Thursday, February 23, 2006

Preaching repentance

I recently came across this advice from Rick Warren on preaching repentance:
Changing the way people act is the fruit of repentance. Repentance is not behavioral change; it results in behavioral change. Repentance happens in your mind. That 's why John the Baptist says to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. "I preach that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds" (Acts 26:20).
As Warren points out, our actions are changed by our hearts, our hearts are changed by our minds, and our minds are changed by the Word of God.

Update: As one commenter notes, it was Paul and not John quoted in Acts 26:20.


Blogger Doug McHone said...

I'm no fan of the PDL, but I think it's a shame that nobody has commented on this post yet. I've been watching it since it came out and am shocked to see no comments anywhere, at least in places where I look.

Is Rick Warren only bloggable when we disagree with him?

11:12 PM, February 24, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Good question, Doug. I'm not a PDL cheerleader, either, but after meditating on Phil. 4:8, I thought it might be a good time to say something good about the ole boy.

6:54 AM, February 25, 2006  
Blogger Vicki said...

Glad you posted this, or else I might never have known this about Rick Warren. We need to hold up TRUTH.

Several years ago, when I was seeking serious godly counsel about some issues, someone pointed out how my behavior only reflected what I truely believed about God and His Word. If we will believe the truth--and renounce the lies thst creep into our hearts and minds--our behavior will reflect genuine fruit of the Spirit, not pseudo-fruit by our own efforts, either.

Preaching sin & repentance is something many churches have gotten away from. Wish we'd just drop all that sensitive-seeker language and just preach straight from the Word--"be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds."

God bless you for responding to Phil.4:8 like that. A lesson for us all.

5:26 PM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Vicki, thank you for your kind (and perceptive) comments. Peace.

9:53 PM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger Douglas said...

Preaching repentance

Changing the way people act is the fruit of repentance. Repentance is not behavioral change; it results in behavioral change. Repentance happens in your mind. That 's why John the Baptist says to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. "I preach that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds" (Acts 26:20). - Rick Warren

No human being has the ability to change anyone let alone calling it the fruit of repentance and "changing the way people act" is not the fruit of repentance. People changing the way they act is repentance in action and results in continual changing, precept upon precept line upon line, along with bearing fruits worthy of repentance Luke 3:7-14. Repentance is behavioral change and is continual behavioral change until the day we die. Repentance is a gift from God alone and is a change of mind, will, emotions, heart, ones whole life, a complete turn around, His elect do the repenting, God does not do the repenting for them.

Rick Warren has so redefined the meaning of biblical repentance that it is now something completely different to what the Bible actually teaches. The deception of what Rick Warren has done is so subtle only the Holy Spirit through doctrinally sound studies of God's Word can reveal what he has done. I am sure even Rick Warren is unaware of what he is doing in his distortion of the truth. He is deceived himself.

"7.The deepest preaching, bar none, is preaching for repentance. Many preachers are great at interpretation, good at application, but not willing to call for repentance. I preach repentance every Sunday. I talk about "changing your mind" and "paradigm shift." But every message comes down to two words: Will you? "Will you change the way you're thinking?" If you are not preaching repentance, you're not preaching." - Rick Warren

The deepest preaching, bar none, is preaching Christ and Him crucified and died and raised again to life, for the knowledge of God, for the glory of God alone. Rick

Warren's "repentance", "changing your mind", "paradigm shift", "Will you change the way you're thinking?" is not biblical repentance, even though he quotes Scriptures and gives the Greek meaning of the word "repentance." Rick Warren's "repentance", a word he dislikes and calls negative, is no different than the "power of positive thinking" put forth by Robert Schuller, and that is why he downgrades the negative side of repentance, even totally neglecting the hard aspects of what repentance truly entails. A turning from, in godly sorrow, away from sin and evil and wickedness and idols and self and back unto God, in complete brokenness for having sinned against God who is absolutely holy. Only the regenerate are able to repent. It is not by the will of man alone. No degenerate sinner can change their mind regarding salvation, belief and repentance any more than they can fly to the moon unaided.

Every week I try to communicate God’s Word in such a way that it changes the way people think. The word “repentance” has taken on such a negative image, that I rarely use the word. But I preach it every single week. - Rick Warren

Rick Warren is attempting to take on the role of the Holy Spirit by trying "to communicate God's Word in such a way that it changes the way people think." The word of God and the word of God alone in the power of the Holy Spirit has the power to transform our minds. Rick Warren is teaching error on the back of truth. Rick Warren does not preach true biblical repentance every single week, he preaches a counterfeit.

"I believe that one of the great weaknesses of preaching today is that there are a lot of folks who are afraid to stand on the Word of God and humbly but forcefully challenge the will of people." - Rick Warren

It is NOT the role of any pastor to "humbly but forcefully challenge the will of people" in any manner whatsoever. Only a dictators do that sort of thing, a person that wants control . The role of the pastor is to feed the sheep with doctrinally sound exegetical expository preaching and teaching.

"Will you repent of preaching in ways that were not focused on application that could change people’s character and conduct? - Rick Warren

So not preaching Rick Warren's way is "SIN?" A sin you have to repent of if you are not preaching sermons focused on application? Since when is it the role of a pastor to preach "focused on application that could change peoples character and conduct?" Isn't application up to each individuals conscience? Should not a pastor just be faithful to the clear preaching of the actual text and explain the meaning and the sense of the word of God so the people can understand(Neh. 8) and leave all the rest to the workings of the Holy Spirit? Does not the Holy Spirit assist the believer in the change of their character and conduct and as they hear God's Word: Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.(Jn. 16:7) And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, "Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you,"(Acts 24:25), do they become alarmed and tremble and repent? Not like Felix, who did not repent, no doubt he could not repent at that time, as he probably was still in his degenerate state. Some repent and believe straight away and for others it is at another time. The Holy Spirit is like the wind, we do not know where the wind comes form or where the wind is going, nor can we see the wind but we sure can see its affects at diverse times, so it is with those who are born again.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

We are in this world but we are not to be of this world, not to be conformed to this world. The Christian mind set is determined and reshaped by knowledge of the Gospel, both law and grace, by the power of the Spirit, and by the concerns of the age to come (Rom. 8:5-9; 13:11-14), rather than by the passing fashion of this age (2 Cor. 4:18; 1 John 2:17). Only by such sanctifying renewal is the Christian made sufficiently sensitive to "prove" (discern) the behavior that is God's will in each situation.

I am sorry that this turned into a long sermon, I have been greatly troubled by your post and I have been studying this issue for days now and have written and re-written so many times what I wanted to say. It is of deep concern that I post this. Exposing falsehood is a difficult task and one I do not take lightly. In my opinion, from countless hours of study, I believe Rick Warren is far more dangerous than Charles Finney ever was.

For further studies on repentance see here and here


6:47 AM, March 05, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Douglas: Thanks for the comments. I won't be giving a point-by-point response, but I have read them, appreciate your thoughts, and will continue to give thought to what you've written. I'll also follow the links if time allows. Peace.

4:51 PM, March 06, 2006  
Blogger slavetoChrist said...

to the long poster.

I think the subtle twist that you claim pastor warren takes on biblical issues you are yourself guilty of, in how you take what he says and twist it to fit how you wish to percieve him.

I'm not posting here to say "I agree with everything that pastor Warren says." I am, however, going to say that God has used the man incredibly and he is a man of God. In so he is your brother and a part of the same Body.

In posting such vehemently the disagreements you have with the man, Are you helping build the Body? Are you aiding it's ability to operate and function according to biblical commands? Are the benefits you reap worth the damage?

Foundational theology is important. A foundation of Christ as Biblically presented is the cornerstone of faith. but how much can we agree to disagree and instead of grabbing at each other's throat screaming that his isogesis is sickening?

12:45 AM, October 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the last poster who, in effect said, "Can't we just get along and not point out errors in doctrine?

Building the body is not letting unbiblical errors be taught and not saying anything.
Unfortunately, RW is using the same tactics that cults do...using the same words, while subtely changing the meaning.
I have no problem with someone willing to draw a line in the sand and contend for the truth.


4:04 AM, November 18, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John the Baptist didn't say this in the book of Acts, it was Paul

8:17 PM, September 23, 2007  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

You're exactly right, Anon. That's a pretty glaring error, and I'm surprised no one noticed or at least commented on it sooner. Thanks for the catch.

8:15 AM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger KJD said...

Several Greek words translate to our one English word "preach". The three used most often are: Karruso-(2784)[used 61] to cry as a herald, to proclaim, to warn of the consequences. Euangelizo-(2097)[used 55]to proclaim the good news(including the whole story of Christ). Katangello-(2605)to declare, to proclaim, to tell thoroughly, to advocate, to report.
which ever Greek word is used the purpose of Preaching is clear from biblical context. The purpose of preaching is repentance. The type of repentence is determined by the make up of the audience. Sometimes it is repentance unto life and sometimes it is repentence for sin. As men who speak for God we have to allow the Spirit to guide us when we preach, teach or admonish. I have had a teaching layed out and planned to go in one certain direction and been guided to change the direction of the sermon in mid-course. However, it is always important that we do not fall into the snare of the adversary when we preach. We need to consider ourselves; how we are flesh and blood; how we sin too and restore them in the spirit of meekness. We do not feel superior, remembering that the only perfect man is seated at the right hand of God.

5:41 AM, July 20, 2008  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Good points, KJD. Thanks.

9:42 AM, July 21, 2008  
Anonymous Ron said...

I don't think Rick Warren is in any position to make any Biblical comments on Repentance or any other topic from the Bible. Rick Warren is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations. He's an internationalist. He's a wolf in sheeps clothing. John McCain and Barry Soetoro (Barack Obama) are also CFR members.

7:27 PM, January 12, 2009  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

A-Ron: Thanks for the comment. Rick Warren may indeed have some obedience problems of his own. All I can say, though, is that if I linked only to writers who didn't, then my blog would be blank. All the best.

3:30 PM, January 13, 2009  

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