Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Some (guarded) praise for Saddleback

I'm not a basher, but I am guilty of poking fun at (and holes in) the PDL movement. I'm never been concerned about Rick Warren's salvation or the message people receive at Saddleback Church. To the best of my ability to determine things, it's your average Evangelical church, with some strong Christians, some immature Christians, and some people who just want to play church.

Saddleback just does it on a much bigger scale.

What's always concerned me are people who take on PDL as Gospel. Rick Warren is not a health/wealth preacher, but God's word can easily be removed from PDL and turned into a seemingly God-approved self-improvement promotion. I know Rick Warren knows the Gospel well, and, in my opinion, he would be well served to now turn his attention to preaching the full measure of the Gospel. He already has the world's attention.

That said, what his church is now doing in Rwanda is impressive. If we are looking at the intent of one's heart, this is the direction I believe a church with lots of resources should go. At least in theory. My concern for this operation is how poorly any religion mixes with politics. God does not simply bless a country by rote. While this may be a strong, pragmatic approach to healing a country that is as needy as any, it will all be for naught if the Gospel is not delivered.

I will be watching and praying God blesses this extraordinary outreach by a single church body. My hope is there is something greater at work here, and not just men leading men with the ideas of men.

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