Should we pray for God to comfort those who oppose the Gospel, like Rick Warren?

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By – For the Love of His Truth 

Throughout recent years, men and women of true saving faith, followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, have loudly voiced opposition to the grossly erroneous teachings of Rick Warren and, of course, many others who preach a gospel of humanism and free-willism contrary to the Gospel of Christ.

The social media is a-buzz with talk about the suicidal death of Rick Warren’s 27 year old son. To be sure, discussion surrounding this story is not only limited to social media, but is the focus of international news feed on many levels. Rick Warren has, according to some sources, been regarded as one of the ten most influential religious speakers in the world. His books, programs and other influential instruments have become prized household items throughout the secular world, while at the same time they have also been regarded as despicable by true followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. A published statistic says that only the Bible has been translated more times than his most popular book to date, “The Purpose Driven Life”.

Many requests for prayer have been made via Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools, for the family of Rick Warren to be comforted by the Lord, during this extremely difficult time following the tragic suicide of their son. The loss of a child, whether by suicide or by any other means for that matter, brings with it an almost overwhelming sadness and unbearable grief for those left behind in their families. It would be inhuman of us if we did not feel a sense of grief for those who have met with such tragedy. We have great sympathy for any family who has suffered such loss.

However, these requests pose a concern for the believer: is the comfort of Warren and his family really what the church should be praying for? Throughout preceding years, it has been the opinion of many of those who are now making these requests, that due to the false humanistic doctrine which Rick Warren has become famous for preaching, he simply should not have been regarded as a brother in Christ.

Should saved Christians, true followers of Jesus Christ, be praying for Him to bring comfort to those who preach a gospel in opposition to God? Is it the duty of the Christian to pray for those who are lost, who are spiritually dead, to be comforted by the very God whom they willfully reject? Yet our Lord Jesus Christ said in this regard in (John 17:9-10)  I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.  And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

Rick Warren teaches a gospel of secular humanism, aimed at the material and spiritual self-improvement of his followers, he is a worshipper of himself and exalts the things of worldly nature above the teaching of Scripture. The tragic loss of a child cannot temporarily change the fact that Rick Warren has not repented of being of [1]”the carnal unbelieving part of the world, which lie in sin, and will be condemned; as Jesus died not for them, so he prayed not for them; for whom He is the propitiation, He is an advocate; and for whom He died, He makes intercession; and for no other in a spiritual saving way.”

A commentator on Facebook stated that now is not the time sort out the theological differences one may have with Rick Warren. What an absurdity such a comment represents! A statement such as this is in perfect keeping with the carnal predisposition of fallen man, a gospel of tolerance above truth, which the world proclaims along with the likes of Rick Warren, with such great enthusiasm.

Those who agree with that Facebook commentator, believe a gospel in which the truth has been adapted to serve the interests of men. The divinely inspired words of the Apostle Paul teach clearly that we are to preach the truth in the Word at all times. We must preach the doctrine held within the Word, reprove, rebuke, exhort and we must do so consistently and instantaneously at ALL times.

No provision is made for times in our earthly life, during which we are excused from this explicit instruction by circumstance or event, no matter how tragic or important it may seem, (2 Timothy 4:1-2)  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Therefore, are we to pray for the comfort of those who oppose the explicit Will of God when they are tested by God by means of circumstance in their lives? Scripture gives us the following:

Luke 9:57-62

(57)  And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

(58)  And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

(59)  And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

(60)  Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

(61)  And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.

(62)  And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

What follows is an exposition on Luke 9:57-62 which deals with a fake disciple and two misguided preachers:

[2]

The first two of these men are mentioned by Matthew as well (Mat_8:19-21). The third is mentioned by Luke alone. The fact that Luke was inspired to give us these three men and our Lord’s conversations with them in this particular place, and the fact that the three are lumped together is not accidental. The Holy Spirit has given us these three, brief conversations; and he has given them to us in this particular context for specific reasons, to teach us specific lessons.

If we would understand the lessons taught in this short paragraph, we must not fail to see the context in which it is given and keep it in mind. The Lord Jesus had just finished instructing his disciples about serving him (Luk_9:43-50; Luk_9:55). Then we are told that he set his face stedfastly to go up to Jerusalem to die as our Substitute (Luk_9:51). The Lord Jesus had just announced his mission in this world, saying, “The Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luk_9:56). And he was about to send out seventy of his disciples to preach the gospel (Luk_10:1). But just before he sends out the seventy to proclaim the gospel of his grace, Luke tells us about the Master’s conversation with these three men. His purpose in doing so is obvious: If we would follow Christ, if we would serve him, we must do so wholeheartedly, with singleness of mind and clarity of purpose.

A Fake Disciple

Here is a man who volunteers to become one of Christ’s disciples (Luk_9:57-58). Matthew gives us just a little bit more information about him than Luke. Matthew tells us that this man was a scribe (Mat_8:19-20).

He was a very religious man, a scribe, a man who spent his life in the scriptures; but he was a lost man. Judging purely from the Lord’s reply to his bold, confident declaration, this man had the idea in his head that it would be to his advantage to be numbered among the Lord’s disciples. He seems to have thought to himself, “If this man is the Christ, if he is going to Jerusalem to establish his kingdom, I don’t want to be left out and miss the great opportunity of being a part of his royal court.”

He made a big, presumptuous promise. “And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way”, going up to Jerusalem, where it was commonly thought the Messiah would first appear in his glory, “a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.”

At first glance, this would seem to be a very good thing. After all, this is what all believers must do. All who are Christ’s are people who follow the Lamb wherever he goes (Rev_14:4). They willingly follow him. Whether through rain or fire, whether into prison or into death, they follow him. They are resolutely determined to do so.

The poor man, blinded by his religion, as well as by his own depraved heart, had no idea what is involved in following Christ. He did not ask. He did not care. He was not concerned about what it means to be a follower of Christ. He was only concerned about what he could gain by following him. Besides, he was quite confident that he was up to the task, whatever it might be.

Frequently, we meet with men and women just like this scribe. They are very quick to declare, “I will”. They will make their declaration publicly and confidently, just like this scribe. “I will follow Christ, no matter what.” But like this scribe, they speak rashly, without consideration, and speak amiss. They stand up and say, “I now give my heart to the Lord.”

How often we hear preachers urging people to give their hearts to Christ. Indeed, we must give our hearts to him; but salvation does not come by us giving our hearts to him. Salvation comes by him giving grace to us, by which we are constrained to give our hearts to him. Salvation comes by Christ giving you something, not by you giving him something.

This poor scribe, like all men are naturally, was a will worshipper. He thought salvation could be his by the mere exercise of his will. He thought his decision to follow Jesus would make him part of the Kingdom of God. He thought his decision would open the door of heaven. He made a big promise. He was very confident that he could keep his promise. But he was totally ignorant of the things of God. Like Nicodemus, he could neither see, nor enter into the Kingdom of God, because he had not been born again.

The fact that this man was a fake disciple is obvious, because those things that are both essential to and vital parts of faith in Christ were missing.

It is a fact, plainly revealed in scripture, that no one can come to Christ until Christ first comes to him (Joh_6:44). This man came to the Lord physically, but not spiritually. He came in word, but not in heart. He came outwardly, but not inwardly. I will make no attempt to say whether he was sincere or purely hypocritical. The fact is, he could not come and did not come to Christ in saving faith. He had no divine call. He was not taught of God. There is no indication that he had experienced any conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment. He made no confession of sin, no cry for mercy, no plea for grace, and expressed no need of Christ.

This scribe simply decided he would join the “Jesus’ club”, become a “promise keeper”, and get in on a good thing. He did not need grace. He was very confident he could follow Christ anywhere, through anything. After all, he had made his decision! But his decision could not change his heart (Rom_9:16).

Look at our Lord’s answer to this scribe and learn the lesson taught in it. The path of faith in Christ is the costly, painful path of self-denial. “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Luk_9:58).

Foxes have holes in which to bear their young, and birds have nests in which to lay and hatch their eggs; but the Lord Jesus had not even a place in which to lay his head. Though he is Lord of all, in order to save us, the Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed his very life, laid down everything (2Co_8:9; Php_2:5-8). If we would follow him, we must count the cost; and, counting the cost, we must willingly lay down our lives, lose our lives to him (Luk_14:25-33).

Misguided Loyalty

“And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God” (Luk_9:59-60). Here is a preacher with misguided loyalty. If we only had Luke’s account, we could not be certain about the fact that this man was already one of the Lord’s disciples; but Matthew tells us plainly that this man was already a disciple (Mat_8:21).

The man had been called. He was one of those like Matthew, Peter, James and John to whom the Lord Jesus had come, to whom he had said, “Follow me.” Being called, he was a believer. He was a true disciple. He was, in fact, one of those whom the Lord Jesus was about to send out as a gospel preacher. It seems that he was willing to go, and wanted to go; but he desired deferment for a while, because he had another, more pressing, more important responsibility. Before he could go out preaching, he must first take care of his family’s needs. He said, “Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.”

Perhaps he was, as many think, saying, “Lord, let me first take care of my aging father until he dies. Then I will go.” Perhaps, as our version suggests, he was saying, “Lord, my father has just died. Let me go home and bury him, and I will go.” Either way, his request seems very honourable. After all, a man is responsible to honour his parents. Funerals are important. It is always proper to show respect for others. It is always proper to take care of personal responsibilities.

Why, then, did the Lord Jesus respond to this man’s request the way he did? “Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”

The Lord was simply saying this: There are others who can and will take care of that matter. You have more important things to do. There are other people to bury your father. I have called you and sent you to preach the gospel.

Many good men, men who know, believe, and preach the gospel spend far too much time and energy burying the dead instead of preaching the gospel. Without question, there are lots of dead people who need burying; but there are plenty of dead people to bury them. Those who have been called of God to preach the gospel must never be turned aside from their calling. Family, friends and neighbours may not (almost certainly will not) understand such devotion to Christ and his cause. But those who are called and sent of God to preach the gospel must not allow concern for the welfare of their families to interfere with obedience to God. If I am God’s servant, serving the interests of his Kingdom and his glory, he will take care of those things that concern me concerning my family and its welfare.

No man can serve God on his terms. Sadly, there are many who attempt to do so, and pretend to do so; but the fact remains: no man can serve God on his terms! There are many who attempt to serve Christ with divided loyalties, like the man in our text, attempting to be part-time preachers, attempting to both follow Christ and pursue the cares of the world. They are willing to be preachers. They are willing to serve Christ. But they put off their service to Christ, dividing their time and energy between Christ and other matters of concern and responsibility. They fail to understand, or refuse to obey the scriptures. Those who are called of God to preach the gospel must give themselves entirely to the work of the gospel ministry: to prayer, to study and to preaching (1Ti_4:12-16).

If the Lord God has called me to preach the gospel, if Christ has sent me to serve his Kingdom, he will take care of my affairs. He is honour bound to do so (Exo_34:23-24; Luk_22:35). Matthew Henry wrote, “The way of duty is the way of safety. If we serve God, he will preserve us; and those that venture for him shall never lose by him. While we are employed in God’s work, and are attending upon him, we are taken under special protection, as noblemen and members of parliament are privileged from arrests.” If I feed God’s family, he will feed mine. If I serve his house, he will serve mine. If I protect his children, he will protect mine. If I provide for his, he will provide for mine (2Ti_2:4).

Looking Back

“And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luk_9:61-62). Here is a preacher who put his hand to the plough and looked back.

This man’s conduct stands here as a warning to all to whom God has given the privilege of preaching the gospel. Because of the context in which this is found, I am confident this man, like the one before him and those following in chapter 10, was a man sent out by the Lord Jesus to preach the gospel. The lesson taught in these two verses is to be applied in its strictest sense to all who are sent of God to this blessed work. The lesson is clear: We cannot serve Christ with divided hearts!

This man appears to have had a divided heart. He wanted both the ease and joy of other men and the nobility of preaching the gospel. He seems to have looked upon the work of the ministry as a sacrifice rather than a privilege. He seems to have been willing to expose himself to the strongest temptation possible to turn him aside from the work to which he had been called.

This man’s conduct stands as a warning to all who follow Christ. We cannot serve Christ with divided hearts! Those who look back to the world, like Lot’s wife looked back to Sodom, betray something in themselves that wants to go back! Be warned. Christ will not share his throne with anyone, not even with our dearest relatives. He requires our hearts. He must be first. Abraham had to leave his father and his father’s house, for Christ’s sake. When he tried to both follow Christ and stay with his father, God killed his father. Moses had to forsake the woman who raised him as her own son, for Christ’s sake. God forced him to choose between pleasing his wife, or obeying him (Exo_4:24-26; Pro_4:20-23; Pro_23:17-18; Pro_23:23; Pro_23:26). We cannot serve Christ with divided hearts!

“After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house”

[1] from Gill’s Bible Commentary on John 17:9

[2] from Don Fortner’s  Discovering Christ In Selected Books of the Bible (12 vols, commentary)

More articles done about Rick Warren :

King’s Way, Rick Warren Controversy Continues

Rick Warren’s denials under a microscope

John MacArthur: “Who would have thought that John Piper would have Rick Warren at a Desiring God conference?”

John Piper’s Interview with Rick Warren at Saddleback Reappears

Why is a Saddleback pastor teaching on the Kingdom Circles?

Jesus a Prophet of Chrislam?

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21 thoughts on “Should we pray for God to comfort those who oppose the Gospel, like Rick Warren?

  1. Judging by what you say, is it not pointless to preach the gospel?
    After all, God determines who is going to be saved and who is not.
    A gospel sermon would go something like this. ” if you give your life to Christ, He might save you provided that God loves you. If God doesn’t love you there is no hope.

    If this is the gospel message I might as well live as I like, in fact life on earth is pointless.

    • Erik Lisk

      …, is it not pointless to preach the gospel?

      (Romans 10:17) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

      So then faith depends on hearing the Gospel. One cannot trust an unrevealed or unknown Christ. We must hear, not with the outward ear only, but with the heart. We must hear with desire, hear with understanding, hear with a need! (Matt 13:15-16).

      Faith depends on hearing and hearing depends on the word of God. It is essential for those who will believe to hear the Gospel preached.

      It is pointless, as you say, to preach the Gospel to those who will not hear it, or cannot believe it.

      …if you give your life to Christ…

      You cannot “give” to an Almighty Creator God, that which is already His. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave His life for sinners, we cannot presume to do the same for Him. It is God who gives life, and it is God who takes it away.

      (Ephesians 2:8) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

      (John 5:21) For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.

      (Job 33:4) The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

      (John 10:11) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

      Christ is the good shepherd (‘none good but God’). Christ is the Shepherd of the Father’s appointing, calling, and sending, to whom and upon whom the salvation and care of all the chosen sheep was committed (Isa_40:9-11). The good shepherd gave his life for the redemption of his sheep. He gave himself freely and voluntarily as a ransom for them that they might be delivered from the curse of the law (Gal_3:13; Heb_1:3). His death was not in vain but was effectual to the salvation of all the elect. Not one for whom he died shall perish, but all shall hear the gospel and believe (Act_13:48; Joh_6:37-39; Rom_8:34-39).

      He might save you provided that God loves you

      God will not fail to save all those whom He loves. Would it not be quite absurd to expect God to save those whom He hates?

      (John 6:37) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
      (John 6:39) And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.

      If God doesn’t love you there is no hope.

      Correct. Neither you nor I, nor any other man can force God to love us. If we could, it would mean that god is weaker than us, because we could manipulate his will. A god whose will can be influenced and changed by man, is no god at all, and not worthy of our worship. A Sovereign and Almighty God, the God of the Bible, is worthy of our worship, because He alone has the power to save us.

      …, in fact life on earth is pointless.

      Life on earth, without knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, would be pointless. In Christ we have the certainty and promise of eternal life, without Christ we have the promise of certain eternal death and separation from God in hell.

  2. Good points Grant. We think of many that the Lord took because of what the fathers did. Like Eli, David, Saul, Pharaoh, and etc. They all had something in common.

  3. I think we need to be very careful here. I’ve been praying for TRUE comfort for Rick Warren and his family all morning. And I can’t help but pray for that. But the ONLY true comfort we have is that which is found in the only true gospel. It has been my heartfelt prayer all morning that this will be something that God will use in Pastor Warrens life to bring about true repentance and an understanding of the one true Gospel. I pray that he and his family will cling to the Savior.
    God used great personal disaster in my life to turn me back to Himself, and Rick and Kay Warren are not beyond the reach of the Gospel either. Perhaps this will be something that God will use to strip away the man/self-centeredness and show them their utter dependence on Christ.
    So, yes I think we should pray for comfort for the Warren family in this time of mourning. There is no greater comfort than true salvation, and there is no true comfort without it.

      • Abigail,

        I just need to make it clear, Warren is not poor by no means. He does preach another gospel not truth. The article does state “The loss of a child, whether by suicide or by any other means for that matter, brings with it an almost overwhelming sadness and unbearable grief for those left behind in their families. It would be inhuman of us if we did not feel a sense of grief for those who have met with such tragedy. We have great sympathy for any family who has suffered such loss.” We do pray God leads Rick Warren to repentance. Jessica posted a very nice blog post here , you may want to read also . http://www.bygracealone.net/2013/04/a-time-for-gospel.html

    • Dear Jessica

      Thank you once again for your comment, greatly appreciated as always. I agree with you, the true comfort you speak of, the salvation of all parties under discussion here, should constitute our prayers. Scripturally, however, I have to disagree with praying for the general comfort of Rick Warren, even in this time of their mourning, terribly sad, inhuman and unloving as that may sound. I’m sure all who know me, would tell you that I am probably too soft-hearted a person, too forgiving, therefore I hope to explain why what I have said, is not unloving.

      As you rightly say, we need to be careful. I think we also need to be equally cautious about not misguiding or misappropriating our Christian compassion. False teachers, and in particular Rick Warren, turn out the Light of Christ when they corrupt the Gospel, and they leave their followers in darkness, reliant on doctrines of men. The Apostle John was extremely concerned bringing these truths to us in 2 John. No less than our very lives were at stake.

      We must reject false teachers, and we must do so clearly and forcefully. It is not so much about us rejecting them personally or not showing them Christian compassion. It is not our compassion for them under such tragic circumstances, it is about us being faithful stewards of the Gospel, protecting the Gospel, protecting those who would come under false teaching of wolves like Rick Warren. By clearly stating what the issues are, by clearly rejecting his false teaching and his damning attitude toward the Saviour, by clearly underlining his worship of foreign dead gods, and by condemning these things, we are not being unloving, we are protecting the truth, we are being faithful first. Please bear in mind that I still accept what you say about praying for his salvation…I include that point you make here.

      When Christians don’t act in faithfulness and in protecting the truth; and we allow our feelings, emotions and even our real heart-felt compassion over situations such as these, to get in the way of upholding the truth, we allow false teachers to destroy our Redemption. We must, therefore, while praying for the salvation and enlightenment of people such as Rick Warren (I can’t speak for his extended family), not allow circumstances such as these to overrule our proclaiming the truth and upholding the Sovereignty of the only Living God. We must be careful to recognize that we are also being tested, our faithfulness and steadfastness, and continue to be strong in our faith.

      John also instructs in verses 10 and 11: “If anyone come to you and does not bring this [Gospel] teaching, do not receive him, do not even greet him, for the one who gives him greeting participates in his evil deeds”. I know that verse cannot be absolutely literally applied to all circumstances, but it is nevertheless the sternest of cautions and reason to be more careful about what we pray for, and for whom we pray. We must extract ourselves from all false systems, we have to love Christ above all else, at all times, first. We must stay focused on the primary call of God.

      Love serves the truth, and truth determines the boundaries of the graciousness we extend to people around us. Rick Warren is arguably the most dangerous and subtle of all opponents of the Truth, who openly preaches a false gospel about many false gods. We must not let our sentimentality allow ourselves to forget these terrible facts.

      If, for example, we had read that a certain leading Muslim imam’s son had committed suicide in Pakistan, or that a well-known Satanist’s son had committed suicide in Sweden, would we feel the same way about their circumstances as we do about those of Rick Warren? In all honesty, although we should treat all those situations in the same way, I don’t think we would. In that, lies the very real and cleverly disguised danger of praying for the enemies of God.

      Grace to you and your family, for whom we are so grateful.

  4. No one who has heard and believes the wonder of the gospel could at any stage doubt whether the gospel should be preached. If we do not preach the gospel, we would simply be disobedient to the commands of God. It is a non-question, with respect. People who believe that God elects whom He wills, know that by preaching the gospel will they hear..

  5. I do believe that in this issue concerning the suicide of Rick Warren’s son, we should be discerning. We should not neglect to comfort those that suffer, even if they are our worst enemies – that is part of loving our enemies, which is Christ’s command. Praying for him, though, is another discerning matter – I would just pray that God would comfort him to repentance from his deluded spiritual ways, which probably also led his son to commit suicide.

  6. I write again, even though you deleted my earlier comment. (Admin Edited : Your comment landed in the Spam box, hence the deletion)
    I am a Christian, I do not believe in Rick warrens message, but you are wrong in your presentation.

    I think God is independent enough to decide whether he will comfort whoever he wills, how he wills, when he wills.

    Therefore this question is irrelevant!

    To me it seems the authors “God”, is like some kind of a slot machine which only responds to coins slotted into it or his “God” can only act with the permission of men through prayers. This type of God they have created is an idol, not the God of the bible!!!

    Whether you pray for Rick Warren or not, your will apart from the grace of God is still irrelevant against God’s sovereign will and decisions!!

    • Kombo B Inko-Tariah

      As you can see, your earlier comment was not deleted by our admin. If they had wanted it to be deleted, it would not have been approved this time, either.

      However, your comment is of such a contentious nature and so factually incorrect, that it should be deleted. Nevertheless, I will respond, on this occasion.

      I am a Christian, I do not believe in Rick warrens message, but you are wrong in your presentation.

      If you are truly a Christian, saved by the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that not by works, but by His grace alone, then I greet you as a brother or sister in Christ. You are correct in not following the teachings of Rick Warren, and not because I say so, but because they are not Biblical.

      I think God is independent enough to decide whether he will comfort whoever he wills, how he wills, when he wills.

      You think correctly, and I am in full agreement with that statement. If you read through the entire content of this blog, you will find not a single article which does not teach the absolute Sovereignty of God in all matters. We firmly uphold the Five Solas, Sola scriptura, Sola fide, Sola gratia, Sola Christus and Soli Deo Gloria. Never would we presume to even suggest, as will-worshippers are apt to do, that man can influence the Will of God in any way. This article is no different.

      Therefore this question is irrelevant!

      It is irrelevant only to you and other like-minded thinkers. If you were standing next to a busy road, and a blind child asked you whether it would be safe to cross the road, would you tell that child that their question is irrelevant? You would do that only if you had no conscience, or if it was your intention to allow the child to be killed. In both instances you would be acting contrary to the Word.

      There are millions of people who would ask the question which this article addresses. If we were to ignore the questions of those who seek after the truth, truth regarding the Word of God, or truth regarding someone like Rick Warren, we would be neglecting to act according to the most basic Christian principles. Would you have known that Rick Warren is a false teacher if no one had questioned his ministry?

      To me it seems the authors “God”, is like some kind of a slot machine which only responds to coins slotted into it or his “God” can only act with the permission of men through prayers. This type of God they have created is an idol, not the God of the bible!!!

      The Almighty, Sovereign Creator God, the Lord our Father, the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent First Person of the Trinity, who needs nothing from any man, and as described in the 66 books of Christian Holy Bible is the only God we serve.

      What it “seems” to be to you, is none of my concern. If you are having visions of slot machines, I would suggest that your mind is pre-occupied with a gambling habit. Focus on the Word, on Jesus Christ, and you will find that He is in control of all things.

      Whether you pray for Rick Warren or not, your will apart from the grace of God is still irrelevant against God’s sovereign will and decisions!!

      Praise the Lord God Almighty! At least you agree with me on something!

  7. What does bother me is most of those who oppose Warren’s clearly unbiblical teachings, they are now willing to overlook the fact that he is NOT to be called a brother, he is teaching another gospel. As we know well. So are, those who are now willing to overlook his false teachings hypocrites ? or what ? I mean …….what can I say.

    • That is exactly why I remarked earlier, higher up, that we should be discerning in this matter. If Christ says we should love our enemies, and that we should bless those that persecute us, we can do not other. It means that we should also love the enemies of the gospel (meaning people, excluding the devil, obviously), because they might repent, hopefully. Loving people – whoever they might be – does not mean however, that we through our love for them, condone their actions or their deluded anti-gospel message. God nowhere in His Word excuses the deeds of even the dearest of His children, if that might be against His will or contrary to His Word. But His love is always, throughout, without reserve and is unwavering. We can and should have sympathy with Rick Warren. It is a terrible terrible thing that happened to him, to lose a child through suicide. He must be suffering terrible heartache, no doubt. In that we could sympathise with him. But we need to be clear: that does not mean that we condone his unbiblical, truth-undermining message. We should pray that the shock, and the pain that he experiences without doubt, should bring him to repentance and let him return to the truth of the biblical gospel as Christ and the apostles proclaimed it. This certainly does not mean that we are judgemental and unloving (although some people might be like that – its a given in our sinful world). We have spiritually judged his teaching in view of the Bible, and it was found lacking. It is not we who negatively judge him – it is the Word of God that judges him. We only express that which the Bible clearly says. We should never ever forget, that there is no greater love for us for another human being, than that we should proclaim the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to him. And call him to it – also through the pain of his circumstances. Jesus died for the gospel. We need to keep it in front of us, and be careful that emotional issues do not take our focus away, and let us stray off the road shown to us by Christ: The road to Calvary, to the Cross, to death – but glory halleluja: also to resurrection, and everlasting glory in His presence..

      • Somerset,

        Thank you for your comment. I agree “But we need to be clear: that does not mean that we condone his unbiblical, truth-undermining message. ”

        But I have been silenced and told that this is not the time to discuss his theology matters, so then I say what about these verses:

        Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
        (2 Timothy 4:2-5 KJV)

  8. (Admin Edited, we cannot place insulting comments,you are welcome to place loving and edifying comments, as is becoming of a believer)

  9. I felt very moved to pray for the Warren family upon hearing their tragic news. However, I could not pray for the kind of ‘comfort’ that would keep them in their blinded spiritual state but rather that this situation might bring about their repentance before the Lord, which would in time bring them the genuine comfort of our dear Lord Jesus. I feel great sorrow for the family, but I agree that their spiritually dangerous teachings seem to indicate that praying for their repentance is the most important and loving thing we can do for them right now. Otherwise, any comfort they have may be a false comfort and not from the Lord. It is hard for some to see this as a loving response, but the more I study God’s word, the more I am convinced that praying for someone’s salvation is far more important than any humanly defined ‘appropriate’ response. I hope that other Christians would lovingly do the same for me if needed!! Sometimes I am not sure what/how to pray, so I am learning to ask the Lord for guidance. This situation was a great example of needing help from the Holy Spirit to teach me how to respond in prayer lovingly, but appropriately in a manner acceptable to the Lord! It’s a challenging situation, that’s for sure!

  10. The narrowing path..When we don’ t know how to pray, then we must pray in the spirit for that is the perfect prayer to God? We don’t know what we are saying but God does!!! That’s why it is so IMPORTANT to be baptized in the spirit!!!!! This is step two after salvation!!!!! Yes, at salvation we do get the Holy Spirit IN us, BUT with the baptisim of the Holy Spirit He comes UPON us! Big difference!!!!! This is where the dunamis power comes from..It gives us wisdom, understanding , power and discernment!The Holy Spirit continues to teach, guide, anoint, and empower us for service. We are COMMANDED to receive it!!!!,We must be obedient to the word! It is for EVERYONE! Then we can begin to receive some of the 9 gifts ( we can have them all….there’s no limit). Who wouldn’t want ALL of them?????? You have not because you ask not!! Go ahead and ASK!!!!!!!!God is no respector of persons and EVERY ONE can be blessed with these gifts!!!!!!! AMEN!!!!!

    • The Narrowing Path

      I leave it up to you to respond to Carol Moorby’s comment, if you feel so inclined. While I can personally make very little sense of Carol’s comment from a Biblical point of view, I have an idea where the belief system she upholds, has its origins. I’m sure you will recognize it too.

  11. Carol M – thank you for your heartfelt encouragement. My comment regarding asking the Holy Spirit for guidance in prayer was mentioned for the benefit of others, with Romans 8:26-27 in mind. Ephesians 6:10-18 is also wonderful encouragement in these difficult times. In this passage we are instructed to pray in the Spirit, meaning with the help of the Holy Spirit. This made so much more sense when, through the understanding given to me by the Holy Spirit, I understood the Romans passage! Perhaps I should have quoted the relevant Scripture at the time to make this more clear and helpful to others.

    Praise God that his Holy Spirit dwells in all true believers and most certainly gives good spiritual gifts in accordance with the Father’s will. I feel most humbled to have the Holy Spirit at work in my life, helping me to better understand God’s powerful word, to discern false teachings from truth, and to grow in love and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a joy I gladly share with all of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. However, it would seem that you and I have a different understanding of baptism, spiritual gifts and how the fruit of the Holy Spirit manifests.

    Please let me encourage to you be very careful to test all spirits and spiritual experiences against the Scriptures, as we are commanded to do (e.g. 1 Thess 5:19-21). There are many deceiving spirits and counterfeit anointings out there (1 John 2:20-27). May the Lord richly bless you with discernment in your walk with him. Thank you again for your kind thoughts.

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