Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Should Obama Rescind Invitation to Rev. Rick Warren ?

UPDATE: 11:53 AM, & 1:50 PM Dec. 23, 2008

Case for and against Rick Warren
Should Obama Rescind invitation to Rev. Rick Warren to his inauguration
Surely Obama could find a more liberal Evangelical to replace Rev. Rick Warren-

President -Elect Obama has picked Rev. Rick Warren of Saddleback Ministries to give an address at his Inauguration . Obama has picked an evangelical minister we assume to show that he is being inclusive of as many Americans as possible.
When I first heard that Pastor Warren was against Gay Marriage I thought many may not agree with him on this matter but surely he just happened to be against making this into a legal issue which he and many other Evangelicals believe might force churches to comply with the law and perform Gay Marriages against the church's wishes. But no Pastor Rick Warren goes much further in his negative views about Gays.

Rick Warren is not some fairly open-minded inclusive Evangelical in regard to Gays. So this has created a lot of controversy since Rick Warren has some rather narrow views in regards to Gays. He is anti-Gay marriages to begin with but he goes much further claiming Homosexuality is just as bad as Pedophilia and Incest. He also argues that Gays can be cured. And his church does not allow unrepentant Gays to join his church. They may attend but not become members.

Barack Obama by choosing Rick Warren is trying to be inclusive of the significant portion of Americans who are claim to be Evangelical Christians whereas Rick Warren is not inclusive. But Barack Obama could have chosen one of a number of more liberal Evangelicals who are less critical and more accepting of Homosexuals and who don't attempt to cure Gays .

New Dirt on Pastor Warren via Rachel Maddow
Rachel Maddow on MSNBC
Rachel Maddow highlights new details about Pastor Warren and his blatant intolerance against Gays

The Young Turks: Cenk Uygur

Rick Warren is wrong in comparing Gays to pedophiles and those who engage in incest. As Cenk correctly points out that Warren is wrong claiming marriage has been defined for some five thousand years as the union of one man and one woman. You'll hear this sort of claim being made especially by ultra-conservative Evangelicals but they just sort of make this up knowing most of their listeners will just accept as true without questioning it or doing a little bit of research. But what these Evangelicals are doing is confusing questions of historical fact with one's belief and faith . Throughout most of human history marriage as such was a matter of a contractual agreement made by the parents of the persons who were to be married. Women more often than not had little or no choice in whom they might want to marry. In the Bible in the Old Testament for instance it also mentions multiple wives and /or the use of concubines and servants as being acceptable.

Rick Warren Can Stuff a Donut Up His ---

Watch more at http://www.theyoungturks.com

" If Warren said on TV in Canada what he said in the United States he could be prosecuted for a hate crime. That's a fact. " Charles Karel Bouley

From Huffington Post Barack Get A Klue by Charles Karel Bouley, Dec. 22, 2008

Change would have been letting the preachers that get it right have a voice. Those of faith that know whether they agree with these issues or not they are not for the legislature or the Constitution. People who don't condemn and divide, but unite through love and compassion; who would never legislate their beliefs. That would be change. Change would be silencing the hateful speech of those like Rick Warren and replacing it with true love and joy and inclusion. If Warren said on TV in Canada what he said in the United States he could be prosecuted for a hate crime. That's a fact.

No, if you want inclusion, either include all of America, the UGLY part or leave Rick Warren out. He is part of the Ugly part. He is the same as a member of the Klan. He burns his opponents politically, socially, financially. He does slash and burn campaigns through funding lies, downright lies, and focuses the resources of his tax free mega church on those that need protection under the law from people just like him. He ministers to a White, racist classist ministry (I've been in the church, I know of what I speak, and lived in Orange County, CA for 10 years), is filthy rich, has a church that is an abomination to God (did he not destroy the temple and throw out the money changers?) and should fade in to the last century like all relics. I don't care what book he wrote. As far as I'm concerned, he's a hate monger of the worst kind...the kind with a slick smile and caring glance. They're the worst. Slit your throat every time, and he's trying to kill all gays and lesbian relationships in the California and the Country and crawl inside a woman's woman and put a lock on her uterus until HE says it's OK.

Just because he says he's doing it in the name of God doesn't mean he is. Even the Bible said that Demons will take all forms, and even will even appear as benevolent and just.

In either event, Rick Warren is what's WRONG with America, not what's right. There are plenty of other ministers out there that get it, that know their god is love, not hate, and that their god didn't make mistakes and thus gays and lesbians deserve all the same benefits under the law; or they are at least smart enough to know that even if their god disapproves, they disapprove in their church and not at City Hall, the State House or the White House and their bible when it comes to America is the Constitution of the United States and not a King James version of anything.
Barack, get a Klue.

And from Steve Waldman at beliefnet.com
Saddleback: Homosexuals Not Welcome As Members Dec. 21, 2008

A statement on the Saddleback Church website declares, "someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at a member at Saddleback Church." The full statement on homosexuality:

What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

The Bible very clearly says that homosexuality is a sin.

"Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin." (Lev. 18:22 TLB)

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor 6:9-11 NIV)

While all sin is destructive, Romans 6 warns us of the great dangers in sexual sin when it says, "Run away from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body." (1 Cor 6:18 NLT) This includes not only homosexuality, but all sexual immorality: adultery, sex without marriage, pornography. We must not act as if homosexuality is the only serious sexual sin, and we must not act as if homosexuality is not a serious sexual sin.

I've heard it asked, "Isn't being homosexual something that a person is physically born with?" First of all, there are absolutely no facts to support this claim. From time to time studies have been reported in the news that seemed to indicate this, but every one of these studies has proven to be wrong. Secondly, even if some physical difference were discovered, it would be no excuse for sin. We know that some people can develop a stronger physical addiction to alcohol than others, but that's obviously no excuse for living an alcoholic lifestyle.

Finally, a word about being judgmental. It's not judgmental to say that what the Bible calls a sin is a sin, that's just telling the truth. Not being willing to talk to someone caught up in sin, or not believing that they can be forgiven, or thinking that you are not just as much in need of Jesus as they are ... that's being judgmental.

Because membership in a church is an outgrowth of accepting the Lordship and leadership of Jesus in one's life, someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at a member at Saddleback Church. That does not mean they cannot attend church - we hope they do! God's Word has the power to change our lives.

In equal desire to follow Jesus, we also would not accept a couple into membership at Saddleback who were not willing to repent of the sexual sin of living together before marriage. That does not mean this couple cannot attend church - we hope they do! God's Word has the power to change our lives

Anyway having visited the Saddleback Church's website it appears to me to be the standard fare of Conservative Evangelical Christianity which is shared by a number of such Evangelical organizations. So we should re-evaluate Pastor Rick Warrens beliefs in the context of Conservative Christian Evangelicals . What we find is that he is inside that particular Conservative school of thought and theology which rjects Homosexuality as being an acceptable practice.

There is little here to convince one that this ministry is at all liberal in its views. The Church claims that Good Works and self-improvement will not lead to salvation. Salvation is a matter of faith in Jesus.

Another thing of note is that this is ministry believes as far as I can tell in the literal and inerrant truth of the Bible as the Inspired Word of God. This form of literalism is typical of Evangelical Fundamentalism. If this is true then it leads to a plethora of issues regarding for instance the Book of Genesis and the Creation myth as being literally true as well as other parts of Genesis and the rest of the Bible. Does the church accept the Creation Myth and reject Evolution .

Does the Church believe that men and women were not made equal and that women are to be subservient to men. This opens up a whole can of theological worms as it were. Is the church also convinced of the literal truth of the Book of Revelation and so believe in a literal End-Times and eschatological views such as The Rapture & Tribulation and The Anti-Christ .

The church like other Evangelical ministries is not at all inclusive since according to its basic tenets those who do not accept Jesus as their savior are also sinful and living in error and have no chance at salvation. It is necessary therefore to try to convert all non-believers to this particular form of Conservative Evangelical Christianity .Otherwise they are damned for all Eternity to Hell.

See Saddleback Church

and like other Evangelical ministries those who do not accept Jesus as their savior are also sinful and living in error and have no chance at salvation. It is necessary therefore to try to convert all non-believers to this particular form of Conservative Evangelical Christianity.

The position of Rick Warren on the Family & Homosexuality is much the same as other conservative Evangelical groups such as Dobson's Religious Right organization " Focus on the Family":

The Permanence of Marriage

...We believe that the institution of marriage is a sacred covenant designed by God to model the love of Christ for His people and to serve both the public and private good as the basic building block of human civilization. Marriage is intended by God to be a thriving, lifelong relationship between a man and a woman enduring through trials, sickness, financial crises and emotional stresses. Therefore, Christians are called to defend and protect God's marriage design and to minister in Christ's name to those who suffer the consequences of its brokenness.


The Value of Male and Female

...We believe that God created humans in His image, intentionally male and female, each bringing unique and complementary qualities to sexuality and relationships. Sexuality is a glorious gift from God to be offered back to Him either in marriage for procreation, union and mutual delight or in celibacy for undivided devotion to Christ. Christians are called to proclaim the truth and beauty of God's design and the redemption of sexual brokenness in our lives and culture through Jesus Christ.

And see on Homosexuality : Focus on The Family Love Won Out in which again the belief is that Homosexuality is unnatural and a sin against God and that it is something which needs to be overcome by any who wish to be SAVED!

On Battlecry see article at Truthdig: Battle Cry for Theocracy May 11, 2006

...BattleCry is a part of the evangelical organization Teen Mania, and you can learn a lot about the kind of society that Teen Mania is fighting for by reading up on its Honor Academy, a non-accredited educational institution that offers directed internships to 700 undergraduate and graduate youth each year. Among the academy's tenets: Homosexuality and masturbation are sins. Interns are forbidden to listen to secular music, watch R-rated movies or date; men can't use the Internet unsupervised; the length of women's skirts is regulated. The logic behind this—that men must be protected from the sin of sexual temptation—is what drives Islamic fundamentalists to shroud women in burkhas!

Assemblies of God On Homosexuality :

This statement is the report of the committee to study homosexuality. The report was adopted by the Assemblies of God General Presbytery, August 14, 1979. This report was revised by the General Presbytery on August 6, 2001.

Increasing political and religious advocacy for homosexuality1 has prompted us to restate our position on this critical issue.2 We believe that all matters of faith and conduct must be evaluated on the basis of Holy Scripture, which is our infallible guide (2 Timothy 3:16,17). Since the Bible does speak on the subject of homosexuality, it is imperative that the Church correctly understands and articulates the truth on this important contemporary issue.

This reaffirmation of truth has become all the more urgent because writers sympathetic to the homosexual community have advanced revisionist interpretations of relevant biblical texts that are based upon biased exegesis and mistranslation. In effect, they seek to set aside almost 2,000 years of Christian biblical interpretation and ethical teachings. We believe these efforts are reflective of the conditions described in 2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”3 (See also v. 4.)

or see the PBS Frontline documentary " Assault On Gay America" interview of Reverend Jerry Falwell

as for the Bible as the literal and Inerrant Word of God this is just a basic belief of Conservative Evangelical Groups:

see for instance Fresh Fires Ministries

Statement of Faith :THE WORD OF GOD

We believe the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is fully inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error, unified in their redemptive purpose, yielding a complete revelation of God's will for the salvation of mankind. We hold the Bible to be trustworthy, the only supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. Scripture is our source of revelation of God, the knowledge of salvation, the origin of all things and of the hereafter-it is the final Court of Appeal on all points of doctrine, life and godliness. (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Hebrews 4:12)

and : Battlecry Ministries: Our Core Values
Doctrinal Statement

We believe the Bible to be the inspired, only infallible, authoritative Word of God. We believe that there is one God eternally existent in three persons: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe in the deity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, and in His personal return in power and glory. We believe in the resurrection of the saved to eternal life, and the everlasting punishment of those who have rejected God's forgiveness in His Son. We strive to contribute to achieve greater unity in all that we do within the Body of Christ

or see: The Official Creed of the Assemblies of God

The Scriptures Inspired

The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct (2 Tim. 3:15-17; I Thess. 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21).

and so it goes,

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