Washington Post on Rick Warren: Critics Have No Right to Challenge “New Reformation”

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By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer

Rick Warren, a megachurch pastor and philanthropist who is courted by political leaders worldwide, says he thinks Christianity needs a “second Reformation” that would steer the church away from divisive politics and be “about deeds, not creeds.” …

That meant advocating for a broader agenda for evangelicals beyond same-sex marriage and bioethical issues like abortion and stem cell research. That’s a shift from the e-mail Warren sent before the 2004 election to his regular distribution list of 136,000 pastors, telling them to focus on those hot-button issues, which he called “non-negotiables.”

Warren said he now regrets that e-mail — not because he’s changed his views in opposing abortion and same-sex marriage, but because he places them on a longer list of priorities.

Now, he says, he wants to promote personal responsibility and restore civility in American culture.

“I just think we’re becoming too rude,” he said. “You have no right to demonize someone just because you disagree with them.” Read more…

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Rick Warren on the Second Reformation:

“Who’s the man of peace in any village – or it might be a woman of peace – who has the most respect, they’re open and they’re influential? They don’t have to be a Christian. In fact, they could be a Muslim, but they’re open and they’re influential and you work with them to attack the five giants. And that’s going to bring the second Reformation.”—Rick Warren, May 2005, Pew Forum on Religion

“I am praying for a second reformation of the church that will focus more on deeds than words. The first Reformation was about beliefs. This one needs to be about behavior. … We’ve had a Reformation; what we need now is a transformation.”—Rick Warren, July 2005 at the Baptist World Alliance with Tony Campolo and Jimmy Carter

“Warren said the deeds of a new reformation will require mobilizing Christians, multiplying churches, evangelizing the world and eradicating global problems.” —A World of Baptists By Greg Warner Associated Baptist Press

“I see absolutely zero reason in separating my fellowship from anybody,” he said. Noting he has theological differences with many of the diverse denominations that invite him to speak, Warren added, “That doesn’t stop me from fellowshipping with them.” When he heard of the SBC’s withdrawal, he added, “I thought, ‘This is silly! Why would we separate ourselves from brothers and sisters in the world?'”—Rick Warren at the Baptist World Alliance, Warren: Global Baptists ‘are all in this together’ By Trennis Henderson

“I have two goals in my life. One is a reformation of the church in America and the other is a return of civility to society when people who disagree can still get along and like each other even if they disagree.” Rick Warren on Larry King,12/2/05