The P.E.A.C.E. Plan

(and Rick Warren)

Contrary to the ongoing criticisms of Rick Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan, and the accusations against him regarding his motives for initiating the P.E.A.C.E. Plan, the P.E.A.C.E. Plan has nothing to do with:

1. ushering in the occult New Age

2. promoting a one-world religion

3. advancing a social gospel

4. ceasing Cheistian missionary efforts

5. turning evangelicalism into a liberal enclave

The P.E.A.C.E. Plan is a vehicle designed to spread Christianity to unreached parts of the world, while at the same time meeting people's physical needs, using five methods for touching humanity:

P - planting churches (evangelism, preaching the Gospel, teaching spiritual maturity);
(Note: This has recently been changed to "Promote Reconciliation," as a means of slightly changing the focus of the "P" to make it broader in scope, as well as effectiveness);

E - equipping servant leaders (i.e., helping church leaders/members lead like Jesus led his followers);

A - assisting the poor (self-explanatory);

C - caring for the sick (self-explanatory; and

E - educating the next generation (self-explanatory).

The P.E.A.C.E. Plan is Warren's attempt to return evangelicalism back to the nineteenth century, a time when Christians not only preached the Gospel, but also demonstrated the truth/love of that Gospel by being socially active to help those in need. I interviewed Rick Warren regarding his P.E.A.C.E. Plan, and in his explanation of it, there was not a hint of anything about him trying to simply make Earth a better place, just allevaiate suffering, or unite all religions. As the following interview with Warren shows (excerpted from my book Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him), Warren's critics are delivering a grossly distorted image of the P.E.A.C.E. Plan.

The P.E.A.C.E. Plan is not only about being obedient to
the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), but is also about living as a church in obedience to the commands found in James 1:27 ("Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world") and James 2:14-17 ("What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead").

Despite Warren's clear teachings concerning the purpose, meaning, and motivation behind his P.E.A.C.E. Plan, numerous critics continue to insist that the P.E.A.C.E. plan is actually about watering down Christianity, embracing pluralism, denying the Gospel, and compromising the Christian mandate to preach the unvarnished Gospel. One piece of so-called evidence that is now being conistently pointed to as proof of such allegations in a very short video clip of Rick Warren speaking at the DAVOS discussion group in Europe 
(see .mp4 or .wmv). But Warren says nothing unbiblical in the clip. Here are the points he makes in summary:

1. Christians need combat the world's biggest problems: extreme poverty, pandemic diseases, illiteracy, corruption, and spiritual emptiness

2. The problems are so immense that they can only be effectively dealt with by cooperation among the public sector (governments that make laws), the private sector (businesses that contribute funds), and the faith sector (religious individual who are spread throughout the world).
3. People of all faiths need to work together to help address the world problems.

4. People are motivated by different things to help others. if someone is willing to help us Christians help others, then we should accept that help and reach out to the world to alleviate suffering.

5. As Christians, our motivation is Jesus' words, "Love your neighbor as yourself." But that might not necessarily be the motivation of others who want to help Christians. And that's fine with him.

It remains unclear to me exactly why anyone would become so flustered over this short video clip. He gives no endorsement to any kind of New Age, one-world religion. He does not deviate (doctrinally speaking) from any Christian beliefs. He never encourages people to stay in whatever religion they happen to be in. He at no point undermines the heart of the Gospel (the life, death, resurrection of Jesus). All he says, in a nutshell is:

"HEY EVERYONE! I just wanted to let you know that I'm really gonna try to work on all these terrible things that are making people suffer. And I don't care who you are, where you are, or what you believe, but if we work together, maybe we can all help some people. I sure think it'd be a great thing if we could alleviate a lot of the pain in this world."

And to top it all off, Warren was able to even sneak in a reference to his own motivation, which is Jesus. That is no small task in a highly secularized environment. And that is the P.E.A.C.E. Plan.