Original publication August 2004. *Indicates update April 13, 2005
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall turn unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 KJV
*Update July 8, 2005*
I am not a denominational Christian in any way shape or form, as I do not believe that the Lord Jesus establishes denominations. But, for a number of years I was affiliated with and a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Cheyenne WY. What interested me about this particular denomination was its emphasis on evangelism. I considered my "membership" a mere formality. As a musician and member of the worship team, the Lord moved and many were given the message of salvation. However, it seems that this denomination has gone the way of so many and joined the ecumenical movement of the spirit of antichrist.
The following link is a news article concerning life-long members of Christian Missionary Alliance that were ousted for refusing to sign "membership covenants" as laid out in the New Age influenced "Purpose Driven" books by Rick Warren.
I know many within the CMA Church that I consider good friends. With that in mind, I sent them a copy of this article along with a link to this page. Everyone deserves to know what is happening. Also true to my convictions, I have contacted the headquarters for CMA and renounced my affiliation with this denomination.
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." Ephesians 5:11 KJV
S. David Mitchell
The following is a copy of the email sent to the C&MA headquarters in Colorado.
A few years ago, my wife and I became members of the CMA through the Church located in Cheyenne, WY. Recently, I came across the following article concerning a CMA church in Canada.
I find the actions of this church and the subsequent justification by Franklin Pyles appalling and completely unscriptural. Nowhere in scripture is anything of this nature approved. In fact its just the opposite. The Lord Jesus said that these types of commitments were "evil"!
"But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." Matthew 5:34-37 KJV
I have watched the CMA slide deeper into ecumenical harlotry over the years and hoped that it would stop. Apparently my hopes were misplaced.
In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am hereby renouncing any and all affiliation with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and/or any of its affliates. Please remove my name from any and all member lists.
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." Ephesians 5:11 KJV
In Obedience to Christ,
“The Heresy Driven Life”
One of the biggest phenomenon's of our day is the utter infatuation with Rick Warrens’ books, “The Purpose Driven Life” and “The Purpose Driven Church.” Rick Warren is the senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, USA and on any given Sunday, some 19,000 people will attend the services there. Not only popular in Christian circles, “The Purpose Driven Life” has exploded on the secular market as well, becoming number 1 on the New York Times best seller list.
There is much contained within the writings of Rick Warren, but the main theme is that in 40 days, you will know God’s purpose for your life! But is this a realistic approach to the Gospel of Christ, and a Believers relationship with their Lord? Any mature Christian should see the falsity of a claim such as this.
According to Rick Warren, “The Bible is clear that God considers 40 days a spiritually significant time period. Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes, he took 40 days.”(The Purpose Driven Life; p.9)
He begins from a false premise! His statement that “Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes, he took 40 days” is an absolute. The presumption is that this is the only way God works! However, the examples he uses are questionable in their interpretation at the least - and completely false at their worst. He sites 8 examples on page 10 of “The Purpose Driven Life”.
1. Noah’s life was transformed by 40 days of rain. Noah’s life was transformed by the years of his obedience and faithfulness in building the ark. It was the world that transformed by the 40 days of rain – God destroyed it! (Genesis 7:22)
2. Moses was transformed by 40 days on Mount Sinai. Yes, there was a great light that shone from the face of Moses after 40 days on Mount Sinai. But in truth, God prepared Moses in the court of Pharaoh for 40 years, and then spent another 40 years refining (transforming) him in the desert from the idolatrous influence of Egypt; before he was ready to be used of the LORD to lead the Children of Israel from bondage. (Acts 7:23-30)
3. The spies were transformed by 40 days in the Promised Land. Without giving all of the specifics, this statement is half truth. After 40 days in the Promised Land, all of the spies sent by Moses, except for Joshua and Caleb caused the Children of Israel to be fearful and sin against the LORD because of their report. (Numbers chapters 13 and 14)
4. David was transformed by Goliath’s 40 day challenge. David had already been anointed king by Samuel the prophet and was not there to hear the challenge of the Philistine for 40 days. When he did arrive at the scene, his faith in the LORD caused him to admonish his brethren and slay Goliath. (1 Samuel 17)
5. Elijah was transformed when God gave him 40 days of strength from a single meal. How transformed was Elijah? The LORD had just answered the prophets of Baal by fire, (1 Kings 18:21-40) and now he was hiding in a cave because he was afraid of Jezebel; after asking the LORD to end his life! (1 Kings 19)
6. The entire city of Nineveh was transformed when God gave the people 40 days to change. Again, this example is spurious. Upon hearing the Word of the LORD from Jonah, the call for repentance was immediate; it did not take 40 days for the people to get the message! Jonah was the one truly transformed after 3 days in the belly of a fish. (Jonah chapters 3 and 4)
7. Jesus was empowered by 40 days in the wilderness. Of all of his statements, this is perhaps the worst. According to the Bible, it is the Holy Spirit that empowered Christ.
“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Being forty days tempted of the devil…And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit..." Luke 4:1-2a; 14c KJV
The Apostle Paul testified of Christ:
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power…” Acts 10:38a KJV
8. The disciples were transformed by 40 days with Jesus after his resurrection. Again, the Word of God bears testimony against this statement. Jesus Himself told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would empower them.
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the utter most part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 KJV
It is the Holy Spirit that transforms a life.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Titus 3:5 KJV
The Apostle Peter denied Jesus three times (Matthew 26:69-75), but after he was filled with the Holy Spirit he spoke up boldly of Christ! (Acts 2:14)
The Apostle Paul is the antithesis of finding your purpose in 40 days and perhaps the best accusation against “Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes, he took 40 days”. He was instructed in the Law for many years, but after his conversion he began to preach immediately (Acts 9:20). He then spent 3 years in the desert of Arabia before he visited the Apostle Peter in Jerusalem (Galatians 1:17-18). It was another 14 years later that he went to the Church in Jerusalem so they could “check” the Gospel he preached (Galatians 2:1-2).
In over 25 years of ministry, I have crossed the paths of many faithful saints that took more than 40 days (even with reading the Bible, praying and fasting) in order to find their purpose in relation to God’s plan for them. For some, it literally took years.
Although Rick Warren gets glowing reviews for “The Purpose Driven Life” from Billy and Franklin Graham, Bruce Wilkinson, Lee Strobel and Max Lucado; the “wisdom” of this book seems to be more closely associated with the quick fix diet plans of our day than godly wisdom as contained in the Bible. “The Purpose Driven Life” promises a god filled life without having to do any of the fundamentals. Like the wonder diet pills that claim you can lose weight no matter what you do.
God’s timetable is not mans, and the “instant gratification demands” of our baby boomer, microwave generation often negates the fundamentals that are essential for any Christian. Before a believer can find his purpose, he or she must be discipled and instructed in the very basics of Christianity, establishing the foundation of a personal relationship with Jesus, otherwise what he or she tries to build will crumble. (Matthew 7:24-27)
Throughout his books and sermons, Rick Warren also uses modern translations of the Bible to back up his claims and assertions for obtaining a purpose driven life. These versions are common among those that follow the ecumenical path because they blur the lines of Truth. Churches that advocate homosexuality (such as Metropolitan Churches) or churches that seek to accept the practice of idolatry (such as the Roman Catholic Church) or champion the cause of ordaining women (such as the Methodist Church) use these so-called modern versions fervently. Perhaps it is from one of these translations that Rick Warren got his ideas for his books.
“The Father is the goal and purpose of my life.”
John 14:28 The Message (emphasis mine)
However, as shown in the King James Version, the meaning is far different from what Rick Warren implies.
“...for my Father is greater than I.” John 14:28 KJV
What makes all of this so ironic is Rick Warren’s statement on page 176:
“God’s Word provides the truth we need to grow…”
Many of the modern versions of the Bible eliminate scriptures and sometimes complete passages. Or as already evidenced, change the meaning of them altogether. How can these translations provide truth when they take away the words of God? In the beginning pages of “The Purpose Driven Life”, the reader is encouraged to read the book for 40 days, one chapter a day. If Christians spent that kind of time in a reliable version of the Bible (one that didn’t eliminate or change the meaning of scripture) how transformed would they become?
“For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7 KJV
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17 KJV
Throughout his preaching, Rick Warren uses the feel good, worldly positive messages made famous by Robert Schuller and Norman Vincent Peale. Now Joel Osteen , the poster boy of the "positive message" gospel, has picked up the mantle of heresy begun by Peale and Schuller. Apparently, Robert Schuller was a great influence on Rick Warren.
“During his last year in seminary, he and Kay drove west to visit Robert Schuller's Institute for Church Growth. ‘We had a very stony ride out to the conference,’ she says, because such nontraditional ministry scared her to death. Schuller, though, won them over. ‘He had a profound influence on Rick,’ Kay says. ‘We were captivated by his positive appeal to nonbelievers. I never looked back.’Imitating Schuller, Warren walked the (then unincorporated but fast-growing) town of Lake Forest, asking what kept people from going to church. He recruited a Bible study group that met at the Warrens' condominium; its members helped stamp and address letters to 15,000 households. ‘At last!’ the letter began. ‘A new church for those who've given up on traditional church services!’ More than 200 people showed up for an Easter service at Laguna Hills High School. Watching them stream in, Warren marveled, ‘This is really going to work!’” Christianity Today, “A Regular Purpose Driven Guy” by Tim Stafford 11/18/02
He does not want to offend or cause so-called division. On pages 163 and 164 of “The Purpose Driven Life”, Warren states:
“God warns us over and over not to criticize, compare, or judge each other. When you criticize what another believer is doing in faith and from sincere conviction, you are interfering with God’s business...Whenever I judge another believer, four things instantly happen: I lose fellowship with God, I expose my own pride, I set myself to be judged by God, and I harm the fellowship of the church.”
As deceptively scriptural, loving and feel good as this statement is, according to an article in Christianity Today, it is completely false! At Saddleback, Pastor Warren exercises judgment quite readily.
“Saddleback practices church discipline — removing hundreds of members for nonparticipation or for unrepented sin.” Christianity Today, “A Regular Purpose Driven Guy” by Tim Stafford 11/18/02 (emphasis mine)
Judgment within the Body of Christ is completely scriptural and absolutely necessary. This statement within the pages of “Purpose Driven Life” is more in line with the “you do your thing and I’ll do mine” mentality of the 1970’s. Righteous judgment is to reveal and avoid the spirit and way of the world; whether it’s called Christian or something else! By exercising Holy Spirit judgment, we keep ourselves close to the Lord and uncontaminated from the world. As quoted in the Bible, the Lord Jesus said;
“Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment." John 7:2 KJV
If someone is preaching a message contrary to the message of Christ and the Apostles, we are to avoid them! Referring to division that is of the Lord, the Apostle Paul made it clear!
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” Romans 16:17 KJV (emphasis mine)
Rick Warren also revealed his harlotry and compromise when he used Mother Teresa as an example in his message entitled “The Potential of a Single Life.” Mother Teresa as quoted in Time magazine states;
"I love all religions...if people become better Hindus, better Muslims, better Buddhists by our acts of love, then there is something else growing there." Time Magazine 12/04/1989
Like all ecumenists, she proclaimed there are many ways to God!
"All is God - Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, etc., all have access to the same God." Time Magazine 12/04/1989
"If in coming face to face with God we accept Him in our lives, then we are converting. We become a better hindu, a better Muslim, a better Catholic, a better whatever we are...What God is in your mind you must accept." Desmond Doig; "Mother Teresa: Her People and Her Work": p. 156
It should be of no surprise that Rick Warren gushes over Mother Teresa. Keeping the Catholic Church happy is essential for church growth in the Latter Days!
“Warren is part of the ultra-conservative Southern Baptist Convention, and all his senior staff sign on to SBC’s doctrines, such as the literal and infallible Bible and exclusion of women as senior pastors. Yet Warren’s pastor-training programs welcome Catholics, Methodists, Mormons, Jews and ordained women. ‘I’m not going to get into a debate over the non-essentials. I won’t try to change other denominations. Why be decisive? He asks, citing as his model Billy Graham, a statesman for Christ ministering across barriers.” Cathy Lynn Grossman; “The Evangelist has a ‘Purpose’”, USA Today 7/21/03 (emphasis mine)
The utter absurdity of this statement is completely obvious! Does Rick Warren consider the truth non-essentials? The Mormon Church denies the deity of Jesus Christ, as do those that practice Judaism; thus separating them from the promise of Eternal Life through the Son of God.
“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:12 KJV
According to Catholicism veneration (idolatry) is completely acceptable and members of the Roman Church are encouraged to bow down and kiss statues of porcelain or stone, made in the images of so called saints!
“Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female.” Deuteronomy 4:16 KJV
“Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down to it: for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 26:1 KJV
Although Rick Warren’s approach to evangelism claims to be Seeker friendly, and the numbers attending his services are indeed staggering, what he and those like him have actually accomplished is watered down the Gospel to make it more palatable to a generation looking for the spirit of the world in their Christianity! The Word of God reveals the sin in our lives, and our condition before a Holy God.
“For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit., and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 KJV
The reality of our state before God is what compels us to seek His forgiveness through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, now being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:8-9 KJV
Sin separates a person from God, whether that person claims and follows Christ or not. Christians are not immune from the effects of sin. But if you follow the council of Rick Warren and his ilk, this reality may escape you. These “modern versions” have for the most part removed the Cross.
“Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture.” Romans 8:35-37 The Message (emphasis mine)
This translation of these passages in Romans are completely errant and false! What the apostle is stating is that there are no OUTSIDE forces that can separate a faithful follower of Christ from the love of God! But if while going through these trials we begin to deny Christ, doubt, get fearful or in other ways yield to sin, we are indeed separated from God and in need of repentance.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay in all these things we are more then conquerors through him that loved us." Romans 8:35-37 KJV
*Also of note is Rick Warren's use of Hindu style reciting of mantras.
"In what appears to be a sweeping phenomenon, Christian leaders are embracing practices and a new spirituality that borrows from Eastern mysticism and New Age philosophy. The changes are taking place worldwide and involve many of the most popular evangelical leaders including Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Richard Foster, Tony Campolo, and Eugene Peterson. In Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life, on Day Eleven, he encourages people to practice 'breath prayers' by repeating words and phrases over and over in a mantra-style prayer, a practice used centuries ago by a group of mystical monks known as the Desert Fathers. This so-called 'prayer' is identical to that found in Hindu yoga and Zen Buddhism." Evangelical Leaders Promote New Age and Eastern Spiritual Practices Moriel Ministries website
But what was the admonishment of the Lord Jesus Christ concerning such "prayers"?
"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." Matthew 6:7 KJV
Many may ask, “So what difference does it make?” The truth is that it makes a great difference! By “fellowshipping” with those who hold to false and heretical doctrines (i.e. Mormons, Catholics, etc) within the realm of “40 Days of Purpose”, credence and validity is given to those that are trapped in these deceptions. This is the same error perpetrated by the Promise Keepers men’s movement. As long as you “call” yourself a Christian, you are welcomed with open arms; whether you are Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, or something else.
One of the goals of those that follow the ecumenical bent is to find “common ground” – an issue or situation that everyone can get behind! With Promise Keepers, it’s the need for men to rise up and take their responsibility for their homes and families. With others, it’s the tragedy of the number of abortions that occur in this country every year. Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, etc. will gather at rallies to decry this abominable act. Doctrinal differences are set aside for a “higher purpose”. Abortion is a horrendous crime committed against those that cannot defend themselves, but when a child is murdered by an abortion, that young life will spend eternity with a God that loves him or her. The people attending rail about the injustices, hold up pictures of aborted fetuses and denounce the doctors that perform such heinous acts. Yet while doing so, they stand side by side with people that adhere to doctrines that can and will result in their being cast into the Lake of Fire at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 21:8).
On the Trinity Broadcasting Network (7/15/04) John Hagee praised Mel Gibson for making the movie “The Passion of the Christ”, ending his enthusiasm with a hearty “God bless ‘em”. Gibson, a staunch Catholic, based much of the blockbuster on the accountings of a nun named Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich, known for her mystical (and unbiblical) visions of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. The star of the movie, James Caviezel (also a devout Catholic), in many interviews described how that Mass was given everyday on the set. He explained that after taking the Eucharist, something “took him over” so he could play the part of Jesus in the movie.
There are many un-biblical renderings in “The Passion”, and many obvious references to the Blessed Virgin of the Roman Catholic Church. According to Catholic Tradition, all must obey her – even Jesus.
“At the command of Mary, all obey, even God.”
Alphonsus de Ligouri, “The Glories of Mary” p. 181
John Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas USA, praises Mel Gibson and asks the Lord to bless him? Perhaps he has never read the following scripture.
“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” 2 John 10-11 KJV (emphasis mine)
On the same show, another so called Christian leader, Grant Jeffery, had much to say. According to this “expert” there are only approximately 100,000 Muslim extremists, thus excusing all others. Islam is the religion of the sword, and the whole world has felt the effects of the teachings of Muhammad. Yet, Pope John Paul II has joined hands with Muslims, calling them brothers. Perhaps the day is not too far off when those that are considered leaders in the body of Christ, will join hands with the followers of Islam, calling them “brothers”!
*In early April during the Spring 2005 Trinity Broadcasting "Rip-off a Thon", Paul Crouch did indeed wax eloquently about his muslim brothers and sisters that will be able to watch TBN (Total Blasphemy Network) on satellite dishes.
"While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matthew 12:46-50 KJV (emphasis mine)
Grant Jeffery also revealed (albeit unknowingly) how the strategy of ecumenism has taken hold of the Church. Propaganda, he states, is to keep saying something over and over. If you say it long enough, people will eventually begin to believe it’s true.
After Vatican II in the 1960’s, the schism between the Protestant Church and the Roman Catholic Institution began to be erased. Now churches that began in “protest” against the Papacy have offered them the right hand of fellowship.
On September 11, 2001 Muslim extremists murdered thousands and the world is up in arms over it; and rightly so. But in perspective, the Roman Catholic Church is responsible for the deaths of millions of Bible Believing Christians! Yet, where is the indignation? If anyone has the fortitude to reveal the errors, heresy and abominations of the Roman Catholic Institution they are accused of being “divisive” – of “dividing the brethren”. Something that by his own admission, Rick Warren shies away from. Paul Crouch, head of TBN, has also had much to say on the matter. If he could, he would kill anyone that dares reveal the truth about Catholicism compared to biblical Christianity.
“...the heresy hunters that want to find a little mote of illegal doctrine in some Christian’s eye and pluck that little mote out of their eye when they’ve got the whole forest in their own lives and their own eyes. I say to hell with you! Oh hallelujah! Get out of God’s way. Quit blocking God’s bridges or God’s gonna shoot you if I don’t.” As quoted in “Blinded by the Sun” by S. David Mitchell p. 208 (www.thewildernesscry.com/page14.html)
Walter Martin, the original “cult watcher” wrote a book many years ago entitled “Kingdom of the Cults”. According to the book, it is; “The Leading Cult reference tool, Now completely updated”. Hank Hanegraff, another “cult watcher” and head of the Christian Research Institute (C.R.I.) is the General Editor of the “updated” edition of “Kingdom of the Cults”. However the original versions and the updated versions as well, strangely omit one religious belief that is definitely a cult by definition. A true cult is any belief system that denies one or more of the following:
1.) The Deity of Christ.
2.) The Sacrifice and Resurrection of Christ.
3.) Salvation by grace, not works.
What belief system is missing from the works of Walter Martin and Hank Hanegraff? The Roman Catholic Church! The Roman Institution teaches that salvation is by works, NOT the grace of God through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ! The Body of Christ has been told for so long that Catholicism is indeed Christian, that most believe it. These same Believers have been fed a diet of corrupted scriptures in order to keep them from knowing God’s truth.
The Rick Warrens, Paul Crouchs, Hank Hanegraffs, et al. of this world are so-called Christian leaders that have kept the Body of Christ in darkness, by not teaching the whole council of God.
“Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you all the council of God.” Acts 20:26-27 KJV
Those that call upon the Lord Jesus from a true heart MUST stand up in these Last Days and reveal the works of the devil through the ecumenical movement. The mega-churches of our day have grown so large because they have embraced the spirit of the world and compromised the Word of God! According to the Bible, they will become the harlot church of the Book of Revelation that will persecute and kill true followers of Christ.
“That very church which the world likes best is sure to be that which God abhors." Charles Spurgeon, "How Saints may help the Devil"; July 24, 1859
Our modern, popular Christian leaders have removed the ancient landmarks of truth, established by countless numbers of faithful followers of Christ that refused to commit harlotry with false religion and worldly attitudes. Many times paying the ultimate price for their faithfulness to Christ — the forfeiture of their very lives!
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s the same shall save it.” Mark 8:35 KJV
“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” Proverbs 22:28 KJV
© The Wilderness Cry 2004-2005