Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rick Warren at Desiring God conference

Just in case you have been in the dark, John Piper has invited Rick Warren to speak at the 2010 desiring God conference.

I'm quite hesitant to even post this, because I don't want to draw fruitless commenting and especially not hate-driven comments.

John Piper has made a video explaining why or better put he has made a video to convince others that Rick Warren is a theologically solid pastor who may have 'secondary' issues that people disagree with. (I don't believe the video explains why this is 'good').

As Piper stands by himself there is much to be said in his honor, however as to his associations and to whom he invites to speak at his conferences this is quite another thing. I am one who has always regretted the 'celebrity' status of people and their contributions to such a status. I do believe that multi-site churches only promote such idolatry, and I do believe that conferences that ONLY invite the 'successful' and 'popular' are also promoting such things. Is it any surprise that Piper feels like he needs a 8-month sabbatical for 'pride' issues (even Mark Dever in a broadcast that included Piper pointed out the need to build more churches not bigger ones)?

I would conclude that Piper is applying the same reasoning which he has applied to such as Driscoll and to Billy Graham as he is to Rick Warren, that their fame and numbers speak a lot louder then their practices. Preaching and defending the gospel is done not simply by what we do but also by who we endorse.

When Piper (at the basics conference-Alistarr Begg's church) defended his support of Mark Driscoll, he referenced to the hundreds being baptised on one day at Marks' church.

Are there not a list of speakers who would be wonderful examples to the thousands that will attend a Desiring God conference? It's scary to think of how many young people will be affected by thinking that Rick Warren and John Piper are fundamentally on the same page. What's more disturbing is that many people who were probably just about to post '50+ ways Rick Warren twists the gospel' heard Piper then DELETED their post and were converted. Regardless of your views on this, it must be said that we can't chose when to use discernment based upon how famous a man is or how influential his teachings have been. I read some comments that ascribed some hidden agenda to 'reach' Rick Warren by INVITING HIM TO SPEAK???? No, I don't think Piper lied in his reasons as to why (i hope no one REALLY thinks 'inviting' someone to speak at a national conference is a good way to reach someone). Others have written 'I love Piper so I trust him...' that's quite disturbing.

If you are clueless to Piper giving honorable mentions to Billy then here is a link to Piper's tribute to him. (keep in mind this Billy is the same one who just didn't know where the people who didn't trust in Christ alone went and the same Billy who had Bill Clinton on his platform stating that the former president 'should have been a preacher' AMONG A LIST OF OTHER THINGS).

Paul Washer had this to say about Billy Graham

"I have always sought to be charitable regarding those who preach in the name of Christ. This has been especially true in the case of Billy Graham. However in the last year I have seen and heard several things regarding his beliefs and ministry that have led me to withdraw any recommendation of his person and preaching. I regret my past positive statements regarding the man and his ministry. It saddens me, but I would have to now agree with [the] conclusions: He is either suffering from some sort of dementia or he has denied Christ as the only way, truth, and life."

It doesn't mean you have to disregard the good you have received from Pastor John. It could certainly mean that you should be praying for him to reconsider this and other things (to carefully tread the path he takes as he is influencing many). It might mean you should think twice before blindly endorsing something you haven't listened to or read by John Piper in the near future. We must be discerning and seek to be objective at that.


Bobby Mosteller
This comment has been removed by the author.

I also was disappointed at Piper's inviting Warren to the conference. The way Warren handles the scriptures to proof text whatever pop psychology brings in the masses seems antithetical to Piper's preaching ministry.

Please forgive me if this has been covered in other postings in your blog, but I was unclear as to why you seemed to put Driscoll and Warren in the same box. I don't like the way that Driscoll talks about sex a lot. However, on most topics (he is preaching verse by verse through Luke at the moment) he seems to handle the bible well.

I also don't like the rockstar status that accrues to an individual when there is a multi-campus congregation. It seems to be pinning too much focus on one individual, and not developing the leadership and preaching in a broader base. I suppose that in podcasting the sermons of these preachers I am part of the problem in making them a pivotal attractant to the church. I find listening to preaching while I commute and work to be a good way to feed my soul during the week.
All the best

Julius Mickel

What happened? why the delete?
Though it would be great to focus upon the cross (of course this should be done no matter what day it is) I felt compelled to post, especially since i came across so many pitiful posts when i glanced through blog-world (which isn't something I enjoy doing). I can honestly describe my reaction as sickening. Though I rarely listen to Piper, I rejoice at those who have been blessed by him and to see someone with such influence make such decisions truly troubles me.

Julius Mickel

The list goes on to Warren's issues, and the harm he has done to the poor ministers and churches who have followed his advice, NOW his audience will only be greater.

Driscoll? I really haven't posted a lot on people. I threw out the name as another questionable person whom Piper has endorsed. Although Driscoll has made references to Warren before in a positive light. I don't doubt Driscoll is easy to listen to, but there are better and less questionable ministers out there. I wholeheartily agree with Macarthur and Phil Johnson concerning Driscoll. As a chaplain among hardened criminals I don't and will never agree that you have to be shocking in order to reach the unchurched. I long for those old gospel preachers who cared about doctrine and holiness!

As to the multi-site I agree, multiple church plants bring greater glory to God by naturally providing closer relationships and taking attention away from one big church and one big name.

Thanks for stopping by,

Bobby Mosteller

bro Julius,

I felt like my comments were a little premature and I wanted to thoroughly look at everything before I formed my opinion. I try to err on the side of caution and try not to be reactionary. Although that is a trick in and of itself.

I will be sure to join the fray after some thought...but for the rest of the weekend i would like to put all my energy into celebrating our risen Savior.

Have a great easter brother....


Julius Mickel

bro bobby,
I can understand the caution or the choosing rather to focus upon this glorious occasion.
as for myself I am overly familiar with rick warren and so I don't feel any hesitation in the way I spoke. I consider brother paul washer as the antidote to those who have been affected by such men. the cross, the gospel is too important to not point out those who are only adding to the confusion of it.
Influence is a scary thing!

be blessed brother,

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