Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Forgot Rick Warren

I know, I know. Some people who sometimes read here probably think that would be a good thing.

Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, California, and the author of "The Purpose Driven Life" spoke to us one morning at General Council. I was not enthusiastic about this. The reason why is not really important.

I need to say that I was wrong. It was a terriffic hour or so and I was encouraged and challenged. This man is different than I expected. He says that about 90% of what is reported in the media about him should be taken with a large grain of salt. I believe that. That's because I've been interviewed numerous times for newspaper articles of one sort or another, both as a minister and in other employment arenas. Ken too. I have yet to find that the reported acurately repeated what I (we) said or did. And I'm not a clebrity anywhere exceot in my own home.

Much of what I assumed about Rick Warren is apparently false. He was down-to-earth and not one bit pompous. Contrary to often repeated media reports, he does not wear Hawaiian shirts. He says he does not own one. He was dressed casually, however, which was fine. He lives on 10% of his income and gives away 90%. He did not move into a larger home when the money from Purpose Driven Life started pouring in. He doesn't wear a Rolex. He says a minister should be know for his or her purpose, not prosperity. (Yes!) His car is ten years old. He is passionate about addressing the AIDS crisis in Africa and elsewhere.

I was prepared to dislike him. Instead he won me over. Do I agree with everything I suspect he believes (or doesn't? I'm sure not. But I had to ask God's forgivness for my attitude. You know, we folks in the "church" really do need to learn to cut one another some slack.

11 comments:

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

That was worth reading!

Anonymous said...

Finally! Someone who checks things out for him/herself. It's about time! It's good to see someone give the truth a chance instead of listening to gossip, rumor and half-truths.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

My pastor, who is definitely not from the Warren end of the spectrum, keeps saying that Warren has changed due to circumstances and growth as a Christian. I read his book and saw his videos at my church when they were popular. I was turned off, as were a number of people whose opinion I value.

I hope we can all be so fortunate as to not be judged by a specific time in our lives.

Terri said...

Rick Warren does wear Hawaiian Shirts, here is a link to a photo of him in one. Be that as it may, he seems to be a master of being whatever he needs to be to whoever he is speaking to. You cannot discount his weak appearances on Larry King, and his weak stand on the gospel, not to mention the people he agrees with.

http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/Rick_Warren.jpg

Ruth said...

While Rick Warren's books (and all the glitzy merchandizing that went with them) annoyed me due to their fluff factor, but I wasn't in a fluffy situation at the time and needed something different. Perhaps these days I'd be more interested in what he has to say. I was very impressed by his behavior with the Presidential debates. I've been impressed by his very Christ-like behavior when dealing with people from various backgrounds. I appreciate someone who seriously takes the words of Paul to heart.

chartreuseova said...

I was never anti-Rick Warren but his books didn't appeal to me. I would have assumed he was much like the "others" (I won't name them, but you know the authors and personalities of which I speak :-)

Then when I started learning many of the same things you mention and seeing his actions, I gained a great deal of respect for him. He seems to reach out to those who disagree with him and asks to work together on the common ground. By doing that he tends to get flak from many who share his beliefs but reject anyone who disagrees.

What is said about how prophets are treated in their own communities?

Kievas said...

I've been impressed with much of what Rick Warren is doing with PEPFAR and other charities, even if I don't always agree with his views.

SingingOwl said...
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SingingOwl said...

Kievas, I am so aware these days that I don't agree totally with...with with anybody! Not sure what that means!

much2ponder said...

So glad I came here to read this morning. I didn't really have an opinion one way or another and since I don't even know what the man looks like I feel I have not spend much time thinking about what he is or is not up to. I did appreciate much of the Purpose Driven Life study we did and have held him in high respect since that time. You are being honest here about your own thoughts and views that takes guts. Thank you for your honesty. I hope a lot of other people read this very inlightning little piece.

Crimson Rambler said...

oh Owl, thank you...for the measured wisdom of your words!