(Tim, w/thanks to Steve) Rick Warren is a bellwether for middle of the road religious people in these United States. He's scrupulous about sodomite marriage, then equivocates by his casual references to "gays and straights" and his fawning over lesbian gay rights activist, Melissa Ethridge. He's pro-life, but to him this means more concern for the environment, world hunger, and AIDS. The slaughter of unborn children isn't even an afterthought.
He's a master of self-promotion but it's difficult to see how his leadership causes the Kingdom of God to advance even an inch. His books sell in the tens of millions but, after the wave passes, things pretty much proceed as they were before. Idolatry, state-sanctioned murder, materialism, divorce, fornication, feminism, envy, child molestation and abuse, self-satisfaction, pornography, and pride suffer little to no repentance. Yet there in the national limelight, larger than life, stands a Southern Baptist pastor sprinkling holy water on us all.
So what's in it for Evangelicalism's chief priest? Well, for starters, a mountain of mammon. Don't ever forget it.
But it doesn't stop with mammon...
After your net worth is in the scores of millions, there are other larger fish to fry. So Pastor Warren has now turned to celebrity status: trumpets blowing in the street announcing his arrival, Larry King appearances--that sort of thing. Then he hit the jackpot.
President-elect Barack Obama invited Pastor Warren to give the invocation at his Inauguration.
Bingo! It all paid off, didn't it? Pastor Warren explains his success:
Three years ago I took enormous heat for inviting Barack Obama to my church because some of his views don't agree (with mine). Now he's invited me.
Men of God, if the Holy Spirit has made you a shepherd of His flock, be vigilant against the influence of such men corrupting you; and through you, your flock. Guard your heart.
Don't cast a longing eye at the world. Put to death--a bloody death--all your hankering after the world's baubles. The love of this world and its treasures destroys the love of God. You cannot serve both God and mammon. You cannot serve both God and the American Empire. You cannot serve both God and Zondervan's royalties. You cannot serve both God and the bitch goddess of success. You cannot serve both God and Wheaton. You cannot serve both God and the Academy. You cannot serve both God ahnd the rich folks in your church. You cannot serve both God and Babylon, the Great, who soon will be fallen, fallen, fallen.
Here's a good discipline. This Christmas, obey Jesus' direct command:
"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." And (Jesus) also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous" (Luke 14:11-14).