On Easter Sunday, Jake Tapper interviewed Rick Warren on ABC’s This Week, asking the influential pastor a series of questions on faith and politics. Of particular interest were his comments on soldiers and war (which did not make it into the aired segment but are available here). At the end of the interview, Warren exclaimed, “God hates war, but loves every soldier.”
As a combat veteran, I was impressed by and grateful for Warren’s statement. The Bible makes clear that war is at best a necessary evil--the idea at the core of the just war tradition. And yes: God loves each and every soldier. But I want to look more closely at the latter thought, especially in light of the suicide epidemic that currently afflicts our nation’s veterans and soldiers.
I’m not much of a Rick Warren fan, but I’ve always appreciated his best-known catchphrase: "It’s not about you."
The evangelical worship life I grew up with was chock-full of “I”
language, with less roo
When Rick Warren was invited to deliver the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration, the choice annoyed some people because of Warren’s conservative position on several important and controversial issues, and it pleased others who either like Warren or like Obama’s ecumenical approach.
Apart from Billy Graham, who is sidelined by age, the most influential evangelical Christian in the U.S. these days is probably author and pastor Rick Warren. His best sellers on the “purpose-driven church” and the “purpose-driven life” have reached millions in both evangelical and mainline circles. His casual, unbuttoned demeanor captures the modern evangelical style.
When President Barack Obama tapped megachurch pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, many liberal activists decried the choice of a high-profile evangelical figure who has opposed gay marriage and abortion rights.
When introducing the presidential forum at Saddleback Church last month, Rick Warren noted that the separation of church and state does not mean the separation of faith and politics. He was right about that. Warren or any other pastor is entitled—as the government is not—to ask Barack Obama and John McCain about their faith in Jesus and to judge them accordingly.
With a California megachurch as the setting for their first joint campaign appearance, Republican John McCain gave crisp, campaign-tested responses, and Democrat Barack Obama offered nuanced replies to questions on religion, character, leadership and public policy.