Just like Christmas, Easter provided a reason for Rick Warren to be on national media and completely blow it. First would be pastor Warren’s turn on the issue of same sex marriage. On Larry King Live he stated that he had apologized to all his gay friends for his support of Prop 8. Since when should a pastor have to apologize for simply standing for what the Bible says. That would be when you are pastor a seeker sensitive church that cares more about the approval of mere sinners than you do a holy God. When further pressed on his thoughts on the Iowa Supreme Court legalizing same sex marriage, he said he didn’t want to comment or criticize because it was not part of his agenda. 1 Peter 3:15 says: but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. Pastor Warren was not ready to give a defense because his agenda is a social gospel that doesn’t offend anyone. His agenda should be to stand on all the truths of the bible, not just the easy ones.
If that was all that happened I would not have wrote about it, but then he appeared on the Hugh Hewitt radio program. The host gives him a perfect softball question to answer a few minutes into the program. He was asked what should a person who doesn’t believe do on Holy Week weekend. Perfect opportunity to share the Gospel served up to you pastor Warren. He starts off by saying everyone needs a savior. Not a bad start pastor give more. But then he asks the question ” what is He saving me from?”. Guess what word he doesn’t use in response to the question? If you said SIN, you are correct. He said Jesus saves us from past guilt, present stress, future fears and the expectations of others. That is a big swing and a miss. If he didn’t save us from the wages of our sin, none of the other things even matter. The closet Rick came to talking about sin was to to say Jesus was a sacrifice for all the bad things done in the world.
He then gets asked who Easter Sunday is for. He answers by giving an analogy. He says that he thought strained spinach was good until he had Spaghetti O’s. He then thought Spaghetti O’s were the best until he had an In ‘N Out burger. According to Rick that is what Jesus will do for you. He says you may think you have a good life now, but Jesus will make it better. And I thought Joel Osteen was about having your best life now. I hope you are not from China or a country in the Middle East because you may die for faith in Jesus. Your like on this Earth may get drastically worse. He goes on to tell people who have not been to church, to find a church with a lot of cars in the parking lot. Because that means they are getting through to people. Let me tell you that I would rather sit in a church with 10 people and a pastor who unashamedly preaches the whole Bible, than at Saddleback where the pastor can’t even tell what Easter is all about. A full parking lot doesn’t mean sound teaching. It may mean that ears are being tickled or the pastor is preaching self help to sinners.
To say the least, I have had about enough of Rick Warren. I used to cringe when he started being called America’s pastor. Now I find it kind of fitting. He represents the sad state of the American church quite well. People don’t want to hear about sin, and he is happy not to tell them about it. I am currently praying for God to bring 1 of 2 things to the American church: revival or persecution. I pray that we can get our act together and see a revival, but I am not encouraged that will happen. If not, I hope God brings persecution on the American church. When persecution begins the positive confession, self help, seeker sensitive, social gospel crowd will quickly fall away. The parking lot will go from full to empty, because the emptyness of their words will no longer hold water. Apostacy is not an option when your freedom and life are on the line. You are in or you are out. Nominal christians will be seen as not ever really christians at all. Do we really want our churches full so bad that we would give them the world only to see them lose their soul? The scary thing about pastor Warren is that he is training thousands of pastors to be just like him. Let’s pray that pastor Warren would start seeking the approval of God first.