Looking behind the "Purpose Driven" sheep's clothing
By Christopher Adamo
Subsequently, Farah offered as evidence a "YouTube" video from Saddleback Church, where Warren is pastor, inarguably proving Farah's statement. So Warren's Church simply pulled the video from circulation and continued the denial, being unaware that a copy of the video file had been downloaded and is still in circulation. Warren's follow up to this inconvenient circumstance is perhaps most telling of all.
In a concurrent set of moves, Warren sent a seemingly conciliatory e-mail to Farah, while distributing another to his "flock," in which he characterized Farah's pursuit of the incident as nothing less than "doing Satan's job for him." Throughout this sorry episode, Farah's only error has been to suggest that Warren's disturbing behavior represents some new departure from consistency.
In fact, Warren is actually being entirely consistent. Whether his audience might be Farah himself, Syrian Despot Bashar Assad, or the Saddleback congregation, Warren tells each exactly what he believes they want to hear. This pattern is the essence of what Warren is, and what has made him so "successful" from a worldly perspective.
For those among his congregation who sincerely want to know the truth, the evidence is ample. Unfortunately, it always has been available, and any present "confusion" merely results from past decisions to ignore that evidence.
For example, his letter to the congregation decrying the "attack" and making his defense by invoking Scripture is barely four paragraphs long. Yet in those four paragraphs, he employs three different "translations" of the Bible. Why, it must be asked, does he not trust any single translation to convey God's message to humanity?
Could it be that he has his own message and agenda to advance, and that he has found it very convenient to utilize different wordings of different passages, not because they better convey God's purpose, but rather his own? It would be better to ask, could his motivation possibly be anything else?
Warren, who has not to date been known as any sort of standard bearer for Christian principle in the political arena, decries Farah (whose societal and moral views fall unambiguously on the right) and his ideological allies as part of a wrongful "political" encroachment on the faith.
Appalling though Obama's inclusion in the conference may be, it is nonetheless entirely consistent with Warren's behavior from the beginning. Leading a megachurch in the culturally disintegrating landscape of Southern California, Warren certainly knows that his prospects of maximizing the "flock" will be greatly enhanced as long as he shows proper deference to the real religion of the area, "political correctness."
In this, his Christian populism movement has proven to be far more palatable to the God-hating secularists of the surrounding communities than such stodgy, old-fashioned, and "intolerant" notions as "Thou Shalt Not." And the Warren influence has been predictable wherever it can be found.
If other Churches that abide in the Warren philosophy, such as Chicago's gargantuan "Willow Creek," were to truly uphold Christian values among their enormous congregations, they would certainly be a constant "thorn in the side" of their surrounding populace, acculturated into the modernism as those communities certainly are. Yet an amazing degree of compatibility and congeniality exists between the Warren Church model and the social structures of Chicago and Southern California.
The tradeoff between true Christian principle and acceptability to the locals is apparently worth the spiritual sacrifice it entails, with expanding parking lots, increasingly lavish facilities, and of course, fuller collection plates bearing witness. Meanwhile, such Churches offer ever less of a worthwhile and much needed alternative to the ailing world around them.
Many among Warren's vast following have made the mistake, in light of his "purpose driven" ministering, of presuming, at the heart of the movement, a Christ-driven purpose. Yet as Warren's real character continues to be revealed, it is becoming apparent that members of that following are presuming too much.
Christopher G. Adamo is a freelance writer and staff writer for the New Media Alliance. He lives in southeastern Wyoming with his wife and sons. He has been active in local and state politics for many years.