Rick Warren Sells Out to Libs on CNN

Red State: Rick Warren Sells Out to Libs on CNN

Created 2008-08-15 12:24

Two days ago I excerpted from an open letter [0] to Rick Warren over at Red State calling on the California pastor to post questions to the presidential candidates, particularly Barack Obama, on pro-life concerns. Today, Red State editor Erick Erickson [1] has given up any hope that tomorrow’s “Compassionate Leader” forum will be anything but a CNN-televised sop to the Left (emphasis Erickson’s):

Warren says he is going to get “Faith in Public Life” to help him come up with the questions to ask McCain and Obama. Who is “Faith in Public Life”? From the link: [2]

Jim Wallis is America’s foremost spokesman for the Religious Left. Bob Edgar, of course, is the former head of the National Council of Churches. Catherine Pinkerton sits on the Obama campaign’s Catholic Advisory Council. Anybody see a pattern here? Just to drive the point home, consider the boards of directors and advisors of the FLP, which include such luminaries as:

*Board of Directors president Meg Rlley, Director of Advocacy and Witness for the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship.

*Elizabeth Letzler, member of the PCUSA’s Mission Responsibility Through Investment committee and the Israel-Palestine Network (i.e., an Israel divestment proponent). She’s also been “deeply involved” with FaithAmerica.org, an NCC outfit.

*Nazir Khaja, a Muslim leader who also sits on the board of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights.

*Fred Rotondaro, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, run by Bill Clinton’s ex-chief of staff John Podesta, which is basically a Democratic Party research organization.

*Susan Thistlethwaite, president of the UCC’s Chicago Seminary, well-known to readers of this blog for her contributions to the Washington Post’s “On Faith” column.

*Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society, who also sits on the board (with Communist Party USA leader Judith LeBlanc) of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.


So don’t really expect serious questions related to faith and Christianity. These people are more interested in gay rights and abortion rights than evangelism.


Look who’s asking the questions for McCain and Obama forum

Look who’s asking the questions for McCain and

 Obama forum

Ed Lasky
The Compassionate Leader Fourm that Barack Obama will be appearing in front of at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church will formualte questions developed by a group called Faith in Public Life. Among the members of this group are Jim Winkler and Jim Wallis:

Their bios:
 *Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society, who also sits on the board (with Communist Party USA leader Judith LeBlanc) of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

 *Jim Wallis is also a member. He, too, has problematic views towards Israel and a pre-existing and warm relationship with Barack Obama

Looking Behind The “Purpose Driven” Sheep’s Clothing

Looking Behind The “Purpose Driven” Sheep’s Clothing

by Christopher Adamo


The facade is beginning to peel back from the so-called ministry of Southern California Pastor Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Church” and “The Purpose Driven Life.” Unfortunately, many among his ample flock have far too much invested in him, both emotionally and otherwise, to admit their mistakes and cut their losses.


Moreover, he certainly faces no possibility of in-depth scrutiny from the “mainstream media,” as his brand of “Christianity” poses little or no threat to their liberal social agenda. Yet to the degree that anyone at all questions Warren as anything less than authentic, his response is thoroughly telling as to his true character, as well as the nature of his “ministry.”


Joseph Farah, editor in chief of the premiere Internet news site, “World Net Daily,” opened a can of worms by calling Warren to account over his fawning praise of the terrorist stronghold of Syria. While there, Warren lauded the brutish dictatorship as “peaceful,” claiming that the Islamist government does not officially sanction “extremism of any kind.”


When confronted by Farah, an American of middle-eastern decent who knows too well the history of horror and tragedy faced by persecuted Christians in that region of the world, Warren immediately denied ever making such statements.


Subsequently, Farah offered as evidence a “YouTube” video from Saddleback Church, where Warren is pastor, inarguably proving Farah’s statement. So Warren’s Church simply pulled the video from circulation and continued the denial, being unaware that a copy of the video file had been downloaded and is still in circulation. Warren’s follow up to this inconvenient circumstance is perhaps most telling of all.


In a concurrent set of moves, Warren sent a seemingly conciliatory e-mail to Farah, while distributing another to his “flock,” in which he characterized Farah’s pursuit of the incident as nothing less than “doing Satan’s job for him.” Throughout this sorry episode, Farah’s only error has been to suggest that Warren’s disturbing behavior represents some new departure from consistency.


In fact, Warren is actually being entirely consistent. Whether his audience might be Farah himself, Syrian Despot Bashar Assad, or the Saddleback congregation, Warren tells each exactly what he believes they want to hear. This pattern is the essence of what Warren is, and what has made him so “successful” from a worldly perspective.


For those among his congregation who sincerely want to know the truth, the evidence is ample. Unfortunately, it always has been available, and any present “confusion” merely results from past decisions to ignore that evidence.


For example, his letter to the congregation decrying the “attack” and making his defense by invoking Scripture is barely four paragraphs long. Yet in those four paragraphs, he employs three different “translations” of the Bible. Why, it must be asked, does he not trust any single translation to convey God’s message to humanity?


Could it be that he has his own message and agenda to advance, and that he has found it very convenient to utilize different wordings of different passages, not because they better convey God’s purpose, but rather his own? It would be better to ask, could his motivation possibly be anything else?


As Farah has refused to let this indefensible situation simply drop, Warren has responded by taking it to another realm, making personal attacks against Farah in an interview with the magazine, “Christianity Today.” But once again, by so doing Warren succeeds in revealing much more about himself than about his adversary.


Warren, who has not to date been known as any sort of standard bearer for Christian principle in the political arena, decries Farah (whose societal and moral views fall unambiguously on the right) and his ideological allies as part of a wrongful “political” encroachment on the faith.


In contrast, Warren’s forays into the political realm prove, not surprisingly, to be decidedly leftist. At a recent conference on the African AIDS epidemic, Warren invited the very liberal Senator Barak Obama (D.-IL) as a keynote speaker. He justified the inclusion of Obama, who avidly supports abortion and same-sex “marriage,” on the grounds that Obama offered a worldly solution to ostensibly curb the spread of the disease through condom usage.


The morally ambiguous message conveyed by the advocacy of condoms, along with their inherent unreliability, make them nothing less than iconic to the abortion industry, which fully understands how much new business they generate. In the face of such pragmatism, one has to wonder what will be next. Perhaps Warren’s Church will sponsor a “designated drivers ministry” at every bar in its locale.


Appalling though Obama’s inclusion in the conference may be, it is nonetheless entirely consistent with Warren’s behavior from the beginning. Leading a megachurch in the culturally disintegrating landscape of Southern California, Warren certainly knows that his prospects of maximizing the “flock” will be greatly enhanced as long as he shows proper deference to the real religion of the area, “political correctness.”


In this, his Christian populism movement has proven to be far more palatable to the God-hating secularists of the surrounding communities than such stodgy, old-fashioned, and “intolerant” notions as “Thou Shalt Not.” And the Warren influence has been predictable wherever it can be found.


If other Churches that abide in the Warren philosophy, such as Chicago’s gargantuan “Willow Creek,” were to truly uphold Christian values among their enormous congregations, they would certainly be a constant “thorn in the side” of their surrounding populace, acculturated into the modernism as those communities certainly are. Yet an amazing degree of compatibility and congeniality exists between the Warren Church model and the social structures of Chicago and Southern California.


The tradeoff between true Christian principle and acceptability to the locals is apparently worth the spiritual sacrifice it entails, with expanding parking lots, increasingly lavish facilities, and of course, fuller collection plates bearing witness. Meanwhile, such Churches offer ever less of a worthwhile and much needed alternative to the ailing world around them.


Ultimately, Warren gives conformist Christians, wearied from their ongoing battle with a world that is increasingly hostile to true Christian faith, an apparent “out” by offering a version that the modern world can find more acceptable while remaining in its present spiritual darkness.


Many among Warren’s vast following have made the mistake, in light of his “purpose driven” ministering, of presuming, at the heart of the movement, a Christ-driven purpose. Yet as Warren’s real character continues to be revealed, it is becoming apparent that members of that following are presuming too much.


Why is Obama’s evil in Rick Warren’s pulpit?

Rick Warren: American Envoy to Syria?

Purpose-Driven Terrorism

Purpose-Driven Terrorism
By Mark D. Tooley
FrontPageMagazine.com | November 15, 2006

Syria’s state-controlled media is lavishingly boasting that California mega-church pastor Rick Warren, during his visit in Damascus, has endorsed the Syrian pespective on the Middle East. Not only that; Warren has reportedly promised to carry that state sponsor of terrorism’s propaganda message back to the U.S.

Warren, pastor of the 30,000 member Saddleback Church and author of the best-selling The Purpose-Driven Life (over 30 million copies sold), is increasingly drifting in a Religious Left direction.

The Syrian newspaper Umar Jaftali, which like all Syrian media is tightly manipulated by the Baathist dictatorship, editorialized on November 14:  

Pastor Rick Warren, who yesterday met with [Syrian] President Al-Assad and Foreign Minister Al-Mu’allim, said: “Washington is wrong not to hold dialogue with Syria, which wants peace. I call on the Americans to visit Syria and meet its beautiful people. I will tell the Americans that their idea about Syria does not reflect the truth.” This is what the American clergyman said after seeing the facts on the ground. It was not in his interest not to say the truth about what he himself and the accompanying Protestant delegation saw and felt.

The supposed quote from Warren reads like a news release from Assad’s propaganda ministry. Perhaps, the translation into Arabic and back into English does not do Warren justice. We can hope.

But the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) provided four reports about the Warren visit. According to SANA, Warren’s “American delegation stressed that the American administration is mistaken not to hold dialogue with Syria.” Even more eggregiously, “Pastor Warren hailed the religious coexistence, tolerance and stability that the Syrian society is enjoying due to the wise leadership of President al-Assad, asserting that he will convey the true image about Syria to the American people.” Apparently, Warren gifted the Syrian dictator with a “memorial drawing” to “thank the Syrian people for their…efforts exerted for maintaining peace and harmony.”

Needless to note, there was no mention by the Warren delegation, at least not as mentioned by SANA, about Syria’s one-party police state, its political prisoners, its chambers of torture, its support for Hezballah terrorism in Lebanon, and its continued devotion to the destruction of Israel.

Another SANA report told of Warren’s seemingly equally breathless visit with Syria’s Baathist Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallim, with whom he “reviewed Syrian-American relations.”

Apparently Warren afterwards gave SANA a written statement in which he told SANA exactly what it wanted to hear: “Syria wants peace, and Muslims and Christians live in this country jointly and peacefully since more than a thousand years, and this is not new for Syria,” which is an example he urged that others should follow. 

Warren assured SANA that, in SANA’s words, he would “tell the Americans that the ideas which had been shaped about [Syria] didn’t reflect the truth and they have to come to Syria and see by themselves and realize her nice people and visit her wonderful and historical ruins.”

Apparently making the grand circuit of Damascus, Warren also pow-wowed with Syria’s Islamic Grand Mufti, about which SANA also generously reported. According to SANA, Warren said, in SANA’s words, that there is “no peace in the region without Syria, noting that 80 percent of the American people rejected what the U.S. administration is doing in Iraq and considered the U.S. policy in the Mideast as wrong.” Warren went on to share his “admiration” for Syria and its admirable “co-existence” between Christians and Syria. 

The Grand Mufti urged Warren to share with the American people the “real” story about Syria, whose image has been “distorted” by the Bush administration. Reportedly, at least according to SANA, Warren obligingly promised to do just that. 

In contrast to the lovefest between Warren and Syrian officials reported by SANA, human rights organizations portray a different “real story” about Syria. This story tells of a nation where only the ruling Baathist Party and its allies are permitted to win elections, where all news media are owned or controlled by the government, where indepedent labor unions are prohibited, where universities must proclaim Baathist Party policies, where clerics are appointed by the government, where the president by law must be Muslim, and where women’s limited rights are governed by Islamic Shari’a law, even though the government is ostensibly secular.

Ten percent of Syria’s population is Christian, having diminished greatly in recent decades. Compared to Saudi Arabia, where conversion away from Islam is punishable by death, Syria is tolerant. But Syria’s constitution stipulates that Islam is the “main source for legislation.” Christians cannot preach to non-Christians, and churches, like mosques, are tightly regulated by the government. No construction of a new Christian school has been permitted in 40 years, and all schools by law must have Muslim principals.

Will Warren share this news about Syria with America?

Next year, Warren is scheduled to visit North Korea at the invitation of its despotic Communist regime. It is reasonable to assume that the North Korean state-controlled media will issue reports about Warren’s visit there that are remarkably similar to the Syria’s dictatorship’s boastful coverage of Warren’s chit-chat with them.

It is sad story, repeated often. Big-name U.S. preachers, often otherwise sensible and orthodox in their faith, visit despotic regimes and naively curry favor with police state thugs. The preachers supinely believe that their cozy ties with the dictatorship will facilitate greater preaching access to the oppressed populations. But the end result more usually is a propaganda bonanza for the tyrants, and a population that is left to feel forgotten by the outside world.

Fortunately, the Deity whom these preachers proclaim, whatever the failures of His ostensible messengers, has not forgotten the imprisoned and the persecuted. For the oppressed He will contend, even while the celebrity preachers attend to the public relations considerations of the oppressors.

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