UPDATED with VIDEO CLIP
As much as I appreciated what Rick Warren did in his faith presidential forum several months ago, his appearance last evening on one of my favorite programs, Hannity and Colmes, was disappointing. What Pastor Warren responded with to some of host's Allan Colmes simple yet important questions was not the biblical gospel of salvation or even a reasonable defense of the gospel.
COLMES: All right. Let me ask you: you talk about, OK, so you think everybody needs a savior.
WARREN: I do.
COLMES: Well, what about those people who don't — you know, I happen to be Jewish. Not everybody — and Jesus, by the way, I have a lot in common with. Same religion.
COLMES: So not everybody necessarily goes that route.
WARREN: The thing is, Alan, I believe Jesus Christ came for everybody. I don't think he came for Christians. The Bible says take this good news to the whole world.
I don't care whether you're Baptist, Buddhist, Mormon, Methodist, Jewish, Muslim, or no religion at all. Jesus Christ still loves you. You still matter to God.
COLMES: True, and I think that's a wonderful message. But if you don't accept Jesus, if you're not something who goes that route religiously...
COLMES: ... can you find your way to heaven? Can you still be — go to the same place when it's all said and done?
WARREN: I'm not the authority on that, but I believe Jesus is. And everybody's betting their life on something. Jesus said, "I am the way." I'm betting that he's not a liar. I'm betting that he told the truth.
COLMES: What about — what does it say for all those people who do not accept Christ as their personal savior?
WARREN: I'm saying that this is the perfect time to open their life, to give it a chance. I'd say give him a 60-day trial.
COLMES: Like the Book of the Month Club.
WARREN: Give him a trial. See if he'll change your life. I dare you to try trusting Jesus for 60 days. Or your money guaranteed back.
COLMES: Really? You're going to give me the money back?
WARREN: Absolutely. Direct to me, Sean Hannity, FOX News Channel.
COLMES: But seriously, because I wonder. I mean, do you look differently upon those people like me who are not Christians but still don't believe...?
WARREN: I do not look differently on them. I think God...
HANNITY: He likes you more than I like you. He loves you. He tells you every time he's here.
COLMES: He's a good American.
WARREN: We're all created in the image of God. There's no doubt about that. There's not a person on earth that God doesn't love, but God wants us to learn to love him back.
And to me, God says, "I've given you this gift of grace, which means you don't earn your way to heaven. You don't work your way to heaven. You simply receive my gift."
And — and that means we need to unwrap the gift that God has given us, and your past can be forgiven. You can have a purpose for living, and you can have a home in heaven.
COLMES: Can you do all those things in other religions, too?
WARREN: I don't know how you would possibly do that. God didn't send 100 Jesuses; he didn't send 1,000. He sent one.