Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In Defense of Rick Warren

I've seen the videos; here, here and here.  I've heard the accusations; here and here.

Let me say this.  I don't agree with everything Rick Warren says.  I am not a "Warrenite."  I am blogging because I feel that too much has been made of this recent interview with Larry King.  It is obvious Warren was on Larry King to make a statement in defense and got himself into more trouble.

I don't believe Warren back peddled on the gay marriage issue.  I don't believe that he doesn't think it is not an important issue even though it is "low on his list of priorities."  I believe he is a man who has a lot of responsibilities and he is just trying to do the best job he can.  Unfortunately he is in the public eye and everything he says and does is scrutinized.

He denies being an anti-gay activist.  His energies have shifted the last couple of years and right now his PEACE project is the most important and time consuming thing to him.  He has not had the time to participate in any kind of activism.  On the flip side, he did tell his congregation to vote in support of Prop 8.

His apology to gay leaders concerned what he said in an interview (video two) about gay marriage being the same as pedophilia and incest.  His statement was correct in saying that, according to the biblical worldview, they are the same, but what the world heard was the equation of gay marriage to criminal activity.  Gay marriage is between two consenting adults (not that I agree with it) whereas pedophilia is a crime against children, incest is a crime against humanity and polygamy is a crime against women.

Warren has placed himself in a very delicate position.  His PEACE plan has him working with people who are not committed to the Christian worldview.  As a result, he is trying to keep his relationship with them as strong as can be.  Such relationships enable the Gospel to go places and be spoken in places that have been difficult to get into.

I will say this, I don't want to be in Warren's shoes.  I do realize that the temptation to compromise would be very great, and I don't know if I could work with some of the people he is working with.  This man needs our prayers as he tries to accomplish something he feels God is leading him to do.  We also need to pray that he continually remains committed to the truth and that God helps him to overcome those situations where compromise is an ever occurring pressure.

Again, I am not in support of everything Warren does.  He is a man and as a man is as fallible as any of us are, but he is a man trying to do God's general will and what he feels is God's specific will for him.  He has been very forthright about his (perceived) short comings, weaknesses and mistakes in the past.  I think we can cut him a little slack.  If he is to be chastised about the fact that he isn't an "anti-gay activist" then I think most American Christians should be chastised as well.  It's easy to point fingers from the sidelines.  Just remember, while one is pointing away three are pointing back.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor Brian, thank you, thank you, thank you! It is so refreshing to hear another Christian Pastor come to his defense. As a member of Saddleback church I believe you are totally right on with your assessment of the Larry King Show. Some of the commenting on the web by other Pastors is at best –petty and at worst lies, gossip and rumor. He does preach the Gospel at church, he does believe and preach that Salvation is by Grace through Faith –one has only to look at the Saddleback website, and more importantly he does love the Lord, Jesus Christ. More so than others he understands that the Word of God is to be preached with gentleness and respect and respects those who do not know –as of yet-Jesus Christ as Lord. Unfortunately our Pastor does seem to trip over his own words -also an area where I believe he needs prayer. Thank you for standing firm on the truth and not entering into the collective hatred that has been aimed at him by other so-called “leaders of the church”. Hatred has no part in any Christians life. Also, with all due love and respect – I am a Christian who is saved by the finish work of Jesus Christ who attends Saddleback Church-not a “Warrenite