Skip to comments.Rick Warren is no Billy Graham
Posted on 01/05/2009 4:54:34 AM PST by Kaslin
Last August I wrote a column critical of Rick Warren's decision to host a presidential candidate forum at his Saddleback Church.
My reasoning then was that America's crisis is moral ambiguity. I argued that Pastor Warren would only contribute to this ambiguity by hosting candidates with opposing views on issues such as abortion and homosexuality and presenting himself as a neutral moderator.
Only Barack Obama would gain, I felt, being showcased as an acceptable candidate by one of the nation's best known evangelical pastors. If John McCain had wanted to clarify his social conservative credentials, he didn't need to go to Rick Warren's church with Barack Obama to do it.
Evangelicals and other Christians listened as Rick Warren called Obama and McCain "friends" and "patriots" and watched as Warren winced no more than would have Larry King when Sen. Obama said it was above his "pay grade" to consider if and when an unborn child has human rights.
Evangelicals had already been hearing from Warren, and left-leaning pastors like Jim Wallis, that they should broaden their primary concerns beyond sex and abortion.
In retrospect, I cannot prove that I was right. But I think the evidence powerfully supports my claim.
Barack Obama picked up five percentage points of the evangelical vote over what John Kerry received in 2004. Those five percentage points amounted to about a third of Obama's winning vote margin over John McCain.
Sure, the Saddleback Forum alone does not explain this shift. But the legitimacy Obama gained that night certainly didn't hurt.
The largest shift was among 18-29 year old evangelicals. Obama got 32 percent of their vote -- double what John Kerry had gotten.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal after the forum, Warren was oblivious to the vulnerability of this group. The Journal reported, "... as for the notion that younger evangelicals are ready for rebellion against their parents' ideals, Mr. Warren cites polls showing that the younger evangelical generation is even more concerned about abortion than the older one." True. But this was only one part of the picture.
In 2007 the Pew Research Center reported that Republican identification among 18-29 year old white evangelicals had dropped from 55 percent in 2005 to 40 percent.
A survey done by Greenburg Quinlan Rosner Research showed that 26 percent of 18-29 year old evangelicals, compared to 9 percent of those over 30, support same-sex marriage.
Now President-elect Obama has invited Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inaugural. The NY Times calls this an "olive branch to conservative Christian evangelicals" and many now call Warren this era's Billy Graham.
An olive branch? Rick Warren helped get Obama elected and our President-Elect understands that there is still evangelical gold to be mined in the pastor from Saddleback Church.
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright can explain how Barack Obama uses pastors. Obama sat in his church for 20 years and used his words for the title of his best-selling book, then discarded him when he became a political liability.
Regarding the Billy Graham comparison, it challenges even the most creative imagination to picture the Rev. Graham's ever hosting a forum for political candidates.
In an interview, Barack Obama recalled a previous invitation to Saddleback Church. "...I was invited to Rick Warren's church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views that were entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion." I doubt that Billy Graham would see this in the spirit of his own calling to bring the gospel to all who would listen.
Nor would I see the Rev. Graham signing onto the Evangelical Climate Initiative, as has Rick Warren. This gives Christian cover to the left to raise our energy costs to address still-unsubstantiated environmental claims.
But on global warming, Rick Warren and Barack Obama are on the same page. Perhaps these will be the first post-inaugural chips that our new president will call in.
Starr was right then....and she’s right now.
But as long as we are blaming Warren why don't we blame Ann Coulter and that host of Freepers who continued to bash McCain even when the choice became McCain or HillObama?
Rick Warren does not know the infallible Word of God. If perchance he could quote chapter and verse, he doesn't understand it but Billy Graham does.
I'm off to work out and will check back later.
Sadly I had to defend Starr's position to none other than my pastor's wife last night (Women's Bible Study) and promptly went home and tossed & turned all night, with little sleep.
I have been in this particular church for 7 years....I am not a newbie Christian (although I'm still on that road to santification)
..and I knew this church was more seeker friendly/family oriented-(even in a Reformed Calvinistic denomination)... but it was a friendly church and was due to a move from one town to the next.
Last night was a genuine surprise and one I am praying about....suffice to say I'm deeply disappointed.
..but his son, Franklin Graham....NEVER!
McCain was and is a loose cannon. He would take one step in the right direction and three steps to the left. He appeared to be a person with a very narrow perspective. The hot-temper only made him more distasteful.
I meant Franklin Graham would never sign on to Obama's invite to attend the inaugural as the 'token Christian'....or to sway those who are less understanding of Christian concept.
I have no objection to the forum called by Rick Warren for both candidates. As a matter of fact, I think it gave voters the best view of the candidates positions. I agree, however, that Rev. Warren is NO Billy Graham....and no Christian is being fooled by Obama’s clear attempt here to get the support of Christians by requesting that Rev. Warren give the inaugural prayer invocation. I WILL pray for Obama as president that he will receive God’s wisdom for the awesome task ahead of him....and for his true conversion to Jesus Christ.
The False Prophet (or should it be spelled Profit?) giving the invocation for the Anti-Christ...how nice.
The NY Times calls this an "olive branch to conservative Christian evangelicals"
True Christians won't compromise on our principles, especially on abortion. This is a test, folks.
and many now call Warren this era's Billy Graham.
Anyone who compares Warren to Graham deserves to burn in the fires of hell.
Call Rick Warren pastor of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California and tell him to talk to his buddy Obama about this.
Those of us who grew with the Graham Crusade are feeling the loss of this cornerstone. We have morphed into the Rick Warren agenda, and, while it doesn’t represent many of us, it will no doubt lead to an even more liberal agenda.
Unfortunately, Free Republic doesn't even constitute one percent of the voting public. The election wasn't decided here.
The election was decided the day that McCain took up for poor little Barry when people were being mean to him and said "He'd make a fine President".
That's the day that enough of the masses said "okay, I'll vote for him".
Face it, McCain was and still is a loser, nominated by an out-of-touch, arrogant, politically indebted party leadership. He ran a horrible campaign, hiring pretenders like Carly Fiorina to run it, and when he did something right, (choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate), he did three things wrong to follow. (Allowing political operatives to slime her and set her up even BEFORE election day.)
Ditto, Sarasota....and to Guen - I’ll pray for your situation....that’s always difficult.
Rush was right when he described McCain (and the GOP establishment) as Washingtonians.
Rush was being kind and polite when he described the Republican leadership as "Washingtonians". That's just a neutral term that describes where someone is from.
I use a different word that describes what a person IS.
Firstly, I was pointing out the Rick Warren was not to blame for McCain's loss which was the subject of this thread.
Secondly, if a Freeper failed to vote for McCain --much less encouraged others not to vote for him, which you had a lot of Freepers doing -- he gave aid and support to those who got a Marxist one-worlder as our president and they deserve a little castigation. Or don't you agree?
Maybe you're one of those sensitive types who think feelings matter more than action. Well your going to get four years of it and hopefully that's all.
The ironic thing is, the Bible states that "seekers" don't actually exist.
Romans 3:11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
Those of us who grew with the Graham Crusade...
Perhaps then, you'll remember that Billy was bashed in much the same manner as Rick Warren is being bashed now...by many of the same kinds of fundamentalists, for many of the same reasons.
John McCain lost the election, and he lost it quite well on his own. The Republican Party lost the election by nominating him, and the party leadership did quite well at it despite warnings from many "prominent people" and from many of us around here.
Sometimes I wonder if there isn't something to the conspiracy theory that says McCain was Soros' boy just as The Marxist is, and it was his job to lose. I don't know how this theory accounts for the ineptitude of the Republican party, but it's an ineptitude that speaks for itself, isn't it?
Those here at FR who chose not to support John McCain, as you and I did, were exercising their prerogative to not resort to futility and desparation to support a loser.
A self-serving, volatile, and marginally sane loser who ran an entire campaign that sounded like a concession speech.
Sorry, desparation s/b desperation.
No Graham never held a forum for political candidates, what he did do was hold a 'come to Jesus' assembly and anointed Hillary Clinton upon his stage as the makings of a good president.
I don’t remember that, actually. If so, further evidence that there is a spiraling down over subsequent decades.
Always uncomfortable to Speak the Truth, isn’t it? But you sure find out exactly where you stand. May the Lord lead you.
In 1957 Bob Jones the first led a major move to discredit Billy and the BGEA.
I am actually struck by how misguided the “seeker friendly” churches are in feeling they have to soft sell the gospel to attract people. Jesus knew how to attract people and we do not have to water it down.
In the piece on Fox last night about how a leader of Hamas was converted to Christianity, he said it was the verse “love your enemies” that changed his life. Radical, fighting words were the ones that drew him to Truth. We do Christ and ourselves a disservice when we try to take the sting out of the Words of Christ”. They are there for a reason.
Here are the truths that “liberal Christians” try to avoid:
We’re all sinners, we sin all the time.
No amount of good works will “make up” for that.
Heaven is a perfect place, you will not be allowed into God’s presence if you are imperfect.
God himself provided the ONLY way to become perfect - Jesus.
Any other method of entry into “the fold” is fraudulent (John 10).
You're absolutely right; although I agree with the criticism of Warren's performance.
But as long as we are blaming Warren why don't we blame Ann Coulter and that host of Freepers who continued to bash McCain even when the choice became McCain or HillObama?
I prefer to blame McCain. He was worthy of every syllable of criticism he received.
You are right of course. The point I was trying to make is when people misguidedly try to soft pedal the Truth, they often take out the very parts that will actually reach people.
Our job is to preach the whole counsel of God faithfully and truthfully. Those who can be will be reached. Who are we that we think we can improve on Christ? Or at least improve on the way to reach the lost? The arrogance is breathtaking.
We need to proclaim our utter depravity when compared by the law, then follow with the Gospel. There is no other option given us. Seeker friendly churches are not only kidding themselves, they are keeping people from finding Christ.
BTTT. Can’t be said enough.
Enough said, anyone from SC knows him for the nut he was. I remember when he wanted to provide Thompson’s for his campus security force.
Obama is no Christian. He held his grandmother's memorial (the SECOND one, the one held specifically for Obama after the election) at a Unitarian church.
Read Obama's own comments on religion and the upbringing he got from his mother:
2004 Interview: Obama Talks about Jesus, Heaven and Sin (June 3, 2008)
OBAMA: Right. Jesus is a historical figure for me, and hes also a bridge between God and man, in the Christian faith, and one that I think is powerful precisely because he serves as that means of us reaching something higher. And hes also a wonderful teacher. I think its important for all of us, of whatever faith, to have teachers in the flesh and also teachers in history.
Obama: Theres the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people havent embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they're going to hell.
GG: You dont believe that?
OBAMA: I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell. I cant imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. Thats just not part of my religious makeup.
GG: What is sin?
OBAMA: Being out of alignment with my values.
A friend from high school has said that Dunham touted herself as an atheist, and it was something she'd read about and could argue. Maya Soetoro-Ng, when asked if her mother was an atheist, said, I wouldn't have called her an atheist. She was an agnostic. She basically gave us all the good books the Bible, the Hindu Upanishads and the Buddhist scripture, the Tao Te Ching and wanted us to recognise that everyone has something beautiful to contribute. Jesus, she felt, was a wonderful example. But she felt that a lot of Christians behaved in un-Christian ways.
In his 1995 memoir Dreams from My Father Barack Obama wrote, My mother's confidence in needlepoint virtues depended on a faith I didn't possess... In a land [Indonesia] where fatalism remained a necessary tool for enduring hardship... she was a lonely witness for secular humanism, a soldier for New Deal, Peace Corps, position-paper liberalism. In his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope Obama wrote, I was not raised in a religious household... My mother's own experiences... only reinforced this inherited skepticism. Her memories of the Christians who populated her youth were not fond ones... And yet for all her professed secularism, my mother was in many ways the most spiritually awakened person that I've ever known. Religion for her was just one of the many ways and not necessarily the best way that man attempted to control the unknowable and understand the deeper truths about our lives, Obama wrote. In 2007 Obama described his mother as a Christian from Kansas. I was raised by my mother, he continued. So, Ive always been a Christian. Also in 2007, he said in a speech, My mother, whose parents were nonpracticing Baptists and Methodists, was one of the most spiritual souls I ever knew. But she had a healthy skepticism of religion as an institution.
Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population, but Obamas household was not religious. My mother, whose parents were nonpracticing Baptists and Methodists, was one of the most spiritual souls I ever knew, Obama said in a 2007 speech. But she had a healthy skepticism of religion as an institution. And as a consequence, so did I.
I'm going to need to see a baptismal certificate to believe this man was ever a Christian. Certainly he was NOT raised as one by an agnostic mother or non-practicing muslim fathers.
The parable of the sower comes to mind -
seeker churches are casting their seeds on the wrong soil.
Obviously then, you understand why I am praying for his true conversion to Jesus Christ. ;-/
“Jesus...was a wonderful example...”
John provided us with easy tests for those who are speaking truth and those who would lead us astray.
Only those who say that Jesus IS God incarnate in flesh, and the only absolution of sin, are speaking the truth.
No, I think they are casting the wrong seeds
We are to cast our seeds on all soil, we do not know what kind of soil it is until we see the response to the Gospel.
I pray for his soul, I also pray for him to convert to the American Way and stop seeing the Constitution as a block AGAINST the type of government he WANTS to establish and realize that it is to PROTECT the American people FROM a GOVERNMENT we should NOT live UNDER.
Jesus is a dead historical figure to Obama and not the (only) Way.
Here's a link to the signatories if you want to see if your pastor has hopped on the bandwagon:
And I checked; Rick Warren's name is on the list.
0bama is speaking from the “spirit of lies” (Satan).
1 John 4 (:5-6)
If he truly converts to the Lord, Jesus Christ....the rest will eventually follow. ;-)
I can remember my father being angry at Billy Graham for appearing next to LBJ. Dad said it gave Johnson “christian cover” for his socialist agenda. Rick Warren is, I’m afraid, in the same mold. I’m sure he’s hopeful that his presence will make a positive difference on an otherwise negative situation...just like Billy must have believed. Times don’t change, do they?
Platte River Rick is a tool of the left and doesn’t even know it.
At the end, though, I liked McCain more than I did at the beginning.
I think McCain tried to win, and I think he probably played his hand as best he could. Even in 2007, it was pretty much expected that this would be a Dem year.
He ran out of money at the end though because he tied himself to matching funds, and that made a big difference.
Also, I think if he didn't support the bailout he would have won. Of course, he supported the bailout because he is a Washintonian.
Now that's a winning attitude. /s
"He ran out of money at the end though because he tied himself to matching funds, and that made a big difference. "
IOW, he was hoisted by his own petard called McCain-Feingold.
What were you saying about people around here at FR being at fault?
You didn't want to see the pundits proved wrong? I did. That's why I got so ticked at the Fifth Columnists here saying don't vote for McCain.
"He ran out of money at the end though because he tied himself to matching funds, and that made a big difference. " . . .IOW, he was hoisted by his own petard called McCain-Feingold.
No. Matching funds for presidential candidates was happening way before McCain-Feingold, and I believe Obama might have been the first candidate not to accept them and hence limit himself on what he could spend. If you are looking for a conspiracy theory, Obama sure got a lot of money candidates do not usually expect to get.
No mention of the pundits in your previous comment - only McCain. So who was it again who was expecting 2008 to be a Dem year?
" If you are looking for a conspiracy theory, Obama sure got a lot of money candidates do not usually expect to get. "
True dat. And where was John McCain while all this was happening?