Sacrosanct Pastors and Their Defiled Religion

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A few years ago, I wrote about Purpose Driven Life pastor Rick Warren’s trip to Syria and how he was used by the anti-Christian Islamist Bashar Asaad to give people the false impression that Christianity is accepted and protected in Syria. He wrote me a personal email taking me to task for the critique and asked, “I wonder how many people you have led to the Lord?” in closing. Warren has since embraced working with Islam on issues of common ground. He appears to have embraced “Dominionist” theology that man must establish the Kingdom of God on earth before the Messiah can return, and if he doesn’t return, man will rule with the Messiah living in him, essentially being the “Christ” replacement.

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I have received many emails lately about pastors who dictate to their congregations what they will or will not do. Many have suggested that these pastors are setting up their own little “kingdoms” as modeled after larger, successful churches such as Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, Bill Hybels Willow Creek, Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, and many others. The questions from readers concern whether their pastors are behaving Biblically by flexing such a strong arm in their modeling of these mega-churches. In answering this question, there are essentially two benchmarks that I can suggest: First, is the pastor following the word of YHVH and the example of Yeshua? Second, what is his eschatology?

Yeshua said in John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.” Yeshua taught the disciples to love one another and to serve one another. A servants heart, not a tyrant’s heart is a strong indicator of a pastor. Does the pastor say that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible word of YHVH, then go on to show where he disagrees with the Word? Does the pastor cherry pick verses out of context to make his points? Does the pastor subscribe to John 14:6 where Yeshua said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me” or does he believe that allah and YHVH are the same and that there are more ways than one to heaven?

What is the pastor’s eschatology? The book of Revelation, along with all the prophets, is consistent about the return of the Messiah. Yeshua will return. He alone will establish his kingdom after he sets things right on earth. Anyone who preaches that man must establish the kingdom of God on earth before the Messiah returns, that man will set things straight, that the Messiah will rule over the earth in absentia through certain men, is a false teacher. How do you know? Read your Bible. Paul warns in Ephesians 4:14, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”

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By Bill Wilson

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