What do you call a Warren, Osteen, Hinn, Schuller, Origen stew?

The Empty TombA book entitled Path of Miracles: The Seven Life-Changing Principles That Lead to Purpose and Fulfillment.

Pastor Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and a Pentecostal pastor, has released this title which has echoes of Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn and other prosperity gospel false teachers. And lo and behold, right in Chapter 1, he says, “Rick Warren talks about purpose and Joel Osteen talks about the end picture. I’m the guy in the middle… describing the road… the one here to teach you the process.”

As well, the book is about “seven principles drawn from Jesus’ empty tomb that can enrich, empower, and transform lives.” Here’s Rodriguez’s allegories, ala Origen 1:

“Just as Christ’s resurrection from his empty tomb happened not far from where he had been crucified, our victories usually happen close to the sites of our most difficult circumstances. And just as Peter and John found folded linen placed intentionally where Christ’s head and feet had lain, so can we find guideposts in our lives.”

Instant gratification—the “now word”—is actually his overarching principle. Throw into this mix Robert Schuller’s “positive thinking” gospel and Hinn’s “word-faith” heresy, and you have this:

“God has a marathon of miracles waiting for you to enjoy right now… how to unlock the power within you and secure those treasures right here, right now… to find heavenly riches, rewards, goodness, and blessings here on Earth. Now… NOW!”

“Whatever you want can happen. In this lifetime. Starting now… You can experience heaven on Earth, and live exceedingly, abundantly, above all… [T]he seven principles discovered in the empty tomb will catapult the reader to a place of activating Heaven on Earth.”

Looking at the contents, here are three of the seven principles. Go figure how these are related to Christ’s resurrection: “Life’s Greatest Opportunities Arise in Our Darkest Hour”; God Programmed Us to Have Partners”; “Order Precedes Promotion”; “You are Assured a Filled Upper Room.”

Path of Miracles is indeed the kitchen sink of false gospels. So what does a Christian have to do to know the benefits of Christ’s resurrection? He should read Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 45?

Q. What benefit do we receive from the resurrection of Christ?
A. First, by His resurrection He has overcome death, that He might make us partakers of the righteousness which He has obtained for us by His death.1 Second, by His power we are also now raised up to a new life.2 Third, the resurrection of Christ is to us a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection.3
1 Rom 4:25; 1 Cor 15:15-20, 54-55; 1 Pet 1:3-5, 21
2 Rom 6:5-11; Eph 2:4-6; Col 3:1-4
3 Rom 8:11; 1 Cor 15:12-23; Php 3:20-21

1 On Matt 19:24, Origen allegorically wrote that the camel is physically crooked, but the way to life is narrow and straight. The camel is also ceremonially unclean.

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3 thoughts on “What do you call a Warren, Osteen, Hinn, Schuller, Origen stew?”

  1. Strange isn’t it that apostates take all kinds of meaning from the resurrection except that the God man died and rose physically, and wow, that we will too if we believe in Him.

    Heidelberg Catechism Question 57. How does “the resurrection of the body” comfort you?
    Answer: That not only my soul after this life shall be immediately taken up to Christ its Head, but also that this my body, raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and made like the glorious body of Christ.

  2. Now, I fully understand why we have creeds and confessions. As long as it conforms to the Word of God, they are our guide to our Christian living to protect us from all heresies. Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 45, as mentioned above, totally rocks this yet another profit-driven teaching.

    1. Hello Russell! I would just like to add my reasons as to why I believe we, as Christians, should subscribe to Confessional standards. I already posted this in another blog by Pastor Nollie but I just realized that I should have posted my comment here instead because this is the one that is visited by other more often.

      One of the most common objections that one usually hears from evangelicals concerning subscription to a confessional standard(s) is that they claim it to be the mere tradition of men (often citing Col. 2:8, which is a misapplication). Some would state, “We have no creed but Christ.” However, this kind of attitude is very problematic because even the cults, like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, say that they believe in Christ too. And, it is very distressing that a lot of these churches who encourage this kind of mindset are often the ones wherein you will find people with “goofy” theology.
      As one who is acquainted with Church History, this does not surprise me at all. The Nicene Creed was formulated in order to safeguard the church from Arianism, which claims that Christ is a created being. The Canons of Dordt (where our TULIP comes from) was formulated as a response to the Remonstrants or the Arminians. It is no surprise to me that many churches, who claim to be Calvinist but, at the same time, does not subscribe to any Reformed Confession or doesn’t get their members acquainted with them at the very least, have drifted from Biblical Christianity. Anyone who is acquainted with historic Reformed faith and practice would certainly find something “goofy” in what is being taught and practiced in almost any evangelical church these days.
      Is this problem mainly due to the ignorance of  the pastors and their congregants concerning what has taken place in the church historically? I believe the answer is no. When I was still in the Philippines, I used to attend a bible institute that mainly catered to a Baptist denomination. The denomination did not subscribe to a confessional standard. However, it would be difficult to believe that their pastors were ignorant of church history because Church History was one of the subjects taught at that institute. In fact, most pastors, who studied either at a bible school or at a seminary, would almost certainly have been acquainted with the history of the church. So this is just a matter of ignoring certain facts, rather, it is how they interpret those facts that matters.
      I believe that the problem here is not ignorance but it is their worldview or mindset. Amongst evangelicals, especially those of struggling nations, there is a mindset of anti-intellectualism. The false concept that faith is antithetical to reason, in my humble opinion, is one of the causes for this anti-intellectual cloud that hangs over the minds of evangelicals in countries like the Philippines. Reason does not bring us to faith in Christ but, since faith is based on the knowledge of the Word of God (Romans 10:17), then reason should not be seen as antithetical to faith so long as reason does not become the standard by which Truth is judged. We are deceiving ourselves, however, if we are to insist that it is with those groups of Christians who believe that faith is antithetical to reason that Modernism has the least effect on. On the contrary, I think they had been much affected by it. They have reacted against the ideas of Modernism, one of which is the championing of man’s intellect or REASON and they have swung the pendulum to the opposite direction resulting in this anti-intellectual faith-contra-reason worldview. And this is one of the greatest errors of many in the evangelical church, because we are not to simply react by swinging the pendulum to the opposite extreme but we are to contend for the faith and stand for biblical truth! God gave us minds capable of reasoning and we are to employ our minds in submission to His authority. 1 Cor. 1:18-21 teaches that the wisdom of God is foolishness to the world and those who preach the Gospel are also seen as foolish. Yet, we have to be careful that it is truly because of the Gospel why we are being called fools and not simply because of our own stupidity and prejudice against those we call intellectuals. There are many people out there who think and act like stupidity and God’s revelation goes together and they use their own definition of FAITH to justify themselves.
      Now, this reaction is in fact very common amongst those groups who had labeled themselves as fundamentalists. Within Christianity, Fundamentalism was a movement that arose in reaction to Liberal Christianity, which is the result of the secularization of evangelical religious institutions (one of which is Princeton seminary) and mainline denominations (like the PCUSA). The intention of fundamentalism at the start was to combat Modernism. However, their focus on the “fundamentals” of the faith led them to an over-emphasis on those points such that they made them the true test of orthodoxy.  They ignored the fact that the true test for orthodoxy concerns the whole counsel of God. For centuries Reformed churches have used Confessional standards in catechizing their members and as safeguards against error and it is those same standards that they stressed in upholding during and after the war with Liberalism. This is not to say that these standards are ultimate, for they are merely secondary to Scripture, which is why they are always referred to as secondary standards.
      In the fundamentalist backlash against Liberal Christianity, can one really say that Modernism has been defeated? I believe that from our vantage point in history looking back, Modernism has actually had some victory even amongst those churches and those denominations who made it their mission to fight it. I am no longer just referring to the Fundamentalists now, for the category in which anti-confessional Christianity belongs to is a strain of much broader scope . I  would even dare say that this involves the vast majority of evangelical churches. Modernism has poisoned this vast majority with its own worldview. This is the worldview that rejects tradition and authority to the utmost. This is the kind of attitude that you will see amongst many evangelicals these days. One can often hear them saying, “All I need is the Bible and nothing else.” Tradition and authority is thrown out because, after all, one only needs to read Scripture and pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. However, what happens all too often is that this so-called “guidance by the Holy Spirit” is nothing but reason or self-judgement disguised with false humility. Let me bring to attention that famous dictum by the famous rationalist Rene Descartes who stated, “I think, therefore I am.” In other words, doubt everything except the fact that you are thinking; one can doubt tradition and authority but not one’s own “rational” judgment. Christians these days will doubt doctrines like those laid down in our confessional standards even though these doctrines has been traditionally held by faithful Christians for many centuries. Now in anticipation to possible objections here, I will state the following: It’s not like those doctrines were enforced by a Magisterium (Roman Catholic). It’s not like these people didn’t have Scripture translated in their own language so that they can be examined by the lens of God’s Word. So, before anyone reading this would vainly suggest that all this talk about authority and tradition is no different from Roman Catholic practice, I humbly ask that person to please think again.
      Should we be surprised that there are many “lone rangers” out there who claim to know God’s Word but refuses to be part of a church? Those are just some of the extreme cases of what we are talking about here. There are people leading bible studies even though they have had no formal training at all; no acquaintance with the usual subjects that a minister should be acquainted with. And, if one goes to almost any evangelical church these days, one will find a wide range of beliefs when it comes to doctrine and this would range from Arminianism to inconsistent Calvinism. Whatever happened to the cause of reformation, to that call to a biblically consistent Christianity? Those who claim to be the opponents of Modernist thinking themselves have employed the presupposition of the enemy: to judge truth for one’s self and to disregard authority and the tradition of the faithful saints who has come before them. Just look at the Emergent church, it has POSTMODERNISM written all over it. And, this postmodernism is nothing but the logical outcome of the bankrupt philosophy that the Enlightenment brought us. The “rational” mind which Modernism hoped to make the absolute standard is now the same one that is bringing pluralism to the fore because they could not deny that man, to the best of his abilities, remains subjective to the Truth. In fact, the Truth may no longer even matter anymore according to the postmodernist.
      Scripture is the authoritative Word of God and the Lord has ordained elders (teaching and ruling), who holds authority over their churches, for the edification of the body. These elders, like the Westminster divines, formulated their Confession in order that posterity may keep to the faith unblemished. That is why I belong to a Reformed church and I subscribe to the Confessional standards. Although God’s Word is my ultimate standard, I keep to the safeguards that prevent me from making my own judgment the standard.

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