When Rick Warren, one of the most influential pastors in the world, was invited to speak at Ted Talks in February 2006 to a mixed secular audience, a forum that he knew would be recorded and heard widely beyond the immediate audience, it was a wonderful opportunity for a Baptist preacher to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
That is what the apostle Paul would have done. It was what he always did in every forum, whether in the market place at Corinth or on Mars Hill in Athens, because Paul was convinced that the gospel alone is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). Thus he testified, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).
But Rick Warren does not walk in the steps of the apostle Paul. He has a different gospel and a different objective in ministry, his gospel being a human-centered gospel of doing good and self-fulfillment and his objective being to change the world through his PEACE program. Paul summarized his gospel as follows: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4).
He said elsewhere that this gospel was delivered to him by divine revelation and that if anyone preaches another gospel, he is under God’s curse (Galatians 1:6-12). Paul’s gospel is clear. It says that all men are fallen sinners who are under God’s holy wrath for their rebellion, that without salvation they will perish forever, and that Christ, the Son of God, came into this world to suffer in the sinner’s place by dying on the cross, and that He died, and that He rose from the dead the third day. All of this was done in accordance with the prophecies that were recorded in Old Testament Scripture before Jesus’ birth.
Rick Warren didn't preach anything like this in his Ted Talk. In fact, he didn't talk about Christ at all. He said nothing about man’s sin or God’s holiness or the Cross or the atonement or Jesus’ death or the resurrection. He didn't mention the Holy Scripture or Bible prophecy. He spent most of his time talking about the success of his book A Purpose Driven Life and the things he has done, the money he has given away, the projects he has developed. Then in the last few moments of the 20-minute talk, having preached zero Christ and zero gospel to the needy souls of his audience, Rick Warren concluded with these words: “So the good life is not about looking good, feeling good, or having the goods. It’s about being good and doing good. The bottom line is that God gets pleasure watching you be you. Why?
He made you. And when you do what you are made to do, He goes, ‘That’s my boy; that’s my girl.’ You are using the talent and the ability that God gave you. So my advice to you is look at what is in your hand, your identity, your influence, your income. And say, ‘It’s not about me; it’s about making the world a better place.’” Remember, Warren stated these words to a secular congregation without having preached the biblical gospel. For him to say in that context that God looks upon those who try to do what He made them to do as “my boy, my girl” is universalism and the Father of God heresy.
Even on his best day, such as in The Purpose Drive Life, Rick Warren preaches the most shallow, empty “easy believism” gospel imaginable, but at Ted Talks he preached no gospel at all, and that was a high crime before Almighty God. Of course, if Warren were a forthright preacher of the gospel, he would never have been invited to the New Age-tinged Ted Talks which are sponsored by the likes of Bill Gates. Those who invited him knew their man. They knew that he wouldn't betray their confidence in him by offending their human arrogance or reproving their enmity with God.
(Friday Church News Notes, February 1, 2013, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)