Contact: Bill Keller, LivePrayer.com, 727-420-7005
OPINION, Aug. 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following opinion article is submitted by Bill Keller founder of LivePrayer.com:
"For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." (1Corinthians 1:21)
Pastor Rick Warren played softball with Senators Barack Obama and John McCain this past Saturday evening during his Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion." The event was widely promoted as a Warren/Saddleback event, however, it was originated and co-sponsored by the liberal social justice group Faith in Public Life, whose board president, Meg Riley, is a Unitarian Universalism minister who previously ran the denomination's homosexual advocacy office. The group's board members include other theological liberals, among them a pro-abortion Muslim leader and a Jewish rabbi, all who were active in helping Warren shape his questions.
Most disappointing is the fact that Warren, who says his goal is to win souls to Jesus Christ, never once stated that the only way to be saved is through faith in Jesus Christ. This seems a curious omission for a Christian whose televised forum was viewed around the world on several cable news networks to millions of souls. How could anyone who is interested in saving souls pass up such an opportunity to state his intention? Of course, we see it all the time with high profile Christians such as Warren, Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, and others, who go into the secular media and refuse to use the opportunities open to them to tell people how they can be saved. I guess telling people the truth about dying and going to hell isn't good for their business model.
As I predicted, Warren held neither candidate accountable for his personal beliefs, the supposed reason for this circus. Many people thought Warren did an outstanding job, which only goes to show how low our expectations are of a man who had the opportunity to bring out each of these men's heartfelt beliefs. Of course, neither Obama nor McCain would have agreed to such a high profile meeting if they thought they'd have had to answer any real questions. Their campaign slogans boast one hundred percent confidence in having Warren play his role, and allowing them to use this opportunity to pursue their personal political agendas without being pressed on the issues this was supposed to be about. Throughout the program I kept thinking of the verse, a friend of the world is an enemy of God, and that Warren was clearly a friend of the world.
Of course Warren asked the obligatory questions on abortion and gay marriage. However, it seemed as though he was very uncomfortable dealing with both of these issues, and rather than pose telling follow-up questions, he quickly moved on to other subjects. After he allowed Obama to give his standard responses that he hates abortion and wants to limit the number of abortions, Warren refused to ask the obvious question: "How can anyone claim to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, support the slaughter of innocent babies?" If Senator Obama wants to reduce the number of abortions, why doesn't he simply stop supporting the practice of legalized infanticide? This is not a complicated issue as Obama claims; you either are for life or you are not. Obama is clearly not, regardless how he tries to justify his actions.
As for Senator McCain, since he does have a pro-life voting record, Warren ought to have pressed him for a commitment to not only work to overturn Roe vs. Wade, but to immediately sign an Executive Order stopping all federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood. Many Christians believe McCain is unwilling to champion the key spiritual issues that plague our nation, and point out that Warren made no attempt to try to determine how committed McCain would be to dealing with these critical issues. Like Obama, McCain claims to be a Christian. While he has not made his personal faith an issue in his campaign as Obama has, Warren simply took him at face value without asking a single pointed question to determine whether or not McCain had ever personally committed his heart and life by pledging his faith to Christ.
In the end we learned nothing new about either of these men or their faith. Warren refused to use the opportunity to share with the millions watching that there is only one truth, the Bible, and only one way to be saved, by faith in Jesus Christ. I guess this would have been asking too much from a man who envisions himself as the nation's pastor. Warren's fame, of course, didn't come from saving souls or taking a stand for the truth of the Word. He is actually well known for compromising in order to achieve what he refers to as the greater good. His fame comes from being the author of The Purpose Driven Life, a book that has sold over twenty million copies, largely due to the fact that tens of thousands of churches use it as a study instead of the Bible, and congregations are expected to buy the book in order to follow along. A pretty clever marketing strategy.
The reality is, when studying The Purpose Driven Life, people are expected to leave their Bibles at home, and rely on the passages Warren gives you. A closer check of Warren's selections reveals that the passages come from numerous versions of the Bible, each one carefully picked to give the passage a specific meaning, even though it may have been used out of context. The Purpose Driven Life has caused many churches to split, while bringing a watered down mentality into those that have followed Warren's guidance. Understanding the entire The Purpose Driven Life mentality helps to explain why the event last Saturday evening became what it was: two men using the opportunity to further their political careers, and one man using the event to further his global agenda.
Rick Warren has illustrated that he has no problem getting into bed with people who follow false religions, cults, and New Age beliefs in order to advance his global social agenda. Warren always plays the humble one, and constantly downplays money. But make no mistake about it: Warren's global peace plan is about money...and lots of it. He recently bragged about helping to secure a $300 million deal. Warren is all about ingratiating himself with people of great wealth and power regardless their personal beliefs. He is about achieving power, worldwide power. The spiritual freefall this nation is in is due to Christian leaders like Warren who are more interested in their plan than in God's; in their words over God's Word; and in amassing warm bodies rather than saving souls.
What is the message for you today? Simply this: Don't compromise the truth of the Bible or the preaching of the gospel! There are no truer words or greater messages. Men can come up with clever ways to do church, but unless what they are doing is based on the truth of the scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is a meaningless exercise no matter how successful it may seem from a worldly perspective.
Several things are for certain after witnessing last Saturday evening's event at Saddleback. Obama is not a Christian despite his claims to the contrary. Whether or not McCain has been saved is still an unknown. It is clear that neither man will be a friend of God if elected president. Rick Warren is the leading figure in the nation of a dangerous group...a group I have warned you about called the religious left.
The reason this nation is spiritually bankrupt is because the truth of the Bible has been compromised and the gospel has been watered down. High profile Christian leaders have become who they are because they are wise business people, smart marketeers, and are clever at manipulating the masses; they did not get where they are because they have a passion for saving souls and leading this nation back to God and biblical values. But fear not; there are many faithful pastors, many men and women who love the Lord, who will not compromise the truth, and who are part of this last day's remnant. These people are not part of the elite who rub shoulders with the powerful and wealthy, but simple men and women of God whose only desire is to serve Him, and to see the lost won to Jesus Christ.
ABOUT BILL KELLER.
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Bill Keller is the host of Live Prayer with Bill Keller, the nation's only live call-in faith and values-based program airing exclusively on the Internet.
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