Monday, February 13, 2006

Rick Warren: There is Salvation Outside of Knowing Christ

Rick Warren: There is Salvation Outside of Knowing Christ
Source: Slice of Laodicea
Posted by Ingrid on February 13, 2006 @ 07:58 PM

Rick Warren believes that there is salvation today for those who have never heard of Jesus. This is from his Saddleback Family website. Read it carefully, both what it says and does not say. Here's an excerpt:

"Question: What about people who live in a country where they have never heard about Jesus? Will they be able to get into heaven by some other way?

Answer: There is only one way to get into heaven, through what Jesus did on the cross for us. He paid the price for our sins on the cross, no one else could do that because He alone is God.
What about those who haven't heard about the cross?

They can be saved the same way that the people in the Old Testament were saved. The book of Romans tells us again and again that Abraham was saved the same way that we are, by his faith. Abraham didn't know the name of Jesus or that one day Jesus would die on the cross for his sins, but he trusted all that he knew about the God who had shown Himself to Abraham. Because of that trust, when Jesus died thousands of years after Abraham, the same forgiveness that was offered to us was given to Abraham.

God still reveals Himself to people who haven't heard the name of Jesus today. Romans 1:19-23;10:13-21 tells us that, even by nature itself, we can all clearly see who God really is. None of us can stand before God and say, I didn't understand." We all live as His creations in the world that He has made... the evidence of the love and grace of God are all around us! Let me be clear about what this means. A person who trusted in God without hearing the name of Jesus would be of the heart to immediately recognize that Jesus was the name of the one they believed in if they were ever to hear His name and story. They would know, just as Abraham would have known, that this is the truth about the God they have been following all of their lives. Someone who has begun to walk in the light is always able to recognize a brighter light.."

We can begin to "walk in the light" without the Light of the World? Where does the light come from, Rick, if our hearts are dark with sin as Romans 3:23 states?

With this theology, we have no need for missions or true evangelism at all. (And with Saddleback, of course, we get none.) As Christians we can spend our time like Bill and Melinda Gates--conducting purpose driven social work to cure the world's physical ills. After all, you can be saved without knowing about Christ or the cross, Warren says. This is rank apostasy.
What Rick is saying is that we are saved through what Jesus did on the cross for us, not believing in Christ and what He did on the cross for us. He says we can be saved even without knowing Jesus and his atoning work. He says that we can "trust God" without ever having heard of Christ and that when we finally hear of Christ, we'll then recognize Him and say, "ah, that was who I was trusting!" This is the underlying belief of interspiritualists like
Dave Fleming who has taken Warren's beliefs a step farther and stated that all world religions are essentially the same, worshipping the same God, beneath the superficial differences. That, friends, is where Rick Warren is taking the church.