The above is a tweet from the famed Saddleback Church, founded by Rick Warren, “America’s pastor”.
Honestly, I’m amazed that I even still need to warn about the problematic Saddleback church and the equally problematic Rick Warren, but alas, many professing Christians are simply unaware of the problems and dangers from this seeker-sensitive “church”.
Let me just take a moment here to exhort my fellow believers. People, I understand that you are probably very busy with your careers and home responsibilities. I know not every Christian has the time to research and follow all of the trends and dangers in Evangelicalism. However, if that is the case, then you are absolutely accountable to make sure that when a fellow brother or sister brings a problematic teaching, questionable teacher, pastor, movement, church or belief to your attention, do your due diligence, be a Berean (as is commanded in scripture), and thoroughly compare whatever it is with the scriptures to see if it is Biblical or not. Do not dismiss out of hand your brother or sister. It is very likely that God is using that individual to keep you from error. Too many times, I see a flippant, dismissive attitude among Christians wherein individuals have a knee-jerk reaction to any and all warnings, chocking up any discernment exercised by fellow Christians as being ‘religious’, ridiculous, and divisive.
Now, for our discernment lesson. Let’s begin with what the word theology actually means:
the·ol·o·gy /THēˈäləjē/ (from the Greek theos – God – and logos – word or reason) is reasoned discourse concerning God. More specifically, Christian theology is the rational study and understanding of the nature of God and doctrines of the Christian faith based on the God’s revelation of Himself, chiefly found in the Bible. (source)
Now, let’s insert the definition of theology for the word ‘theology’ in Saddlebacks quote to see what they are really saying:
“Jesus never let his understanding of the nature of God and that which is taught about God in Scripture get in the way of his ministry.”
*sigh* You see the problem. It is the definition of absurd. How could Jesus minister correctly without a proper understanding of the nature of God and the Scriptures? Jesus is God. So He should just have amnesia of His own nature? How could it be true ministry without applying a proper understanding of the nature of God as taught in the Scriptures? What would He even be ministering about without having an understanding of who God is?! Pure silliness. A nonsense saying. Yet it appeals to the unregenerate/unsaved, worldly mind. Yeah, we love Jesus and all that stuff but don’t be all religious and holy on us! We don’t want that! We want all the lovey-duvy fluff without the obedience, thanks. Guess they forgot about this: “Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23 You cannot be a Christian without understanding the nature of God and applying it. You do not love Jesus if you do not obey Him. You won’t know how to obey Him unless you know the scriptures: theology and doctrine.
We’ve all heard the modern fable about the family stranded on a roof during a flood. They are praying for God to save them, and a rescue boat comes by three times to pick them up. Each time they dismiss the rescue boat, assuring their would be rescuers that God is going to miraculously save them, they’ll wait, thank you. In their foolishness, they end up dying in the flood. When they get to heaven, they ask God why He didn’t save them. He replies “I sent a boat 3 times”. Folks, I’m fairly certain that many Christians will deny having known about the false teachers, false doctrine and other sorts of unbiblical nonsense that they chose to consume while on earth when they have a face-to-face with the Lord on that day. And, like the fable, I would guess He may very well reply, “well, I sent such and such brother/sister to warn you, but you didn’t want to listen”. How their hearts will grieve when they realize that they disobeyed the Lord. No it won’t affect a genuine believers salvation. Yes He will wipe away every tear. But we all know we will have an assessment for rewards, and we will all give an account. Friends, if you are more loyal to a favorite teacher, church movement, or preciously held belief that runs contrary to God’s Word, I earnestly ask you: who is your real allegiance to? If you truly love God the most, then shouldn’t you be willing to let go of a unscriptural teacher, teaching or movement? Examine yourselves. May your loyalty always be to the King.
Soli Deo Gloria!