A Question from Susan
Here's the comment from Susan in response to yesterday's "last ever" PDL post:
"Just another question, if you don't mind, if the whole church is built on PDL foundation, and they ask you to leave if you don't join their purpose, but they do have other strong anointing, would you leave or stay?"
That's a very good question, Susan, and I really think that the answer depends on the particular situation you're in. Over at Challies.com you can read some real horror stories in which people felt "driven" out of their church because they weren't supportive of the PDL program (scroll down to the long comments section at the end of the review). My quick answer is, watch and pray. It should be noted that Warren's 5 purposes (worship, fellowship, discipleship, service, and evangelism) are not in themselves a bad template for understanding the Christian life. However, speaking as one Charismatic to another, Warren's take on these things leaves out the Holy Spirit almost entirely.
I myself have "belonged" to only two churches in my Christian life. Leaving the first one, the church in which I was baptized and discipled, was very difficult. I do not encourage people to make that step lightly. In my current church, we have gone whole hog for the PDL program, and yet I have no thought of leaving it. In the four years I've been there, I've been in step with everything they've done and have grown in the Lord in many ways, and I have been pleased with the maturity of the teaching and leadership. PDL does seem to me to be a step backward for us, but I'm not going to abandon them because in this case I can't agree.
Maybe I should put it this way: If the church resorts to Warren's extremely watered-down message regarding sin, his vague and vacuous understanding of God's plan of salvation for your life (which includes the Spirit dwelling in you in power), and his shallow and self-serving use of Scripture, I would definitely consider moving on.
The purpose of PDL is growth, and its success is measured in numbers. The purpose of the Spirit's anointing is not measurable that way. The Spirit's whole purpose is to point people to Jesus and to His cross. Since PDL does not do that, I cannot imagine the Spirit's anointing continuing for long on that church. Watch and pray.
By the way, now is a good time to point my readers to the relatively new blog of Susan's husband, Peter. His blog is called JC's Apprentice. And while we're at it, have a look at another new blog from an old blogging friend's very close relation. Blogging-teen's Mom is now getting into the act! Her new blog is called Blogging Truth. Have a look.