Skip to comments.Rick Warren explains the problem in calling Romney a ‘Christian’
Posted on 04/08/2012 12:02:28 PM PDT by markomalley
Much has been made about Mormonism, now that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney looks to be on his way to the Republican presidential nomination.
But should he win the general election in November, would it be accurate to say that Romney is a Christian president? On Sundays This Week on ABC, fill-in host Jake Tapper posed the question of Romneys religion to Rick Warren, the pastor of the California mega-church, Saddleback Church.
Mitt Romney will almost certainly be the Republican nominee and if that happens, which it looks like it will, hell be the first member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be the nominee, Tapper said. A lot of evangelicals have been talking about whether or not Mormons are Christians. Are Mormons Christians?
Warren explained the problems with saying Mormons are Christians, saying it is centered around the Church of Latter Day Saints interpretation of the Christine doctrine of the Trinity.
The key sticking point for evangelicals and actually for many is the issue of the trinity, Warren said. Thats a historic doctrine of the Church that God is three in one. Not three Gods, one God in father, son and Holy Spirit. Mormonism denies that. Thats a sticking point for a lot of Catholic Christians, Evangelical Christians, Pentecostal Christians because they dont believe that. Now, theyll use the same terminology. But they dont believe in the historic doctrine of the trinity. And people have tried to make it other issues, but thats one of the fundamental differences.
Whether or not he's a Christian, I have a major problem calling him a "conservative"
I have a problem calling Rick Warren a Christian, nor to I care for his spin on politics.
Politics has nothing to do with whether one is a Christian.
It still matters to some, but Romney's health care is ozero's health care coupled with if Romney's a Christian so am I (despite any evidence for both of these guys that they ARE NOT Christian) ... and any debate turns into Coke or Pepsi and ozero is in for another 4.
Rick Warren is part of that emerging church movement... Pure bunk.
Isn’t Rick Warren one of those Chrislam people?
The mormonophobes are outcasts not endorsed by any candidate
I respectfully disagree. It's impossible to believe in murdering unborn babies and the Ten Commandments at the same time.
The Mormon church aside, it’s a matter of sad fact that there are many professing Christians of ALL denominational and non-denominational persuasions that reject not only “The Trinity”, but other “essential” historic doctrines of the Christian religion.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that some of these “individuals” aren’t true Christians, it could just mean that they’re “babes”, some of whom will remain that way all their lives (for various reasons).
Warren’s got his own set of problems, but he’s absolutely right here about the difference between Mormons and Christians. If you change the fundamental nature of God, then you are no longer Christian by any reasonable definition.
Warren is barking for Chrislam
“Rick Warren is not a christian he is a Muslim kiss up..and also friends to Obama..”
We have big time pastors, such as Pastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback church diving into the sewage of political correctness and compromise. He talks of a Christian and Islamic partnership. He calls Christians and Muslims to work with each other and focus on a social doctrine, namely, spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, extreme poverty, disease and illiteracy.
Apparently, in our newfound religion of chrislam we are to ignore the gospel of Christ, which doesnt include Muhammads vision and oppressive teaching?
At the very least, we are to water down and push to the back room, the unique, gospel message of Jesus. Are we to pretend fundamentalist Islam doesnt want a worldwide caliphate, preach jihad and death to infidels, Christians and Jews.
Islam denies God in three persons as well.
“Politics has nothing to do with whether one is a Christian. “
Of course, and calling oneself a Christian doesn’t make you one.
However a proven false teacher using Christianity to further his agenda is contemptible.
I would vote for a Zoroastrian or a Tengri shaman or Shinto priest or an Odinist who was conservative. I won’t vote for a smug abortion mongering statist no matter what label he wears.
“If you change the fundamental nature of God, then you are no longer Christian by any reasonable definition.”
As a Christian, a Gingrich supporter and an American, I am not so much concerned about Romney’s Christianness as I am about getting rid of the Islamist Marxist currently in the White House. The more I learn about the Frankfurt School, critical theory, Alinsky, etc., the more clear becomes Obama’s plans for America. Of all the attempts to destroy our Republic, we are closer to the end of America as it was intended as ever. Are we strong enough, knowledgeable enough and resolved enough to preserve our Republic?.
“The more I learn about the Frankfurt School, critical theory, Alinsky, etc., the more clear becomes Obamas plans for America.”
Ah, yes. Alinsky. The man Willard’s father urged Republicans to listen to. The shell game is rigged. It is that simple.
“Christian” pastor Rick Warren is a CFR member who pushes Chrislam. Saddleback pews = discernment free.
Hey Rick, how would you classify Obama’s “religion”?
A few days ago, an article appeared in the Orange County Register that included some outrageous statements about Saddleback that were incorrect. Of course, the media rarely gets everything right, and theres no way we could respond to every false statement made about us. But I felt this article created so many misperceptions that I agreed to do an interview in response. The interview transcript is included below. Please read it all and then forward it to everyone you know who would be interested.
RICK WARREN ON MUSLIMS, EVANGELISM and MISSIONS
with Brandon A. Cox and The Christian Post
QUESTION: Do people of other religions worship the same God as Christians?
WARREN: Of course not. Christians have a view of God that is unique. We believe Jesus is God! We believe God is a Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not three separate gods but one God. No other faith believes Jesus is God. My God is Jesus. The belief in God as a Trinity is the foundational difference between Christians and everyone else. There are 2.1 billion people who call themselves Christians . . . whether Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Pentecostal, or Evangelical . . . and they all have the doctrine of the Trinity in common.
QUESTION: A recent newspaper article claimed you believe Christians and Muslims worship the same God, that you are in partnership with a mosque, and that you both agreed to not evangelize each other. You immediately posted a brief refutation online. Can you expand on that?
WARREN: Sure. All three of those statements are flat out wrong. Those statements were made by a reporter, not by me. I did not say them . . . I do not believe them . . . I completely disagree with them . . . and no one even talked to me about that article! So let me address each one individually: First, as Ive already said, Christians have a fundamentally different view of God than Muslims. We worship Jesus as God. Muslims dont. Our God is Jesus, not Allah. Colossians 2:9 says For in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Second, while we urge our members to build friendships with everyone in our community, including Muslims and other faiths, (Love your neighbor as yourself), our church has never had any partnership with a mosque. Friendship and partnership are two very different levels of commitment. Some of our members have hosted a Bible study with Muslim friends, which I applaud, but Ive never been to it, and a Bible study certainly isnt any kind of partnership or merger! Its just crazy that a simple Bible study where people explore scripture with non-Christians would be reported as a partnership and others would interpret that as a plan for a new compromised religion. Just crazy! Third, as both an Evangelical and as an evangelist, anyone who knows me and my 40 year track record of ministry knows that I would never agree to not evangelizing anyone! I am commanded by my Savior to share the Good News with all people everywhere, all the time, in every way possible! Anyone whos heard me teach knows that my heart beats for bringing others to Jesus.
QUESTION: That same article mentioned that you ate an Iftar dinner with Orange County Muslims. What is that all about?
WARREN: Its called being polite and a good neighbor. For years, we have invited Muslim friends to attend our Easter and Christmas services and they have graciously attended year after year. Some have even celebrated our familys personal Christmas service in our home. So when they have a potluck when their month of fasting ends, we go to their party. Its a Jesus thing. The Pharisees criticized him as the friend of sinners because Jesus ate dinner with people they disapproved of. By the way, one of my dear friends is a Jewish Rabbi and my family has celebrated Passover at his home, and he attends our Christmas and Easter services. I wish more Christians would reach out in love like Jesus.
QUESTION: Why do you think people who call themselves Christians sometimes say the most hateful things about Muslims?
WARREN: Well, some of those folks probably arent really Christians. 1 John 4:20 says, If anyone says, I love God, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And 1 John 2:9 says Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. I am not allowed by Jesus to hate anyone. Our culture has accepted two huge lies: The first is that if you disagree with someones lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You dont have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.
QUESTION: Lets talk about evangelism. In the past 10 years, Saddleback Church has baptized over 24,000 new believers. No other church comes close to that record. You are likely the most evangelistic church in America. Whats the key?
WARREN: We are willing to do what many other churches are unwilling to do. We are willing to go beyond our comfort zone.
QUESTION: For instance?
WARREN: Because Jesus commanded us to take the Gospel to everyone, I spend much of my time with groups of people who completely disagree with what I believe. Im constantly trying to build a bridge of love to nonbelievers, to atheists, to gays, to those I disagree with politically, and to those of other faiths. We dont wait for these people to come to church; we go to them and share with them on their turf, not ours. Every member is a minister and a missionary. Saddleback was a missional church 30 years before the term became popular. We just called it being purpose driven.
QUESTION: Building a bridge sounds like compromise to many people.
WARREN: Building a bridge has nothing to do with compromising your beliefs. Its all about your behavior and your attitude toward them. Its about genuinely loving people. People dont care how much you know until they know how much you care. Before people ask, Is Jesus credible? they want to know if you are credible. Before people trust Jesus they must trust you. You cannot win your enemies to Christ, only your friends. Its part of what Paul calls the ministry of reconciliation. It is Christ-like to treat people with dignity and listen to them with respect.
QUESTION: Why are most Christians so ineffective at sharing their faith?
WARREN: I have a whole seminar on that! First, they dont really have any unbelieving friends. They spend all their time with other Christians. As a result, they are afraid to share their faith because it feels unnatural to them. For most people to come to Christ, you must build a relationship with them first. You must love them. The truth is, most Christians love everything else more than the people around them that Jesus died for. Second, many dont really believe that people are lost without Christ. Third, many Christians are afraid of the criticism they will receive from other Christians if they hang out with unbelievers. It was the religious people who hated Jesus the most. They criticized him for associating with tax collectors and lepers and prostitutes and politicians and going to parties. Lost people loved Jesus but the religious folks saw his associations as dangerous compromise. The same is true today. Modern Pharisees still use guilt by association as a weapon. Just read the blogs. Theyd rather hunker in a bunker and attack those courageous enough to reach out to non-Christians. I do not fear the disapproval of others. I fear the disapproval of God on my disobedience to what he has clearly commanded us to do.
QUESTION: What is the P.E.A.C.E. plan?
WARREN: It is a biblical strategy of ministry based on five activities Jesus modeled in his ministry. Saddleback members have been beta testing it for the past nine years all around the world. Each letter of P.E.A.C.E. represents one of five things Jesus taught his disciples to do: P stands for Plant churches. E stands for Equip leaders. A stands for Assist the poor. C stands for Care for the sick. E stands for Educate the next generation. The PEACE plan is accomplished by local churches through local churches. It is based on three passages of Scripture and the specific instructions Jesus gave to his teams that he sent out. There are at least a dozen major differences between the PEACE Plan and the traditional, typical mission program of NGOs and parachurch organizations of the past 100 years. It is a return to the missional strategy.
QUESTION: What is the PEACE Center?
WARREN: Based on Jesus instructions in Acts 1:8, we practice the PEACE Plan in three dimensions: PERSONAL PEACE my ministry to those closest to me; LOCAL PEACE -our congregations ministry to our community; and GLOBAL PEACE - serving other local churches around the world as those congregations do their own local PEACE. The PEACE Center is the building on our church campus that houses about three dozen of our 300 ministries to the community. It offers our food bank, job training, family counseling, legal aid, tutoring, English as a second language, legal immigration assistance, and many other ministries.
QUESTION: I read an article that claimed you were building a PEACE Center to bring Muslims and Christians together in peace.
WARREN: It was the writers mistake. He got two different stories confused. Our recently opened PEACE Center, on the Saddleback Church campus has NOTHING . . . zero . . . to do with our Muslim friends.
This is an example of why I always doubt what I read in newspapers and blogs about ministries. Secular reporters trying to cover churches and theological issues often get it wrong. But then Christian bloggers, instead of contacting the ministry, blindly believe, quote and repost the errors made by secular reporters. Then those errors become permanent, searchable, and global on the Internet. I couldnt count the number of times a secular reporter has gotten a story about Saddleback wrong but then it is perpetuated by Christians who never fact-check. And the three factors I mentioned about the Internet make it impossible to correct all the misperceptions, and outright lies that get repeated over and over.
QUESTION: You mentioned legal immigration services. How many languages do Saddleback members speak?
WARREN: At last count, I heard we speak 76 languages in our church family. One of our 10 values, the A in our S.A.D.D.L.E.B.A.C.K. strategy, is that we are an ALL-nation congregation. We are a multi-ethnic church. We want our congregation to look like heaven will look with every age, race, tribe, and economic background represented.
QUESTION: What is the goal of your ministry?
WARREN: To know Christ and make Him known! To live out Jesus Great Commandment and Great Commission! In fact, this has been the motto of Saddleback Church since we started it in 1980: A great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will grow a great church. Everything we do comes out of these two great texts. Gods five eternal purposes for both our lives and the church proceed from these verses. The Purpose Driven Church and The Purpose Driven Life explain this in detail.
QUESTION: Through the PEACE Plan, Saddleback became the first local congregation in 2,000 years of Christian history to send its members to literally every nation as Jesus commanded.
WARREN: Thats correct.
QUESTION: How did you accomplish that?
WARREN: By taking Jesus command seriously. When Jesus said, Go to EVERY nation we asked ourselves as a church family, Has any local church in 2,000 years ever actually done that? If not, why dont we be the first! So we set a goal to send our members to every nation of the world to do the five tasks of the P.E.A.C.E. Plan by the end of 2010. Of course I know that the Greek ta ethne refers to people groups or tribes not political nations, but you have to start somewhere! So we decided that we would send our members on mission to all 197 nations in the world. (There are 195 nations in the United Nations. The only two nations not in the United Nations are Taiwan and Serbia.) On November 18, 2010, a Saddleback team went to the last nation, #197, a small island in the Caribbean called, St. Kitts. Now, our goal for the next decade, which we call our Decade of Destiny is to mobilize a network of churches who will commit to planting new churches in the final 3,600 unengaged people groups that still do not have a Christian church.
QUESTION: How many members did you send out to complete your churchs goal of taking the gospel to every nation?
WARREN: 15,867 members were sent out. Of course, weve gone way past that in the last year.
QUESTION: What is your mission goal this year?
WARREN: Within a year from this Easter, we intend to plant new churches in 12 strategic cities around the world as resource centers and base camps for the greater goal of planting churches in the 3,600 unengaged people groups.
QUESTION: What are those 12 cities?
WARREN: Tokyo, Berlin, Johannesburg, Bangalore, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, London, Freetown, Moscow, Mexico City, Amman, and Manila. Anyone whod like to be a part of the team should contact me at PastorRick@saddleback.com or on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
QUESTION: Are you promoting Chrislam?
WARREN: Of course not. Its the lie that wont die. No matter how many times we refute it and correct that lie, people keep passing it on as truth. Jesus is the only way to salvation. Period. If I didnt believe that, Id get into a much easier line of work! But I do believe that everybody needs Jesus and I am willing to put up with false statements and misunderstandings in order to get the Gospel out.
QUESTION: What are your greatest frustrations about evangelism?
WARREN: That Christians would rather argue than evangelize. That people are more interested in winning arguments that in winning people. That people are more interested in making a point than in making a difference. That people put politics above the souls of people. That people are more afraid of guilt by association than allowing others to go to hell.
QUESTION: If anyone wants to learn or teach their church how to be more effective in evangelism and missions what should they do?
WARREN: Write to me at PastorRick@saddleback.com and ask me for an invitation to the group of leaders I train each week through a private webcast.
QUESTION: Any last word?
WARREN: Reach one more for Jesus! Anyone whos read Purpose Driven Life knows those were my fathers last words and deathbed instructions to me. It is the theme of my life and I invite you to make it yours. Nothing is more important than the eternal destiny of those around us.
Instead of bashing Rick why don't you listen to a service and get your facts straight.
If my father was a staunch liberal Democrat, does that mean I am eternally destined to be one too?
Surely he knew the tenets of "Black Liberation Theology" as expressed by its founder James Cone. Here's a few:
From A Black Theology of Liberation by James H. Cone (1970)
The black experience is the feeling one has when attacking the enemy of black humanity by throwing a Molotov cocktail into a white-owned building and watching it go up in flames. (Page 25)From Black Theology and Black Power by James H. Cone (1969):
The black Christ is he who nourishes the rebellious impulse in blacks so that at the appointed time the black community can respond collectively to the white community as a corporate bad nigger, lashing out at the enemy of human-kind. (page 121)
To be a disciple of the black Christ is to become black with him. Looting, burning, or the destruction of white property are not primary concerns. Such matters can only be decided by the oppressed themselves who are seeking to develop their images of the black Christ. (page 123)
All white men are responsible for white oppression. (page 24)
violence may be the black mans expression, sometimes the only possible expression, of Christian love to the white oppressor. (page 55)
As for how closely Obama's spiritual "Christian" mentor followed in James Cones footsteps:
Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago is the church most frequently cited by press accounts, and by Cone as the best example of a church formally founded on the vision of Black liberation theology.
Said very well ArGee!
Make no mistake about it. You will see open season on Mormonism the closer the election nears. Be careful my conservative friends of joining the fray. An attack on Mormonism is a political move by Leftists to prevent solidarity of people voting their religious (regardless of denomination) morals.
Given the position he holds in the Mormon church, Bishop Romney will have a hard time distancing himself from the troubling revelations about Mormonism that will be coming out over the general election campaign. It's not like he's someone who is a casual member who occasionally sits in the pews and could plausibly claim ignorance.
Rick is not a Christian and no judge of Mitt.
I think Richard Land summed it up well when he indicated alot of Christians have a problem with Romney because “he isn’t Mormon enough”. It is perceived that most Mormons are very conservative and some of Romney’s policy positions and stands in the past doesn’t square with a what some perceive someone from the Mormon faith adhering to. Right or wrong, that’s the view of many.
Whaa? Who is Christine? And why should I care about her point of view?
Early on in the Republican contest, Santorum had the best answer to this kind of question. He said a candidate's VALUES are the most important--not necessarily what religion to which they were an adherent.
Applause followed his answer.
Look, Jimmy Carter was a Southern Baptist. Gimme a break. Until Obama came along, he was the worst occupant of the Oval Office in my lifetime.
I'd rather have a conservative Catholic (or Mormon) than a liberal Baptist. I'd rather have a conservative Baptist than a liberal Mormon. You take what you can get.
The Republicans are down to, what, a very conservative Catholic (Santorum) to a converted Catholic (Gingrich) to an unknown non-religious guy (Paul) to a middling Mormon (Romney).
Not exactly a collection of WASPs. :)
And ANY of them will be better than Jeremiah Wright's little buddy, the JOKER socialist Barack Hussein Obama (mmm mmm mmm).
Have a problem with Mitt. Have a bigger problem with Rick Warren.
(Have a problem with RNC/GOP for insuring Romney nomination.
Will have a problem voting for him ; but not supporting Obama: in amy fashion including ‘omission’.
I am reading a systematic theology, and just finished a chapter that defined different systems of “salvation”.
The author describes “Liberation” theology—third world, feminst and black are the subsets thereof—and it really is quite disturbing. The perversion of Biblical teaching and the embrace of LITERAL class warfare is a central doctrine in such theology. The current occupant of the Oval Office is an adherent to such teaching.
I remember hearing him say once something like, “My salvation is tied to whether those in my community are rising out of poverty.” I don’t recall the exact quote, buy I DO remember re-coiling at such dangerous thinking, especially when his “solution” means taking from someone else to “spread the wealth”...Obama is materially wealthy beyond most people’s dreams, yet his solution to poverty is to tax others.
We must defeat Barack Hussein Obama, even if it means electing an imperfect Republican.
Does the above argument mean that Jews do not worship the same god as Christians? I doubt very much that Jesus would make such an assertion.
Now as for Mormonism: it is definitely aberrant from my theological understanding. Nonetheless, it tends to be socially conservative, and morally upright. And to what are you comparing a Mormon politician? To a phony Catholic, like some I could name? To Christians who favor abortion? To black racists who use churches as a cover? Or to something else?
Me too. I tell people, yes I'm a Christian . . .I didn't say I was a good Christian!
There are religious Jews who would argue that point as the baby has never taken its first breath so the 6th commandment doesn't apply to abortion. Some of them, like Michael Medved, even claim to be orthodox and political conservatives.
...As a general rule, abortion in Judaism is permitted only if there is a direct threat to the life of the mother by carrying the fetus to term or through the act of childbirth.
In such a circumstance, the baby is considered tantamount to a rodef, a pursuer after the mother with the intent to kill her. Nevertheless, as explained in the Mishna, if it would be possible to save the mother by maiming the fetus, such as by amputating a limb, abortion would be forbidden.
Despite the classification of the fetus as a pursuer, once the baby’s head or most of its body has been delivered, the baby’s life is considered equal to the mother’s, and we may not choose one life over another, because it is considered as though they are both pursuing each other.
My question is why did not Christian Rick Warren make a statement about Zer0’s Christianity as practiced in his Chicago church under Rev. Jerimiah Wright? You would think that Rick Warren would recognize Black Liberation Theology when he saw it. However, Rick Warren was mum on the Zer0 because he is in Zer0’s camp. That is why he is bringing up the Mormon topic—to cast Christian negatives on Mitt with the use of Christianity.
Jews do not profess to believe in the divinity of Jesus, they consider him just a prophet. I’m not familiar with Medved, can’t comment on him.
Does Rick Warren’s church have “Jesus Christ” as part of its name? Because if not, I’d really question whether Rick Warren is a Christian.
I have a problem with calling Rick Warren a Christian also...
So does Judaism.
If my father was a staunch liberal Democrat, does that mean I am eternally destined to be one too?
Actually Michigan Governor George Romney who so admired Alinsky was a staunch left wing Republican. As is his son.
Romney is a Christian the way that a Muslim is a Christian. They acknowledge the divine nature of Christ, but both religions say that their prophets supersede and perfect Christ’s teachings, and that their “holy books” supersede the Bible.
Uh, Muslims don’t believe Jesus is divine. They believe he is a prophet of God AND a Muslim.
Wonder if Rick Warren is a christian..
Could be a non christian called a Mormon a non christian..
Maybe the conversation is a house of mirrors..
With mirrors to make you look FAT and mirrors to make you look skinny..
Its not about MONEY!?.. or is it?..
Rick Warren is a typical megachurch phony. But in this case, he is an Obama lover as well.
Thanks for posting.
Tell me again why we MUST nominate a person that Christians do not take seriously, when the REPUBLICAN PARTY is a Christian-based.
...or maybe it’s me.
I believe that was debunked. Check out snopes etc.