The Saddleback Church is in Lake Forest, California. It is adjacent to Santa Ana and Orange, and not very far from Anaheim. It's in a populous area, and this church has an average attendance each Sunday of 20,000 members, which makes it the eighth largest congregation in America. The notable Rick Warren is its founder and senior pastor, and I gave six sermons on this man's message in the past ["Purpose Driven Churches"]. This is the same man who has authored a couple of best-selling books, one titled The Purpose Driven Life and the other, The Purpose Driven Church.
He has, on some occasions in some areas of his ministry, been compared to Billy Graham because he has, on occasions, apparently counseled, or at the very least, visited with presidents and other high governmental officials. Well, these visits were probably also done to promote him and the "good works" wing of his program.
This program was designed as a doorway to spread his liberal religious message to ostensibly lead people to Christ. The good works were mostly to help poorer people in poorer nations to have things like adequate water supplies and septic facilities, and there is no doubt that he is an effective promoter, and persuasive at motivating people to follow him. Twenty thousand people every Sunday is very impressive.
But those who have looked more closely into his methods and message than me say that his philosophy shows that it is more important to build a big church than to teach sound biblical doctrine.
I am sure that you are watching, with very serious concern, that Christian beliefs and practices are being attacked on every side by secular humanists who have taken over the government of this nation. Secular humanists may or may not admit whether they believe in God, but regardless of whether they do or do not, any morality that they have eventually comes down to what they believe is moral, not what God has clearly stated in His word, even though their belief may sometimes parallel God's.
Now, what does this have to do with Rick Warren and the Saddleback Church? Actually, very much. Despite the fact that he is posing as a Christian minister and very influential, he is on essentially the same page as those secular humanists. Rick Warren has joined with a movement known as the King's Way. The movement's goal is to bring Christians and Muslims together without either group trying to proselytize or convert the other. As part of this effort, Warren has announced that he wants to create a set of principles that both evangelical Christians and Muslims could agree on in order to bring them closer together.
One of these principles is that they both worship the same God. God and Allah are the same deity. Who does this so-called Christian minister worship? If he believes the Bible and says he worships God, then he cannot believe that God and Allah are one and the same. If he worships Allah, then he is not a Christian. He cannot have it both ways. He is clearly a false minister.
Now, let's consider very briefly another very popular and influential figure in American history, this time from the world of politics: John F. Kennedy. His name surfaced recently because Rick Santorum last October said that he almost threw up when he heard a statement John Kennedy made during his election campaign. For that remark, Santorum was verbally taken to the wood shed, for he had strongly criticized a popular icon of the liberal left, a man many have affectionate feelings for at least partly because he was assassinated. But John Kennedy was out of his league when he made that remark.
Recall that John F. Kennedy was Catholic and many people, mostly Protestants, were wary as to whether his Roman Catholic faith would conflict with national decisions he would be called upon to make if he was in office. Thus, in a major speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, a Protestant group, he answered that very question with the following comment. Listen carefully:
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. Whatever issue may come before me as president on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling, or any other subject, I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates, and no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.
I do not know whether you caught it. Rick Santorum did. But what he is is the same as the heart and core, the foundation of secular humanism. His own conscience would be the standard, is what he said, of right and wrong, and not even what God says could persuade him to move aside from his opinion. See, he said, "Nothing outside of that."
Are we to believe that what rattles around in the mind of a mere man is a better indicator of moral certitude than what is anchored in the will of God, as shown in His Word? John Kennedy set the trend as the 1960s began, and that got all politicians and judges off the hook. They, with their wonderful intellect and wisdom, would determine what is moral and immoral without any regard to religion. The 1960s went on to become the most internally violent decade in American history since the Civil War 100 years earlier, and it hasn't been matched since.
It's no wonder that Santorum said he almost threw up. Kennedy, in effect, was kicking God off his throne, as far as being sovereign over morality in the United States of America. Santorum is easily the most morally perceptive of the candidates currently running.
Secular humanism dominates the religious world in the West, and most especially in the United States. It is nothing more than a way of life in which God's authority is dismissed and man's intellect is substituted as the authority regarding moral and spiritual issues. Kennedy and Warren are on the same team, though they lived 50 years apart.
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