Pastor Rick Warren preaching at Saddleback Church
Pastor Rick Warren preaching at Saddleback Church

A closer look at Rick Warren who is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, one of America’s largest and best-known churches. His Saddleback Church is a Mega Church that is billed as the 8th Largest. Behind the likes of Joel Osteen and Victoria Osteen BUT he is being billed as one of the most influential Pastors of our time.. His previous book, The Purpose-Driven Church , has sold over a million copies in 20 languages.

Warren has spoken beside leaders of countries all over the world including at the inauguration of the current President of the US, and is highly respected in the world. His influence has been witnessed via his Purpose-Driven ministry empire,which has influenced thousands of pastors and Christian leaders around the world with his best-selling book The Purpose-Driven-Church and his Purpose-Driven church growth seminars.

His latest foray is to target the man in the street with his latest New York Times bestseller, The Purpose-Driven Life. Millions of people have this book since its release in 2002. Churches in the tens of thousands of churches have either used this book in the past or are currently using this it and other Purpose-Driven materials during special campaigns called 40 Days of Purpose. The object of the book, which is divided into 40 chapters, is to explain in 40 days the five purposes of a persons life.

On first appearances he seems a sincere, down to earth, charismatic, charming, inoffensive and knowledgable pastor. He checks out on things like Jesus dying for our sins, John 3:16, only one path to God, being Saved as a requirement and even Gay Marriage he sides with the Bible.

He is known for extending out olive branches to other faiths in particular Islam and is known for his good deeds around the world via charitable causes.He has been criticised by some to have too great a “focus on poverty and world peace”, teaching methods, outreach efforts and making dreadful worship leader choices. These are of course all open to debate.

But if we dig deeper, is this hugely popular Pastor just another Wolf in Sheeps clothing and yet another False Teacher or is he actually the real deal and a Brother in Christ?

As they say you cannot judge a book by it´s cover. Someone’s appearance and manner are not the basis on which we should judge truth. Warren might seem charismatic, but even Satan himself is charismatic, and thus Satan’s ministers will also appear to be ministers of righteousness on the outside.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light: Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. ” Corinthians 14:15

Introduction: Book and Sermon

We will take a look at Rick Warren in action at one of his Sermons at Saddleback Church, just the first ten minutes from a random video, the same as with all the Mega Preachers in the Mega Preachers Exposed series. We will also look at one of his books “A Purpose Driven Life” to give an introduction as to what he is all about which is looked at in much more detail later.

1. Rick Warren A Purpose Driven Life the Book

On the back cover of Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life, it states…

“This book will help you understand why you are alive and God’s amazing plan for you both here and now, and for eternity… This is a book of hope and challenge that you will read and re-read, and it will be a classic treasured by generations to come…The Purpose-Driven Life is a blueprint for Christian living in the 21st century.

My only response is “Wasn’t the Bible created for that purpose “a blueprint for a Christian living”….. a classic that is treasured for generations to come?

 

A Sermon from Rick Warren, one of many telling people how to recognise God´s voice and tell the difference between that and other voices that may not be Christian in nature. A good insight into his views on God. The title in all honesty gives the game away and is a non starter, as those in the faith will know, but the first 10 minutes are broken down into ten points.

1. You cannot have a relationship to God…..if you can´t hear God. If all you do is ever talk to him in prayer, and you never hear God speak to you, that´s a one way relationship, that isn´t much of a relationship. God wants to speak to you.

2. How do I know when it´s God? When I get an idea in my mind, how do I know where that idea came from, that impression…that thought, how do I know it didn´t come from the Devil, or it came from the bad Burrito I ate last night, or it came from my own thoughts, I just thought it up

3. It´s very easy to be confused……is God telling me to do this….or is this just something I want to do

4. Proverbs 14:12 What you think is the right road may lead to death Rick Warren Version (Bible Version Unknown)

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (KJV)

5. 1 John 4:1 “Don´t believe everything you hear just because someone says it is a message from God; test it first to see if it really is” Rick Warren Version

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. KJV

6. I want you to learn 7 ways to test an impression from the Bible………so you know how you can test a message from God

7. The fact is one moment you can get an idea from God and the next you can get an idea from Satan…..in a split second

8. John 7:17 Jesus “Anyone who wants to do God´s will can test this teaching and know whether it is from God or whether I´m making it up” Rick Warren Version

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. KJV

9. These 7 tests form a filter

10. Luke 21:23 Heaven and earth will pass away but my Words will never pass away Rick Warrens Version NIV

Luke 21:23 33. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. KJV

A 10 minute sampler from Rick Warren and this sermon gives a pretty good idea of the Rick Warren take on Christianity. Here´s an analysis of the 10 points raised from that 10 minute sampler.

Analysis

Points 1,2,3 and 6 are pretty much saying the same thing. How do I know when God is talking to me, it´s easy to get confused, how do I tell the difference between God and Satan speaking to me, or is it just my idea? If you are a truly Born Again “Saved” Holy Spirit Filled Believing Christian you will know when God is talking to you. You will have a personal relationship with him and if you pray in silence, (as most Christians do) the Devil hasn´t got the first idea what you are saying ….only God knows. You will get answers in various forms that are so specific to your prayers, they can only be from God, if they are not… something will not feel right, things will not line up and confusion will enter the fray. With the Holy Spirit comes the gift of discernment…………there is no confusion and there is no testing! As I always say “Confusion is not of the Lord” which is what Rick Warren is trying to generate here by sowing seeds of confusion. I´ve only ever personally heard God directly twice, both were in extreme situations and just 4 words only (both times different) otherwise it has been signs, people, events or ideas suddenly appearing or dreams or visions. But every time there is never any confusion where that communication came from….ever!

Point 4. Slightly different translation, similar meaning…no issues there.

Point 5: Radically different Bible interpretaions here. Rick Warrens version says “don´t believe everything you hear” the KJV says “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits”. Again this is a Holy Spirit given gift of discernment called “Testing the Spirits”, if somebody is not of God and you are a Born Again you will know. The Rick Warren translation is way off the mark.

Point 7. This is true but again if you are a Holy Spirit filled believer you will be able to discern the difference between the two. If you are not a Born Again, then you are probably only getting ideas from yourself or Satan in the first place.

Point 8. Again vastly different translations but the meaning is similar.

Point 9. “These 7 tests form a filter”. Again if you have the Holy Spirit then that is your filter, there is no 7 tests to form a filter??? A filter is a barrier between you and God.

Point 10 NIV and KJV versions are the same bar shall and will which is just old school and modern day grammar differences. Again no issues there.

In summary God gives you the Holy Spirit which gives you discernment to hear God´s voice in whatever form that will take. All Rick Warren is doing in this video is creating confusion and doing the classic preacher take, where he is acting as a mediator or interpreter to help you to hear God, when none is required if you are truly in the Christian faith. This video is about 1 hour long. Hearing God´s voice can be summed up in 1 Bible verse in 5 seconds. It really is that simple

John 10:27
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me

If you are Born Again (Saved), that´s all you need to know and this video basically is a delete and one for the trash bin on your PC/Laptop/Device.

The Rick Warren 15 Versions of the Bible.

Apparently there are now 900 English translations of the Bible. Rick Warren by all accounts uses 15 Versions of the Bible including the NIV, New Century Version?, New Living Version and the Message Bible amongst many others. Doesn´t seem to be a fan of the KJV Bible for some reason which is a mystery. The sign of a False Preacher/Teacher is someone that teaches their word and tries to fit the Bible around their word. False Teachers in general are not keen on the King James Version of the Bible. Why…it´s about as close as you are going to get to the original Hebrew and Greek scripture. They will normally have THEIR special version of the Bible or twist the words of a better known more modern version, or quote for a large number of dubious versions flitting from one to another, whichever fits their theology.

So the question is, why does Rick Warren use 15 different versions of modern translations of the Bible? Is it to make it easier to understand for his congregation or is it to get a Bible Version to match what he is trying to teach and it takes 15 different versions to achieve that aim?

Rick Warren errantly states on page 325.of his Book The Purpose Driven Life..
“No matter how wonderful a translation, it has limitations. The Bible was originally written using 11,280 Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words, but the typical English translation uses only around 6,000 words.”

This is true but in the KJV version the original meaning remains, whereas some of the modern versions the scripture is a translation of a translation of a translation………… the meaning gets lost or changed beyond belief.

Saddleback church Rick Warren purpose driven lies

Rick Warren and the Chrislam Allegations

Rick Warren is renowned for giving out an Olive Branch to other Religions including particularly Islam. Being understanding, showing love and being accommodating to all people of all faiths is a Christian trait. Many have said that Rick Warren is Pro Islam and integrates many teachings and sayings from the Quran and mix it with Christian Theology to arrive at something many call Chrislam. The problem is if you hand out an olive branch to other completely different religions what happens to the original olive tree, does it change as a result?

A fascinating insight video below that delves into what is being billed the “New Emerging Church” which is a blend of Christianity and Eastern Religions and New Age concepts which is proving remarkably appealing to the masses. Some say we are seeing the construction of the New World Order One Religion being built right under our very noses. Rick Warren is mentioned in this video especially in connection with Chrislam, an attempt to reach an understanding and some common ground with Islam. The problem is Christianity and Islam despite their initial appearances are fundamentally different to the core especially when it comes to Jesus and the Tri State as in Father, Son and Holy Ghost/Spirit. It´s another trying to mix oil and water scenario which just ends in a mess. This does raise serious questions as to where Rick Warren´s heart really is in regards to the pure Christian faith? This video is an eye opener and one to form your own opinion on.

Rick Warren, Emergents and Muslims

Rick Warren and the Bible

More Quotes from Rick Warrens Book a Purpose Driven Life with Page Numbers as reference

How to get Saved Rick Warren style

“If you are not sure you have done this, all you need to do is receive and believe. … First, believe. Believe God loves you and made you for his purposes. Believe you’re not an accident. Believe you were made to last forever. Believe God has chosen you to have a relationship with Jesus, who died on the cross for you. Believe that no matter what you’ve done, God wants to forgive you. Second, receive. Receive his forgiveness for your sins. Receive his Spirit, who will give you the power to fulfill your life purpose. … Wherever you are reading this, I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity.

‘Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you.’

Go ahead. If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God!” (The Purpose Driven Life, pp. 58, 59).

Notes:
Notice there is no repentance in that prayer, no mention of sin, no mention of the death on the cross and no phrase such as “please come into my life” or similar it´s “I accept you”….as if you decide. .

Quote 1 Message Bible v KJV

On page 70, Warren quotes Hebrews 11:7 from The Message.
“By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told … As a result, Noah became intimate with God.”

In the dependable King James Bible, this verse says:
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

Quote 2 Message v KJV

On page 20 of The Purpose Driven Life , Warren quotes 1 Corinthians 2:7 from The Message:
“God’s wisdom … goes deep into the interior of his purposes … It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest–what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us.”

In the King James Bible, this says:
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.”

Quote 3 Jeremiah:29:11 New Century Version V KJV

“Wonderful changes are going to happen in your life as you begin to live it on purpose. God says, ‘I know what I am planning for you … I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.’ ” (p. 31).

The KJV Version

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

This verse is not informing the believer that wonderful changes will happen in his life once he lives out his purpose. This text contains God’s personal message to the Israelites who were enduring the Babylonian captivity.

Quote 4 Matthew 24:14 New Century Version v KJV

“Jesus will not return until everyone God wants to hear the Good News has heard it. Jesus said, ‘The Good News about God’s kingdom will be preached in all the world, to every nation. Then the end will come …’ ” (p. 286).

KJV Version
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Matthew:24:14

Quote 5: A video quote. Pastor Rick Warren On Whether Gays Will Go To Hell

Quote 6 Exodus 34:14 New Living Translation v KJV

“That God would want me for a close friend is hard to understand, but the Bible says, ‘He is a God who is passionate about his relationship with you’ ” (p. 86). Exodus 34:14 New Living Translation

KJV
, “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God” These are the words that were spoken to Moses on Mount Sinai

People quoted in Rick Warrens Books

Several of Warren’s quotes come from renowned people who were or are active opponents of Biblical orthodoxy. They include C. S. Lewis, Brother Lawrence, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Aldous Huxley, Albert Schweitzer, Madame Guyon and Anais Nin. These names include Hindu and New Age philoosphers, Roman Catholic mystics, Evangelists and an erotic literature novelist. Google them yourselves. Again people say “you are who you hang with”. Jesus did  hang around with sinners, prostitutes, down and outs, alcoholics but that was for different reasons. Form your own opinion

A Rick Warren Interview

A good way to fathom these Mega Preachers is via TV Interviews. Sermons are rehearsed and carefully scripted but with interviews it´s difficult to pull the wool over peoples eyes.

Here´s an interview that is part of a long video exposing many Mega Preachers but Rick Warren is on the list and it starts at 15:40. Transcript below

Rick Warren “A purpose driven life Interview” Fox News. DEC 21 2012 via So4j

If you´ve got two doors

This one goes to life with eternity with God

And this one says Eternity without God

If I walk out the door that says Eternity without God….Do I Blame God fot That?……NO That´s my choice

And So I Choose….. To go to Hell you have to do almost the impossible

What you have to do……. you have to reject the Grace of Jesus Christ

Rick Warren and the  Bible less congregation at Saddleback Church

On my extensive travels researching Rick Warren a visitor to Rick Warrens  Saddleback Church stated they visited a service at Saddleback Church in 2003 and they stated this

“I observed that only a few people were carrying Bibles into the auditorium. The reason became clear when I saw the multiplicity of versions that were used in the preaching. It would be impossible to follow along in one’s Bible”

This is in reference to the 15 or so versions that Rick Warren uses in his preaching. Again as stated before why use this many, is he onto something divine in nature that mere mortals cannot comprehend or is he going down the confusion route that many false preachers use. Again you decide.

Rick Warren’s views on Baptism
He is neutral or blase on the different forms of Baptism. He says pouring, sprinkling, or immersion are equally acceptable in his book The Purpose Driven Life.

Obviously, it would offend many readers if he were to present a truly Scriptural position on baptism as a burial in water, but what else would a true Bible believer and a true Baptist do?

Rick Warren on God’s view on music

“God loves all kinds of music because he invented it all–fast and slow, loud and soft, old and new. You probably don’t like it all, but God does! … Christians often disagree over the style of music used in worship, passionately defending their preferred style as the most biblical or God-honoring. But there is no biblical style! … God likes variety and enjoys it all. There is no such thing as ‘Christian’ music; there are only Christian lyrics. It is the words that make a song sacred, not the tune. There are no spiritual tunes” (pp. 65, 66) of A Purpose Driven Life

This sort of Worldly view has enabled Worldly music to enter into Churches.Rockers describe their music as sexy, seductive, and hypnotic? So why is this style of music appearing on Sunday at Saddleback Church?

The Bible states quite clearly what form music should take in Churches

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” ( Ephesians 5:19 ).

Rock music is not exactly Psalms and Hymns?

Still not convinced?

Conclusions

Rick Warren is right up their in Mega Preacher territory. He has his own brand and style and has a huge following at his Church, online and via TV. On the surface he seems to be a Brother in Christ, comes across as neutral and harmless and the guy next door type.. So much so, on the first few minutes of research, this article  nearly ended up never coming into reality, but something (The Lord) kept me digging ever deeper and the cracks started to appear.

This article could have gone on to look at his fruits ( he has a net Worth of over 20 Million Dollars) and many other avenues but this to me proves quite enough what sort of Preacher he is. He is a tough one to label as a False Preacher because a lot of what he teaches makes sense even to a Christian. His core values with regard to Christianity are right there, but then so are Kenneth Copeland, The Osteen´s, Joyce Meyer and the rest according to their websites.

The first ten minutes of the first video analysis especially near the end it´s hard to disagree with but the whole topic is geared up to somebody that isn´t saved as in somebody that isn´t a Christian and here´s where the problems start.

Vid: A video featuring the owner of this website sheds some light titled 15 Signs of a False Preacher

The fundamental route to being saved is through belief, repentance and basically saying “Yes”. The Rick Warren route seems to be some sort of shortcut that will deny you what you are looking for. You then become dependent on Rick Warren for him to explain how to hear God when he doesn´t tell you the proper route to get Saved in the first place, which he knows would ensure that you DO hear God, which obviously would leave him out of the equation and short of a few million book sales in the process. His “Jesus I Believe in You and I Receive You” prayer just doesn´t cut it, it smacks of the “Broad Way”. It´s a half way there statement with no repentance and it´s saying that “You are the door” as in “I receive you” when in fact “Jesus is the door”. We are Saved by Grace not by our own decisions or words.

John 10:9
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Acts 15:11
But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

The rear cover of his famous Book sounds like the very replacement for the Bible itself. The numerous and dubious Bible versions he quotes from also serve to confuse his followers even further. Probably none ever walk into SaddleBack Church with ALL 15 Bible Translations that Rick Warren uses especially the KJV. Just imagine it?. This is yet another red flag and is a crafty way of discrediting the Bible saying no one particular version is good enough to use in isolation or it´s not trustworthy. Also as is demonstrated from some of the quotes from his Book “A Purpose Driven Life” they are sometimes so far off the mark it really does make you wonder. Just don´t mention the closest thing to the original Hebrew and Greek Texts the KJV Bible! Rock music in a Church also sends out alarm bells?

Rick Warren denies the Chrislam (Christian mixed with Islam) connection and that has been left as an open ender for people to form their own opinion. But as the video “Rick Warren Emergents and Muslims” clearly demonstrates, there is a Chrislam agenda there, cleverly disguised, but it is there and that is a worrying trend. He seems to be weak on sin and repentance.

Watching him in various interviews he seems again one of these politician types and if a question is tricky he´ll turn the question upside down or answer it with another question or answer the question with an answer to a different question. This for me is not the sign of a Christian. Are you for Gay Marriage is a Yes or No answer with an explanation, not some marathon round the houses evasive not really answering the question but sounding like you are answering the question but confusing the issue totally style answer. This quote that has been tied to Alan Greenspan but some say it is not him sums Rick Warren up:

“I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant”

A member of a forum or it may have been a blog comment section stated that they were a member of the Rick Warren Saddleback Church for 18 years or so and defended him saying he was a Brother in Christ. This goes to show how convincing some of these Preachers can be. It´s very difficult to leave a Church after 18 years even if it finally dawns on you that you realise you are not Saved and never will be as long as you stay at that Church.

For me the final nail in the coffin is the “To go to hell you have to do almost the impossible” line, that is the true heart of Rick Warren talking there. If that is not a False Preacher…. then heaven help us!

All Bible quotes in this article presented by this website are KJV

Bible Quotes:

Matthew 7:13-14
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Mark 10:26-27
And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?: And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

2 Corinthians 11:13
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

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