By Mike Oppenheimer
Let Us Reason Ministries
Commercialization is seen in nearly everything today (not just on TV or in magazines) presenting professional images to convince the public that particular products are superior. It can be a music group, a household good, a car, and even religion, church, or a ministry. In selling a product, image is everything as the advertisers make their appeal to the masses.
An example: Recently, a politician spoke of the state he was canvassing for the people’s vote, of how all their trees are the right height, and their streets are just right. Flattering people, giving them what they want to hear, is expected from politicians; but when it is heard from pastors and apologists, it can be a strong indicator that they are introducing something other than Christ. You know the people I’m talking about; they tell Christians what they like to hear, making their messages tailor made so the audiences will like them.
When one thinks of Christian commercialization in a church, the name that immediately comes to mind is Robert Schuller. He began by going door to door asking people what they wanted to see in church. And then there is Rick Warren, who’s been bearing “fruit” from the same tree as Schuller. Warren has been interviewed many times and spoken of faith as a worldview and about working with “different faiths.” When explaining his peace plan, he says: “It’s called the people of faiths, plural.”
On the surface, this seems pleasant to people and even commendable, except for one point – the Bible says there is only ONE faith. It was delivered exclusively to the saints (Jude 4-6). The Bible further explains that faith is not a “worldview” but an active willful trust in God and His Word, the Bible, and it centers around the person of Jesus Christ. So by a biblical definition there is no such thing as faiths. But to the world, this concept of unity among all faiths is more than acceptable.
It becomes a concern when one sees Rick Warren host apologetic conferences with those who have different concepts of faith. Saddleback’s 2010 Apologetics Weekend conference included: Philip Yancey, Peter Kreeft, and Scot McKnight. McKnight, Kreeft (not to mention Yancey) is what Warren considers apologetics? Yes, they are apologists, but is it for biblical Christianity? What are we to expect from someone (Warren) who believes he is building the kingdom of God on earth (through unity of all faiths) and hosts an “apologetics” conference? Click here to continue reading.