RICK WARREN NOT SO BAD AFTER ALLAfter our church, Westminster, "did" Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life" program, I responded to that torture by writing Warren a one-star review on Amazon.com. What discredited the book for me was Warren's assertion that his Saddleback Church was the chosen venue of worship for a number of CEOs whose God-given purpose in life was to become rich, where they could do their part for the Lord's kingdom by writing checks. Gathering excessive wealth for one's self (while the people at the bottom end of the ladder in their company struggle to make ends meet) is greedy. The writing of checks is not DOING God's work, it's FUNDING God's work.
TIME magazine ran an article this week on what is now called "Prosperity" teaching: that God wants me to be rich, a message touted by preachers a la Joel Osteen, who has his name boldly emblazoned on the front of Lakewood Church. As you can guess, I don't subscribe to this materialistic blasphemy. God doesn't bestow luxury on us just because we want it. It's about what GOD wants, folks. As Jesus said, "The poor will always be with us." If we're all writing checks, who's going to take care of the DOING?
Much to my surprise, TIME quotes Warren opposing the prosperity movement. I still think his book is repetitive, boring, and ineffective, but I give the Reverend credit for choosing the right side on this one.