Thursday, November 30, 2006


I guess I caused quite a stink yesterday when I joined other Christian leaders in challenging Saddleback Valley Community Church pastor Rick Warren's speaking invitation to Sen. Barack Obama.

I will make perfectly clear that I do not object to Pastor Warren's admirable attempt to bring disparate voices to the table to ameliorate worldwide suffering from HIV/AIDS. I do applaud his ministry efforts and pray for his success. What I object to is his selection of Sen. Obama.

The problem here is Pastor Warren's political naivety. I've been on Capitol Hill for 13 years. There is no doubt in my mind that this is simply about Barack Obama getting a photo of himself in the pulpit of one of the largest, best known and widely acclaimed EVANGELICAL pulpits in the country.

Notwithstanding Pastor Warren's response to my call for a public statement distancing himself from the Senator's policies on abortion, there is little he can do now to stop the above from happening. As long as Barack Obama appears in Rick Warren's pulpit, the majority of the public will only know that "Barack Obama spoke at Rick Warren's church." In the average person's mind, that equates to "Rick Warren endorses Barack Obama."

In view of Rick Warren's burden for reducing childhood deaths do to disease, poverty and war, many of us who support these efforts are perplexed about why he can't see that Barack Obama's abortion policies result in the largest numbers of child deaths in the world!

I appreciate Pastor Warren's response to our call for clarification, and I continue to be prayerfully enthusiastic about his highly effective evangelistic and Christian humanitarian endeavors. But I maintain that he is being deliberately exploited and will only cause confusion in the Body of Christ should he proceed with the Senator's invitation.

By the way, for those who think rescinding such an invitation is mean-spirited, let me assure you Sen. Obama can take it. National politics is a brutal sport and those who survive and make it to the top have very thick skin. There are plenty of people Obama won't be photographed with or even be seen with in this town. He dishes it out; he can certainly take it. It goes with the job.

As for me. I am praying that Rick Warren will do the right thing and that Sen. Obama's heart and mind will be changed on abortion as his heart is changed by Christ.

No comments: