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21745
“Rick Warren and the New Evangelization”
by Roger Oakland   
May 20th, 2014

The Warren- Arroyo EWTN interview that aired on YouTube April 11, 2014 provided many insights regarding the “New Evangelicalism” that is presently unfolding. Rather than lines being drawn in the sand, walls are coming down and ecumenical unity is being established. If Rick Warren and his followers represent the direction many former “Protestants” are headed, it is only a matter of time for the coming One World Ecumenical Religion to be established. The Jesuit plan to bring the “separated brethren Home to Rome” will have been accomplished. Those who refuse to follow will be singled out and considered “heretics.” Is it possible that persecution for these “resistors” is in store?

One revelation that came out of the interview was the fact that Warren and his Saddleback Church had hosted a delegation from Rome to discuss the New Evangelization Program. Apparently a number of Roman Catholic delegates were observing the Warren-Saddleback Purpose Driven Program in order to gain ideas and insight for the Roman Catholic New Evangelization Plan initiated by Pope John Paul II and continued by Pope Benedict and Pope Francis.

The following question was asked by Raymond Arroyo:

The Vatican recently sent a delegation here to Saddleback—the pontifical council—the academy for life. Tell me what they discovered and why did they come? This is a sizeable group.

Warren’s response was immediate and enthusiastic. He said:

It was. They were about 30 bishops from Europe. One of the men had been actually trained and mentored by Jean Vanier, which is an interesting thing because we have a retreat center here and my spiritual director, who grew up at Saddleback, actually went and trained under Jean Vanier too. So I am very excited about that.  

While the term “spiritual director” or the name Jean Vanier may not mean much to you unless you are versed on contemplative mystical spirituality, this admission by Warren provides conclusive evidence of his endorsement of Roman Catholic monastic mysticism and all that goes along with it. The fact he mentions he has his “own” spiritual director located at Saddleback who was trained under the leadership of Jean Vanier is even more significant.

A brief look at Jean Vanier will provide important insights. Vanier (b. 1928) is the Canadian Catholic founder of L’Arche, which is a humanitarian community for disabled people. It is L’Arche where Catholic priest Henri Nouwen spent the last ten years of his life. Vanier is a contemplative mystic who promotes interspiritual and interfaith beliefs, calling the Hindu Mahatma Gandhi “one of the greatest prophets of our times” and “a man sent by God.” In the book Essential Writings, Vanier talks about “opening doors to other religions” and helping people develop their own faiths be it Hinduism, Christianity, or Islam.  The book also describes how Vanier read Thomas Merton and practiced and was influenced by the spiritual exercises of the Jesuit founder and mystic St. Ignatius.

To learn through Rick Warren’s interview with Raymond Arroyo that Warren’s own “spiritual director” was trained under Jean Vanier is, at the very least, a key to understanding many of Warren’s actions and words in the past where he has expressed support for contemplative mystics and ecumenical/inter-spiritual efforts.

The New Roman Catholic Evangelization

If the delegation sent to Saddleback from Rome consisted of 30 Bishops, obviously this was a very significant event. What were the delegates discussing with Warren and his team? Warren provides the answer to that question in his interview:

[T]hey were talking about the New Evangelization and Saddleback has been very effective in reaching secular mindset. Our church is 33 years old. Easter 2014 at Saddleback is our 34th anniversary. And in 34 years, we’ve baptized 38,000 adults. Now, these are adult converts. People with no religious background. People who say, “I was nothing before I came to Saddleback.” So we figured out a way to reach that mindset. And I fully support your Catholic Church’s New Evangelization which basically says we’ve got to re-evangelize people who are Christian in name but not in heart. And they need a new fresh relationship to our Savior.

While Warren provides his stamp of approval on the Roman Catholic New Evangelization Program and makes it sound like the purpose is to win converts to Christ, there is much more to the picture than Warren describes. The Roman Catholic New Evangelization program is dedicated to win converts to the Roman Catholic Eucharistic Christ and obedience to the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. While Warren may call this “a new fresh relationship to our Savior,” he is overlooking what Catholics must believe in order to be a member of the Catholic Church. Either he is oblivious to this fact or he is willingly ignorant.

In a previous commentary we wrote called Mysticism, Monasticism and the New Evangelization, we were able to document that contemplative mysticism provides the catalyst for the New Evangelization. Thus, Rome and Babylon join together to form a new form of ecumenical Christianity that fits the description of the harlot, the counterfeit bride, described in the book of Revelation, chapter 18.

The facts stare us in the face. Warren’s path to Rome is not only dangerous, it is biblically prophetic. Why do so few recognize what is happening? Do you know someone who is caught up in the deception but does not see what is going on? Maybe this would be a good time to pray God’s grace would open their eyes and they would see the truth of God’s word.

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