Slowly but steadily, according to him, influenced largely by his wife’s battle with cancer and the huge success of his book “The purpose driven life”, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church has gone full humanist.
In a widely-reported interview with the Washington Post, Rick Warren affirms that he is reviewing and broadening his perspectives (he had an “epiphany”) on issues he used to consider as “non-negotiables” for the evangelical Christianity. Specifically he says he now regrets his emphasized opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage, and similar issues; and wishes henceforth to focus more on restoring “civility” to American culture. He explains what that means: "I just think we're becoming too rude…You have no right to demonize someone just because you disagree with them."
Of course, this is absolutely true – only that it is promoters of anti-christian values that are the crude rude ones, blackmailing, harassing and demonizing any uncompromising Christian. Ex-gays, creationist scientists, holiness preachers etc can tell the story better! Unfortunately, these really rude folks are not likely to listen to the preaching of Mr Warren, which then amounts to requesting Christians to keep the more silent on holiness issues. Warren’s co-traveller on the road to emergent doctrine, Brian McClaren, had earlier called for a moratorium of 5 years on any debate concerning the morality of homosexuality and lesbianism in the church.
This is clearly wrong and unacceptable! And Mr Warren’s position is hardly a novelty. In fact, a recurrent major issue in Christianity since the days of the Apostles has always been: should we or should we not give in to those who attempt to “creep in unawares”, trying to contaminate the salt of the gospel?
In the same interview, Rick Warren again confirms his involvement with the Council on Foreign Relations (which he tried to deny a while ago, even after having boasted about it previously – see Vol. 10 no 1). Here it is confirmed that he is working [on behalf of the CFR] together with Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention on a “Religion and Foreign Policy Meeting Series” that has to do with the “impact of religious doctrine on foreign policy.”
Concluding his interview with the Washington Post, Mr Warren bluntly makes it clear that conversion (i.e. soul winning) is certainly out of his new agenda, declaring: “People are so worried churches are going to be about conversion... Everyone has a world view. Christianity is a world view. . . . I don't care why you do good as long as you do good." Even, the secular Washington Post could not help but observe that that represents “ a shift”.
The difference between humanism and Christianity has always been clear: humanism sees the problem of mankind in only one dimension – physical. Consequently, the solution to these problems are believed to lie with man and man alone. Christianity on the other hand, sees Jesus as the only solution to the problems of mankind, which problems have to be dealt with from their non-physical dimensions before an enduring physical solution can be obtained. A Church that does not believe in “conversion”, i.e. soul winning is a compromised and dead Church. Such, Pastor Warren would want us all to be!
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”</span>
(Martin Luther In Luther's Works. Weimar Edition. Briefwechsel [Correspondence], vol. 3, pp. 81f.