The No Goofy Zone Discernment Ministry

The No Goofy Zone is a discernment ministry for saved born again Christians and all who are seeking the truth.We expose non-biblical trends in the church. We are making material available to advance understanding of issue's which endanger Christianity. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit.

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Location: Piqua, Ohio, United States

Former drummer for Gary Lewis and The Playboys and The Coasters. Tim has also played with Paul Baloche, Lincoln Brewster, Darlene Zscech and Hillsongs, Jeff Fenholt, SteveCamp among others. Tim founded The Simply Agape Project in 2001 to get free Christian music to the troops. Recordings have been made with Tim, and friends Alex Acuna, Abe Laboriel SR, Justo Almario,Steve Camp , Jared Ming and some wonderful Independant Christian artists.The Somebody Brave CD also features words of encouragment to the soldiers from Pastors, Moms, Dads, and Lt Col Brian Birdwell a Pentegon 9/11 survivor Tim is married to Donna Wirth and has four children Alan 25,Steven 23, Brittany 22, Bethany 21. Tim has played in numerous churchs as well as shows on TBN. Tim has also performed on JCTV on the show Generation Worship featuring worship leader Jared Ming. Tim has a book published worldwide titled "Pass The Plate And Let Us Prey" (My Search For Black and White Christianity in a Gray Nation)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Rick Warren: Jesus Would Not Have Approved

Founds this interesting article today as I prepare my series on Rick Warren and the jesus Rick preaches/False Christianity/ And Multi Sensory Christianity.
Enjoy-


Rick Warren: Jesus Would Not Have Approved
By Matt Hutaff, Jul 11, 2006
Rick Warren is no innovator. He's just another pastor who treats Christianity like big business... and business is good.

Enter the office of Rick Warren and you'll see an interesting mantra alongside his requisite Bible trappings. It doesn't advocate forgiveness or claim Moses as its author, yet it speaks to the very heart of what Warren's sprawling evangelical empire is about:
What is our business?Who is our customer?What does the customer consider value?
The "doctrine" is the brainchild of Peter F. Drucker, a strategy guru who coached fledgling pastors on management techniques through his Leadership Network. "I still go sit at the feet of Peter Drucker on a regular basis," Warren said in a 2005 interview with Fortune Magazine (Drucker passed away later that year). "He honed into me hundreds of one-liners and taught me that growth always comes from the outside – from people who are not now using your product, or listening to your message, or using your services."
A solid way to approach a personal relationship with God, right? I always appreciate it when a religion is viewed as a product or service to be provided to a customer. It's hardly surprising, however; religions of all shapes and sizes are routinely operated as business ventures (Scientology chief among them) and conversion could glibly be viewed as little more than a successful marketing venture. It's just rarely so obvious.
If you think this approach to Christianity is more faith than focus group, consider Forbes Magazine's endorsement of Warren's best-selling tome The Purpose Driven Life as "the best book on entrepreneurship, management, and leadership in print." Even the methods used to sell the book to the great unwashed formed the basis of "PyroMarketing," a book that so thoroughly deconstructs Warren's meteoric rise on the bestseller's list that Warren pressured the publisher "to censor all references to his book, because he was concerned that it would make people think his phenomenal success was driven primarily by network marketing techniques."
So where does Jesus factors into Purpose Driven Life? I don't know personally. I haven't read it, nor will I.
Why? Because, as in the case with The Passion of the Christ, I don't feel it necessary to support obnoxious trends in American Christianity. And despite the fact that Rick Warren apparently has the answers to life's questions, how is what he preaches about the Bible any more correct or important than the interpretations I draw for myself? Considering many of Warren's acolytes eschew even investigating the history of Christianity and/or the Bible in favor of Sunday services with stadium seating, what makes Rick Warren's sales pitch more right?
I've been to Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. I can't deny that it's an impressive campus, but it reminds me of Jesus's adventures at the Temple. I'm struck with a "den of thieves" vibe whenever I see Bible study aids, donation requests and audio recordings of past lectures for sale. I'll wager even the moneychangers and merchants of sacrificial animals thought they were doing their part for Judaism, too. But commercialism is just that.
Religion isn't supposed to be a business. It's a covenant with God and you either follow the beliefs or you don't. I understand that it's human nature to exact a reward for services rendered but Christianity has fallen into a need for mass-market appeal. With Rick Warren featured in Newsweek, Time and U.S. News and World Report as the face of modern Christianity, big business has conquered grass roots evangelism.
But how does this make Rick Warren a hypocrite? If he's upfront about his application of business methodology in growing a church, how is that a moral failure on his end?
The answer to that lies in Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a ridiculous real-time strategy game in which you can command legions of Christians in post-rapture New York City with the goal of converting every blighted soul... or killing them. There is no other alternative. (For the occultists among us, you can also play as the Antichrist as he commands UN Peacekeepers and demons to murder fundamentalists.)
It's an embarassing array of violence and religious supremism, one that's caught the ire of practically every religious affiliation out there, including Christians. Based on the Left Behind series of books, it showcases Christians as holy warriors who, instead of loving their neighbor in the End Times, brutally murder them when they express ambivalence at signing up for the next Crusade. While there's no explicit blood, the body count racks up pretty fast. Corpses don't disappear and your only penalty for offing someone is the loss of a Spirit point (rapture someone and you'll gain it back, though). Shoot nurses in the head or round up people with tactical weapons that would make Tom Clancy blush and you've got a feel-good stocking stuffer (release date: right before Christmas, naturally) Christian parents would love to give to trigger-happy children.
With so many different flavors of Christianity out there it seems ridiculous to glorify such an extreme viewpoint, especially when you consider how Western media has demonized followers of Islam for similar acts of violence. Yet Rick Warren indirectly did just that. Until Jonathan Hutson of Talk to Action exposed the game's violent theocratic storyline, Warren's close advisor and Purpose Driven cohort Mark Carver served on the board of the company developing the game. Likewise, Left Behind Games planned to market the game by passing out sampler DVDs in megachurches such as Saddleback.
Hutson's research led to Carver resigning from the board and a distancing of Purpose Driven from LBH, and he official response to the situation from Purpose Driven stands at:
"Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, and Purpose Driven Ministries have no connection to the development of the 'Left Behind: Eternal Forces' video game. We have not endorsed the game and have no plans to promote it... In order to avoid any confusion about the fact that Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, and Purpose Driven Ministries have no involvement with Left Behind Games, Mark Carver resigned from the board of advisors on June 5, 2006 and asked that the reference to him be removed from Left Behind Games website."
But how does an arrangement like that get started without Warren's approval? It existed for months and might have continued had it not been exposed. And the game has yet to be denounced as being against the precepts of Christianity. (In fairness to Rick Warren, no other major televangelist has come out against the game, either).
Seems like an easy thing to do, bashing a game that makes the ministry you've worked hard to build look bad. It's even the obvious choice given Christian outcry over the material presented in the game. But while Rick Warren may talk about his network of 200,000 pastors or how he's basically taken over the government of Rwanda with his purpose-driven agenda, he knows it's bad business to fully reject the video game. Who knows? It could be immensely popular.
But it's not what Jesus taught. And that makes him a hypocrite.

Canon Fodder is a bi-weekly analysis of politics and society

2 Comments:

Blogger pyromarketing said...

Tim,

Should your series on Rick Warren touch on PyroMarketing at all, please feel free to contact me directly with any questions you might have.

I'd prefer that your opinion of PyroMarketing be based on an accurate understanding of its principles and you are more likely to get that from me (its author)than from hear say. I've taken plenty of schrapnel because people have lumped me in with Rick Warren without making the effort to really understand me, the role I actually played, or the marketing principles I advocate.

Thanks in advance for doing the extra work to make sure you have the facts. You can reach me at pyromarketing - at - bellsouth - dot - net. (you'll have to put the address in the proper format) GS

Greg Stielstra
Author, PyroMarketing

9:37 AM  
Blogger pyromarketing said...

Tim,

Should your series on Rick Warren include any reference to PyroMarketing, I encourage you to contact me directly to get the truth concerning PyroMarketing's principles and the role I played. I'm happy to answer your questions and would much rather you get the story straight from me than attempting to piece it together based on second hand reports on the web. I've taken plenty of "colateral damage" from writers who lumped me in with Rick Warren without bothering to understand who I am, what I believe, and the role I actually played.

Thanks in advance for caring enough to get the facts. You can reach me at pyromarketing - at -bellsouth - dot - net. (you'll need to put that address in proper email format.) GS

Greg Stielstra
author PyroMarketing
www.pyromarketing.com

9:44 AM  

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