Warren and Obama: Strange Bedfellows
It was recently announced that Barack Obama has asked megachurch pastor Rick Warren to pray at his inauguration. Warren has accepted the invitation to deliver the Inaugural Invocation. He released a press statement saying this:
“I commend President-elect Obama for his courage to willingly take enormous heat from his base by inviting someone like me, with whom he doesn’t agree on every issue, to offer the Invocation at his historic Inaugural ceremony. Hopefully individuals passionately expressing opinions from the left and the right will recognize that both of us have shown a commitment to model civility in America. The Bible admonishes us to pray for our leaders. I am honored by this opportunity to pray God’s blessing on the office of the President and its current and future inhabitant, asking the Lord to provide wisdom to America’s leaders during this critical time in our nation’s history.”
Given the decidedly anti-Christian positions Obama holds on many issues, including abortion and homosexuality, what is a Christian to make of all this? Should Warren have said no? In his defence, Warren mentions the biblical obligation to pray for our leaders.
There is no question about that. We are told in no uncertain terms to do this very thing. Paul told Timothy this: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Tim. 2:1-2). So prayer for our leaders is essential.
But any believer can pray for Obama at any time, just as we can pray for any leader anytime. The real question is, by being involved in this activity, is Warren giving tacit support for, and endorsement of, the Obama agenda? Will he appear to condone and approve of the radically unbiblical ideology and policies of Obama?
These are not unimportant questions. Believers have a clear obligation to be involved in the social and political issues of the day. But the question arises as to how far we should align ourselves with politicians and political parties that are so at odds with the biblical worldview, especially on crucial issues like the sanctity of human life, and the God-sanctioned institutions of marriage and family.
Not all Christian leaders have been happy with this news. Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman had this to say about the decision: “Barack Obama not only supports the grievous sin of abortion, but has vowed to promote, subsidize, and protect it. The hands that shed innocent blood are among the things God particularly detests. As a minister of the Gospel, it is a betrayal of innocent children and, more importantly, betrayal of the God in whose image they are created to turn a blind eye to the shedding of innocent blood and join hands with those that are responsible for shedding it.”
He continues, “Instead of lending support to a man who clearly stands in opposition to God’s Law on the critical matter of child-killing, we fervently urge Pastor Warren to instead follow the examples of godly men who, throughout the Scriptures, boldly proclaimed God’s truth and exposed the sin of leaders in order to protect the people from that sin.”
Newman offers some biblical examples of ungodly kings being rebuked, not praised, by godly leaders: “Just as Elijah rebuked King Ahab and John the Baptist rebuked King Herod, we urge Pastor Warren to have nothing to do with Mr. Obama’s administration, but rather, expose him and his sin to the world, so there might be repentance.”
He concludes, “It is possible for Pastor Warren to pray for our leaders without giving his blessing to Mr. Obama’s administration with his participation in his Inaugural ceremonies. We urge Pastor Warren to, for the love of God, honor Jesus Christ instead of taking honor for himself, and decline to participate in Mr. Obama’s Inauguration.”
Another Christian leader offers similar sentiments. Says Albert Mohler: “Would I deliver the invocation at the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States? Well, I have not been asked, but I can imagine that it would be difficult to turn down this invitation. After all, the inaugural ceremony is a national event, not a personal ceremony. Yet, in the end, the context of this inaugural ceremony would not allow me to accept.”
He explains why: “President-elect Obama has pledged to sign legislation including the Freedom of Choice Act, which would affect a pro-abortion revolution in this nation. He has also pledged to sign executive orders within hours of taking office that will lead directly to a vast increase in the destruction of human life. In particular, he has promised to reverse the Bush administration’s policy limiting federal funding of human embryonic stem-cell research. Sources inside the transition office have advised activists to expect a flurry of executive orders in the new administration’s first hours and days.”
Mohler concludes, “Knowing the intentions of this President-elect, I could not in good conscience offer a formal prayer at his inauguration. Even in the short term, I could not live in good conscience with what will come within hours. I could not accept a public role in the event of his inauguration nor offer there a public prayer, but I will certainly be praying for this new President and for the nation under his leadership.”
At the end of the day Warren must prayerfully decide what he does in such a situation. And he presumably thinks it is alright to participate in this event. But I must say, I have to side with Newman and Mohler here. Whatever his motivations, Warren is clearly sending the wrong message. He appears to be endorsing, condoning and blessing the Obama Presidency, which has blood on its hands.
Christian leaders can and should seek to have relationship with Obama, and seek to lead him away from his agenda of death, and lead him to a living relationship with Jesus Christ. But this sort of public participation seems to accomplish none of this, but instead makes the church look to be double minded: condemning abortion and the attack on marriage on the one hand, while publically sidling up to these sins by being involved in the Invocation on the other.
The church is already sending out too many mixed messages. I don’t think we need to be adding to the confusion. It is all too easy for people to seek the limelight, the spotlight, the praise of men. I hope this is not part of the motivation of Warren. But the time has come for Christian leaders to decide and declare who they will really serve. I hope I am wrong, but it is not altogether clear if Warren is doing this here.
48 Replies to “Warren and Obama: Strange Bedfellows”
Warren of the porpoise driven life is a two faced so called Churchian / Christian. Theologically he is a theistic evolutionist so he has no real Biblical basis for disagreement about abortion, embyronic stem cell cannibalization and homosexuality. This will be an open endorsement of Obamacide and dragging the evangelical base to the centre of abortion advocacy ! It is very cunning of Obama and he will use it as a tool ( ie. previous agreement and blessing ) if any evangelicals continue to object to his radical open slather abortion agenda. Leaders are to face even greater responsibility under God as they are shepherds of the flock and guides for vast numbers of Christians. I think it would be most appropriate to have Rev.Jerry Wright of the whitey hating black liberation church do the evil deed . Wasn’t he BHO’s mentor,sounding board, pastor, honorary uncle, spiritual guide and family member ? Didn’t he led BHO to the black liberation pseudo christ / black god and even baptised his babies and performed his marriage ?
“It is also a testimony to the dark pessimism behind Obama’s sunny rhetoric about “change,” as well as the dark pessimism of the modern liberal-progressive worldview. The undesired child is seen as a burden. For the mother’s alleged financial well-being, she now, apparently, needs the government benefit of an abortion “safety net” to exterminate that child in the womb. That safety net includes the sick, secular left’s utopian dream: federal funding — your tax dollars — of unrestricted abortion.
Barack Obama is ready to take this nation where it has never gone before.
And yet, Obama sees this new world as the very essence of America. He told Planned Parenthood that America was “founded on the principle of equality and freedom,” and that it’s their duty “to extend that equality to the many.” This includes economic equality in the form of a “universal healthcare system,” of which, he told Planned Parenthood, it would be “part of that system.” He vowed to Planned Parenthood that his universal-healthcare vision would be fully achieved in his first term.
Such a healthcare system, Obama told Planned Parenthood, would spare a teenage girl “a lifetime of struggle.” He wistfully imagined an America where he could contently “tuck in every night” his two little girls, assured they had been sanctified with the right of “choice” — the choice to abort Obama’s grandchildren.”
And this is powerful writing from the Black Genocide site: http://www.blackgenocide.org/obama.html
I never thought I would find a Rapper song so powerful. It is called ‘Happy Birthday ‘and if you go to the Black genocide site I have linked to above and then the left hand side column with the title ,The Black Community. it is well worth a listen.
Underneath is a graph. Black American deaths since 1973.
VIOLENT CRIMES 306,313
HEART DISEASE 2,266,789
Minority women constitute only about 13% of the female population (age 15-44) in the United States, but they underwent approximately 36% of the abortions.
According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, black women are more than 5 times as likely as white women to have an abortion
On average, 1,876 black babies are aborted every day in the United States.
This incidence of abortion has resulted in a tremendous loss of life. It has been estimated that since 1973 Black women have had about 16 million abortions. Michael Novak had calculated “Since the number of current living Blacks (in the U.S.) is 36 million, the missing 16 million represents an enormous loss, for without abortion, America’s Black community would now number 52 million persons. It would be 36 percent larger than it is. Abortion has swept through the Black community like a scythe, cutting down every fourth member.”
As Obama captured 95% of the Black vote, how stupid that he is so keen to eliminate even more of his voting block ? Truth is he doesn’t need them as the media is his personal propaganda machine and gullible Christians voted for him in awe of his higher percentage of melanin skin pigmentation all purpose driven by whitey false guilt.
Here is some disturbing extra information about the Warren and Obama marriage of abomination.
“No greater tune of uncertainty was ever played so loudly and with more confusion then the opening number sung by Rick Warren at The Saddlebrack Church. Yes, entering stage right is the Author of one of the best selling Christian books of our time. ‘The Purpose Driven Life’. Pastor Warren, which I want to believe with good intentions, invited Senator Obama to speak at the ‘Global Summit On Aids And The Church’. Despite every sociological indicator and warnings from the medical profession, Senator Obama still endorses and is an advocate for same-sex marriage. Same- sex marriage gives sanctity to a union that promotes the practice that accounts for 60% of Aids cases which is ravaging the African-American community. What message has Rick Warren sent to the millions that have read his book on “purpose”? Why did he accept this role in this Howard Dean production? Obama’s antithetical stand on the issues that are decimating the Afro-American community and the nation at large should have disqualified him from presenting at this event. It would be like Planned Parent Hood inviting me to speak at their next rally…”
Christianity Today.com gave this report recently from the autobiography of Billy Graham.
In the heat of segregation and racial injustice, when racial tensions were peaking, Evangelist Billy Graham invited Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
To discuss the racial situation with him and his colleagues. Then before a capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden he called Martin Luther King to the platform and to lead the congregation in prayer. In his introduction he said, “a great social revolution is going on in the United States today.
Dr. King is one of its leaders and we appreciate his taking time out of his busy schedule to come and share this service with us tonight.” The words did not explicitly endorse King and King’s prayer called for nothing more revolutionary than a “brotherhood that transcends color” but the implication was unmistakable: Graham was letting both whites and Blacks know that he was willing to be identified with the revolution and its foremost leader, and King was telling Blacks that Graham was their ally. Billy Graham’s voice was important in declaring that Christian racist was an oxymoron.
When Graham invited King it was to set the captives free and identify with the segment of society that was denied the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It was to ensure the civil rights of others.
What was the implication of Pastor Warrens calculated embrace of Senator Obama to the thousands in attendance?
It implies that over 45, million babies killed by abortion are not relevant. It implies that the definition of marriage between one man and one woman is not important. It means the church can remain with a deaf ear to the cry of innocent blood coming from our ground to God’s ear.”
I wonder if Warren will pray at the inauguration for the protection of the unborn and that the President of the US will have the courage to stand up for them. I wonder if he will pray for righteousness and the strengthening of marriage and the family. I wonder.
Am I stating the obvious here? Prayer for Rick Warren. The motive and the content of his prayer makes all the difference. Pray for wisdom to hear from God alone as he prepares this prayer and pray for courage to follow through on what he hears from God. Pray that it’s not just a token prayer or a rubber-stamp prayer, but the prayer of a “Billy Graham” adviser to the president, or even the prayer of an Old Testament prophet, depending on the word he gets from the God of Creation, the God of the Universe, to Whom we access to through the personal sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So pray for his purity of heart and mind as he waits on the Lord. And pray that he will wait and listen.
Might I add that all those pastors out there that you mention, Bill, do have their place to be doing what they are doing. They don’t have to say the prayer that Rick Warren will, but he needs their godly perspective. Even if they are saying, “Don’t do it for this and this reason,” it adds to his wisdom and his accountability. It helps him listen to the Lord a little more carefully.
Christians around the world have just under one month to intercede for the will and purposes of Yahweh to be spoken into the Righteous spirit of Rick Warren so that he will speak as a Righteous Prophet with a Holy Spirit Unction so that the Father’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven for this occasion of inauguration.
The test will be what Warren actually prays for. I agree with Tas’ suggestions and would add that he should also pray for Obama’s salvation. I wonder if the wording of the prayer needs prior approval from the Obama camp? If it does then we can rest assured it will just be of the ‘rubber-stamp’ variety, and in that case Warren should refuse the invitation for the reasons mentioned by Newman and Mohler.
Recently, I did a post about Obama and Warren. You can read it here.
A portion of it:
I see Obama as the worst kind of liar. He tries to appear “neutral” by inviting someone like Rick Warren to the Inauguration (the gay activists are having a FIT about that) and claims that though he’s pro-“choice” (code word for pro-death-to-babies-in-the-womb!), he wants to CLAIM to work to make abortions “legal, safe, and rare.”
Ironically, I got an email from a dear friend this morning who shared this:
Rick Warren Not Satisfied with Making Abortions ‘Rare’
The Christian Post reports that megachurch pastor Rick Warren may be on good terms with President-elect Barack Obama, but does not support Obama’s policy of making abortions “rare.” In an interview with Beliefnet Editor-in-Chief Steven Waldman, Warren said, “Of course I want to reduce the number of abortions… But to me it is kind of a charade in that people say ‘We believe abortions should be safe and rare.” He continued, “Don’t tell me it should be rare. That’s like saying on the Holocaust, ‘Well, maybe we could save 20 percent of the Jewish people in Poland and Germany and get them out and we should be satisfied with that,'” Warren said. “I’m not satisfied with that. I want the Holocaust ended.”
I also got an email entitled, “Pre-born in peril under Obama” from a pro-life activist who shared what Obama will do TO INCREASE ABORTIONS:
+ + Urgent Pro-Life Update ++
With only weeks to go before the Obama presidency begins, Pro-lifers across the nation are fearful that he will promote the most radical abortion agenda in the history of our country…
To begin with, we anticipate that Obama will quickly sign “The Freedom of Choice Act” – abolishing any state or federal regulations on abortion!
-parental notification rights would be terminated.
-waiting periods for abortions would cease to exist.
-requirements for full disclosure wouldn’t be necessary.
-the barbaric partial-birth abortion procedure would again become a legal option.
Most importantly, the Act would repeal the Hyde Amendment restricting the use of federal funds on abortion!
Without question Obama’s intent is not to protect pre-bornlife, but rather make it even easier to destroy!
It makes me physically ILL to think about HOW DRASTICALLY THE PRE-BORN ARE GOING TO BE IN PERIL UNDER OBAMA.
I am reminded of what Jesus said about those who would OFFEND children – let alone kill them before they are born!!:
Mat 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Mar 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
Luk 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
IMO, Pastor Warren will have to answer to Jesus one day for supporting Obama IN ANY WAY!
I don’t envy Rick Warren his position.
Whoever was to be invited, their decision was/is going to be dissected and analysed minutely by their fellow-believers.
Whichever way it goes, his decision would potentially alienate about half of the Christian population.
I’m with Rebecca – let’s pray earnestly for him to pray the kind of prayer God would truly want to hear broadcast from the event.
I don’t think Warren’s participation in this event would be sending a mixed message from the Church. It seems many people oppose his involvement because of Obama’s leftist policies. I am equally opposed to Obama’s abortion policies, and believe America voted the wrong way, but I don’t think Warren should stay away from the Invocation. What if McCain were voted in? Even McCain has policies that I don’t think God would approve. Does this mean his administration shouldn’t be prayed for publicly, if he were elected? It doesn’t seem logical for Warren to deny the invite because of Obama’s policies. No one is ever going to have perfect policies. Just because Warren prays for Obama, this doesn’t necessarily mean he endorses all policies.
I think Church involvement sends a message saying, as Warren did, that while we don’t agree with all Obama may do, God has allowed him to be elected, and the Church wants this presidency to bring about the best for America.
Lets be in the world, not of the world. I think this is a great opportunity for a Christian to be in the world, without having to endorse all Obama’s policies.
Steve Houghton, Melbourne
This reminds me of a Croatian Catholic archbishop in WWII named Alojzije Stepinac who is oft accused of cooperating with the Nazi aligned Ustasha regime in Croatia. He blessed the new authority which is interpreted by some as endorsing the crimes of the regime which were later committed. What his critics don’t mention was that he implored the new authorities to uphold the ten commandments and bring honour to God in the way they conducted the state. He wasn’t even in support of the state as he only designated a de-facto status on the state whilst recognising the de-jure authorities (Kingdom of Yugoslavia) as the actual authorities. All he did was recognise the existance of an undesirable government and did all in his power to have them honour God’s law whilst never submitting an oath to them or legitimising the regime.
This brings me to Rick Warren being invited to Obama’s inauguration. If Warren were to justify his presence there in spite of Obama’s pro-death views which are an abomination to God he could only do so as to implore that the in coming government uphold God’s law and to bring Him glory and honour whilst removing himself from in anyway endorsing the Obama administration. He would only be recognising the existance of this undesirable gov’t and imploring Obama to seek God’s will.
This of course would never happen and PC will win the day out. In addition there would be unprecedented riots by the Democratic faithful. So having this in mind Warren should really refuse the invitation and he if he so chooses pray in the privacy of his room pleading the Saviour for the conversion of Obama which is far more effective then the hollow words he will deliver at the inauguration of the President.
P.S – Please do not read anything more into my reference to a man from the heated Balkan’s. My only intention was to draw a comparison to the situation that Rick Warren is faced with. Hvala puno!
Frane Trpimir Kešina
Whether we like it or not, or even if Obama likes it or not, Rick Warren is regarded to be the voice of Christianity in America today, as Billy Graham was to America (and the world) for much of the 20th Century. I don’t care for some of Rick Warren’s philosophies any more than I like some of Obama’s, but this is the way it is. Far better Rick Warren be chosen to give the invocation than the heretic Bishop Spong!
As another has commented earlier on this topic, we are supposed to pray for our leadership, whomever they are. We are not told to agree with them or to like them, we are told TO PRAY for them. Imagine how different the world might be if we actually obeyed that mandate instead of just belly-achin’ and bemoaning whomever God has chosen to put in office.
How much will Warren compromise. Apparently his Saddleback Church has already deleted its page defending the biblical position defending creation and opposing homosexual acts.
Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane
Jonathan S; Re: LGF and the report on the FAQ page being wiped clean.
I can’t see where to make a comment at LGF.
But searching for “evolution” on the Saddleback site yields a lot of other pages with stuff about their teaching of creation (haven’t checked other keywords).
So I wonder if there is an alternative explanation such as page maintenance – more FAQs to be added, or just a plain goof – highly embarrassing and horrible timing?
Is there some way to ask LGF, or to check with Saddleback’s webmaster?
Either this is a cynical move on the part of Obama or he, like Rowan Williams, is like the story of the man, the boy and and donkey: http://munlife.wordpress.com/2007/09/18/story-the-old-man-the-boy-and-the-donkey/
As for Rick Warren, he is now safely in the pocket of Obama.
David Skinner, UK
Cal Thomas concluded an article, The Politics of Prayer with:
Nathan’s confrontation led to David’s repentance and one of the most beautiful Psalms ever written (Psalm 51). The point is that Nathan did not compromise Truth, but confronted David with what he had done wrong. How many modern preachers would confront a president like that? Probably not many if they wanted to maintain access.
I suspect Rick Warren knows these dangers, but what he could use are some people around him to say he’s not as great as people might think. Checks and balances are not only good in government, they are also helpful to people who ascend to high places. No one is above the temptations of pride, including preachers who pray at inaugurals and possibly in the White House.
Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane
This is all becoming legalistic. I cannot see how praying for Obama means endorsing abortion. If McCain had become President, would praying for him mean endorsing divorce?
I am more concerned about Warren’s teaching at Saddleback.
As I stated before Warren is a rabbit running scared, wiping his website of anything that the Big O would have an issue with and sidling up to Obama. He is a deeply flawed theistic evolutionist. He is certainly digging himself in the same rabbit hole as BHO. Standing up to the Gospel is obviously ‘above his pay grade ‘ too. Pathetic, just as bad as Sprong the Evil and Wrong.
“Warren of the porpoise driven life is a two faced so called Churchian / Christian. Theologically he is a theistic evolutionist so he has no real Biblical basis for disagreement about abortion, embyronic stem cell cannibalization and homosexuality. ”
I didnt realise that you had to believe in a 6 day literal creation and a 6000 year old earth to be saved Jennifer. Whilst I respect your right to your views might I suggest that such insulting , narrow minded vitriol doesnt help your case.
Jennifer, where did you hear that Warren is a theistic evolutionist? The list of questions and answers that LGF reported have now been removed from the Saddleback church website appear to be surprisingly orthodox. I note that at the time of writing these statements are still missing from the Saddleback website. It does seem suspicious that they have suddenly been taken down without any indication on the relevant page as to why they are missing.
If you look at the Wikipedia.org entry for Rick Warren his record is a steady one of opposing abortion and homosexuality
It does seem that when it comes to Rick Warren many Christians either love him or hate him. After being forced to read (by my former church) A Purpose Driven Life, I came to the conclusion that for such mush to become so popular and so highly praised it really speaks volumes about where the church of the West is at these days. The success of the book has certainly given Warren a high profile and a platform to speak into the culture. The concern I have is that he doesn’t much appear to use that platform to challenge society in the way that it needs to be challenged. (Perhaps if he did that, he wouldn’t be so popular.)
An exception was during the presidential candidates’ forum he hosted with Obama and McCain, when Warren put Obama on the spot regarding the abortion question. Obama’s equivocating answer became muched referred to by pro-life groups as to yet further evidence why he should have been absolutely disqualified as a contender for POTUS, at least from any Christian perspective. So Warren is to be praised for that. (Contrast Warren’s leaders’ forum with the leaders’ forum held by ACL with John Howard and Kevin Rudd during the 2007 federal election campaign, when forum organisers deliberately avoided the abortion question so as to not embarrass Rudd, or so it seemed.)
As I said before, the test for Warren’s invocation prayer will be in its content. Warren needs to avoid a prayer that simply gives a rubber stamp to the Obama presidency and should at minimum have some reference to the new administration defending the lives of all Americans from conception to natural death, or words to that effect. Life issues and the definition of marriage are the two big concerns Christians have with Obama, so if Warren avoids reference to those then he will have wimped it.
I understand and appreciate your thinking and that of Al Moehler but unusual as this is, I disagree but for hereto unmentioned reasons. See my blog for my reasoning at pgfoot.org. Suffice it to say, so that he might see the fickle nature of political friendships and the evil fickle partisanship of the culture of death. Is he keen enough to see it yet? I don’t know. But it is very clear for those with eyes to see.
Joe Whitchurch, Indiana, USA
Joe, I especially like the dedication on your blog!
Unfortunately, I don’t follow a lot of your comment, because I lack the native knowledge of US politics which you enjoy.
Apparently Warren campaigned in support of Proposition 8 and this is one of the reasons why the militant homosexuals have criticised Obama’s choice of him to give the invocation prayer. So Warren is to be commended for taking that stand when so many other mega-church pastors seem to be MIA on culture war issues.
Doug, I sincerely apologise for my “narrow minded vitriol” . I was wrong there is much to admire about Warren. But I still maintain that Warren will be seen as endorsing Obama’s vile positions It would indeed take a seismic miracle for Obama to renounce his love of baby killing and the promotion of gay agendas. I will pray for that outcome and for his conversion . I greatly admire the way Warren deals with Harris in the following:
And see these:
A Biblical Creationist worldview is necessary for the foundations of Marriage, man and a woman, Adam and Eve, (woman made after man, ‘wo- man’ means out of man) ie by default gay marriage is an oxymoron. I did not mention anything about salvation only that all the key doctrines (including salvation the ‘virgins’ seed’ would produce the special Saviour) are in Genesis. It is just a matter of consistency to build on the foundation of Genesis. You can’t have it both ways and reduce the Bibles’ historical narrative to metaphors or metaphoric as Warren suggests.
Jennifer, why do you have so much opposition against Warren praying for Obama ? I am quite sure you will not approve of the anger and condemnation by the Pharisees towards Jesus when He socialised and dined with republicans and sinners.As Steve had said, God has allowed Obama to be elected as President and so would it be a more righteous act if Warren refuses to pray for him? Was Jesus endorsing the sinners lifestyle when He dined with them ? It is one thing to disapprove of Warren’s teachings but another to prevent someone from praying for another, even if he has a different position from ours..We need to avoid legalism.
OneNewsNow.com is reporting that Warren has recently said that he is “not opposed to gays having their partnership” just to them “using the term marriage for their relationship.” Furthermore, another article on the Saddleback website has been taken down which had said that homosexuals who were “unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted” as members.
But no one is saying Warren – or anyone else – should not pray for Obama. The real issue is whether he should align himself with Obama in this official public ceremony. The reasons for these concerns are expressed in the article and in some of the comments.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Here is a report on Warren: http://www.onenewsnow.com:80/Politics/Default.aspx?id=363354
For believers to accept gay partnerships and to brand those who liken their relationships to those of incest and paedophilia as being wrong will inevitably lead those who maintain such views as narrow – minded, bigoted and homophobic, and ultimately illegal – leading to loss of job, fines and imprisonment.
We should be aware that those who practice incest, paedophilia, polygamy, and zoophilia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestiality) are already, using exactly the identical arguments of the homosexuals, pressing to have their relationships recognised?
I Corinthians 5:1 clearly says: “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.”
Neither Christ or Paul spoke out against bestiality, paedophilia, polyamory or fetishism, or, that matter, the taking of drugs or speeding on the highway. Do we take it therefore that these practices are acceptable?
Robert Gagnon, for those who can be bothered to undertake the serious business of thinking, states clearly why homosexuality is worse than incest. At the end of one of his articles he says: “It cannot be demonstrated that incest, conducted between two consenting and committed adults, produces scientifically measurable harm and/or personal distress to the each and every participant in all circumstances. Yet the church does not validate any types of incestuous unions, no matter how “well” such unions are done; and it certainly would not ordain a person involved in a committed and consensual incestuous union. Why, then, should we validate certain types of homosexual unions and ordain self-affirming participants in homosexual intercourse?”
Presumably some beleivers will shake the hands of homosexual couples (or threesomes or foursomes, or ….) entering and exiting the church, each Sunday morning, and may even kiss the babies of those lesbians who have been artificially inseminated. It is happening already in churches in the UK that were once renowned for their biblical teaching.
What was that about a little yeast?
David Skinner, UK
Bill,the atheist group has filed a lawsuit against prayer at the Presidential inauguration.This is so funny especially when there are also christians against the same prayer. Is it better to have no prayer at all as what the athiests want.
Bill,Obama will be the President of USA because God allows it, whether we agree or not, and what is so different in praying for him in private as against praying for him in a public ceremony unless we are being legalistic .The Pharisees thought too that Jesus was aligning himself with the publicans and sinners and therfore endorsing their ways just because Jesus minggled with them in public.We are fussing over minor things.
We are not fussing over minor things, Barry. There is a great deal of difference between praying for someone privately and anonymously, and praying at a public ceremony like an inauguration. If Obama is an evil ruler (and he is in terms of his views on abortion and homosexuality) then there should be no sense that he can be endorsed by Christians. On the other hand, this invitation to Warren could be seen as a door that God has opened and if so should be used to pray that God will guide the Obama administration. The thing is that if Obama were to govern for righteousness and for the benefit of all Americans, then he would just about have to break every promise and policy that he made during the campaign. He would have to do the exact opposite of just about everything he has said he would do, so it’s hard to imagine such a change is possible.
Warren seems to me to be a man who is trying to have it both ways and walking a fine line in the process. He is orthodox enough in his doctrine to be considered an evangelical Christian (and for this he is hated by the pro-homosexuals and pro-aborts), whilst at the same time attempting to portray himself as a ‘moderate’ who is tolerant of homosexual ‘relationships’, etc. (and for this he attracts the disapproval of those of us who hate to see any measure of compromise by the church).
Here are the opening remarks of a Robert Gagnon article, “Obama’s Coming War on Historic Christianity over Homosexual Practice and Abortion”:
If Obama is elected President this Tuesday he has made it a priority of his administration to pass legislation that will make war against Christians and persons of other religious convictions who believe that homosexual practice and abortion are immoral acts. Persecution will take many forms, as indicated by actions that have already taken place in parts of the United States, Canada, and Western Europe:
Compulsory indoctrination of our children in schools (kindergarten up), as also of ourselves in the workplace, that abortion and especially homosexual practice are moral and civil “rights” and that their opponents are bigots to be excluded from polite society. As regards their children in the public schools, there will be no parental notification or opt-out provisions.
Job discrimination, termination, and the imposition of fines on people who express contrary views toward homosexual practice within, and even outside, the workplace.
Forced subsidization of abortion and homosexual unions through taxes.
Forced offering of goods and services that directly advance and promote homosexual practice and abortion, irrespective of the degree to which the conscience of the provider may be violated. This includes, but is not limited to, adoption services and foster parenting, health care providers and counselors, justices of the peace, those who provide wedding services, the legal profession, print shops, and indeed all businesses with employees.
Severe restrictions in broadcasting and the print media against “homophobic” utterances as civil rights violations that would incur financial penalties and loss of license. Limitations would also extend to free speech in the marketplace.
Sanctions against Christian colleges and seminaries that allow “discrimination” against “gay, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders,” involving fines, loss of federal funds for student loans and research, loss of tax exemptions, and even loss of accreditation. In short, what happened to Bob Jones University over racial issues will happen to all Christian institutions that tolerate “homophobic” attitudes and practices on campus.
See the whole article here: http://robgagnon.net/ObamaWarOnChristians.htm
Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane
Anyone naive enough to think that Comrade Obamov was sympathetic to Christianity because of the Warren pick should think again. He has also picked the adulterous homosexual “bishop” Gene Robinson, who left his wife and children for a male partner (oh but of course he was born “gay”). See Obama Belittles Bible, Gives Unrepentant “Gay Bishop” Prayer Platform by Matt Barber.
Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane
I found some more details of ‘Bishop’ Robinson’s views here:
It’s difficult to know whether to laugh or to cry:
Bishop Robinson said he had been reading inaugural prayers through history and was horrified at how “specifically and aggressively Christian they were”.
“I am very clear that this will not be a Christian prayer, and I won’t be quoting scripture or anything like that,” he said.
“The texts that I hold as sacred are not sacred texts for all Americans, and I want all people to feel that this is their prayer.”
Bishop Robinson said he might address the prayer to “the God of our many understandings”, language that he said he learned from the 12-step program he attended for his alcohol addiction.
Mansel Rogerson, Melbourne
And from the same article it is clear that Obama holds in contempt 1Timothy 2 too. America is about to reap the whirlwind.
Mr Obama will also create another “first” when the Reverend Sharon Watkins from the 700,000-member church Disciples of Christ becomes the first woman to deliver the sermon at an inaugural event. She will give the sermon at the traditional National Prayer Service the day after Mr Obama is sworn in.
Mansel Rogerson, Melbourne
We all know that when we put our faith in man – man will let us down. Warren hasn’t even given his speech yet and already Christians have taken to battle. What are we afraid of? Let Warren say a prayer for Obama. Obama won the election. It is up to us to change the leadership. This means we need to not be afraid to speak out and possibly even be considered politically incorrect. At times I feel as though Christians are their own worse enemy. I do not believe from what I have heard and read that Obama is a Christian. But he is here and now we need to deal with his actions. Raking Warren over the coals does what? Divide us even further? Instead of complain about Warren maybe we should attempt to come up with a solution for our country’s fast track to socialism.
Peggy Sue Yarber, California
Thanks Peggy Sue
Yes it is true that we must wait a few more days before we learn what Warren actually says/prays. But we do know what he has already said, and it is not sounding too good. When Obama announced the inclusion of homosexual bishop Gene Robinson in the Inauguration, Warren said that Obama “has again demonstrated his genuine commitment to bringing all Americans of goodwill together in search of common ground. I applaud his desire to be the president of every citizen.”
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
The text of Warren’s prayer is here. There is nothing politically incorrect about it. There are a couple of statements to which I think many of us will object.
According to Warren, “We know today that Dr. King and a great crowd of witnesses are shouting in heaven.” We know nothing of the kind and in fact it is highly likely that if he were alive today Dr. King would repudiate Obama’s policies on a host of issues from abortion to same-sex ‘marriage’. Unlike Obama, Dr King was, after all, a Christian who believed the Bible.
Warren also said, “We are united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice to all.” This is unbiblical since every person on the earth is indeed of one blood. What does Warren think, that some of us are descended from apes or aliens?
Warren also managed to pay homage to environmentalism by offering repentance for failing to “respect” the earth. It would have been better if he had said something about failing to respect God’s word.
There was also an interfaith component in the fact that Warren closed the prayer in the name of “Yeshua, Isa, Jesus” – Isa being the Koranic name for Jesus.
All in all it was a pretty weak effort and if he wasn’t prepared to pray anything challenging then it would have been better if he had declined the invitation to pray.
Yes it was a fairly bland prayer, offering little solid biblical or prophetic content. I suppose he figured that on this occasion he had to play it safe and not rock the boat. Maybe so. He certainly did not challenge Obama in any serious way, and his remarks were not all that different from the generic feel-good prayer of Gene Robinson: http://www.nhepiscopal.org/artman/publish/article_750.shtml
One keeps coming back to the words which Nathan the prophet uttered to King David (2 Samuel 12:1-11). They are so very different than the words we are hearing today about King Obama.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Here is how one American Christian assesses the Warren prayer: http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/index.php/2009/01/21/rick-warren-americas-dwight-schrute/
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Thanks Bill, that link was very interesting especially the point about Warren using the Koranic invocation for Allah as the “compassionate and merciful one”. I hadn’t noticed that but it’s probably not surprising coming from someone who signed the appalling Yale response to the Muslim Common Word statement.
Neither is it surprising that Warren talked about us not “respecting” the earth given that he also signed the statement Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action which endorses all the popular tripe about global warming.
Thanks Evan for that link to the AGW /CC EVANGELICAL believers. I sent them a critical email.
“In less than a week after Obama’s swearing in, our nuevo POTUS unfurled his radically liberal abortion and family plans together with his juicy pro-homosexual agenda.” Apparenyly the new government website section on Civil Rights includes statements endorsing homosexual rights and overturning the Defence Of Marriage Act and universal rights to abortion. He is already embarking on war crimes against other Countries’ unborn and a guess it is only a little time before he annouces the Freedom Of Choice Act to usher in total and unrestricted abortion in all 50 States. Sorry and scarey days indeed for America and the whole world.
Doug Giles at TOWNHALL: http://townhall.com/Columnists/DougGiles/2009/01/25/obama%e2%80%99s_evangelicals_the_liberals%e2%80%99_new_useful_idiots
A great opportunity to stand up for right and truth passed up. I am saddened that this has happened. It would have been better for Rick Warren not to have accepted than to give tacit agreement to Obama’s rule. In doing so he has now become culpable for not being the ‘salt and the light’ that we are called to be.
Bill, you made reference to a link from Dwight Schrute at Chronicles Magazine. This link times out – I am v. interested in reading what it says. Any other link, info?
I just clicked on the link and it seems to work fine. But to make life easier for you and others, I reproduce his article below (and break my own rule about long comments!).
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Rick Warren: America’s Dwight Schrute
by Aaron D. Wolf
January 21st, 2009
In an hilarious episode of NBC’s The Office, Dunder-Mifflin übertwerp Dwight Schrute unwittingly adapts the words of several speeches by Benito Mussolini and Karl Marx in order to appear impressive at a conference for salesmen. “Blood alone moves the wheels of history!” he cries, and by the time he gets to Il Duce’s “It is a privilege to fight!” the equally witless conference audience is chanting along with him. “Salesmen of the world, unite!”
Explaining a joke tends to make it unfunny, but it might be helpful here. We, the viewers, laugh, because we know that Dwight’s adaptation is a little, shall we say, inappropriate. We laugh at Dwight, the fascist salesman, and we laugh at his fever-whipped audience, barely suspending disbelief. Yes, it’s possible that a roomful of several thousand salesmen with bachelor’s degrees would not recognize any of these “historic” words. Again, the joke’s on them, and we laugh.
Reflecting on Rick Warren’s invocation at the “historic” inauguration of Barack H. Obama, I wondered: Whom is the joke on this time?
Mainstream newspapers were critical of the choice of “America’s pastor” to deliver this prayer, but here in the afterglow they are praising the prayer as “tolerant.” Of course, they aver, he prayed in the name of Jesus; what do you expect from an evangelical?
Warren invoked “Almighty God, our father,” which is unsurprising. But very quickly, he turns to the Old Testam—er, Hebrew Scriptures to remind God of the Shema: “The Scripture tells us Hear, oh Israel, the Lord is our God; the Lord is one.” Of course, as my dear-departed granny would say, “That’s Bible Scripture.” But of course, that One God is three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—the Name imprinted on our foreheads in Holy Baptism. Unsurprisingly, Warren doesn’t go on to clarify that.
What he does go on to clarify, in the very next sentence, is that the one god he’s referring to is Allah. “And you are the compassionate and merciful one.”
Each Sürah of the Koran begins with the phrase, “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate and Merciful One.” Pulling my English Translation of Al-Qur’an from the shelf, I let the book fall open to page 194, Al-Ma’idah, to find the same phrase at the Sürah’s heading. Skimming a couple of pages detailing the prohibition of meats not slaughtered in the name of Allah, I land on condemnations of Christians and the Christian Faith (emphasis original).
O people of the book (Jews and Christians)! Now Our Rasool has come to you to reveal much of what you have concealed from the Holy Books and to pass over much which is no longer necessary . . . Indeed those have committed Kufr (rejected faith) who said, “God is the Messiah, son of Maryam.” O Muhammad, ask them, “Who has the power to prevent Allah if He chose to destroy the Messiah, the son of Maryam, his mother and all that is in the earth?
Get that? In case you didn’t, the publishers provide a handy note in the margin: “Jesus, son of Mary, is not God or son of God” [sic!]. This is the word of “the compassionate and merciful one.”
But wait! Warren closes his prayer in Jesus’ name, right? Here’s the AP’s transcript:
I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus, Jesus (hay-SOOS), who taught us to pray, Our Father [etc.]
Yeshua (”Joshua”) is the Hebrew word for Jesus, and “hay-SOOS” will be familiar to Spanish-speaking viewers who apparently didn’t understand any other word of Warren’s prayer. Who is “Isa”?
Isa is the Arabic word for Jesus, used in the Koran in order to deny His membership in the Godhead, His resurrection, His saving mission.
But see, Warren fans might argue, America’s pastor was making use of a teachable moment. He was showing Muslims that the Isa they subordinate to Muhammad is really . . . well, the “one who changed my life.” Here in this country where we are “united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all,” we’re all really praying to the same Allah. Now, let Isa change your life.
People of the Book, UNITE!
Warren does remind us (though he is addressing God) that Judgment Day is coming: “And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before you.” That’s good advice. It meshes with Our Lord’s statement in Matthew 10:
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Does invoking Allah and praying to “Isa” amount to confessing Christ before men?
Listen, dude! If Rick Warren were the kind of guy who insisted on invoking the Holy Trinity and leaving out Isa and Allah and Shiva and the Dharma Initiative and Dr. King, he never would’ve been asked to pray in the first place! “Some people will tell you salesman is a bad word. They’ll conjure up images of used car dealers, and door to door charlatans. This is our duty—to change their perception.”
Tee hee. Joke’s on us.
For me, being labeled ‘tolerant’ in this regard, and given the circumstance of the quote, would be an insult, not a commendation.
Yes Ewan, you wrote…
> According to Warren, “We know today that Dr. King and a great crowd of witnesses are shouting in heaven.”
I suspect that Dr. King and the crowd of witness in heaven would not be shouting what Rick Warren expects. More shouting at him than with him. I think Dr. King would be rolling in his grave.