Phil Johnson responds to the John Piper invitation of Rick Warren at October’s Desiring God Conference.
Read it here
I agree with Phil.
I appreciated the humility seen in Phil Johnson’s response. His unwillingness to jump on the bandwagon of shock and slander is something I noticed. Well done. I admit I have never heard a Rick Warren sermon -perhaps I will let his message at the DG conference be my first one!
as a foretaste, you can listen to what Warren said at a Muslim conference in LA last year.
I’m sure Warren won’t be saying that he loves Muslims, Hindus, gays, etc (as he said at that Muslim conference), at the Desiring God conference, because it would be a different audience. But like a chameleon, he will put on a “reformed jacket” and tell them what they want to hear. But no sooner will he change his tune at his next conference … which wouldn’t surprise me if it’s before a Hindu audience and telling them how God is also accepting of them. No, Warren is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s a false prophet (deceiving many that God loves them, regardless of their belief!) and has publicly muddled the Gospel for his gain.
What’s wrong with Warren saying he loves Muslims, Hindus, gays, etc.? I think David Charles loves Muslims, … 🙂 I think Horton’s comments get more to the real issue at stake. https://www.whitehorseinn.org/archives/tag/rick-warren.html
Well, it all depends on what he means by “love”. 🙂 Is that to imply that you also loves their faith? As Warren stated in his speech:
Not just do we need to show dignity and respect to each other, treat each other with love, treat each other with respect, you can disagree without being disagreeable, you can walk hand in hand without seeing eye to eye, you can have unity in America without uniformity. We don’t need that. I don’t know if you have discovered this, but God likes variety. Have you noticed this? God likes variety, He likes diversity. In fact, when God created insects, beetles, did you know that He made over 60.000 kinds of beetles in the world?
God likes variety?! And the context of his speech is referring to the diversity of faiths (since he mentions where we disagree on, to an audience of muslims). Though I find the analogy of his speech inconsistent — first noting the disagreement of faith and then comparing that to the variety of bugs that God created?! And so this is suppose to imply that God also likes the variety of differing faiths?! He seems to fail to mention that the Bible states that there is only one faith by which men are saved while the rest are walking down the broad path! How has Rick Warren shown love in not mentioning that not so minor point?! He also points out how he’s not interested in interfaith dialogue but in interfaith projects. You cannot have any interfaith project, without any interfaith discussions! I think I would have felt better if he just referred to “citizen” projects, rather than bringing in faith and yet, we’re not suppose to talk about our faith!
Again, I take his subtle message to imply that God is accepting of other faiths! And he’s said similar things before at other faith conferences! I doubt it that David Charles would be saying that! 🙂
David would not say that.
Thank you for the link and the helpful information. If it is as you say then perhaps we should pray that as Warren begins to stitch together his “reformed jacket” that God would use these preparations to open his eyes. If he is, as you say, a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” then perhaps this is the very thing God will use to redeem him. Or if he is one who has wandered from the truth then we can pray that the invitation from Piper to speak at DG will be the instrument that brings back a sinner and save his soul from death. Again I speak from ignorance of Warren’s public influence and work so perhaps my opinions are weak. I trust Piper is bathing this in prayer so maybe we can join him. I’m in…you?
It is not ideal though EJH to lend the pulpit to “one who has wandered from the truth” as a means of bringing him back. That is NOT Biblical practice. I would challenge you to seek the Bible for how to handle those who have wandered from the truth and I can guarantee you that lending the pulpit to such a person, is not one of them!
As the Bible teaches the pulpit is to be reserved for one who correctly handles the Word of Truth. Warren has again and again failed to demonstrate that publicly (having given mixed messages before numerous faiths). I really don’t understand why Piper would give him that honor (with Warren’s track record) and misguide other young impressionable Christians that will be among the audience. My prayer would be that Piper would change his decision and NOT invite Warren. The Scriptures are clear on the type of men that should be allowed on the pulpit and what Piper is doing is dishonoring to the pulpit. He has simply failed to be more judicious on who is invited on that pulpit.
The passage you referenced, “Beware of false prophets, etc…” (Matt.7:15ff), describes those who widen the gate to biblical conversion (see Matt.7:13-14). They use “Christian” terms. i.e. Jesus, faith, Bible, etc. Yet they teach a counterfeit religion, one that looks real. Its end is destruction.
Such people have orthodox creeds (see Matt.7:21-23). They are often deceived in thinking they are Christian. Piper recently attempted to again justify his choice. He said Warren believed the Scriptures are of God, justification is by faith, man is depraved, Jesus is returning. Yet, many [the most dangerous] false teachers believe these things (again see Matt.7:21-23 and the parable of the Ten Virgins).
Yet, they were not clear on conversion. They taught an “easy believism” without repentance. I do not know whether Warren is a false prophet who teaches a wide gate. Yet, I think we must speak frank. This possibility is real. Why expose our people to such a teacher? Many within our churches listen to Piper regularly. Why expose them to men such as Doug Wilson and Warren? So what if he is reading Edwards. Would Edwards let Warren in his pulpit?
For years it has been almost unthinkable to have any concerns about Piper. Yet, I ask you. Is he really clear on the place of the law and gospel before and after conversion? Does he understand that the law leads to Christ who empowers us to obey the law?
Personally, I prefer Edwards.
Heritage Reformed Baptist Church
I think you’ll find (as shown in my posts above) that I am in agreement with you. 😀 I make no excuses for Piper and I think his habit of inviting controversial speakers to the pulpit is worrisome for a leader. I have no doubts that Warren teaches a broad way to God; just listen/read his speeches to non-Christian groups.
From Warren’s speech at the 2005 United Nations Interfaith Prayer:
“I’m not talking about a religion this morning. You may be Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist or Baptist or Muslim or Mormon or Jewish … or you may have no religion at all. I’m not interested in your religious background. Because God did not create the universe for us to have religion. He came for us to have a relationship with him.”
Here is what one jewish journalist stated, after Warren had spoken at the Synagogue 3000:
“The other secret to his success is his passion for God and Jesus. Warren managed to speak for the entire evening without once mentioning Jesus — a testament to his savvy message-tailoring. But make no mistake, the driving purpose of an evangelical church is to evangelize, and it is Warren’s devotion to spreading the words of the Christian Bible that drive his ministry.”
“Warren told Wolfson [Rabbi Ron Wolfson, leader of the program] his interest is in helping all houses of worship, not in converting Jews. He said there are more than enough Christian souls to deal with for starters.”
It is certainly obvious by his lack of mentioning Jesus before an audience of jews and his aid in helping them expand their jewish faith….
Here is just one out of many of Warren’s comments that are troubling:
“We need to mobilize a billion Catholics and Orthodox [believers]. I’m not really that interested in interfaith dialogue. I am interested in interfaith projects. Let’s do something together. You are probably not going to change your doctrinal distinctives, and I’m probably not going to change my doctrinal distinctives. We have different beliefs. But the fact is, we do serve the same Lord. Let’s work on the things we can agree on.”
While I’m sure there are some believers in the Catholic church (very few may I add because I do know what Catholics teach, being that I’m a former Catholic) despite the RCC’s teachings(!), there are no indication that I could see that the RCC in general serves the same Lord!
Never will you publicly hear Warren draw the clear line of the Gospel (John 14:6) before non-Christians and be consistent on that regardless of the type of audience. But this is what is so troubling about Warren. He changes his mantra depending on who he is talking to. This is NOT characteristic of one who should be invited to the pulpit. Warren just reminds me too much of the whore of Babylon — he’s got his finger in everything! I am just at a lost of why Piper can’t see that.
I appreciate your words very much Jade and Mike. We pray for humility and perspicuity in understanding such scenarios.
Thank you men. We are a lost world. People are dying on all sides and entering eternity. Some would say in light of this, forget these “in-house” fights. But brethren, I ask you. How important is the gospel. Spreading the gospel is no more important than defending it. To spead a bad gospel is hatred. It is not love. It is just as bad as not spreading the true gospel. Let us fight and build. Fight for the truth and build the kingdom. These go together. Christian, you are right. We need humility. We need perspicuity. We need zeal and truth. We need devotion and doctrine. One without the other is counterfeit. Mercy O Lord! We need mercy! Wisdom O Lord! We need wisdom! Love O Lord! We need love!
Everyday I walk through downtown Seattle I am faced with those who are in need of gospel. Balancing the rooting out and pulling down with building and planting is why we wage the war on our knees first. It is just too daunting to attempt these things in our own strength.
I agree with Jade/Mike Waters and Christian. Let US humble ourselves, repent, pray and Rom.16:17.
Good dialogue gentlemen,
All of the above comments on the Warren Piper contraversy are refreshing. For one, they are very balanced. Furthermore, there is ample information to warrent real concern.
That is much aprreciated. Especially given the atmosphere of extremes to which Christians in the world of blogging often engage.
We indeed must fight and build. The two holy efforts are not mutually exclusive. “Standing in defence and confirmation of the gospel of soveriegn grace” is the job of the watchful and discerning Church. Rev2-3..
This event will prove to be a mistep on Pipers part. He has demonstrated an insensitivity to the gospel message. He has allowed the spirit of popularity and cult like followings to overshadow the real purpose of conferences, no matter how large they become.
God is jealous of His glory and the gospel itself. For that to be lost in the midst of eyes gazing on Piper and Warren is tragic.
Never mind what will happen in the future, at the conference, or subsequent to it. Even now, it is evident that this was a wrong move. And God will not be mocked.
This should speak to the beauty of smaller conferences with lesser known names, and the glory of a Christ exalting theme.It should be about Him. Ps40;7
By Grace alone
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