Purpose to Enlighten
A born-again author felt compelled to write to enlighten us about a popular book that is deceiving people in the church. Warren Smith said he wrote Deceived on Purpose to expose dark spiritual New Age implications of The Purpose Driven Life, written by Pastor Rick Warren of the famed Saddleback Church.
According to Mr. Smith, Pastor Rick Warren subtly inserts New Aged ideas into his book about God being in everyone, which are contrary to the Holy Bible. The biblical Word of God teaches that everyone is condemned by God unless they believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior (John 3:16-18).
Mr. Smith said he was freed from the darkness of the New Age movement by the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Word of God that freed Smith also enlightens and instructs us as people of the spiritual light to be separate from those who persist on staying in spiritual darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14-17). However, the Bible tells us to pray for and meekly correct those who are misled, that God may lead them to the truth of his Word (2 Timothy 2:25).
Smith feeling compelled to write to the Church
Smith warns, “Rick Warren is in the process of leading the Church astray.” In writing about the Pastor’s deceptions, Smith said he felt like the Apostle Paul who thought that it is a shame we must talk about such things; but because the people of God are being deceived, we have to (Deceived, p 8; Ephesians 5:12)
Warren Smith said he initially decided to read The Purpose Driven Life because it was being spoken of as a phenomenal Christian book. He only intended to do a quick reading of the book. However, he said when he began to read it, he noticed things that reminded him of cryptic deceptions he had encountered in the New Age movement. Recognizing the aims of our spiritual adversary, Smith said he decided “to specifically address the New Age implications of these purposes.”
Warren begins to enlighten us about some of the New Age spiritual deceptions in The Purpose Driven Life
In his Deceived on Purpose, Smith points out how Rick Warren, in The Purpose Driven Life, uses similar concepts and teaching (from A Course In Miracles) that had deceived Smith when he was in the New Age movement:
- Mr.Smith says Pastor Rick teaches that God is everywhere – in everything – in everyone – in you; New Age defines “oneness with God” as meaning you are divine.
- He said Rick Warren is widely accepted as a “Christian” Pastor, and has a “magic” that causes people to trust him. And he has an exceptional ability to cryptically lace New Age ideas into his “Christian” teachings (p 113).
- According to Mr. Smith, by Pastor Warren’s mixing New Age ideas with Christian teachings, he was being spiritually very deceptive.
- “Rick Warren is introducing New Age leaven in to the church” which can permeate the church and cause people to be deceived (p 85).
Smith continues to enlighten us by revealing that Rich Warren quotes significantly from revised versions of the Bible that have New Age/New Spirituality leanings:
The Message Version
- According to Smith, in The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren quoted extensively from a distorted paraphrased revision of the Bible—The Message, by Eugene Peterson. Of the fifteen translations and paraphrases of the Bible he used, Smith says his “favorite” was The Message.
- Smith said he had identified The Message as a New Age book when he worked for a radio station where he commented on books and issues related to the New Age.
- “Peterson took the carefully translated words of the Holy Bible and put them into his own words and idioms.” Continuing, Smith said “verses of Scripture often had their otherwise clear meanings obscured or altered” (p.24).
- Rick Warren erroneously quoting from Petersons paraphrase “as if it were the word of God” (p.27).
Note: Eugene Peterson authored a rendition of the Bible call The Message. Justin Peters wrote an article on “Why is the Message (Bible) not Safe?” He comments on several passages in The Message (Bible) which he says “directly compromise fundamental tenets of Orthodox Christianity.” https://fortheloveofhistruth.com/2011/10/07/why-is-the-message-bible-not-safe/
New Century Version
- Smith said he was shocked when he noticed that Pastor Rick was citing a New Age translation of Ephesians 4:6, from an unfamiliar New Century Version of the Bible: “He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything.”
- On pp 89-90 of his book, Smith gives us Rick Warren’s comments on the above citation, found in The Purpose Driven Life, p88: “Because God is with you all the time, no place is closer to God than where you are right now.” Below, Smith explains how the true Bible says God is not in everyone–with you all the time.
Seeing the light of the true Bible Word of God enables us to walk in the light, and avoid spiritual darkness of the New Age
Warren Smith says the doctrine of God being in everyone, as taught in The Purpose Driven Life, is “unbiblical teaching.” He said he abandoned fellowship with New Agers, upon learning that the Bible teaches that God’s Holy Spirit only dwells in those who truly believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (John 14:15-17; Acts 5:32; Galatians 3:26-28).
Once I was looking at The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren, and was planning to use it as Bible study material with some members of my family. The Holy Spirit stopped this plan from materializing. The Holy Spirit may sometimes prevent God’s peoples from being deceived by false doctrines of the adversary. At other times the Spirit may use the true biblical Word of God to enlighten you about deceptions of the enemy. If you have been deceived by New Age teachings and are now enlightened, the Holy Spirit is calling you out from among the followers of the New Age movement (Revelation 18:4). Followers of the true Light cannot have fellowship with followers of those in darkness (John 8:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17).
David Wilkerson—Last Days Deception