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Austin Cline

Rick Warren: Ignore Jesus, Follow Rand

By April 17, 2012

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Rick Warren
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Rick Warren
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You might have noticed that what Christian leaders in America preach doesn't always match the ideals that they should probably value. This includes Rick Warren, one of the most prominent and visible evangelical Christians in America today.

Does Rick Warren preach what Jesus preached? No, not even close.

WARREN: Well, certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor. There's over 2,000 versus in the Bible about the poor. And God says that those who care about the poor, God will care about them and God will bless them. But there's a fundamental question on the meaning of "fairness."

Does fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of money? Or does fairness mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation...

WARREN: The only way to get people out of poverty is J-O-B-S. Create jobs. To create wealth, not to subsidize wealth. When you subsidize people, you create the dependency. You -- you rob them of dignity. There are a lot of negative things that happen to us. Rather, we should be focusing on wealth creation and job creation, in my opinion...

Source: ABC News

Does this bear any resemblance to what Jesus taught:

"If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Matthew 19:21)

No, it doesn't. It does, however, look a lot like the Gospel According to Ayn Rand and it's right in line with everything the Republican Party believes about economics these days. This makes Rick Warren's views more a function of conservative libertarianism than compassionate Christianity.

Did Jesus heal people or did he tell them to find better health insurance in order to avoid creating dependency? Did Jesus pass out food to people or did he tell them to go hungry in order to avoid creating dependency? Did Jesus tell people to "render unto Caesar" or "taxation is theft"?

Nowhere in the gospels does Jesus have anything positive to say about wealth. Christian leaders like Rick Warren are just providing religious cover for the most powerful and wealthy elements of society. Of course, they've always done that -- they just haven't always been quite as blatant about it. Rick Warren must think his followers are pretty stupid to assume that they won't see through his words.

And he might be right.

Comments
April 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm
(1) Bill Carruth says:

Warren? Another evangelical phony. However, he hasn’t quite reached
the Osteen level yet. What really troubles this ‘Recovering Catholic”
is why so many believe the crap spewed by the Warren-types. The
‘Holy Bible?” NUTS! Who said so? Between the covers of that ‘Holy’
book are more sexual aberrations, murders, burings of towns and villages, rapes, sodomies, massacres ….all in he name, of course, of the Hebrew-manufactured God. What a lot of dung! Are those who believe the Warrens and the nonsense they spew unaware of the untold millions who got along very well without the Jesus myth long before the fairy tale
birth at Bethlehem? Aristotle, Plato….for example and many others.

April 30, 2012 at 7:53 pm
(2) Foxindy says:

Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19 is taken out of context here, not that He never teaches about taking care of the poor, but His emphasis in this case is that the young man must give up what is in his way of following Christ–one cannot serve God and be bound to his wealth (Matthew 6:24).

Certainly, the Bible teaches much about taking care of the poor, as well as paying taxes, but charity should be done freely, not grudgingly or under compulsion (2 Corinthians 9:7). Is it not an individual’s choice to give to help others? Why should the government demand only of the wealthy and not everybody equally? The Bible also says that if a capable man does not work, he is not to be helped (2 Thessalonians 3:10). This does fit with the idea that opportunity to earn a living is better than requiring handouts.

The Bible does not teach redistribution of wealth, but sacrificial giving, something Mr. Warren’s church does, as well as many of the “most powerful and wealthy elements of society.”

April 30, 2012 at 8:22 pm
(3) Austin Cline says:

Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19 is taken out of context here

In your opinion. You offer no reason to agree with you.

His emphasis in this case is that the young man must give up what is in his way of following Christ-one cannot serve God and be bound to his wealth

So, you must give up your wealth.

Certainly, the Bible teaches much about taking care of the poor, as well as paying taxes, but charity should be done freely, not grudgingly or under compulsion

So, change your attitude.

Why should the government demand only of the wealthy and not everybody equally?

Because the wealthy have more.

The Bible also says that if a capable man does not work, he is not to be helped (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

It’s a prejudice of the wealthy that the poor do not work.

The Bible does not teach redistribution of wealth

Actually, it does: the wealthy must give to the poor. That’s wealth being redistributed.

May 2, 2012 at 6:07 am
(4) Beatnik Bob says:

I first actually read the Book of Acts for a Humanities class in college. I was suprised by the communal (small “c” communist?) tone of the book.

All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
(Acts 2:44-45)

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