Friday, July 14, 2006

What is Structural Revival?

Rick Warren began his famous book The Purpose-Driven Life (Zondervan, 2002) by stating his philosophy that

"The Bible is clear that God considers 40 days a spiritually significant time period. Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes, he took 40 days:… "(p. 9)

It is therefore significant that Warren's most recent trip to the far east is patterned after the 40-day model. A June 27 BeliefNet article by Sarah Price Brown, "Rick Warren to Preach in Communist North Korea," explained:

"Warren, author of the bestselling book, "The Purpose-Driven Life," said he would make the trip as part of a nearly 40-day journey to meet with the leaders of 13 foreign countries.

"'I want to ask you to pray for me,' Warren told about 5,000 worshippers at his Saddleback Church on Sunday (June 25). He said he would be embarking on a 'grueling' tour, meeting with presidents, business leaders and pastors in countries such as Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Rwanda and South Korea, where he would preach at the world's largest church.

"And then, he told the crowd, 'I've received another invitation.' Warren said North Korea would allow him to preach in a stadium seating 15,000, but that he could preach in a larger venue if he could fill the seats." [emphasis added]

Reporting on his trip, the Christian Post said yesterday, in an article by Lillian Kwon entitled "Rick Warren Kicks Off Purpose Driven Conference in South Korea," that:

"In his first lecture, 'Raise a Purpose Driven Church, at this week's conference at Yoido, Warren emphasized that a church must become purpose-driven to grow healthy. He further explained four phases for a revival to occur – personal revival, relational revival, revival with a purpose and structural revival. Among those, many churches get stuck at the third phase – revival with a purpose – and therefore cannot grow."

"There are five biblical mandates Warren extracted from the Bible. They include service, ministry, evangelism, fellowship and training. The Church does not only serve as a place for worshipping and building friendships, but it exists to change the world, Warren continued. He said that only churches that experience revival with a purpose can accomplish structural revival and thus grow to be healthy churches." [emphases added]

What is this structural revival that Rick Warren is talking about?

Structural revival is connected with the New Apostolic Reformation/2nd Reformation agenda. Structural revival may be interchangeably used with the phrase structural reformation and structural transformation. It has to do with the transformation of church structures into a globally networked, hierarchical, apostolic entity -- a cellular structure based on apostles who are positioned in authority over regions of the world and areas (spheres) of influence.

Structural revival also has to do with the concept of transforming nations, the dominionist ideal that the kindgom of God must be built on earth. Rick Warren's statement that the church "exists to change the world" fits into this context.

Ron & Barbara McGatlin of write more openly than any other of the self-proclaimed apostles about what will be involved in building the kingdom of God on earth. Although they have some public differences with C. Peter Wagner and his crowd they continue to promote him and his NAR. They are notable for preaching a particularly virulent form of dominionism. In their IRN News Digest of 08-27-05, they cover the topic of Revival/Reformation. In an article by David Orton, "The New Reformation - Its Spirit & Structure, Part 2" he explains that "the crux of the current reformation" must be:

"The spiritual unveiling of Christ as Priest triggered revolutionary structural reformation, likewise the revelation of Christ as King. Christ revealed as Priest cut off the human priesthood at the knees, and so the revelation of Christ as King will cut off the human kingship at the neck." [emphasis added]

The International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) is a dominionist-oriented organization which works closely with many marketplace transformation initiatives. The ICCC "Market Calling" newsletter (June 2004, page 4) stated:

"Can a nation be changed? Absolutely! This is the task for which we have been commissioned by the Lord Himself: to disciple all nations. (Matthew 28:18-20) Changing nations involves the same dynamics required to transform a person: a change of heart that translates into structural transformation." [emphasis added]

Rick Warren's highly-touted 40-day trip is apparently launching a new phase of his ministry -- a structural revival -- one that is dominionist in its impact. It is beyond the scope of this discernment blog to investigate how this pertains to his foray into global politics, particularly the visit to North Korea. But by patterning his trip after the previous global diplomacy junkets of Billy Graham, Rick Warren is clearly attempting to set himself up as a global man of "peace." And his scary dominionist agenda, of which the media seems oblivious, is far removed from traditional biblical Christianity.

The Truth:

"Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity." (Isaiah 40:21-23)