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Rick Warren on Prop 8: "I never once even gave an endorsement"

Tuesday: April 14, 2009
Shalom in Christ Jesus,

Be Alert Sheep "Rick Warren pulls a 'Clinton'".
That was the first thing that came to mind and the title I thought when first reading this story.
However, since 'Be Alert!' has a very international readership, many not completely familiarized with the subtleties of American politics may not 'pick up' on the humor intended.
During the eight years of the Clinton Administration from 1993-2000, America was introduced to such things as "I smoked but did not inhale" the many "I cannot recall's" and most preposterous, what the definition of "is" was. Simply, it was the Lawyers running the 'hen house' and every legal loophole that could be found, would be found and then used to get Bill's butt out of trouble.
The sad thing is that most of America not only accepted it, they embraced it and started implementing these strategies themselves.
Hence, now everyone is doing it, including 'America's Pastor'.
We have been sounding the warning regarding Rick Warren for a long time, that his use of business models for ministry are unbiblical and that he preaches an incomplete gospel in his best selling The Purpose Driven Life. Most dangerous has been his eisegetical approach to scripture where one teaches his own ideas or views, in this case using multiple translations (namely the apostate paraphrase The Message) until finding the one that seems to say what they are trying to communicate rather than a diligent exegetical study of scripture to "draw out" what God is communicating to us.
It does appear from some of the articles below that due to Warren's latest inconsistency many more may be waking up to the sad fact that he is not the great evangelical leader many believed him to be.
One thing that is just beyond ridiculous is Warren's claim of being "totally oblivious" (found at approx the 2 min mark) when CNN's Larry King asks Rick his opinion of the recent Iowa court decision on gay marriage. I doubt that Mr. Warren is totally oblivious regarding Iowa; however, I think he is regarding the spiritual deception that has engulfed him, Saddleback and the majority of the "church" and the world.
I feel led to remind everyone that there is no pleasure in doing these alerts regarding the apostasy in the church. There are many other topics that I would rather focus on and that I personally find more interesting. However, the shepherds for the most part have ceased to protect the sheep from the wolves and so some ministries have been called as watchman to help fill the gap. It is not an easy job and most people think all you like to do is point out everyone's faults. That is not the case at all. The sword (The Word of God) divides and there must be factions among us as Paul states:
For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.
- 1 Corinthians 11:18-19
Although there is nothing new under the sun and there have always been these same heresies and mixtures in the church, the propagation of them has risen manifold in recent years while knowledge of the Bible has dropped precipitously. This is why we do what we do.
Nonetheless, I look forward to that day when this chapter of ministry ends, Jesus returns to set up His Kingdom on earth and a new chapter begins.

May The Lord bless you and keep you,
Scott Brisk
Rick Warren disavows support for Prop. 8
 Rick WarrenONE NEWS NOW [American Family News Network] - By Jim Brown - April 8, 2009
California mega-church pastor and author of The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren says he apologized to his homosexual friends for making comments in support of California's Proposition 8, and now claims he "never once even gave an endorsement" of the marriage amendment.

Monday night on CNN's Larry King Live, Pastor Rick Warren apologized for his support of Prop. 8, California's voter-approved marriage protection amendment, saying he has "never been and never will be" an "anti-gay or anti-gay marriage activist."
"During the whole Proposition 8 thing, I never once went to a meeting, never once issued a statement, never -- never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop. 8 was going," Warren told the CNN audience on Monday. "The week before the -- the vote, somebody in my church said, 'Pastor Rick, what -- what do you think about this?' And I sent a note to my own members that said, I actually believe that marriage is -- really should be defined, that that definition should be -- say between a man and a woman."
However, just two weeks before the November 4 Prop. 8 vote, Pastor Warren issued a clear endorsement of the marriage amendment while speaking to church members. "We support Proposition 8 -- and if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8," he said.
The following is a complete transcript of Warren's comments just weeks before the Prop. 8 election:

"The election's coming just in a couple of weeks, and I hope you're praying about your vote. One of the propositions, of course, that I want to mention is Proposition 8, which is the proposition that had to be instituted because the courts threw out the will of the people. And a court of four guys actually voted to change a definition of marriage that has been going for 5,000 years.
"Now let me say this really clearly: we support Proposition 8 -- and if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8. I never support a candidate, but on moral issues I come out very clear.
"This is one thing, friends, that all politicians tend to agree on. Both Barack Obama and John McCain, I flat-out asked both of them: what is your definition of marriage? And they both said the same thing -- it is the traditional, historic, universal definition of marriage: one man and one woman, for life. And every culture for 5,000 years, and every religion for 5,000 years, has said the definition of marriage is between one man and a woman.
"Now here's an interesting thing. There are about two percent of Americans [who] are homosexual or gay/lesbian people. We should not let two percent of the population determine to change a definition of marriage that has been supported by every single culture and every single religion for 5,000 years.
"This is not even just a Christian issue -- it's a humanitarian and human issue that God created marriage for the purpose of family, love, and procreation.
"So I urge you to support Proposition 8, and pass that word on. I'm going to be sending out a note to pastors on what I believe about this. But everybody knows what I believe about it. They heard me at the Civil Forum when I asked both Obama and McCain on their views."

During his CNN interview on Monday, Warren expressed regret for backing Prop. 8. "There were a number of things that were put out. I wrote to all my gay friends -- the leaders that I knew -- and actually apologized to them. That never got out," he admitted.
Additionally, Pastor Warren said he did not want to comment on or criticize the Iowa Supreme Court's decision last week to legalize same-sex "marriage" because it was "not his agenda."

Bryan Fischer with the Idaho Values Alliance says Warren is abdicating his biblical role as a pastor. "For Pastor Warren to say that shoring up marriage is not something that's on his agenda is just something that's hard to believe for somebody who believes the Bible is our rule for faith and practice," Fischer notes.
Dr. Jim Garlow, the senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in the San Diego suburb of La Mesa, helped spearhead the Prop. 8 effort in California. Garlow admits he is confused and troubled by Pastor Warren's decision to apologize for supporting Prop. 8.
"Historically when institutions and individuals back away from convictional biblical truth, it is driven primarily by one single factor -- and that is the respectability of other people. In other words, much more caring about what other people think about them than what God thinks about them," he concludes.
Pastor Warren did not respond to a request from OneNewsNow for an interview.
Original Report
* Emphasis Added
Warren waver on Prop 8 stuns leaders
THE WASHINGTON TIMES [News World Communications/Moon-Unification Church] - By Julia Duin - April 11, 2009
Evangelical leaders say they are bewildered and stunned by the Rev. Rick Warren's apparent turnaround on gay marriage after the famous California pastor said earlier this week that he was not a proponent of California's Proposition 8.

Mr. Warren told CNN's Larry King on Monday that he "never once even gave an endorsement" of the proposition, which said marriage in the state could only involve one man and one woman. The measure won at the polls last November by a close margin, in effect negating an earlier California Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriages.

Proponents of the proposition had gathered from earlier comments that Mr. Warren stood with them on the issue, and they reacted vigorously to his CNN interview.

"I was extremely troubled by the way he appeared to be so anxious to distance himself from the same-sex issue and to make clear he was not an 'activist' and that he'd only addressed the issue in a very minor way," said the Rev. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, said his denial is "absolutely baffling."

"Whether he supports Proposition 8 now, after the fact, is overshadowed by the bizarre claim that he did not say what the evidence so clearly proves he said."

What Mr. Warren said he did do was send out a video to his 22,000-member church explaining his position the week before Proposition 8 went before state voters on Nov. 4.

"Now let me say this really clearly: We support Proposition 8," he said on the video, "and if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8. I never support a candidate, but on moral issues, I come out very clear."

In his conversation with Mr. King, Mr. Warren said, "All of a sudden out of it, [opponents] made me something that I really wasn't. And I actually - there were a number of things that were put out. I wrote to all my gay friends - the leaders that I knew - and actually apologized to them. That never got out."

Named in 2005 by Time magazine as one of America's top 25 evangelicals and dubbed by some as "the next Billy Graham," Mr. Warren soared to nationwide prominence last August when he hosted a TV debate between presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.

He was placed even more in the spotlight when newly elected President Obama announced that Mr. Warren would deliver the opening prayer at his inauguration. Gay activists condemned the selection chiefly because of the pastor's apparent support of Proposition 8.

At the time, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights organization, cited Mr. Warren's opposition to gay marriage as a sign of intolerance.

"We feel a deep level of disrespect when one of the architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination," the group said in a letter to Obama, asking him to reconsider.

Christianity Today magazine on April 7 pressed Mr. Warren about whether his CNN remarks contradicted the video sent to his congregration.

"It was a pastor talking to his own people," he replied. "I've never said anything about it since. I don't know how you can take one video newsletter to your own church and turn that into - all of a sudden I'm the poster boy for anti-gay marriage."

Saddleback Church, where Mr. Warren is pastor, released a clarification on April 9 to the evangelical-oriented, saying the pastor's remarks on CNN were not in reference to the video but "to not participating in the official two-year organized advocacy effort specific to the ballot initiative in that state."

Still, evangelicals point to a bigger issue brought about by Mr. Warren.

"This is a major distraction in this battle for the culture we are experiencing," said Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville and founder of the High Impact Leadership Coalition of 5,000 black and Hispanic evangelical leaders. "I really respect Pastor Warren, but his stance will hurt the evangelical church. He is being politically correct instead of biblically courageous."
Original Report
Rick Warren's Stance on Same-sex "Marriage"
NEW AMERICAN MAGAZINE [The John Birch Society] - By Selwyn Duke - April 10, 2009    
Many think California pastor and author of The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren to be a purveyor of designer religion. Now these critics have been given some more ammunition in the form of an interview the mega-church mogul gave to CNN's Larry King. At issue are comments Warren made in which he seemed to vacillate in his support of his state's pro-marriage amendment, Proposition 8, and appeared indifferent to the matter of same-sex "marriage" in general.

For example, in the interview Warren said he was "oblivious" to the Iowa Supreme Court ruling legalizing faux marriage, and, when asked about the controversy surrounding his support of Proposition 8, he said:

In the first place, I am not an anti-gay or anti-gay marriage activist - never have been, never will be. During the whole Proposition 8 thing, I never once went to a meeting, never once issued a statement, never - never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop 8 was going.

See Video Here
CNN: Larry King Live - Pastor Rick Warren

Yet this seems to lie in stark contrast to what Warren said while addressing his church members mere weeks before the Proposition 8 vote. Here is a transcript (and video) of Warren's remarks to those parishioners:

[Transcript posted above in first article]

Video: Rick Warren Endorses Prop 8

And Warren had carried the torch for marriage in other venues as well. For example, read the following excerpt from an interview Warren gave to editor-in-chief of Beliefnet Steven Waldman in December 2008:

Rick Warren: But the issue to me is, I'm not opposed to that [giving homosexuals certain partnership rights] as much as I'm opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I'm opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.

Steven Waldman: Do you think, though, that they are equivalent to having gays getting married?

Rick Warren: Oh I do. For 5,000 years, marriage has been defined by every single culture and every single religion - this is not a Christian issue. Buddhist, Muslims, Jews - historically, marriage is a man and a woman.

Not surprisingly, the apparent contradictory nature of these comments has only intensified the maelstrom surrounding Warren, causing him to take flak from people on both sides of the faux marriage battle. In response, Warren has sought to clarify his comments. As to this, Sarah Pulliam at Christianity Today printed an explanation sent to her by one of the pastor's spokesmen. Here is an excerpt:

Because he's a pastor, not an activist, in response to inquiries from church members, he issued an email and video message to his congregation days before the election confirming where he and Saddleback Church stood on this issue.

During the King interview, Dr. Warren also referenced a letter of apology that he sent to gay leaders whom he knew personally. However, that mea culpa was not with respect to his statements or position on Proposition 8 nor the biblical worldview on marriage. Rather, he apologized for his comments in an earlier Beliefnet interview expressing his concern about expanding or redefining the definition of marriage beyond a husband-wife relationship, during which he unintentionally and regrettably gave the impression that consensual adult same sex relationships were equivalent to incest or pedophilia.

In light of this, it may not be fair to call Warren a liar - perhaps he is more of a rationalizer. He seems to be trying to serve two masters, drawing a dubious distinction between being a pastor and an activist. But while it's a rationale that should satisfy his congregants, it's likely that others will simply view it as a lack of moral clarity. After all, Warren seems to be trying to remain married to both the spirit of the age and the Holy Spirit, and such theological polygamy inevitably leaves many with bruised feelings.
Original Report
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