nc/sd May 2009 — Good News, etc. — 5
Rick Warren: So, is he for Proposition 8?
By CHRIS CLARK
As one who attended and participated in in the days prior to the election because
the Proposition 8 meetings for pastors, I can he was asked by his people as to how
Communication is a difficult task, even
attest to that. Warren did not participate in they should vote. Therefore, the context
for the best of communicators.
any of our meetings that were designed to was that Warren was speaking to his own
The difficulty is due in large part to the
encourage pastors to rise up as one voice people concerning Proposition 8. As such,
number of variables involved:
on the issue of biblical marriage in our it was not an endorsement in the official
• What was said.
state, and to exhort their people to do the sense of the word.
• What was intended to be said.
same. So, if the pastors who participated While that might be technically correct,
• The context in which the words were
in the pastors’ webinars leading up to the problem lies in at least two areas. In
Proposition 8 are defined as activists, then one, the communicator is a nationally-
• What the listener heard.
Rick Warren is accurate in declaring that known figure, and his words are magnified
• What the listener thought he heard.
he was not an “activist.” quickly; anything a person like Rick Warren
The list of variables is far longer than
However, the next statement by Warren puts out on video — even for an “intimate”
that, but you get the idea. Even in the
in the CNN interview raised an eyebrow or group like his 20,000-member church — is
best of conditions, communication is a
two. He stated that he “never once issued going to be viewed from sea to shining sea.
a statement.” He went on to state that he In another, the listener who is untrained as
“never once even gave an endorsement in to what is or is not an official endorsement
Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church
the two years Prop. 8 was going.” can easily interpret Warren’s statement to
the best of them need a “do-over” from
Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Huh? be an endorsement of Proposition 8.
time to time. Even Rick Warren. I’m sure
Church is no newcomer to the task of On a Saddleback News and Views video I, for one, have no doubts as to where
he would want that one back.
communication. For over 30 years, Warren clip posted on Oct. 23, Warren had a word Rick Warren stands on the issue: He is still
has impacted thousands of lives worldwide for his people on the upcoming election. in support of biblical marriage. He is still
Chris Clark is pastor of East Clairemont
with his messages and his books. Listen to After explaining some of the background supportive of Proposition 8. I think it is
Southern Baptist Church in San Diego. He was
one of his sermons, read one of his books, on Proposition 8, Warren said: counter-productive for others to call that
one of the early leaders of the effort to protect
and you will realize just how gifted he truly “Now, let me just say this really clearly: issue into question.
biblical marriage through the proposition.
is in the arena of communication. We support Proposition 8. And, if you I also observe that even for someone
Yet in the past few weeks, Warren has believe what the Bible says about marriage, as gifted and skilled as Rick Warren,
found himself in the midst of a controversy you need to support Proposition 8. Now, communication is a daunting task, and it
Please, if you want to do something
concerning an interview with Larry King I never support a candidate, but on moral is a craft that must constantly be honed to help keep Good News, Etc. effective,
on CNN. In the interview, Warren declared issues, I come out very clear.” and developed. As a pastor who faces that you can do two things:
that he was not and never had been “an See what I mean about communication? challenge each week, this has brought a 1. Pray for the newspaper.
anti-gay or anti-gay marriage activist.” It can be tough! valuable lesson home to me.
2. Support our advertisers.
He explained that throughout “the whole In a series of statements attempting to With regard to communication, even
– The Publishers
Proposition 8 thing,” he had not attended clarify this discrepancy, Warren explained
one meeting. that he only made the video to his church
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