Rick Warren, the best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life and senior teaching pastor at Saddleback Church in California, has invited Barack Obama to speak to the congregation of the faithful on December 1, 2006. In doing so he has joined himself with one of the smoothest politicians of our times, and also one whose wickedness in worldview contradicts nearly every tenant of the Christian faith that Warren professes.
So the question is, "why?"
Why would Warren marry the moral equivalency of his pulpit - a sacred place of honor in evangelical tradition - to the inhumane, sick, and sinister evil that Obama has worked for as a legislator?
According to press reports, it is because of a mutual respect that each feels towards the other over the AIDS/HIV pandemic on the African continent. That rationale however is not only dishonest, but not even logical given the two distinct positions that the men come to on the matter. Because of this supposed shared concern, Warren is ready to turn over the spiritual mantle to a man who represents the views of Satan at worst or progressive anti-God liberals at best in most of his public positions on the greatest moral tests of our time.
Warren's stand on the matter in this instance is what is in doubt. Not Obama's!
Barack Obama has a long history of defying the intended morality of scripture. As a state legislator he actively worked to preserve availability of abortion in all nine months of pregnancy. He opposed parental notification. He opposed any and all bans on partial birth abortion (an act that includes delivery of the baby up to the head, the crushing of the baby's brain, the suctioning of the brain matter, and then completed delivery of the child's deflated cranium.) In his run for the U.S. Senate Obama even asked his wife to pen a letter to Illinois voters that reassured them of his commitment to fighting for the right to butcher children in the womb.
Barack Obama has long supported the advance of the radical homosexual activist lobby in their pursuit to destroy traditional marriage. He supported the creation of "special rights" for people who engage in homosexuality for the sole purpose of putting them at the front of the line on issues of employment, housing, and litigation. He has also solidly backed the advancement of all "hate crimes" legislation, which ultimately may be used to silence clergy who believe according to their own convictions that homosexual behavior is wrong and preach so from biblical texts. Barack Obama has a perfect voting record against the defense of marriage.
Barack Obama advocates continued funding for Planned Parenthood clinics in our nation's inner cities which are performing genocide against the populations of African Americans living there.
And most damnable of all, when a brave nurse named Jill Stanek brought about national awareness to a practice at a local hospital in suburban Chicago that allowed the starvation and neglect of newly born children who had survived abortion procedures - Obama opposed her. He opposed the right of those children to be given the chance to live and he advocated against a ban on such procedures - then known as "born alive abortions."
Even if they share a professed concern over the AIDS pandemic what difference would Warren and Obama's union actually make?
Barack Obama does not share a view with evangelicals in a belief of moral absolutes. Right and wrong are terms of humor to Obama. All issues are shades of gray.
So how does Rick Warren believe their efforts can legitimately be joined? And what does he have to give up to do so?
By scriptural standards Rick Warren is to be bound by the biblical text and its teaching on morality. Obama would pursue and has pursued mass distribution of condoms.
If you say to a society, as Uganda has, that the only way to be sure of not getting AIDS is through "abstinence until marriage" then they will be likely to believe you. (It's scientifically provable. And it explains Uganda's unique improvement on the African continent in numbers of people contracting the virus.) On the other hand if you say to a culture, as has happened in more than one African nation, "try abstinence - but if you can't remain abstinent then use a condom" what do you think the likely outcome will be?
Rick Warren's reasoning might be similar to other leaders of doctrinally weak seeker churches like Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois. Senior Pastor Bill Hybels first invited an unrepentant then President Bill Clinton to attend his pastor's conference, and proceeded to pitch him one softball after the next in an interview before the gathered masses. Hybels' idea was to allow Clinton to "teach pastors" ideas about what "true leadership" was all about? (At what? Adultery? Lying under oath? Oral Sex?) Clinton was at least smart enough to be able to play the game a bit and profess certain vagaries about a "life of belief in God." Obama doesn't let such non-sense get in his way.
Barack Obama is likely to run for president in 2008 and speaking from the pulpit of one of America's most well known evangelical churches is likely to be footage that could be used over and over in trying to dissuade Christians from thinking about moral issues that real Christians truly feel concern for.
It should also be noted that Rick Warren knows better. Both he and his wife Kay have appeared on my broadcast in days gone by. Through some of our combined efforts with World Vision, my radio listeners have raised literally millions of dollars towards the AIDS crisis in Africa. And the truth be told, evangelicals in North America contribute more monies towards the very issue Warren professes worry over than the whole of Barack Obama's liberal friends combined.
There is definitely something for Barack Obama to gain by appearing in Rick Warren's pulpit - the implied endorsement and blessing for the 2008 presidential race. There is definitely something for Rick Warren to gain in promoting Barack Obama and giving him time behind the altar of God's word - power and access to a future heavyweight contender for the highest office in the land.
There is also something definitively risky for me in drawing attention to the matter, but because I am compelled to do what is right -- and not what is expedient -- I can not refrain from asking the question.
My listeners feel the same way. They feel even more so that way when they are hung up on when dialing Warren's church at 949.609.8000 to express their concerns. (That was 949.609.8000.)
Whatever the forthcoming explanation is from Rick Warren, it will be impossible to counter-balance the rock solid truths about Obama and what he stands for.
And for the scripturally literate among us, Ephesians 5:11 says, "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."
It may be too late to alter a stubborn heart or mind at Saddleback Church, but the effort should at least be made. So I am encouraging you to do what my listeners have done for the past several days call Rick Warren and ask him why Barack Obama's evil worldview will be given the high honor of addressing the faithful. (949.609.8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Then gently remind him - that it would be sin to let him do so!