Friday, January 08, 2016

Rick Warren Demands Imagination is Essential to Faith

When you can’t see something physically, you have to imagine it in your mind. Imagination is essential to living by faith.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (NLT, second edition).

Faith is when we hope for something, and we know it’s going to happen. In order to hope for something, you have to picture it in your mind.

Hebrews 11 is God’s Hall of Fame. When you read through the heroes of faith, you realize that every one of them became heroes of faith because they used their imagination....

The Bible says you need to focus on the things that will last — the things you can’t actually see with your eyes. So how do you focus on things you can’t see? You use your imagination.
Imagination shapes your life because it is essential to living by faith. 

End quote.

Warren does quite a bit of eisogesis (reading into Scripture what isn't there). This is contrary to Scripture. :

Heb 11:1  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: - assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.
Assurance: hupostasis
From a compound of G5259 and G2476; a setting under (support), that is, (figuratively) concretely essence, or abstractly assurance (objectively or subjectively): - confidence, confident, person, substance.

Hoped: elpizō
From G1680; to expect or confide: - (have, thing) hope (-d) (for), trust.

Conviction: elegchos
From G1651; proof, conviction: - evidence, reproof.

Nowhere is "imagination" in this verse. Quite the opposite. God is saying faith isn't wishing or imagining. It is confident expectation and assurance of what God has said in His Word (and notice He starts with creation by His Word), and certainly not things you want to get or accomplish.

expectation or confidence
proof, evidence,conviction

These are the words to describe "faith". The believers mentioned in the chapter didn't imagine anything (how can you imagine what you can't see or conceive of?). Imagination is fleshly, fallible, and temporal. It is precisely what isn't faith. It's an attempt to walk by what one sees with one's mind.

In the KJV there are three uses of the English word "imagine":

Mar 13:11  But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Act 4:25  Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?

1Ti 4:15  Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 

Imagine: meletaō
From a presumed derivative of G3199; to take care of, that is, (by implication) revolve in the mind: - imagine, (pre-) meditate.

The NASB has it in this verse:

1Ti 4:15  Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.

So, Warren is twisting Scripture by using it and inserting into the text what isn't there, and then claiming it's "essential to  living by faith".
Slick, Warren, but not slick enough to fool everyone.

He's preached about "dreaming" (you dream, "God" dreams, etc),and having "visions" (vision casting, "God's" visions for us) etc...all of which are not only unbiblical, because he's a false teacher and lost so he has no understanding of spiritual things (1Cor. 2:14), but they are indeed mystical.

God's Word is enough to live by, after all that is the point of Heb.11; the old saints trusted in  God and His Word even though they couldn't see it. These men and women were tortured, persecuted, and killed for their faith--hardly a time to be walking around imagining things when stones are hitting your head or you're being sawed in two. Rather, keeping Scripture foremost in one's mind--the Word of God which is living, active, perfect, powerful, and true, is what anchors our minds. It is Scripture that we set our minds on, not vain imaginings.  Scripture is "the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16). His Word is our bedrock foundation, our anchor, unmoveable, unchanging, established Truth. After all Scripture comes from the mouth of God. The point is to walk by what God says, not by what we think or wish things to be or what we wish to have or whatever. 

1Pe 1:13  Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Yet John Piper said about Rick Warren:

“.. I do think he’s deeply theological. He’s a brilliant man. He wouldn’t have the church he does or the Peace Plan, or all the influence he does and of course the greatest sentence in the Purpose Driven Life is the first one isn’t it? It’s not about you, it’s about God. The Glory of God. So I don’t think he’s emergent. At root I think he is theological and doctrinal and sound.” ~John Piper, 35 minutes in on Rick Warren and his invitation to Warren to attend his Desiring God Conference 2010 (via Take Heed Ministries

What Warren taught at DGC in October 2010: Here's one quote:"We all have a mental illness. It’s called sin. This means we can’t trust what we ourselves even think." If that sounds like Robert Schuller, you'd be right. Schuller was a mentor of Rick Warren. Warren also said at the DGC: "Nothing happens till somebody starts dreaming. What we need today are great dreamers."
The panel discussion of the speakers at DGC Conference 2010 on Rick Warren's message, a few quotes you just read above:

1. Can you give us your initial reflections on the message we just heard from Rick Warren?

Burk Parsons: I saw a man with character and with simple, childlike dependence on Christ.

John Piper: An unbelievable communicator with incredible application. Be encouraged and relax with who you are, and give it all to Jesus while learning all you can from Rick.

Col 2:2  that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, 
Col 2:3  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 
Col 2:4  I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 

Col 2:5  For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
Col 2:6  Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
Col 2:7  rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Col 2:8  See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 

Col 3:1  If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 
Col 3:2  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 
Col 3:3  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 
Col 3:4  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 
Col 3:5  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 
Col 3:6  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.

1Co 2:11  For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 
1Co 2:12  Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
1Co 2:13  And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 

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