In my Previous posts on Rick Warren’s appearance on Nightline I quoted the following:
Warren said that there is a danger in merging Christianity with psychology.
“Absolutely, there’s a danger,” he said. “Because what it does is feed this self-centeredness … I say, it’s not about you. It’s all about God.
OK, it sounds like he is opposed to the merging of psychological philosophy with the church.
Oh, but wait… then there’s this. An article from Christianpost.com written by Warren entitled Six Physical Factors that Affect Your Worship Service is all about psychology. He advocates manipulating environmental factors to help grow the church!
Here are some selected quotes from the article with commentary.
Facilities and physical environment have a lot to do with what happens in a weekend worship service. The shape of your building will shape your service. Walk into some buildings and your mood will instantly brighten. Walk into other buildings and you’ll feel depressed. The shape of a room can change a mood instantly; so can the temperature of room; so can the lighting in a room. Be aware of these factors and use them. Figure out what mood you want your service to project and then create it.
My comment: So… if facilities and environment have a lot to do with what happens in a service then does that mean the preaching of the word and the work of the Holy Spirit have little to do with what happens in a service? In PDL churches this may indeed be accurate. Warren also appears to be suggesting that mood is a determining factor in the worship of God. Salvation, too, I suppose, depends on the mood of the seekers attending the service. ‘A happy seeker is a saved seeker’. Watch, this will soon become another one of Pastor Warren’s cute little aphorisms. Notice his advice to ‘Figure out what mood you want your service to project and then create it’. If this doesn’t constitute mixing psychology and Christianity, I’m not sure what does.
Lighting has a profound effect on people’s moods. Inadequate lighting dampens the spirit of a service. Shadows across a speaker’s face reduce the impact of any message.
… Here’s an experiment: This week secretly replace all the light bulbs in your worship center with twice the watts, then notice the change in mood in next Sunday’s service. You may have revival!
My comment: Where to begin… I guess lighting has replaced prayer and preaching as the prevailing power of influence in a service now. The Holy Spirit’s ministry can be hampered by shadows on a speaker’s face? I knew the forces of darkness were powerful but who would of thunk…
Surely Pastor Warren is jesting when he says proper lighting can spark a revival. Somehow though, I don’t think he is. He must of graduated from the Charles Finney School of Evangelism. Again, the role of the Holy Spirit in salvation is stripped away and given over to mere human means. Revival is a sovereign act of a Holy God, not the environmental manipulation of church facilities to evoke artificial emotional responses. This is blasphemy!
When my friend, Larry Dewitt was called to pastor a church in Southern California he found a small, clap-board church building in a high-tech suburban area. Larry recognized that the age and style of the building was a barrier to reaching that community. He told the church leaders he’d accept the pastorate if they’d move out of the building and start holding services in a Hungry Tiger restaurant. The members agreed.
Today, after moving to different facilities, that church has grown to several thousand in attendance. It would have never grown that large if they’d stayed in their original building. The shoe must never tell the foot how big it can get.
My comment: The sin nature of man is the great barrier to salvation and what ever excuse the deceitful heart uses to pardon its corrupt behavior. Never, in all my discussions with unbelievers have I had one tell me he turned away from the faith or even a particular church because of the facilities. No, not one!
The Holy Spirit is the lone agent of conversion through the faithful preaching of God’s word. Warren throws the Holy Spirit out of the equation once again, claiming the church would not have grown without the proper facilities! I am mortified. Lord, forgive him, for he knows not what he is saying!
Bigness is the singular obsession of the PDL/Church Growth movement, staying true to the American motto, ‘Bigger is Better.’ Unfortunately size comes at the expense of gospel preaching, true discipleship, theological training and holiness toward our Sovereign God. There are no longer any requirements to become a Christian other than casually chanting a canned prayer in mere intellectual assent to certain biblical truths. As a result, God’s house is being trampled beneath a herd of unwashed swine tracking through the sanctuary. I guess this is good in the eyes of PDL Pastors who thumb their noses at an all-powerful sovereign God, who cast his Holy Spirit out 0f PDL churches in favor of psychologically manipulative techniques.
Like Pastor Warren always says, “It’s not about God. It’s about you.” *
Wait a minute, I got that backwards…
Or did I?
* The actual quote is “It’s not about you. It’s all about God.” Lest I be accused of false misrepresentation.