In articles like Rick Warren And Teachings Of Demons and Rick Warren On Mentors Like C. Peter Wagner and Rick Warren, Laverne Adams, And Chuck Pierce’s Global Spheres here at Apprising Ministries I’ve discussed some of the many problems with Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren.
Then I began to introduce you to Sam Rodriguez in Rev. Samuel Rodriguez “Honored To Partner” With Word Faith Preacher T.D. Jakes. As you’ll see, Rodriguez is now set to share the podium with Rick Warren at the Thrive Conference (TC) this coming May 1-3.
More on Rodriguez in a moment. First the TC website tells us:
Refresh + Refresh + + Renew
The Thrive Leadership Conference, hosted by Pastor Ray Johnston at Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California, is North America’s go-to conference for pastors and leaders, offering the best keynote speakers, the most workshops, the most inspirational worship, and the most fun—all in the greatest location. (source)
TC as “North America’s go-to conference,” which they say offers “the best keynote speakers,” just may be a bit of an overstatement in my estimation. But, be that as it may, in addition to Rick Warren and Sam Rodrugiez, this year’s TC does offer us:
You may know that Strobel is a well known Christian apologist who was once “a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church”1 and now serves as Professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University while Daly is president of Focus on the Family.
TC host Ray Johnson is the founding pastor of Bayside Church (BC):
Senior Pastor Ray Johnston founded Bayside Church in 1996, after he and his wife Carol obeyed God’s call on their hearts to respond to the need of a place in Northern California… Under Pastor Ray’s leadership, Bayside has become one of the fastest growing churches on the West Coast, with over 11,000 people coming together for worship,… (source)
Here with BC it appears that we’re getting yet another megachurch a la Rick Warren’s own Saddleback Church. However, it’s important to remember at this point that while “fastest growing churches” do please the eyes of man, this simply does not insure that God is actually behind that growth.
Let me be clear in that with conferences like Thrive your pastor is going to learn strategies for numerical growth that come straight out of American secular business practices; methods via apostates like Peter Drucker, which were repackaged with Christian terminology and brought into professing Christendom by Leadership Network.
While these practices used by people who do corporate takeovers do work, and they will produce numbers, they have no place in the church of Jesus Christ. What we have with Seeker Driven megachurches like this extends from the man-centered Church Growth Movement2 and not from God’s prescribed methods of Church growth:
And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:27)
Martin Luther is correct when he says:
From these and other words of God, we should begin to know the Lord Christ in the right way. We should develop a more loving confidence in him. And we should pay more attention to his words than to anything [else].3
Instead, today these PD/SD megachurch cult of celebrity pastors pay rapt attention to the words of each other in the same old conferences featuring the same old speakers and held by the same old names. They’d be wise to heed the words of Charles Spurgeon, an early megachurch pastor, on how his was built:
Prayer, mighty prayer, will yet prevail if it hath but time. And while you never cease from your trust in God, nor from your prayer, grow more earnest in both. Let your faith be still more resolved to give up all dependence anywhere but upon God, and let your cry grow more and more vehement.4
With this in mind, my point with this piece is to further introduce you to Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, who has long operated within New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) dominionist and hyper-charismatic circles. You need to know that over the past year he’s another NAR adherent beginning to rise in popularity within the more mainstream.
If you didn’t know,Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez is:
president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), the nation’s largest Christian Hispanic organization representing more than 40,000 churches,… He is an Assemblies of God Ordained Minister since the age of 23. Rodriguez also serves as Senior Pastor of New Season Christian Worship Center in Sacramento, CA (source)
Rodriguez is pastor at New Season Christian Worship Center (NSCWC) along with his wife pastrix “Rev.” Eva, who’s said to be “Church Planter, Preacher and Motivator,” as apparently “Eva Rodriguez stands recognized as one of America’s Preeminent Christian leaders.”5
In obedience to a “prophecy” NSCWC’s Associate Pastrix “Rev.” Phyllis Towles was installed by Samuel Rodriguez himself:
Pastor Phyllis Towles was licensed for ministry in 1995 and became an ordained evangelist in 2002. Pastor Phyllis has been with New Season CWC since 1999, and was installed to the office of Associate Pastor in 2012 by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez thus fulfilling a prophecy spoken over her in 1999.
Her pastoral oversight at New Season CWC includes leadership development and discipleship… (source)
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez has also been a member of the so-called International Coalition of Apostles, now known as International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL):
Current membership of the ICAL now appears to be restricted to ICAL members. If you didn’t know, the ICAL “was conceived in Singapore in 1999 by a group of international apostles.” You may have been unaware there is such a thing. However, this new bunch of so-called Apostles then:
discussed how God could use the combined efforts of global apostolic leadership to advance the Kingdom of God more effectively… John P. Kelly was asked to assume leadership as Convening Apostle for the new coalition and to establish an office in Fort Worth, Texas.
He was directed to organize a council and to begin inviting apostles to join the ICAL fellowship network. The first Annual Meeting was held near Dallas, Texas in 2000. (source)
It’s important to realize that such as these are claiming direct revelation from God concerning e.g. “Apostle” C. Peter Wagner, which you can see below when we’re told that in that year 2000:
John Kelly was directed by the Lord to ask C. Peter Wagner to assume the roll of Presiding Apostle. In 2001, ICAL moved into the offices of Global Harvest in Colorado Springs, Colorado. John Kelly continued to serve ICAL as the Ambassadorial Apostle, representing ICAL globally and conducting ICAL Regional Summits throughout the United States.
In 2009, on the eve of his 80th birthday, C. Peter Wagner was directed by the Lord to ask John P. Kelly to again assume the roll of Presiding (now Convening) Apostle over ICAL. ICAL was transferred back to Fort Worth, Texas in the spring of 2010.
With an official handing of the baton ceremony at the 2010 Annual November Gathering, Dr. Wagner was installed as the Presiding Apostle Emeritus of ICAL and John P. Kelly became the new Convening Apostle. (source, emphasis mine)
Not only has Wagner been deeply involved with these spiritual wing nuts, he is without a doubt A Leading Figure In The New Apostolic Reformation and was:
until recently retiring, the president of Global Harvest Ministries. For 30 years, he was a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Missions. (source)
In fact, in Influences: Rick Warren And C. Peter Wagner Of New Apostolic Reformation I reminded you of their close relationship in that Wagner was actually Warren’s mentor when he “wrote his doctoral dissertation at Fuller Seminary on his church growth ideas.”6
You may also recall from Rick Warren, Laverne Adams, And Cindy Trimm that Warren was promoting “Doctor of Destiny” Laverne Adams, who is a member7 of the NAR’s Global Harvest Ministries, which is now known as Global Spheres Incorporated and headed up by “Apostle” Chuck Pierce.8
All of this serving as more than good reason to keep an eye on where this Thrive Conference ends up leading Rick Warren and Samuel Rodriguez. There can be no mistaking that Rodriguez is a rising star.
Todayy he tweeted:
And last Friday he appeared once again on TBN9 and its Praise the Lord apostasy-fest:
We also know that the aforementioned C. Peter Wagner is aware of mounting criticisms of the NAR as he’s on record offering “the NAR is definitely not a cult.”10 However, are quite right to be very concerned about this NAR cult because Wagner warns us of its growth:
Those who affiliate with it believe the Apostles’ Creed and all the standard classic statements of Christian doctrine. It will surprise some to know that the NAR embraces the largest non-Catholic segment of world Christianity. It is also the fastest growing segment, the only segment of Christianity currently growing faster than the world population and faster than Islam. (source)
Now let’s consider that a few years ago in The Coalescing of the Christian Right with Apostolic Dominionism Dr. Orrel Steincamp informed us that Rodriguez is himself “a passionate speaker/orator…[who] heads Wagner’s National Christian Hispanic Leadership Council.”11
Steincamp then brings out how Rodriguez had:
also been invited to the Freedom Federation Summit at Liberty University April 15. Speaking earlier at a Rick Joyner’s Oak Initiative gathering at Fort Mill, with great emphasis, Rodriguez rallied the crowd asserting that the Oak Initiative, [NAR “Aosptle” Rick] Joyner’s political action group, is “the New Jerusalem and also Washington DC.
We will mobilize for cultural reformation, not just engagement. We will not be held hostage by a donkey or an elephant.” How better to express the Dominion Mandate. (source)
You need to be aware of the above because. as you’ll hear in this exclusive video clip from this talk, 1) Samuel Rodriguez has been a board member of this dominionist Oak Initative group 12 and 2) reveals that they are aggressively targeting your young:
This is why e.g. in Francis Chan Declares “I Love Mike Bickle” Of IHOP and Louie Giglio Is No Hero To Be Admired I have been warning you that beginning with his Passion 2012 conference Giglio appears to be marrying his Passion Jesus Generation youth movement to that of Jesus Culture, which already aligns with that of IHOP.
In closing this, for now, we do wish to make sure that we note how in 2011—likely as merely damage control—the Oak Initiative Confirms Resignation of Co-Founder and Vice President Samuel Rodriguez; and further, that Rodriguez has been known to downplay his involvement with the NAR cult.13
But if Samuel Rodriguez truly has repented of his close ties to the dominionism of the NAR then he’ll need to publicly repudiate e.g. things like his strong endorsement of NAR false“Apostle/Prophet” Lou Engle’s TheCall Sacramento, which was held at the CA state capital on September 3-4, 2010:
- FRIENDS OF BETHEL CHURCH, HOME OF JESUS CULTURE
- THE PASSION OF THE PRESENCE & THE PURPOSE OF THE PASSION
- DR. MICHAEL BROWN SAYS FRIENDS MIKE BICKLE AND LOU ENGLE “TRUE MEN OF GOD”
- http://www.christianbook.com/html/authors/4001.html, accessed 2/26/14. ↩
- http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue89.htm. accessed 2/26/14. ↩
- Martin Luther, Faith Alone [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], January 13. ↩
- Charles Spurgeon, At the Master’s Feet [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], January 13. ↩
- http://newseasoncwcchurch.com/about-us/3804-2/, accessed 2/26/14. ↩
- http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/ditc12-10.html, accessed 2/26/14. ↩
- Also see Rick Warren, Laverne Adams, And Chuck Pierce’s Global Spheres ↩
- http://www.globalspheres.org/about.asp, accessed 2/26/14. ↩
- http://www.itbn.org/search?search=%22Samuel+Rodriguez%22, accessed 2/26.14. ↩
- http://bit.ly/1hhkE7Q, accessed 2/26/14. ↩
- http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/04/coalescing-of-christian-right-with.html. accessed 2/26/14. ↩
- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/9/21/01935/7353, accessed 2/26/14. ↩
- (http://www.politicalresearch.org/rev-samuel-rodriguez-not-so-moderate/, accessed 2/26/14. ↩