Skip to comments.Rick Warren on Syria: 'A moderate country'
Posted on 11/26/2006 10:39:52 PM PST by Gamecock
I am much obliged to Bruce Delay, a talk-show host at KFAQ 1170 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for downloading the audio version of Rick Warren's YouTube video, recorded while in Syria.
Now, keep in mind, Warren has been telling the world he was misquoted by the Syrian press when he extolled the virtues of the totalitarian police state.
But before anyone questioned his statements, Warren's Saddleback Church had recorded him as he strolled down a Damascus street explaining what a peaceful and tolerant place Syria really is.
As soon as I hotlinked to the YouTube video last week and questioned Rick Warren about it, the church yanked it. I didn't have time to download a copy, but, thankfully, one johnny-on-the-spot talk-show host did.
You may not be able to see it, but you can at least hear it. Here is a word-for-word transcript of what Warren said in the 50-second video:
"Syria's a place that has Muslims and Christians living together for 1,400 years. So it's a lot more peaceful, honestly, than a lot of other places because Christians were here first.
"In fact, you know Saul of Tarsus Saul was a Syrian. St. Paul, on the road to Damascus, had his conversion experience and so Christians have been here the longest, and they get along with the Muslims and the Muslims get along with them. There's a lot less tension than in other places.
"It's a moderate country, and the official government rule and position is not to allow any extremism of any kind."
It's not a press release from the Syrian government that Rick Warren can deny. He didn't make these remarks under duress. He spoke these words of his own free will. By the way, this audio clip is not taken out of context. It represents the entire content of what Rick Warren and his team produced, posted on YouTube, then removed once I linked to it and questioned him about it in an e-mail.
It's not a case of someone twisting his words. Rather, it's a case of twisted ideas expressed in words.
Let's analyze this statement carefully.
When Warren suggests Christians were in Syria first, he's certainly forgetting the progenitor of monotheism Judaism. He rightly claims Saul as a Syrian. But Saul was not a Christian. He was a Jew until that Damascus road conversion. It's not a technicality. It is more than worth noting that someone who praises Syria, one of the most viciously anti-Semitic regimes in the world, claims Christians, not Jews, were there first.
Then Warren moves into this Muslim-Christian brotherhood sophistry. The only way Christians get along with Muslims in an officially Muslim country is by accepting the role in Islam known as "dhimmi." Think of the dhimmi life as religious apartheid. It's a good analogy. Christians are not free to evangelize Muslims. In a civil dispute between a Muslim and a Christian, the Christian's word is worth less than nothing.
Rick Warren demonstrates his complete ignorance of the subtle repression Christians face in the role of dhimmi. Perhaps he hasn't been briefed on the phenomenon by the Council on Foreign Relations, from which he claims his expertise on the Middle East.
Again, Warren neglects even to mention the Jews the pathetically small community of Jews in Syria who have historically been subjected to barbaric pogroms to keep its members in line and to give the average Syrian Muslim an artificial feeling of superiority.
Less tension? Let me explain how Warren's buddy, dictator Bashar Assad, manages to keep peace and tranquility. Secret police. Wiretapping. Torture. Political prisoners. Death squads.
Bashar's father, Hafez, was the master at heavy-handed Big Brother tactics. When the citizens of Hama rose up to challenge his authority in February 1982, Assad sent in Syrian troops to massacre between 10,000 and 25,000 civilians. The town was paved over and marked permanently to ensure that others would learn the terrible lesson.
It worked. There's been "peace," as Rick Warren would call it, ever since. There's been a lot less "tension," as he would put it.
Lastly, Rick Warren says: "It's a moderate country, and the official government rule and position is not to allow any extremism of any kind."
Where does one even begin answering such a lie?
True, the Assads simply crush any extremism that threatens their tyrannical rule. But Syria plays ball with the terrorists by allowing them to use Syria and neighboring Lebanon as staging grounds under the proviso they do not subvert the Assad regime. That's why Syria serves as the headquarters for more terrorist organizations than any other country in the world yet experiences little of its own.
My goal is not to beat a dead horse with Rick Warren's trip to Syria. My goal is to bring understanding and truth to an issue that has been perversely distorted by Rick Warren.
And I have to note that Rick Warren has been deceitful about the nature of this trip and the content of his statements from the beginning. Last week, after I first challenged him about the trip, he denied making any statements like this. He claimed his words were misrepresented by the Syrian government. When I asked him if he made any recordings while there that could help clear his name, he said he did not.
Yet, not only did he indeed record something, but what he recorded affirms the essence of what the Syrian government claimed Warren told officials. Warren's church posted that recording on YouTube and pulled it down only after it was cited as evidence of his mischievous activities in Syria.
In other words, Rick Warren seems to want to be everything to everyone. He seems to want to please the whole world everyone, that is, except the voiceless victims of tyranny, anti-Christian persecution and anti-Jewish bigotry in Syria.
Once upon a time, Warren was criticized for failing to include any references to "Hell" or "eternal punishment. His apologists claimed that the Apostle Paul's epistles never use the word "Hell", and that since Paul never makes reference to "eternal punishment" or "eternal damnation", Rick Warren was preaching the same gospel as the Apostle Paul and couldn't be faulted.
While those same apologists had no qualms about defending Warren's theology from doctrinally orthodox challenges, they took Warren off their "protected species list" when his politics disagreed with theirs (claiming that the U.S. was engaging in "severe human rights abuses" at Gitmo, etc, among other issues), and they've stopped apologizing for Warren in toto ever since. Well, up until now, anyway.
One has to wonder what's more important to these (former)Warren apologists - theology, or politics?
Interesting question. I suppose to our Pretrib friends would be mighty uncomfortable if anyone takes a position other than 110% pro Israel.
FWIW, I heard that Calvary Chapel has washed their hands of the PDLTM Lifestyle(R). Something about it being contemplative?
Is that true Marlowe? What's your take on that?
The Turks were nowhere near Asia Minor at the time.
I can't wait for Warren's pronouncements on North Korea (if he still goes there next year). NOT! The man is a complete, man-pleasing fraud.
You may not have to wait too long. From August 28th of this year...
"I have been encouraged by the church in South Korea to take any opportunity I can to speak in North Korea. There was an invitation for me to come to North Korea next year and speak at the 100th anniversary of the Pyongyang revival. The committee invited me to come and be a part of that."
ONE OF THE STUDIES TO COME OUT OF SADDLEBACK WAS "CELEBRATE RECOVERY".
I WAS ASKED TO TEACH THE SEGMENT WITH "NO" BIBLES ALLOWED!
P.M.,PLEASE DO NOT SUPPORT R.W.,YOU ARE MUCH SMARTER THEN THAT.
I've been folowing this story on WND. Thanks for posting this.
i second the motion. Discussion?
I mentioned on another thread that perhaps it should be a more inclusive ping list? i.e. a Best Selling Mega Church Ping List.
i would love to be added to any risk warren ping list!
And many of the same people have the audasity to say that the Reconstructionists are political. Yeah, real good discernment on their part, eh?
i think that such a list should be open to critics and defenders. While it is probably asking for trouble, i have tried to be both balanced and focused in criticism of Warren. Getting another side gives us accurate information from which to make judgements.
That just Boggles the Mind!
Clouds they are, Without Water, Carried About of Winds; Trees whose Fruit Withereth; Without Fruit. (Jd.1:12)
My personal opinion is that it doesn't matter, as long as we have the right to point out the truth.
I don't "support" Rick Warren. Quite frankly I think he is an idiot. But I don't believe he is worthy of a ping list. He has jumped the shark and is engaged in some very questionable political causes and religious traditions.
I think he gets too much attention. I also think that he has become a boogeyman of sorts among many here at Free Republic. He wrote a book. He started a fad. The book will burn and the fad will fade. The mission of the Church will be undaunted and Christ will be glorified regardless of what Rick Warren does.
Please, don't start a ping list.
Perhaps it could be called the Ping Driven List?
That way we could combine Warren and Osteen!
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