While mega-pastor Rick Warren has joined a group of 100 church leaders calling for interfaith dialogue and the building of "common ground" with Muslims, he has a slightly different outlook toward Christians with whom he disagrees.
In his latest missive to fellow pastors, he writes: "You've got to protect the unity of your church. If that means getting rid of troublemakers, do it."
"As pastors, as shepherds of God's people, it's our job to protect our congregations from Satan's greatest weapon – disunity," he writes. "It's not always easy, but it's what we've been called to do."
Warren cites Paul's advice in II Timothy 2:23-26 as the basis for when and how "pastors" should draw the line on disagreements among the flock.
That happens to be excellent advice for anyone attempting to evangelize unbelievers. It is not, however, a call for church "professionals" to declare themselves as founts of unlimited wisdom and infallibility in spiritual matters.
Likewise, he quotes from Titus 3:10-11 as the authority for getting rid of "troublemakers." Yet, that Scripture is not referring to people contending for the faith. It is referring to heretics.
Rick Warren makes a spiritually fatal error when he proclaims, without any biblical authority, that Satan's greatest weapon is disunity. That is simply not true. The Bible reveals over and over again that even one spirit-filled believer can stand up against Satan. God is not impressed with numbers. He doesn't need numbers for victory. He doesn't care about big churches. He doesn't care about the cathedrals of men. He wants numbers only because He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
No, Satan's greatest weapon is hardly disunity. His greatest weapon since his fall and since the Garden of Eden has been deception. In fact, Satan loves unity – as long as those unified are knowingly or unknowingly serving him. He'd love for all of us to "go to hell in a handbasket."
The church is warned over and over about false teachers throughout the Bible. Surely Rick Warren is familiar with those warnings. Why would he assume all pastors to be righteous and assume all lay dissenters to be unrighteous?
And, equally curious, why does Rick Warren eagerly seek to find common ground with Muslim leaders while, at the same time, so ruthlessly advocating the disfellowship of Christian believers?
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