NewsFri May 11, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Mega-Church Pastor Rick Warren Under Fire over Media Mogul Parishioner’s Porn Channels
By Gudrun Schultz
California, May 11, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Christian leaders in the US are demanding that the pastor of a massive US evangelical church discipline a prominent parishioner for involvement in the pornography industry.
Pastor Rick Warren is the charismatic leader of one of the largest evangelical congregation in the US, the California Saddleback Church. Among the 20,000 members who make up the dynamic church congregation is Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp. media empire. A report by The Business in 2006 revealed that News Corp.‘s European subsidiary BSkyB has been quietly creating its own raft of hardcore pornography channels, after years of hosting outside channels only.
Murdoch exerts unusual control of the company for a chief executive through his own financial stake in it, held from a family trust.
Chris Rosebrough, with the Christian Accountability Network, has challenged Warren to discipline Murdoch for his involvement with the porn industry.
"Rupert Murdoch is a born-again Christian and Rick Warren claims to be his pastor," Rosebrough said in a press release. "As a Christian, Murdoch is committing an egregious sin by owning, expanding and profiting from pornographic channels and Rick Warren, as his pastor, has a Biblical duty to call Murdoch to repentance and/or put him out of the church."
"If Pastor Warren does not act swiftly and call on Murdoch to dismantle his porn distribution network, then the credibility of the Christian message will be compromised around the globe…This is a clear case of a Christian openly committing a monstrous and unthinkable sin.
Warren is quoted as claiming to be Murdoch’s pastor in a 2005 New Yorker article on Warren’s ministry, posted on Pastors.com.
Relating a conversation with a third party, Warren told the New Yorker, "[H]e said to me, ‘Rick, you are the biggest thinker I have ever met in my life. The only other person I know who thinks globally like you is Rupert Murdoch.’ And I said, ‘That’s interesting. I’m Rupert’s pastor! Rupert published my book!’"
The book in question was The Purpose Driven Church, Warren’s international best-seller that has already sold about 23 million copies. The book was published by Zondervan, a company owned by Murdoch’s News Corp.
Rosebrough has suggested Warren’s business ties with Murdoch may be an obstacle to Warren’s addressing the issue of Murdoch’s involvement with the porn industry.
"Warren and Zondervan are currently working on an updated and revised edition of the Purpose Driven Church. That book is scheduled to be released later this year. We hope that Warren’s business ties to Murdoch’s company haven’t clouded his judgment and impacted his resolve to carry out his Biblical duty as Murdoch’s Pastor."
Murdoch also contributed $2 million to Warren’s PEACE plan, a global missionary initiative, according to coverage by WorldNetDaily.
That report also pointed out that Murdoch’s News Corp. has a long association with the porn industry—News Corp. is a major owner of DirecTV, one of the top sellers of pornographic films in the US.
Married three times—divorced twice—Murdoch’s third marriage was to a women 38 years his junior, Chinese born Deng Wen Di. He was 68 at the time of the marriage, Wen Di was 30.
Southern Baptist pastor Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries and Jim Lupacchino of the Christian Research Network have joined Rosebrough in calling for action from Pastor Warren on the issue.
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