But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. (Acts 15:1-2, ESV)

There’s No Debate Anymore Over The Gospel?

Apprising Ministries has been among the online apologetics and discernment ministries keeping you apprised of Piper Warrengate as it continues to just simmer.  Unfortunately Dr. John Piper made some otherwise fragile associations within T4G even a bit more fragile with an ill-advised decision to bring in Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren for the Desiring God Conference 2010 as the keynote speaker. This is a follow-up to my last article Rick Warren Awards Purpose Driven Roman Catholics, where you see Warren giving a “healthy church award” to a Roman Catholic church.

This begs the question: Reformation theology, which Warren claims to hold [1], would say the Roman Catholic Church is apostate i.e. no longer Christian; how then, could one of its entities be a church, let alone healthy? And as I begin, first I’ll point you to AM and CRN correspondent Jim Luppachino of Watcher’s Lamp who adequately describes what bothered me personally about Dr. Piper’s defense of his decision. In Piper & Warren: Pride, Priests & Purpose Luppachino writes:

In 2005, Warren’s Southeast Asia PD node reported on the roll out of PD to Roman Catholic churches in the Philippines… Also in 2005, Catholic Online.com featured this press release: Purpose Driven Church “Goes Catholic”

The Purpose Driven Church will—for the first time ever—be bringing their evangelical message of living out God’s five purposes to a Catholic Church: Holy Family Parish in Inverness, Illinois. …Each day’s session begins at 9 a.m., and will be delivered by Pastor Bret Schrock of the Purpose Driven Ministries. (Online source)

Luppachino first quotes a significant statement by Dr. Piper from his video defense of his decision to grant a DG 2010 forum to Rick Warren; and then, he asks a couple of critical questions:

“I… I’m uh… I’m uh… I need … I’m gonna need help to know why I should feel bad about this decision.”- John Piper defending his decision to invite Rick Warren to Piper’s Desiring God conference.

Does John Piper feel bad about the millions of people trapped in the false religious system known as Roman Catholicism? Does he feel bad that Rick Warren helps Roman Catholics remain trapped in Catholicism? (Online source)

Being that we’re both former Roman Catholics there’s a common bond; however, Luppachino has also been through one of the PDC hostile church takeovers. For this is precisely what they are; it devastated the local church he and his family attended, and had significant negative impact upon his family as well. The point being, he speaks firsthand. And following, you’ll see more evidence that Rick Warren, arguably the most influential pastor in the SBC—itself the largest “Protestant” denomination in the US, literally had a section of the Purpose Driven Church website dedicated to Purpose Driven Catholics.

Back in 2007, e.g. in Southern Baptist Pastor Rick Warren Is Openly Promoting Apostate Roman Catholicism I talked about that section of the PDC website devoted to Purpose Driven Catholics. Again, because webpages and links concerning Rick Warren are very apt to suddenly vanish unexpectedly, I point out that what you’ll see here below in this post has already been stored via hard copy on file at AM. Now as you click on that above link for PD Catholics you’ll be taken to a section, which at the top of the page, you’ll see was called Catholics; this section itself extended from Purpose Driven Denominations.

In other words, the “helpful links” we’ll be discussing below were for people in the Purpose Driven Christian denomination called Catholics; and this, yet again, is Warren professing to believe one thing and actually doing something else. So as I answer Dr. Piper’s request for “help to know why I should feel bad about this decision” I’ll tell you that the above would place Rick Warren, at the very least since it concerns a matter as central to the historic Christian faith as the Gospel of Jesus Christ, right here in Scripture — he is a double-minded man, which then makes him unstable in all his ways (James 1:8).

Personally, I also think a strong case concerning Rick Warren can also be made that he’s found in James 4:4 as well because he — wishes to be a friend of the world. That wouldn’t be a good place to be; perhaps the best book biblically exposing the serious errors of Purpose Driven Warrenism is Redefining Christianity: Understanding The Purpose Driven Movement by Bob DeWaay, pastor of Twin City Fellowship and head of the fine work Critical Issues Commentary. While discussing Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. Plan [2] DeWaay tells us “the centerpiece of his reformation” of deeds not creeds “is the P.E.A.C.E. plan.”

Warren’s Actions with Purpose Driven Catholic Repudiate The Solas Of The Reformation

DeWaay is right when he says that these problems, or so-called “five giants” i.e. world problems which “will be the new mission of the church,” are “couched [by Warren] in terms the world would accept as true needs.” [3] DeWaay then gives us the following from Myths of the Modern Megachurch at The Pew Forum which demonstrates well Warren’s Scripture-twisting to fit his man-centered agendas:

And we’ve actually created what we call clinic-in-a-box, business-in-a-box, church-in-a-box, and we are using normal people, volunteers. When Jesus sent the disciples – this will be my last point – when Jesus sent the disciples into a village he said, “Find the man of peace.” And he said, “When you find the man of peace you start working with that person, and if they respond to you, you work with them.

If they don’t, you dust the dust off your shoes; you go to the next village.” 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. (Online source)

After putting Warren’s use of Luke 10:5-6 back into its proper biblical context, that one cannot be a “son of peace” in the Hebrew understanding of peace if he doesn’t believe in the Messiah, pastor DeWaay then zeroes right in on Warren’s religious pluralism:

let us return to Warren’s statement: “They don’t have to be 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.” This is not even close to what Luke 10:5,6 are about. The mission was the announcement of Messianic salvation; the kingdom was near (Luke 10:9) in the Person of the Messiah, the rightful King.

The “son of peace” was not a person willing to cooperate to solve the world’s problems, but a person who was willing to embrace the Prince of Peace on His terms. Muslims reject the claims of the gospel forthrightly. So how can a Muslim be the “son of peace” simply because he is influential and willing to attack illiteracy, sickness, world hunger, etc.? Furthermore, how can the church have a vaild “reformation” working with uncoverted Muslims to solve the world’s problems?

What he is proposing is a franchise system to solve problems so well designed that it will work whether those running it are Christian or not. It has to be that way because there are not a billion truly regenerate Christians in the world. The foot soldiers for the “gospel” will consist of many pagans! [4]

Now we arrive at a key point: Rick Warren’s apparent willingness to compromise the Christian Gospel in order win the approval of men and to be a friend of, and to be at peace with, the world. A case in point would be his decidedly un-Reformed position concerning the Roman Catholic Church. I’ve already shown you one of the Purpose Driven Denominations, until sometime in 2008, was Purpose Driven Catholics. Scroll down the page and you’ll see Purpose Driven Catholics Helpful Links. The first one brings you to Saint Theresa of Avila Parish – The Mother Roman Catholic Church of Southeast Washington.

This Roman Catholic Church was named after the so-called “Christian” mystic and Carmelite nun Teresa of Avila a queen of corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism. We’re told at its website that “Father” Ray East is the “grandson of Baptist missionaries to South Africa,” and further, he’s also “served in six Washington parishes before being named director of the Office of Black Catholics and Vicar for Evangelization.” [5] So we see that Rick Warren was actually providing, as a helpful link to Purpose Driven Catholics, one to the church for the Vicar for Evangelization in the Office of Black [Roman] Catholics.

 Next is the link to Living with purpose, a Chicago Tribune article by Patrick Kampert. Under the subheading A broad reach we find out that:

The enthusiasm for “The Purpose-Driven Life” can be found in mainline denominations and evangelical churches, in cities and suburbs. It also reaches across ethnic and cultural barriers. In the Chicago area, more than 200 churches are participating in “40 Days of Purpose” (some used it as a Lenten series).

Among them is St. Walter’s Catholic Church in Roselle, which had hoped 100 people would sign up for small home groups for the “40 Days of Purpose” program studying Warren’s book. Instead, 700 got involved… The parishioners meet and talk about serving others and establishing a sense of community in their [Roman Catholic] church. (Online source, emphasis mine)

Here Warren was helping people trapped within an organization that has anathematized the Gospel of Jesus Christ to establish “a sense of community in their [Roman Catholic] church.” Since the point is more than made, in closing this for now, I’ll simply point out that another link takes us to Catholic Courier of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, NY; and another one was to The Georgia Bulletin which we find out is:

the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, strives to inform, form, inspire, educate, and strengthen the religious identity of the members of the Catholic community of North Georgia by providing significant local Catholic news, information, columns, commentaries, and photographs, as well as national and international news related to the Church. (Online source)

Again, this page has since vanished into the vapors of the blogoshere; but as far as I’ve seen, there was no explanation as to why. It’s beyond question that Rick Warren embraces, in contradistinction to Reformation theology, the Roman Catholic Church as a legitimate expression of Christianity; and further, as being “in God’s family.” [5] However, we’re dealing with the Gospel itself here; this isn’t open to a matter of opinion. On one hand, we have all of the above, and yet Rick Warren says he believes in the 5 Solas of the Reformation; and in addition, Dr. John Piper has pronounced Warren “doctrinal and sound.”

Look at the reaction of the inspired Apostles in our opening text above concerning the Judaizers, who really weren’t all that much different than the Roman Catholic Church, when they added to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Reformers like Luther and Calvin clearly called the Roman Catholic Church apostate (and worse); and the reason why the Protestant Reformation cannot be undone is because it revolves around the doctrine of justification, the very heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ itself. And the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church concerning justification remains the same as it was at their Council of Trent.

Now earlier in Warrengate: Dr. James White On John Piper And Rick Warren I quoted some of Dr. White’s comments. Dr. White said that John Piper “takes on the mantle of a prophet; and he’s not afraid to tell you what he thinks, he’s very straight forward.” And while sharing his views the other day Adrian Warnock said that Dr. Piper “is a man of God who has been given a unique gifting and authority.” The bold was his by the way; and so from what I gather, it would appear there are those of a more charismatic bent who’re are saying that Dr. John Piper is somewhat uniquely in a prophetic office within the Body of Christ.

Ok; let’s roll along that way. So then here I will say, if  anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge the things I am writing—from the text of Bible itself—are the commands of the Lord as to what Dr. John Piper should do. He ought to immediately withdraw the invitation to DG 2010 from an obviously double-minded man attempting to be a friend of the world. Dr. Piper should then mark out Rick Warren according to Romans 16:17-18 as someone causing divisions and creating obstacles contrary to the doctrine that we have been taught; and certainly not give him a forum for his smooth talk and flattery.


1. As cited here: http://tinyurl.com/y6ovrpd, accessed 4/20/10.
2. The interested reader will find Part One of an in-depth 3 part expose of Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. plan here: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/05/peace-un.htm, accessed 4/20/10.
3. Bob DeWaay, Redefining Christianity: Understanding the Purpose Driven Movement [Springfield: 21st Century Press, 2006] , 202.
4. Ibid., 204.
5. e.g. see Desiring God 2010, John Piper, And Warrengate.

See also: