Faux-Pentecost: Rick Warren Fakes History

In late March Rick Warren announced that he would be attempting to fake make history if he could find 3,000 individuals willing to be baptized by him in a single day. From his blog he offers the following eight reasons for signing up:

  1. I’m personally teaching Class 101 for the first time in ten years.
  2. I’m personally baptizing after Class and you’ll receive a photo & baptism certificate.
  3. You’ll get a free one year subscription to Purpose Driven Connection magazine. (Never offered before)
  4. You’ll get free copy of The Purpose Driven Church book.
  5. Your name will be included in the historical list of Saddleback Pioneer Members who joined in our first 30 years. (This Easter is our 30th Easter and I want you included in this list.)
  6. The class is 1 hour shorter than normal. You can watch session 3 here online now.
  7. You’ll be a part of making Christian history! The largest membership class ever!
  8. We love you & want you in our family. There is no good reason to procrastinate.

I for one am thankful that on this historical day Pastor Warren has decided to stick with the same motivations Peter issued during his sermon at Pentecost. On the day before this watershed moment in church history Warren posted that they still needed 600 more people to make history. I don’t know how this turned out, nor do I care, but if you do I am sure Google can find the answer for you. What are your thoughts?


3 thoughts on “Faux-Pentecost: Rick Warren Fakes History

  1. I really hate #1, #2. Reminds me of Paul’s letter to Corinth:

    1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
    15so that no one would say you were baptized in my name.

    It sounds like Warren WANTS people to say “Hey, I was baptised by Rick Warren!” as if that makes their baptism more special than if they were baptised by anyone else.

    If you’re responding to that incentive to get baptised, then are you a Christ-follower or a Warren-follower?

    My guess/hope is that he just wants people to sign up for the class so that he can present the Gospel to as many people as possible. Then they’ll realize it won’t matter who is baptising them…?

  2. Wow. I haven’t been keeping up with my blog reading in a while. Just saw this. But by the time I got here, JTapp already made my comment. Although, he is a bit more generous to Warren in his final comments than I might be.

  3. (Catches up too late to this and is feeling particularly snarky …)

    I managed to find, among the blog updates in succeeding months (such as the fascinating-sounding and Relevant™ and Authentic™ sermon title “HOW JESUS HANDLED STRESS”) Warren’s assessment of the mega-“baptism” event.

    2400 people joined Saddleback and about 700 were baptized in a single day

    So the original Apostles’ record stands — and easily. And even if Warren had managed to find 3,000 to join the church, or was able to baptize 3,000 in a single day (and boy would his arms be tired!), the Apostles’ motivations — and, I daresay, their effectiveness — would still be intact.

    (Just for a little balance, at least Warren, last I checked, overtly disagrees with Osteen-style “prosperity gospel,” even if the former offers in its place less emphasis on salvation-from-spiritual-death Gospel and more help-people-not-be-poor-anymore “gospel” …)

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