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Rick Warren® on Larry King, Part 1

I wasn’t going to comment on this. I have had it up to my eyeballs with talk about Rick Warren. I know he’s a disgrace to the name of Christ, and everyone with any discernment at all knows it. Those who are blind to that fact are generally unwilling to open their eyes, so it is really futile to discuss it. Besides, Loki has linked to many excellent articles on the subject under 2Corinthians 10:4-5 in the left sidebar.

I wasn’t going to comment on Rick Warren’s recent appearance on Larry King. I wasn’t going to, but I can’t help it. Warren avoided every possible opportunity to present the Gospel, and at the same time pushed a false gospel of liberal activism, spouting the fictional rhetoric we have come to associate with the likes of Jesse Jackson.

Let’s take it line-by-line. We’ll condense it a bit, for brevity’s sake, and just hit the high (or low) points. Here is a link to the full interview. We won’t cover the entire interview in one post, as that would be quite long.

KING: And I got a picture of you and Wynona Judd and Wynona looks like she ain't too happy.

WARREN: She's saying keep your day job Rick.

KING: What was this about?

WARREN: It was a concert for World AIDS Day. We had about a dozen bands and Wynona was the closing act and she brought me out on stage to sing a song with her. We were doing a duet on the U2 song "All in the Name of Love." It was a little out of my range and she was clearly showing it there.

I know, many are thinking, “What’s wrong with that?” Well, I hardly know what to say. If you are asking, “What is wrong with a man whose is presumably called to be a shepherd of the Church of Jesus Christ, to dedicate his life to the study and teaching of God's Word, standing on a stage and singing with Wynonna Judd,” I really don’t know what to say. I suppose this is more of the “authentic” dialogue with the world that is so esteemed among the EC crowd. Back when we were less sophisticated than today, we used quaint words like “worldly.” I still use that word, and I’m using it here.

But the song has “a good message!” you say. Right. It is another song of vague references, the clearest of them referring to Martin Luther King. The message is “Free at last, they took your life / They could not take your pride.” That is not a Christian message at all. I’m not a great admirer of M.L.K., but there are things he can be praised for. If I wanted to praise him, or anyone, I would not choose something like pride, which the Bible warns us, “goes before a fall.”

KING: Did you lose your voice?

WARREN: A little bit. I've been -- we've had a three-day conference, Larry, on what the church can do about HIV AIDS and for the last two, three days we were -- we had about 2,000 leaders from around the world, 17 countries and about 38 states.

And, they came in and my wife Kay (ph) and I did this conference for three days. We actually had about 60 speakers, some of the doctors who discovered AIDS, kind of the who's who of authorities on that.

KING: In the past, Rick, you will admit the evangelicals and a lot in the church didn't look at AIDS.

WARREN: Oh, yes.

KING: Didn't deal with it and in fact called it God's revenge against gays.

WARREN: Yes, yes. Well, you know, they were wrong and we were wrong to be quiet. I never called it that but we were wrong to not speak up. The fact is AIDS is not a gay plague. AIDS is a human plague and it involves -- actually more women have AIDS than men do. You know the face of AIDS in America is usually a white, gay guy but the face of AIDS around the world is a black or brown woman and, to me...

Yes, Rick, AIDS is a “gay plague.” It started among homosexuals, and spread from there among sexually promiscuous people. Homosexual men are still the highest risk group. Whether AIDS is “God's revenge against gays” is beyond our knowledge, but we should not rule it out. Read Romans 1:22-27. O, right, I forgot. Rick likes The Message, in which this:

… and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

looks like this:

… And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it--emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

KING: And most in Africa.

WARREN: Mostly in Africa. To me it really doesn't matter. The question isn't how did you get it? It's what do you do now? I mean if I'm driving down the street one day on the freeway and I see somebody laying on the side of the road bleeding to death and I go over to them, my first question is, was this your fault? No, I just help the guy, OK. If I go into the hospital with a cardiac, coronary, I don't want the doctor coming up saying, oh, been eating too many Krispy Kremes?

KING: Well, wouldn't you admit though that that's one of the things that turned a lot of people against the church?

WARREN: Oh, I think you're right.

Don’t confront the sin that has caused my problems, just fix my problems. Next he is going to say that that is what Jesus would have done.

WARREN: …People don't realize this. There are 2.1 billion people who claim to be Christians. That's one out of three people. If you were to mobilize just half of those people, a billion to do humanitarian things like care for the sick and assist the poor and educate the next generation...

KING: Something Christ would have done.

WARREN: Exactly. You know do what Jesus would do. Do what he would do.

KING: But how do you -- the late Harry Golden said that if Christ did come back the one thing he wouldn't be is a Christian. You will admit that the church has failed.

WARREN: Absolutely.

KING: And, segregation how could it have supported segregation?

WARREN: You know, in fact, I've actually used that analogy, Larry, in that if the church doesn't speak up right now about HIV AIDS and care for people who are sick, Jesus spent one third of his ministry caring for sick people, OK, so he didn't just care about their spirit. He cared about their body. And, it said he did preaching, teaching and healing.

If we don't speak up about this greatest pandemic in the history of mankind, I mean 40 million people have AIDS right now, 14,000 get infected every day, then I think we will look back on the church 100 years from today the way we look back on the church that allowed slavery and say what were they thinking?

See? I told you so. First, how about this assertion: slavery and segregation are the same as AIDS. Warren is either saying that slavery and segregation are things that their victims brought on themselves, or that AIDS is not. I think we have already addressed that red herring.

Second, the business of the Church is to preach the Gospel, something that never crosses Warren’s lips in this interview, although several golden opportunities are presented. I am not saying that charity is not required of Christians. It clearly is; but throughout this interview, Warren shows absolutely no concern for lost souls on their way to eternal torment in Hell, and focuses entirely on their temporal condition.

Third, “Jesus spent one third of his ministry caring for sick people.” I guess he pulled that “fact” out of the same bag as this one: “Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes, he took forty days.” [PDL, p. 9]

KING: You took an HIV test?

WARREN: I did.

KING: And your wife?

WARREN: I did. Yes, she has. She didn't take one yesterday but she's already taken one and I did it publicly because one of the things I wanted to do is remove the stigma. I think as long as -- half of the people who have AIDS in America don't even know it statistically. So, you're in denial if you don't know your status and even taking a test is shown to proven that it actually helps us to be more health wise.

I guess I am in denial. I have not taken an HIV test, and have no plans to do so. I will not hesitate to say that if you are sexually promiscuous, you should worry. I am not worried. My wife and I are both monogamous, so unless I receive a blood transfusion from someone who is not, I am safe. Call me naïve.

Warren has fallen into the PC fallacy that everyone is equally at risk, and that homosexuals are not at all to blame for this epidemic. When he talks about removing the stigma, what that really means is the stigma of sodomy. Let’s not make homosexuals feel stigmatized by their sodomy.

KING: …Have you been in contact with the alleged courthouse shooter, Brian Nichols?

WARREN: I've tried multiple times to get through to him and I think they're kind of embargoing me or other people until it goes to trial because anything that he would tell me might be able to be -- I could be subpoenaed and while I've tried I haven't been able to get through to him.

KING: How do you feel about being mentioned in other crime cases, the case in Aruba? ...Scott Peterson.
...How does that make you feel, queasy (INAUDIBLE)?

WARREN: Well, no, you know, I've thought a lot about it and I think in every case people were looking for hope. They're looking for hope and when Amber Frey gave this copy to, you know, to Scott Peterson and she had written in it, you know, "Purpose-Driven Life, you need to read this. It will help you out." And when in the Aruba case and in Ashley Smith's case, in all three instances, people are looking for hope and this is a book about hope.

KING: Yes, it is.


Way to go, Rick! Give God the glory! Redirect the praise from yourself to God! O, he didn’t? Oops.

KING: Look at the world. I could make a case for not having hope.


KING: Strong case for pessimism.

WARREN: Well, you could make a -- you could make a strong case for fear too. When you think about all that's happened this year, think about, you know, the tsunami and Katrina and terrorism and the war in Iraq and the economy developing pretty good but it didn't for a long time, so there's a lot of fear I think in the world.

I think, you know, this is Christmastime. It's interesting that the angels came and they said, "Fear not." The very first thing they said was "Fear not." Don't be afraid.

KING: That's a smart thing to say to people.

WARREN: Well, yes, you know, if an angel appeared to me they'd need to say it to me too. It would probably scare me to death. But it's fear that enslaves us. I say fear, F-E-A-R, is False Evidence Appearing Real.

Whoa, dude, too deep for me! That reminds me of the time, several years ago, that Gary Busey was on The 700 Club (I think) and was spouting acronyms rapid-fire all over the studio. I believe he used all twenty-six letters of the alphabet several times over without once making sense. My favorite was FAITH: Fantastic Adventures In His Truth. Gary must have learned to spell in public schools.

Back on point, Warren said “I say fear, F-E-A-R, is False Evidence Appearing Real.” Does that even come close to a Biblical definition? How about a dictionary definition? Not by a long shot; but it makes good rhetoric for the typical television viewer.

In the coming days, we’ll dissect the rest of the interview, eventually getting to The Meaning of Christmas, according to Rick Warren.

2005-12-20 at 7:30 PM MT | |

Blogger William Dicks sayth,

I read the transcript of this interview and I must say that I am appalled that Warren can say so much, yet so little and he did not even have the courage to stand for anything substantial, never mind standing for the gospel!

12/21/2005 3:52 AM  
Anonymous Davey sayth,

I watched that interview and remembered thinking what I always think. That some people are masters at blending good things with bad. When he got to the part about F.E.A.R I think my eyes rolled back into my head.

Probably because I thought about this:

Ps 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.

Ex 20:20 And Moses said to the people, "Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin."

Fear of the world: bad
Fead of God: good

The difference wasn't specified. As usual.

12/21/2005 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Davey sayth,

To the blog I go
Say "Fead" why? I do not know
So back to the blog I'm here
If I could spell, it would say "fear"

12/21/2005 12:11 PM  
Blogger Jeremy Weaver sayth,

I just skimmed this post. Does Rick Warren have AIDS?

12/23/2005 5:55 AM  
Anonymous Pet Campbell sayth,

I have to wonder if people forget that they are accountable..

shudder...total disgust..

Luke 12:48 "but he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more".
Hebrews 4:12

"For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart."

12/23/2005 7:05 AM  
Blogger ThirstyDavid sayth,

Dox, that's a good question. He never did say what the test results were, did he? He must have thought he was at risk, why else would he take the test?

12/23/2005 8:00 AM  
Blogger ThirstyDavid sayth,

Pet, you're absolutely right. We have a responsibility before God, and that is what is most disappointing about this.

12/23/2005 8:07 AM  
Blogger David sayth,

If AIDs is a plague of god on those he despises, that means that Lesbians are god's chosen people right? After all, they have the lowest rate of HIV infection of all groups

12/23/2005 7:09 PM  
Blogger ThirstyDavid sayth,

Did someone here say AIDs is a plague of God on those he despises? Did anyone say God despises homosexuals?

12/23/2005 7:17 PM