Posted: July 23, 2010 in false teachers, John Piper, Rick Warren
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Rick Warren recently got into trouble handling a potentially toxic plant whose sap has caused him temporary blindness.


Rick Warren The plant that was too hot to handle

The report reads:

Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., asked for prayer via Twitter today, saying his eyes were “severely burned by a toxic poison” and he was in “excruciating pain.” He asked his Twitter followers to pray that his “sight loss” would be restored.

A. Larry Ross, a spokesperson for Rick Warren, told me that the injury occurred when Warren was working in his garden Monday pruning shrubbery. When he pruned a firestick plant and gathered the leaves, he wasn’t aware that the plant’s sap can cause a severe allergic reaction. The sap melted onto Warren’s hands and when he wiped his brow, the sap dripped into his eyes, causing him to experience excruciating pain. Ross said the pain was so severe that Warren couldn’t immediately tell his wife, Kay, what had happened.

Warren spent Monday night in pain at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, Calif., where he saw an eye specialist and received treatment. On Tuesday, he went home to recuperate. Ross said his treatment includes applying an ointment to both of his eyes and using protective contacts.

According to Ross, Warren never actually lost his eyesight, although the pain was so bad he couldn’t open his eyes. Ross added that the doctors expect a full recovery, although it will take some time and involve some discomfort.

Two hours after the first tweet, Warren followed up with another thanking his Twitter followers for their prayers and saying he had another doctor’s appointment this afternoon. He added, “May God use this pain for His Glory,” with the Scripture reference Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

FIRESTICK, a succulent (Euphorbia tirucalli), is a showy plant that features a tangled mass of orange-red branches as thick as pencils, hence the name. Also called pencil cactus or pencil tree, it grows as an accent outdoor shrub or a container patio plant that spruces up the spot. The branches form a striking contrast against the background so the plant stands out and draws attention. The firestick contains a toxic white sap that causes serious skin allergies, and can produce blindness if it gets into the eyes, which is why utmost care during handling is essential

The Bible speaks a lot about blindness.  In scripture blindness is associated with judgement.

  • Gen 19:11 And they smote the men that [were] at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
  • Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
  • Ecc 2:26 For [God] giveth to a man that [is] good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to [him that is] good before God. This also [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.
  • Rev 3:17- 18 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint THINE EYES WITH EYESALVE, THAT THOU MAYEST SEE.


  • Act 13:8   But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
  • Act 13:10-11 And said, O FULL OF ALL SUBTILTY AND ALL MISCHIEF, [THOU] CHILD OF THE DEVIL, [thou] ENEMY OF ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS, WILT THOU NOT CEASE TO PERVERT THE RIGHT WAYS OF THE LORD? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord [is] upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
  • Act 13:12   Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

From this judgement came salvation to the deputy. Elymas was blinded for a season. We can’t say how long that was.  But it did shut him up.

God is the giver of sight: For it God who gives illumination and understanding

  • Luk 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and RECOVERING OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, to set at liberty them that are bruised,


While on his way to throw more Christians into jail Jesus met Saul and knocked him over.  But God has no intension of leaving him blind.  But in Saul’s blindness he came to see more than when he could see.  Judgement gave way to illumination.


I can’t say that this incident was a direct judgement from God or a foolish accident.  But we can hope and pray that eyes that were once closed to the truth, may now be opened.

Rick warren has had a history of deception and manipulation.  Originally encouraging his flock to vote for prop 8

“Proposition 8 was a California ballot proposition that sought to change the California Constitution to add a new section (7.5) to Article I,  that would read: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” This change would restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples, and eliminate same-sex couples’ right to marry”

However when the heat got too much for Warren he immediately did a U turn, apologised to the homosexual community and claimed he never advocated prop 8.  Which was totally foolish and a lie as Youtube had a video on Warren encouraging his congregation to vote for the proposition.

  • Jam 1:8 A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways.
  • 1Jo 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Cleary warren is more than a liar and a deceiver; For he lacks the strength of any Biblical convictions.  For by apologising for something which God considerers an abomination, it became clear where his true allegiances lie.

  • Jhn 12:35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.


Recently Warren was invited by John Piper to speak at Desiring God’ conference.  Whilst John Piper brought out a video attempted to justify his decision.  I doubt if many believe Piper for a moment.

Pipers attempts to justify his decision

“.. I do think he’s deeply theological. He’s a brilliant man. He wouldn’t have the church he does or the Peace Plan, or all the influence he does and of course the greatest sentence in the Purpose Driven Life is the first one isn’t it? It’s not about you, it’s about God. The Glory of God. So I don’t think he’s emergent. At root I think he is theological and doctrinal and sound.”

Sorry but NO one really believes this.

If Piper was as sound as many once believed then Piper would have certainly checked Warren out.  However for whatever reason Piper was clearly led astray on this matter.  Who I wonder was influencing who?  It must be clear that the reason Piper gives for inviting has very little to do with the Bible.  I could go into all the details of this sorry story but the article is not about Piper but Warren.

  • Isa 56:10 His watchmen [are] blind: they are all ignorant, they [are] all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.

While many do seek to cry out and warn, many more slumber on their watch and allow the robbers to steal and carry of the sheep.  Many are now incapable of knowing who or what should be avoided.  They stand with trumpet at mouth and yet can no longer blow.   Many more hesitate to give a clear signal.  This has allowed wickedness to grow and men like Warren to prosper.

We have come to the time when people do not care for truth half as much as popularity and prosperity.  The desire to be part of the in crowd has allowed many to look the other way.  The need to belong to a particular movement or denomination is motivated by self interests rather than the interests of a Holy God.

  • Isiah  59:10-12   We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if [we had] no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; [we are] in desolate places as dead [men]. We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but [there is] none; for salvation, [but] it is far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions [are] with us; and [as for] our iniquities, we know them;

It is a terrible thing to believe that you have sight and yet cannot see.  I don’t pray that Warren get relief, but in his pain he might acquire illumination.  ELYMAS THE SORCERER eventually receive his sight but was never saved.  Saul of Tarsus however receives his sight and became Paul the apostle.  Some are destined never to see, while for others grace is offered.

  1. richvision says:

    timing on this post and discussion is interesting, I was just reading an article the other day that was quite eye-opening and not surprising and is well covered (talks on his purpose drivel church, life, world peace plan, etc)……..having come from one of Warren’s pragmatic church models and more dangerous wolves and have studied in depth for many years on their agendas and compared their wickedness with what the bible says and have confronted many – my eyes are wide open. Instead of people attacking the watchman they should be thankful – its because of us the wolves aren’t able to eat everyone and that many can be rescued from their clutches.

    here is a sample of something Warren wrote that is unscriptural and satanic

    excerpt from here:

    Rick Warren is more subtle, and his references to health versus disease cloak his hostility toward “unhealthy” members who resist his agenda. In The Purpose Driven Church, he writes:

    “When a human body is out of balance we call that disease…. Likewise, when the body of Christ becomes unbalanced, disease occurs…. Health will occur only when everything is brought back into balance. The task of church leadership is to discover and remove growth-restricting diseases and barriers so that natural, normal growth can occur.”

    Ponder the subtle suggestions and negative labels Pastor Warren attaches to individuals who question his purpose-driven management system:

    “The Bible knows nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits isolated from other believers….”[6, page 130]

    “Today’s culture of independent individualism has created many spiritual orphans—’bunny believers’ who hop around from one church to another without any identity, accountability or commitments. Many believe one can be a “good Christian’ without joining (or even attending ) a local church, but God would strongly disagree.”[6, page 133]

    “A church family moves you out of self-centered isolation.”[6, page 133]

    “Isolation breeds deceitfulness.”[6, page 134] Emphasis added in each item

    You saw evidence of Pastor Warren’s holistic views in the chapter on “Unity and Community.” Some of the following rules or principles also reflect a collective ideal. Violations open the door to various disciplines:

    “God blesses churches that are unified. At Saddleback Church, every member signs a covenant that includes a promise to protect the unity of our fellowship. As a result, the church has never had a conflict that split the fellowship….”[6, page 167] Emphasis added

    “Rick’s Rules of Growth…. Third, never criticize what God is blessing, even though it may be a style of ministry that makes you feel uncomfortable.” [1, page 62]

    and on and on…..see rest of article for more and be good Bereans and see the evidence for yourselves and judge righteously regardless of how much money or influence you might gain from partnering with this spiritual whoremonger that rapes churches

    this article I wrote that is hosted here, is helpful
    you can also see my notes in my notes section at that link at bottom, as well as my concentration is on being a watchman – you will especially be edified with temptations of Christ and His Sufferings Through His Servants note which goes into depth on the many ways people are deceived and how Satan tries to deceive the saint.

    and may open your eyes on the subtle twisted words that are taken out of context and used to either lure the saints and or try to keep them in a false Christ’s church.

    I do want to comment on something else I just noticed which seems to be flying back in Warren’s own face in his present dilemma

    from his purpose Driven church book
    “When a human body is out of balance we call that disease…. Likewise, when the body of Christ becomes unbalanced, disease occurs…. Health will occur only when everything is brought back into balance. The task of church leadership is to discover and remove growth-restricting diseases and barriers so that natural, normal growth can occur.”

    compare that with the subject of this article

    News: Rick Warren seems to have unfortunately injured his eyes with some form of toxic poison. Its not clear if extent of damage is permanent or not.

    Jesus said
    Mat 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

    a similar message was sent to another false teacher by God (I think it was Todd Bentley), but the warning was not heeded.

    Mat 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

  2. It would appear that while Warrens physical eyes are recovering, His spiritual eyes appear to remain quite blind.

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