This story immediately caught my eye this morning. Actually, it infuriates me. Evangelicals are dogging Rick Warren (pastor of Saddleback Church in California and the very successful author of “The Purpose Driven Life”) for inviting Sen. Barack Obama (a Democrat—GASP!) to the church’s 2006 Global Summit on AIDS and the Church. Why should Pastor Warren have to apologize for inviting any government official to his church to discuss something that is a worldwide issue?
It is high time that the Church get real. If we truly want to connect with the world in its current state, as Christ did in his time, we must get off of our high horse. It appears to me that Pastor Warren is trying to do a good thing in bringing to the church’s attention the need to minister to what today would equal “the leper” in biblical times.
Here’s a concept:
Matthew 10:8: "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.” In other words, minister to those who are in need physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Look beyond yourself!
Do you think Christ meant, “and you can do this with the help of those who believe only what you believe to the very letter”? Really?
This antiquated way of thinking is what has alienated the “evangelical” church on so many levels. It certainly isn’t a way to show the way to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is divisive not only to the unchurched but to their very own members.
I say “Go for it!” to Pastor Warren and Senator Obama. You’re doing good work, even if your own “constituents” don’t support you.