Roberts: Rick Warren is the best-selling author of “The Purpose-Driven Life.”[…] In my hometown of Pass Christian, I ran across a woman who came up to me and she said, Robin, it’s, it’s as if God tried to wipe us off the face of the earth. You know there are some people that look and see this destruction and, and say, where, where is whatever it is, or whomever they, they, they look to …Well, there you have it folks. Rick Warren proclaiming a God who is somehow worthy of our worship even though his own creation acts outside of his sovereign will. Not to mention that Warren failed to call for national repentance—the primary purpose for unbelievers and the church.
Roberts: … for guidance in a higher way?
Warren: Right. Well, first thing we need to understand that not everything that happens in this world is God’s will. I have a will, you have a will, we have a free will. […] And so, we have a lot of things that go bad. […] But what God wants to do is he wants to comfort us. Somebody asked me when I was actually on the floor of the, the, the Houston Astrodome talking to people and praying with people, said, where is God in all of this? And I’ll tell you where God is, he’s in thousands of lives of people who love him and follow him, and they are the hands and feet of God.
Did you notice Warren’s response about the woman who thought that God was trying to wipe us off the earth? He said, “Well, first thing we need to understand that not everything that happens in this world is God’s will.” Really? Rick Warren failed to take into account God’s opinion:
• Amos 3:6 …When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?Strange when you’re on national television these verses seem to escape the memory. Then Warren makes a leap from a natural disaster to man’s will, “I have a will, you have a will, we have a free will.” I thought we were discussing natural disasters? Does nature have a “free will”? Not once did he mention that God was in control over nature, but suggests that nature has some will on its own outside of God’s active providence.
• Psalm 148:8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word
• Psalm 135:6-7 The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
• Lamentations 3:37-38 Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?
He also cites a person who came up to him at the Houston Astrodome and asks, “Where is God in all of this.” Warren responds with this platitude (that any world religious leader could have said), “And I’ll tell you where God is, he’s in thousands of lives of people who love him and follow him, and they are the hands and feet of God…” What a lost opportunity to explain to this person the unique God revealed in the Scriptures who is sovereign and works out his purposes through his all-wise, all-just, decrees.
Warren also told more than 8,000 displaced evacuees at the Houston Astrodome shelter on Monday, “The question we need to ask at a time like this is not ‘Why?’ but ‘What do I do now?” Observe how Warren has divorced the decree of God in Katrina with our responses to it. In Biblical times the question of “Why” was paramount; yet now in the 21 Century, Warren thinks he has the authority to jettison this all important question. Let’s put this in perspective: In Biblical times the “Why” was God’s action, and the “What do I do” was repentance. For Rick Warren the “Why” is suggested as simply a natural event, and the “What do I do” is only a physical response not a spiritual one. Warren has simply not given glory to God in his workings and purposes in nature and basically given them a naturalistic interpretation where God picks up the pieces.