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The Social Gospel
Mega-churches are mushrooming in the United States. They are a place where people can go to 'feel good'. These deceptive, idolatrous temples provide entertainment for one and all. I call them "idolatrous" because they worship "another Jesus and teach another gospel" (2 Cor.11:4). BEWARE!!! It is of the devil!
TRUE ministers of God, of yesterday, used to deliver weekly sermons condemning and rebuking abortion, homosexuality, feminism, fornication, anti semitism, etc. BUT . . . many pastors today are now using the pulpit to preach the damnable word-faith heresy: name it, claim it gospel is unscriptural and FALSE! Prosperity gospel is unscriptural and FALSE! Jesus went to Hell and was tortured by the devil is unscriptural and FALSE! Everyone will eventually go to Heaven is unscriptural and FALSE! There absolutely a literal place called the Lake of Fire . . . Hell (Rev.20:15) and most people shall go there!
There are SO many falsehoods taught by these new, modern day preachers! And I believe Rick Warren heads the list, and he is the most influential preacher in the United States. Warren seems like the kind of down-to-earth type of guy you could walk up to on the street. He does NOT want to do anything to scare off any lost sheep, so he preaches only that which will tickle itching ears (2 Tim.4:3). In Isaiah's time there was the same problem! Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: (KJV) History does repeat itself, doesn't it? People do NOT want to hear the TRUTH! But, it it the Truth and only the Truth that can save their souls!
Warren founded Saddleback Church in 1980 in Orange County, but today it is an astonishing "mega-church." People go there to feel good and feel understood. Inside this vast temple are wall-to-wall video screens, camera crews and live band. It looks more like a concert hall than a place where people come to worship Almighty God!
A mega-church is supposedly a place of 'worship' (?) that draws more than 2,000 people each week. Today, there are more than 1,200 in the United States, about twice as many as in 2000. The rapid growth rate reveals that these modern 'cathedrals' are meeting a social need, and Saddleback is just one of many. The campus sprawls over 120 acres complete with direction signs. It has a cafe, a youth center, 2,250 parking spaces (with shuttle service), and a meandering man-made creek. Special greeters give churchgoers a firm Christian handshake as they enter. Six services are held here every weekend for the approximately 22,000 parishioners. And there's something for everyone - from classical music aficionados ("Traditions," 9 a.m. on Sundays) to rockers ("Overdrive," 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on Sundays, at a second on-site "worship venue").
Mega-churches use modern packaging to SELL religion. They desperately desire to appear as user-friendly, practical, authentic, and modern. The 'Christian' is the shopper. These mega-churches have learned much from shopping malls and big business. They pursue and persuade their target with entertainment, sophisticated technology, wall-to-wall ideas for success at home and at work, and a 'feel good' message that everything is fine.
Are these mega-churches a fresh start with God? Are these places where God really wants you to be? Think about it my friend!
Mega-churches SELL their Christian faith as the ONLY path to a better, happier life. And America is gobbling up this new brand of spiritual comfort food.
More than half of these churches, including Saddleback, define themselves as "evangelical".
SO . . . just what does "evangelical" mean? “Evangelical” does not mean what it used to mean. My opinion is that an evangelical is someone who believes the Bible and went to a church where the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached.
But, today, "evangelical' usually means the religious movements and denominations which sprung up from a series of revivals that swept the North Atlantic Anglo-American world in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Today's "evangelicals" believe and teach many other gospels and believe in and teach a different Jesus!
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (KJV) Many of today's churches call themselves "evangelicals," when in my humble opinion, they certainly are NOT! ANYONE preaching another Jesus and another gospel, have another spirit and that spirit is NOT from God!
“Fundamentalist” is a term that is frequently used in the news media these days.
Today the term fundamentalist has come to mean an aggressive style of passion . . . being separated from cultural corruption and apostate (liberal) churches . . . this being proof of being faithful to Christ (2 Cor.6:17).
One of the fastest growing divisions of the so-called "evangelical" movement is the Pentecostals. Their Oneness heresy to me is NOT evangelical! See our article: www.godcannotlie.org/f_falsehoods_oneness_heresy.htm
Over the past few decades, the "evangelical" movement has attracted increasing numbers of followers in the United States. Today they comprise about a quarter of the U.S. population. These professing born again Christians include President Bush, who had Rick Warren (false teacher) as an advisor. Bush's 2000 Democratic challenger Al Gore and former President Jimmy Carter have also supposedly been born again. Carter does not like Jews. HOW can he be born again? In a country where 80 percent of the population SAY they believe in God and nearly 60 percent say that they believe that the Great Tribulation, as predicted in the Book of Revelations, will actually happen, the belief in spiritual rebirth seems mainstream . . . BUT . . . is it? In my years as a teacher of the Bible and in prison ministry, I KNOW for a fact that MANY people PROFESS to be "Christian" but in fact, they do NOT POSSESS Christ in their heart. Big difference!
Rick Warren stays far away from divisive and "bad feeling" issues during his sermons. "I'm so tired of Christians being known for what they're against," says Warren. He preaches only a "social gospel" to make people feel good and feel welcome and not get a bad feeling. Jesus taught so much on Hell! See: Is There A Hell? See what He says!
It will not be long when TRUE evangelicals will no longer be recognizable. Using the Internet, Rick Warren alone reaches a multitude of churches that follow Saddleback's lead. Every year he holds workshops for thousands of budding preachers; he widely distributes sermons, teaching materials and advice. And his Purpose Driven Life bestseller has made him the talk of millions in Christian households. He is probably the biggest supposedly "Christian" mouthpiece that U.S. churches have ever produced. BUT . . . is GOD pleased with his efforts? Is GOD really happy with what he preaches and teaches?
Saddleback Church . . . Good? Or Bad? Warren says, "This is a world class church making a world class impact." He is absolutely right about the impact, but the sad part is that impact is NOT in any way encouraging faithfulness to God's Word.
Saddleback is associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, but Warren's "Purpose Driven" philosophy has spread to almost all denominations. Warren has vast influence. He has taught a multitude of pastors through his church growth seminars and far more through his books and videos. His influence reaches into every part of Christianity today, from Catholicism, to liberal Protestantism, to evangelicalism, to fundamentalist Bible and Baptist churches. Warren's teaching is transferred to the minds of these pastors who in turn transfer that false teaching to their congregations. BEWARE!
MANY independent Baptist churches are being influenced by Warren's teaching. The Saddleback church complex is huge. The main auditorium seats many thousands, and there are dozens of other buildings for different ministries. The mood of the services is extremely casual. People dress like they were going to a worldly sporting event. Women dress in shorts, short skirts, tight pants, and other kinds of immodest attire.
Music, no matter what style, volume, tempo, or instrumentation, CANNOT do, in any way what proclaiming the Word of God can do. If a sinner, bound for Hell, does not have any desire about the Word of God, there is NOT any song in the world that can save him. He might scream "JESUS ROCKS!" when the band stops playing . . . BUT . . . will he take up his cross and follow Christ when the music stops and the hard times come? NO! It is my humble opinion that many go to these "services" simply because of the rock and roll music.
Do these passion filled, music induced moments at Saddleback teach ANY obedience whatsoever to the Word of God? I simply CANNOT see how!
Everything about Saddleback is shallow, in my opinion. Check out the following statement on salvation: "Salvation is a gift from God to mankind. 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 we be saved from sin's penalty. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our life by faith." The Gospel of Jesus Christ is NOT actually given in that statement. There is NOTHING about Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection, NOTHING about His shed Blood and atonement. Sinners are exhorted to trust Christ, but this is NOT explained!
In chapter 7 of Warrens' Purpose Driven Life, “The Reason for Everything,” Warren tells his readers how they can become a Christian.
“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).
This is one of the most superficial and shallow “gospels” I have ever heard! There is NOT one thing here that would offend or convict the Pope or a Mormon in any way! It is NOT the Gospel that was preached in the book of Acts or Romans, but instead "another gospel" that is absolutely condemned by God's Holy Word! (2 Cor. 11:4).
Bible Versions? Saddleback uses many corrupt versions of the bible.
The Living Bible, The New Living Translation, The Message, The Today's English Version, and The Contemporary English Version are some used. Very few people carry Bibles. And the result is . . . people do NOT carefully check out the preaching (Acts 17:11).
Rick Warren avoids doctrinal controversy like a plague. He says: "I'm not going to get into a debate over the non-essentials. I won't try to change other denominations. Why be divisive?"
We NEED to be divisive! 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (KJV) God has commanded us to preach all of His Word and to "reprove, rebuke, exhort." IF we hear something, read something, and IF we are TRUE children of God, we will check it out with the Bible. IF the teaching is false . . . we are to reprove, rebuke, exhort! IF we come across a false teacher, we MUST expose them! We must fight aggressively against anything or person that is false. The Lord's apostles in their epistles contain strong and clear warnings about false teaching.
Paul often named the names of the false teachers. IF you do what they did, your ministry will cause divisions between those who are committed to the Truth and those who are following error. Paul did not try to avoid doctrinal controversy. The apostasy of our time is grave indeed! The Bible warns that just before the return of Christ, the apostasy will be almost complete. Today's preachers and teachers are obligated to be even more aggressive and more divisive than the apostles!
2 Timothy 4:3-4 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. (KJV)
Today's generation has extremely itching ears, BUT it refuses to hear the preaching of God's Word that plainly rebukes its sin and condemns its heresies. BUT, it will eagerly hear and take in all those soft-speaking teachers that are willing to be non-divisive and tickle ears with a positive-only, non-offensive message.
This same generation hates the uncompromising, plain-spoken, "old time" fundamentalist preaching, BUT they dearly love the preaching of Billy Graham and Rick Warren and Kenneth Copeland and Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer, etc. BEWARE!!!
Rick Warren claims that he has NOT compromised the Word of God with his principles and methods, that he has only modernized them. I cannot agree! In the Book of Acts and the Epistles, I see a DIFFERENT kind of Christianity, a DIFFERENT kind of church, than the one that Rick Warren has created. I absolutely reject Warren's Purpose-Driven methods and I warn anyone who has an ear to hear, to LISTEN . . . BEWARE of all these modern day, contemporary church gurus. Their "feel good" social gospel will lead you to Hell, no matter how good it sounds!
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For other web sites exposing Social gospel, see: