Search Results for: Rick Warren

News & Comment

Rick Warren Forgives Whoever Sold His Son the Gun He Used to Kill Himself. But Should He?

Matthew Warren

That was quick. Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren wasted no time in forgiving the person who sold online an unregistered handgun with the serial number filed off to his son, who used it to kill himself.

On the Thursday following 27-year-old Matthew Warren’s death on Friday, his father tweeted:

Someone on the internet sold Matthew an unregistered gun.I pray he seeks God’s forgiveness. I forgive him. #MATTHEW 6:15

The passage cited reads, from the New International version of the bible, “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Warren is no doubt using the quick logic that if his son hadn’t gotten that gun he would have gotten another, because someone who is bent on suicide will find a way. But he should slow down and, painful as the truth is, examine that idea.

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Mormon Watch News & Comment

Rick Warren: Evangelicals’ ‘Sticking Point’ – Mormons ‘Don’t Believe in the Historic Doctrine of the Trinity’

RICK WARREN: Well, the key sticking point for evangelicals and actually for many is the issue of the Trinity,” the evangelical pastor explained. “Orthodox Christians, Catholic Christians, Protestant Christians, evangelical Christians and Pentecostal Christians all believe in the Trinity; that’s the historic doctrine of the church, that God is three-in-one. Not three gods; one God in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Mormonism denies that. That’s a sticking point for a lot of Catholic Christians, evangelical Christians, Pentecostal Christians, because they don’t — they don’t believe that. Now they’ll use the same terminology, but they don’t believe in the historic doctrine of the Trinity,” Warren added. “And people have tried to make it other issues. But that’s really one of the fundamental differences.

News & Comment

P&G Only Advertiser to Go Near Rick Warren’s New Venture

Follow Warren and you, too, can end up like this.

Today is the big launch of Pastor Rick Warren’s “multimedia platform.” A new web site,, new magazine, “Purpose Driven Connection,” an online community, DVDs, you name it, thanks to Readers Digest, Rick is CASHING IN, BABY.

RDA President-CEO Mary Berner said Purpose Driven Connection is much more than a magazine. She sees the quarterly — which makes its debut today after a year and a half of planning — as just one piece of a network, and that readers become members, not subscribers.

“We’re not just launching a magazine; we’re launching a multimedia, multiplatform community,” she said. “That is absolutely at the core of what our strategy is globally and in the U.S.”

Of course, the faithful aren’t getting anything for free.

For an annual fee of $29.99, members receive the magazine, four spiritual DVDs, four workbooks and access to a social-networking website that aims to be a Christian Facebook. The magazine will also be sold in retail stores such as Walmart for $9.99, and congregations get a discounted rate of $19.99 for the entire package.

It’s nothing but blue skies — and dollar signs — ahead for America’s pastor. Oh wait, is that a storm cloud?

Purpose Driven Connection “could appeal to a variety of advertisers,” said Stephen Carlson, media director for Publicis Groupe’s Spark Communications, part of Starcom Mediavest Group, which also owns Starcom, the agency of record for Procter & Gamble.

“Inspirational lifestyle could be a big fit for a lot of people,” he said. “The community has a big following, and if you could connect with that community, there is an opportunity to sell a lot of products.”

Mr. Carlson noted, however, that “there are some things you’d have to give a heads up” about; for example, Mr. Warren supported California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage — and that this might turn off some advertisers.

In the debut magazine issue, Procter & Gamble is the only mainstream brand to advertise. It bought a two-page spread promoting its Children’s Safe Drinking Water effort. All other advertisers were Christian organizations or Mr. Warren’s own products.

Here’s a very safe bet: a boycott on Proctor & Gamble before nightfall.

News & Comment

Senior African-American Clergy Find Form Letter from Rick Warren ‘Insulting’

Warren greeted by protests at MLK appearance in Atlanta

In advance of his appearance yesterday at the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta as part of ceremonies honoring Dr. King’s birthday, Rick Warren sent a form letter to senior African American clergy asking for advice, including this bit in which he devalues his controversial selection by Barack Obama to give the prayer at the inauguration:

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Obama’s Rick Warren Scandal Just Got Worse

The Obama team has just opened up a new front in their skirmishes with gay rights supporters over Obama’s decision to invite Rick Warren, the anti-gay megachurch preacher, to give the invocation at the inauguration tomorrow.
HBO says it was ordered by the Presidential Inaugural Committee not to broadcast the gay bishop’s prayer.
The latest incident occurred yesterday when HBO failed to broadcast an invocation delivered by openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson during pre-inaugural events at the Lincoln Memorial. Now HBO is claiming it was ordered not to broadcast Robinson’s prayer by the Presidential Inaugural Committee:

…HBO insisted in an email on Sunday night that it was not their decision to omit Robinson’s invocation, saying, “The producer of the concert has said that the Presidential Inaugural Committee made the decision to keep the invocation as part of the pre-show.”

Pam Spaulding speaks for millions:

Remember, this was the supposed salve on the wound to the LGBT community for the upcoming high-profile appearance of Rick Warren at the actual inauguration on Tuesday, which will be seen by millions and will float out there on YouTube in perpetuity. I had no illusions that Robinson’s appearance would reach the same level of exposure as Warren’s, but damn — no broadcast of it at all? That’s just freaking rich.

The hasty addition of Bishop Robinson to the lineup a few weeks ago was also badly bungled, when an Obama staffer somehow managed to channel both Clintonian truthiness and Bush stubbornness in in one short statement:

An Obama source said: “Robinson was in the plans before the complaints about Rick Warren. Many skeptics will read this as a direct reaction to the Warren criticism — but it’s just not so.”

Riiiiighhtt. Makes sense. Why would Obama want to appease homos he has just slapped in the face?

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What Was Up with Rick Warren’s Surprise Visit to West Hollywood?

Rick Warren, the right-wing meg-achurch preacher from Orange County, Calif., who is set to give the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration next month, made a surprise visit last week to a thrift store in the heart of West Hollywood, southern California’s gay Mecca, that left a lot of us locals scratching our heads.
Obama’s invitation has catapulted Warren to fame. In just three short weeks, he has become the most famous conservative in California, bar none.
The store, which is a branch of a locally famous chain called Out of the Closet, a non-profit that benefits HIV services, is on Santa Monica Blvd., about three blocks from Pensito Review’s West Coast office. I did not find out about Warren’s appearance there until later, which is probably a good thing because Out of the Closet sells shoes.

TMZ, the television and internet gossip network that is also based nearby on the Sunset Strip, had an exclusive report on the visit, including a photo of Warren with the thrift store manager, Erol Sarabi, that was apparently taken on a cell phone:

[Warren] bought 8 to 10 books, two of which were his own (that doesn’t help with his Amazon ranking). Warren told Sarabi not to believe everything he reads, that he does a lot for AIDS research and was happy that Out of the Closet does free AIDS testing…

By the way, Warren gave a signed copy of his book to Sarabi. The inscription from the Bible, Proverbs 19:21: “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

What Warren was up to here is a bit hard to suss out. Out of the Closet is hardly a gathering place in West Hollywood — thrift stores are not usually hangouts — so if his intent was to make a show of his support for the gays, he would have done better by stopping next door at the Gold Coast, a bar catering to older gentlemen his age, including especially those with his body type.

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News & Comment

Rick Warren Praised African Archbishop Who Advocates Imprisoning Gays

In a February 2006 communique, Peter Akinola, the archbishop of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), set forth his diocese’s official positions on various issues being debated by the Nigerian government, including this:
So, to sum up, Rick Warren believes that a homophobe so filled with hate that he advocates imprisoning gay people who love each other and choose to get married is a “model for Christians around the world.”

The Bill against Homosexuality: The Church commends the law-makers for their prompt reaction to outlaw same-sex relationships in Nigeria and calls for the bill to be passed since the idea expressed in the bill is the moral position of Nigerians regarding human sexuality.

The legislation in question punishes both parties in same-sex marriage with five years in prison. It also criminalized references to gay relationships in the media:

7. Prohibition of Registration of Gay Clubs and Societies and Publicity of same sex sexual relationship
(1) Registration of Gay Clubs, Societies and organizations by whatever name they are called in institutions from secondary to the tertiary level or other institutions in particular and, in Nigeria generally, by government agencies is hereby prohibited.
(2) Publicity, procession and public show of same-sex amorous relationship through the electronic or print media physically, directly, indirectly or otherwise are prohibited in Nigeria.
(3) Any person who is involved in the registration of gay clubs, societies and organizations, sustenance, procession or meetings, publicity and public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly in public and in private is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a term of 5 years imprisonment.

Two months later, Rick Warren — who is set to deliver the invocation at the inauguration of Pres. Barack Obama next month — lavished praise on Bishop Akinola — comparing him both to a lion and Nelson Mandela — in Time Magazine:

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News & Comment

At Rick Warren’s Church, Women Must Be Submissive But, Despite Biblical Admonition, Are Allowed to Speak

Much has been made about the homophobic rantings of Rick Warren, the right-wing bigot Barack Obama has invited to give the invocation at his inauguration, but there has been less discussion about Warren’s beliefs about the role of women in society:

“You wives must willingly obey your husbands in everything, just as the Church obeys Christ.”
— Excerpt from Corinthians on Rick Warren’s website

As Katha Pollitt points out in a Los Angeles Times op-ed:

At [Warren’s] Saddleback Church, wifely submission is official doctrine: The church website tells women to defer to their husband’s “leadership” even when he’s wrong on important issues, such as finances. Never mind if she’s an accountant and he flunked long division, or if she wants to beef up the kids’ college fund and he wants to buy shares in the Brooklyn Bridge. The godly answer is supposed to be “yes, dear.” Is elevating this male chauvinist how President-elect Obama thanks women, who gave him more than half his votes?

The Saddleback Church website quotes Ephesians 5:22-23, one of the letters supposedly written by apostle Paul about 30 years after the death of Jesus:

You wives must submit to your husbands’ leadership in the same way you submit to the Lord. For a husband is in charge of his wife in the same way Christ is in charge of His body the Church. (He gave His very life to take care of it and be its Savior!) So you wives must willingly obey your husbands in everything, just as the Church obeys Christ.

But using Scripture as a basis for policies in these modern times — be it at a megachurch or in civil law — is fraught with rhetorical danger, which is why today’s Christians selectively ignore some of the Bible’s inflammatory admonitions.

For example, Saddleback Church has apparently chosen to ignore biblical injunctions that women must not speak in church. In a letter to the Christians at Corinth (Corinthians 14:34), Paul wrote:

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Rick Warren’s Church Scrubs Gay Ban from Website

SCRUBBED: “Someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at a member as Saddleback Church”
Yesterday, BeliefNet reported that the website for Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Orange County, Cal., contained a warning that unrepentant gays were forbidden from joining the church:

Because membership in a church is an outgrowth of accepting the Lordship and leadership of Jesus in one’s life, someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted as a member at Saddleback Church.

Today, that section, which was part of a longer diatribe about the sin of homosexuality (see below), is gone. According to BeliefNet, this link led to the page banning gays. Now it connects to a page titled “What We Believe.” BeliefNet is known for down-the-line reporting on religion. It was recently purchased by Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp.

Via Good As You, there are are still offensive statements about gays on the megachurch site:

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Blogroll News & Comment

Beyond the Surface of Obama’s Choice of Rick Warren

In one of his earliest and most successful attempts to piss off the world and connect Iraq to the 9/11 attacks, Pres. George W. Bush labeled Iraq, Iran and North Korea the “axis of evil,” and imposed sanctions intended to isolate them. Subsequent Bush-Cheney-Rice “diplomacy” has consisted of further punishing states with which they disagree by refusing to talk to them.

It’s classic Obama to include those with whom he disagrees

To say this policy has been an utter failure for the United States, leaving us with fewer friends in an increasingly polarized world, would be an understatement. Rather than crippling our alleged enemies, Iran and North Korea have only grown more defiant and closer to nuclear armament. And we all know the destruction and loss of life that resulted when Bush decided to halt the now proven United Nations weapons inspection program and invade Iraq instead.

Barack Obama examined the Bush cold shoulder policy and rejected it. He was derided by both Republicans and some Democrats — notably Hillary Clinton — for saying during the debates that he would be willing to talk to our opponents, including leaders of Iran. But history has shown that Obama’s path of holding friends close and enemies closer is wise.

Which brings us to Obama’s invitation to Pastor Rick Warren to provide his inaugural invocation. Gays are appalled that Warren, a man who unapologetically opposes gay marriage, was chosen. Why, they ask, would someone who helped pass anti gay marriage legislation be honored with a spot on this day of triumph for progressives?

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