This article makes a strong case AGAINST
the social gospel trend which is sweeping through evangelicalism today:By Paul Proctor
July 30, 2008
OneNewsNow.com recently reported the following in an article by Jim Brown titled Interfaith "cooperation" at Saddleback:California mega-church pastor Rick Warren says Christians should not be reticent to work with Mormons, Muslims, Buddhists, and even atheists to cure societal problems.
In conjunction with the presidential forum he is hosting next month at Saddleback Church, Pastor Rick Warren will convene an interfaith meeting for 30 Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders "to discuss cooperation for the common good of all Americans."
Now I don't, for a minute, expect anyone outside the Body of Christ to appreciate the things of God, His sovereignty, His glory, His purpose, His Word or even the gospel. If you're a social worker - even a Christian working as a volunteer within a charitable, yet secular organization, you are to be commended for your service to society.
But the church was not established by Jesus Christ to partner with other world religions and beliefs to share God's glory with Allah, Joseph Smith, Buddha or Madeline Murray O'Hare. Neither were we called by Christ to bring their followers into the ministry with us. Those who have truly been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb ought to know better than this.
There is any number of popular preachers these days, both on and off TV, touting unbiblical notions to cheering crowds as if they were carrying out the Great Commission. Many of them, if not most, are convinced that their worldly success and the resulting fame and fortune they enjoy is evidence of God's approval and blessing.
The fanatical followers of these smooth talkers are so far from the truth and so taken by their preacher's voice, reasoning with them, even from the scriptures, is often like reasoning with an animal, which is why I believe Jesus said, in Matthew 7, verse 6: "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."
Have you ever tried to reason with someone's guard dog? He doesn't know right from wrong or truth from lie. He doesn't know or even care if his master is good or evil. All he knows is violence toward anyone who challenges the sovereignty and authority of the hand that feeds him.
It doesn't mean such followers should never hear the gospel - it just means, it is an exercise in futility to belabor the issue with someone in that state of mind. In such cases, I believe it is best to move on to others who are waiting and ready to receive the truth - someone who, in Matthew 10, Jesus called "worthy."
But then there are preachers like Rick Warren.
His theology gets so close to the truth without fully reaching it, many loyal followers find it difficult to discern the difference.
In Warren's ongoing attempt to scripturally justify his Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan to professing Christians - described in the OneNewsNow.com article as, "an effort to mobilize churches around the world to combat what he calls the five 'global giants' of spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, poverty, disease and illiteracy," Warren is quoted as saying this:"When Jesus sent his disciples out [Matthew 10]...he said, 'When you go into a village, you find the man of peace,' and he said, 'If he accepts, and he's open, and he's receptive and he's willing to work with you, you start your ministry there,'" says Warren. "[But Jesus] said, 'If you don't find the man of peace, you dust the dust off your shoes and you go to the next village [be]cause you can always find someone that's willing to work with you,"
If the 'man of peace' accepts what exactly?
If he's open to what exactly?
If he's receptive to what exactly?
If he's willing to work with you to do what exactly?
And exactly what kind of ministry are we talking about here?
Any Christian, guided by the Holy Spirit, who actually reads Matthew Chapter 10, instead of just listening to Warren describe and define it himself, ought to be able see that what Jesus sent and empowered His disciples to do at that particular time and place in history - and whom He specifically sent them to, is in no way even remotely related to what Warren is enlisting his followers to accomplish alongside Muslims, Mormons, Buddhists, Jews, atheists and presumably whomever will get onboard his P.E.A.C.E. train.
They are distinctly different agendas given to distinctly different groups of participants at distinctly different times in history for distinctly different purposes.
Pastor Warren is reportedly gathering bodies - any willing bodies - to help him "cure societal problems" for the "common good."
Jesus Christ, on the other hand, is gathering saved souls to a Kingdom not of this world for God's Glory.
Furthermore, in Matthew 10, Jesus empowered and commanded his disciples to go specifically to the "lost sheep of Israel" to cast out demons, raise the dead, miraculously heal sickness and disease and preach to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand - meaning salvation had come - not go and "cure societal problems."
It was to supernaturally demonstrate that prophecy had been fulfilled before the eyes of those who knew and understood it - that their long-awaited Savior had finally arrived. Jesus was sending His disciples out at that particular time, not to the Gentiles, nor to the Samaritans, but to Jews only who knew and understood the scriptures of old and were looking for His coming.Jesus did not send out just anyone who was willing to tag along to help "cure societal problems."If that's all He was attempting to accomplish in Matthew 10, He was a miserable failure because, from what the Bible teaches, society's problems continued long after the disciples returned and, in fact, got a lot worse - especially for followers of Jesus.
So all the healing, casting out of demons and raising of the dead was to reveal God's miraculous power and presence. All Warren will be demonstrating with his ragtag roundup is man's power and presence - meaning his global shindig is just another brotherhood of man campaign designed to bring everyone together under the big tent of tolerance, diversity and unity where certain absolutes and convictions from scripture will be left at the door in order to keep the P.E.A.C.E.
And just how does that glorify Almighty God or His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Who said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me?
It doesn't."Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds" - 2nd John 1: 9-11
That means we don't go into ministry with them either.
When the Christian church partners with Muslims, Mormons, Buddhists and atheists for a so-called "ministry," God is not glorified in the least because He will not share His glory with other gods.
In Acts 17:30 the Apostle Paul told those on Mars Hill who worshipped other dieties that "…the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent…"
The word "now" implies, since Jesus, the Living Word of God has come.
Well, Jesus is coming again and God still isn't winking.
So, if God isn't winking, why is Pastor Warren?
Did Jesus attempt to send out representatives from other religions and philosophies with His disciples in the 10th chapter of Matthew to help them with demonic spirits, miraculous healing, raising the dead and preaching?
Of course not!
Then why is Rick Warren trying to "unequally yoke" various world religions and even atheists into a social gospel "ministry" of good works?
Or, is he expecting them to help Christians proclaim Jesus Christ as the only way to eternal life?
If Pastor Warren is looking for some scripture reference to validate his Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan and upcoming sheep and goat gala, he'd better look somewhere other than Matthew Chapter 10."The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD…" - Proverbs 15:8