Christian Life 

Rick Warren on the ropes

The high-profile pastor of Saddleback (mega)Church who prayed at Obama's inauguration ceremony is mired in controversy over his stance on gay marriage.

Rick Warren and Barak Obama
Rick Warren and Barak ObamaRick Warren, the man described as ‘America’s pastor’ who prayed at President Obama’s inauguration is on the ropes over his ambivalent stance regarding homosexuality and gay marriage.

The pastor of Saddleback megachurch has for some time been under scrutiny over accusations that his hugely-successful ‘Purpose Driven’ books, programmes and church growth schemes include as much new age philosophies and modern business methods as they do solid Christian principles.

However, to add to the huge profile he has had within the Christian community worldwide, to be invited to stand on the podium with Barak Obama has catapulted him to super-stardom.
Meawhile, in American life (as elsewhere) the political hot potato of same-sex marriage has been right at the top of the political and social agenda. And most recently focussed on a piece of legislation which was designed to reverse the legalisation of gay marriage.

One web site on the subject stated: "Voting YES on Proposition 8 will define Marriage in California to mean only a union between one man and one woman." In the event the measure won at the polls last November by a close margin.

Sitting on the Fence?

The influential Washington Times recently (11 April) reported on the controversy surrounding whether or not Warren is supportive of gay marriage under the headline ‘Warren waver on Prop 8 stuns leaders’.

The report continued: ‘Evangelical leaders say they are bewildered and stunned by the Rev. Rick Warren's apparent turnaround on gay marriage after the famous California pastor said earlier this week that he was not a proponent of California's Proposition 8.’

In an interview with CNN’s Larry King last Monday Warren stated that he ‘"never once even gave an endorsement" of the proposition, which said marriage in the state could only involve one man and one woman’.

Warren has also reportedly apologised to his gay friends for appearing to distance himself from the issue. Rev. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky said: ‘I was extremely troubled by the way he appeared to be so anxious to distance himself from the same-sex issue and to make clear he was not an 'activist' and that he'd only addressed the issue in a very minor way.’

Warren has now cancelled an appearance on ABC TV last Sunday morning when he was due to clarify his position. The cancellation led many in the blogosphere to speculate whether Warren was trying to avoid further controversy stemming from his comments on Proposition 8, California's constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and a woman.

Pastor Rick Warren would appear to have fallen into the pot-hole of trying to please all of the people all of the time. Added to the big question marks raised about his ‘Purpose Driven’ programmes, this further controversy places his credentials as a Bible-based evangelical church leader in serious doubt.

Christians Together, 15/04/2009

Anonymous (Guest) 20/04/2009 16:38
God never drives anybody. It is His Love alone that draws us into a love relationship. There is today , such a vast chasm between the sacrificial life that our dear Lord Jesus demonstrated to us all on Earth and the so-called 'Christian' Gospel that is masquerading around the globe today.
Thom Raller (Guest) 20/04/2009 17:02
This kind of 'reporting' (or is it just gossip?) really annoys me. I too have "never once even gave an endorsement" of said proposition. Does that mean that everything I stand for should be smeared in the 'press'? I'm so tired of people taking cheap shots at leaders--Christian or otherwise. What ever happened to respect?
John Parker (Guest) 20/04/2009 19:03
The problem here is three-fold

1. Leaders (by definition) are meant to lead i.e. give a clear direction to those whom they presume to lead. And this is as true for Christian leaders as anyone else.

2. The secular press seems to be more perceptive (or more honest) than the Christian community in identifying ambivalence (some might say hypocrisy).

3. Christian leaders complain when the secular world identifies problems that the former wish to pretend weren't there; and then invariably aim their criticism at the messanger (newspaper) rather than address the issue itself.
Helen Lyall (Guest) 20/04/2009 20:29
for Christians the bottom line must be - 1.what does the bible say about homosexuality? And 2. what would Jesus do?
Rick Warren is human and therefore fallible; but if he is a leader then he must be honest, upfront and give clear Christian direction.
However, Christians must not just blindly follow someone, they must continually ask God to make His truth known to them.
We are all susceptible to deception, and the higher we rise, the harder we fall.

NOTICE: - The 'Response' facility on some articles may be restricted to CT site members. In these circumstances comments/questions from non-site members should be sent to the Editor by e-mail: editor<atsign>

Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Christian Life > Rick Warren on the ropes