I love reading articles like this one from the watchdoggie blogs. Once again, they have to dig pretty deep for new material to keep their tabloid headlines fresh. First they accuse Rick Warren of “boasting of the grand success of Saddleback.” Of course if Johnny Mac was to write an article about his mega church successes, it wouldn’t be boasting at all, right? Then they attack these five tools Saddleback uses to develop spiritual maturity within their community of faith.

1. Commitment cards

2. Classes based on the purposes

3. Covenants

4. Small groups

5. Campaigns

This website follows up this list with the following response

Whats strangely missing from Warren’s steps is the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the Gospel, denial of self, sacrifice, repentance and on and on. In other words, whats missing here is any mention what God’s Word says about maturing as a Christian. Sadly what you can find is Rick Warren’s self-serving, man-pleasing purpose driven lie.

I’m sure that Saddleback does not allow any of those topics to be discussed in their classes. I bet they only discuss how to sit correctly in their comfy chairs and make the perfect latte… nothing about the trinity or the gospel. Also, I am almost positive that I read somewhere that Saddleback forbids their small groups to open the scriptures in their studies (specifically banning the topics of repentance and denial of self). Above all… they would never discuss biblical principles like – oh, say… worship, evangelism, discipleship, missions and fellowship within the five contexts given.

Come on guys… is it really that difficult to find legit material?

**UPDATE**

The author over at Slice decided to chime in with this

This column from Rick Warren on how his church develops spiritual maturity goes a long way in explaining what’s wrong with Purpose-Driven churches. After reading the Saddleback strategy of using “commitment cards”, small groups, “purpose” classes, signed covenants and campaigns, it is clear that spiritual maturity in the mind of Rick Warren is a matter of getting followers to jump through programmatic hoops, not intense study and discipleship rooted in the Word of God.

incredible! Especially after the comment by Dan here showing what Saddleback teaches just in their membership manual.  I really think it is time that “research” be taken out of these guys web names.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, August 26th, 2007 at 10:39 pm and is filed under Linked Articles, Mike Corley, ODM Responses, ODM Writers, PD/SS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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11 Comments(+Add)

1   Dan    
August 27th, 2007 at 3:11 am

Whoever made those statements about Saddleback, have sadly not ever looked at what Saddleback actually teaches. If anyone wanted to take the time to actually read Saddlback’s basic membership class notes and what they teach people, they would find statements in their membership manual such as these below taken directly from them:

“God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: 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)

“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 people 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 someday 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″

“(Jesus said), “I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God’s power within us. So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right. (Phil. 2:13, Eph. 5:18)”

“The Bible is God’s Word to us. 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 the 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″

“”All of us like sheep have gone astray and each of us have turned to his own way.” Today we’d say, “All of us have gone astray and everybody’s done their own thing.”

“If we say we never sin we’re only fooling ourselves and we refuse to accept the truth.”

Isaiah 59 says “The trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God.” Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and fall short of God’s glorious ideal.” When it says “all”, does that include Billy Graham? Yes. The pope? Yes. Everybody in this room? Yes. We have all sinned.”

“People say, “I believe about God.” So does the devil. He knows there’s a God but you’re not going to find him in heaven. So what’s the difference. It means to believe in Christ. God did this for us because He loves us and wants us to know Him. “God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were still separated from God by sin, Christ died for us.” God is on the one side and all the people are on the other side and Christ Jesus is between them to bring them together by giving His life for all mankind. God has already done His part to restore our relationship to Him. He took the initiative. He came to earth. now He waits for each of us to individually accept what He’s done.”

“Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved.

Heaven is a perfect place. We’re imperfect. There’s not a chance in a zillion you’re ever going to get to go there on your own good works. You’ll never be good enough. So God came to earth in the form of Jesus Christ.”

“People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally 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 real places of eternal existence.

John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18;
Revelation 20:15; 1 Cor. 2:7-9″

I sure wish people would check out things, before making statements that aren’t accurate.

2   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 27th, 2007 at 6:13 am

And this is where I find myself in no man’s land. I completely disagree with Warren’s overly pragmatic approach that remains extremely successful in drawing people, but the spiritual depth remains suspect. That assessment is based upon reading his books and being involved with people who have gotten involved with the PDL.

But then again I disagree with people who would visciously label him and even question his motives and salvation. He does some great work with AIDS in Africa and other humanitarian efforts, so to dismiss him as a Satanic agent is absurd.

And the mocking and dismissive way in which the discernment blogs attack everything he does is not only a lazy way to confront something, it is unchristian. Use Scripture, dissect what you may question, and present a Scriptural, cojent, and understandable presentation of why you feel something is shallow and doesn’t fully represent Biblical truth.

As I said before, mocking and disdain is unchristian and lazy.

3   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 27th, 2007 at 6:29 am

Nathan – As far as boasting is concerned between the strict orthodox and the purpose crowd and the seeker people and the emergent camp – I’m declaring it a four way tie!

Of course I don’t fall into any of those narrow groups so I can personally and accurately discern boasting from a vantage point of humility!

4   Chris P.    
August 27th, 2007 at 9:05 am

Look up, he must be close at hand!!
I agree with Rick.
I find most of the anti-discernment bloggers-discernment bloggers also the ecm, to be excessively religious and prideful, to the point of elitism.

What I have found is that when you attempt to address things from scripture, most of those who support these “new moves of God” won’t even go there. Gives them too much of a headache, I guess.
That is the problem, as the scriptures that are used by these groups are, for the most part, not in context, or incomplete.
Warren is a pragmatist as Rick said and that makes him suspect. Please don’t tell me that Jesus was a pragmatist.
The focus of all that is post-modern is horizontal relationships.
The vertical is almost completely ignored. That is “discerned”
by the Holy Spirit through the Word.
We are not here to make God “accessible”.We are here to proclaim the one who is the access.

5   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 27th, 2007 at 9:49 am

As I said before, mocking and disdain is unchristian and lazy.

QFT

6   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 27th, 2007 at 10:08 am

OK, Chris P., where oh where did I go wrong?!

Blessings to you.

7   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
August 27th, 2007 at 10:11 am

What I have found is that when you attempt to address things from scripture, most of those who support these “new moves of God” won’t even go there.

INteresting. Because I’ve found the opposite to be true. The vast majority of posts written by watchdoggies contain no scripture whatsoever. The post this was written about being an example of that.

Warren is a pragmatist as Rick said and that makes him suspect. Please don’t tell me that Jesus was a pragmatist.

Alright then, how about Paul was a pragmatist then.

The focus of all that is post-modern is horizontal relationships.
The vertical is almost completely ignored.

No, the vertical isn’t almost completely ignored. Rather there is more emphasis put on the relationship between believers than there has been in the recent past. Some might say it has restored the relationship of believers to the proper place. When I read commands like “consider others better than yourself”, and “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” and I know that there are a lot of churches out there that need to focus on their horizontal relationships a little better. In fact, I think a good argument can be made (especially from the John 13 passage, as well as 1 John 3:10) that the horizontal relationships, and the vertical relationship are in direct ratio with each other, not in competition against each other.

8   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
August 27th, 2007 at 10:36 am

I find most of the anti-discernment bloggers-discernment bloggers also the ecm, to be excessively religious and prideful, to the point of elitism.

If this had been phrased “anti-discernment bloggers, discernment bloggers, and ecm bloggers” I could have easily pointed out the clear problem: they’re bloggers.

It takes a certain kind of pride and elitism to blog, since you assume anyone wants to read what you’ve written.

But back to the original…if these three are such, then which kind of Christian blog/blogger isn’t in danger of being “excessively religious and prideful”?

I have a theory that part of the problem is the blog itself, that when a writer decides something like “my blog is going to be about Rick Warren leading the world astray!” or “my blog is about truth in discernment!” it becomes incredibly limited and makes the blogger create mountains out of molehills just to keep the blog fresh. (Example: Apprising Ministries)

If the focus, however, isn’t one of such limiting format (maybe like “my blog is about living the Christian life” which opens it to a lot of stuff), the blogger does not have to always look for trouble and turn themselves into a complainer or nit-picker or some such thing.

I have started to think that the narrower the focus of the blog/blog ministry, the more detrimental it is to the Gospel of Christ.

9   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 27th, 2007 at 10:41 am

“It takes a certain kind of pride and elitism to blog, since you assume anyone wants to read what you’ve written.”

Not me…I am different.

10   Nathan    
August 27th, 2007 at 2:37 pm

Thanks Dan… it’s rediculous what these guys think and then publicize.

11   Russ N.    http://russ-ramblings.blogspot.com
August 27th, 2007 at 8:27 pm

I’ve really, really tried to stay away from the ODM websites/blogs and commenting…..but today I saw this as something too silly, too digging-deep not to comment on.

One of my comments did actually get through on Mike’s blog. There’s a second one that….well….probably won’t.

I asked Mike to hold Rick Warren to the same standard he held for himself in this posting where I do not see “the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the Gospel, denial of self, sacrifice, repentance and on and on” as mentioned in his critique of Rick Warren.