Many of you will have heard the name 'Rick Warren'. I was required to watch a video by him for my World Religions class. This is my analysis, and here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=640BQNxB5mc.
One of the first point that Rick Warren makes in this video is about spiritual emptiness. He states that “everyone’s betting their life on something”, which can be very true. Warren talks about this in terms of a ‘world view’, which he defines as how you look at the world, what you believe to be true, and what you put your faith in. Though later in his career, Rick Warren became famous for the statement ‘deeds not creeds’, this idea of a ‘worldview’ sounds suspiciously like a confession or creed. Because he does not specifically mention his ‘deeds not creeds’ movement, I will not even begin to explain how very wrong that is.
Another point that Warren makes is about tithing. Tithing is giving ten percent of one’s earnings to God, and was instructed in the Old Testament to God’s people. In the New Testament, the idea is not of tithing, giving a certain amount to satisfy God, but of understanding that everything is God’s and that one should use it accordingly. The practicality of his message to serve others is great, we should always be looking to attend to our neighbors, but he does not mention grace anywhere in this video. The only time he mentions Christ is in a passing comment in his introduction.
I agree that God gives us all gifts, including those of wealth, wisdom, or influence, so that we may serve others. Unfortunately, I found that Warren’s TED talk was incredibly ‘you’ centered. Though he says specifically ‘this is not about you’, every point that he makes points to what you should do, even going as far as to say ‘God smiles when you be you’. Humans in their natural state are sinful, and we cannot save ourselves through our own works. We know through the doctrine of justification that grace comes only through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and not through our own works, so that no one can boast.
Thought the message of helping your neighbor and doing the best you can to glorify God with the gifts that he has given you, I found Warren’s points to be disordered. You must put your faith not in the fact that you have been good enough to other people that God will be happy with you, but in that even as we were still sinners, God first loved us and sent Christ to die for our sins upon a cross. We cannot cling to anything save Christ and still follow him into salvation.