THE SADDLEBACK CHURCH STATEMENT OF FAITH: SHALLOW AND HERETICAL
May 12, 2008 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
Rick Warren of Purpose Drive Life fame loves to simplify the Christian life and ministry. This is evident in Saddleback Church’s statement of faith.
Consider this excerpt from the statement on “Who is Jesus?” -- “Jesus Christ is God’s Son and an equal of the Father. He has existed from the beginning of time, yet lived on earth during the first century A.D.”
This is heresy. Christ had no beginning; He is the eternal God and Creator of all things.
Consider the statement on “What is Salvation?” -- “Our disobedient nature has eternally separated us from our Creator. No matter how hard we try, we can never earn our way back into God’s presence. Our only hope is to trust Jesus as God’s provision for our disobedience.”
This statement is so shallow and insufficient that it is difficult to know where to begin, but briefly, salvation is much more than a vague, undefined trusting “Jesus as God’s provision for our disobedience.” Heretics on every hand could fit their theology into that. They say we are saved by Jesus’ life or His example or His suffering in general. Notice that there is no mention of the death, burial, and resurrection. In fact, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 is not even referenced in the Saddleback statement of faith. No mention of the blood. No mention of repentance. The Saddleback paraphrase of the gospel is no gospel at all.
The shallowness of this type of evangelism is why I could sit next to a church member at Saddleback on a research visit in 2003 and have him tell me that he has always been a Christian. This was in response to my question, “When were you born again?”
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