A Tentative Repentant SpiritI have to comment on something I saw on TV this weekend that may contradict some of the bitterness and hatred expressed on this board regarding popular evangelical Rick Warren. (To be fare, Rick's had it better on here than most other popular evangelicals.)
Before singing his praises, let's remember what we're dealing with.
KING: How do you like being, by the way -- before we take a break and take calls -- I understand that you're on greeting cards now, quotes from "The Purpose-Driven Life" is in the select group of greetings cared that bookstores are putting it in the front. Are you now a commodity?
WARREN: Well, I hope not. I tell you this. Marketing is when you create a message in order to push a product, but what I'm doing is the exact opposite. I'm just looking for products to share a message, because I believe that the message is life-changing -- that God loves you, he has a plan and purpose for your life, Jesus Christ died for you, there is a reason for the things that happen in your life. And even the bad things, God can bring good out of bad. That's what Easter's all about.
anyway, then he started talking crazy talk, but the good kind.
Somebody called in, asking Rick basically how he doesn't get greedy and cocky or something, so he started talking about my favorite subject, money!
"First with the money, we made five decisions. First was, we weren't going to change our lifestyle one bit, no matter how much money came in. So, we still live in the same house. We didn't buy a bigger house. We don't own a guest house. We don't own a yacht. I still drive a 4- year-old Ford. And we're just are not going to let money change your lives, and I'm not going to use it to impress people. The second decision we made was, I stopped taking the salary from my church about three years ago. The third decision is, I added up all that the church had paid me in the past 25 years and I gave it all back. And I did that because I don't want anybody to ever think that I was doing this for money, because I don't. I would have done it for free from the start if I could have. Then we set up, No. 4, we set up three foundations, one of them called Acts of Mercy, which is used to help those who are infected and affected by AIDS globally. And then the fifth is, we actually became reverse tithers, which means that when Kay and I got married, we began to tithe 10 percent of our income to charity, and each year in the last 30 years we've raised it a percentage, and we're not actually reverse tithers, so we give away 90 percent and live on 10 percent.
Hey how about that huh? he's not so bad after all! I mean, who else do we know living on 10percent their income? granted, it's probably still about 100 times what i'm living off of, but that's alright. Then, he started talking like a real christian:
"And I committed to use the rest of my life, my time and my money to help those who are the unfortunate. And I came to the conclusion that there were five what I call global giants. Spiritual emptiness, self-centered leadership, poverty, disease and ignorance or illiteracy. And so we came up with the plan called the PEACE plan, p-e-a-c-e. Plant churches, equip the leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation. And we're right now doing a test pilot of the PEACE plan in 67 countries. We're about a year and a half into it. It's a two-year test plan. We plan to go public with it -- well, now, it's going public on LARRY KING -- but we plan to go public with it in 2006, which is to mobilize hundreds of thousands of small groups that have done the 40 days of purpose in churches and communities and civic groups and corporations -- churches that have done 40 days of purpose in groups to do these five things around the world. And that's really why I was in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, to test that. "
Three cheers for Warren! I'm going to start a Purpose Driven Life Group at my church! Alright, I probably won't go that far, but i'm an advocate for this guy now. Now I just need to convince him to have me help start some revolutions and write better theology for him!