ABC Nightline profiles Rev. Rick Warren; site calls Christians “minions”

posted at 12:15 am on March 9, 2007 by Bryan

It’s not a bad story overall. Warren explains his ideas, ABC explains the effects, it’s one of the more balanced pieces on a Christian figure I’ve seen in a while. But…”minions?” The most common usage of minion is

a servile follower or subordinate of a person in power

Well that’s not a loaded word at all! Biased much, ABC? Over to you, Mr. Ailes.

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“Purpose Driven Life” is a must read.

Warren gives 90% of what he makes to charity.

Yah, sometimes I think he’s off on things, but overall he’s had an extremely positive effect.

Mojave Mark on March 9, 2007 at 12:48 AM

Bashir was a Nobody until he snagged an interview with Michael Jackson and got Jacko to admit to some of his Lesser Urges & Activities.

First CNN and then ABC pay him Big Bucks to tell Americans ( about whom he knows very little ) what America is all about.

Go figure……..

BTW, I watched it and thought it was a typical ‘hit piece’ by the Slime Media, which is always on alert for anything negative or Possibly Negative about religion, conservatism, etc

Janos Hunyadi on March 9, 2007 at 1:27 AM

While I don’t have much respect for warren with some of his decisions on who he backs which I do not think are indicative of what a christian leader should do that I would follow anyway, it is definitely biased to sit there and call his church members “minions”. How odd of a word choice. I don’t think it was by accident either.

Highrise on March 9, 2007 at 2:14 AM

Amazingly enough, I haven’t read The Purpose-Driven Life myself, but my dad did and liked most of it, and we share similar values. Regarding this segment, I loved what Rick had to say. And it’s clear that the church that went “purpose-driven” was far more successful than it had been before. The ol’ pastor guy who was “uncomfortable” and “didn’t fit in” obviously didn’t grasp a very important truth: church isn’t a country club. Church is a community of faith that storms the gates of hell and brings Heaven to earth and manifests the presence of God’s love and glory right in the heart of the darkness. The purpose of Christians is to GO OUT and literally be Jesus to a hurting world. If the church isn’t doing that, if the church isn’t reaching people and bringing them into God’s family and providing a safe place for their lives to be transformed by the power of Christ, then it’s wasting its time and not fulfilling its divine mandate.

If a pastor is more worried about if hymns are being sung than if the church is radically touching the lives of people outside of its four little walls, then that pastor has completely missed the point of being a pastor. Which is a real shame, IMHO.

Jared White on March 9, 2007 at 2:27 AM

Rick Warren’s conscience has been seared with a hot iron. He never placed any value on the word of God, which is why he wrote his alternative Bible, the PDL.

The purpose of Christians is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The world isn’t hurting, it’s groaning under the weight of the curse. Men aren’t hurting, they’re dead in trespasses and sins. The church needs missionaries and faithful evangelists who preach repentance and faith in Christ. I’ve never seen Warren do that. I’ve seen him tell lost sinners that “God has a purpose for you.” Yeah, the purpose involves hell without the blood of the Lamb. Warren preach purpose, not repentance and Christ crucified. He has a social gospel.

The members of Saddleback are minions. They’ve long ago ceased to be Bereans and blindly follow Warren. The favorite Bible translation at that church is “The Message,” for crying out loud. Like Balaam’s donkey, ABC has preached the truth here.

PRCalDude on March 9, 2007 at 3:31 AM

There is nothing in this video that is not completely true. Even unbelievers can see that the church has abandoned the historic faith in this country. We are ichabod.

PRCalDude on March 9, 2007 at 3:39 AM

I haven’t read PDL, yet here I stand, … er … sit.

I have met minions and sycophants, mostly working in the halls of Congress. I never spent time in the White House, but I imagine there are a few of them there as well.

I do not give 90% of my money to charity, I give about one-third to varioius government agencies whether I voted for their policies or not. Just because I believe in democracy.

Now THAT’S faith.

doufree on March 9, 2007 at 7:43 AM

The Christian church has a thousand years of one of the great musical traditions to draw on. Contemporary Christian pop is awful: a treacly waste. Go back to the old hymns.

packsoldier on March 9, 2007 at 8:51 AM

Contemporary Christian pop is awful: a treacly waste. Go back to the old hymns.

I would agree about much of the pop/radio stuff. But some of the newer worship music, especially some of the stuff written by Matt Redman, David Crowder and Chris Tomlin – is amazing.

Slublog on March 9, 2007 at 9:03 AM

Some good Christian music, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un23uQsn9gQ

EnochCain on March 9, 2007 at 9:04 AM

Some more good Christian music: The Mighty Jeremiahs!

Gottafang on March 9, 2007 at 9:10 AM

PRCalDude on March 9, 2007 at 3:31 AM

dude, stop playing with semantics. Pastor rick is doing a good. This is like telling catholics to conitnue their mass in latin.

Ouabam on March 9, 2007 at 9:19 AM

Like Balaam’s donkey, ABC has preached the truth here.

I’m not sure I completely agree, but just wanted to say that this comparison made me laugh.

Slublog on March 9, 2007 at 9:20 AM

Romans 12:1-2

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world”

CharlestonCritic on March 9, 2007 at 9:21 AM

Well, this “minion” knows her place.

And its at the feet of my Savior, not at the alter of Mammon the MSM or anything else that wafts from that steaming pile of poo we call a television.

seejanemom on March 9, 2007 at 9:37 AM

I saw most of the “piece” the other night. I also have not read PDL, but my father has, and as an older believer, he thought it was a bit non-substantial, but not heretical. I think Warren’s point was to reach people who haven’t been reached, and you can’t assume that everyone will know what you mean when you talk about the substitutionary atonement of Christ, or the total depravity of man. But Warren did say, a couple of times in the interview portion, that he was trying to reach people that “Jesus Christ died for.” THAT is a major difference between him and Osteen, the other preacher he was compared to.

As to the contemporary music….a lot of the old hymns were written to the tunes of bar room songs of their day, to draw in the unreached community and tell them that Jesus died for their sins. How is Contemporary Christian music so very different?

Vanquisher on March 9, 2007 at 10:01 AM

PRCalDude on March 9, 2007 at 3:31 AM

There are just as many Bible verses to support Warren’s worldview as there are yours. Your arrogance and self-righteousness aside, Warren has done more good for the world than you could ever hope to. Get over yourself, nobody is 100% right. I’d like to see you walk up to a naked, starving, AIDS infected child in Africa and tell him he better repent now or he’s going straight to hell. That would be real effective. You need to fulfill his basic needs, gain his trust, and then perhaps you can begin a conversation about salvation. That’s what Warren does and that’s why I respect him.

Hmmm…I wonder who God looks more favorably on, Warren evangelizing in Africa with “The Message” or you launching attacks on him from behind your monitor with your KJV.

JaHerer22 on March 9, 2007 at 10:15 AM

“Minion” seems to be a perfectly accurate word to describe anyone who follows any kind of God. If you believe in something imaginary and it affects the way you live your life, you are a “minion.” Quite obviously.

It’s also an accurate word to describe the relationship most married men have with their wives. Or the relationship I have with alcohol.

Hmmm…I wonder who God looks more favorably on

Call John Edwards, I’m sure he knows.

Enrique on March 9, 2007 at 10:37 AM

I use the term “Muhammad’s Minions” frequently. ;)

Connie on March 9, 2007 at 10:42 AM

Hmmm…I wonder who God looks more favorably on, Warren evangelizing in Africa with “The Message” or you launching attacks on him from behind your monitor with your KJV.

Sorry JaHerer, PRCal has a very valid point. First of all, I have read a PDL. I think it is a great book. However the problem is that the saddlebacks and warren have made this book into a market-driven enterprise. I wouldnt have a problem if it was primarily gospel based. Many churches have modeled themselves with PDL and have lost primary sense in the true word of God. There is a problem when some of saddlebacks missionaries are handing out PDL booklets to people and not the Bible.

I think that Warren is the prime example of preaching the “aww shucks” God. He puts the sinner in a light of a sympathetic victim. That he is a victim of circumstance. That is the problem of churches today. They conceive God, and Jesus as love hippies that when someone sins says “aww shucks, come here I love you anyway”. While God is love personified, God also demands accountability for thier failiures.

I will never try to criticize what is in the mans heart, but I think that Warren has to face is, in the words of Olby “Valid criticism”

JVelez on March 9, 2007 at 11:06 AM

Here we go again, now we get to argue about Warren too. What, will Catholics be next, and then who? Like the old saying goes, “Christians aren’t perfect, but they are forgiven”.

I have never heard Warren preach, I have never read his book. I do know that I have read numerous web sites from both sides of the debate over his book since it came out and became a fad. I’d maybe find his apparent message more comfortable if he didn’t seem to get along so well with those who are more than obviously of “this world”. Christ said that the world will hate us because it hates Him. When the world starts liking you, you had maybe investigate your message to see if it’s actually of the Gospel that the Jesus Christ of the Bible brought mankind?

While acknowledging that sins can grieve the Spirit and quench our fellowship with God, Mr. Warren says that it is not the main reason why God seems distant. We cannot not disagree more with him. Sin is the main reason why God becomes distant from us. As a matter of fact, Isaiah 8:17 was given to the House of Jacob (the Northern Kingdom) reminding them that their sins have resulted in their conquest and exile, and Gods hiding His face from them. David talked about God hiding His face from him in Psalms 51:9, because of his sin with Bathsheba, and the only time God the Father hid His face from God the Son was when Jesus bore our sins on the cross (Matthew 27:46). The sinfulness of sin cannot be underestimated…”

http://www.yutopian.com/religion/theology/purposedrivenlife.html

Walter Rauschenbusch was a Fabian Socialist who stated in 1893 that “the only power that can make socialism succeed, if it is established, is religion….Today in many Protestant as well as Catholic churches, one is more likely to hear a message about the need for “social action” than the need to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in order to be saved and go to heaven. In fact, there is currently one very popular religious figure who began his ministry by surveying people about what they thought should be preached at church, and he holds leadership seminars emphasizing the need for social action and service…

1Co 2:12-14 But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God. Which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in Words taught of the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things. But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Why don’t we ask the world what the church should be and what the church should say?…

http://livingjourney.wordpress.com/2006/11/06/emerging-church-rick-warren-and-the-new-world-order/

NRA4Freedom on March 9, 2007 at 11:10 AM

How about “…….lacky”?

PinkyBigglesworth on March 9, 2007 at 11:50 AM

There are just as many Bible verses to support Warren’s worldview as there are yours. Your arrogance and self-righteousness aside, Warren has done more good for the world than you could ever hope to. Get over yourself, nobody is 100% right. I’d like to see you walk up to a naked, starving, AIDS infected child in Africa and tell him he better repent now or he’s going straight to hell

Men speak well of Warren just as they did the false prophets of Israel. There was nothing arrogant or self-righteous about me explaining what the church has believed for the past 2000 years. I’d like to see you go up to a dying AIDS patient and present him an alternative hope than Jesus. His life is a living hell. Warren offers an eternal one.

If you’d like some actual proof-texting regarding what the Word of God says compared to the word of Warren, here:
http://cicministry.org/berean.php

PRCalDude on March 9, 2007 at 11:56 AM

Amen, NRA.

PRCalDude on March 9, 2007 at 11:58 AM

Basher, I mean Bashir is a muslim. What did anyone expect??

PoliticallyIncorrectSandy on March 9, 2007 at 12:08 PM

Men speak well of Warren just as they did the false prophets of Israel. There was nothing arrogant or self-righteous about me explaining what the church has believed for the past 2000 years.

So, Warren is a false prophet? And everyone at his church is a false believer? Do you think you might be a bit too judgmental here? Who do you actually know at Saddleback?

As for what the Bible actually teaches, what makes you an expert, i.e. where did you study theology?

John on March 9, 2007 at 12:31 PM

I cant question Warren’s heart, only his practices. So for me, I’m hesitant to call him a false prophet.

PRCAL, Im guessing that you are no fan of the MSG translation?

JVelez on March 9, 2007 at 12:33 PM

John,

I am a layperson. I have a valid, Biblical critique of Warren’s faith and practice which are a social gospel and hypocrisy, respectively. Do you remember him praising Bashir Assad this summer? Do you remember his spat with Joseph Farah over the whole incident? Do you remember him lying about it and pulling the YouTube video that shows him praising Assad, a wicked persecutor of Christ’s church?

Go to the link I posted above and start reading.

J,

It’s not even a translation, it’s a paraphrase of a translation. I can’t judge his heart either, but as our Lord says in Matthew 7: “By their fruits, you will know them.”

PRCalDude on March 9, 2007 at 12:39 PM

Yeah Im not a MSG fan at all. This might be a dumb question but is NASB something new?

JVelez on March 9, 2007 at 12:42 PM

NASB is a great translation. James White is one of the translators.

PRCalDude on March 9, 2007 at 12:48 PM

And by the way, John, I’m from Huntington Beach. A native Californian. I’ve seen plenty of the fruits of Saddleback and the entire PD movement.

PRCalDude on March 9, 2007 at 12:54 PM

Saddleback Church and Rick Warren are the epitome of not only Christianity Lite, but symbolic of what happens when a Church gets far too big to adequately tend the flock.

If anything, the ABC story fails miserably in its effort to adequately address this reality.

Saddleback can be defined as a Seeker-Sensitive Church with a Politically Correct manifesto. Don’t highlight any significant differences between Men and Women and their respective roles in marriage, especially the women’s role; never mention the word Hell, except in Hello…

Please do not misunderstand me here, the precepts that Rick Warren eloquently state in his book “A Purpose Driven Church” are fundamentally sound and work quite successfully for a normal sized church. However, they fail completely with a Mega-Church. Imagine a Church where none of the pastoral staff knows who you are! Imagine a pastoral staff that won;t perform weddings, funerals, or visit the sick in the hospital; unless, of course, you are one of the BIG donors!

Oxybeles on March 9, 2007 at 1:16 PM

PRCalDude,

I have a valid, Biblical critique of Warren’s faith and practice which are a social gospel and hypocrisy, respectively.

For the record, I agree that it was foolish of Warren to kiss up to Assad, though I see it as an issue of him being naive, not that he was intentionally looking to cause harm.

I also agree that it’s perfectly valid to critique Warren’s statements and practice. But when you label him a “false prophet” and announce that the people at his church really are “minions” and not Christians, I think you’ve crossed a line that’s simply not defensible.

BTW, where do you go to church in HB? I’m curious because I live in HB as well and, in fact, work for a church here.

John on March 9, 2007 at 1:36 PM

John,

I don’t live there any more. I live in Torrance.

What does Matthew 7 say about false prophets? “By your fruits, you will know them”! His minions are the other pushers of his ideology, not necessarily his parishioners. Warren “blamed” other Christians for splitting churches over the PD movement in the video posted here. He does the very thing you’re blaming me for here! Could it be that the true saints in these churches sense the error, and don’t want to go along with it? Hear what the Spirit says to the churches, for crying out loud.

If he wasn’t looking to cause harm this summer, why did he circulate a message to his church basically accusing his critics of being divisive rather than just apologize, especially when they caught him lying? The state department warned him beforehand that he would be made into a propaganda tool by the Assad regime, and that’s exactly what happened.

PRCalDude on March 9, 2007 at 1:49 PM

How did a best-selling pastor alienate his minions?

They had to use minions because “godbags” was already taken….

Mallard T. Drake on March 9, 2007 at 2:10 PM

Warren “blamed” other Christians for splitting churches over the PD movement in the video posted here. He does the very thing you’re blaming me for here! Could it be that the true saints in these churches sense the error, and don’t want to go along with it?

I also blamed other Christians for splitting churches over the PD movement. If you look back at that WSJ story cited by Nightline, it’s pretty clear that a divisive group within the church decided to take on the pastor. They met secretly and stabbed him in the back publicly before ever going to meet with him.

The retired pastor in this Nightline story left because the music made him uncomfortable. Fine, but don’t assume that makes him “more spiritual” or a “true saint.” In my view it makes him immature. Show me where the Bible mandates a particular style of worship and I’ll concede the argument.

Do you recall David’s dance? How about Psalm 149? There is nothing wrong with drums and electric guitars in church worship. There is nothing wrong with topical preaching either. That is, after all, how Jesus did it.

John on March 9, 2007 at 2:15 PM

John,

The worship style is a symptom, not the problem. I read the entire WSJ article and came out with a much different understanding than you did. I understood that the member’s issues were being ignored by the pastor and elders, and that they were forced out. I’ve talked to several other Purpose Driven refugees who’ve had the same thing happen to them. If you want to understand how worship is supposed to be, read RC Sproul’s new book: http://www.amazon.com/Taste-Heaven-Worship-Light-Eternity/dp/1567690769/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-0012528-6182549?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173468361&sr=8-1

Here’s my favorite excerpt from the WSJ article:

During a session titled “Dealing with Opposition,” Mr. Clyde recommended that the pastor speak to critical members, then help them leave if they don’t stop objecting. Then when those congregants join a new church, Mr. Clyde instructed, pastors should call their new minister and suggest that the congregants be barred from any leadership role.

Incidentally, have you read Bob DeWaay’s critique of the Purpose Driven Life that I posted earlier?

PRCalDude on March 9, 2007 at 2:30 PM

If you want to understand how worship is supposed to be, read RC Sproul’s new book:

Is the book “how” worship is supposed to be, or “what” it is supposed to be. I recently read an excerpt from the book and Sproul seems more focused on what worship should be, not how it should be practiced. I may pick up a copy to see.

Slublog on March 9, 2007 at 3:32 PM

PRCalDude on March 9, 2007 at 2:30 PM

I remember when narrow minded people would (and still do) critizise Rev. Shuller, how weak biblicaly he was. Usually from people who went to his church and then moved on to find “stronger” biblical teaching. He filled other churches with people who had left the church and returned because of his “easy” services. Ask any congregation in Orange County and you will find many who started at the Crystal Catherdral. Now Warren is bring droves of people back to the church, these are not mindless people. They may not worship how you want them to worship, but they are back in church. If you believe in the Holy Spirit, than you will know that they will be called. If you have doubts of your prayers, or of the power of the Holy Spirit to lead these people to better understanding, than you may be the one weak in spirit. Living (and worshipping) over 50 years in Orange County has taught me one thing, it is a great area for Church growth and innovation. Schuller, Warren, Smith, Swindoll, and others, have led millions of people back to church. Now, PRCalDude, you have an opportunity to lead them further down the path of righteousness. If you have faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit, than he will give you the gifts to lead these people out of the wilderness. Or is your lot in life to cast stones? Men of faith, do not attack other men of faith…and churches may not be led by men that you feel are faithful, but there are many followers that carry more faith and belief than you give them credit. How lucky you are to know that the “minions” are so unfaithful, obviously you feel God has blessed you a very special gift…use it for the good.

right2bright on March 9, 2007 at 3:44 PM

right2bright,

You’ve written much, and I’m not quite sure how to address it. Schuler preaches a different God entirely. Warren is one of his acolytes.

Historically, men were brought back to church from sound preaching of the word, which is also part of worship. Preaching is part of worship. The historical revivals have always been accompanied by that. The Reformation itself was a return to the Bible. Now, we’ve tried to appeal to the lusts of men to bring them to church rather than faithful preaching. We are in every bit of need of a Reformation in this country as the church was 500 years ago.

Church is not for unbelievers. Incidentally, men are converted through preaching, but Sunday morning is the time for the covenant people of God to gather together and participate by faith in the Sabbath rest God instituted after the six days of Creation. God is the one who seeks men, and he causes them to respond through faith the the preaching of the Word. We don’t even know what preaching is supposed to sound like in this country anymore.

PRCalDude on March 9, 2007 at 4:49 PM

I love it when someone mentions studying theology. Where did the apostle Peter study theology? How about the apostle John? Please tell me. Where did the apostle Paul go to seminary school? When I hear someone ask where another person studied theology it makes me cringe. It is an invalid point to make in any discussion of the gospel.

calirighty on March 9, 2007 at 5:04 PM

My comments here are directed to Bryan and anyone else who understood Bryan’s original post. I don’t want to continue the theological debate treated so thoroughly above. After all, this is a political blog, not a seminary.

Bryan’s post was about the mainstream media’s bias against a famous Christian figure. It wasn’t about Warren’s theological bona fides.

When I see fellow conservatives form a circular firing squad, each armed with his own set of bible quotes (from his own “approved” translation), I get depressed over the whole social-con political project. We constantly blur the line between what it means to be an American, and what it means to be a Christian. Even down here in the deep red states, there is a difference between the two.

As conservative Americans, our opponents in the political sphere are secular liberals who would like to supress all expresson of religion. They pursue this agenda in the courts, media, and academic institutions. Our opponents in the international arena are totalitarian fanatics who would like to violently supress all religious expression not approved by their cult.

Rick Warren is assuredly not the enemy here. He is an ally in the domestic culture wars. ABC’s bias in chosing the word “minion” affects us all, regardless of where Warren stands in your theological view.

Please save the bible verses for Sunday morning. Throwing them around a political blog just gives trolls from Kos and DU entertaining posts to link to.

Anton on March 9, 2007 at 5:26 PM

PRCalDude, I think your idea of what “real” preaching is or what “real” worship is or what “real” churches are like is really just your opinion and bears little resemblance to anything in the Gospel message. For instance, James says that pure, undefiled religion is helping widows and orphans. Helping the poor and the afflicted is a central theme in the Bible. I see nothing wrong with Rick Warren placing a big emphasis on such important work.

I don’t believe in scaring people out of hell. I believe in loving people into Heaven. That’s what Jesus and the apostles did. Most people know they’ve done bad things in their life — sinned — but that’s not enough to make them accept Jesus by default. They need to experience Jesus’ love and the power of the Holy Spirit — which will convict people of sin and bring them to repentance. In other words, that’s God’s job, not ours. There’s plenty of fire and brimstone preaching going around, and a lot of people are fed up with it. Thank God for churches that feel that helping married people strengthen their relationships using Biblical principles is a wee bit more important than rambling on and on about damnation.

Jared White on March 9, 2007 at 7:16 PM

Contemporary Christian pop is awful: a treacly waste. Go back to the old hymns.

I’m sure they were saying this in the year 400 A.D. as well. I’m pushing 50 and I play keyboards for a 5,000 plus member church. We have to remember that there’s NO SUCH THING as Christian music. Just Christian lyrics. A “C” chord is a “C” chord and musical style is irrelevant to the theory that constructs that particular grouping of notes. I’m constantly stretched musically by playing contemporary styles that would not be my first choice. I have grown to love the new music though and will continue to play as long as the Lord keeps my fingers going.

I think some of you guys are being awfully harsh on RW. In the end we all follow Christ not any particular human being. In-house debate about archane details of the church is better suited for non-political blogsites.

Mojave Mark on March 10, 2007 at 12:24 AM

Don’t look now, but me thinks that there may be some zealots hanging out here at HotAir that could benefit from the purchase of a few SoothSayer offsets.

(What the matter? Can’t you take a joke? Blame it on ACS.)

CyberCipher on March 10, 2007 at 1:47 PM