Eugene Cho

rick warren is my homeboy

Rick Warren’s  Purpose Driven Network Summit conference begins today.  It’s also being referred by several as the “Stealth Conference” since this was an unadvertised invitation-only pastors conference.  They are expecting 1500 or so pastors and again, I didn’t make the cut.  It’s possible that Pastor Rick may have gotten hold of the rumor that I was trying to publish a book entitled 39 Days of Purpose Driven Life [ref:  There’s Something About Mary – either you get it or you don’t].

I haven’t read much of Pastor Rick’s stuff but I respect [and like] him immensely as he and his wife are exhorting the larger church to think beyond themselves via the P.E.A.C.E. Plan.  They are doing some great stuff.

But having said that, not everyone likes Rick.  Check out this invitation to and brutal rejection from Ingrid “Slice of Laodicea” Schlueter.  Seriously, if you want to get some serious traffic to your blog, just piss off one of these watchdog folks.  I was stunned how much traffic I got from one of these folks last year.

Hi Ingrid,

On behalf of Pastor Rick Warren, I would like to personally invite you to attend this years Purpose Driven Church Gathering (May 20-22) at our wonderful campus in Lake Forest, California. Pastor Rick would not only like to invite you, but pay for you to come out and spend three days with this group of national and global leaders. We are anticipating close to 2,000 leaders will gather to learn from our guest speakers. The only request we have is that you please wait to share your thoughts until the conference has completed. This will give you the best chance to listen and learn before responding. Lastly, I would like to include you in an open discussion time with Pastor Rick and a few other leaders on Thursday, May 22nd.

I truly hope you will accept this wonderful offer to come and learn. Please let me know by Monday, May 12th if we can count on you joining us. If you can, I will have our travel agent connect with you to take care of your travel needs. To learn more about this great gathering please click here PDC Gathering.

Sincerely,

Erik Rees
Saddleback Church
1 Saddleback Parkway
Lake Forest, CA 92630

Dear Erik,

I am in receipt of your invitation offering an all-expenses paid trip to Saddleback’s worship conference. I cannot accept your invitation. In the world of live church webcasts, book publishers, websites and so on, it is no longer necessary to travel to see a church to understand what it is all about. Your pastor’s copious writings, speeches and sermons are online and available for everyone to see and analyze in the light of God’s Word.

No amount of time spent with Rick Warren or the worship conference leaders at Saddleback can change basic facts. One of your speakers, Pastor Mark Batterson, recently referred readers on his website to the writings of New Age teacher, Eckhart Tolle, featured by Oprah Winfrey. He said that Tolle’s book, Practicing the Power of Now, was instrumental in the way he thought about life. I could not sit and listen to someone with that lack of discernment. Also featured at your worship conference is Pastor Jentezen Franklin, of the Free Chapel in Gainesville, Georgia. This is the pastor who featured a Michael Jackson Thriller dance on his church platform at a Halloween-themed service, complete with a haunted house set-up on stage. Again, how could I sit under that kind of pastor to learn about worship of the Most High God? Additionally, you have Pastor Mark Driscoll as a speaker. Mark’s filthy language and vulgarity is not fit for any woman’s ears, and I’m not about to subject myself to his disobedient use of coarse jesting in the name of ministry. It does not comport with the Scripture’s requirements for conduct in the office of the ministry. Pastor Mark Beeson of Granger Community Church will also be there to speak on the subject of worship. I cannot listen to a “pastor” who claims personal responsibility for the sex-sermon-campaigns by churches across the nation. These campaigns have brought complaints even from the unregenerate who are sick of their children getting hit with lewd materials in public places. Any pastor who is responsible for this kind of filth has nothing to share on the subject of worshiping our holy God.

Pastor Rick Warren has had vast financial resources to share with the world his solution to mankind’s problems. He, unfortunately, has chosen to introduce an entirely new generation to a social gospel, rather than the exclusive message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is telling that none of the E’s in his P.E.A.C.E. plan stand for “evangelism”. This is wrong.

I cannot agree to Rick Warren’s invitation. He has been biblically confronted repeatedly by those far more able than I regarding his numerous unbiblical teachings and the damage they have done to churches nationwide. We are to worship the Lord both in spirit and in truth. The mixture of truth and error is a dangerous combination spiritually, and that is why I will not be coming to Saddleback.

Sincerely,

Ingrid Schlueter
VCY America Radio Network

(HT: MMI)

Filed under: religion,

19 Responses

  1. Daniel says:

    That Ingrid is one scary lady. Wow, I thought I disliked Rick Warren. 🙂

  2. Linda says:

    Oh my — It’s extremely encouraging to know that there are people who stand up for their beliefs. I didn’t know any of those other pastors or what they’ve done, but it again taught me to be discerning in the future before blindly following the popularity.

    PE I can’t believe I’ve learned so much about churches and the people who involved in it in the few months I’ve started reading your blog. Always thought-provoking. For the past several years, I’d still been considering myself new to Christianity, still learning the rules and history of the game… but under your leadership and encouragement to question common practices, challenge myself to grow spiritually and spread the Word fearlessly, I can finally start to turn the mentality from “guest” to “host” in the unwalled church.

  3. John Scott says:

    And to think, I’m sure she toned down the letter from what she really wanted to say! I wonder how that letter would have read…

  4. cool dad says:

    I, like Linda, am unfamiliar with most of pastors’ names that Ingrid pointed out. However, I’m not new to Christianity.

    I’m glad that I don’t know the “big names” in American Christendom. The only name I want to idolize is Christ. I frequently do a poor job of it, but I want to live to do it nonetheless.

  5. rizzo says:

    Awesome, another elitist, judgmental, Christian “leader.” You may not agree with the techniques of the above pastors but at least they’re trying to get different leadership styles together to talk. If she wants to be heard she SHOULD attend and then voice her concerns and at least let the “assailants” speak to those concerns. When I read things like this I begin to realize why the Christian community (particularly the Protestant community) is and will always remain splintered. So sad.

  6. danielktaylor says:

    I find it interesting that she bashed him for his lack of evangelism in PEACE. How much good news sharing goes on at slice?

  7. ryanbd says:

    Well, I think it would be interesting for her to go and have a chance to express her feelings. I can understand her frustrations with some of the names listed. It’s impressive that her opposition was so broad (not in neccessarily a cool way, just wild she’s got throws her net that wide). I think Rick does deserve some props for not always playing it safe. Plus, he and Obama are buddies . 🙂

  8. ryanbd says:

    oops – meant also to say that Rick’s willingness to gather a variety of voices that aren’t unified on every issue reminds me of Jesus. It seems JC was always willing to piss folks off by hanging with them and then crossing the street to have dinnner with their rivals. Eugene, my invite must have gotten filtered out of my email too.

  9. eugenecho says:

    fwiw, i changed the title of this post. got couple emails from folks that perceived i was knocking rick warren.

    he’s my homeboy.

  10. Alan Klug says:

    It makes me sad that we spend so much time tearing people down, and so much less time building people up. Although I respect him, I’m not a big Rick Warren fan, per se, but the tone and content of this letter seem to undermine the intent. However, PE, instead of googling for articles that mention Driscoll negatively and then insisting that you’re not trying to beef, come out and (to include some humor) be a man about it.

  11. ryanbd says:

    Alan, quit beating around the bush. 🙂

  12. Joe Louthan says:

    I totally understand Ingrid’s point of view. I am very familiar with most of the pastors that Ingrid had mentioned.

    The holy discontent couldn’t take it. When she got the invite from Rick, she flipped.

    I bet she had to rewrite that response at least 20 times. You can tell she was holding back.

    I have always seen that the gap between believers and non-believers will widen. Part of that is when the rubber meets the road, who left among us will adamantly declare that Jesus Christ is Lord.

    The time has come to stop asking “Do you go to church?” but rather “Tell me about who Christ is?”.

  13. aaron says:

    I think what concerns me is when Churches and programs become so commercial/capitalistic/marketed. The idea that we have to package and sell the Gospel really turns me off.

  14. Bret says:

    Aaron

    I concur wholeheartedly…socially acceptable gospel is a turn off.

    I also am not in favor of Pastor Warrens past history of turning his pulpit over to politicians who continually vote in favor of partial birth abortion, as he has in the past.

  15. BEW says:

    What I don’t like is having to explain to non-believers that people like Ingrid don’t speak for me. It’s sad that when most people think of Christianity they automatically think of people like her, John Hagee, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn.. anyone but Jesus!

    Is this a failure of the church as a whole (can the church be a whole?) to live like Christ, or a failure of those around us to see with blinders on?

    Perhaps it is something cultural (though we haven’t helped), because we do the same thing with Islam. There are a zillion peace-loving moderate imams out there, but we apparently only have eyes to see the fundamentalist strand as speaking for the whole faith.

  16. jim says:

    looks like she only took the plank out of her eye long enough to beat the sh*t out of Rick and his buddies with it. I have not read anything by Rick and think Mark Driscoll is… well… probably has some daddy issues or something, but come on! enough of the b**ch slaps. let’s start loving people!!Didn’t Someone once say… “they will know you by your love for one another.”

    with so much division in the american church, it is encouraging to see some unifying voices like Dan Merchant emerging. check out http://lordsaveusthemovie.com/

  17. Clint says:

    I’m not sure I’m in full favor of her or her site, but she does bring up some good points that I don’t think should be discarded. Sometimes its okay to be divisive over doctrine, especially when doctrine leans more man-centered than Christ-centered.

  18. djchuang says:

    Having been at the PD Network Summit, my sense of it was that Rick Warren really does want to help pastors and does want to make a difference in the world. His PEACE plan is a way to do that, and now that it’s become a PEACE Coalition, many others can get involved too. For those who want to hear it straight from Rick, his press conference about PEACE is online at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/432145

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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