Why Rick Warren Matters To You

As a gay man, I’ve been bothered by President-elect Obama’s choice of a blatant bigot to lead the invocation at the inauguration ceremony next week. As a Christian man, I’ve been bothered by the thought of someone like Rick Warren praying to the God of Creation on the nation’s behalf. (As an American man, I’m not so sure why we have invocations at government ceremonies anyway, but that’s a whole other issue.)

Today I have new reason to fear Rick Warren. I use the word “fear” on purpose, because it actually sends a chill up my spine. It should do the same to you.

The reason is the following video of a speech given by Rick Warren on April 17, 2005, found through the Box Turtle Bulletin and originally posted today by Bruce Wilson over at the Huffington Post. Watch the video (published by the New Apostolic Reformation Research Team), read Wilson’s article, then come back here for a bit more from me.

Here we have Warren invoking Lenin, Mao, and Hitler as prime examples of passionate leadership and requiring a stadium full of his followers to emulate theirs. I guess those three leaders did know how to work a crowd into a lather pretty good, but I’m surprised at a Christian preacher going to those three for leadership examples rather than Gandhi, King, and I don’t know, this one guy named JESUS.

It’s surprising and a bit frightening that Warren chooses to pattern himself after Lenin, Mao, and Hitler when he has so many others to choose from. Those three required blind, feverish, rabid dedication from their followers and so does Warren. Scary.

Wouldn’t you agree, President-elect Obama? Four days left to fix your mistake.

 

(I’ll have more to say on another part of the speech, specifically the “Whatever it takes” bit, which is frightening in itself. Look for that tomorrow.)

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10 thoughts on “Why Rick Warren Matters To You

  1. SERIOUSLY?

    A quote comes to mind on the Sheeple that Warren seems to be breeding:

    “I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use.” ~Galileo

  2. SERIOUSLY?

    A quote comes to mind on the Sheeple that Warren seems to be breeding:

    “I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use.” ~Galileo

  3. What would it be like? Jesus changed the world with 12 devoted followers. Hilter did it and he was crazy. Joseph Smith did it and he was a con. What would happen if people became passionate again for serving Jesus. Not just preaching the Word, but passionate about loving their neighbors? What would happen if Evangelicals became passionate about taking care of the widows and orphans. If everyone who claimed to be pro-life actually adopted a child we would have no foster children and pry almost wipe out world hunger.

    I don’t think Rick Warren was wrong in what he said. I don’t fear him. I fear the lack of passion on which most Christians lead their lives. I fear that people want to passionately believe in something so they will believe a lie from Hitler or Stalin.

    1. The problem (at least to me) is that when you start out by telling people that they should emulate the Sturmabteilung and the Red Army, you have to do a whole lot of backtracking to get them back to loving their neighbors. And I’m not so sure that someone who starts there is so concerned about doing so. Come back tomorrow for another reason I’m less than optimistic about Warren’s intentions.

      I agree with you about the lack of passion in most religious people. If more people practiced what He preached, I dare say we wouldn’t be where we are in the world.

  4. What would it be like? Jesus changed the world with 12 devoted followers. Hilter did it and he was crazy. Joseph Smith did it and he was a con. What would happen if people became passionate again for serving Jesus. Not just preaching the Word, but passionate about loving their neighbors? What would happen if Evangelicals became passionate about taking care of the widows and orphans. If everyone who claimed to be pro-life actually adopted a child we would have no foster children and pry almost wipe out world hunger.

    I don’t think Rick Warren was wrong in what he said. I don’t fear him. I fear the lack of passion on which most Christians lead their lives. I fear that people want to passionately believe in something so they will believe a lie from Hitler or Stalin.

    1. The problem (at least to me) is that when you start out by telling people that they should emulate the Sturmabteilung and the Red Army, you have to do a whole lot of backtracking to get them back to loving their neighbors. And I’m not so sure that someone who starts there is so concerned about doing so. Come back tomorrow for another reason I’m less than optimistic about Warren’s intentions.

      I agree with you about the lack of passion in most religious people. If more people practiced what He preached, I dare say we wouldn’t be where we are in the world.

  5. I don’t think it’s anything to be upset about. If it is even quoted accurately, (since there is no sound available), he is merely contrasting the lack of zeal in many Christians today to the dedication from the followers of relatively recent effective leaders (allbeit, horrible causes, but effective in motivation). He is not suggesting for his church members to join the cause of those evil leaders. He is trying to use a fairly modern example of what dedication, and being sold out to a cause can look like. His point is that Christians today should be as sold out for the cause of Christ, making an impact in today’s world, as those people were for their cause at that point in history. The point is not the “cause”. It is the level of dedication!

  6. I don't think it's anything to be upset about. If it is even quoted accurately, (since there is no sound available), he is merely contrasting the lack of zeal in many Christians today to the dedication from the followers of relatively recent effective leaders (allbeit, horrible causes, but effective in motivation). He is not suggesting for his church members to join the cause of those evil leaders. He is trying to use a fairly modern example of what dedication, and being sold out to a cause can look like. His point is that Christians today should be as sold out for the cause of Christ, making an impact in today's world, as those people were for their cause at that point in history. The point is not the “cause”. It is the level of dedication!

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