Rick Warren Expresses Regret Over Making Video Supporting Biblical Marriage; Family Group Concerned


A pro-family group is calling into question recent statements made by Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback Church in California, surrounding his regret over creating a video in 2008 that expressed his support for Biblical marriage.

During a recent interview with Marc Lamont Hill of the Huffington Post, Warren sought to clarify matters pertaining to his creation of a video years ago in which he stated that those who follow the Bible should support California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative. He had been accused of lying months after releasing the video for stating during an interview on Larry King Live that “[d]uring the whole Proposition 8 thing, I … never once issued a statement, never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop. 8 was going.”

“People say that I campaigned for Proposition 8. The meaning of the word ‘campaign’ means two different things,” Warren told Hill. “To me, that means that you go out and you speak at rallies, you do advertisements for it and stuff like that.”

“I never made a single statement on Prop. 8 until the week before, and in my own church, some members said, ‘Where do we stand on this?'” he explained. “[So], I released a video to my members. It was posted all over like it was an advertisement.”

Hill commented that Warren is a well-known pastor, and that he should be aware that any statement he makes will likely be distributed to the public.

“It might be disingenuous to say that you have a church of 20,000 people, and you have a book that 32 million people have read and 60 million have accessed,” Hill said. “To say that ‘I was just giving a message’ –“

“You know what? You’re exactly right, Marc, and I learned a lesson from that,” Warren replied. “And I learned that anything I say now privately is now public. And I actually learned from that mistake of going, ‘Oh, wait a minute, everybody took that like I was pontificating to the whole world.'”

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Hill then asked Warren if he could do it all over again, if he would still have created the video.

“I would not have,” Warren replied. “I would not have made that statement. I wanted to talk to my own people as a duty, because as a shepherd, I’m responsible for those who put themselves under my care. I’m not responsible for everybody else. I am responsible for the people who choose to be under my care and ask me a question.”

“So, I’ve had to look at how do I communicate to my people in a way that doesn’t look like I’m pontificating to the entire world,” he added.

Following Warren’s explanation, some are expressing concern, including Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. LaBarbera told Christian News Network that Warren’s comments made him appear as if he was ashamed to publicly stand for the Biblical definition of marriage.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality

“[Warren] regrets that the statement got out wider than his church. To me, that’s incredible because he should be happy that he had influence outside of his church to the whole body of Christ in California — indeed, to people all over the state voting on the issue who look to him for guidance,” he said. “And so, that troubles me that he even says now that he wouldn’t make that video. … That’s saying that he does not want to be a leader on the homosexual ‘marriage’ issue.”

LaBarbera stated that he believes many pastors are becoming inward and exclusive about their beliefs, when they should be using their influence outside of the four walls of the church.

“[Warren] used the word ‘pontificate.’ You’re not pontificating. You’re putting your voice out there as a spiritual and moral leader, and that’s what pastors need to do,” he said. “They need to get outside of this mindset that I’m only allowed to talk to my church.”

“The question is, are Christian leaders self-segregating on the moral issues because they’re under the gun of the pro-gay culture?” LaBarbera asked.

He stated that the fear of man should never be an excuse to run from the Christian responsibility of publicly standing for truth.

“The homosexual activist never agonizes and says, ‘Wow, I don’t think I should talk beyond my group of homosexual activists,'” LaBarbera explained. “They’re pontificating all the time. They’re telling us what to think. They’re telling us that we’re bigots if we are against homosexuality, or even if we’re against same-sex ‘marriage’ now, they call you a bigot or a hatemonger or a homophobe.”

“I get the fact that [Warren] is under the gun by the homosexual lobby. We all get it,” he continued. “The homosexual lobby is aggressive and loud and vocal, and they want him to shut up about homosexuality being a sin, and they want him to conform to their ideology, but he can’t.”

LaBarbera stated that just like Warren is unashamed to proclaim the need to be involved in humanitarian work, he should likewise make use of his platform to uphold God’s definition of marriage.

“I just wish he would stop backtracking and seeming embarrassed about helping to protect marriage,” he said. “He doesn’t have any qualms about preaching to everybody in the world the need to have compassion for people with AIDS, and he’s right about that. But, he also in the same way [should] be outspoken and non-defensive about helping to protect the historic definition of marriage.”

As previously reported, Warren also came under fire for other comments made during the Huffington Post interview, during which he stated that homosexual behavior “might be” a sin, and that he believes homosexuals will go to Heaven if they “accept Christ.”

Rick Warren’s office did not return calls for comment by press time.

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  • Billy Edwards

    What does it take to make it to heaven? My actions or Christ’s work?

    • KenS

      Christ’s work

    • wandakate

      BILLY EDWARDS: BOTH of them. JESUS said, “If you love me, keep my commandments”. Don’t tell me they were done away with at the cross, that is a line like no other line. GOD is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Also what about your faith? Is that all you need, just faith and GOD’s grace. Your faith without your works is DEAD!!! How many “IF” words and “OBEY” words are in the Bible? Hundreds of them in the old and the new…so don’t be deceived.

      • QuestGirl

        WANDAKATE: Thanks for sharing. Warren uses the Living translation. That was my clue when he first came on the scene 10+ years ago.

      • Denise

        how about Ephesians 2:8+9? By GRACE are you saved thru FAITH Not of works lest anyone should boast.

        • wandakate

          DENISE: Saved by grace yes, judged by your works. We are not saved by our works, we are saved through our faith in JESUs but “AFTER” we are saved then we work and do good deeds. Why when someone mentions work does the average Christian have an issue with that? JESUS plainly said, “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few”…WORKERS means people to do the work…Study and learn.

    • Nancy Sternberg

      We cannot get there by works, we cannot do enough works to satisfy God. For He said that no one can come to the Father but by me. Billy, I am glad you asked that question.

  • Jason Millican

    Rick Warren believes his video was a “private” message to 20,000 people, and not a “public” statement. This would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. Maranatha.

    • David Aspden

      Agreed – is he really that dense?

      • QuestGirl

        No, but I bet he thinks we are…

  • O. J.

    Even if Rick made a video supporting Biblical marriage and then regrets it later, what then is he preaching now? Is he therefore no longer supporting Biblical marriage? If Rick does not support Biblical marriage any longer, it is therefore doubtful if actually he is preparing his flock for heaven, eternity with Christ. In that case, he need to repent and become truly born again. A genuine servant of God must be willing to stand for God and His Word even when it hurts.

    • wachabe

      Now the Bible is very clear, Jesus says “if you are ashamed about me BEFORE men I will be ashamed of you BEFORE my FATHER; MARRIAGE is the epitome of our relationship with Jesus and we dare profane it with our FEELINGS and RIGHTS? God is NOT a Democrat or a Republican, HE IS KING, and HIS WORD is FINAL, WHATS WRONG WITH YOU GUYS, JUST BECAUSE YOUR POCKETS ARE LINED UP WITH currency YOU THINK YOU CAN NEGOTIATE YOUR WAY TO HEAVEN?

      try dying and please come back tell us which currency works there….i am 100% sure it ain’t the dollar….

      • wandakate

        WACHABE: Don’t think they take bitcoin either. No 401 K plans, no stocks, no bonds, no cash, no savings, NOTHING!!! No, just a one on one with JESUS.

  • jennylynn

    Rick Warren = Wolf
    The Submerging Church (Official DVD Trailer)
    youtube.com

  • jmichael39

    Whether Warren is a ‘wolf’ or a biblically-centered pastor, is not shown in this article. His statements here, taken in their context, simply show that he would not want to make statements like he did in that video for anyone but those under his direct ministry. He says he doesn’t want to ‘pontificate’ for anyone else. The one problem I have with that is that by doing livestreaming preaching and writing books and traveling around the globe to preach and planting churches everywhere he IS putting himself in a position to ‘pontificate’ the millions, as the interviewer so rightly pointed out. So, yes, he DOES have to be careful what he allows himself to be recorded as saying when what he wants to say is specifically supposed to be for a target audience. But, NO, he cannot avoid taking a stand on issues like this. People will not allow him to.

  • Jeff Tilley

    Apostate. Case closed.

  • OldArkie

    It seems he does not support God’s Word on this issue, so sad with the influence he has. Lot of times the big boys will go soft & turn against God’s truths while trying to please the world.

    • wandakate

      OLDARKIE: If you love the world, the love of the FATHER is not in you. We can’t be for GOD and agree with man at the same time. JESUS said, I wish you were cold or hot but because you are luke warm I will spew you out of my mouth (will not have anything to do with you-as in you make me sick being that way).
      He knows it’s not GOD’s will for same sex partnerships or unions, He well knows that. To go along with it is turning against GOD’s word.

      • OldArkie

        And that’s what he is trying to do, please the world.

        • wandakate

          OLD ARKIE: WHAT in the world are you taking about?…I don’t need any classes on reading, and I understand plain English just fine.

          • OldArkie

            Yes, you need a reading class, in my 1st post I did not say I loved the world yet you said, “OLDARKIE: If you love the world”

            I said, “big boys will go soft & turn against God’s truths while trying to please the world.”

  • Conservative seer

    Is he ashamed of speaking the truth? , wow, he needs to stand up for righteousness

  • Nancy Sternberg

    He doesn’t dare speak against it. Might lose his support. I would not buy his book, there is nothing helpful in it.

    • Robby Clewley

      I am gay and gay is ok. dont hate what you dont understand

      • Nancy Sternberg

        The manner in which you were formed speaks against you. Gay seems okay until you face eternity.

        • Robby Clewley

          I am going to Heaven to be with Jesus . Being gay isnt a sin. Mind your own business.

          • wandakate

            ROBBY CLEWLEY: Scripture tells you that you will not enter the Kingdom of GOD, period. and YES it is a sin, and who told you that it’s not? They lied to you, you are deceived. You need salvation…You are lost and on your way to hell without forgiveness…And we would be minding our business had you not told everyone that you are gay. Why don’t you keep it to yourself?

          • Robby Clewley

            Cause this is America and I dont have to keep it to myself. We are OUT and we are everywhere . Havent you seen ? Gay marriage is here. Its not your place to judge anyone. It is NOT a sin. You are a fake Christian and a hateful person. Shame on you. Not lost at all. I love God and believe in him and his grace and love .. not the hate that you guys preach.

          • wandakate

            ROBBY CLEWLEY: GOD loves the sinner (you) but he said the sin (sex of homosexuality). Yes I have seen them everywhere and they are NOT married. There is no such thing as a homosexual marriage, they are unions, but NOT real marriages. Marriage was ordained by GOD only. He did not create Adam and Steve, he created Adam and Eve. One man and one woman, not two of the same sex Robby…
            I am not hateful as I don’t hate you at all, I just don’t approve of your sin. I’m not fake, I’m honest. I’m not judging you, but rebuking you as the scriptures say I am to do that if I care. We are to love the sinner and hate the sin. I hope you give this up because it doesn’t matter how much we love GOD, He is NOT going to allow any sin into Heaven.

          • Robby Clewley

            The LAW says they are real marriages , I think the law trumps your beliefs

          • wandakate

            ROBBY CLEWLEY: The law-that’s a huge joke. The law has no justice, they don’t give a hoot if you or anybody else goes to hell. They care about their own agenda and nothing else. If you are too dumb to realize that then you are to be pitied. All have sinned and all need to confess them, repent of them (whatever they happen to be) and forsake them.
            Nobody is born that way…they have “proven” that already. GOD did not create humans that way. It’s the “LUST” of the flesh that is the problem.
            Desires are one thing, it’s when you carry out the desires that you sin and you will not go to Heaven. So , you can dream on and live in your fairy tell gay days tinker bell lifestyle, and you will find out in the end that I was right. I am done, I will not discuss this with you anymore, as you have admitted you are not going to repent and do what you are commanded to do, so there is nothing more here to say to you.

          • Robby Clewley

            You are not right, you are a hateful, vile FAKE Christian and I truly feel sorry for you, your life is so pathetic that you have to attack gay people . Does it affect your straight marriage ? NO . So just mind your own business. I love god and know I am a child of God and going to Heaven. You dont know my relationship with Christ. Being gay isnt a sin and yay for gay marriage :) Ha ha you lose

          • Robby Clewley

            Lets see , I am 39 and have had gay relationships since i was six . not gonna turn away. I am bisexual and was born this way and happy with it. You dont care about gay people , you preach hate . its not sin and i will never believe that it is. you are sin free huh ?

          • Nancy Sternberg

            You were not born this way, someone did something to you. Jesus died on the cross for me and you. You have made a profession of faith. I hope it is real.

          • Robby Clewley

            I am a gay christian . I love jesus and yes i was born this way. My husband and i are quite happy. why would you people want to take happiness away from people ?

          • Nancy Sternberg

            When did you make your profession of faith? Jesus will receive those who will call on Him no matter who but we must repent. Your soul is a precious thing. So many have sold their souls in defense of gay rights. You called me a hater but you do not know me. Your “tolerance” goes only one way but I am truly glad you answered my note. I hope you made a profession of faith, I really do. Jesus will not keep you as you are He loves you too much.

          • Robby Clewley

            ive been bisexual since i was very young, jesus accepts me as i am. its sad you are against equality. brainwashed by the church i see.

          • Nancy Sternberg

            I noticed you didn’t answer my question. I already know you are bisexual and attacked me. I asked you when did you make your profession of faith.

          • Robby Clewley

            I didnt attack you , I defended myself . I have been saved since I was 15. I am 39.

      • wandakate

        ROBBY CLEWLEY: I understand what is necessary and I understand that GOD did not create that way, He did not mean for us to be that way, and He will not allow you into the Kingdom of GOD as long as you are that way, so that’s really all that anyone needs to understand. If you don’t care, then it’s doesn’t matter, if you do care, they you must confess it, repent of it, and give it up.

        • Robby Clewley

          Yes he will. Jesus died for my sins and I confess him as Lord and I am going to Heaven . I dont need your judgment , you people are hypocrites and EVIL. You judge people then go sin in your own life. Gay people are here to stay and you are LOSING :)

  • susandaytoday

    Sounds like you just said I am not my brothers keeper? Its not only the people directly under your care its the body of Christ. Where is the truthful leadership?

  • alnga

    Moral courage is lacking in pulpits all over this country. If you tune into me on some air wave presentation you will hear me say exactly what I would say here and any where I happen to be. The truth isn’t determined by the audience the truth is determined by the word of God. The Spirit of God resides in all believers and the spirit will lead you through the truth and it’s applicability in your life.

  • Plcc07777

    I can’t put a finger on it, but for some reason, I just don’t trust Rick Warren.

    • wandakate

      PICC07777: Good thing, as we are not to trust man, but we are to trust GOD…Man will fail us, GOD will never fail us.

      • Plcc07777

        Are you saying there is not a man you trust?
        If that’s what you’re saying I pity you.

        • wandakate

          PICO07777: Everyone I’ve ever trusted turned on me or lied or deceived me in some way. Not good to trust man according to the Bible, trust ONLY GOD, and that’s it. Thank you for the pity, but it’s not necessary.

  • QuestGirl

    Why am I not surprised ? When I see Scripture referencing the Living Bible, I run fast and far to my KJV. The Living is of a satanic nature if ever there was one.

    • Denise

      only the ignorant, uneducated cling to the KJV written in the 1600s. the Bible is inerrant in its original form which is not the KJV. More knowledge of Greek and Hebrew makes newer translations more accurate.

      • QuestGirl

        You are so incredibly wrong, I don’t know where to begin. The KJV was published in 1611,and raised with it. I recently acquired the Geneva 1599 Bible as well. The language in both simply sings to me.

        I am amazed and appalled at those who fall victim to this “common era” we live in today, as our society dictates. I am saddened when I hear a professed lifelong Christian, as a few have, tell me they do not understand the 1611 King James Bible. The “common era” versions written in the 20th century, were written with the hand of Satan, beknownest or unbeknowest to the author.

        I’m going out on a limb here, and guess you are rapture ready to escape the tribulation??? Great or otherwise???

  • Bill Tree

    I support Biblical marriage and homosexual behavior is sin and they will burn in hell. Its not a might but it is sin Mr. Rich Warren. If you support such behavior you will have a place in hell with them when you die. Whose report will you believe God or man? I believe the Bible over anything man has to say. Queers you have lost the battle and you will see hell sooner than you think. Queers you are not a family but a child of the devil. Christian stand up for the Word of God He will fight for you and no man can stop Him.

    • Robby Clewley

      Being gay is NOT a sin. Get your facts straight

      • George Franco

        Robby you are quite right, being gay as in being attracted to people of the same sex is not a sin. However when that attraction expresses itself through sex with a same sex person then that act is a sin. A sin just like fornication or adultery as far as I am concerned however God goes a step further and actually calls it a sin of abomination. That tells me gay sex is particularly distasteful to him. I know the truth is not always palatable but just because we don’t like it doesn’t mean it isn’t truth. The good news is that if you get born again the Spirit of God can help you avoided sin even if you still have an appetite for it.

        • Robby Clewley

          No , none of it is a sin. God accepts gay people as they are. We are created in his image afterall and for me , I knew i liked boys and girls when I was SIX. Now how can that be sinful ?

          • wandakate

            ROBBY CLEWLEY: You are in denial and nothing anyone here says to you is going to help you. You need help. You can’t see the forest for the trees. If GOD approved of it and accepted it then why does he call it sin, and why does he tell us in the Bible that they will not be in the Kingdom of GOD???

          • Robby Clewley

            I dont need help. I go to a Christian church , with a gay pastor and we learn about God’s love. Not the hate you preach. You words mean nothing. Its not a sin, you have been lied to. Love is love , gender means nothing. Thats ridicilous . I dont need help, I am quite happy but you people telling gay people that they are sinners causes them to kill themselves. You are a very bad person

          • George Franco

            If it was ok with God most hetrosexual men, Christian or otherwise would have sex with multiple women. They don’t because its adultery and dispeleases God. We don’t ndulge in sin because we value what God thinks more than our own sinful desire. You have convinced yourself that same sex is not a sin. That is your prerogative and I am ok with you deceiving yourself. Like you say you are not hurting me. But don’t call me hateful when all I am trying to do is remind you of what God really thinks not what you would like him to think. I didn’t make up my own view. I get what God thinks from his word. (1 Cor 6:9-10 NIV) Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders {10} nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

          • Robby Clewley

            That makes NO sense at all George . MOST heterosexual men DO have sex with multiple women. You dont know what displease God. The loving parts of the bible that lift people up and preach love and acceptance and tolerance are written by God but the rest where it calls for death and condemns people are LIES not written by God. Being gay is not a sin. Being a hateful person is though , you might wanna get help for that.

      • wandakate

        ROBBY CLEWLEY: Apparently you have not read the scriptures. YOU are mistaken and you are the ones that need the facts straight. You are a hopeless case b/c you think you know it all and won’t listen to anybody here. Are you not reading all these comments???

        • Robby Clewley

          Just a bunch of homophobes here . yes i read the comments and they disgust me. Im hopeless ha . im not the one obsessed who other people love. is it cause nobody loves you Wanda ? The bible is mostly love but has six anti gay scriptures and they are written by men who hated gay people. You must be crying that gay marriage is legal. BIGOT

    • Denise

      by your thinking a hererosexual adulter also will not go to heaven. check out the 7 sins God
      hates the most. sexual sin is not mentioned. works don’t get us to heaven only faith in Jesus Christ. works don’t make us lose our salvation.

      • wandakate

        DENISE: IF YOU ARE NOT hot or cold, JESUS said, I will spew you out of my mouth (not have anything to do with you). JESUS said in Revelation that the sexually immoral will not enter into the KINGDOM of GOD…It’s a sin in GOD’s eye.

    • wandakate

      BILL TREE: And many will see to JESUS on that day, LORD, LORD, but they won’t enter into the Kingdom of GOD. The only ones to enter are the ones that did the will of the FATHER.

  • RocketRod

    This is clearly a slanted article intended to provoke volatile responses, particularly from right wing militant fundamentalists and Warren haters. It doesn’t have enough facts to deal with the matter. The issues at hand (i.e. pastoring one’s flock vs. making public pronouncements for example) are clearly misconstrued in order not to give Warren any benefit of the doubt. I am not a defender or a fan of Warren but I am a fan of fair journalism and I think this is a biased interpretation of what happened and suits the needs of the Christian News. I get so tired of the biased reporting of ultra conservatives and I am, by most outsiders’ estimate, an ultra conservative. We make others look bad and we make ourselves look bad in the name of “truth.” Disappointing.

  • Joel Rivera

    First Chrislam and now this. Warren should step down if he’s not willing to step up to the plate to proclaim truth outside of his church.

  • 3Dunedain90

    The soft underbelly of evangelicalism continues to show itself. Did he not make that marriage video from biblical convictions?

  • 3Dunedain90

    If he surrenders that today, what will he surrender tomorrow as Jesus’ authority is what fundamentally is at stake in all this definition of marriage drama? This is where all the relationalism in Christianity is often rather spineless.

  • Robby Clewley

    Lost that fight didnt ya Warren. Prop 8 died and gay marriage WON :)

  • What37

    Rick Warren – I didn’t say that, and I wish I hadn’t said that – this is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but obfuscating the truth.

  • Glenn

    What you say to your congregation is what you should be saying to everyone else, so why make the excuse “I was only speaking to my people about the issue” would you tell everyone else something different?

  • Reason2012

    The only regret from any of us will be in not supporting what God clearly laid down as truth – and it will be too late. =(

  • Lonewolf

    Disheartening. A watered down gospel to appease the pc crowd will gain no fruit.

  • Mark

    Wake up people! You can support two things at the same time. I am a 58 yo hetero male, ex military, 4 kids and I support traditional marriage, and I also support the two gay guys down the street from me. Their relationship does NOT affect my marriage or dilute the strength of my love. I am such a compassionate man that I want them to have the same privileges as a married couple (like if one is in a coma, joint bank account etc). How does that hurt ME? People don’t DECIDE to be gay. Did you decide to be heterosexual?