Much ink has been spilled about Rick Warren and Barack Obama. Warren is trying as usual to play both sides of the aisle, none too successfully at the moment. I’m not sure if this all about grandstanding and self-promotion, or if Warren actually believes he shows “love” by cozying up to the world.
Worldliness is the only defining characteristic of modern evangelicalism. Isn’t it within all of our hearts to only show areas where we “relate” to unbelievers (I like the same TV shows as you!) and silence our own witness? I’m a chief offender. We’re all man-pleasers now.
Of course, Rick Warren is a pastor with a big platform. He’s using that platform very poorly, but that’s exactly how he hit the bigtime. The whole Purpose-Driven movement is based on Arminian theology, minimizing the offensive Gospel message, franchising the church, providing entertainment instead of the means of grace, encouraging pastors to be CEOs instead of shepherds, watering down the prophetic witness against the most cherished evils of the age (sodomy, abortion) in favor of things popular with the press and Hollywood (environmentalism, AIDS relief, other big government programs), and providing non-Christians with purpose that doesn’t include repentance and the cross. In other words, there’s almost nothing Biblical about it. Warren offers a unity of works — the same thing the early mainline church liberals attempted — rather than Gospel unity.
Rick Warren is no Nathan and Barack Obama is no King David. In Obama, Warren has found a fellow man-pleaser, except that based on his words Obama’s own religion is functionally modern Unitarianism (or moralistic therapeutic deism or Christianity and water, whatever you prefer to call it… it’s all the same wishful thinking.)
Conservatives like to remind liberals that Obama does not support gay marriage, but conservatives must know that this is a nominal position based on political consideration. It’s hard to imagine Barack Obama in front of a hostile crowd defending his position, or trying to convince hecklers to reconsider. This position will be quietly dropped once polls allow.