This is the final part of our look at this crucial question, and we have already seen more clearly the unbridgeable chasm between these two contrasting positions. We have also been looking briefly at some comments directed to me by Richard Abanes, a prominent member of Rick Warren’s Saddleback church, and therefore a good example of the fruit which is inevitably produced by his Purpose Driven psycho-theology. For those who may wonder why many of us who are pastor-teachers in our Lord’s Church are so critical of these Schuller–Hybels–Warren–CGM/PDL teachings (they are all from the same source), it’s because we understand the clear indication in the Spirit of the inherent risk and grave spiritual danger found in these man-centered seeker sensitive philosophies.

The Purpose Driven Smokescreen

If the Evangelical community wishes to have any real effect here in postmodern America, then we must come to see that an ecclesiology which is focused on man, will at best, create a superficial Christianity Lite (as MacArthur labeled it), and at its worst, will certainly deceive the never got converted “wish–I–were” followers of this sinner-friendly imaginary Jesus that it has indeed created. Why, even a secular rock group could see the problem when they wrote an ode to the New Age called – “Personal Jesus.” And as it is in the kingdom of the cults, so it is fast becoming in the fading postmodern Evangelical church here in this pagan nation, a figment of one’s own imagination simply cannot save anyone.

Now we will conclude our look at the fruit produced by the watered-down philosophies of Rick Warren’s overly seeker sensitive PDL, virtually taking every area of our Lord’s Church captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ (see–Colossians 2:8)–as exhibited by Richard Abanes, a very active member of Warren’s personal flock. As we do, I invite you to look closely at how the self-justifying flesh attempts to use “smoke and mirrors” to draw attention away from the actual principle that 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 is teaching. As opposed to the purpose driven “Christian,” the Christ-centered servant of the Lord humbles himself to the Word of God–whether he might initially agree with it or not–realizing the utter futility of attempting to argue with an infinite Intelligence! You might recall, that this approach didn’t work too well for Job.

Let us first refresh our memories as to exactly what these verses in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 do say:



What I had attempted to get Richard Abanes to see in particular was those first two verses–which would be verses 14 and 15–the concept being taught here that believers should not join together with unbelievers, and that the lives each of them would be leading truly should have nothing in common. At least that’s the idea they would certainly appear to teaching as we read them literally. But, oh no says Abanes:

RESPONSE: See above response to SILVA#49. Additionally, I must mention how Silva has once again ripped a biblical passage out of context (also see SILVA#10 for another example). He erroneously has applied 2 Corinthians 6:15 to listening to music. But forms of recreation are not at all what this verse is covering. It cannot be applied to one’s choices of music, movies, beverages, clothes, hairstyles, or sports.

In context, 2 Corinthians 6:15 deals with a Christian who has gotten himself/herself personally bound to an unbeliever in some kind of relationship/fellowship—usually in a way that is immoral (or at least heading in that direction). Verse 14 plainly states: “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness.” The clear issue is entering into some sort of relationship or binding union with an unbeliever—not listening to secular music, wearing clothes/jewelry popular among unbelievers, going to PG-13 or R-rated movies, playing video games, drinking alcohol in moderation, having long hair, or playing violent sports like boxing. (

The Two-Edged Sword Of Our Master

We’ll return to this discussion, but first I must reiterate what transpired in bringing all this about in the first place. I had reminded brother Abanes that these verses in question do have a spiritual application to the subject of music, or whatever the reason may be that the believer decides to be yoked together with an unbeliever. Before we return to finish our brief look at what Abanes would say in response to my attempt to teach him the intrinsic danger spiritually when opening oneself up to the types of influences found in the music he listens to “on a regular basis,” we’ll need to quickly cover a couple of things that are often misunderstood in the confused contemporary Christian Church here in this timidly tepid generation. The first of which would be an error in hermeneutics that is actually quite common today. A somewhat wooden application of a Bible passage or verse, which then leads to a kind of “letterism,” that has come about largely through a reaction to the gross excesses of a supposed freedom in the Spirit to spiritualize verses of Scripture, which we have seen in so much of the Pentecostal and Charismatic camps over the years. However, just because there are those who will misuse the concept of freedom, should we then make all men captive to the state? Of course not, we will try and educate them not to abuse their freedoms.

We can rather easily correct this misunderstanding by a proper view of Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. The King James Version says – For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. And so we must ask ourselves again: Does God the Holy Spirit ever say something in the Bible just to say it? Of course not. So, what does our Lord mean when He tells us that Holy Scripture is a double-edged or two-edged sword? At the risk of being branded a “mystic,” the truth is–in spite of Satan’s misrepresentation of New Testament Christianity through heretical groups like the Emergent Church–the Bible not only has an historical application, but for those who have ears to hear, many times there is also a spiritual meaning for us today in this Age of God’s Grace as well. And we might refer to this as the “other side” of the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

However, what must always be preached carefully–and with unmistakable clarity is this: Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation (2 Peter 1:21). We must always zealously be on our guard against “spiritualizing” meanings into the Bible that we’d prefer the Holy Scriptures to have. And this is why 1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells the Christian – Test everything. Hold on to what is good. Space doesn’t allow a full discussion of this controversial topic here, but suffice to say that when we interpret the Bible we must always first take into account what the words mean in their historical context. This is what we call the primary meaning of a verse or passage of Scripture. Then as God the Holy Sprit may open the true believer in Christ’s understanding–and without fail only within the context of what the classic historic orthodox Christian faith–that was once for all entrusted to the saints (they already had it see–Jude 3) has always taught, we might then be led to see the other “side” of the two-edged sword of our Master.

Again, just because there are so many who have turned this freedom backward, this is not a reason for us to “throw the baby out with the dirty bathwater,” so to speak. However, let me make this as clear as I possibly can, words in the Scriptures must mean exactly what textbooks and dictionaries define them to mean, or we have simply lost all ability to communicate. Those of us who have spent much time witnessing to Mormons in particular know precisely what I’m talking about! And you must remember that God decided to make mankind as propositional beings with the ability to relate to Him personally when we are born again. Now, we are aware that we can use words to convey ideas to each other, and since God chose to communicate with us, then He would have to use words that do have actual meaning, which we could then understand. Does that make sense? And because our Lord–is Spirit (see–John 4:24) and dwells within the true regenerated Christian, then as Jesus of Nazareth tells us – His worshipers must worship in spirit – [experientially inside ourselves] – and in truth – [through the written Word of God]. As much as some on the more extreme side of Fundamentalism would like this verse to go away, it remains that the indwelt child of God must also cultivate our relationship with Him spiritually, as well as through the diligent study of what our Lord has revealed to us about Himself in the Bible.

And then finally on this subject, we do know this for absolute certain: God will never reveal some “new truth” that contradicts what the Bible actually says, and hence the reason that I will tirelessly preach what follows: Read the Bible for yourselves! And then find a good teacher–one has been called by Christ–to instruct you in your local church–sheep need a shepherd. Satanic deceptions (aka “doctrines of demons”) like the Purpose Driven Life and the Emergent Church can only thrive when God’s people are ignorant of the true gifts our glorious Lord has permanently given to the Body of Christ until He returns. Keeping all that I have just said in mind, now you can correctly understand the amazing truth that the Apostle John reveals in 1 John 2:20 – But you – [dear Christian] – have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. This anointing for the truly regenerated is God the Holy Spirit. Do you remember now what Christ Jesus tells us through this same Apostle John – you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you (John 14:17), and further John reminds us that Jesus of Nazareth told him – He will guide you into all truth (John 16:13). This is one of the reasons the Church teaches that the true Christian has a personal relationship with God–a Being of spirit Who dwells within the regenerated believer.

Which now brings us around to the other problem we consistently run into today, and that’s the inherent pride firmly rooted in mankind anyway–and that has been so elevated to a pedestal by this arrogant American culture–leading to an such unteachable attitude. This is one of the huge problems being overlooked in all the discussion swirling about the whole seeker sensitive and purpose driven doctrines (read: traditions) of the modern Church Growth Movement. PDL plays exactly to this selfish pride in man, and in a moment you will see yet another example of this from Richard Abanes as he further dialogues with me. But first, these words from A.W. Tozer sum up the heart of this matter:

True Christianity deals with the human problem of the self-life, with the basis matter of “me, myself, and I.” The Spirit of God deals with it by an intolerant and final destruction, saying, “This selfish I cannot live if God is to be glorified in this human life.”

God Himself deals with this aspect of human nature–the sum of all our proud life–and pronounces a stern condemnation upon it, fully and completely rejecting it.

And what does God say about it? “I am God alone, and I will have nothing to do with man’s selfish ego, in which I find the essence of rebellion and disobedience and unbelief. Man’s nature in its pride of self and egotism is anti-God–and sinful, indeed!” (excerpt from Who Put Jesus on the Cross?)

What Does A Believer Have In Common With An Unbeliever?

Let’s begin now to look specifically at 2 Corinthians 6 and make sure that we have rightly divided the first “side” of God’s double-edged sword, the historic context of this important passage of the Bible. This following commentary on verses 14 and 15 from Dr. Murray Harris is a good place to start:

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” (v. 14a). Clearly this is not an injunction against all association with unbelievers (cf. 1Cor 5:9, 10, 10:27). Paul actually encouraged the Christian partner in a mixed marriage to maintain the relationship as long as possible (1Cor 7:12-16). Rather, this is a prohibition against forming close attachments with non-Christians. Paul’s agricultural metaphor (“You must not get into double harness with unbelievers”—C.K. Barrett) is based on the command of Deuteronomy 22:10 that prohibited the yoking of an ox and an ass for ploughing, and also on Leviticus 19:19 where the crossbreeding of animals of different species is prohibited. Although precisely what might have constituted a “diverse yoke” or “double harness” for the Corinthians remains unstated, it clearly involved compromise with heathendom,… (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, CD Rom, emphasis added).

Another glaring weakness of the PDL that we can see exhibited is the immaturity (at best), which apparently prohibits Richard Abanes from understanding what our brother Dr. Harris is saying here. This passage will have an obvious spiritual application, which becomes even more evident now through this scholarly commentary by Harris. Consistent with what we saw Christ tell us in Matthew 6:22 – “The eye is the lamp of the body,” the more spiritually mature will understand that anything you allow into your life “on a regular basis,” which grieves the Holy Spirit, will have adverse effects on you–and particularly something as repugnant as punk music. And if His warnings are ignored, you will also open yourself up to further spiritual blindness and even demonic oppression.

And the fact that Paul is using “marriage” as a spiritual example here is even obvious to the dispensational camp, who are certainly not known for any kind of radical excesses spiritually. By the way, this comment is meant with respect for my more dispensational brothers, with whom I have much affinity. Here is what Dr. David Lowery says in The Bible Knowledge Commentary put out by Dallas Theological Seminary, an organization known for its dispensational theology:

What hampered the Corinthians’ open, loving response, which Paul called for? (v.13) Answer: rival suitors vied for their affections and allegiance. Though verses 14-15 are often applied to various sorts of alliances (e.g., mixed marriages, improper business associations), Paul’s primary association was probably ecclesiastical. The rival suitors were possibly pagan idolators (cf. 1 Cor.10:14) or more likely false apostles (cf. 2 Cor. 11:2-4). In censure or affection Paul was equally candid (cf. 6:11).

The solution to the dilemma was for the Corinthians to separate from the false apostles. Whatever may have been their own and others’ estimation of their spiritual status, Paul considered the false apostles to be unbelievers (cf.11:13-15) from whom the Corinthians needed to separate. But Paul did not say that Christian should have no contacts whatever with unbelievers. Earlier he argued the absurdity of such a position (1 Cor. 5:9-10). But religious unbelievers might lead believers astray from “sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3), and the fact concerned Paul greatly (p.570, bold in original)

And Richard Abanes, being an apologist for the Christian faith should know very well that the secular humanism (and worse) espoused through country music–and particularly through a music form as antichrist as punk music–is a religion itself! It is a godless one, but those of us involved in the creation-evolution debate know this is undoubtedly a religious belief system. The problem with listening to secular music on a regular basis is that there can be no doubt to the objective in this discussion that those who write songs are sharing their religious philosophies about how they view the world. As someone who was also a songwriter myself, I know this to be true. This is where the questions what fellowship can light have with darkness – and – What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever – come into our equation. If someone is maturing in Christ he will inevitably grow up into this understanding – When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish – [worldly] – ways behind me (1 Corinthians 13:11).

Would Jesus Do This?

In part two of this series I pointed out that the question the true Christian asks before he does anything–and this would include listening to music–is “can I see Jesus Christ of Nazareth doing this?” As Dr. Lowry rightly concludes: “A believer can be rightly yoked only with Christ (Matt. 11:29-30) (ibid., bold in original). This is actually an issue that I have personally dealt with in my own life, and with a teen in my local church who was an avid listener to a rock band called Korn. What I asked him was – “If Jonathan Davis – [who admits to a fascination with “the dark side”] – is writing lyrics that are openly against what you believe in as a Christian, then do you think Jesus would be pleased by your decision to promote this music among your friends?” The answer to this young man was obvious, but unfortunately, this was not to be the case with Richard Abanes. Using his pastor Rick Warren as an example, I asked the questions below that I would hope Warren would himself be asking:

SILVA#50: “Richard, why would you, as a prominent Christian, even want to listen to so many non-Christian influences ‘on a regular basis?’ And, just what would the more mature Christian possibly find in common with worldly artists? (see—2 Corinthians 6:15).”

RESPONSE: See above response to SILVA#49. Additionally, I must mention how Silva has once again ripped a biblical passage out of context (also see SILVA#10 for another example). He erroneously has applied 2 Corinthians 6:15 to listening to music. But forms of recreation are not at all what this verse is covering. It cannot be applied to one’s choices of music, movies, beverages, clothes, hairstyles, or sports.
In context, 2 Corinthians 6:15 deals with a Christian who has gotten himself/herself personally bound to an unbeliever in some kind of relationship/fellowship—usually in a way that is immoral (or at least heading in that direction). Verse 14 plainly states: “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness.” The clear issue is entering into some sort of relationship or binding union with an unbeliever—not listening to secular music, wearing clothes/jewelry popular among unbelievers, going to PG-13 or R-rated movies, playing video games, drinking alcohol in moderation, having long hair, or playing violent sports like boxing (ibid.).

Look carefully at the first part of the response Abanes gives to the honest questions that any true pastor with a shepherd’s heart would be asking. Since he has no real answer to the questions, you’ll see that it is Abanes himself who had to resort to ripping “a biblical passage out of context” and argue for a single meaning he is attempting to force these verses to have. We have already seen from recognized scholars of the Bible that what Abanes is saying here is really quite one-dimensional, and that historically Paul is using marriage as his example of the danger of getting yourself “yoked” to false religious teachers. Yes, these verses do cover marriage secondarily, but they primarily speak to the issue of uniting with “religious unbelievers” in any serious endeavor that–as Dr. Lowery pointed out–“might lead believers astray from ‘sincere and pure devotion to Christ.’” The point here is, the Christian who is serious about his walk with the Lord wouldn’t be arguing for a superficial understanding of the Bible in order to justify his wanting to remain in the world. This desire becomes evident as one looks more intently at the immature example of Christianity from PDL adherent Richard Abanes, and what he argues for a disciple of Christ to be able to continue doing while still claiming to be a following the Jesus Who is revealed in Holy Scripture.

What we can see here is the seeker sensitive purpose driven life in microcosm, and this is a good place for me to draw to your attention to the real reason I felt my Lord Jesus wanted me to do these articles. Look at the lifestyle the PDL Christian finds as within acceptable standards. “Listening to secular music, (remember for Abanes it’s on a regular basis),…going to PG-13 or R-rated movies (they are restricted for a reason),…[and] drinking alcohol in moderation.” Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the Christ-centered preaching of Jonathan Edwards or Charles Spurgeon could never imagine these giants in the Lord arguing that this quite questionable lifestyle just described is actually consistent with proper Christian conduct. And I highly doubt that many of us would ever picture Jesus of Nazareth plunking His money down to watch movies filled with inappropriate sexual behavior–or even being able to stomach the profanity in so many of them–while He’s downing a couple of brews with the Apostles.

In the next part of his response we can see the sarcastic and haughty spirit in which Abanes mocks my sincere attempt to gently instruct him in Christ when he asks me:

And as for “worldly artists,” does Silva enjoy the opera? If so, that would be odd since many operas revolve around debauchery and/or pagan mythology! What about the ballet? Well, goodness, aren’t those costumes a bit skimpy for Christian modesty? And what about classical music? That won’t do either because some of the greatest composers were not just horrific persons, but thoroughly immoral (Franz Schubert, for example, died at 29 from syphilis). Does Silva also condemn Broadway musicals? He should. After all, in West Side Story, Tony and Maria sleep together before they are married. And Sweeney Todd makes comedy out of murder. And My Fair Lady, of course, gives the appearance of evil since the story revolves around a young street girl who moves in with two elderly gentlemen. Hmmmm (ibid.).

The truth is–no, these are areas I haven’t any interest in whatsoever. However, it would appear obvious to the mature in Christ how we should handle these endeavors. Then brother Abanes goes on to say:

Silva, clearly, is misapplying God’s Word. The actual passage we need to be looking at as primarily applicable to the style of music I enjoy—or the style that anyone enjoys, for that matter—would be 1 Corinthians 8:1-13. This passage deals with freedoms of activity/behavior in Christ. Also important would be 1 Corinthians 6:12: “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable” (NASB). And there is also Romans 14:23: “For whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” I would suggest that Silva needs to again study Romans 14:13-23, which begins, “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore. . . . I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.” So, in other words, if Silva cannot listen to country music or punk music or rock music, then he shouldn’t listen to it. But he is actually going against scripture by judging those who feel differently. To question their commitment to Jesus or the state of their walk with Christ simply based on music—goodness, now THAT is arrogant (and unbiblical)(ibid.).

What is so telling here re. the low standard considered acceptable as a Christian lifestyle by our PDL spokesman Richard Abanes, is that not only is he willing to compromise the high call of Christ, lowering it to the level of the heathen, but he attempts to rationalize his behavior by “wresting” the meaning of these passages he’s quoting. There is nothing in the above verses of Scripture that excuses the Christian from being called to have the highest of moral standards simply because the immature believer (at best) arbitrarily decides he feels “free” to do something. I notice that he didn’t happen to quote this from Christ – If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me (Matthew 16:24). Where are we supposed to think Jesus is going to take us, to see the most popular celebrity harem dance troop? Are we having to deny ourselves the opportunity to watch two exta R-rated movies filled with behavior that is inappropriate to anyone acquainted with the holiness of God, and instead limit ourselves to only watching three this week? Or, perhaps we make the huge sacrifice of cutting out a bottle or two of wine this month.

We also didn’t see our defender of Rick Warren’s PDL Christianity Lite quote this passage of God’s Word from the Apostle Paul either – But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14). What would Abanes tell us the prize for the Christian would be–free tickets to the latest hit Broadway Show? Or, maybe it would be the chance to be in the very front row of a Green Day concert where brother Richard could even have Billie Joe Armstrong spit on him as he’s crashing into people in the mosh pit while he shares the Good News about Jesus Christ with them. This is supposed to be freedom? As Dr. Walter Martin would say: No, this is madness!

The PDL Pride In Self

As we get ready to wrap up our look at the question: Can You Be Purpose-Driven And Christ-Centered? – we will see how the psycho-philoso-theology of the PDL has created a rather shallow Christian example in Richard Abanes, who is an author and teacher of note within the Evangelical church. Would we really expect to see someone like the Apostle Paul shifting into the prideful elevation of self that we shall see Abanes do here? Within the context of my calling him out for setting a very poor public example as a Christian spokesman when he openly endorsed a music style that is undoubtedly deviant–in “Enter The Music Police” he replies:

SILVA#53: “it is without a doubt quite an appalling witness for Christ Jesus that Mr. Abanes would then go on to tell us that he listens to Green Day, which is a punk rock band! Now, it is true, that as far as this rubbish goes, it is a more ‘pop’ version of this ‘harder side of music.’ However, how can this noted apologist for the faith of our Lord, possibly lend his support to ‘punk’ music, which is undeniably antithetical to a Christian lifestyle!”

RESPONSE: “Appalling?” Now, according to Silva, I am offering the entire world an “appalling witness” for Christ because I happen to appreciate the artistry and music skills of a single band? let us take a brief look at exactly what my witness has been to the world—i.e., what I have done that might make it Positive or Appalling. I think it shows the interesting way Silva tends to weigh evidence and come to conclusions.


married 20 years; left music career for ministry; defends the faith;
writes Christian music exclusively (see eternity music); has written 15+ apologetic books (see books); witnesses regularly; no drugs
no drunkenness; no smoking; modest lifestyle (home, possessions, etc.); daily Bible reading; witnesses online to unbelievers; has gone on missions; stands against abortion; attends church every weekend; serves in ministry at church; upholds historical Christian beliefs;
opposes liberalism; denies evolution

AN APPALLING WITNESS listens to Green Day music (ibid.)

And finally, in the closing section of this series, what you are about to see is almost beyond belief when you consider that these words actually come from an apologist for the Christian faith. Richard Abanes is about to offer the following defense–not for biblical purity–no, he will defend a clearly aberrant anti-social music scene! I also find it quite interesting that this man who is so willing to belittle my own approach to the faith of our Lord would apparently be able to tell us exactly what worldly awards MTV–purveyor of filth that it is–would be planning to lavish on a punk rock band! What you are about to see from a respected Evangelical teacher, an active member of Rick Warren’s own Saddleback church, and a man who practices the PDL lifestyle he has been taught by Warren himself, truly has to be seen to in order to be believed.

And regarding Green Day itself—Silva calls it “rubbish”? Well, if that’s Silva’s opinion, then fine. But that’s certainly not my opinion as a professional musician. Nor is it the opinion of the music industry. Green Day was recently nominated for 8 MTV VMA awards: the Viewer’s Choice Award, Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Best Rock Video, Best Direction in a Video, Best Art Direction in a Video, Best Editing in a Video, and Best Cinematography in a Video. Also, Green Day’s “American Idiot” album received 7 Grammy nominations: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Performance by a Duo/Group with Vocal, Best Short Form Music Video, and Producer of the Year. Green Day produces some of the most intricate and original lyrics, chord structures, bridges, verses, cadences, and melodies now existing in the music world. Their lyrics include some decidedly deep thoughts on politics, society, and the human condition (for example, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”).

It should also be noted that Silva’s remark about “punk” music just being “antithetical to a Christian lifestyle” is so painfully simplistic as to defy any real answer from me. It would take pages to detail the complex history, lyrical content, and various segments of the musical movement of “punk,” which is one of the most diverse to ever hit the music scene. Punk music covers politics, social structures, cultural ideals, youth angst, pain, suffering, loneliness, heart-break, war, consumerism, morality, confusion, religion—and on and on. It is not just about living a life that is “antithetical to a Christian lifestyle.” And exactly how is Silva even defining “Christian lifestyle.” Apparently, he defines it as living a lifestyle that is in agreement with what he sees as “Christian”—i.e., no listening to country music or punk music )and God knows what else)(sic).

But back to the subject of punk music specifically, truth be told, Silva is simply ignorant—and I mean that quite literally and technically. His remark shows that the extent of his knowledge regarding punk music probably extends no further than some simple anti-rock music video or perhaps at most an assortment of Christian tracts that rail against the evils of rock/punk. It is TRUE, do not get me wrong, that “punk” music is totally secular from back to front. But there is FAR MORE to it than Silva realizes or is allowing.

For example, does Silva even know that some “punks” and “punk” musicians actually stand AGAINST (that’s right, against) things like drug abuse, alcohol, racism, hedonism, and sexual promiscuity?! They may LOOK just like other punks, but they live a life and advocate values that might best be thought of as traditional values. These so-called “rebellious” youths are actually rebelling against those things that Silva himself would term “antithetical to a Christian lifestyle.” Does Silva know this? Doubtful (ibid.).

His obvious condescension toward me aside, I do happen to be well aware of this subject of punk music from years as a radio personality/programmer in rock radio before I became a Christian. And I can tell you from firsthand experience that this is an especially rebellious form of music, replete with many anti-social aspects (including self-mutilation), which so many arrogant and disobedient young people in this rapidly decaying nation are already readily embracing today. So brother Abanes is quite wrong when he makes this judgment:

RESPONSE: Again, Silva is showing that he is willing to speak on issues he has not thoroughly researched (see SILVA#53 response on punk music and “punks” whose views of living are very much aligned with traditional values) (ibid.).

And finally, it needs to be completely understood that for whatever reason, Richard Abanes has offered a very superficial look at a most despicable and clearly antisocial musical form. Without question this music has been responsible for creating scores of “punks”—which is exactly what the name plainly tells you in advance this particular anarchistic subculture is truly all about! Any pastor obedient to His Master would know that this is an issue he would certainly have to address with someone in his congregation, as it is most definitely an inconsistency with the mature Christian example that must be set by those who would be teachers in the Church of Christ. Sadly, it would seem as if Rick Warren has chosen to ignore this issue with Abanes. However, as if the above wasn’t enough, this apologist for the PDL will now mock the very Scriptures he is supposed to be defending when he says derisively:

RESPONSE: Bible verses, please—any Bible verses relating to “punk” music, which did not even exist in the biblical era (also see SILVA#53 response on punk music and “punks” whose views of living are very much aligned with traditional values). As for being an “mature Christian example,” Silva might want to start by getting his facts straight, not speaking about issues he has little knowledge of, and avoiding unbiblical judgments and legalism. That would be a good place for all of us to begin (ibid.).

This last comment certainly deserves no response, and truthfully I’m simply at a loss for words that someone who claims to know Jesus Christ could have even said these things. But in this look at the example portrayed as “Christian” by Richard Abanes–someone who has personally been taught the PDL by Rick Warren–it is clear that one could never adhere to these self-centered philosophical Schullerisms and walk very far with the real Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And the Bible makes it quite plain that there is such a thing as another Jesus.

For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough (2 Corinthians 11:4).

As I said in part one of this series, someone needs to finally come right out and say it: This Purpose Driven gospel is surely one that is preached in another spirit, about another Jesus, and is in fact another gospel. The time has come when the true ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ need to carefully scrutinize the fruit produced by the philosophies of PDL, and then we must prayerfully look very closely at where we see Rick Warren himself heading. For a real man of God–the Apostle Paul–told us in no uncertain terms:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Galatians 1:6-9)

Ask yourself honestly: How would Jesus have handled this PDL and its perversion of the love of God were He here again on this earth? So, can you be purpose-driven and be Christ-centered? The answer for those of us who have an ear to hear what the Spirit says to the churches must be an unambiguous and emphatic: No, you cannot:

For the true Christian, the key issue that lies before us, as this apostasy continues to grow nearly unabated is as clear as crystal:

Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD (Joshua 24:14-15, KJV).

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”