Warren’s Ecumenical Call to Fast, Pray for Cardinals Seeking New Pope Called ‘Real Tragedy’


An evangelical ministry that has worked for over 20 years to share the Gospel with Roman Catholics is expressing concern over a ecumenical Tweet that author and megachurch pastor Rick Warren posted early this morning.

At 2:57 a.m., Warren sent out the following call to his over 900,000 followers on Twitter: “Join me today in fasting and prayer for the 115 Cardinals seeking God’s Will in a new leader.”

Since posting the Tweet, which was re-Tweeted over 170 times as of press time and favorited over 80 times, and is being shared widely in a screen shot photograph on Facebook, his comment has received response from both sides of the issue.

“Thanks for your prayers!” wrote Matt Swain, producer of the Son Rise Morning Show on EWTN and author of The Eucharist and the Rosary and Prayer in the Digital Age. “This ain’t like picking Matthias!”

“Mr. Warren, what would the point be?” asked an African follower on Twitter. “Let’s pray for the heretics [to] tone down on their heresy?”

Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries of Dallas, Texas told Christian News Network that he was particularly disappointed in Warren’s comments.

“I’m very concerned because what this does is it confuses the average evangelical,” he said. “Right now, the Body of Christ doesn’t know whether to evangelize Roman Catholics or to join hands with them to go out and evangelize the world, [and] it’s because of people like Rick Warrren who either don’t know how exclusive the Gospel of grace is, or he’s not aware of the false and fatal Gospel of the Roman Catholic religion.”

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Mike Gendron

Gendron, a former Roman Catholic, stated that Warren’s Tweet is harmful in two ways.

“Rick Warren is doing a disservice to the Roman Catholic Church because he is putting the Gospel off limits to the the Body of Christ for evangelizing Roman Catholics,” he explained. “And so, if they don’t hear the Gospel, they have no hope in ever being saved.”

“Ultimately, it’s a real tragedy,” he said before delving into his second point. “It’s unfortunate because we have a ministry that is dedicated to equipping and encouraging the Body of Christ to reach out to Roman Catholics, and it’s because of people like Rick Warren and other highly visible evangelicals that are signing unity accords with Roman Catholics … that we are getting friendly fire from the evangelical Church.”

Gendron opined that many evangelicals are wrongfully being led to believe that Roman Catholicism is “a valid expression of Christianity.” He advised that it is also unBiblical for Warren to assert that it is “God’s will” that there be a pope in the first place.

“It goes against the Bible. It goes against Scriptural authority,” Gendron outlined. “In Matthew, Jesus said [not to] be like the Gentiles, which have a hierarchical structure to rule over people, and when you look at the Bible, the authority is Christ and His word.”

“Every evangelical church is to submit to the authority of Christ and His word, and the leadership of each church is made up of deacons and elders,” he continued. “In fact, Peter, who Catholics believe to be the first pope, declared himself to be a fellow elder. He never once  referred to himself as the head of the church, nor did he ever in Scripture have the authority to rule over anybody. He submitted to the Scriptures.”

Gendron urged Christians to use this time when attention is being turned to the Vatican as an evangelistic opportunity.

“I would encourage [readers] to use this as a platform to engage Catholics with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “There is much confusion among Roman Catholics now. They’ve lost their leader. There are scandals that are spread wide throughout the world — not only the sex scandals, but also the Vatican bank scandal. … Catholics are fed up with what’s going on and they’re looking for other options.”

“I would encourage Christians to [reach out to] Roman Catholics and point them to the true head of the Church — the Lord Jesus Christ,” Gendron concluded. “Catholics must repent of everything they’re doing to save themselves, and put all of their hope and all of their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is sufficient to save sinners completely and forever.”

Nearly twelve hours after releasing his call to prayer and fasting, Warren posted an obscure message on Twitter, declaring, “Not everything that is different is demonic. Learn to appreciate differences. Obviously God loves variety!”

It is unknown as to whether Warren’s Tweet related to his previous post.

Main photo: Facebook 

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  • Jonathan

    So…before there were Evangelicals, the Gospel wasn’t preached,loved and lived?

    • http://quitcocaine.ca ken blackburn jr

      Before Catholic’s there were Christ followers. The Catholic religion was devised by Rome around 129-139 a.d. Therefore, Peter could not possibly be the first Pope – Peter didn’t live that long.

      Notice that all Protestant churches are returning to the mother…

      Come quickly Lord come! Rick, you keep lofty company – don’t feel bad… just praying you repent before it’s too late?

  • Derek Whitaker

    If the Catholic Church isn’t a true church (nay – THE true Church) then the entire Bible should be scrapped, since it was the Catholic Church that compiled the Bible. All we need to do is take one look at everything that’s going on at Protestant seminaries with re-interpretation and the re-writing of the Bible to make us realize that most Protestant Christianity throws out the Bible more than it upholds it. Of course, all of this heresy is done in the name of keeping the Bible “relevant”.

    Sorry y’all, but Protestantism’s teaching changes too much with the times. If you want a Church that will uphold the Gospel despite what the people in the pews desire, come home to the Catholic faith!

    http://www.catholicscomehome.org/im-not-catholic/

    • http://www.coastlinebaptistcorpus.gor James Stone

      You obviously have no clue as to the history of the English Bible. As for true doctrine, what part of the Bible teaches transubstantiation, absolution of sins through the sacraments, confession of sins to a priest, a man as the vicar of Christ, praying to saints, penance, Mary veneration, priests as celibate, fish on Fridays, Holy eucharist, holy water, bowing before stature of Peter, infant baptism, original sins,etc? And the list goes on. So what if the Catholic church provides physical things for the poor and needy, they aren’t the only ones, but more importantly is the fact that their doctrine of grace through the sacraments is straight out of hell and has and is sending millions to an eternity in hell without Christ!

    • Steve Bliss

      Derek
      So many lies in your post, not nearly enough time to address them all. First of all you lump all non Catholics together into protestantism and that just can’t be done. The push toward “relevance” has come from the emergent church movement which rejects as much from true Protestantism as it does from Roman Caholocism, if not moreso. Secondly the church that is described in the Bible bears no resemblance to what Roman Catholocism looks like today. Catholocism in the form that it exists today did not take shape until at the earliest around 600 AD so this deception that Catholics try to convey that the Romanist church has been around for 2000 years is complete nonsense. The church that decided the canon looked nothing like the Roman church of today. And you say that the Roman Catholic church is so in tune with scripture and yet whenever they are challenged on something they teach that is not biblical they always appeal to “tradition” and the Pope, even to the point of saying scripture is bound to tradition. That the RCC venerates as nearly divine an office that until very recently was held by a man who, for years oversaw the department of the vatican that had the responsibility of enforcing accountability to priests who committed sexual abuse and chose to look countless offenses, speaks to the very corruption that has so permeated the RCC.

      And it’s absolutely hysterical that you accuse Protestant churches of changing with the times when you consider that the RCC has embraced evolution.

      While the state of mainline Protestantism (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church USA, United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, The Episcopal Church) is indeed pretty sad, they do not represent true Protestantism. Look to more conservative Protestant church bodies like Lutheran Church Missouri Synod or the Evangelical Presbyterian Church etc to see real protestantism. When you do you’ll see that unlike the RCC they have not embraced evolution and that, contrary to the lies that you were no doubt taught in your CCD classes, the protestant reformation was not a new teaching but a return to the apostolic Christianity that the Roman church had abandoned. And don’t for a minute think that a lot of the same revisionism that has infested mainline protestantism hasn’t also infected RCC.

  • http://www.coastlinebaptistcorpus.gor James Stone

    I agree one hundred percent with Mike Gendron. He hit the nail on the head in every point he made. Being a pastor myself in a city with a very high percentage of Catholics, I can tell you that Catholicism is NOT Christianity and for Rick Warren to even hint that they are in God’s will is to distort the truth and to further hide the true message of God’s grace from those Catholics who have a ready heart to hear the truth, if someone would just tell them.

  • B. Gold

    Between this and Obama, you have to wonder if Petrus Romanus really WILL be sitting on the illegitimate Roman Catholic “throne” real soon. Like everyone else, Catholics must REPENT and come to the Savior Himself, and stop trying to add to the One Necessary Perfect Sacrifice. Our righteous deeds are no more than filthy rags; an attempt to bribe the Great Judge of the universe. We must come humbly, in dust and ashes (metaphorically), seeking only the Grace that had done forever what we cannot do. Not unto us, but glory be to Messiah alone!

    http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2012/02/did-catholic-church-give-us-bible.html?m=1

    http://carm.org/did-roman-catholic-church-give-us-our-bible

    http://www.chick.com/ask/articles/rcc+bible001.asp

  • Linda

    Though we know that some of the Catholic church doctrine is askew, I am thankful for the basic truths of Jesus dying for our sins. The concern for a new Pope is that he will be one that will uphold the truths of the Gospel and moral standing. I think it’s why Pope Benedict retired, so he’d have a say in the new Pope’s qualifications. The newer/younger applicants are more liberal. (I was raised Catholic but have been born again since 1973 and moved to another church by the Lord’s leading.)

  • Lafe

    To All Readers: Rick Warren is not presenting a Gospel based on the Word of God. It is all about Rick Warren and his non biblical gibberish. Warren knows practically nothing about Roman Catholicism doctrines and its many, many variances with the Word of God. For Rick Warren to continue his love affair with the Catholic Church is appalling but then scriptures talks about those who love a lie and are thus given over to it and thus become delusional. I do not know how anyone who reads the word of God for themselves would remotely follow Rick and his purpose driven drivel.

    People of God….flee from Rick Warren. He is a fan of Jesus Christ…not a follower. Big difference. Rick has constantly said things that are directly contrary to the Word of God and yet people still flow his nonsense! There can be no unity with the Papacy and Christians as it regards the saving doctrine of Jesus only and the idolatry of Mary worship and purgatory and works and last rites…the list goes on and on and yet for this, Rick Warren is OK with? That should tell you volumes about Rick’s shallowness and being carnal and not ready for meat but he is still on the milk of the Word.

    Rick needs to be re-instructed regarding the basic elements of the Christian faith….not Roman Catholicism.

    Am I judging Rick? Yes, I am…with righteous judgment.

  • Chuck

    I’d be very interested in read that “email debate” in which Gendron supposedly “had his you-know-what handed to him on a platter”. I’m an EX-Catholic myself, and I’ve noticed that in “debates” with Catholics, they use several characteristic tactics, such as:

    1. They accuse the ex-Catholic of “not being a real Catholic”.
    2. They accuse the ex-Catholic of being “confused about what
    Catholicism really is”.
    3. They accuse the ex-Catholic of lying.
    4. They accuse the ex-Catholic of being “hate-filled”.

    It’s like there’s some Vatican Power Point lecture being given world wide on “How to Refute Ex-Catholics”. In one online debate I had with a Catholic, he repeatedly denied that the RCC teaches what it blatantly does, even when I would quote the RCC Catechism. If I referenced a Bible passage, he would redefine words to suit his purpose, and every time I would attempt to define terms to pin down the meaning of a statement, he would obfuscate, then accuse me of being “evasive”. Naturally, he would cite the RCC version of Church history, insisting I was lying if I dared to question it. Finally, he got tired and informed me that he had “said everything there was to say”, and did not want to have to “refute you [me] again”. It was a clear lesson on how seriously blind “faithful Catholics” can be.

    Given that experience (and others), I’m a bit reluctant to take Mr. Campbell’s account of Mike Gendron’s debate with John Martignoni at face value. I detect a bit of “spin” going on there.

    • Joel Saint

      I actually looked for that Gendron/Martignoni email debate, but was unable to find it. I found references to it, but not the debate itself.

      Any RCC folks out there who can post a link? Like Chuck, I’ve had a few discussions with some RC’s myself, so I’d be interested to see this ‘debate.’ I find in a little wierd that Gendron had his “you-know-what” handed to him, but…where’s the link?

      • Mary Freeman

        at the google prompt type in: “[email protected]” then type in: “Topic: Apologetics for the Masses – Issue #148″. this is the on-line debate between Gendron and Martignoni. Martignoni is pushing the sacrifice of the mass resulting in leaving Jesus’ blood sacrifice out in the cold.

  • Kostya

    Mr Warren needs to repent and get born again, otherwise he WILL perish…

  • Mary Freeman

    in response to Chuck: yes you hit the nail on the head. i am an ex-catholic and practicing catholics are always accusing me of the same things when i tell them that what they teach and believe is contrary to the bible. i was so confident in my catholic beliefs that i couldn’t see the lies and twisted traditions that this church was teaching. the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to everything about this church. i have read the debate between Martignoni and Gendron; Martignoni said “since Jesus cannot bleed to death anymore, what saves us now?” i almost hit the ceiling. of course Martignoni was referring to the sacrifice of the mass as being the sacrifice that saves us now, bcuz Jesus cannot bleed to death anymore. well i threw my rosary away and i go to Jesus only. it thoroughly angers me that the RCC would teach that Mary is our intercessor to Jesus, we cant go straight to Jesus, we have to go to Mary first and she will take our sins and prayers to Him – nonsense. transubstantiation. purgatory, limbo, taking all my sins to a priest angers me.