biblical discernment, Bill Hybels, Brian McLaren, Christianity, church growth movement, Emergent church, false doctrine, false gospel, false teachers, global religion, interfaith, Leadership Network, new spirituality, Peter Drucker, Purpose Driven brand, Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren, social gospel
This is the first article in a series of articles I am posting here at TNP relating to the continued spread of Rick Warren’s poisonous Purpose Driven empire.
The author, Elliott Nesch of Holy Bible Prophecy, has done extensive research on the emergent and church growth movements, and provides documentary films (Church of Tares, The Real Roots of the Emergent Church), articles and an excellent book on emergent theology called ‘Hath God Said’ all available free of charge at the HBP website.
What the Emergent Church, Rick Warren and Bill Hybels Have in Common
While the Emergent Church movement seems to be a reaction against the large, plastic, church growth phenomenon, both movements have in common a lineage that can be traced back to business management guru Peter Drucker.
The genesis of Emergent can be traced back to an organization called Leadership Network. This organization was introduced as a resource to help leaders of innovative postmodern churches to connect. These efforts were aided by Harold Myra and Paul Robbins of Christianity Today.
In an article in the Criswell Theological Review written by formerly Emergent Mark Driscoll, co-founder and preaching pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Mark recalls the initiation of the Emerging Church movement which was launched by an organization called Leadership Network:
“In the mid-1990′s I was a young church planter trying to establish a church in the city of Seattle when I got a call to speak at my first conference. It was hosted by Leadership Network and focused on the subject of Generation X. . . . Out of that conference a small team was formed to continue conversing about post-modernism. . . .
“By this time Leadership Network hired Doug Pagitt to lead the team and organize the events. He began growing the team and it soon included Brian McLaren. . . . Pagitt, McLaren, and others such as Chris Seay, Tony Jones, Dan Kimball, and Andrew Jones stayed together and continued speaking and writing together as friends. . . .
“McLaren, a very gifted writer, rose to team leader in part because he had an established family and church, which allowed him to devote a lot of time to the team. That team eventually morphed into what is now known as Emergent.”¹
Speaking of Brian McLaren, he was asked how this whole Emerging Church got started to which he offers the same story. He tells:
“Well, back in the early 1990s there was an organization called Leadership Network funded by an individual in Texas, and Leadership Network was bringing together the leaders of megachurches around the country. By the early and mid-’90s, they noticed, though, that the kinds of people that were coming to their events were getting a year older every year, and there wasn’t a [group of] younger people filling in. They were one of the first major organizations to notice this.
“They started realizing that there was a sentence that was being said by church leaders of all denominations across the country, and that was, “You know, we don’t have anybody between 18 and 35.” . . .
“After a couple of years some of these young Gen X guys said, “You know, it’s not really about a generation. It’s really about philosophy; it’s really about a cultural shift. It’s not just about a style of dress, a style of music, but that there’s something going on in our culture. And those of us who are younger have to grapple with this and live with this.” The term that they were using was the shift from modern to a postmodern culture. And so what began to happen — and as this thing had a life of its own, they said, “If it’s not just about Gen X, then we have to make sure that we get some older people who aren’t just in that age frame to talk about this.”²
Just who was this “individual in Texas” which McLaren spoke of who funded the Leadership Network organization? It is a man by the name of Bob Buford, an owner of a successful cable television company in Texas at the time. Buford happens to have a lot in common with influential megachurch pastors Rick Warren (Founder and Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church) and Bill Hybels (Founder and Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church). Some haver referred to these three men as the Druckerite trinity for their relationships with business management guru Peter Drucker.
Apologist and Pirate Christain Radio host Chris Rosebrough interviewed Emergent leader Doug Pagitt regarding the beginnings of the Emergent Church. Rosebrough says that “without the Druckerites there may have never been an ‘emerging church.’” He goes on to state that the Druckerites (Bob Buford, Bill Hybels, and Rick Warren) “formed, bankrolled and promoted the Emerging Church much the same way a music marketing company might form and promote a boy band like the Backstreet Boys or N Sync.”³
Who is Peter Drucker?
Peter Drucker was born in 1909 in Austria and immigrated to America in 1937. He was a writer, management consultant, and self-described “social ecologist.” Drucker had taught at California’s Claremont Graduate School for more than 30 years, where the Management Center carries on his name. He published over thirty books in addition to articles for the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and Forbes.⁴ His books and popular scholarly articles explored how people are organized across the business, government and the nonprofit sectors of society.
Drucker’s writings were characterized by a focus on relationships among people rather than number crunching. Before his death in 2005, he rose to a position of great esteem for his contributions to business and management.⁵ In fact, he had a worldwide reputation as “the father of modern management.” When it comes to management theory and practice, Drucker is one of the most widely influential thinkers and writers on the subject.
Drucker made time to consult with business leaders as well as government and nonprofit organizations. One feature on Drucker notes:
“As the N.Y. Times noted (11/19/05), Drucker “devoted much of his energy to analyzing and advising” nonprofits, including church leaders, with a particular ‘prescience about the growing role of megachurches in American society.’
“Both Drucker and Buford recognized the potential of these churches to re-energize Christianity in this country and address societal issues that neither the public nor private sectors had been able to resolve. Drucker was quoted in Forbes magazine as saying, ‘The pastoral megachurches that have been growing so very fast in the U.S. since 1980 are surely the most important social phenomenon in American society in the last 30 years.’”⁶
Those leading the organizations of the Emerging Church, the Purpose Driven Network and the Willow Creek Association also happen to be the most influential organizations in evangelical Christianity. Time magazine named Brian McLaren, the “elder statesman” of the Emerging Church, Bill Hybels, senior pastor at Willow Creek, and Rick Warren, the Purpose Driven pastor of Saddleback Church, as three of the most influential evangelicals in America.⁷ Have these men become so influential within Evangelical Christianity because they are following the commandments of Jesus or because they are following best business management practices of Peter Drucker?
It is certainly peculiar that these movements have become so popular and well-received within Christendom when the Lord said to His disciples, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26), and “ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake” (Luke 21:17). How have these organizations become so prominent when “narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14)?
Though the organizations of Leadership Network, the Purpose Driven Network and the Willow Creek Association are uniquely divided, they are intimately connected to one another. These three organizations are businesses that sell products to the target market of church leaders and pastors (based on Peter Drucker’s business and management ideas). All of these organizations have designed products that appeal to their consumers (be it baby boomers or Generation X). It is no coincidence that these three successful and influential men in Christendom were all mentored by the late business management guru Peter Drucker.
Hybels & Drucker
Within the pages of The Essential Drucker by Peter Drucker, we read about how Bill Hybels utilized Drucker’s business practices to design a “church” that catered to the “customers’ needs.” It says:
“Willowcreek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, outside Chicago, has become the nation’s largest church. . . Bill Hybels, in his early twenties when he founded the church, chose the community because it had relatively few churchgoers, though the population was growing fast and churches were plentiful. He went from door to door asking ‘Why don’t you go to church?’ Then he designed a church to answer the potential customers’ needs: for instance it offers full services on Wednesday evenings because many working parents need Sunday to spend with their children.”⁸
In Bill Hybels’ book Courageous Leadership, he cites his conversations with Drucker in regard to leadership. In his own words under a subsection entitled “Consulting Mentors About Performance Evaluations”, Hybels referred to Peter Drucker as one of “the two men who have most shaped my thinking on this issue” next to Jesus.⁹
Hybels crystalized his vision for Willow Creek in the 1980′s at a dinner conversation with Drucker. “Bill, what is your unique contribution to Willow Creek?” Drucker asked. Hybels decided that one of his unique contributions to his church, aside from being the pastor, could be to create a resource for pastors who didn’t have firsthand access to thinkers like Drucker. This idea later turned into Willow Creek’s business school called the Global Leadership Summit. One reporter commented that “if evangelicalism does have a global power center, it would have to be Willow Creek” thanks largely to its business school. At the Willow Creek campus in South Barrington, Illinois, pastors and laypeople are discipled in Drucker’s leadership and management practices. Among the attendees were Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv in Edmond, Oklahoma (27,000 weekly attendees); Andy Stanley of Atlanta’s North Point Community Church (23,000); and T.D. Jakes of the Potter’s House in Dallas (17,000).¹⁰
According to Leadership Network founder Bob Buford, who also plays a key role in the summit, “Willow Creek is the most influential Protestant church in the world — one might even say the most influential church in the world save for the Vatican.”¹¹ Author Gregory A. Pritchard wrote:
“Willow Creek has so enthusiastically adopted and applied the principles of marketing that it has received growing attention from business schools and publications. Harvard Business School, for instance, selected Willow Creek as the subject of one of its famous case studies. Its author, who was eventually hired as the president of the Willow Creek Association, explains that the staff of Willow Creek ‘attribute much of their success to the simple concept of knowing your customers and meeting their needs.’ (emphasis added)
“Willow Creek’s strategy has also been discussed in the pages of Fortune magazine and the Wall Street Journal. In the latter, Peter Drucker explains that Willow Creek and its imitators are employing simple marketing ideas: ‘None of these marketing lessons are new. Anyone who has taken a marketing course these past 30 years or who has read a marketing text should know them.’”¹²
Buford & Drucker
Before Leadership Network began, its founder Bob Buford was consulting with business management guru Peter Drucker. Bob Buford is not only the founder of Leadership Network but also founded the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management.¹³ Buford stated, “Peter Drucker who’s Bill [Hybels]’s friend and mine, and I think one of the wisest men alive.”¹⁴ Bob Buford has often expressed his deep admiration for Drucker:
“Peter Drucker is the ‘intellectual father’ of most all that guides my approach to philanthropy. I’ve long since ceased trying to determine what thoughts are mine and which come from Peter.”¹⁵
Four years after beginning the Leadership Network, we read from Bob Buford’s official website:
“Bob Buford convinced Peter Drucker to lend his name, his great mind, and occasionally his presence to establish an operating foundation for the purpose of leading social sector organizations toward excellence in performance.”¹⁶
In the aftermath of Drucker’s death on November 11, 2005, Leadership Network had a press release reiterating this very information by their own admission. This feature describes how Drucker was a close friend and mentor of Bob Buford and “Drucker was instrumental in the forming of Leadership Network and its development over the years.” It goes as far as saying that the organization might not exist as all “were it not for Peter Drucker.”¹⁷ The feature continues:
“In 1997, Atlantic Monthly magazine editor Jack Beatty interviewed Buford for two hours for a book titled, The World According to Peter Drucker. The entire volume contained only six words from Buford: ‘He’s the brains, I’m the legs’ . . .
“Their friendship grew over the years as they talked about management, the “Halftime” phenomenon of successful business people looking for significance in the second half of their lives, and other common interests-including the phenomenon of the large pastoral churches emerging in the United States since 1980.”¹⁸
Buford based Leadership Network on business management principles that he learned from Drucker. Following Drucker’s strategies, Bob Buford only recruited leaders from successful churches as the first customers, worked only with those who were receptive to his goals, and only worked on things that would make a great deal of impact if successful. In 20 years of consultation with Leadership Network as a featured speaker and resource, Drucker’s genius for business management caused the number of megachurches (over 2,000 attending) to grow tenfold. Drucker’s influence was so remarkable on Leadership Network that Buford says the organization “belongs partly to him.”¹⁹
It is significant that Bob Buford consulted with business guru Peter Drucker prior to the organizing of the Leadership Network which in turn gave birth the Emergent Church. Buford referred to Drucker as “my mentor”,²⁰ “a great personal guide”,²¹ and “the man who formed my mind.”²²
Warren & Drucker
The Drucker-Warren relationship may surprise many, but it dates back over two decades, to when the young Rick Warren came to Drucker for advice. Under Drucker’s tutelage, Warren’s own success as from a Purpose Driven business entrepreneur to a large Purpose Driven company CEO has been considerable as his Saddleback church has grown to 20,000 members, one of the largest churches in America. The Purpose Driven Life is this decade’s best seller with over 30 million copies sold by 2007.²³
At a 2005 Pew Forum on Religion gathering called “Myths of the Modern Mega-Church,” Rick Warren stated:
“I did a series of lectures for the faculty in the Kennedy School and also in the law school. I spoke to several groups of faculty and several groups of students and I started with this quote from Peter Drucker: “The most significant sociological phenomenon of the first half of the 20th century was the rise of the corporation. The most significant sociological phenomenon of the second half of the 20th century has been the development of the large pastoral church – of the mega-church. It is the only organization that is actually working in our society.”
“Now Drucker has said that at least six times. I happen to know because he’s my mentor. I’ve spent 20 years under his tutelage learning about leadership from him, and he’s written it in two or three books, and he says he think it’s the only thing that really works in society.”²⁴
Warren also says that his staff at Saddleback reads and discusses Drucker’s writings, using them to manage the church. In Rick Warren’s office is a print signed by Drucker and given to Warren that reads: “What is our business? Who is our customer? What does the customer consider value?”²⁵ But what does God value? This type of Druckerian language clearly reveals that Saddleback Church is a business with customers made to look like a church of Christians. Drucker said, “The purpose of management for churches is not to make them more business-like, but to make them more church-like.”²⁶ However, the opposite has taken place. Bob DeWaay explains:
“Drucker has helped Warren use cutting edge management ideas from the business world and implement them in his management of the local church. Warren has now taken those ideas and made a business system that can be implemented by church leaders all over the world to improve their own church management and bring their efforts and their budgets into alignment with Warren’s Purpose Driven paradigm.”²⁷
Even Warren himself speaks of his Purpose Driven paradigm as a particular brand of product. The Purpose Driven franchise like any other successful business franchise such as McDonalds which enables ordinary people to replicate the substantial results of the new product and share the success of the innovator. Like any other business marketing model, Warren’s Purpose Driven business church model is a brand name much like the brand names that come from Leadership Network or Willow Creek.
Warren describes how the Purpose Driven paradigm is a franchise system which any pastor can transfer to his church in order to replicate the same church growth results produced at Warren’s Saddleback Church model. He says,
“Well, one of our values is what I call “the good enough” principle. A person doesn’t have to be perfect for God to use them. Because we want our church to be a model for other churches, we want average people doing average activities in order to get extraordinary results. Just like how the typical McDonalds is able to succeed while being staffed by high school students. Because the system works, it doesn’t require unusual talent.”²⁸
Borrowing Warren’s example, the Druckerites Bob Buford, Bill Hybels and Rick Warren are like the franchises Burger King, Wendy’s and McDonalds. Just as all of those fast-food restaurants sell hamburgers, so the Druckerites all sell knowledge-based products to build churches. Though the different brands of hamburgers taste different and come with different toppings, they are all hamburgers. In the same way, the Druckerites brand may vary, whether it be Leaderhip Network, Willow Creek or Purpose Driven, but they are all essentially the same in their implementation of best business practices for building the local church.
While these organizations have been built upon cutting edge business marketing and being relevant, whether it be to the unchurched or Gen X or baby boomers, no words can be more cutting in relevance and shaking to the core of these organizations than those of the Apostle Paul who said, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
Supposed conservatives like Rick Warren perceive the problems within the Emergent Church. Rick Warren initially criticized the Emerging Church:
“Let me talk specifically about what I think is most important—the Emerging Church’s preoccupation with postmodernism. Postmodernism has never created anything. It is only destructive. It deconstructs. It cannot build anything, and so it will be dead in a matter of years. It cannot last. It is a fad. But it is so like the church to jump on the bandwagon just as everyone is jumping off. Postmodernism is just a little, dinky, tiny sliver of young to middle-age, college-educated, affluent white people in America. . . .
“Well, postmodernism is totally relativistic because they say there are no absolutes. And that’s why it is incompatible with Christianity. It’s just incompatible. You cannot say there are no absolutes. And that’s why it is incompatible with Christianity. It’s just incompatible. You cannot say that there are no absolutes.”²⁹
Though the influential Purpose Driven Pastor Rick Warren has distanced himself from the Emergent Church, he has been blatantly and unashamedly supporting the Emerging Church for years. On the one hand, Warren criticizes Emergent postmodernity for being incompatible with Christianity, but on the other hand he endorses the Emergent Church again and again. Why?
The only reason a supposedly conservative evangelical pastor like Rick Warren would associate himself with postmodern liberal Emergents like Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, Doug Pagitt, and Tony Jones is because Rick Warren is a disciple of Peter Drucker and the Emergent Church is a product developed by Druckerites.
Warren helped launch the Emergent movement by writing the foreword Dan Kimball’s book called The Emerging Church. Directly associating himself with other Emergents who endorsed this same book such as Brian McLaren (who wrote another foreword in the book), Tony Jones, Chris Seay, and Spencer Burke, Warren wrote:
“This book is a wonderful, detailed example of what a purpose-driven church can look like in a postmodern world. My friend Dan Kimball writes passionately . . . While my book The Purpose Driven Church explained what the church is called to do, Dan’s book explains how to do it with the cultural-creatives who think and feel in postmodern times. You need to pay attention to him because times are changing.”³⁰
Of course fellow-Druckerite Bob Buford endorsed the same book saying:
“The future of the church in North America hinges on innovators like Dan Kimball and the ideas presented in this book. Vintage Christianity can be applied to new and existing congregations to help reach the next generation.”³¹
In Rick Warren’s July 6, 2005 e-newsletter he featured an article he wrote entitled “Sharing Eternal Truth With an Ever-Emerging Culture.” One of the recommended links in the issue was to Emergent leader Spencer Burke’s organization The Ooze. Spencer Burke’s The Ooze is described as a community that learns “from faith traditions outside the Christian fold” with “a Buddhist family in their church” with whom they “visited a Buddhist temple” and “participated in guided meditation with this family.”³²
Warren’s Ministry Toolbox on his website Pastors.com features other articles favorably presenting the Emergent Church movement and its leaders such as Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones.³³ One featured article is called “Emerging Worship: Moving beyond only preaching and singing” by Emergent Church leader Dan Kimball.
As for mega-church pastor Bill Hybels and Willow Creek’s role with Leadership Network, Bob Buford says:
“The first Foundation conference was held in Dallas and was the beginning of a partnership between Bob and Linda, Leadership Network and Willow Creek Community Church. Bob and Linda provided the vision and willingness to underwrite any shortfall. Bill Hybels and the music and drama team from Willow Creek provided expertise in designing messages that hit the heart through a very high quality blend of the spoken work, music and drama.”³⁴
Willow Creek has repeatedly endorsed and yoked themselves with Emergents. In 2005, session three of the Willow Creek small groups conference was hosted by Brian McLaren.³⁵ In 2008, McLaren was invited back to Willow Creek to speak to youth ministers. McLaren told these young ministers that the emphasis Christians place on the doctrines of hell and the second coming of Jesus inhibits their ministry.³⁶ In the Willow Creek Association’s postmodern ministry resources, several books are recommended by Emergent authors including Brian McLaren and Leonard Sweet.
Not only can the Purpose Driven movement and Emergent Church be traced back to the common ancestor and business guru Peter Drucker, but the individuals themselves are coming together to bring about a new Christianity. Considering how much these movements have in common, it is no surprise that Emergent Church father Brain McLaren attributes his becoming a pastor to Rick Warren. He writes:
“I first heard Rick share this material in 1985, when I was a college English professor. As I heard Rick share the story of Saddleback Valley Community Church, for the first time in my life I could envision a church that had authentic evangelism running through its veins, and for the first time I sensed that God might be inviting me to leave teaching to do this kind of church-based disciple-making. I literally would not be doing what I am doing if not for Rick’s impact on my life.”³⁷
At a recent national pastor’s convention, Emergent Church father Brian McLaren was one of the workshop speakers and Rick Warren was a keynote speaker.³⁸ The Druckerite Trinity is blatantly working together to bring about their reformation via knowledge-based Druckerite products. This synergy is clear when at Bill Hybels Willow Creek Community Church, the Emergent Church leader Brian McLaren endorsed Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven P.E.A.C.E. Plan. After boasting of U2 rockstar Bono and Shane Claiborne, McLaren proceeds:
“Many of you know Rick Warren, the well known pastor from southern California. I was so impressed, you know Rick Warren wrote a book called The Purpose Driven Life, it broke all kinds of sales records. I don’t know how many gazillion it sold, but it was an incredibly significant publication. Now what would really be interesting when someone writes a book called The Purpose Driven Life and they suddenly get huge amounts of money and fame and influence coming their way, then it’ll be interesting to watch: how does the author use all that fame, money and influence? You’ll really see what his purpose is at that point, not just what he writes about but how he lives. You know what Rick did with all of that fame and power and influence that came his way. He said we’ve got to get people concerned about global crisis. He came up with a list of five. If you know Rick, you know it be in an acrostic P.E.A.C.E.”³⁹
Rick Warren also endorsed Leadership Network organizer Bob Buford’s book Halftime calling Buford a “rare individual” and said “I want every man in my congregation to read this inspiring story.”⁴⁰ Bob Buford reciprocates admiration to Rick Warren saying on his official website:
“Expect to meet change makers. In the early days of Leadership Network, it was Bill Hybels and Rick Warren. Now these two have enormous self-sufficient teaching ministries on their own.”⁴¹
Buford’s Warren-endorsed book was dedicated to business management guru Peter Drucker, Warren’s mentor and Buford’s mind. Through Leadership Network and business management principles of Peter Drucker, the Purpose Driven Community, the Willow Creek Association and the Emergent Church are working overtime together in order to market their new Christianity to the church of Jesus Christ.
Inevitably, the leadership of the Emergent Church, Purpose Driven and Willow Creek organizations have made the highest compromise of the Gospel in seeking to serve two masters. Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other” (Luke 16:13). Their pragmatism in catering to culture and pleasing of men rather than God can be demonstrated in several areas. Perhaps the most egregious abuses of their voices as Christian leaders has been in their endorsement of a Muslim document entitled A Common Word between Us and You.
Dated October 13, 2007, A Common Word between Us and You is an open letter from leaders of the Muslim faith to leaders of the Christian faith. It calls to work for love for God and love for neighbor as common ground and understanding among both Christian and Muslim faiths. In the short time since its release, A Common Word has become the world’s leading interfaith dialogue initiative between Christians and Muslims.⁴²
A Christian response to the letter entitled Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to A Common Word Between Us and You published in the New York Times. This response was endorsed by almost 300 Christian theologians and leaders, among whom are many personalities we have been discussing such as Emergent leader Leith Anderson (the President of the National Association of Evengelicals), mega-church pastor Bill Hybels, Tony Jones (National Coordinator of Emergent Village), Brian McLaren, and Purpose Driven Pastor Rick Warren.⁴³
The problem is that the document contains statements that profess the false belief that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, that they “share the same Divine origin.” The document states:
“It is hoped that this document will provide a common constitution for the many worthy organizations and individuals who are carrying out interfaith dialogue all over the world. Often these groups are unaware of each other, and duplicate each other’s efforts. Not only can A Common Word Between Us give them a starting point for cooperation and worldwide co-ordination, but it does so on the most solid theological ground possible: the teachings of the Qu’ran and the Prophet, and the commandments described by Jesus Christ in the Bible. Thus despite their differences, Islam and Christianity not only share the same Divine Origin and the same Abrahamic heritage, but the same two greatest commandments.”⁴⁴
It is an atrocity that these professing Christian leaders would receive and endorse such a blasphemous document. Among many demonic doctrines of Islam, the Qur’an clearly denies the Deity of Christ and the crucifixion of Christ (Surah 4:157-158), which is in direct contrast to Christianity which declares that Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1,14; Colossians 2:9) and says there is no salvation apart from the cross (Matthew 26:28, 1 Corinthians 1:18). In the summary of A Common Word Between Us and You, it states,
“The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God.”⁴⁵
Both the letter and the Christian response refer to Muhammad as the “Prophet Muhammad” suggesting that he and Jesus both are prophets. However, according to the biblical standard, Muhammad has been proven to be a false prophet. And Jesus was not merely a prophet; He was the Son of God. Islam blasphemously teaches that the Messianic prophecy from Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15 that “God will raise up unto thee a Prophet” refers to Muhammad. How in the world could a Christian response be written and signed that doesn’t even address these false teachings from the pit of the abyss?
Rather than contending for the faith that was once delivered to the saints, the Christian response to the letter signed by the Druckerites further compromises in reference to God as the “All-Merciful One”, a title given to Allah 57 times in the Qur’an. God is indeed merciful, but nowhere in the Bible is Jehovah referred to as the “All-Merciful One.” This is a title reserved for the false god Allah. The response states,
“Before we ‘shake your hand’ in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.”⁴⁶
Though Christians may be in agreement with Muslims about finding common ground in not desiring strife, violence and war, it is on the basis of the Person of Jesus Christ that Christians do not kill. It is dishonest of the Christian response to selectively quote 1 John 4:10, “We love because he [God] first loved us” while excluding the second portion of the same verse which describes how God showed His love to the world in giving His Son Jesus Christ: “[God] sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” The love of God is uniquely expressed in Christ dying for our sins upon the cross and rising again which Islam rejects.
The Bible is clear in that, “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also” (1 John 2:23). Muslims reject Jesus as the crucified and risen Son of God Savior of the world; therefore Muslims are rejecting God. Christians and Muslims do not stand together on a common ground or understanding of God or the love of God. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12). According to the Bible, Islam is a lie and antichrist: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).
“And during his lifetime, Abraham—like Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad—had an encounter with God that distinguished him from his contemporaries and propelled him into a mission, introducing a new way of life that changed the world. . . . How appropriate that the three Abrahamic religions begin with a journey into the unknown.” (emphasis added)⁴⁷
Such statements and endorsement of the Islamic religion is rank heresy. Implementing Drucker’s secular business practices in the church will inevitably lead to destruction because the church is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20). Drucker’s business practices have acted like steroids being injected into the body causing unnatural monster growth from which the consequences will be severe and fatal.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (Matthew 7:15-20).
¹ Driscoll, Mark. “A Pastoral Perspective on the Emergent Church.” pp.87-89. available: http://bobfranquiz.typepad.com/bobfranquizcom/files/32_apastoralperspectiveontheemergentchurchdriscoll.PDF
² “Interview: Brian McLaren.” Religion and Ethics. PBS. July 15, 2005. available: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week846/interview.html
³ Rosebrough, Chris. “The Druckerites Must Issue a Safety Recall For Their ‘Emerging Church’ Product Line.” available: http://www.extremetheology.com/emergent-church/
⁴ Leadership Network feature. November 14, 2005. available: http://www.pursuantgroup.com/leadnet/advance/nov05o.htm
⁵ “Peter Drucker.” Wikipedia. available: available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Drucker
⁶ Leadership Network feature. November 14, 2005. available: http://www.pursuantgroup.com/leadnet/advance/nov05o.htm
⁷ “The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America.” Time. available: http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101050207/photoessay/17.html
⁸ Drucker, Peter. The Essential Drucker. Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann. 2007. p.31
⁹ Hybels, Bill. Courageous Leadership. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2002. pp.171,172
¹⁰ Chu, Jeff. “How Willow Creek is Leading Evangelicals by Learning from the Business World.” Fast Company. December 6, 2010. available: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/151/what-would-jack-do.html?partner=rss
¹² Pritchard, Gregory A. Willow Creek Seeker Services. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker House Company. 1996. p.61
¹⁴ “Willow Creek Community Church Creating A Volunteer Revolution Conference.” Active Energy.net. October 28 & 29, 2004. available: http://activeenergy.net/217047
¹⁵ “Drucker’s Influence on Leadership Network” Leadership Network Advance, November 19, 2005. available: http://www.pursuantgroup.com/leadnet/advance/nov05o.htm
¹⁷ Leadership Network feature. November 14, 2005. available: http://www.pursuantgroup.com/leadnet/advance/nov05o.htm
²⁰ “Willow Creek Community Church Creating A Volunteer Revolution Conference.” Active Energy.net. October 28 & 29, 2004. available: http://activeenergy.net/217047
²¹ Leadership Network feature. November 14, 2005. available: http://www.pursuantgroup.com/leadnet/advance/nov05o.htm
²² Buford, Bob. Halftime. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 1994. dedication page
²³ Karlgaard, Rich. “Peter Drucker on Leadership.” Forbes. November 11, 2004. available: http://www.forbes.com/2004/11/19/cz_rk_1119drucker.html
²⁵ Leadership Network feature. November 14, 2005. available: http://www.pursuantgroup.com/leadnet/advance/nov05o.htm
²⁷ DeWaay, Bob. Redefining Christianity: Understanding the Purpose Driven Movement. Springfield, MO: 21st Century Press. 2008. p.175
²⁹ Abanes, Richard. Rick Warren and the Purpose That Drives Him. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishing. 2005. p.27
³⁰ Kimball, Dan. The Emerging Church. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2003. endorsement page
³² Gibbs, Eddie and Bolger, Ryan K. Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic of Baker Publishing Group. 2005. p.132
³³ Warner, Greg. “Brian McLaren: the story we find ourselves in.” Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox. Pastors.com. November 19, 2003. available: http://www.pastors.com/blogs/ministrytoolbox/archive/2003/03/28/Brian-McLaren_3A00_-the-story-we-find-ourselves-in.aspx; Allen, Tom. “Younger pastors ask: Is preaching out of touch?” Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox. Pasotrs.com. May 12, 2004. available: http://www.pastors.com/blogs/ministrytoolbox/archive/2004/03/03/Younger-pastors-ask_3A00_-Is-preaching-out-of-touch_3F00_.aspx
³⁶ Roach, David. “Lessen focus on eternity, McLaren says at Willow Creek student ministries conference.” Baptist Press. April 18, 2008. available: http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=27867&ref=BPNews-RSSFeed0418
³⁷ McLaren, Brian. More Ready Than You Realize: Evangelism as Dance In The Postmodern Matrix. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2002. p.186
³⁹ available: http://www.viddler.com/explore/xjm716/videos/12/
⁴⁰ Buford, Bob. Halftime. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 1994. 2nd page of endorsements
⁴² “A Common Word Between Us and You.” available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Common_Word_Between_Us_and_You
⁴³ “Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to A Common Word Between Us and You.” available: http://www.yale.edu/divinity/news/071118_news_nytimes.pdf
⁴⁴ The Official Website of A Common Word.” available: http://www.acommonword.com/
⁴⁶ “Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to A Common Word Between Us and You.” available: http://www.yale.edu/divinity/news/071118_news_nytimes.pdf
⁴⁷ McLaren, Brian. Finding Our Way Again. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. 2008. pp.22,23