Time magazine has joined the ranks of Christian and secular media that are reporting this week on Rick Warren’s new PEACE Coalition. The article, titled “Rick Warren Goes Global,” says that Warren is “perhaps the most important voice in contemporary American Evangelical Christianity,” and that Warren is hoping to “take his ‘brand’ [of spirituality] to the ends of the earth.” Warren told Time (who was invited to the by-invitation-only conference) that this was “the most important conference” of his life, and he was extending participation in the PEACE Coalition to “the wider Evangelical community.”
Calling the PEACE Coalition a “plan of epic ambition,” Time says Warren hopes to turn tens of millions of Christian churches “into a giant ‘network of networks'” to fight world “poverty and misery.” Warren anticipates that the conference will result in large numbers of churches joining the PEACE plan and could end up with over 200,000 “PEACE missionaries.” He hopes this will put his program at the “forefront of the missionary field.”
The article admits that Warren “offered” the 1700 pastors and leaders who attended his conference last week “few details of the plan.” Nevertheless, “the response of the pastors was enthusiastic.” “I knew they were already on board,” Warren confidently stated to Time. Others who endorsed the Coalition were Billy Graham, George and Laura Bush, Bono, and John McCain. In addition, Warren said “he’s already secured personal commitments from influential leaders in the Salvation Army and the Assemblies of God.”
According to the article, Warren’s plan will be “extremely complicated and possibly controversial.” But these areas of complicity and controversy are not discussed. It states that “the PEACE program is an attempt to radically re-engineer Evangelicalism’s huge missionary culture.”
At the conference, Warren explained that this vision of his could take 50 years, and he hopes to see the “next generation” bring it to fruition calling them “the reformation generation.” When Time says that “Warren has passed the point of no return,” we are reminded of Warren’s earlier statements years ago that he will do “whatever it takes” to bring about what he calls “a new reformation.”
For those who read the Time article and are not familiar with Rick Warren’s previous statements and teachings, Warren’s reformation may appear to be a biblically-based reformation, one that represents the Christian church, caring about the poor and needy. But Warren has defined this “new reformation” and how he intends to “re-engineer” the Christian faith. For instance, when Warren spoke at the Pew Forum on Religion in 2005, he told the audience that his new Christian reformation would include those from other faiths (in particularly Muslims). So when Warren talks about extending his vision to “the wider Evangelical community,” this is an inaccurate remark because Warren has intended for that extension to include people of all faiths, as well as people of no faith and as well as those practicing homosexuality:
Who’s the man of peace in any village – or it might be a woman of peace – who has the most respect, they’re open and they’re influential? They don’t have to be a Christian. In fact, they could be a Muslim, but they’re open and they’re influential and you work with them to attack the five giants. And that’s going to bring the second Reformation. – Rick Warren, May 2005, Pew Forum on Religion
In an interview in August 2006 with Charlie Rose, Warren stated that we don’t have to have the same religion or moral beliefs to work with people on poverty, disease, etc. As an example he said he just met with the President of the gay-activist group ACT UP, and asked him, “Eric [Sawyer], how can I help you get your message out?” Sawyer answered, “Use your moral authority.” Warren then said to Rose, “I’m working with these guys … I’m looking for a coalition of civility, which means let’s get back to the original meaning of tolerance.”
Not only will Warren’s PEACE plan for a new reformation include Muslims and gays, it will also include those with New Age propensities. Just this month, Warren hosted a Small Groups Conference in which New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet was a featured speaker. Sweet’s spirituality is unveiled in his book Quantum Spirituality where he says he resonates wholeheartedly with New Age mystics (like Matthew Fox and Ken Wilber) and says that we can help people find their “christ-consciousness” through small groups. Warren has promoted Leonard Sweet for many years and clearly continues to do so with virtually no response or critique from Christian leaders around the world.
Without question, Warren’s reformation will include mysticism. He stated that very precisely many years ago in his first book, Purpose Driven Church, when he said the Spiritual Formation movement (via Richard Foster) would be a wake up call to the church and will bring the church to a full maturity. This makes sense given the fact that Warren’s 20 year plus mentor was Peter Drucker who had mystical propensities.1
Finally, Warren’s new reformation will also include the emerging church. Roger Oakland has documented this fact in his landmark book, Faith Undone, showing Warren’s continued participation and efforts in helping the emerging church become that next “reformation generation.”
While Rick Warren continues to receive magnificent support by the biggest names in both religion and secularism, and unrelenting media coverage, silent church leaders play their part in this paradigm shift as well. By refusing to defend the Christian faith against those who present a non-biblical plan for peace and reformation, they will share in the responsibility of the outcome, which is mass delusion and far too many unsaved souls.
Perhaps it is true, as Time magazine states, that Rick Warren has passed the point of no return. Only the Lord knows that. But it is not too late for Christian believers to turn back to the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ and warn a world in darkness that there is no light in any of these other belief systems. Eternal life comes only through repenting and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord by faith through His grace. A reformation that unites Islam, emerging spirituality, the New Age, mysticism, and homosexuality is a reformation that will only lead to spiritual death. And as the Bible states, our efforts to save the body (from hunger, poverty, and disease) will be in vain if the soul is neglected and not born-again.
Let us ask ourselves, would the Apostle Paul form a coalition and work with the followers of the goddess Isis or the god Jupiter to improve the lot of the poor and needy and call it a movement of God! Rather, he admonished: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing” (II Corinthians 6:17). While it is right and moral to help the poor and the sick, trying to establish a godly movement while incorporating that which is not a part of the kingdom of God simply cannot be done.
Quotes by Rick Warren
“We come into this Peace Plan with great humility … We will be like a giant mushroom expanding and exploding around the world. Whatever it takes, it will be a holy moment.”-Christian Examiner, 2005
“You’ve heard me say many times that the greatest thing you can do with your life is tell somebody about Jesus … if you help somebody secure their eternal destiny, that they spend the rest of their life in Heaven not Hell …your life counts, your life matters because nothing matters more than helping get a person and their eternal destiny settled. They will be forever eternally grateful….And I’ve always said that that was the greatest thing you can do with your life. I was wrong. There is one thing you can do greater than share Jesus Christ with somebody, and it is help start a church.”- Sermon from 11/2003 when Rick Warren Announced His Global Peace Plan to Saddleback. Hear entire sermon – This portion starts around the 14 minute mark.)
“Personal computers have brand names. But inside every pc is an Intel chip and an operating system, Windows,” Warren says. “The Purpose Driven paradigm is the Intel chip for the 21st-century church and the Windows system of the 21st-century church.”- Christianity Today, Oct. 2005 in talking about his global peace plan.