Rick Warren seems like a compassionate man; but one who is a late-comer to this issue of AIDS. He said on an interview with FOXNEWS this past week that the first priority was to "break the silence of the church on AIDS." I beg your pardon Mr. Warren, but there have been many churches over for the past 20+ years without fanfare, PR and national media attention have faithfully served the Lord and those that are HIV positive in very sacrificial and profound ways. It is good that Rick and Saddleback have finally broken the silence and are getting involved on this issue.
But in all honesty, one must logically ask why now? I mean, where has he been all those years when people were dying with AIDS? I can only think in part that this is now due because of his PDL fame and subsequent wealth derived thereof, that he has to have somewhere to use and justify the tens of millions of dollars he has made from "being in the ministry." Thus... his fascination with social causes.
Mr. Warren is being promoted, positioned and perceived, mostly by his own public relations machine, as a global leader in fighting HIV infection. However, rather than using his "Q" to drive him deeper into pastoral ministry (i.e. prayer, biblical exposition, the discipleship of God's people, and the proclamation of the gospel of sola fide) he has turned to social causes: global warming, getting rid of poverty, bringing his P.E.A.C.E. plan to Syria, and now of course... AIDS.
The Latest Promoter of ECB - Evangelical Co-Belligerenece
A familiar proverb says, "a man is known by the friends he keeps..." And while Rick's passion for hurting people is commendable, it's the strange bedfellows he "partners" with that is disturbing. This again seems like a very superficial thing to him. The only plumbline he uses to determine whom he aligns himself with is uninimity on a cause--not on Christ, not on biblical truth, not on moral principle, but solely on a cause. And remember, this is a pastor. In this case the issue is AIDS.
Rick himself has clearly communicated that he will join with anyone to fight AIDS. Really? Let's test that axiom: would he partner with Planned Parenthood for example, or NAMBLA, Larry Flint of Hustler Magazine, or the Columbia drug-lords perhaps (after all they are well financed and globally networked) to help fight global HIV infection? Of course not. The principle taken to its logical conclusion doesn't pan out though. IOW, this is just another example of "cultural sentimentalism" run-a-muck. It is what I have coined as: ECB - Evangelical Co-Belligerence. Here is Rick on Hannity and Colmes a few days ago describing his new found co-belligerence.
The cross of the social gospel is pleasant, inclusive, ecumenical, politically correct, and inoffensive to the unregenerate; contrary to the cross of Christ.
His Definition of C.H.U.R.C.H. 'Purposely' Leaves out Christ
Look at how Rick wants to redefine what the church should be in response to this health crisis:
Unique from every other conference on AIDS, attendees of the Global Summit on AIDS & the Church will explore six ways any church, regardless of size, can minister to people living with HIV/AIDS using the acrostic C.H.U.R.C.H.: Care for and support the sick; Handle testing and counseling; Unleash volunteers; Remove the stigma; Champion healthy behavior; and Help with nutrition and medications.I have an alternative meaning on how the church can effectively minister to those who have AIDS:
C - Christ. He alone is head of the church and is to be reverenced and worshipped as the only true Lord of all (Col. 1:18)Care for peoples daily needs? - absolutely, yes. But not at the expense of the eternal being compromised, ignored, politicized, or blurred.
H - Holiness. The lifestyle of true faith; the fruit of genuine salvation (2 Cor. 5:17)
U - Unity. The body of Christ living out the one-anothers that effect all of life in every area of faith and community (Acts 2:42ff)
R - Regeneration. Proclaiming the gospel -evangelism; calling all men everywhere to repent of their sins and follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives to escape the wrath to come (Titus 3:4-7)
C - Care and Compassion. Love your neighbor as yourself. Serve through "hands on" practical means (Matt. 22:39)
H - Hope. Though there is no cure for H-I-V, but there is for S-I-N in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Dying people need hope and there is no greater hope than what is found in Jesus (1 John 2:28-3:3)
Rodney King Theology--With a Twist
Mr. Warren's bleeding heart, politically correct, postmodern, moral pluralistic, neo-evangelical rhetoric adopted form the Rodney School of Theology - "can't we all just get along" [and all work together] - plays well with people like Bono, Gates, Obama, Dybul. But even under surface scrutiny, it lacks the biblical teeth, footing, theology, and courage to be taken anymore seriously than what it is: just another liberal social gospel in different rags.
Divorce biblical truth from love, and you get empty-headed sentimentality. Divorce love from biblical truth, and you get cold hearted-orthodoxy. Marry biblical truth and love, and you get real ministry. Rick has conveniently cut biblical truth out of the equation and has embraced anyone (preferrably with a name that can draw a crowd) who shares his same passion for the same issue. For a politician this is understandable and condoned; for a pastor, this is preposterous and compromise.
Welcome, to Broke "Saddleback" Mountain:
Below you will find an excellent running report from Joseph Farah and WorldNet Daily about Rick Warren, and his trip to Syria, his conference on AIDS, and his partnership with PBA advocate Barack Obama that will greatly inform you. I have also included a link to the transcript of Barack's speech he made yesterday at Rick's conference.
Transcript of Barack Obama's speech.
Friday, December 1, 2006 - Here's a riveting snippet of Barack's speech: "I took my own trip to Africa a few months ago. As I’m sure Rick and Kay would agree, it’s an experience that stays with you for quite some time."
The purpose-driven lie
Thursday, November 16, 2006 by Joseph Farah -- For a long time I've held off criticizing mega-church leader Rick Warren, author of the best-selling "The Purpose Driven Life," even though I have been sorely tempted. When he joined up with now-disgraced National Association of Evangelica ...
Why is Obama's evil in Rick Warren's pulpit?
Friday, November 17, 2006 by Kevin McCullough Rick Warren, the best selling author of "The Purpose Driven Life" and senior teaching pastor at Saddleback Church in California, has invited Sen. Barack Obama to speak to the congregation of the faithful on Dec. 1, 2006. In doing so, he has joined himself with one of the smoothest politicians of our times, and also one whose wickedness in worldview contradicts nearly every tenet of the Christian faith that Warren professes.
Megapastor Rick Warren's Damascus Road experience
Monday, November 20, 2006 by Joseph Farah -- WASHINGTON – Rick Warren, the superstar mega-church pastor and bestselling author of ''The Purpose Driven Life,'' had a Damascus Road experience last week – and like Saul of Tarsus, one of the after-effects appears to be blindness. Warren ...
Rick Warren disciples: Where are you?
Tuesday, November 21, 2006 by Joseph Farah -- Millions and millions of people have purchased his books. His California church attracts thousands every Sunday. He seems to be the go-to guy whenever the establishment, ultra-secular press wants to quote an evangelical leader they l ...
Calling Rick Warren!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 by Joseph Farah -- Rick Warren just toured Syria last week where he announced that terrorist haven, that police state, that bastion of hate, anti-Christian persecution and anti-Semitism is really not so bad. I ...
Rick Warren on Syria: 'A moderate country'
Sunday, November 26, 2006 by Joseph Farah -- I am much obliged to Bruce Delay, a talk-show host at KFAQ 1170 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for downloading the audio version of Rick Warren's YouTube video, recorded while in Syria. Now, keep in ...
Warren defender: Change the subject
Tuesday, November 28, 2006 by Joseph Farah -- New Age leader Marianne Williamson has come to the aid of "The Purpose-Driven Life" author Rick Warren, under fire from me for statements he made during his recent visit to Syria.
Rick Warren says he's sorry
Wednesday, November 29, 2006 by Joseph Farah -- I received the following apology from Rick Warren Sunday night: It is evident from your columns and e-mails to others that I hurt, angered and offended you personally by what I said in a second e-mail to you. I am truly sorry ...
Saddleback says church can't handle AIDS crisis alone. Justifies summit conference featuring pro-abortion senator
Thursday, November 30, 2006 WND News -- Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, disagrees with Sen. Barack Obama's strong support for abortion, and has told him so in a public meeting, but still will allow him to address an AIDS conference at the church because getting different parts of society working together on the problem is so important, the church said in a statement.
Rick Warren shows Syria video in church. Pastor says clip was pulled from 12 hours of tapes after denying shooting on trip
Friday, December 1, 2006 WND News -- Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren showed a brief video clip of his meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad to his mega-congregation after telling WND no recording was done on his controversial trip to the terrorist-sponsoring nation. Some members of Saddleback Church say they are distressed by this as well as Warren's comments that Syria is a "moderate" country.