Please, STOP IT!
Why are so many on both sides so hot about this? As a gay man, I was very disappointed at first to learn of this. Then it hit me. It’s not that Warren’s invitation to the inauguration is a problem. The point is that he and I BOTH have a place at the table.
I would have pushed for a different choice. But for heaven’s sake, could we please stop demonizing each other?
Is it possible that ceremonial choices at the inauguration do not have to be dictated by politics? Are there other things beyond politics that Americans care about?
Is it possible that, even if his political views are equivalent to James Dobson, Rick Warren is not a primarily political person and actually devotes himself mostly to nonpartisan charity work?
Is it possible that there is a difference between Warren and his evangelical friends? Let's look at the three most recent articles he wrote for pastors.com.
- The first global giant is spiritual darkness.
Here’s a startling truth: Billions of people have never even heard the name of Jesus Christ. Three thousand distinct people groups around our world wouldn’t even know the name of Jesus if they heard it.
- The second giant we want to tackle is the lack of servant leaders around the world.
Around the world, there are plenty of people in leadership who abuse their power. Many refuse to use their power for the good of their people -- instead they choose to use it for themselves. This has created chaos in the world.
- The third giant we’re going after is poverty.
More than half of the world -- that’s three billion people -- live on less than two dollars a day. One-sixth of the world’s population lives in slums. Those are heart-breaking statistics. Proverbs 28:7 (NIV) says, "The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern."
- The fourth giant we want to attack is disease.
Billions suffer the effects of famine and drought. They are homeless, hungry, and helpless. They’re ill. We can do something about that.
- The fifth giant we want to tackle is ignorance.
Over half the world is still illiterate. How can a country grow and be strong economically when its citizens can’t read, can’t write, and don’t know the fundamentals of math and science that we take for granted?
More is expected of those who have more
Jesus said it this way in Luke 12:48b (LB): "Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater." Would you agree that based on the blessings of your life you probably have a greater responsibility than other people in the world? It’s obvious we’ve been given freedom and opportunities that many people don’t have. We’ve been given material and physical and spiritual abundance that a lot of people around the world simply do not have.
Two years ago HIV/AIDS was not on my agenda; it was not even a blip on my radar. I'm a pretty focused person, so I've essentially invested my vocational life in two things: building a model of a healthy local church and training other pastors to do the same. I don't know a lot of things, but I do know how to equip and mobilize pastors. So, HIV/AIDS was not on my agenda at all until God spoke to me in a very audible way –through my wife.
Cut it out, guys. This guy is not James Dobson. He does not contribute to Focus on the Family or the AFA. To compare him to these organizations which actively fight against equal rights is insulting to my ears, and I am not even a Christian.
The political arguments you have made are based on cherry picked statements from individual interviews over a period of years, not the style of preaching he advocates in his churches nor anything from the books he's written. Yes, he said these things. Yes, they are abhorrent. But they are not representative of his character-- you should recognize that from Obama's longtime support of Jeremiah Wright. Talking Points Memo absurdly fears he will use the invocation as a weapon against Obama later-- but he's never done anything close to that sort of backstabbing.
For once, let Obama make a choice that isn't ruled by partisanship.