by Mike Ratliff
Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 1
After posting Can A Leopard Change its Spots?, I have received some comments that devolved into emails in which some “apologists” for Rick Warren attempted to defend him. It was actually quite sad because these folks are quite shallow spiritually. One fellow blasted me saying he had hundreds of Biblical proofs that Rick Warren’s theology in the Purpose Driven Life did not butcher the Gospel as I had contended. So, I asked for his proofs. Instead of proofs I get several pages from the Purpose Driven Life book. When I confronted him about it he simply said that Rick Warren does preach repentance, but not like hellfire and brimstone. Then he said that that only scared people away and besides Hell doesn’t last forever, it’s just a temporary thing.
After dealing with this I realized that I had run out of time to do justice to what I wanted to write about tonight, however, I found a series of articles by Berit Kjos which she wrote back in 2003 about the Purpose Driven Church. Follow this link to read Part 1.
Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 2
“God says relationships are what life is all about.” Rick Warren, [1, page 125]
“Relationships are the glue that holds a church together. Friendships are the key to retaining members. A friend once told me of a survey he took in a church. When he asked, ‘Why did you join this church?’ – 93% of the members said, ‘I joined because of the pastor.’ He then asked, ‘What if the pastor leaves? Will you leave?’ 93% said ‘No.’ When he asked why they wouldn’t leave, the response was ‘Because I have friends here!’ Do you notice the shift in allegiance? This is normal and healthy…. Think relationally!”  Rick Warren, “Relationships hold your church together.”
“I want to stress the importance of continually emphasizing the corporate nature of the Christian life to your members,” wrote Pastor Warren in his church management manual, The Purpose-Driven Church. “Preach it, teach it, and talk about it with individuals. We belong together. We need each together. We are connected, joined together as parts of one body. We are family!”[3, page 328]
Yes, those who truly belong to Christ are one in Him! We are part of a vast wonderful family that reaches around the world and stretches through time into eternity! In fact, the fellowship we have in Christ—with those who share the same Spirit, follow the same Shepherd and delight in the same Scriptures—brings us a tiny foretaste of the joy we will share with our heavenly family for all eternity.
Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 3
Small Groups and the Dialectic Process
While we don’t deserve any of God’s gracious blessings, small groups do bring people together. So the issue here is not whether or not they are effective, but rather the nature of their effectiveness. Do they deepen our faith in God or our dependence on each other? Do they teach us to know and follow God’s Word or do they promote subtle forms of compromise for the sake of unity in diversity? Do they encourage Biblical discernment or open-mindedness and tolerance for unbiblical beliefs and values? Finally, are they led by the Holy Spirit or driven by well-trained facilitators and the “felt needs” of the groups?
HAT TIP: Possessing the Treasure