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Commentary by Roger Oakland from the Philippines

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The concept of Purpose Driven people and churches has become a phenomenon that is sweeping the world. Since the publication and promotion of the idea by Rupert Murdoch-owned Zondervan, the name of Pastor Rick Warren has become synonymous with a man who has a plan to bring hope for planet earth.

When I say the planet, that is exactly what I mean. Over the past five years I have spoken to pastors and church leaders in over twenty-five countries. Where ever I have gone, the message of purpose driven has proceeded me.

I have just completed two conferences for pastors and church leaders, one at the city of Antipolo near Manila and the other at Bageo. Because The Purpose Driven Life has been widely distributed throughout the Philippines (either for free or very little cost), the concept of the purpose driven Christian has reshaped the minds and the motives of Christian leaders who now desire to have mega-churches, just like Pastor Rick.

While it is true, that the purpose driven movement encourages all to become purpose driven for the cause of good over bad, somewhere along the line, the social gospel that is being promoted has set the gospel according to the Scriptures aside, or at least, caused it to be lost in the zeal to eradicate AIDS, poverty and illiteracy.

For example, while in the Philippines, I have discovered that Roman Catholics had been invited to participate together with “evangelicals” to promote the concept that is about to be unveiled in the Philippines – the P.E.A.C.E. plan.

Remember, Rick Warren signed an agreement with Chuck Colson in April of 2005 at the large gathering at Anaheim Stadium when the P.E.A.C.E. plan was announced. It is common knowledge that Chuck Colson signed Evangelicals and Catholics together.

Is the P.E.A.C.E. plan just another arm of the Roman Catholic New Evangelization program that is designed to establish the kingdom of God here on planet earth with headquarters in Rome? Is Rick Warren fully aware of the path he is choosing to lead many unsuspecting Christians?

Breaking the News in the Philippines

Throughout both conferences in the Philippines, a number of presentations were made to help pastors and church leaders understand the significance to understand our times. Nearly every single person had been affected by the purpose driven philosophy. When I asked for a show of hands in Bageo if anyone had a copy of the book, about 50 percent of the 100 or more delegates raised their hands.

The topics that I presented dealt with deception in the church in the last days as revealed in the Bible relating to Bible prophecy. For example, I quoted
Warren’s own words taken from
Purpose Driven Life:

When the disciples wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus quickly switched the conversation to evangelism. He wanted them to concentrate on their mission to the world. He said in essence, "The details of my return are none of your business. What is your business is the mission I have given you. Focus on that!” [1]

Further, when I quoted Warren’s own words from an interview he did with Charlie Rose, August 17, 2006, some indicated to me afterwards they were questioning whether this quote was taken in the proper context:

When I go out and I start telling people, “Do you want to work with us on poverty, disease, AIDS, illiteracy, injustice?” I often find people are more unwilling to work with us than we are willing to work with them. In other words, we’re saying, “You don’t have to change your beliefs for us to work with you.” If you can only work with people that you agree with, then most of the world, you’re ruling out. Okay. I don’t insist that a Moslem change his belief for me to work on poverty. I don’t even insist that a gay person has to change their beliefs. They’re not going to accept my belief, or I’m not going to accept theirs. [2]

Throughout the conferences in the Philippines, I told the delegates about the various three-legged stool plans that were being implemented for peace. These plans included the United Nations plan, the Al Gore and the “Mother Earth” plan, the Vatican plan, and also Rick Warren’s three-legged stool plan that he learned from his mentor Peter Drucker.

For, example, I had quoted Warren, who stated the following in an interview:

A one-legged stool will fall over, a two-legged stool will fall over, and business and government alone cannot solve these problems. They haven’t, or they would’ve. The third leg of the stool is the churches. There’s a public sector role, there’s a private sector role and there’s a faith sector role. [3]

Even thoughI had presented the facts about the purpose driven belief system, it was apparent that many were not convinced that I was telling the truth.

The Final Blow

It is not my desire to attack or destroy other ministries, although recently there have been plenty of attempts to attack and destroy the ministry of Understand The Times. My desire is to tell the truth and point people to the Word of God. In fact, I have been told recently that the problem I have created amongst a fellowship of pastors is because of “telling the truth.”

It is because I am concerned about the direction that purpose driven emerging church Christianity is leading Bible-believing Christianity that I feel called to warn the church – it is a church that is headed towards apostasy and doesn’t even know it. It was for this reason I wrote Faith Undone as a message to the church to wake up and get back to the Word of God away from teachings designed to grow churches at the expense of biblical truth.

While I was speaking at the conference in Bageo, Rick Warren was in Europe participating in the DAVOS discussion group. Someone sent me a link to a short interview that he gave that was aired on You-tube. When I watched Warren on that video clip, I realized his statement would help me show the Bageo Understand The Times delegates that I had not been taking things out of context nor was I exaggerating the concerns I had with purpose driven Christianity.

On the last day of the conference, I visited an internet café and videoed the statement that Warren had made at DAVOS. Later I showed it at the conference. The conference delegates heard Rick Warren confirm all that I had previously told them, in the very words spoken by himself. As a result, after my PowerPoint presentation of Warren’s statement, one could have heard a pin drop in the lecture hall. The facts were presented. The case was complete. I made no further comments.

As I conclude this commentary, please read the transcript of the statement Warren made about purpose driven at DAVOS. I will make no further comment. My case is closed. You can draw your own conclusion.

Is purpose driven Christianity a biblical Christianity or is it not?

Transcript: “Rick Warren Answers the DAVOS[4] Question”

Posted on You tube January 25, 2008

Rick Warren:


Hi, You Tubers. This is Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback Church. I’m here at DAVOS with a lot of my friends. And we are talking about what are the biggest problems of the planet and how are we going to solve them.


Right now, I think, there are five what I call global giants—extreme poverty, pandemic diseases, illiteracy, corruption, and spiritual emptiness. These problems are so big nobody’s been able to solve them. The U.S. hasn’t solved them. The U.N. hasn’t solved them. Nobody’s solved them. And I think it is because we are going to—it is going to take a three-pronged strategy to do this.


There is a role for the public sector. There is a role for the private sector. And there is a role for the faith sector. Each of them can do something that none of the other three can do.


Government has a role to set agenda. Government has a role to set priorities and things like that, and move nations. And there are some things that only governments can do.


Businesses have a role. Which they have—they bring expertise. They bring, they bring investments. They bring all kinds of innovations to the market.


But then also, houses of worship have things that businesses and government will never have. In the first place, we have universal distribution. The church was global two hundred years before DAVOS ever talked about globalization.


I can take you to ten million villages around the world that the only thing in it is a church. And we are in more locations than the United Nations. We speak more languages than the United Nations. We are a thousand more people groups than the United Nations.


You see, there are 600 million Buddhists in the world. There are 800 million Hindus in the world. There are a billion Muslims in the world. But there are 2.3 billion Christians in the world. If you take people of faith out of the equation you have ruled out five-sixths of the world.


So we have to mobilize this, this, these faith groups to do—to work together on these issues that have been unsolvable. And the church has, of course, the greatest distribution.


It also has the biggest manpower, being 2.3 billion people. I mean it is the church. The Christian church is bigger than China. It is bigger than India. In fact, it is bigger than India and China put together. So nothing compares to its size. We have hundreds of millions of people who volunteer around the world in villages and cities on a weekly basis. And we don’t have to pay them!


The third thing that they have is they have local credibility. At the local level people trust that priest, or that pastor—or for that matter an imam or a rabbi, the religious leader of their faith, because he is marrying, he is burying, he is helping them through the stages of life. When the crisis comes, NGOs come and go. Nations come and go. But for instance the church has a 2,000 year track record.


So I really think that what we need to do here at DAVOS is to work on a three-legged stool. The problem we haven’t solved these issues before is because we have had a two-legged stool. We’ve had government and business trying to work together. And that’s a good thing. But a two-legged stool will fall over. You have to have the faith sector. You have to have the public sector. And you have to have the private sector.


And frankly, I don’t care why you do good, as long as you do good. Your motive may be politics. You know, I am a member of the Counsel of Foreign Relations, and I have learned that when you, for instance, help people get well, that they have been unhealthy, they like your nation.


Now, that is not my motivation for doing good. But it is not a bad one. If you have a political motivation, fine, do it. You may have a profit motivation for doing good as well. You know, some businesses say we are going to make drugs and make money at the same time and help people. Great! I wish more people would do that. I wish more businesses would make more money and do more good at the same time. It is not my motivation, but a profit motive is not bad. You might have a personal motivation. Maybe you have cancer, you have AIDS, and so you care about people with cancer and AIDS.


My motivation is—Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But it doesn’t have to be your motivation. I’m just encouraging you to get involved. Do something now about the problems of the world. [5]


Note: Upon completion of this commentary, I learned that after Warren’s trip to DAVOS where he made the preceding comments, he spoke at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. Warren said many of the same statements at the Cathedral as he did in DAVOS.


In addition, he told the Cathedral (an interfaith promoting church) the following: “People ask me all the time, are you left-winged or right-winged? ... I'm for the left wing and for the right wing.... the fundamental truth is Washington needs both wings.”


Warren called for a reconciliation between religion and politics. [6]




[1] Rick Warren, Zondervan, The Purpose Driven Life, page 285-286

[2] Rick Warren Interview with Charlie Rose, August 17, 2006,

[3] Michael Ireland, “Rick Warren Talks about AIDS, Celebrity Status, Elections, January 9, 2007,

[4] Wikipedia states that Davos (pronounced DaVOHS) is a municipality in Switzerland:
"Davos is famous as the host to the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF), an annual meeting of global political and business elites, which is often referred to as simply Davos."