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Author Topic: A Message From Rick Warren  (Read 814 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: March 08, 2010, 02:36:29 PM »

Hey y'all,

 Here's a message from Rick Warren, the pastor who wrote the highly successful book The Purpose Driven Life (it's been discussed a few times here on the OC.net; type the title in the search box to learn more...).  I wanted to share this with all y'all, not necessarily to discuss his book, but to ask your opinions on how close are these sentiments to an Orthodox phronema/mindset?

All comments are welcome.  I'm not sure about the original source because it was sent to me in an email from a family member.  Undecided

-------------------
People ask me, What is the purpose of life?  And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever,and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

 
One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.  I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal.  God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense. Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

 
The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.  We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.  This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.  I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.

 
Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.  No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.  And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.  You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems: If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.  But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

 
We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her- It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people,
given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.  You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15
million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.  It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

 
So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.  First, in spite of all the money coming in, we
would not change our lifestyle one bit.. We made no major purchases.  Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church. Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation..  Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid
me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.  We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?  Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt?  Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

 
When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do.  That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD..
« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 02:37:34 PM by GabrieltheCelt » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2010, 03:08:28 PM »

While I don't like his message, I really respect what he did with his earnings and his attitude about his wealth.
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2010, 03:52:10 PM »


We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her- It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people,
given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.  You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15
million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.  It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.


 I neglected to mention that in this particular paragraph, he's speaking about his wife's cancer...
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2010, 04:10:26 PM »

Hey y'all,

 Here's a message from Rick Warren, the pastor who wrote the highly successful book The Purpose Driven Life (it's been discussed a few times here on the OC.net; type the title in the search box to learn more...).  I wanted to share this with all y'all, not necessarily to discuss his book, but to ask your opinions on how close are these sentiments to an Orthodox phronema/mindset?
 
Quote
I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.
close.
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2010, 04:18:44 PM »

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.  I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal.

Wrong. Death is a lie; it has already been defeated. Salvation is for the body as much as any other part of Pastor Warren. This false dualism is a grave error; that which pits the "material" against the "spiritual."

But I agree with what he is saying in principle on most things.  As usual, however, the Evangelical theology is sloppy at best.
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2010, 04:24:46 PM »


Wrong. Death is a lie; it has already been defeated. Salvation is for the body as much as any other part of Pastor Warren. This false dualism is a grave error; that which pits the "material" against the "spiritual."


 That's it!  I knew there were a few things that didn't set well.  Good call, bubba!
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 05:52:00 PM »

I suppose the most troubling thing I read here is the lack of repentance, either mentioned or demonstrated. 

Full disclosure: I have never read his books, and probably never will just because I can't shake my upbringing, during which I was taught never to trust a man that would wear a Hawaiian shirt and shorts of any kind in public.   Roll Eyes

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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2010, 11:07:01 PM »

I'm going to go on a limb here and say, yes, if you look at the forest and not at the trees, this message is quite touching.  Perhaps, as Orthodox we tend to be nitpicky and mention things like, oh you didn't mention repentance or I smell a hint of dualism, but despite that perhaps I can personally interpret these parts in another way, I must say for the type of Protestantism that he comes from, this is a much-needed letter not for the congregants of Protestant churches, but for the pastors who become multi-millionaires off the people of the church, especially when teaching the rather fraudulent prosperity gospel.

For this, I say kudos to Pastor Warren.  This message is much needed to lift the image of Christianity in the eyes of the world as the religion that gives, not takes.

So, as an Orthodox, I personally laud the Pastor's message.  It's time to step up and destroy your slavery to mammon.
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2010, 11:20:16 PM »

^^Another good point.  This is how I initially felt, despite the fact that he doesn't come from an Orthodox mindset.  Additionally, he comes from a tradition that, though it sounds harsh and judgmental, preaches another Christ (as our holy father St. Theophan the Recluse would say).  Still, I didn't understand the charge that his message was lacking in repentance (and I mean absolutely no disrespect to you Fr. Giryus).  I think I understand, though, where you're coming from Fr.  Since he was trying to explain his Christian views "in a nutshell", he might have touched upon repentance I suppose, but then again, Christianity is not always easy to explain, especially "in a nutshell"... even the distorted Protestant versions.   
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2010, 03:02:42 AM »

I'm going to go on a limb here and say, yes, if you look at the forest and not at the trees, this message is quite touching.  Perhaps, as Orthodox we tend to be nitpicky and mention things like, oh you didn't mention repentance or I smell a hint of dualism, but despite that perhaps I can personally interpret these parts in another way, I must say for the type of Protestantism that he comes from, this is a much-needed letter not for the congregants of Protestant churches, but for the pastors who become multi-millionaires off the people of the church, especially when teaching the rather fraudulent prosperity gospel.

For this, I say kudos to Pastor Warren.  This message is much needed to lift the image of Christianity in the eyes of the world as the religion that gives, not takes.

So, as an Orthodox, I personally laud the Pastor's message.  It's time to step up and destroy your slavery to mammon.


I agree with this assessment.

It's rare to see mega-church evangelicals de-emphasize comfort and preach cultivation of character through obedience to Christ and service to our fellow man. That seems quite compatible with Orthodoxy to me. "God is more interested in making your life holy than in making your life happy." Amen!

Still, (I know this goes without saying) I wouldn't encourage anyone to read Warren's books or look to him for theological understanding. But let's commend our Protestant friends when they do get it right.

And let us pray for his wife and family.

"Lord have mercy."

Selam
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