Rick Warren: Probably Right Where He Needs to Be

It's been announced that Pastor Rick Warren, of Saddleback and the Purpose-Driven Life fame, will be delivering the inaugural prayer for President-elect Barak Obama.

Naturally, the reactions have been mixed. Gawker headlined the news calling Pastor Warren a bigot. Warren was opposed to Prop 8 in the recent California vote. Warren is quoted as saying that "This is not a political issue, it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about."

The outrage by some liberals has probably blocked some conservatives from complaining that Pastor Warren is praying at the ceremony of a leader who promised to usher in the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that is patently not pro-life. Rick recently stated that "making abortions more rare" isn't good enough.

I'm encouraged that Pastor Warren is praying at Obama's Inauguration and that by doing so is confounding those on the right and the left. Two thousand years Jesus' ministry repeated crossed the lines of the religious Right and the religious Left (The Pharisees and the Sadducees). Jesus ignored these group's boundary markers and went about building the kingdom.

Thanks Rick for doing the same.


  1. I'm impressed that Obama has the guts to blow off the far left like this. In reaction to their criticism, he said something to the effect of "we need to focus on what we agree so we can have better dialogue about our disagreements." I voted for Obama, but I've been a bit wary of Obamamania. That comment almost flipped me.

    And, of course, good for Rick. This is a gutsy move for him, too.

    I just made a positive comment about a pastor and a politician in the same post. I must be coming down with something.

  2. What surprises me in general is how little it appears people listen to what Obama says. Did those that are criticizing the choosing of Warren as Obama going back on equal rights for gays and lesbians not hear Obama say in multiple forums/debates that he also believes the definition of marriage is between a man and a woman?

    I, for one, will keep my ears open to what Obama is actually saying, and I hope everyone will hold him accountable to what he says. I voted for his clear call to lead the country in the center, and I see choosing Warren as exactly that type of leading.

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  4. Larry,

    I definitely agree with your point about confounding the left and the right by building the kingdom.

    But I'm not comfortable equating Warren's opposition to Prop 8 with Jesus' opposition to whoever the religious Left is in your analogy. I'm not comfortable mainly because it seems to imply that to follow Jesus was to oppose Prop 8.

  5. I visited Saddleback in the early days (a mere 3,000 members) and it wasn't for me. I read part of the PDL and it didn't speak to me. But then I heard Rick and Kay Warren on "Speaking of Faith"the radio show, and the Warrens blew me away. I gained such respect for them. i.e. they are doing a LOT in Africa to equip pastors AND to stop AIDS. they teach abstinence, marriage and condoms. They have been criticized on both right and left for it, but they don't care: they don't want to please either side, they just want to stop the problem.

    I have great respect for both Obama and Warren for coming together on this issue despite their difference on such a big issue like abortion. But you really can't have an impact on someone's life if you aren't in relationship with them, if you are lobbing criticisms from afar. I hope Warren continues to be involved with this administration and have an impact. And I hope I remember to pray for them.

  6. You are correct, John. That's for pointing that out. It is possible to see be morally opposed to homosexually without seeking to legislate against gay marriage.

    Sloppy on my part.

  7. It's also worth saying that the first century religio-political make up does not mirror ours. To talk about a Left and Right back then is helpful, but I am taking license.