Rick Warren's getting grilled.
No stranger to getting flamed by church people indignant over his writings and methods, Warren is now getting flamed by some very vocal supporters of President-elect Obama because he (Warren) is pro-life and against gay marriage.
Shocker, I know.
Rick Warren reads this blog. Or at least, he did at one time. He sent me a kind email once upon a time complimenting the writing here and wishing me well (without so much a peep about my co-opting his "____-driven" thing :-).
I think he's a pretty good guy. That said, I'm neither a Rick Warren fanboy nor a critic -- I've only mentioned him a handful of times on this site, each time positively -- and while I obviously would disagree with him in some areas, I have nothing but respect for him, particularly as it relates to his ministry's great work in Africa.
Here's the thing: Warren is not saying anything outrageous for a Christian minister. He is simply, as most evangelical Christians do, saying that babies should get to live and that homosexual behavior is sin. That he is getting branded a radical hatemonger for these things should tell us a lot about the culture we live in, which -- PAY ATTENTION HERE -- doesn't care if you're a cool, goatee-sporting, social justice loving, Obama voting Christian. If you simply follow the Bible's counsel about life and sin, you're Hitler.
We will see more and more of this. And hear me on this also: this is not cause to rejoin the culture war and restock the Christian Coalition. It is certainly not cause to give up caring about social justice or whoever's being elected president. But it also not cause to give up living the rightside up culture of the kingdom of God, which turns all worldly niceties on their heads. And inspires people to hate us.
Don't be surprised. Don't rev up the marketing campaigns to renegotiate public approval.
When they hate you, when they insult you, when they curse you, it's not because you fell out of God's favor. Being hated was promised by Jesus to those who follow him.
Jesus doesn't need new PR. (He doesn't need anything, really.) He wants self-crucifying, dead-to-the-world, cross-taking lovers of Truth.
If the world doesn't think you're stupid, maybe you're doing something wrong?