending your vagueness. If someone were accusing you of something you weren’t you bet your . . . oh, we don’t gamble, sorry . . . you can be sure I would defend you.
Re: dropping ‘R’s. I’m from the West Coast. We don’t drop ‘R’s, we drop timber.

11 10 2006
gavin brown

found your blog via dillon thornton’s blog.

did you notice that “spiritual emptiness,” which is extrabiblically vague anyways, only made it to #4 on Warren’s list of the five problems facing the world today? And then “Egocentric leadership???” THAT’S one of the biggest problems facing the world???

Tony Robbins couldn’t have said it any better. I agree that critiquing Warren is important. If every other church in America wasnt doing 40 days of…fill-in-the-blank, then maybe it wouldnt be as big a deal, but it is. Blessings.

11 10 2006
Lazaro

Javaguy, if it makes you feel any better I also like Hawaiian shirts…

12 10 2006
erik

Gavin- nice pic…Mr.T..that is hilarious.

Javaguy–

you wrote..”I just read something that I think is off and I get a little fired up.” …amen. that is my point. that is why i write what i write.

It was not a seminar that EriC went to but a church service, which I was also in attendance at. My conclusion from reading (yes i have read him), listening to him (yes i have listened to him), and reading what others have heard him say and written, is that he either does not know the gospel or he is hiding it. This is not subjective but objective. The guy is does not articulate anything close to justification by faith alone in Christ alone. Therefore he is…brace yourself…no different than anyone else who edits (adds to or deletes from) the gospel…insert any Pope here or other pop evangelical gospel redactor.

I am not primarily against Rick Warren or anyone else…but I am for Jesus and his gospel…this causes me to have issues with those who do not line up…make sense?

You are drifting down into the choppy waters of pragmatism here again in your posts…because it worked for me or for others it is ok…again there are plenty of cults who will come to your door and sell you the same line and if you’re consistent you’d have to affirm the Mormon as well..careful.

–btw, eriC was not reading into anything on his R.W. references…it was actually worse than what he wrote…it was disgusting, i was pretty excersized coming out of there…

thanks Javaguy-

12 10 2006
javaguy

Lazaro, wish I had a whitty response for you, but nothing is coming to mind. Yes, it does make me feel better.

Erik, I guess I’m just having a hard time grasping where you draw the line. I have not read, seen or heard(granted, I haven’t read,seen or heard much) where Rick tells anyone that they can obtain salvation by any other way than through faith in Jesus. (btw, “obtain” was the only word that came to mind so there is no need to respond to that word usage.) I just can’t see how God can be disappointed with someone who is pointing souls His way by way of Jesus. If this is a Reformed/non-Reformed issue, then I will not comment at this time because I really am planning on posting my thoughts on those issues soon on my blog. As I said before, I am extremely busy. But I don’t even think that would warrant discrediting him if he is teaching grace through faith in Jesus. Charles Spurgeon even considered John Wesley a great man of God and expected to see him in Heaven. I realize you keep telling me that he isn’t teaching that and you don’t want to repeat yourself, but why is it that I can read the first chapter of his book and find exactly that teaching? As for being pragmatic, I would never affirm any belief or religion than doesn’t believe that Jesus is God’s one and only son who died on the cross for our sins and he is the only way to the Father. Mormons and just about every cult out there would not teach this. I would not accept it.

13 10 2006
Dillon Thornton

I’m surprised he didn’t want “Less creeds and more deeds” on the tombstone. Another one of his ridiculous statements…

13 10 2006
ONE WAY JOE

I’m sure the Apostle Paul wishes to comment on how he fought the good fight…I’m sure you would think that sounded man centered too. Probably a bit more man centered than I tried.
Perhaps Christians would be well to expel all the bad publicity with HOW GREAT JESUS IS AND HAS BEEN IN THEIR LIFE instead of bashing brothers.
I am not writing to defend Mr. Warren, but the Elect’s image in a world helplessly lost without the good news of Jesus Christ.
Self-centered behavior is constant in its comments against others. It somehow elevates us to where we can feel comfortable about our weaknesses.
Paul used his time in prison well, exhorting the faithful to worship God the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. He also wrote a very good piece on Love, kindness and consideration for others that put out a fragrance of God’s awesome character.
Calvin was certainly not a people basher, or at least I hope not and so should you.
My best wishes/blessings in your beliefs and your aim to know Jesus better, which comes before being impressed, by the way, which comes after hearing he died for your sins, which puts faith into your heart.

13 10 2006
Ange

I think it’s funny how people spend more time bashing other Christians than actually trying to lead people to Christ. The amount of effort that was put into this blog, and all the above blog replies is actually is allowing Satan to accomplish his goal: taking YOUR focus off God and magnifying other people. It doesn’t matter who you choose to magnify, it only matters what you choose to magnify. Make sense?

13 10 2006
javaguy

Erik,
I can’t help but repeat what I said on the tricky ricky post. Why don’t you respond to some of my questions? I have numerous times commented on the first chapter of Warren’s book in an effort to show that he does, infact, mention Jesus Christ, he does, indeed, point people to God through Jesus, and he does not emphasise “me.” I have appreciated your comments, but they rather pointedly avoid addressing these questions that I have posed, including, do you think God is dissappointed with someone who is directing souls to him? I am all for being diligent to be unified and keep the gospel pure. I would even recant everything I have said on these posts, but you have not addressed the issues that I have been putting forth. I like to examine evidence and listen to people’s opinions and get facts before going headlong down a road. I commented that there has been almost no quoting of R.W. by you to actually demonstrate to me how he is doing what you are claiming. These are the reasons I say you are being vague. The things you do say are actually very good and I take them to heart, but how about the things you have, um, ommitted?

13 10 2006
Justin

Javaguy,
I would recommend to you discerningreader.com for a review of Mr. Warren’s book by parties other than Erik or yourself (The specific link should be http://discerningreader.com/title.php?id=145).

I can also relate with getting fired up over reading an entry or several. First, why are we so much more inclined to defend the reputation of a person than the truth. I would like to remind everyone that “the heart is more decietful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). The inclination of the human heart is to decieve ourselves and others, so let us all stop assuming that simply because a person mentions the name Jesus that what they preach must be right, and let us measure their every word against the Word of God.

Second, I have been pretty fired up as of late by the notion that a person is a Christian simply because they have made a profession, prayed a prayer, walked an aisle, or whatever else you would like to add to the list. It might shock some people, but to claim faith is not sufficient to salvation. In fact, to change your life to conform to scripture does not guarantee that a person is saved either.

If you would like biblical support consider Joel 2:12-14, “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments. Now return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil. Who knows whether He will not turn and relent and leave a blessing behind Him.” Joel understood that it was Israel responsibility to repent, yet the dispensation of grace depended soley on the sovereign choice of God.

And one last thought, for those who are pursuing salvation for their own sake, you may want to be heed Paul’s words in Romans 2, “to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.”

14 10 2006
javaguy

Justin,
Thank you for the link. That was exactly the kind of information I was looking for. I have not been defending Rick for Rick’s sake. I have been concerned that a good and valid ministry may be damaged or destroyed by the bandwagon effect. After reading the reviews on the page that you gave me, I am much more inclined to accept what is being said here. I still feel that anytime someone makes accusations against someone, they need to be thorough and back up their claims with facts or at least personal opionions on specific things. Otherwise, I could just as easily start saying that John the Baptist wasn’t actually a Baptist but a Catholic (that was supposed to be a joke) and not back up my opinion with anything and all I would need are a few people who agreed with me to start a rollercoaster. I could site a few phrases and, presto, I have effectively started to cause doubt in people’s minds. THAT is why I look for specific reasons.

I said that I was more inclined to accept what is being said here. That doesn’t mean I am convinced. Again, I have experienced the personal spiritual growth that Warren promised. I didn’t think his book was as good as everyone broadcasted, but it did, without a doubt, give me tools to help me better understand God’s message and his plan for me. I think things like this need prayer. I don’t doubt for a minute that Erik has prayed about this, but I think that would be nice to mention. He talks about preachers referencing Calvin and Luther and others more than the Bible, yet here he is knocking someone’s ministry without a single reference to him being convicted by God through diligent prayer to do this. Yes, he quotes the Bible and says we need to stay true to the word and I agree 100%, but what about God? What does God have to say about this? Has Erik felt convicted? Has he prayed about it? These are things that I feel are just as important as Rick directing people to God through Jesus.

As I said before, I am not yet decided where I stand on this issue, but I promise, if God convicts me, or if I somehow come to the conclusion that Erik is right, I will admit it and will back him up. I just think that a ministry like his needs to be done with exactly the same kind of God-centered, Biblicly-accurate, un-vague way that he is holding Rick Warren to.

17 10 2006
Travis Carden

Ya know, javaguy, there are issues that require careful discernment of the Spirit’s prompting by prayer to know what is right, and then there are issues on which the Bible speaks so clearly it must be presumption to act as though we need more revelation from God. I think of Joshua in the seventh chapter of the Old Testament book by his name. Having been defeated in battle, he tore his clothes and fell to the ground on his face and prayed. “O Lord, what can I say since Israel has turned their back before their enemies?” (v.8) But the Lord said to Joshua, “Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? Israel has sinned… therefore [they] cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst.” (vv. 10-12) So Joshua rose up early the next morning and found out the man by lot, and he and all Israel stoned him and burned him with fire. Additionally, Joshua never apologized for any of this as though he needed men’s permission to do the bidding of God. Rather he said, “give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and give praise to Him, and tell me now what you have done,” and then, “Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day,” and he stoned him. Obviously, not being an earthly theocracy, the Church doesn’t deal with dissenters by stoning, but what we are called to do we do with equal zeal and confidence before God. Paul wrote Timothy that in pointing out false teaching he would be a good servant of Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 4:6). Thus is Erik doing. Having taken the time, like Joshua, to establish the facts from the culprit’s own mouth (or pen), he warns the flock.

Are you being warned, javaguy? Do you heed the Scripture, which says, “They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” Have you ever wondered why the world is so happy to receive Rick Warren (and faithful biblical expositors are not)? It is because he speaks as from the world–he offers it exactly what it wants: salvation from purposelessness rather than from sin and judgment. He gives it, as Mr. Niebuhr put it so well, “a God without wrath who brings men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.” And while his book is not entirely devoid of truths (like hamster pellets in a bowl of rat poison), it is far from the pure milk of the word by which men may actually grow in respect to salvation (1 Peter 2:2). There are almost more reviews out there than necessary to demonstrate this by biblical comparison (the best of them, I think, being at the link Justin gave you at Discerning Reader). If you are waiting for some mystical conviction apart from the Scripture, I fear you presume upon on God. “Why are you on your face, friend? Listen to the word of the Lord.”

17 10 2006
javaguy

Travis,
As I told Justin, I did read the link and it was everything I was wanting, everything that I think Erik needs to include in his posts. He doesn’t need to give a full book review, but I think it is essential that he at least site specific examples. My previous opinion on my last response still stands. I am much closer to agreeing with Erik than disagreeing with him now that I have read the link that Justin provided. At the very least, I think Erik needed to provide such a link otherwise, what is the point of believing him? I could say exactly the same things about Calvin and if I didn’t give anything to back up my claims, people might believe me and start discrediting Calvin bases solely on my word. I’m not saying Erik is wrong about Rick, I am saying he needs to provide evidence so people can see why he says what he says, not just believe him because he is Erik.

As for Joshua, did he not use discernment from God? “So Joshua rose up early the next morning and found out the man by lot, and he and all Israel stoned him and burned him with fire.” Now, either Joshua was a gambler and he happened to be lucky in finding the man out by lot, or God caused the lot to indicate the appropriate man. God didn’t tell Joshua to just go out and look for the man who looks the most guilty. Joshua did, infact, consult God. I don’t know about you, but for me, prayer and communion with God are vital in ALL aspects of my life. I want to make it clear that I, in no way, believe that Erik doesn’t pray about this. I am certain he does. I just think he needs to let his readers know that he not only consults the Bible when he goes to discredit someone, he also prays about it. Acting on the law of the Bible without prayer and petition is simply works without faith. Eriks readers need to know that it is not enough to simply follow the letter of the Book. Faith must be involved as well. I hope people can take this to heart because I am not here to destroy Erik, I am simply trying to hold him accountable just as he is holding Rick accountable.

17 10 2006
erik

Java guy-

A couple of quick things-
1- I have never in any of these posts presented a comprehensive review of Warren and his ministry. Instead I have some observations about a Starbucks cup, my reflections upon hearing him preach, and then some comments on his tombstone phrase. This is it. So, with all due respect, I don’t think a comprehensive bibliography is needed.

2-With the exception of what I heard personally at Saddleback (which was outright heresy ), it is not so much what Warren says as much of what he does not say that is so troubling. Concerning the book, how can you have a book that is supposed to tell me my purpose in life without explaining justification? Is the book for believers or unbelievers? I don’t know…it is so vague, shallow and devoid of substantive teaching that I find myself underwhelmed.

3-Authority is not with me personally, my prayer life, or with what others do or do not write in comments. Any authority that is appealed to is divinely revealed and supernaturally sustained through the written word of God…(2 Tim. 3.16-17). So if I prayed for 4 years straight about Rick Warren or 4 minutes straight it should not sway you one way or the other, but rather what does the Bible say. What is of first importance according to God? What must be delivered? 1 Cor. 15.3ff.

I’m glad you took the time to read the links Justin provided. I did not put any negative links in any of my posts about Rick because my point is not to assinate a guy but to interact biblically with what the guy is saying. Again, if I wrote a book review about this stuff, perhaps you’d be right, but this is just a Starbucks cup and a tombstone.

Thank you for what appears to be a motive of discernment and God’s own glory.

erik

18 10 2006
javaguy

Erik,
1. To quote my previous response:”He doesn’t need to give a full book review, but I think it is essential that he at least site specific examples.”
2. To quote my previous response:”I am much closer to agreeing with Erik than disagreeing with him now that I have read the link that Justin provided.” and “I’m not saying Erik is wrong about Rick, I am saying he needs to provide evidence so people can see why he says what he says, not just believe him because he is Erik.”
3. To quote my previous response: “At the very least, I think Erik needed to provide such a link otherwise, what is the point of believing him? I could say exactly the same things about Calvin and if I didn’t give anything to back up my claims, people might believe me and start discrediting Calvin based solely on my word. I’m not saying Erik is wrong about Rick, I am saying he needs to provide evidence so people can see why he says what he says, not just believe him because he is Erik.” I am not talking about “swaying” people. I am talking about establishing yourself as an honest man of God, not some trouble-maker who is out to cause disharmony in God’s children. The ability to sway people has nothing to do with your conviction or prayer on a subject. Being right with God does and I think your readers need to know that you are right with God not just acting on some personal vendetta.

Erik, I honestly have great respect for you and I think you are doing what God has called you to do. I just think that for the sake of your readers, you need to be just as Biblicly based as what you are expecting from Rick Warren. This doesn’t just mean doing what the Bible says, but also explaining it so that your readers understand how you came to the conclusions you did. Otherwise, you are no different than a lion in sheeps clothing out to cause disruption in the body of Christ. I know you might think that is exactly what I am, but I promise you, I have no intention other than to make sure that God is glorified. Please take the time to re-read my latest post with an open mind and see if I am doing anything other than making sure that an effective ministry is not toppled because of personal prejudice. Let me repeat what I have said, I DON’T BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE WRONG. But I don’t think that you should presume to be the voice of God without backing it up. WE ARE ON THE SAME SIDE. If you didn’t when I asked you before, please read my previous post and try to understand what I am saying without taking it as a personal attack.

18 10 2006
erik

I think you have misheard me. I am not characterizing your motives as negative; factious or otherwise…in fact I am not characterizing your motives as anything but positive. In fact I wrote: “Thank you for what appears to be a motive of discernment and God’s own glory.”

Also, I don’t think of this stuff as a personal attack. For some reason I feel like I’ve been down this road before. I think writing publically about controversial things pretty much guranetees conflict so disagreement is going to come.

I’d ask that you hang in there with me, read and interact with what is being posted. You mention reformed thinking. I would say that much of what you read here is reformed (apart from eschatalogical views), so stick around and interact, evaluating what I write upon the Scriptures and hopefully you’ll find encouragement and God will be glorified.

18 10 2006
javaguy

Erik,
Thank you. Your honesty and openess are refreshing in a time when so many people are too eager to either be right or be done. I look forward to further discussion.

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