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RICK WARREN, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTICS AND POPE FRANCIS
 

Commentary by Roger Oakland
Understand The Times International: Roger Oakland Ministries
www.understandthetimes.org
1.800.689.1888

For printer friendly version, please click here
 

 

What did he say? This is exactly the direction we predicted he would go! It will be crucial that skeptics hear and see this interview.   These were my thoughts when I first watched the EWTN interview with Rick Warren and Raymond Arroyo provided by YouTube. April 11, 2014. The comments by Rick Warren in response to Arroyo’s questions from an interview that took place at Warren’s church in southern California were stunning. There is no room for doubt: Warren’s march towards ecumenical unity with Rome is becoming clearer and bolder as time passes.

The interview opened with the following question from Arroyo:

The Purpose Drive Life is the bestselling book in the world - 36 million plus copies. It’s been translated more than any book except the Bible. What is the key to that success? Why were so many people touched by that book and continue to be? [1]


 

Warren’s response to this question provides insight to two very important questions - the inspiration behind the book and the reason why it was written. His own words confirm that Roman Catholic mystics and their writings have been a strong influence on him personally and his ministry. This affinity associates him with the emerging church as well as numerous other statements he has made in the past. Warren responded:

You know, Ray, There is not a single new thought in Purpose Driven Life that hadn’t been said for 2,000 years. I’ve just said it in a fresh way. I said it in a simple way. When I was writing Purpose Drive Life it took me 7 months, 12 hours a day. I’d get up at 4:30 in the morning. I’d go to a little study. Start at 5 a.m. I was fasting til noon and I would light some candles and I would start writing and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. One of the things I did before I wrote the book was, um, I’d ask the question—How do you write a book that lasts 500 years? For instance, um, Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis, Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Ok? The Dessert Fathers, St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila. All of these great, classic devotional works. Any one of them—I just realized that in order to be timeless you have to be eternal.[2]


 

The authors and the books mentioned by Warren are more than revealing. They clearly show where his theology is founded.  To suggest these books are eternal and to place them in the same category as the Bible is blasphemous. Thomas Kempis, Brother Lawrence, St. John of the Cross, Theresa of Avilla are all Roman Catholic mystics.  The Bible is the inspired word of God. As Paul stated: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.[3] While the Bible is timeless and eternal, the books written by Roman Catholic mystics are the works of humans who are fallible and easily misled by the fallen spiritual dimension. They can promote doctrines of demons and lead Bible-believers away from the faith.

The Purpose Driven Life may be popular but there are many reasons to be skeptical it is inspired. Just because someone fasts daily until noon, confines oneself into a cubicle or writes under the light of candles does not make a book timeless and eternal. Warren’s answer to Arroyo’s question is questionable at best.

Changing the topic, Raymond Arroyo then asks the following question:

What is your secret to reaching people every day, every week, not only in your writing but when they speak to you? What is it? What is this communication gift, if you will, if you could decode, because a lot of preachers would like to know. [4]

Warren’s response is immediate. While Warren mentions Pope Francis several times in the complete interview with the EWTN host, he does not waste any time at this point to take the opportunity to praise the pope. He answers the question by directing attention to the pope and stating:

Yeah, right. Well, the main thing is love always reaches people. Authenticity, humility. Pope Francis is the perfect example of this. He is a—He is doing everything right. You see, people will listen to what we say if they like what they see. And as our new pope he was very, very symbolic in, you know, his first mass with people with AIDS, uh, his kissing of the deformed man, his loving the children. This authenticity, this humility, the caring for the poor, this is what the whole world expects us Christians to do. And when we—when they go, oh, that’s what a Christian does—In fact there was a headline here in Orange County—and I love the headline. It said, if you love Pope Francis, you’ll love Jesus. That was the headline! I showed it to a group of priests I was speaking to a while back.

While loving others is a quality all Christians should embrace and promote, using Pope Francis as the perfect example, seems somewhat opportunistic. The fact that he calls Pope Francis “our new pope” indicates that he has accepted the pope as the head of the Catholic Church and the church that he himself leads. If that is not the case, why would have he used the word “our”.
 

Further in the previous statement, he made mention of a headline that appeared in an Orange County newspaper that stated “If You Love Pope Francis, You’ll love Jesus”. Warren states that he showed it to a group of priests he was speaking to “a while back.”

So here’s my question: What part of the reformation that separated the “separated brethren” from Rome does Rick Warren not understand? Has he now publically declared that the Purpose Driven way is an ecumenical way on the road to Rome?

Further commentaries to be posted on this EWTN interview will provide the evidence this may well be the case. Maybe it’s time to be on the alert. As Jesus said with regard to End Times signs that He would be soon returning: Take Heed! [5]

 

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