Not surprisingly, this AP report reflects the spirit that Rev. Rick Warren and Saddleback Church hope will mollify the opposition engendered by his invitation for Senator Barack Obama to play a starring role in the Church's upcoming "AIDS Summit." However, key issues go unaddressed by this article, especially the dangerous error of inviting an extremist on abortion and homosexual privilege to be given a place of honor (and elevated publicity) in an evangelical church.
As I commented in an earlier post, Warren is being used just as Bill Clinton used Rev. Bill Hybels a few years ago. And with the erosion of intelligence, consistency and will within the evangelical community to fight (principally and prayerfully) against the tide of secularism, Rev. Warren's timing couldn't be worse.
Obama is an active aspirant for the U.S. presidency and is, therefore, desperately trying to win inroads into America's Christian community (despite his alarming distortions of biblical theology and his championing of heinous evils like killing children in the womb). Rev. Warren is blessing him with a most undeserved gift.
It is one thing (and a good thing, at that) to lovingly, patiently speak with one's enemies in private settings or even in open debate. It can also be acceptable for a Christian to cooperate with people who disagree with him when engaged in a specific purpose; i.e. tossing sandbags against a busted levee or, yes, certain activities related to helping people avoid AIDS.
But what Warren and Saddleback Church are doing (for all their rhetoric and even their naive goodwill) is something altogether different. They are giving an esteemed honor to a very ambitious, crafty politician who aggressively campaigns for the most abhorrent wickedness. And even Obama's campaign against AIDS is (or, God help us, certainly should be) much different than what biblical Christians should support: plane loads of condoms and instruction in "safe" promiscuity.
No, not even Sen. Brownback's participation in the Saddleback AIDS Summit can excuse this terrible error on the part of Rev. Warren. We must continue to pray that he will yet make the best decision; namely, dis-invite Barack Obama and explain plainly why. At the very least, the furor caused by pro-life leaders opposed to Warren's mistake should cause the pastor to emphasize publicly his deep revulsion over Senator Obama's penchant for perversions.