It’s an old joke that the S.B.C. in Southern Baptist Convention stands for Slowly Becoming Catholic. Rick Warren, Founder of the Purpose Driven multinational, made it a concrete reality at last week’s Vatican organized “Humanum” event.
Rick Warren was one invitee among dozens selected by Pope Francis for the colloquium “in order to support and reinvigorate marriage and family life for the flourishing of human society”. No, Christ and Him crucified was not mentioned except in passing. About the only faith not represented was Lutheranism – presumably because the Liberal ones don’t support traditional marriage or limits on abortion, and because the Confessional ones are still anathema since 13 January 1547.
During his address, Rick Warren made some astounding statements that underscore how easily he adopts theological postures that mirror a particular audience. In doing so he shows his now familiar disdain for Christian orthodoxy. The objective seems to be to amass the greatest number of “friends” and “likes” in the universe.
Especially notable was that Warren provided the most succinct and precise definition yet for the term “Sacramental Entrepreneur”. That is the the term coined by church growth organization FiveTwo. However, FiveTwo has never been able to provide more than several fuzzy definitions that revolve around “being the presence of Jesus — His sacraments — in their communities.” That begged the question: how are you the presence of Jesus?
Rick Warren has filled the gap and helpfully reminded us that church entrepreneurs have the same stripes irrespective of their denomination:
“My definition of evangelism is you build a bridge of love between your heart and theirs, and Jesus walks across. Before people will trust Christ they’ve gotta trust you. Before they wanna know is He real, they wanna know if you’re real.” YouTube, 18 Nov 2014
It’s not the gospel, but then this is Rick Warren who can make chameleons look like they’re stuck on blaze orange. Why use 1 Cor. 15 when you can make it up? Yet this perfectly encapsulates what we have heard and seen coming out of FiveTwo. They are building bridges for (another) Jesus to walk across. And the most important structure in the bridge is… you.
Incurvatus in se, indeed. Get busy, ye civil engineers of the Lord.
As if to emphasize this turn toward Rome, Warren added: “The Holy Father said this… we must avoid the temptation to come down off the cross, to please the people instead of staying on the cross fulfilling the will of the Father; the temptation to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the spirit of God.”
This from the man who insisted to John Piper that of course he was a monergist. He read all the works of Jonathan Edwards, don’t you know. But it seems very clear that Warren is interested in a very large Vatican order for all things Purpose Driven.
One final body blow from the Rev. Dr. Richard D. Warren: “The number one tool God uses to shape you is your spouse.” No room at the Bridge Builder’s Inn for the Holy Spirit.