ABC News - America's Most Popular New Preacher - Rick Warren - (nauseating) transcript from interview

There are more holes in his assessments than Swiss cheese. Sure, he may say a few vague things that can pass for the kind of tripe the general public can agree on but holy cow, I can't believe he seems so contently serene with admitting on such a widely watched show he believes Jewish people, Muslims, and Catholics are going to hell.

Feel free to assist me in pointing out the gaping flaws. Below is a transcript from the April 8, 2012 ABC News Broadcast of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos".

Link for video of interview - http://www.hulu.com/watch/348530/abc-this-week-sun-apr-8-2012

Transcript:

On this Easter Sunday, a candid exclusive conversation with the man called America's preacher, Rick Warren, on these difficult times, church and state, America's leadership, and achieving balance.

 Interviewer: 

Good morning everyone. Happy Easter and Happy Passover. George Stephanopoulos has a well  deserved morning off.  All year long we've seen a renewed discussion of the role religion plays in our lives from the campaign trail to the grid iron. 

(Clip of Santorum speaking):  To say the people of faith have no role in the public square...  you bet that makes you throw up!  (end of clip)

(Clip of Tim Tebow speaking): What's happening when I'm praying before games and during games and when I get on my knee in what has become Tebowing is you know I'm asking the Lord for strength whether I win or lose, whether I'm the hero or the goat.

 Interviewer:

And so on this holiday morning we begin with a conversation about faith in America with Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church. The church he founded in Lake Forest, California now has 200 outposts around the globe, and his book the "The Purpose Driven Life" has sold 30 million copies and been translated into more than 50 languages. He may be the nation's and world's most famous and influential pastor.

 Interviewer:

Pastor Rick, thanks so much for doing this and Happy Easter.

 Pastor Warren:

And Happy Easter to you.

 Interviewer:

Your Easter sermon is entitled "Trusting in God when you don't feel like trusting". When have you felt skeptical? When have you felt difficulty trusting God?

 Pastor Warren:

 well I think a lot of times god takes away your feelings so you have to depend on faith. Faith is kind of like a tide. It roles in and roles out. You keep on going. When you're going through hell, you keep on going.

 Interviewer: 

How do you counsel people to trust god when they see horrible things happening to good people?

 Pastor Warren:

A lot of people worry about this question. Why is there evil in the world? Why does god allow evil? To me that's not the  issue. The issue is why is there good. It's easy to explain away evil. We have a  free choice. And our greatest blessing is also are greatest curse, because I don't always make good choices. Other people make bad choices. I make bad choices and sometimes we hurt other people, but in spite of that we can find comfort.  We can find strength. We don't always find  answers. Explanations don't comfort. What comforts is the presence of God, not the explanation of God.

 Interviewer: 

The economy has been a very difficult thing for a lot of your parishioners for a lot of people throughout the country. How do you counsel parishioners that come to you, congregants that come to you struggling to make ends meet?

Pastor Warren:

Regardless of all the problems that we see out there, I think they all have at their root, a spiritual cause. We have over spent.  The biggest  problem of all our economic problems, is our inability to delay gratification. I want it and I want it now, and I'm going to buy it even  if I can't afford it. And not only people have done that, the government has done that.

 Interviewer: 

The government have certainly done that. There are big debates in California and the nation about how to solve the problem of the deficit, about how to solve the problem of spending much more than we take in. Some are  using religion to make their arguments. President Obama recently said this......"I believe in God's command to love they neighbor as thyself.  When I talk about  shared responsibility it's because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling and in a time we have enormous deficits, its hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income, or young people with student  loans, or middle class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone".

 Interviewer:

So is he right?

Pastor Warren: 

Well certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor. There's over 2000 verses in the Bible about the poor and God says that those who care about the poor, God will care about them, and god will bless  them. But there's a fundamental question on the meaning of fairness. Does fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of money or does fairness mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution. I believe in wealth creation. The only way to get people out of poverty is JOBS. Create jobs. To create wealth. Not to subsidize wealth.  When you subsidize people you create the dependency. You rob them of dignity. The primary purpose of government is to keep the peace, protect the citizens, and provide opportunity. When we start getting into all kinds of other things, I think we invite greater control. And I am fundamentally about freedom. You know the first freedom in America is actually the freedom of religion. It's not the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th.

Interviewer: 

You've written about this, especially on Twitter a great deal when it comes to Obama administrations'' healthcare rule when it pertains to contraception. You objected to that initially. They dialed it back. How are you with what they call an accommodation? Were you okay with that or no?

 Pastor Warren: 

Well no, I'm not, but the issue here is not about women's' health. There's a greater principle and that is do you have a right to decide what your faith practices. Now I don't have a problem with contraception. I'm a protestant. I'm an evangelical, but I do support my Catholic brothers and sisters to believe what they want to  believe. 

 Interviewer: 

You said in December that no American could say that they are better off than they were 4 years ago.

Pastor Warren: 

Well I don't think so, not economically. There may be a portion, but I have my ear to the ground. Most  people would not think they are better off economically than they were 4 years ago.

Interviewer: 

And who do you hold responsible for that?

 Pastor Warren: 

I hold everybody responsible for that. I hold the people that got themselves in debt. I  hold the government that got themselves in debt. I hold multiple administrations. It's not the  fault of any one person. There's plenty enough blame to be passed around.

 Interviewer: 

This weeks' Newsweek Magazine which has a very provocative cover has a different perspective on what ails America's religious communities. Under the headline "Forget the Church, Follow Jesus", Andrew Sullivan argues that American Christianity is in a crisis. It's too focused on politics and policy and too little on spirituality and that's the same theme that was in this video by Jeff Bethke that went viral earlier this year with over 20 million views.

 (Clip of Jeff Bethke rhyming): Religion might preach grace but another thing they practice. Tend (?) to ridicule God's people, they did it  to John the Baptist. I love the church, I love the Bible, and yes I believe in sin, but if  Jesus came to your church would they actually let him in?

 Interviewer: 

So what is your reaction to this line of criticism from people who like faith but don't like religion?

 Pastor Warren: 

Sure.  Well in the first place let me give a little personal gripe. I think it's  disingenuous that magazines like Newsweek know that their circulation goes up at Christmas and Easter if they put a spiritual issue on the cover but its always bait and switch. They never tell the stories, never tell the stories of what good the church is doing. Never. Does the church have problems? Of course it does. Like every other institution it is made up of human beings so there's sin, failure, mistakes, stuff we would disavow, of course. But there is a general tendency throughout our society to distrust leadership and  institutions and not just the church but government, corporations, and academics, the media and everything like that. So this is a general trend. It's like... this is news? This is worthy of putting on the cover?

 Interviewer: 

Mitt Romney will almost certainly be the republican nominee, and if that happens which it looks like it will, he will be the first member of the church of  Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be the nominee. A lot of evangelicals have been talking about whether or not Mormons are Christians. Are Mormons Christians?

 Pastor Warren:

Well the key sticking point for evangelicals and actually for many is the issue of the trinity. That's the historic doctrine of the church that God is three in one. Not three gods. One god in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Mormonism denies that. That's a sticking point for a lot of Catholic Christians, evangelical Christians, and Pentecostal Christians because they don't believe that. Now they'll use the same terminology but they don't believe in the historic doctrine of the trinity and people have tried to make it other issues but that's really one of the fundamental differences.

 Interviewer:

When you gave the Invocation at President Obama's Inauguration, you said the following "and as we face these difficult days ahead...

 (Clip of Pastor Rick Warren speaking): ....may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims,  responsibility in our  actions,  humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ.

 Interviewer: 

How are we doing. What is the state of our nation spiritually?

Pastor Warren: 

The coarsening of our culture and the loss of civility in our civilization is one of the things that concerns me most about our nation. We don't know how to disagree without being  disagreeable. The fact is you can walk hand in hand without seeing eye to eye and what we  need  in our country is unity not uniformity. So I'm coming from that viewpoint in that we must return civility to our civilization in order to get on, but the reason I do that, is  because of a deeper reason. There is a spiritual root to my reason for civility. If you don't have a spiritual root for that reason then your goanna go for the expedient and that is "we need to win, we need  in this issue, we need to win in this election, we need to win in this"....... You can't fix the problem as long as your fixing the blame and the thing that I dislike the most about our current American discourse is that people are  constantly blaming everybody else.

 Interviewer:

There's been a lot of talk this year about the proper role of religion in public life. For the first time according to polls, Americans say there's too much expression of faith by politicians. When we at ABC news asked in a pole last month about whether political leaders should rely on religious beliefs in making policy decisions, an overwhelming majority 63% said no. Where do you  stand? What do you think about the role of religion in public life?

 Pastor Warren:

Well I certainly believe in the separation of church and state. I do not believe in the separation of faith and politics. The reason why is that faith is simply a world view. Everybody has a world  view. So we are saying that only those with religious world views are not welcome to the table? Of course not. Everybody's world view informs on how they vote on any particular policy, so I'm in favor of everybody being able to come to the table. I do not  believe in imposing what I believe on everybody else. 

 Interviewer:

You oppose same sex marriage. ABC News in a recent poll found that 52% of the American people now support same sex marriage. That's definitely the direction that public opinion is going. Do you think there will come a time when Saddleback Church will need to adjust its position on same sex marriage in the same way that churches have throughout the years, adjusted their position, perhaps, for instance on divorce?

Pastor Warren: 

Well the Bible is the word of God and I don't have the right to change it. Policies come and go over the years and so if I'm unpopular for certain beliefs, well then I'm unpopular for certain beliefs, and to me the Bible is very clear that sex is for a man and woman in  marriage only. That makes me extremely unpopular.

 Interviewer: 

Why?

 Pastor Warren:

Because I don't believe in premarital sex. I believe sex is only for marriage between a man and a woman and it has a purpose. Why? Because I believe the Bible. Why would anybody expect a Christian pastor to believe anything else?

 Interviewer: 

I didn't ask you if you had changed your mind but certainly your church has members that have  engaged in premarital sex.

 Pastor Warren:

Of course.

 Interviewer: 

And I'm wondering if you think the church, in order to continue to thrive, might have to  adjust its policy on same sex marriage?

 Pastor Warren: 

Actually history shows that when the church accommodates culture, it weakens it. This is why  there is a very weak church in Europe today. Its almost nonexistent in many areas.

 Interviewer: 

So all this talk about the culture wars makes me think of an unusual arena in which the cultural wars have erupted and that is the national football league, and Tim Tebow and his very public expressions of faith, And I've heard some Christian leaders say that they think his expressions of faith are too ostentatious, not private enough. 

Pastor Warren: 

The fact that this has become controversial shows how far we're moving away from where America was  50 years ago, much less one hundred or two hundred years ago. The fact that Tebow would get criticized for kneeling to pray....  I could give you 15 or 50 other things you should be more  worried about in that coliseum than a kid kneeling down to thank God that he played good.

 Interviewer: 

You know this week we asked viewers to submit questions. Bryan Norris tweets that we should ask you if you believe faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven?

 Pastor Warren:

I do believe that and I believe it because Jesus said it.  See, I don't set myself up as an authority. Jesus said I am the way. He didn't say I am one of the ways. He said I'm the way, I'm the truth and I'm the life. I'm betting my life that Jesus wasn't a liar.

 Interviewer: 

You do a lot of interfaith... Muslim, Jews, Catholics, and have a lot of friends of other faiths. Why would a benevolent God tell those friends of yours who are not evangelical Christians "I'm sorry.  You don't get to go to heaven"?

 Pastor Warren: 

I don't think any of us deserve to get to heaven. I think the only way any of us get to heaven is God's grace. Most of us think well if my good works are higher than my bad works then I'm going to make it in, and most of us want  to have enough good  works to get into heaven but enough bad works to be fun... but the  bottom line is God doesn't grade on a curve. People say well I'm better than so and so and you probably are. In fact I have no doubt many non believers are better than me in certain moral  issues. They probably have more integrity or something like that. I'm not getting to heaven on my integrity. I'm not getting to heaven on my goodness. I'm getting to heaven on what I believe Jesus said, his grace, and the fact is it's available to  everybody.

 Interviewer: 

A lighter question about heaven on Facebook we were asked to ask you. Do dogs go to heaven?

Pastor Warren:

(Laughter) I've been asked this 100 times and my answer is.... and there's no verse in the Bible about this... yes! Absolutely yes. I can't imagine my God not allowing my dog into heaven (laughter). Sure! why not?

 

Views: 239

Comment by TheMostAthy on April 10, 2012 at 10:19pm

"He may be the nation's and world's most famous and influential pastor." Weird. I don't recall having heard of him before.

Comment by Mabel on April 10, 2012 at 10:21pm

"He may be the nation's and world's most famous and influential pastor." Weird. I don't recall having heard of him before.

@ AbuMaia - Me either. What is the deal? He did do the invocation at Obama's inauguration. Maybe that's why they said that.

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on April 11, 2012 at 9:37am

Wow, I can only take this in very small pieces.  When given the standard 'why is there evil' question (How do you counsel people to trust god when they see horrible things happening to good people?) he responds by making up his own question, ha ha.

Why evil?  You know, a lot of people ask that...but not me.  I ask why there is good.  Evil is easy to explain.  Freewill, our greatest blessing, is also, at times, our greatest curse.  You make bad decisions, she makes bad decisions, I have no idea what I'm talking about - but at the end of the day, you have god, you know?

Comment by Mabel on April 11, 2012 at 12:32pm

@ Heather - I love your translation lol. He says evil is easy to explain. So many Christians think everything is easy to explain and when it can't be explained, well then it's because God does not will for us to understand it so just stop trying. If scientists thought like that, where would we be right now?

I hate how most Christians take some of the greatest mysteries our universe has to offer and reduce them to simple child like equations with simplistic down pat answers that are miles away from the truth of the matter.

I also love the part where he says "Actually history shows that when the church accommodates culture, it weakens it. This is why  there is a very weak church in Europe today. Its almost nonexistent in many areas." All I can say to that is thank goodness Europe is making progress and I hope the US will soon follow. lol Yay for weakening of the church.

Comment by Simon Paynton on April 11, 2012 at 3:44pm

Thanks for this Mabel

Comment by Simon Paynton on April 11, 2012 at 3:56pm

He's pretty slippery, isn't he?  Doesn't like answering questions.  

"So what is your reaction to this line of criticism from people who like faith but don't like religion?"

"... this is news? This is worthy of putting on the cover?"

Comment by Mabel on April 11, 2012 at 8:14pm

@ Simon - Ah! There's the word I was looking for (slippery). How about where he says: "I'm not getting to heaven on my integrity. I'm not getting to heaven on my goodness. I'm getting to heaven on what I believe Jesus said, his grace, and the fact is it's available to  everybody."

The whole of Christianity is based upon words that came from a writer(s) of myths and gets its staying power from people willing to believe the myth as fact. There is no proof. The best Christians have to offer is that Christianity has been around for a while and there is a magnitude of members of the human race that claim this faith. Well the same thing goes for Islam. Yet this guy, Pastor Rick Warren, feels confident enough to sit there on a national televised new show and confirm confidently that he has the right religion and say everybody else can go to hell. Nice. Okay, I did paraphrase that a little but bottom line, that is exactly what he was saying. And not just some fru fru hell or limbo zone. He believes in the eternal fiery kind where people burn forever and feel the burn forever. 

Incredible!

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