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.