The Atlantic.com magazine features this interview of Southern Baptist pastor Rick Warren by Jeffrey Goldberg on the upcoming presidential forum at Saddleback. (Goldberg notes the design consulting that Warren has done for Goldberg's "megagogue," which is an enormous synagogue, that includes a bowling alley.)
A few embedded statements of the interview include:
1. The title, The Rick Warren Interview: No Compromise With Evil. The topic of evil is not directly addressed during the interview, but the title functions as the backdrop of the subject, the presidential forum at Saddleback.
The article's title is ironic given that Rick Warren is co-hosting this event with a pro-homosexual activist group. Is that a compromise of Warren's Southern Baptist roots? Is that a compromise of Biblical doctrine? Apparently that depends on your definition of "compromise or evil ".
2. Goldberg opens the interview asking Warren what is the objective of the forum. Warren comments: "The idea is really around civility".
Goldberg takes a quantum detour off the subject and asks a seemingly off-topic question: "So you're against blogging?"
Warren responds, "Right now civility is a losing battle. It's easy to demonize from a distance. When people sit behind a screen they lose all civility...One of my three life goals is to help restore civility to civilization."
Warren instantly sets up the blogosphere as the litmus test for global civility. Warren implies that the blogosphere is uncivilized and his goal apparently is to "restore civility" not just to the entire world, but cyberspace as well.
Is there any relationship to Warren's implied intention to civilize the blogosphere and the recent shutting down of a Christian ministry website that is critical of Rick Warren's theology?
3. Goldberg brings up the topic of genocide. Warren says,"if you have the power to do something good, then you have to do it." Will Warren , who has the power at the presidential forum, bring up the topic of abortion?
4. Warren make this closing comment: "Faith is simply a worldview. A person who says he puts his faith on the shelf when he's making decisions is either an idiot or a liar. It's entirely appropriate for me to ask what is their frame of reference."
Is that a pastor or politician speaking?
Compare that statement with another Warrenism, " I don't care why you do go, so long as you do good. "
It becomes apparent that Rick Warren might say the same of faith, "I don't care what your faith is , as long as you have faith." Warren has not been quoted to this effect, however his actions do the talking.
If Southern Baptist Rick Warren is America's Pastor, then the American church needs to open the Bible, repent, and find a new pastor.
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