I was recently enjoying a hot cup of anniversary blend of Starbucks when I glanced at the commentary on the back of the cup. And who do I find on my cup but the pop-evangelical pope himself, Rick Warren. So as you can imagine I was eager to read what ‘Dr.’ Warren said.
In reading the words an amazing thing happened: I agreed with him. He didn’t write anything heretical or blasphemous, in fact he took aim at selfishness. So for a matter of a brief few seconds I found myself ok with Rick.
Then in what seemed like taking an extra aggressive sip from a extremely hot beverage and burning my mouth I recoiled with extreme disappointment in myself.
I read the words:
You are not an accident. Your parents may have not planned you but God did….You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense.
I immediately nodded my head in agreement. But you know what? So would the Catholic, the Mormon, the Muslim, the Jehovah’s witness and pretty much any other theist. Pretty much everyone except the local athesist chapter would agree with these statements.
Because Rick Warren has neglected to use the word that carves biblical Christianity out as distinct. He omits the name of Jesus.
Anyone can toss the word God around and engage in God talk. In our post-modern culture God has been de-godded and re-godded in every corner. This is why the Muslim, Catholic, Morman, Methodist, Jew, and liberal evangelical can hold hands and pray to ‘God’ in the name of tolerance and acceptance. The term God has so many bumper stickers on it these days that you can barely see any distinctive contours.
However, the name of Jesus is different. Just imagine what would have happened if Warren would have written this:
“You were made by Jesus and for Jesus. He made you for his own pleasure. When we rebel against him it makes him angry. But Jesus, being so loving, came and became a man and lived and died to fully satisfy the Father’s anger in the place of sinners like you and me.
Jesus is now commanding everyman to understand God’s purpose in their life, which is simply to submit to Jesus as the ultimate authority and Lord and stop rebelling against him.
With every day that we refuse to do this Jesus is getting more and more ticked off. And one day he is going to come back, this time he won’t be a baby but an insulted King, with your spit in his eye, ready to take vengeance on rebels. Only by submitting to Jesus now as our King and agreeing with him in obedience do we find our purpose in life.”
The way I see it, if you are going to be on a Starbucks cup you might as well speak your mind….and…well perhaps Rick did.
Warren’s books and sermons are no different. His venti cup of vagueness mixed with a double shot of semi-pelagianism while holding the name and power of ‘Jesus’ is a lethal tonic for the spiritually blind. Rick Warren dances on graves with his Christological omissions.
And the way I see it, this is regrettable. Because the last time I checked, God is pretty much obsessed with Jesus being preeminent. And really the only thing that matters is The Way GOD sees it!
So shame on Rick Warren for forgetting to mention Jesus when he had the chance to be biblical and exclusive; the Starbucks cup may have sold a few more books, made him more popular and perhaps even made a few more friends along the broad road.