RICK WARREN'S DECEMBER 22, 2008, SOUTHERN BAPTIST SADDLEBACK CHURCH VIDEO MESSAGE MISLED AND MISLEADING

OpEdNews rejected this post/article as offensive and nonsensical. (See: OPEDNEWS REJECTS REAL LIBERAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH ARTICLE AS OFFENSIVE AND NONSENSICAL: "RICK WARREN'S DECEMBER 22, 2008, SOUTHERN BAPTIST SADDLEBACK CHURCH VIDEO MESSAGE MISLED AND MISLEADING")

Originally Published on: Jan 1, 2009 @ 4:15

Rick Warren says he's not for coercive theocracy, but he certainly is for entanglement of his self-styled Christianity with secularism. So too is Barack Obama. Warren thinks he's doing something new. It's older than the Declaration of Independence. He's just talking about many of the same things discussed in Colonial America. He thinks Jesus is timid for turning the other cheek and rude for calling Pharisees "serpents." In his scripted December 22, 2008 video to his church, the nation, and the world, Warren prevaricates and equivocates when what the world needs is clarity.

A lot of you have written to me this week and said, 'Rick, how are you going to respond to all these, you know, these false accusations and attacks, outright lies and hateful slander, and really a lot of hate-speech?'

It's what I would call Christophobia:  People who are afraid of any Christian.

No American should ever be discriminated against because of their beliefs, period.

Some people feel today that if you disagree with them, then that's hate-speech. If you disagree with them, either you hate them or you're afraid of them. I'm neither afraid of gays nor do I hate gays. In fact I love them, but I do disagree with some of their beliefs.

You know the fact that an evangelical pastor believes in keeping the historic definition of marriage, that's not news. I mean that's not been news for hundreds of years. It's a non-story, nothing new. And the fact that the gay community would disagree with me, that's not news either. What's the real story? The real story is that a couple of different American leaders have chosen to model civility for the rest of the nation and that Barack Obama and Rick Warren have decided to try to create a new politic that says we can disagree without being disagreeable, we can walk hand-in-hand without seeing eye-to-eye. We can have unity in our nation without uniformity, and we can have collaboration for the best of America.

[Warren invited Obama to speak at Saddleback Church.]

Now, when that happened, I was criticized incessantly from the right, and in fact it's never stopped. They've just criticized me and criticized me for inviting — as if having him here said that I agreed with everything that he agreed with. That is still going on. In fact one conservative writer who hates me for agreeing to pray for the invocation wrote me just recently, he said, 'You know, Rick, if you pray at the inauguration, you are sticking a fork in the head of every aborted baby.' Now, come on. I am doing this because I love America and it's a historic opportunity and it's an honor to be part of any inauguration of any president and I love our country.

But you know what, we're both [Warren and Obama] willing to be criticized in order to try to bring America in to a new day of civil discourse and to create a new model that says you don't have to agree only with your side on everything. You can reach out in the middle and try to figure out to have a way that we can make America a better place without having to agree on everything. You see, that's the story that the media is missing. It's the story of risk-taking, not that people on both sides of the opposite poles are angry at me or angry at President-elect Obama that we're friends and that we admire each other even though we disagree on some things. It's the missing element of civility.

I was a friend of Barack Obama's long before he decided to run for office. I talked to him about running for office before he even ran. And he has been a friend. As I said, I don't agree with everything he espouses. Neither did I agree with everything John McCain espoused.

…the media never gets it 100 percent correct… the media lives for conflict.

What I've learned is if there is no conflict, then somebody is going to create it. Now the media loves to create conflict. The problem with that is it's creating a more and more polarized nation, and that polarization is causing people to be ruder and ruder and more and more inflamed.

[Warren blames programs] "where the goal is to simply get people to yell at each other" [and he blames] "bloggers who really need to get a life.

A lot of people think that because they can sit in the quietness of their own home and hide behind a screen, they can hurl all kinds of bombs at people and get away with it. Well no, they're just being rude. [Not verbatim; not in the same exact order said] (Source: "News & Views 12/22/2008," Posted by Pastor Rick Warren. Pastor Rick's News & Views. This is a Flash video, which streamed rather well. Runtime: 22 minutes, 17 seconds.)

Rick talked about much more than those things I quoted from the article, "Rick Warren accuses critics of 'Christophobia'," by Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press. December 30, 2008. He talked about how "proud" he is (shouldn't have, as it's immodest; but, he is a marketer) in his church and all that they've done. He also talked about his networking plans ("Purpose Driven Connection") and other projects.

Now, I've seen the people's writings where they harp that Warren "equated" homosexual partnerships with incest, pedophilia, and polygamy. They did the same thing to Mike Huckabee.

I'm no conservative Republican. In fact, I don't know anyone who is farther from a conservative Republican than am I. I don't say that to exalt myself. I say it just to head off those who will jump to conclusions here, as so many modern (sound-bite) Americans are want to do.

"Equate" has many connotations. Rick Warren tap dances around it a bit by touching on forced pedophilia and incest while discussing homosexuality as consensual, as if incest is never consensual. Regardless, the issue isn't with equating by the loosest connotation many homosexuals are using. What we are really discussing is having corresponding characteristics all by way of being sexual sin. What's equal? If I say I don't like vomit either, do the homosexuals say that I'm equating the two? In fact, I'd rather be around vomit than homosexuality. That's the order of offense to me. I've cleaned up vomit. Now, if homosexuals are offended by that, then who has which rights here? My views offend them, and theirs offend me. Now what?

I'm not going to coerce them. I don't call the police to ask them to go arrest the homosexuals in their private bedrooms. Do the homosexuals say, go arrest Tom or Jesus or both because they are saying things with which we, the homosexuals, don't agree. They are hurting our feelings. Well, are the homosexuals hurting anyone's feelings? If they are, they say, "Too bad." Then it works two ways. If I'm hurting your feelings, change your behavior with which I don't agree and that offends me. You hate it. You hate me. Is it hate-speech if the police can come to arrest you? It is if the reverse is true.

Let's take the case of Barney Frank, the U.S. Representative who is a fornicating (by definition), male-prostitute using (admittedly), openly homosexual person who claims to be offended at the proposition that homosexuality is on a par sin-wise with incest (or pedophilia and polygamy) (See: "Does Frank Find Incest More Objectionable Than Pedophilia?" by Mark Finkelstein. NewsBusters. [Not an endorsement] December 22, 2008). Wow, a brother and sister having sex is offensive to a man who consents to bugger {as used in the Geneva Bible (1 Corinthians 6:9 Geneva)} others and they reciprocate. Frankly, I'd like him to explain why the brother and sister are sinning while he is not. I don't see it.

Besides, incest in some people's minds runs to first cousins. Well, what about second cousins? The truth is that incest is taboo because it's harmful physically and mentally and spiritually. The same is true of homosexuality and pedophilia, etc. Even the mundane science shows homosexuality is harmful: "Homosexuals: What they ignore."

The issue here on the mundane level is free religious speech trumping vague and insupportable, notional levels of anti-hate-speech, and on the divine level, proper Christian teaching.

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (Matthew 15:19, King James Version, Red Letter)

Those are words spoken by Jesus. Homosexuals in his day were not married. All sexual intercourse out of wedlock was and is fornication. Also, many homosexuals were married to women. In such cases, the homosexual act also constituted adultery. There are other things he said that clearly indicate his position that homosexuality is sin, but I will not reproduce them all here, as doing so would render this article unnecessarily lengthy. He did refer to the sins of Sodom, which necessarily includes homosexuality. (See for example: Matthew 10:15; 11:23; Luke 17:29.) He of course was always in opposition to hypocrisy. Therefore, it is not necessary to name every sin, since fornication is named and it would be hypocritical to then hold that homosexuality is not sin since it is fornication.

For the Christian and by definition, what Jesus labeled sin then, remains sin. Christianity is not up for revision from Jesus's words and deeds. It doesn't work that way. It is the Christian's position and the secular government's position that the Christian has a right to speak the words of Jesus Christ. The secular government only prohibits the worldly state's establishment of Christianity or any other religion as the official state religion. The U.S. Constitution does not allow for any suppression of the words of Jesus Christ as constituting hate-speech against which homosexuals may seek the protection of the state.

On the mundane level here, we are talking about free religious speech on the level of free political speech in the public square and not about issues of calling for violent coercion against homosexuals. We are talking about free exercise.

I appreciated Dr. Bruce's (Baptist Pastor, Faith and Facts blog) comment to my readers and me wherein he said the following:

I also wish that the Christian community would communicate like Christians and not the Media.

Christians clearly have doctrinal and ecclesiastical differences that should be discussed and debated passionately. Denominational positions should be criticized and defended. The Christian and biblical view of politics and social standards should be put firmly in the public square.

This is not hate speech. It is free speech with a Christian worldview.

Our discussion must be for the purpose of understanding the Word of God as thoroughly as possible (iron sharpens iron) so that we may apply those biblical teachings to our daily lives to glorify the Lord.

Of course, Dr. Bruce was addressing both the secular and religious/Christian spheres.

You will also note that evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, [and]  blasphemies are not all equated in the careless manner of many homosexuals and others in opposition to Christ. Each is sin according to Jesus. Each is not sexual, per se, although each is a matter of infidelity. Therein lies the corresponding characteristic. Therefore, "equates," "equated," and "equating" are wholly inaccurate.

Now, here's Rick Warren claiming what? Can anyone tell me where Christianity starts and stops vis-a-vis the secular state where Rick Warren is concerned? I don't see it. I don't see it concerning Barack Obama either.

All three of these men are confused gravely and deeply. They are misled and are misleading.

Let me state it again, emphatically (I've written this repeatedly). Christianity has nothing to do with the secular. It has no part in Christianity and Christianity has no part in it. Just ask Jesus. Read him. You'll see it right there. False religion applies here too. Caesar and the Sanhedrin both had, and have, no part in Christ; and, Christ had and has no part in them.

Warren, Frank, and Obama and the "conservative writer" Warren mentions are all wrong, woefully wrong.

Let me make this perfectly clear. No one can walk hand-in-hand without seeing eye-to-eye. You cannot have unity without uniformity (one principle, standard, rule; consistent).

I love America and it's a historic opportunity and it's an honor to be part of any inauguration of any president and I love our country.

He loves Caesar. By "love" here, he means love in the sense Jesus tells us not to love the evil system.

Now, Warren is calling for civility, but what is truly being civilized? Loving the U.S. with its Pentagon is not civil. It's evil. The so-called right wing is focused on abortion and homosexuality. They don't focus also on the Military-Industrial Complex. They don't focus on the capitalist system or unrighteous mammon. They have fought against the environmental movement (Creation Care) that is the Golden Rule.

[P]olarization is causing people to be ruder and ruder and more and more inflamed.

What part of Christian division and its consequences is missing here? All of it is the answer. Warren doesn't get what's going on at all. The rudeness he is complaining about is the rudeness also of Jesus Christ telling him that he is wrong.

Warren's and Obama's and Frank's America is falling. It is broken and can't be fixed. Warren and Obama can't make glue that will work.

Warren acts as if Obama and he are doing something new. They aren't doing anything that the so-called founders weren't doing.

The U.S. Constitution is fatally flawed. The whole premise of America is wrong.

The only real Constitution is all the words and deeds of Jesus Christ.

Mark my words. One day the world will be completely Christian — voluntarily Christian. There will be no more wars — No more coercion, violence, or punishment. There will be no more poverty, starvation, greed, money, or sexually harmful behavior or thoughts. The real law will be written on the heart of every living soul.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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    • Another great article. I also wish that the Christian community would communicate like Christians and not the Media.

      Christians clearly have doctrinal and ecclesiastical differences that should be discussed and debated passionately. Denominational positions should be criticized and defended. The Christian and biblical view of politics and social standards should be put firmly in the public square.

      This is not hate speech. It is free speech with a Christian worldview.

      Our discussion must be for the purpose of understanding the Word of God as thoroughly as possible (iron sharpens iron) so that we may apply those biblical teachings to our daily lives to glorify the Lord.

      • Hi Bruce,

        I find not one scintilla that is off in your comment. Does anyone? If so, why?

        Speaking truth prevails.

        Tom

    • Guy Vestal

      For me, the only "Author" I give any credit to is God. His 66 books are the only real read that any disciple of Christ should give any second or third thought to.

      Man is flawed, ergo anything that comes out of his mouth is by default, erroneous.

      If those that like or dislike what he has to say took him with a grain of salt, there would be no argument, and Satan's purpose would no be served. But as long as any human being gives any legitimacy to what another human being says, Satan will always get the diversion he is looking for.

      1 Corinthians 3:18-21 pretty much sums up anything that any human might have to offer their fellow humans. Even me! I am a wretched sinner, I tell people all the time, don't take what I say to mean anything, read the Bible for yourself, and let the Holy Spirit do the talking, whilst you do the listening...

      The only thing "Purpose Driven" is the royalties he receives for the book, and Satan's eventual goal of getting others to listen to Warren as opposed to God. Whether one loves him, or hates him, as long as he is human, his words aren't worth the paper they are written on.

      • The words of the Lord are as follows, so do:

        "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.What I tell you in darkness," that "speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, " that "preach ye upon the housetops. ...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matthew 10:20,27;12:34 KJVR)

        Tom

    • Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting. I hope I have answered your question.

      • Hello Atniz,

        You are welcome, and yes, you did answer. I left a comment there stating it; but for some reason, it didn't show up. I left another letting you know. Perhaps it went to spam.

        Anyway, thanks for the info and blessings to you.

        Tom