Friday, December 26, 2008

Tolerance Above All

I don’t know why all the recent outrage and irritation from conservative Christians about Rick Warren’s compromised or conflicted position about homosexuality. It should come as no surprise. In fact it should be expected; his waffling and tap dancing is the natural result of his signature brand of man-centered, market driven church growth plans.

I've said it before and I will reiterate; there is a real danger and a compelling tendency for all ministries to lose sight of their God-centered purposes and succumb to the seduction of pragmatic marketing techniques. Think about it. The people (members) will exert pressure to meet their “needs” which is usually nothing more than their wants or preferences. Staff will respond by providing the necessary stimuli in the forms of target-marketed programs or activities designed to retain them and attract more. More programs require more staff, resources, and money and so the sustenance becomes the objective. If the people are not satisfied; it the giving or attendance drops, budgets will be cut, programs will be ended, and staff will be laid off. That is the reality of marketing. Grow or die. Pragmatism in church leadership will always result in the downgrading of your doctrine.

On the other hand, God has provided a very different growth plan. He insists that pastors faithfully preach the Word, teach sound doctrine, and pray and leave the increase up to Him.

Nobody really cared much about Rick Warren’s church membership policy regarding homosexuality until Obama asked him to deliver the inaugural prayer. Now it is a major, divisive issue with most of the heterophobic population. So what did Rick Warren do about it? He removed his policy statement from the website of the Saddleback Church.

Well, that action is understandable and consistent. This is the same Rick Warren who said about Christian fundamentalists, they have a "very narrow and legalistic view of Christianity." So, given the fact that he admittedly holds to a less-than-authoritative view of Scripture, one of his latest statements should come as no surprise at all. In an attempt to show himself tolerant he said, “You don’t have to see eye to eye in order to walk hand in hand.”

I guess Mr. Warren knows better than that narrow, archaic book we call the Bible:

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,’ saith the Lord, ‘and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters,’ saith the Lord Almighty.” II Cor. 6:14-18

5 comments:

Stan McCullars said...

Wow! Just wow!

Daisy said...

What I found interesting about the whole thing..

1. The G&L movement has shown it's true colors. Forget tolerance. It won't be happy until their beliefs are fully embraced by one and all. I'm amazed at what they have gotten away with since the passage of Prop 8.

2. Why were so many Christians surprised by this? Warren is an opportunist. He is doing right by his PR team. No surprise there.

3. It's kinda sad that with all of Warren's attempts to bridge this great divide between the church & the world's culture, he really isn't liked by anyone. Can't expect to be liked for long when you are a spineless jellyfish.

Ralph M. Petersen-Always Right; Sometimes Wrong! said...

Right on, Daisy.

Have you noticed that Obama is just as comfortable with Rick Warren as he is with Rev. Wright? This new mutual admiration between Obama, the Savior of the World & Warren, the World's Pastor, poses brand new, interesting possibilities for the identities of the antichrist and the false prophet.

Stan McCullars said...

They (gays and lesbians) want to force their religious* beliefs on everyone else. That's odd since that's what they charge us of doing. It seems like they're hypocrites.

*I say religious because they worship the creature rather than the creator.

Ron Livesay said...

Books such as "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," "The Prayer of Jabez," "The Purpose Driven Life," "The Purpose Driven Church," and now "The Shack," are all examples of pragmatism over truth, personal opinion over the Word of God, and human desires and feelings over the sovereign nature of God.

We must always beware when any man-made book or concept becomes so popular so quickly with so many people, because such popularity generally indicates an appeal to the old nature and ego of man. Such things can sound good on the surface, but they generally tend to be heretical, blasphemous, vile, subversive, and evil. They lead to the kind of unbiblical compromise to which you refer.