Open Challenge1 : What is Wrong with this? Rick Warren

I am offering this piece as an open challenge calling critics to the carpet:

What is wrong with this? -MjS



Statement of Faith

ABOUT GOD

God is the creator and ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.

Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2; Corinthians 13:14

ABOUT MAN

Man is made in the spiritual image of God, to be like him in character. He is the supreme object of God’s creation. Although man has tremendous potential for good, he is marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin." This attitude separates man from God.

Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2

ABOUT ETERNITY

Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence.

John 3:16; John 2:25; John 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; 1 John 5:11-12; Matthew 25:31-46

ABOUT JESUS CHRIST

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven’s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:3, 4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13

ABOUT SALVATION

Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works – only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.

Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1

ABOUT ETERNAL SECURITY

Because God gives man eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian.

John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10, 14; 1 Peter 1:3-5

ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under his control daily.

2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16, 17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1

ABOUT THE BIBLE

The Bible is God’s word to all men. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error.

2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5

ABOUT BAPTISM

Baptism by immersion symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and is your public declaration that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Baptism does not save you, but shows the world that you have already been saved. And while baptism is not required for salvation, it is a biblical command and demonstrates your love and obedience to Christ.

Colossians 2:12; Acts 2:41; Ephesians 2: 8-9; Matthew 28:19-20

ABOUT COMMUNION

Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is an ordinance given to all believers by Jesus Christ to remember his sacrifice for us and to symbolize the new covenant. The elements of bread and wine or juice are symbols of Christ’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is not a means of salvation. Rather, it is a testament of a believer’s faith in the atoning work of the cross.

Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19:20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29

Steven Waldman Interviews Rick Warren

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of "The Purpose of Christmas," spoke with Beliefnet Editor-in-Chief Steven Waldman at the offices of our partner, The Wall Street Journal.

BY: Steven Waldman

See what Rick Warren has to say about....

The purpose of Christmas
Who goes to heaven
Talking with God
His own doubts
His questions for God
How prayer works
The economy and faith
Abortion
Torture
Gay marriage and divorce
Evangelicals and poverty
Christianity's negative image

What is the purpose of Christmas?

I go back to, Steve, the three things angels said in the very first Christmas. They said, “I bring you good news of great joy, for unto you is born today a savior who is Christ the Lord and peace on earth, good will toward men. “ I say that’s celebration, salvation and reconciliation.

These are the things, of course, that are the central components of Christianity, that God invaded earth. I believe that Jesus Christ was who he claimed to be; that he was the son of God. That God came in human form. That if God wanted to…, communicate to ants, he would have become an ant. If he’d wanted to communicate with cows, he would have become a cow. But he wanted to communicate to human beings so he became one of us. It’s hard for me to relate to “the force.” You know, ‘may the force be with you.’ I need a God with skin on it. So my God looks like Jesus Christ -- that when I see him, I see God in human form and I can go “oh that’s what he’s like.” And I can get to know him. And of course, it split history into A.D and B.C. And even people who don’t accept the way I see it, every time they write a date, 2008, 2009 they’re using Jesus Christ as a focal point, as the reference point.

And what is ‘The Gift’?

That’s a good question. You know, I talk about in the book that we often celebrate Christmas year after year after year without receiving God’s gift to us. And if you were to give me a Christmas gift, or any kind of gift, and later, a year later, you go “Hey Rick, how did you like my gift” and I go, “well actually I’m really glad you gave it to me, Steve, but I didn’t have a chance to open it, I was really busy.” Well you’d be offended and I would miss the benefit of the gift. I wouldn’t even know.

The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ came to do three things. He came to have my past forgiven, you get a purpose for living and a home in Heaven. It’s almost like 3D: past, present, future. Past forgiven, purpose for living, home in Heaven. And all these things are available as a gift.

That’s the big difference between Christianity and other religions. The difference between Works and Grace or Do and Done. Before I became a believer I lived in Japan, one of the times while I was there and I studied all of the different religions. And they have to do with the idea of truth. The Japanese call it ShinJitSu. You know, Mohammad said I’m a prophet of the truth. The Vedas, the Hindu scripture, says Truth is very elusive, it’s like a butterfly, you have to search for it here or there. Buddha made a very famous statement at the end of his life, “I’m still searching for the truth.”

And then Jesus comes along, and he says, “I am the truth.” You know, that’s quite a dividing statement. It really forces you to say, “Is he who he says he is or is he a nutcase?” Is he, as the famous CS Lewis thing, liar, lord or lunatic…?

Many people say, “I believe Jesus was a great person.” Well actually, that’s the one thing he couldn’t be. If I were to come to you and say “Steve, I’m a good moral teacher,” you would say “yea, I can buy that, I think Rick is a pretty good moral teacher.” If I said, “I’m a man of God,” you’d say, “well, maybe, ok maybe he’s a man of God.” If I said, “I’m a prophet of God,” you say, “well that might be a stretch, I don’t know if I accept that or not.” But if I came to you and said “ Hey Steve, I’m the Son of God and you don’t have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into Heaven except thru me. I am the way”-- you would feel very differently about me. All of a sudden, that forces some type of decision. Is he who he says he is or is he a nut or conman?

And to me, Jesus Christ came to say, “I have done it all for you.” One of the most famous words of Jesus are, on the cross when he’s dying--he says “it is finished.” He doesn’t say, “I’m finished,” ‘cause I don’t believe he was. I do believe that he resurrected three days later. He said “IT is finished.”

“I’ve paid for everything you need to get into Heaven. I’ve paid your ticket.” And so rather of this list of “Do’s” to get into heaven, it’s a matter of done. That’s the gift…

We don’t handle grace very well. We want salvation the old fashioned way-we want to earn it.

Was the Creation of Western Society Good, Evil or Both?


inquisition

What is the one organization that has had the most influence on the development of western culture over the last two thou sand years? What institution has had the power to strike terror in en tire countries with the threat of a simple executive decision? What organization can arguably be held responsible for the dstruction of entire primitive societies, in order to promote their own expansion of influence? If you guessed the Catholic Church, you are right.

Make no mistake; the Church has also been responsible for count less wonder ful deeds through the centuries. From Mother Teresa of Calcutta to the literally mil­lions of name less and thank less souls who have dedicated their lives to helping others, with out ever having any thought of receiving any recognition of any kind, one doesn’t have to go far to find the beneficial effects of this globally power ful in­stitution.

But at what cost? Who decides which groups are to be ministered to and fed, and which groups are to be conquered? It is no secret that the atrocities committed during the inquisition were justified in the name of the Church, and it’s power.

It is no coincidence that while the Spanish Inquisition was under way, Spanish con­quis tadors were sent around the globe with a mission: To conquer in the name of the church. The church leaders decided that those pagans that did not know the truth of Christ were not subject to their laws. Whole cultures were wiped clean to make way for the conquering soldiers and priests.

The inspiration be hind the rules, morals and code of ethics that the whole of west­ern society is built on is the same inspiration that erased hundreds of years of in­digenous culture from the face of the planet.

An even trade off? Both sides can be argued reasonably well. You will have to make that decision for yourself.

Originally titled “The In spiration Be hind the Creation of West ern Society – Is it Good, Evil, Or Both?

George Hutton

Where Did the Gospel Go?


Where Did the Gospel Go?Bil lions of peo ple are liv ing in pover ty around the world. About 2.8 bil lion peo ple are liv ing on less than two dol lars a day. Mil lions are dy ing from star va tion and dis eases in the Third World. The glob al fi nan cial cri sis has caused mil lions to lose their home and the world has prob a bly just seen the be gin ning of a ma jor glob al cri sis that not even the fi nan cial ex perts could have fore­told. The threat of nu cle ar war is hang ing in the air and the most pow er ful na tions of the globe are fight ing for the last re serves of oil.

While some fam i lies can’t even af ford a sin gle meal on the table each day, oth ers are ad dict ed to drugs, gam bling and al co hol. Mil lions in the west are so men tal ly de pressed that they try to es cape this world of lone li ness in al co hol, drugs, per ver sions and sui cide. The world is scream ing for help and so lu tions for a messed up so ci ety that has noth ing to of fer but end less talk shows and on line en ter tain ment.

Peo ple are se ri ous ly des per ate for find ing a deep er mean ing, hope and in ner peace. This world seems to have ev ery thing to of fer, but in re al i ty is more out of con trol moral ly and spir i tu al ly than ev er. I can bold ly say that this world needs the full gospel mes sage of Je sus Christ. Not an oth er ser mon or con fer ence about self hap pi ness, but the pure full gospel of sal va tion. That is the one and on ly thing that can bring peace to the mind and re store the soul.


Click to View

But how sad it is that the preach ing of the full gospel has been down grad ed to some cul tur al light gospel show with fan cy stage per for mance and blink ing lights! Where are the full gospel preach ers who dare to stand up for the truth, who dare to preach sal va tion, hope, hell, ho li ness and grace. Where are those who pro claim that Je sus Christ is the on ly way to heav en?

The prob lem is that mil lions of peo ple have been de ceived and blind ed with a feel good gospel, a light luke warm mes­sage that on ly talks about hap pi ness, pros per i ty, self-​de vel­op ment and “me, me and me” in stead of “Him, Him and Him!”

Where Did the Gospel Go?

Is to day’s mod ern church re al ly afraid of teach ing the full liv ing gospel? Is it afraid of be ing po lit i cal ly in cor rect and of fend ing the mass es? Many church es are on a very dan ger ous path. A path that will on ly lead to pos si ble de struc tion. Let me point out, that if there is no gospel mes sage of sin, grace, re pen tance and sal va tion there is ze ro!

And while thou sands of church es are play ing “seek er sen si tive church es” and be­ing po lit i cal ly cor rect, mil lions of non-​be liev ers are scream ing for spir i tu al truth that can give them re al hope and re al i ty based on the word of God. The truth of the gospel will set them free, but if there is no one preach ing the truth of the gospel, many will go to hell, be liev ing in a dif fer ent gospel (2 Corinthi ans 11:3-4) (Gala­tians 1:6-7) . That is the hard facts. A very good place to read and study what Je­sus is say ing is in Matthew chap ter 24. Je sus men tions here in chap ter 24 that many will be de ceived by false prophets and teach ers.


Click to View

It is so easy for self-​pro claimed prophets to make up weird crazy doc trines and get thou sands of fol low ers, be cause in many church es there is a great lack of Chris tian dis ci ple ship based on the word of God. The fo cus on Je sus and his teach­ing and dis ci ple ship has been re placed with “feel-​good teach ings” that to tal ly lacks the im por tant teach ings about re pen tance, sin, hell, grace and ho li ness.

On a five week mis sion trip to Ethiopia re cent ly I was sched­uled to speak in dif fer ent church es. In my ser mon prepa ra­tion I felt a deep con vic tion to preach and fo cus more on the gospel that Je sus taught and His life, more than I had ev er done be fore. And the pas tors and lo cal evan ge lists were amazed and al most shocked by the clear gospel teach ing, be cause they were not used to that!

We have to re mem ber that the gospel is what sets us free. We need to bring the full gospel back in our church es, mis sion fields and to a des per ate seek ing world. There is on ly one hope and that is Je sus Christ. We have to re new our pas sion for be ing in the pres ence of Je sus. We must take up our cross and lay down our lives and fol low Christ and be filled with the Holy Spir it. We must re new our minds dai ly in God’s pres ence. We must study the life of Je sus and the Word of God and let it be come part of us, in side out.


Click to View

The liv ing word of God will change your life and you will see its pow er ful ef fects, and not on ly will you be em pow ered by his Word, the world around you will ex pe ri ence the sav ing and heal ing pow er of Je sus Christ. Make the gospel the fo­cus of your life and min istry and tell oth ers as well.

About the au thor: Pe ter Capili Hansen is a chris tian speak­er, au thor, evan ge list and hu man i tar i an work er. He is the founder of Pe ter Hansen Min istries and co founder of An gel Re lief In ter na tion al. He has spo ken in dif fer ent church de­nom i na tions in Eu rope, USA, Africa and the Philip pines.

Translate

Search This Blog