Editorial by John-Henry Westen

April 9, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Rick Warren, the popular pastor who seems to have taken on the mantle of ‘America’s Pastor’ from Billy Graham, was a strong defender of the family, and of marriage - until recently.  One of the areas of greatest conflict between Christian morality and worldly morality today is homosexuality.
 
With the advent of modern ultra-sound technology and thus the increasing awareness of the humanity of the unborn child, many today will forgive you for being pro-life.  After all it’s a human rights issue; you’re standing up for those smaller and weaker than yourself.  But when it comes to homosexuality, there’s no disagreement is allowed in this day and age.

Pastor Warren came at the issue of homosexuality from a thoroughly Christian perspective - out of concern for the physical and spiritual wellbeing of those practicing destructive sexual lifestyles.  But on April 6, the Monday of Holy Week, Rick Warren appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live program where he said he was "oblivious" to the Iowa court decision to legalize same-sex ‘marriage’, explaining, "that’s not even my agenda."
 
"I am not an anti-gay or an anti-gay marriage activist.  Never have been, never will be," Warren told King at the outset of the interview.  "During the whole Proposition 8 thing, I never once went to a meeting, never once issued a statement, never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop 8 was going." (see the video of it here: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2009/04/07/lkl.rick.warren.cnn?iref=videosearch )

When pressed, Warren admitted that he did tell his congregants to vote in support of Prop 8.  "I just simply made a note in a newsletter" he said.  He likely did not recall that he had in fact video taped a message of over 2 minutes length in support of Prop 8.  That video was featured on the Prop 8 website and is still available on Warren’s own Saddleback Church website here: http://saddlebackfamily.com/blogs/newsandviews/index.html?contentid=1502 

The two videos, the CNN clip and the Prop 8 promo by Warren, make for a rather embarrassing juxtaposition when played back to back.  The seriousness of Warren’s denials on Monday, however, go way beyond any kind of misrepresentation or forgotten video.

Warren is chastised in his own words.  On the video Prop 8 promo video he says: "If you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8."

For an evangelical Christian, believing the Bible is literally all there is. In denying the Bible - you deny Christ.  Warren has point blank denied supporting Prop 8, and, given his own previous assessment of the matter, that raises a question about denying Biblical truth and thus denying Christ.
 
Just over 2000 years ago this week, another follower of Christ denied his Lord out of fear.  Peter on this very Holy Thursday night, after Jesus’ arrest, denied that he knew Jesus three times before the cock crowed - just as Christ had predicted he would.  The crowing of the cock reminded Peter of Jesus’ prophesy and brought him to tears of repentance.

Rick Warren is a beloved brother in the Lord.  He has defended life and family, he has promoted the love of Christ and been steadfast for many years.  He has also grown immensely popular, even to the height of delivering the invocation at the Presidential inauguration.

But what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?

Like Peter, Rick Warren has a chance of becoming a real leader and being crucified with Christ, receiving the Kingdom which is not of this world. He could also betray him for 30 pieces of silver, the soon to be worthless coinage of fame, popularity and the world’s esteem.

This is the choice now set before Pastor Warren.  

Peter repented after he denied Christ, and thereafter became a great leader in the Church.  After the resurrection Christ asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?" and when Peter responded in the affirmative Jesus instructed him "feed my sheep".

I believe that Pastor Warren will be similarly tested, specifically on the issue of gay marriage.  With four states having already succumbed to the massive pressure against the traditional family, that’s not a hard prediction to make.

The pro-family movement needs Christian leaders like Pastor Warren to continue their strong defense of the family, especially at this critical time.

After Peter repented and reaffirmed his love for Christ, Jesus informed him that when he was young went about as he would, but when older he would be led where he did not want to go and have his hands stretched out (signifying Peter’s later crucifixion).  Yes, this road of following Christ’s truth on hard issues such as homosexuality may lead to unpopularity, vilification and even worse. 
 
But that should only cause you to rejoice.  Since, as the Scripture says: "Blessed are you when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven."