Looking to the Past to Unravel Confusion About Rick Warren, Islam, and Warren’s All-Inclusive “Second Reformation”
A recent Orange County Register news story titled “Rick Warren builds bridge to Muslims” has caught the attention of many people including several online news sources. The story resulted in a rebuttal by Rick Warren, denying the allegations the article made. For those who are trying to figure out what Rick Warren’s true beliefs are regarding Muslims and Christians uniting, we think the best way to unravel the confusion is to take a look at the past. There are a number of telling statements that Rick Warren has made over the past seven years that paint a very clear picture of Warren’s goals regarding this issue.
It might be wise to remember Rick Warren’s own words in 2005 at the Pew Forum on Religion when he said the following:
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.1 (full transcript)
For those who think this might have just been a slip of the tongue, Rick Warren reiterated these thoughts in 2006 when he was interviewed by acclaimed interviewer and broadcast journalist Charlie Rose. This interview showed very clearly Warren’s dream to see Christians and Catholics join together, stating that “minor doctrinal differences” should not keep them separated. “What I am interested in is bringing the church together … we are never going to agree on a lot of things, but I found we do agree on purpose.” He talked about the purposes that all Catholics and Protestants agree on. But Warren took his ecumenism a step further than just a union of Catholics and Protestants. As Warren did at the Pew Forum on Religion in 2005, he explained to Charlie Rose his “man of peace” concept and said that every village, every government, every place has a man (or woman) of peace: “The man of peace is open and influential … and here’s the other thing, the man of peace does not have to be a Christian believer … could be Muslim, could be Jewish.” So what Warren said in 2005 about the Muslim “man of peace” who could help bring about the “second reformation” he still believed in 2006 with Charlie Rose.
Warren elaborated to Rose more about his inclusive vision for world peace. He told Rose that Jesus sent out his disciples to go find the man of peace in every village. He said Jesus sent them out to find people who would work with them on solving poverty, sickness and the other problems of the world. (He said that they did not have to agree with the disciples message or beliefs.) In the same vein, Warren said 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 told Rose 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.”2 (watch interview between Charlie Rose and Rick Warren– this interview was still online when we posted this article in March 2012. By January 2013, it was gone.)
Lighthouse Trails has been studying Rick Warren’s teachings and comparing them with Scripture for 10 years. He has consistently taken Scripture out of context. His “man of peace” view is one example of his serious distortions of what Scripture actually says. Jesus told his disciples to go out and call people to repentance whereas Warren is suggesting that we are to ignore our differences (including moral differences) and work together for peace. Peace was not a goal that Jesus gave the disciples but rather was a blessing the disciples could give to a house that received their message:
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. (Matthew 10:5- 15)
While we, as Christians, should certainly treat our fellow man with respect and kindness, how can we say that those of a religion that rejects that Jesus Christ is God, that He is the only Savior of the world, and that only those who name the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will be saved, will help bring about a second reformation? When Rick Warren talks of a second reformation, clearly, he is referring to the first reformation that took place over 500 years ago. Roger Oakland talks about Warren’s “second” reformation in Faith Undone:
[U]nlike the first reformation, led by those who defended the truth of God’s Word, Warren’s reformation is of a different nature . . . Rather than Jesus Christ being the focal point of this ecumenical spiritual body, all that it requires is a common cause. . . .Warren’s all-inclusive church includes a broad spectrum of believers with a common cause. . . . . Rick Warren’s reformation . . . will include Catholics, Muslims, and homosexuals—a combination hardly similar to the 16th century reformation. (pp. 149-151)
At the Pew Forum on Religion in 2005, Rick Warren said this about a new reformation:
You know, 500 years ago, the first Reformation with Luther and then Calvin, was about beliefs. I think a new reformation is going to be about behavior. The first Reformation was about creeds; I think this one will be about deeds. I think the first one was about what the church believes; I think this one will be about what the church does. The first Reformation actually split Christianity into dozens and then hundreds of different segments. I think this one is actually going to bring them together.
We can see why Rick Warren would be bothered that the first reformation “split Christianity.” (He forgot to mention how many believers were murdered by the Catholic Church for splitting.) At the Pew Forum, Warren said “I would encourage you to look at this evolving alliance between evangelical Protestants and Catholics, particularly in the evangelical wing of Catholicism.” And in the Charlie Rose interview, Warren states there are over 2 billion Christians in the world, saying that this number includes hundreds of millions of Catholics. So given his view that this “second” reformation will fix all those splits (basically the birth of Protestantism), it shouldn’t really be too surprising that he would want to see Muslims as part of the second reformation as well as Catholics. And we need to understand that such an alliance is warned about in Scripture as a one-world religion that will help set up the platform for the Antichrist.
After the Orange County Register article came out in February, Rick Warren issued a rebuttal saying that the OC article was way off. But all one needs to do is look back to 2005 and 2006 and see exactly what Rick Warren intends and hopes for. And we shouldn’t forget 2007, when Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and other Christian Leaders invited Muslim leaders to share “Common Love for God.” You can read that document at the Yale University website here. And a list of some of the evangelical signers here. So, as a continuation of Warren’s comments in 2005 and 2006, in 2007 he continues on the ecumenical slide of apostasy (in the name of good deeds).
Some of you might remember when Rick Warren went to Syria in 2006. While walking down a street, he was video taped saying some very shocking things. The recording ended up on YouTube but was removed quickly when a conservative Christian news agency wrote about it. We bring this up in this report for two reasons, one to show another example of Warren’s efforts to bring about an ecumenical, all religions-together “reformation; and two, to show another example of how Rick Warren says and does things, then quickly backtracks and says, I didn’t really mean that but all along keeps moving down the one-world religion highway. In our article in 2006, “Mr. Warren . . . Excuses, Excuses,” talking about his trip to Syria, we stated:
Warren said that Christians and Muslims live peacefully together in Syria. He added, and I quote: “The official government role [in Syria] and position is to not allow any extremism of any kind.” But what about Syria’s extremism against Israel? Nor did Warren mention any co-existence between Muslims and Jews in Syria. And he did not mention Syria’s hostility towards Israel and threats, that if ever carried out, Israel would be no more.
By the way, if you go to that article link above (Excuses, Excuses), you can listen to a short clip of the YouTube video that was quickly removed. Yet, even though we have that proof, Rick Warren issued a defense statement shortly after, blaming “bloggers” for “inaccuracies, misquotes, and misperceived motivations.” (How many times have we heard him say that!) It is worthwhile to note that those whom Rick Warren refers to as “bloggers” include many reputable and long standing ministries and organizations, some of which are news agencies, radio ministries, discernment ministries, and publishing companies. The implication in using the term “bloggers” is that there is no credibility or stability thus they should be ignored. One of those news agencies that challenged Warren about his comments while in Syria in 2006 was WorldNetDaily. President of WND, Joseph Farah, wrote an article titled “Rick Warren on Syria – “A Moderate Country.” Farah states:
“Now, keep in mind, [Rickl] Warren has been telling the world he was misquoted by the Syrian press when he extolled the virtues of the totalitarian police state.” But before anyone questioned his statements, Warren’s Saddleback Church had recorded him as he strolled down a Damascus street explaining what a peaceful and tolerant place Syria really is. As soon as I hotlinked to the YouTube video last week and questioned Rick Warren about it, the church yanked it. I didn’t have time to download a copy, but, thankfully, one johnny-on-the-spot talk-show host did. . . .
Warren moves into this Muslim-Christian brotherhood sophistry. The only way Christians get along with Muslims in an officially Muslim country is by accepting the role in Islam known as “dhimmi.” Think of the dhimmi life as religious apartheid. It’s a good analogy. Christians are not free to evangelize Muslims. In a civil dispute between a Muslim and a Christian, the Christian’s word is worth less than nothing. . . . Rick Warren seems to want to be everything to everyone. He seems to want to please the whole world – everyone, that is, except the voiceless victims of tyranny, anti-Christian persecution and anti-Jewish bigotry in Syria. (click here to here audio of Rick Warren in Syria)
Rick Warren has been working hard for a long time on bringing about a new reformation. He told Larry King once it was one of his life’s goals. There has been no indication that he has changed his mind on this. So while you may see him take two steps forward and one step backward in order to cover his tracks, remember he is moving forward as are other key emerging new spirituality figures today. Rick Warren said (quoting Jesus in Luke 9: 62 out of context) in his best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life (pp. 285-286), that those who get distracted thinking about Bible prophecy regarding Christ’s return are not fit for the kingdom of God. Perhaps his attitude regarding the second coming of Christ has affected his views about an all-inclusive global religion. But one thing is for sure, Rick Warren’s “second” reformation is something Bible believing Christians should steer clear of, remaining faithful until He comes for His bride.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.(II Peter 1:19)
Rick Warren Doublespeak by Steve McConkey
Newspaper Catches Rick Warren Fibbing by Dave Tombers (WND)
Chrislam – Another New Kind of Interspiritual “Christianity” by Mike Oppenheimer
Purpose-Driven Terrorism by Mark Tooley (FrontPageMag)