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Rev. Rick Warren Controversy


Jim Ramelis
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President-elect Obama is taking some heat for his selection of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver his inaugural invocation. Pastor Rick Warren was a big supporter of Prop. 8 in the recent election in California. Warren has been outspoken in his opposition to woman’s right to choose as well as Gay Rights.

I admit I was surprised at Obama’s choice and did agree with Progressive voices that felt sold out. Warren has a goatee and a patch, and wears Hawaiian shirts, but otherwise is just a younger, hipper, smoother version of Jerry Falwell. (He even looks a little like him). Same old intolerance just repackaged. Warren is doing some good work for AIDS/HIV, and does seem to have some concern for leading people to God and encouraging some spiritual introspection.He isn’t all about getting his followers to vote for the conservative agenda. This is all to his favor. Politically though, it did appear as if Obama had just picked the biggest star on the evangelical scene , regardless of Warren’s views that conflicted with those of some of Obama supporters.

I listened to Thom Hartmann on Air America for a while yesterday though, and my heart got a little softer. Hartmann pointed out that Obama is reaching out to someone who doesn’t agree with him on all issues. We just had 8 years of ideology first and to heck pragmatism and reality, a my way or the highway mentality, and a you are either for us or against us philosophy. You better believe George Bush would not have a United Church of Christ liberal doing his inaugural invocation.

I was fuming about Bush now talking about a “managed bankruptcy” for the auto industry, this would allow for the destruction of the U.A. W, the same idea the Southern Senators who led the way against rescuing the auto industry in the Senate, had in mind. Like Thom Hartmann, I thought for once Bush was going to put the needs of the country before his failed conservative ideology, WRONG! And what does this have to do with the inauguration? Obama is not demanding that everyone involved be loyal to his ideology exclusively. he is being inclusive.

I then read Obama’s talking points on the issue and some of them do make sense. Obama points out this is going to be the most open and inclusive inauguration ever and it includes participation of a group representing LGBT in the inaugural parade. Obama says he is committed to bring all sides of the faith community together. And Obama points out that he and Warren agree on many social justice issues, poverty relief, and working for a sustainable planet. Rev. Joseph Lowery is going to give the invocation and he has been pro-Gay rights in the past.

Okay, I guess I can live with Obama’s decision for now. I will still believe for the time being. I have said all along that the struggle for Gay rights is not going to be like any other civil rights issue. It is going to be much harder. It is going to be the equivalent of man walking upright or discovering fire. It is going to require a huge shift in consciousness in the human race.

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Guest wayfarer2k

Like you, I'm gonna wait and see on this one also, Jim. Although I'm not real fond of Warren's approach (too fundie for me), he is an exception to Falwell's style in that he has become concerned about THIS world substantially more than Falwell ever was (expect on the issues of abortion and gay rights).

 

I'm hoping that Obama's choice of Warren does indeed show a desire/willingness to pull together both sides rather than just pandering to a powerful evangelical. For now, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that this is what he is doing. If Christianity, as a religion, is ever going to make a meaningful difference in our culture, it has got to get past the extreme polarizations that now mark it and find/make some middle ground. The Emerging Church is doing just that, coming out of mainstream evangelicalism but joining with Jim Wallis and other more "liberal" Christian sects to try to make the teachings of Jesus relevant to our culture and time.

 

The right and the left do need to talk. They seldom do. Each side is too bent on "winning" the title Christian. The right focuses on personal transformation, the left on social. Those in the middle think we need both. Hopefully, Obama will invite Christians of both paradigms to come together to find a new way (or to reclaim an old way). I hope so. The gridlock we have now accomplishes nothing and demonstrates to the world that Christians and Jesus don't often have very much in common.

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I agree with you both that for now I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he's not just pandering to the religious right. At first I was a bit irritated, and sympathized with the gay community's frustration and anger, but then I tried to put myself in the shoes of conservatives. If I was in their place, I think I would really appreciate this gesture. I guess I just have to remember that Obama did promise to be everyone's President - as he should be - and this means he's going to have to reach out in ways that may make me uncomfortable at times. I guess we'll find out!

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  • 4 weeks later...
Perhaps we place too much importance on images and protocol. It would be nice to hear what he has to say at the inauguration before an opinion is struck. Just my 2 cents.

 

Joseph

 

Warren's opinion is already "struck". He and his church made it known during the battle over Prop 8. Simple fact.

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Warren's opinion is already "struck". He and his church made it known during the battle over Prop 8. Simple fact.

 

It seems to me if we continue to use past images of others to measure the present, change and healing will not be a possibility. Just a consideration.

 

Love Joseph

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It seems to me if we continue to use past images of others to measure the present, change and healing will not be a possibility. Just a consideration.

 

Love Joseph

 

Warren's position is as recent as this last election. He and his church poured a large amount of time and money into passing Prop 8. They are not about to reverse themselves anytime soon. I have been to the church, I have heard what is preached. The "present" in this case is what actions he and his church have taken in the last year to impose their will on others. I know the local environment quite well, I live here. Over ten years ago, my church became an "OA" church. The reaction from the local religious community included throwing eggs on cars in the church parking lot. VERY Christian, huh?

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There is a simple observation here that remains oblivious to many. Dialogue requires two parties. In the Warren case, his church would be welcome to present their views in a local progressive church "A". However, the reciprocal response is not likely to happen. The effective tactic is "denial of reciprocity". This is very similar to the tactics used by some to fend off the effects of the civil rights movement of the 1960's. My challenge here is to put Jesus in the middle of the civil rights movement and show me how he would have acted.

Edited by minsocal
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minsocal,

Joe is being awfully civil. He made a prudent comment about waiting to hear from Warren at the inaugural before anyone prematurely makes an opinion about his appearance.

 

Whether, as wayfarer may have alluded, it was merely an astute political move for Obama to seperate himself from previous pastoral associations, which may be arguable, it is a public demonstration of fundamentally being tolerent. Something another post should perhaps learn a lesson from.

 

Unfortunately, the response you had followed up Joe with diverted his comment from our behavior to Warren's.

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minsocal,

Joe is being awfully civil. He made a prudent comment about waiting to hear from Warren at the inaugural before anyone prematurely makes an opinion about his appearance.

 

Whether, as wayfarer may have alluded, it was merely an astute political move for Obama to seperate himself from previous pastoral associations, which may be arguable, it is a public demonstration of fundamentally being tolerent. Something another post should perhaps learn a lesson from.

 

Unfortunately, the response you had followed up Joe with diverted his comment from our behavior to Warren's.

 

To repeat ... I have been to Warren's church. I have heard what is said. YOU HAVE NOT. Do you not comprehend? Why. on any account. should I pay any attention to you ... get off your high horse, davidk. Come here ... attend and listen ... to your "propositions" at work ...

 

My direct question to you is this ... HOW is it you know so much about a a situtation YOU you do not find yourself in? What, exactly, did Jesus say about homosexuality? Give me the EXACT details. ALL of them. Jesus ONLY PLEASE.

Edited by minsocal
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The "ground" of what Jesus taught is just that. It is NOT what Paul taught. It is NOT what any other "church father" taught. It is not what any theologian taught. It is one thing, and one thing only, what Jesus taught. THAT IS CHRISTIAN. If you subscribe to some other thought, please state it in relation to the teachings of Jesus. That opens up the door ... "the in relation to ..."

Edited by minsocal
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minsocal,

Joe is being awfully civil. He made a prudent comment about waiting to hear from Warren at the inaugural before anyone prematurely makes an opinion about his appearance.

 

Whether, as wayfarer may have alluded, it was merely an astute political move for Obama to seperate himself from previous pastoral associations, which may be arguable, it is a public demonstration of fundamentally being tolerent. Something another post should perhaps learn a lesson from.

 

Unfortunately, the response you had followed up Joe with diverted his comment from our behavior to Warren's.

 

Give us your "propositional" determination from God concerneing homosexuality. MAKE IT EXPLICITE, PLEASE.

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davidk,

 

You have already stated that the Bible gives you an inerrant knowledge of God that must be "verbalized". Please provide your innerant "verbalized" answers to the following questions:

 

1. If a gay person loves a member of the same sex, is this love invalid in God's eyes? Is love a matter of gender? In God's view? Tell me, I await your profound wisdom.

 

2. If the lives of millions of people can be saved by stem cell research, should we pursue this research?

 

3. Did Jesus define marriage? Where and how? If not, who defines marriage? Are the children most important? Or your ideology?

 

4. Are women equal with men? If not, why?

 

5. If the poor should suffer in this life, why?

 

I could go on, but if YOU can answer these questions ... PLEASE DO.

 

REMEMBER YOUR CLAIM ... "Christians have no problem with epistemology ... " These questions CANNOT present a problem to you. I await your wisdom. WE AWAIT YOUR WISDOM ...

 

BE WARNED ... I WILL DO EXACTLY AS YOU DICTATE ... WELL, YOU GET THE POINT (OR NOT).

 

minsocal

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Minsocal,

Well, I believe you've made it abundantly clear you have a negative opinion of Mr. Warren and of his stance against homosexual marriage (prop 8).

-

I believe Joe was asking that we should not pre-judge Mr. Warren's inauguration performance in particular. It is also likely that Warren and Obama may have become friends.

-

I'm not claiming any knowledge about Rick Warren in particular or his church.

 

But I do know Jesus said that if you love Him you will keep His commandments and that His commandments were not His but the Father's who sent Him. The particular commandment about adultery seems to come to mind.

--

Inerrant knowledge! You flatter me too much. It is not I with innerant knowledge. I will be brief, since your 5 questions are really more suitable for another thread.

 

1. no no yes

 

2. If by taking the life of another person, no. If a person sacrifices him/herself for others (I don't think adult cells are known to be terminal for the adult); yes.

 

3. The union of a man and a woman is first revealed to man by God when, in Gen 2:25, He provided what is the Judeo-Christian basis for Holy Matrimony (marriage). Nowhere does Jesus contradict this.

 

4. Are men equal with women? I don't need to explain men and women are not the same, do I?

 

5. Should the rich suffer in this life? Why?

---

What is the natural purpose of sex?

 

I would say some forms of homosexuality are not just homosexuality but a philosophic expression. We really should understand this as the real homophile's problem. It is an expression of the denial of absolutes, so the male and the female as complimentary partners are finished. It is of a philosophy that all the order of God's creation must be fought against- including male female distinctions.

----

Well, I wonder if I should I fear for anyone you may know? For if you know anyone they are dead? I don't think you can really believe that knowing anyone will make you them, or could consider them "dead". This doesn't seem to make sense at its most elemental level.

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Minsocal,

Well, I believe you've made it abundantly clear you have a negative opinion of Mr. Warren and of his stance against homosexual marriage (prop 8).

-

I believe Joe was asking that we should not pre-judge Mr. Warren's inauguration performance in particular. It is also likely that Warren and Obama may have become friends.

-

I'm not claiming any knowledge about Rick Warren in particular or his church.

 

But I do know Jesus said that if you love Him you will keep His commandments and that His commandments were not His but the Father's who sent Him. The particular commandment about adultery seems to come to mind.

--

Inerrant knowledge! You flatter me too much. It is not I with innerant knowledge. I will be brief, since your 5 questions are really more suitable for another thread.

 

1. no no yes

 

2. If by taking the life of another person, no. If a person sacrifices him/herself for others (I don't think adult cells are known to be terminal for the adult); yes.

 

3. The union of a man and a woman is first revealed to man by God when, in Gen 2:25, He provided what is the Judeo-Christian basis for Holy Matrimony (marriage). Nowhere does Jesus contradict this.

 

4. Are men equal with women? I don't need to explain men and women are not the same, do I?

 

5. Should the rich suffer in this life? Why?

---

What is the natural purpose of sex?

 

I would say some forms of homosexuality are not just homosexuality but a philosophic expression. We really should understand this as the real homophile's problem. It is an expression of the denial of absolutes, so the male and the female as complimentary partners are finished. It is of a philosophy that all the order of God's creation must be fought against- including male female distinctions.

----

Well, I wonder if I should I fear for anyone you may know? For if you know anyone they are dead? I don't think you can really believe that knowing anyone will make you them, or could consider them "dead". This doesn't seem to make sense at its most elemental level.

 

What is the "natural purpose of sex"? Bonding two people together in an adult intimate relationship. The key words are "adult" and "intimate". Ponder both words. I reject your "homophile's problem" on the grounds that Jesus taught differently. As Maslow said very well ... "to dichotomize is to pathologize." THIS is a Christian principle. It is a principle as close to absolute as we can understand. Jesus had no word for "homosexual" ... the word was invented in 1849. If Jesus did not have a word for "homosexual" or "heterosexual", it would be difficult to generate a "verbal proposition" ...

 

On the other hand, I wonder about the "heterosexual's problem". I am gay, and have never been in a relationship that was (is) not monogamous. I wonder what causes so many of my straight friends to "cheat" on their spouses?

 

Genesis 2:25 "And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed." THAT is the definition of intmacy ... this seems to contradict Paulinistic thinking ... assuming, of course, that all of Paul's letter are authentic.

Edited by minsocal
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What is the "natural purpose of sex"? Bonding two people together in an adult intimate relationship. The key words are "adult" and "intimate". Ponder both words. I reject your "homophile's problem" on the grounds that Jesus taught differently. As Maslow said very well ... "to dichotomize is to pathologize." THIS is a Christian principle. It is a principle as close to absolute as we can understand. Jesus had no word for "homosexual" ... the word was invented in 1849. If Jesus did not have a word for "homosexual" or "heterosexual", it would be difficult to generate a "verbal proposition" ...

 

On the other hand, I wonder about the "heterosexual's problem". I am gay, and have never been in a relationship that was (is) not monogamous. I wonder what causes so many of my straight friends to "cheat" on their spouses?

 

Genesis 2:25 "And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed." THAT is the definition of intmacy ... this seems to contradict Paulinistic thinking ... assuming, of course, that all of Paul's letter are authentic.

Dear minsocal,

 

I guess my answering your burning questions has been relegated to the 'back' burner.

---

The natural purpose of sex is procreation, created with intention to be between a male and a female. Otherwise there would no need for a differentiation between the sexes. If Gen 2:25 defines sexual intimacy, it is explicit in its reference to be solely between a man and women as man and wife.

 

It has never been said being heterosexual makes anyone sinless or without sexual indiscretions.

 

The term homosexual isn't needed to understand what the act is. Other ways of expressing it were used in Scripture such as, "... lies with a male, as those who lie with a woman..."; a verbal proposition nonetheless.

 

Jesus' teaching about marriage consistently emphasizes the permanence of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman. He simply accepted the prevailing Jewish convictions of his day and disapproved of homosexual relationships. In Jewish tradition, homosexuality was not tolerated.

 

At this point I must say that I stand by my saying that some forms of homosexuality are not just homosexuality but a philosophic expression. It is an expression of the denial of absolutes, so the male and the female as complimentary partners are finished. It is of a philosophy that all the order of God's creation must be fought against- including male female distinctions.

 

Dk

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As usual, davidk, you have expressed a point of view that not only is inconsistent with progressive Christianity, but has been systematically rejected over and over again by progressive Christians. You know that.

 

But I do have a few observations nonetheless. First, for humans, the relationship between sex and "procreation" has changed markedly over the last several decades. And I put the latter term in quotes because it can mean enhancing the life of another person, and not only having offspring. In another decade or two, that relationship (between sex and having babies) will be essentially non-existent. What then?

 

And of course Gen 2:25, being a folktale about human origins, created by an ancient Near-Eastern tribe, bears only peripheral relavance.

 

And we have been over the who lies with whom over and over, and again the lack of relevance to the issue has been demonstrated, and again you know that is the case. You also know, or should, that Jesus' teachings do not say anything at all about homosexuality. The concept of sexual orientation only came into existence in the last century or so.

 

And in terms of Jewish "tradition," I seem to recall that Reform Judaism accepts and supports people without regard to sexual orientation. And of course there are all of the groups within both Catholocism and the Protestant denominations that do likewise.

 

Look, I know your point of view on this and on many other issues. In some cases I am willing to simply disagree, but in those cases like LGBT rights, where actions such as California Prop. 8 cause real harm to people, then I must vigourousy protest. Shame on you.

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Dear minsocal,

 

I guess my answering your burning questions has been relegated to the 'back' burner.

---

The natural purpose of sex is procreation, created with intention to be between a male and a female. Otherwise there would no need for a differentiation between the sexes. If Gen 2:25 defines sexual intimacy, it is explicit in its reference to be solely between a man and women as man and wife.

 

It has never been said being heterosexual makes anyone sinless or without sexual indiscretions.

 

The term homosexual isn't needed to understand what the act is. Other ways of expressing it were used in Scripture such as, "... lies with a male, as those who lie with a woman..."; a verbal proposition nonetheless.

 

Jesus' teaching about marriage consistently emphasizes the permanence of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman. He simply accepted the prevailing Jewish convictions of his day and disapproved of homosexual relationships. In Jewish tradition, homosexuality was not tolerated.

 

At this point I must say that I stand by my saying that some forms of homosexuality are not just homosexuality but a philosophic expression. It is an expression of the denial of absolutes, so the male and the female as complimentary partners are finished. It is of a philosophy that all the order of God's creation must be fought against- including male female distinctions.

 

Dk

 

I do not look to you to answer "my burning questions", I look to you to answer the "burning facts". You are a behaviorist. The absolute you deny is "love". The absolute you deny is "care". The same behavior can be motivated by different desires. Jesus did not teach behaviorism. Love, care, compassion are emotional states. They are intrinsic to our nature. In other words, they are the intrinsic intentionality of our nature, the nature you deny. We have moral emotions. We have moral inuitions. Given to us by God. An "act" does not trump the emotion behind it!

Edited by minsocal
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Dear minsocal,

 

I guess my answering your burning questions has been relegated to the 'back' burner.

---

The natural purpose of sex is procreation, created with intention to be between a male and a female. Otherwise there would no need for a differentiation between the sexes. If Gen 2:25 defines sexual intimacy, it is explicit in its reference to be solely between a man and women as man and wife.

 

It has never been said being heterosexual makes anyone sinless or without sexual indiscretions.

 

The term homosexual isn't needed to understand what the act is. Other ways of expressing it were used in Scripture such as, "... lies with a male, as those who lie with a woman..."; a verbal proposition nonetheless.

 

Jesus' teaching about marriage consistently emphasizes the permanence of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman. He simply accepted the prevailing Jewish convictions of his day and disapproved of homosexual relationships. In Jewish tradition, homosexuality was not tolerated.

 

At this point I must say that I stand by my saying that some forms of homosexuality are not just homosexuality but a philosophic expression. It is an expression of the denial of absolutes, so the male and the female as complimentary partners are finished. It is of a philosophy that all the order of God's creation must be fought against- including male female distinctions.

 

Dk

 

Ok. Let's take your limited interpretation ... according to Paul (and not Jesus). Example: "... lies with a male, as those who lie with a woman..."; a verbal proposition nonetheless." That is taken out of context, and you know it. The context is this "in accordance with nature"? or ... "in accordance with one's own nature"? Bluntly stated, if you are straight and sleep with men, that is not "natural", "not your nature". Try it out intellectually and get back to me. Meanwhile, you can clear up a controversy for me. Tell me if the subject of the dialogue is temple prostitution (or not). I await your enlightenment.

Edited by minsocal
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Back on topic: Warren did as was suspected. He cannot be sectarian.

 

He had no business being at the inauguration. It is akin to having a member of the KKK there or any other hate group. I hope Obama makes amends quickly to the LGBT community and those of us who support it. Getting rid of the "Don't ask, don't tell" would be a good start.

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Put another way ... love and care (not doing harm) are transcendent qualities given their ultimate psychological value through the scalar value of emotion. Bluntly stated, I care more for other people than I do my refigerator, even though my refrigerator helps me survive. I care more for other people who suffer "now" than mere procreation, which can over-populate the planet and lead to the extinction of the species. Of course, we could say "let the poor die" in favor of competition for limited resourses. THAT my friends, IS the debate found in the Bible. Life is finite. This planet is finite. WE ARE NOT GOD. But, God left us to deal with the finite! Deal with it!

Edited by minsocal
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I think that George Fox, a central founding fiqure of the Religious Society of Friends, had a good point. When confronted by critical individuals who would start every sentence with 'The Bible says...' or 'Jesus said...' he would respond by asking 'What do YOU say?' It's easy to hide behind scripture or words allegedly spoken by Jesus, but it is much more challenging to search ourselves and ask ourselves very difficult and confrontational questions. Until this is done, a person is simply taking second-hand spiritual material and using it as rocks to be thrown in defense of one's own political agenda. We must search ourselves, find the place where our Inner Life is, and place those 'burning issues' of one's life onto the alter there. Only then will someone have something to say that is genuine and truely comes from the heart.

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I think that George Fox, a central founding fiqure of the Religious Society of Friends, had a good point. When confronted by critical individuals who would start every sentence with 'The Bible says...' or 'Jesus said...' he would respond by asking 'What do YOU say?' It's easy to hide behind scripture or words allegedly spoken by Jesus, but it is much more challenging to search ourselves and ask ourselves very difficult and confrontational questions. Until this is done, a person is simply taking second-hand spiritual material and using it as rocks to be thrown in defense of one's own political agenda. We must search ourselves, find the place where our Inner Life is, and place those 'burning issues' of one's life onto the alter there. Only then will someone have something to say that is genuine and truely comes from the heart.

 

"com" * "passion". Passion is the old term for "e * motion". Action terms. If you think emotions are only "reaction", think again. They are the prototypes of intententionality, or "final cause", "purpose", and "aim". "From the heart" IS emotion.

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