So Brian and I were discussing the subject of Obama and McCain’s upcoming talk to Saddleback Church in California. A Baptist Mega Church and the home of Pastor Rick Warren, author of “Purpose Driven Life”, a national best seller.
I’ve seen a lot of comments of uneasiness and fear from all fronts on the Democratic side; again we have a huge tent that includes Christians too. Increasingly I am feeling a sense of uneasiness by the still rank feelings created by Karl Rove’s use of James Dobson and a few other Mega-Church Leaders who decided to enter the game of politics. This is an area that deserves some information and education, but with pure situational logic.
So let’s start with the definitions, which are long enough and then I will give you my understanding of what is going to happen at Saddleback Church.
The word Protestant is derived from the Latin protestatio meaning declaration which refers to the letter of protestation by Lutheran princes against the decision of the Diet of Speyer in 1529, which reaffirmed the edict of the Diet of Worms against the Reformation. Since that time, the term Protestantism has been used in many different senses, often as a general term to refer to Western Christianity that is not subject to Papal authority.
While the faiths and churches born directly or indirectly of the Protestant Reformation constitute Protestantism, in common usage, the term is often used in contradistinction to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. This usage is imprecise, however, as there are non-Roman Catholic and non-Eastern Orthodox traditions that predate the Reformation (notably Oriental Orthodoxy). The Anglican tradition, although historically influenced by the Protestant Reformation in what is called the English Reformation, differs from many Reformation principles and understands itself to be a middle path—a via media—between Roman Catholic and Protestant doctrines. Other groups, such as the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, reject traditional Protestantism as another deviation from true Christianity, while perceiving themselves to be restorationists.
Evangelicalism is a theological perspective, most closely associated with Protestant Christianity, which identifies with the gospel. Although evangelicalism has been defined in a number of ways, most adherents consider belief in the need for personal conversion (or being “born again“), some expression of the gospel through evangelism, a high regard for Biblical authority, and an emphasis on the death and resurrection of Jesus to be key characteristics
The charismatic movement begins with the adoption of certain beliefs typical of those held by Pentecostal Christians — specifically what are known as the biblical charisms or spiritual gifts: glossolalia (speaking in tongues), prophesying, supernatural healing — by those within mainstream Protestant and Roman Catholic churches. Many charismatic Christians went on to form separate churches and
Baptist is a term describing individuals belonging to a Baptist church or a Baptist denomination. The name is derived from a conviction that followers of Jesus Christ are commanded to be baptized (most commonly by being immersed in water) as a public display of their faith, and thus most adherents reject infant baptism. The Baptists number over 110 million worldwide in more than 220,000 congregations, and are considered the largest world communion of evangelical Protestants, with an estimated 32 million members in North America. Large populations of Baptists also exist in Asia, Africa and Latin America, notably in India (2.4 million), Nigeria (2.5 million), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) (1.9 million), and Brazil (1.7million).
According to a poll in the 1990s, about one in five Christians in the United States claims to be a Baptist. U.S. Baptists are represented in more than fifty separate groups. Ninety-two percent of Baptists are found in five of those bodies — the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC); National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. (NBC); National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.; (NBCA); American Baptist Churches in the USA (ABC); and Baptist Bible Fellowship International
Sheila Here again!
The movement of Evangelical leaders who were became embroiled in the 2004 election and in my opinion lead down a garden path by Karl Rove, is mostly Baptists. Baptists have a rigid interpretation of the Bible, while the rest of us have branch out in our own interpretations and what matters to us most. Good or bad? Not my place to make a declaration of that sort. I will state to you all thought that none of us are what the True Church of Jesus Christ intended. We are a broad as the many flavors of Basken and Robbins.
Rick Warren and the Saddle Back Church. He is a Charismatic Leader and now you understand that the term “Charismatic” is not because he has Charisma. His Church is 22,000 strong, but it’s not a bunch of people in a football stadium. There are four satellite churches in the region.
Saddleback and my Church here in Tacoma is a revisit of an old idea that was reborn. These churches are not just churches, they are fully intact communities. They have K thru 12 schools, food banks and offices for the poor, Psychiatric services, outreach to prisons and underprivileged regions of the US. Missions to foreign countries. Inside the Churches are mini malls with a common area where people gather before and after church. Gift shops with books and music and things relevant for their beliefs. A coffee bar, bistro, Information desk. The child care area.
OK….you have the background and now the pay off. Short and sweet.
Pastor Warren is the type of pastor that does not put politics, his or a movements, in his church’s mission. He is not a political figure. I believe Warren has become more like a Billy Graham figure.
However, in all churches now and in the past, information is with educational points of compare and contrast are used to educate the community. One of our historical examples was how Civil Rights was born. In this case, Pastor Warren believes it is wise to allow both candidates to come and answer questions in a civil manner.
Pastor Warren is going to have each candidate in separately for an
hour a piece. They are going to answer questions gathered through his congregation, monitored and given by Warren. Christians have a right to ask their candidates questions that will make a help them make a decision in the most important election in their lifetime too.
Both candidates are wise to stay away from the Christian Right and the Leaders of the 2004 movement.
I hope I have given you something to formulate your own thoughts on this next gaggle of crazy comments on August 21st.