Thursday, September 7, 2017


Does anyone remember, in 2008, when Pastor Rick Warren compromised his position about homosexuality.? I don’t know why so many of his swooning, conservative Christian fans suddenly feigned outrage and irritation. It should come as no surprise. In fact it was predictable; his waffling and tap dancing was 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 like them). More programs require more staff, resources, and money and so the sustenance becomes the objective.   When one fad or gimmick fails, you have to find a new one to stay alive.

And if you don't, the people will become dissatisfied.  When the giving and attendance drops, budgets will be cut, programs will be ended, and staff will be laid off.  That is the reality of marketing.  It is Grow or Die.  Pragmatism in church leadership will always result in the downgrading of 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. Then it became 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 his Saddleback Church.

Well, that action was understandable and consistent. That was 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 other 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