I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (Romans 16:17-18, ESV)

Warnock Weighs In On Piper Warrengate

Unfortunately Dr. John Piper made an ill-advised decision to bring in Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren for the Desiring God Conference 2010 as the keynote speaker. The online apologetics and discernment work Apprising Ministries has been among those who’ve been reporting on Piper Warrengate, which is making some otherwise fragile associations a bit more fragile.

The other day “Christian writer and preacher” Adrian Warnock has also weighed in concerning Warrengate with his post Unity in diversity – Rick Warren, John Piper, and New Word Alive. Warnock begins:

It seems that the Christian world is in flux right now.  Old alliances have already dissolved. New ones are being forged.  But still there is some uneasiness in many. Unexpected events can suddenly seem to threaten to bring this new house crashing down as if it was made of cards. 

How do we determine who we are going to associate with?  How do we decide who to listen to?  Now that many conferences do not seem to exclusively invite speakers from their own background, how can we predict who will be speaking where next?…

A small number of bloggers (including some very notable ones) are strongly criticizing John Piper for inviting Rick Warren to speak at his conference. Some people who I normally respect have challenged Piper’s decision in what I consider to be outrageous ways. Some of the articles that I have read about this read like they were rushed, and have the intention of adding Piper himself to some list of the “banned” as a form of “secondary separation.”

I have a very different perspective. I believe that John Piper is a man of God who has been given a unique gifting and authority. DGM is the ministry he leads, and this conference is his responsibility. Why would I assume that I have any right or ability to publicly rebuke him on such decisions? I have seen much of Piper’s ministry and it is enough that I instinctively trust him. I believe that he has done a lot of careful thinking and prayer about this.

I don’t agree with everything Piper says, but I will never disagree with him without both careful thought and, I trust, a very respectful tone. In fact I happen to think that this decision to invite Warren is a very wise and important one as the rest of this post will explain… (Online source, bold his)

Quite obviously I disagree with Warnock because I think he widely misses the mark concerning what he goes on to say re. Rick Warren. That said Warnock is, however, a well-known and respected voice in the Christian bolosphere and you can read the rest of his post right here. As one who is myself a former Roman Catholic, whom the Lord graciously delivered from the religious bondage of apostate Roman Catholicism into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, I’m taking issue with Dr. Piper telling us that the double-minded Rick Warren is “doctrinal and sound.” [1]

Quite frankly, Warren is not at all in line with biblical Christianity, and Reformation theology, concerning the Roman Catholic Church, which should be a major concern to those in the Reformed camp ala Dr. Piper. In fact, fellow DG 2010 speaker Dr. R.C. Sproul is on record as saying the Church of Rome placed its anathema upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ itself; and is, therefore, apostate. [2] The Protestant Reformers e.g. Martin Luther and John Calvin also recognized this and denounced the Roman Catholic Church as being led by one in the chair of the Antichrist.

I personally would have preferred they had said an antichrist; but even so, as I showed you in Desiring God 2010, John Piper, And Warrengate, Rick Warren has still said: “I see absolutely zero reason in separating my fellowship from anybody.” [3] And, specifically of the Church of Rome, Warren has stated:

“The small group structure is the structure of renewal in every facet of Christianity — including Catholicism.” (Online source, emphasis mine)

“Now I don’t agree with everything in everybody’s denomination, including my own. I don’t agree with everything that Catholics do or Pentecostals do, but what binds us together is so much stronger than what divides us,” he said. “I really do feel that these people are brothers and sisters in God’s family. I am looking to build bridges with the Orthodox Church, looking to build bridges with the Catholic Church,….” (Online source, emphasis mine)

 “Most readers will be surprised to learn that the largest international network is…the Christian Church. The Church, in all its expressions—Catholic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Protestant and many others—has 2.3 billion followers.” (Online source, emphasis mine) 

Rick Warren Has Decided That The Protestant Reformation Was In Error

You should realize that Rick Warren has just told us, for example, that Luther and Calvin were wrong in teaching that the Roman Catholic Church was apostate. And remember Warren’s statement about there being “zero reason” for him “separating my fellowship from anybody”; consider below just how sweeping his statement appears to have been:

Warren is part of the ultra-conservative Southern Baptist Convention, and all his senior staff sign on to the SBC’s doctrines, such as the literal and infallible Bible and exclusion of women as senior pastors. Yet Warren’s pastor-training programs welcome Catholics, Methodists, Mormons, Jews and ordained women. (Online source, emphasis mine)

There have been those who’ve attempted to refute the above statement saying the reporter erred; but Christian apologist Chris Rosebrough has documented that, the very week this USA article in question was released, it was even advertised on Warren’s Pastors.com website. [4] For the sake of argument though, let’s leave out “Warren’s pastor-training programs” training “Methodists, Mormons, Jews”; the problem doesn’t go away. For you see, we’re still told that he’s training Roman Catholic churches, which according to Reformation theology—which Warren says he believes—are preaching another gospel. [5]

Saddleback Church is notorious for website pages suddenly disappearing and links mysteriously vanishing when brought to light; so all of what I’ll show you below is already archived as hard copies at Apprising Ministries, as well as with trusted allies for safe-keeping. However, as of this writing, the first curious exhibit is still on the Purpose Driven Church website; so catch it while you can. In 2006 CHA recipients honored at Saddleback during Purpose Driven Church conference we’re told about “the 2006 Purpose Driven Church conference” where:

Pastor Rick Warren met with the 2006 Church Health Award recipients, along with winners from previous years and regional Purpose Driven leaders, at a reception on May 15 at Saddleback Church. Pastors were given the opportunity to share their stories of integrating the Purpose Driven ® model into their churches with Pastor Rick and each other. Many of them expressed their gratitude for how the five biblical purposes helped shape their congregations into healthy churches.

This was followed by a presentation of plaques to the CHA winners and an opportunity for a photograph with Pastor Rick. Pastor Rick asked those gathered to continue to help him teach God’s purposes to churches around the world. (Online source)

And one of those plaques that went to “the CHA winners” along with “an opportunity for a photograph with Pastor Rick” was presented to Family of God Church of Tacloban, Philippines; its “denomination” we’re told is “Roman Catholic.” In Filipino church targets unchurched Catholics in community we’re then informed that Family of God Church “is a church transitioning toward becoming purpose driven.” We also find out:

In the nearly 30 years of its existence, The Family of God’s Little Children-Foundational Center, Inc. (FGLC-FCI), a Roman Catholic Charismatic Covenant church, has been implementing its Total Human Development Program consisting of spiritual and moral orientation; community organization; education and capability building; health education and services; cooperatives and enterprise development; socialized housing; and ecology and environmental protection… (Online source)

FGLC-FCI is “registered with the Philippine SEC as a non-stock, non-profit civil society (NGO), and also is canonically recognized by the Archdiocese of Palo, Leyte, Philippines, as a Private Association of Christ’s Faithful.” Apparently Roman Catholic priest Bart Pastor “presented the Purpose Driven concepts first to the leaders of the church and then to all the more than 450 members in a series of lectures and spiritual retreats” after “reading The Purpose Driven Church in 2003″.

It seems that FGLC-FCI then used Purpose Driven principles to develop what they call the “Life Development Process” and:

The covenant of the Life Development Process is one that is not taken lightly. Upon coming into the covenant community, people immediately begin the 40 Days of Purpose campaign and the 40 Days of Community campaign. Following this is the Seekers Class, Pastor said, in which “covenant members follow lessons explaining that: We are Catholics, we are charismatic, we are covenanted, and we are a community”… 

Pastor describes the community FGLC-FCI has targeted for evangelism as nominal “unchurched” Catholics in the city of Tacloban. Many of these are friends, co-workers, co-students, and relatives of the committed members of the FGLC-FCI. (Online source)

Next time we’ll talk a bit more about Rick Warren and Purpose Driven Catholics. In closing this out, for now, above we see that because the Roman Catholic FGLC-FCI used Purpose Driven methods, while they went about “evangelizing” with the false gospel of the Roman Catholicism, it received one of Rick Warren’s 2006 Church Health Awards. [6] To paraphrase Dr. John Piper, I’m gonna need help to know why I should feel good about his decision to grant Rick Warren a forum given his obvious sin of heresy concerning the Roman Catholic Church.


1. As cited http://tinyurl.com/y3y3rxs, accessed 4/19/10.
2. For more the interested reader is referred to Why The Protestant Reformation Cannot Be Undone.
3. http://tinyurl.com/y5dfo7u, accessed 4/19/10.
4. http://www.alittleleaven.com/2007/05/rick_warren_wor.html, accessed 4/19/10.
5. Interesting to note here that in Galatians 1:6-9 the Apostle Paul advocates breaking fellowship with people such as this; and not training them how to potentially make more converts to their false gospel.
6. http://tinyurl.com/y3zfpr6, accessed 4/19/10.

See also: