April 26, 2007

Rick Warren Asks the Money Changers to Partner With The Church. This Could Be Worse Than Faith Based Funding.

by @ 6:22 pm. Filed under Business, Nuts on Parade

Jesus and the money changers had a fairly clear relationship. They wanted to market in the temple and Jesus was not having it.

Matthew 21:12-14 (New King James Version)

12) Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.

13) And He said to them, ?It is written, ?My house shall be called a house of prayer,? but you have made it a ?den of thieves.??

14) Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.

Jesus did not ask them to partner with him and fund the ministry. He knew their motives and kicked them out!

Before I continue, there are a few points that must be understood and if you disagree with them, you probably won’t be able to make sense of the rest of this post:

Jesus and the apostles accepted freely given funds from people who followed the Lord and wanted to help fund the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no record of heathens, money changers and others who were not actual followers of Christ helping to fund ministry. People who provided money were first converts and then provided money. So if a CEO accepts Jesus into their heart and then desires to give money, that is correct and scripturally supported. If the CEO wants to give before accepting Jesus, the focus should be on helping the CEO get their heart right with the Lord before taking their money. A company, being an entity developed for the sake of making money is only going to give money when there is a tangible return. Businesses will never come close to the Matthew 6 style of giving. Because when they give they typically provide their own press release or do it in a manner that requires the receiver to publicize the company’s brand. In short, they give as a form of advertising that is called charity, which provides a nice tax break. I’m not saying businesses should not give to anyone, but the church that receives from a business (not an individual) is going to be expected to provide something in return. Which will tarnish the entire process. So while a secular charity might gladly accept corporate funding, the church should exercise extreme caution with corporations and avoid corporate based funding. Government faith based funding is a bad idea, because it intertwines government rules and restrictions with ministry. It is worse with corporate funding. Because the company will not desire to see the money used for evangelism and the company will want their brand advertised as well. So, the church should keep the money changers out. Accept in those who wish to learn about Jesus and post conversion any individuals that wish to donate, that’s the proper order of things.

Having said all that, I was looking at the May 7, 2007 issue of Forbes magazine and noticed an article by none other than Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren. This issue of Forbes was all about networking. So just what would a pastor have to tell business people in an issue of a business magazine devoted to networking? Accept Jesus, he’s the best network with eternal gains? NOPE! Jesus wants you to join his network which is better than man’s? NOPE!. Warren was not writing this article as a businessman, but in his role as pastor of a church. If Warren worked in corporate marketing outside of the church (even if he also was a pastor) and wrote an article in Forbes that was not on behalf of the church (as in Christians) and was about business networks, I would not be making this post. But Warren wrote an article in a business magazine on behalf of the church and did exactly the opposite of the Lord’s example. He asked businesses to give in order for the church to do what he feels are good works. Keep in mind, I noted in a previous post how Rick Warren is willing to work with people who have absolutely no desire to spread the message of Jesus Christ.

Warren’s piece is titled The Power of Parishioners and you will need to get a free account to read it. I’m not going to quote any of it here, because I want you to read it all yourself. I want you to make the assessment of it on your own and I don’t want to pull a clip of this one that someone might feel was misconstrued. I’m giving my thoughts on it here, but you read the whole thing and consider the example of Jesus and the apostles.

Warren speaks of 5 global problems he wants to address:

He proposes a 3 way partnership to address these issues:

While spiritual emptiness is the first mentioned in his list of problems, in his solicitation to the business community for help, he only cites examples that address poverty and disease. These are the only 2 areas he goes in depth on. He does not say any more about the spiritual side of things and never says “Jesus” a single time. Keep in mind, he’s representing the church in this article. Soliciting for the church. But he totally neglects to mention Jesus and never says he wants to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

You might be asking, so what’s wrong with him seeking to have churches work with big business to fight poverty and disease? As I’ve already mentioned, these kinds of partnerships come at a price. The price would be that the church would face restrictions on how any corporate donations are spent, like with money from the government. Companies know if they were to openly fund a church with the expressed intention of spreading the message of Jesus Christ and him alone, that all their non-Christian contacts would be ticked and for them that would be bad for business. Also, the company would want to use the “partnership” as a marketing tool. Money changers would be fully in the temple doing their marketing. They would market not only to the church members, but also make press releases to laud how they gave to the church. On top of that, they would probably seek to have any church effort mention their name/brand and leverage the church for a form of advertising.

The church is to do good works, but we must maintain the proper context of our efforts. If we take from government as the church, we are not bound by what the Lord commands, but what government commands be done with the money. If we take from corporations, we are bound by corporate requests, that could be more demanding than those from government. Also, once that corporation is caught in scandal, they’d want face time with the church, to put a nice spin out to the media.

And of course there are the issues with what the corporation might be involved in as a company that is outside of the will of the Lord.

We are to spread the message of Jesus and in that do the good works. Not prostitute the church to make money to do good works that are restricted from fully offering the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus Christ. Which would include things like telling a homosexual convert that they need to turn from that lifestyle. Something companies and even some governments would not like to see done.

I feel Warren’s efforts set a dangerous precedent and will turn the church into an extension of the money changer.

8 Responses to “Rick Warren Asks the Money Changers to Partner With The Church. This Could Be Worse Than Faith Based Funding.”

  1. Mark Says:

    Nice work man. I sometimes think these mega churches begin to think like govt and corp’s because they usually operate like one. That includes Christ not being mentioned in some of Rick Warren’s outreaches and programs his church offers. I am not saying it’s done on purpose, but it may not be welcomed to a mass audience. I don’t like the taste of any body of Christ partnerships that do not First and Foremost teach Christ crucified. The term “spiritual emptiness” don’t sit well with me either. Even Wiccans offer relief for that.

  2. Mark Says:

    ok, call me slow… I read the Forbes article. I think he underestimates the local church as it wroks today, and way over estimates the effectiveness of involving Govt and Corp to reach ‘his’ goals. There are hundreds of groups that currently work effective relief using local christian churches. Maybe he should just say he wants: the church(worldwide christians) to do what Govt, Business, and Saddleback want done. He cites Saddleback’s contributions on several recent natural disasters and wants the body of Christ, the church, to join the Govt and Business in world wide response team. I think this has nothing to do with proclaiming Christ, and eveything to do with a world wide ‘response team’ to his 5 goals. The feet on the street being christians world wide. They work for nothing as it is, lets get’em motivated for Govt and Corp sponsered efforts (well intended perhaps) as well.

  3. IndependentConservative Says:

    Rick Warren mentions the spiritual, but has no substance to it. He’s really about the physical and he knows his “partners” would refuse to work with him if he REALLY wanted to expand efforts in the spiritual realm.

    He’s putting the physical before the message of Christ and spiritual salvation.

    This is an extension of everyone wanting money and an earthly utopia. Warren has made it clear, his primary goal is not souls, but bellies.

    If churches have done great work minus government and minus corporate involvement, nobody in their right mind would dare seek to involve government red-tape and corporate nonsense in church affairs. Government and Corporations are not about the message of Jesus Christ and will ensure efforts they support keep that from being the primary focus.

    Warrens going to have church goers so tired from handing out meals that they won’t have time for the message of Jesus. Like the church handing out AIDS medicine that he mentions, while that is nice for them to do, they need to seek to have some other group handle that. The apostles were not medicine men.

    I would say that the church is not there to be the world’s grocery store, but there are already places called “churches” that run entire malls 🙄 .

  4. Mark Says:

    yep, I think you nailed it there. He is more interested in temporary relief than eternal salvation, I dare say. Our fruits must first be concerned with Chirst’s message and the spiritual welfare of the lost. Local churches need not be the third leg of a Worldwide One Stop Shop running on anything less.

  5. Medina Pullings, Rick Warren, Benny Hinn, Robert Tilton, TD Jakes, Jeremiah Cummings, WOW! « Heal The Land With Spiritual Warfare Says:

    […] And Rick Warren doing still more to get the church under financial control of the Council on Foreign Relations anti – Christ money machine. […]

  6. Enochwar Says:

    I am new to this. When the new pastor came 7 years ago he began introducing Purpose Driven materials to the church. Going to Rick Warrens church. Needless to say many left. (smart folks) I still remain because my husband refuses and sees nothing wrong. I still hope for the church to turn around. My point is now the pastor wants to start calling people who join the church “partners” instead of members. Your article greatly alarms me. I guess there is no hope for the church now.

  7. Gxg Says:


    In researching your blog, I was wondering why there has yet to be a post on the mess that happened recently with Rick Warren.

    In case you don’t know, he claims to be against abortion & yet he
    had Senator Barack Obama come to his church & speak,…….never calling out ANYTHING he did wrong since Obama is PRO-ABORTION.
    Rick Warren said POINT BLANK that it really doesn’t matter whether you’re gay or
    pro-abortion or anything else, as long as you’re working on a social issue….

    Go here to find out:

    As disturbing as it was to hear of this….& especially in light of how many Christians seem to be CONDONING THIS, guess it’s what to be expected, as seen in some of his words in this CNN Interview from last spring called “What would Jesus do?”:

    Please let me know what you think, sir……Would really like to get your feedback….& QUICK!!!!!

  8. IndependentConservative Says:

    Gxg – I don’t attempt to and you should not expect to see me say something about everything out there that you hear about.

    You should assist in covering these things by starting a blog. And before you say it, I don’t have “time” to run a blog either :p .

    Of course I agree that Rick Warren is wrong. Regarding Obama and a great many other things. And the cult Obama claims membership to is a whole post in its self, that I did mention here. And I didn’t even get into things like that denomination embracing sodomy. They’ve got more wrong that I have time to type about. And did you know that Presidential candidate Fred Thompson had his 2nd marriage performed at a UCC spot?

    I don’t have time to type about it all. Start a blog and speak on what you know.

    And some things depending on what the matter is I just don’t speak about simply because I’m just not going to. But these things with Rick and Obama were not addressed because of time.

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